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Full text of "The correspondence of Samuel Richardson ... selected from the original manuscripts, bequeathed by him to his family, to which are prefixed, a biographical account of that author, and observations on his writings"

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• *•* •' • • • • 


i> Tt^HEN a private correspondence is 
presented to the public, the first ques- 

"^-tion which occurs is, how have they 
been procured? — In the present in* 
stance this admits of the most satis- 
factory answer. It was the custom of 
Mr. Richardson, not only to pre- 
serve the letters of his numerous cor- 
respondents, but to take copies of his 
own, generally by the hands of his 
daughters, — particularly his daughter 
Martha, and his nephew, who per- 
formed to him the office of SLtn^nu- 

r) a 2 ensis. 


v-ensk. It was the favourite employ- 
ment of his declining years to select 
-and arrange them, and he always 
looked forward to their publication at 
some distant period, when the lapse 
of time should have precluded the 
necessity of observing that delicacy 
which living .characters have always a 
claim to. Indeed, he was not with- 
out thoughts of publishing them in his 
life time, in which case he would 
have subjected them to such restric- 
tions as his correspondents thought pro- 
per to impose.' After his death they 
remained in the hands of Mrs. Ann€ 
Richardson, his last-surviving daughter, 
till her xkath, which took place in Ja- 
nuary last. After that event they be- 


Came the property of his grandchildren^ 
of whom Mr. Phillips purchased them: 
Jrt a very liberal price : he trusts for re- 
muneration to the curiosity of the pub- 
lic, which has always shewn an eager- 
ness, more natural perhaps than strictly 
justifiable, to penetrate into the domes- 
tic retirements, and to be introduced 
to the companionable hours of eminent- 
characters. That this inclination may 
be gratified without impropriety, care 
has been taken that no letters should 
be published of any living character, 
except the correspondence of Mrs. 
Duncombe, (formerly Miss Highmore) 
which that lady has had the goodness 
to communicate herself. She also sup- 
plied the correspondence with Miss 
a 3 Mulsor 


Mulso. Mr. Scudamore also obligingly 
sent several letters of his deceased mo- 
ther's. The whole collection is very- 

When Mr. Phillips had completed 
his purchase, he engaged me to per- 
form the necessary office of selection. 
I have endeavoured to do justice to hitti 
and to the public ; how 1 have suc- 
ceeded I am yet ignorant. No two per- 
sons probably would fix precisely upon 
the same standard of choice. But it 
may be fairly observed, that neither can 
any one criticise that standard with judg- 
ment, unless he had submitted to his 
inspection, not only the letters that are 
taken, but those also which are left. 




VOL. I. 


Life of Richardson vii 

Correspondence with Aaron Hill I 

Letter from Mr, Warburton 133 

Correspondence ivith Mr. St rah an 136 

Mr Harris 161 

]^r^ Qave 164 

Letter front Lord Orrery 171 

Correspondence tvith the Rev. S. Lobby and Mr, 

W. Lobbfjun. . . , 173 






Tl HERE is no period in the history of 
any country, at all advanced in elegant 
literature, in which Jictitioiis adventures 
have not made a large part of the reading 
men have most delighted in. They have 
been grafted upon tlie actions of their heroes, 
they have been interwoven with their my- 
thology, they have been moulded upon the 
manners of the age, and, in return, have in- 
fluenced not a little the manners of the next 
generation, by the principles they have in- 
sinuated, and the sensibilities they have 
a 4 exercised 


exercised. A spirit of adventure, a high 
sense of honour, of martial glory, refined 
and romantic passion, sentimental delicacy, 
or all the mating sensibilities of humanity, 
hav€ been, in their turns, inspired by this 
powerful engine, which takes so strong a 
hold on the fancy and the passions of young 
readers. Adorned with the embellishments 
of poetry, tliey produce the epic ; more 
concentrated in the story, and exchanging 
narrative for action, they become dramatic j 
allied with some great moral end, didactic, 
as in the Telemaque of Fenelon, and the 
Belisaire of Marmontel. They are often 
the vehicles of satire, as in the Candide 
and Babouc of Voltaire, and the Gulliver *!? 
Travels of Swift. They take a tincture from 
the learning and politics of the times, and 
are often made use of successfully to at- 
tack or to recommend the prevailing sys- 
tems of the day. We have seen liberty 
and equality recommended from one pub- 
lication, and French principles exposed in 



another. When the range of this kind 
of writing is so extensive, and its effect so 
great, it is evident that it ought to hold no 
me^n rank among the productions of ge- 
nius j and, in truth, there is hardly any 
department of literature in which we shall 
meet with more fme writing than in the 
best productions of this kind. It is not 
easy therefore to say, why the poet should 
have so high a place allotted him in the 
temple of Fame, and the romance-writer so 
low a one, as, in the general estimation^ 
he is confined to ; for his dignity as a writer 
has by no means been measured by the 
pleasure he affords to his readers ; yet the 
invention of a story, the choice of proper 
incidents, the ordonnance of the plan, th"* 
exhibition of the character, the gradual 
development of a plot, occasional beauties 
of description, and, above all, the power 
exercised over the reader's heart, by filling 
it with the successive emotions of love, 
pity, jo)', anguish, transport, or iudigna/- 
a 5 tion. 


tion, together with the grave impressive 
moral resulting from the whole, imply ta- 
lents of the highest order, and ought to 
command our warmest praise. There is 
no walk in which taste and genius have 
more distinguished themselves, or in which 
virtuous and noble sentiments have come 
out with greater lustre, than in the splen- 
did fictions, or pathetic tales, with which 
France, Germany, Switzcland, and our 
own country, have adorned the annals of 
their literature. A history of romance 
writing, under all its various forms, would 
be an acceptable present to the public, if 
given by a man of taste and sufficient 
reading. But there are some periods which 
make, as it were, a new era in this kind of 
writing, and those productions are more 
particularly deserving our attention which 
stand at the head of a class, and have di- 
verted the taste of the public into some 
new channel. Of this kind are the writings 
of Mr. Richardson, whose name, on the 



present occasion, is brought anew before 

the public. He may, in a great measure, 

be said to be the father of the modern novel 

^of the serious or pathetic kind,' and he was 

N'^o^also original . in the mode of epistolary 

^ writing by which he carried on the story. 

\' yj If we were to search among the treasures? 

(^„^5 of ancient literature for fictions similar to 

^ >A.^ the modern novel, we should find none 

'v.|>n'^* * ^ymore nearly resembling it than Theagenes 

\^^^ and Chariclea, the production of Heliodo- 

^K^' *^us, a Christian bishop of Trieca, in Thes- 

^^j^-* «aly. Though his romance was unexcep- 

^j^^tf'tionably pure and virtuous, he was called 

^^ ' upon either to burn his book, or resign his 

bishopric ; upon which, with the heroism 

of an author, he chose the latter. 

But, after Europe had sunk into bar- 
barism, a taste was again to be formed ; 
and a taste for the natural, the grace- 
ful, and the simple-pathetic, is generally 
the late result of a long course of civili- 

a 6 Every 


Every one knows the character of the* 
romances of chivalry. — Amadis do Gaul at 
their head, with whose merits the English 
reader has lately been made acquainted in. 
an elegant abridged version. They were 
jDroperly historical, but they heightened 
the traditionary adventures of the heroes 
of their different countries, with the more 
wonderful stories of giants, enchantments, 
and other embellishments of the superna- 
tural kind. But we are not to suppose that 
even these fictions were considered, as we 
now consider them, the mere play of the 
imagination : " le vrai seal est aimable' was 
always so far a maxim, that no work of 
imagination can greatly succeed, which is 
not founded upon popular belief j but what 
is le vrai? In those times talismans, and 
woimds cured by sympathetic powder, and 
charms of all kinds, were seriously cre- 

A great deal of love adventure was in- 
termixed in these narratives, but not always- 



of the purest or most delicate kind. Poetry 
was often made the vehicle of them, parti- 
cularly in Italy : the Orlando Furioso of 
Ariosto, is a chivalrous romance in verse. 

As, however, the spirit of military ad- 
venture subsided, these softened, by de- 
grees, into the languishing love romances 
of the French school — the Clelias and Cas- 
sandras, the laboured productions of the 
Calprenedes and Scuderis. I might indeed 
have mentioned before these a romance of 
a peculiar kind, the Astrea of d'Urfe, which 
all France read with eagerness at the time 
it was published. It is a pastoral romance, 
and its celebrity was, in a great measure, 
owing to its being strongly seasoned with 
allusions to the amours of the court of 
Henry the Fourth. 

But to return to the Romances de longue 
kaleine. The principle of these was high 
honour, impregnable chastity, a constancy 
unshaken by time or accident, and a spe- 
eies of love so exalted and refined, that it 



bore but little resemblance t6 a natural 
passion. In the story, however, they were a 
step nearer to nature -, the adventures were 
marvellous, but not impossible. Their 
personages were all removed from common 
life, and taken from ancient history ; but 
without the least resemblance to the heroes 
whose names they bore. The manners 
therefore, and the passions, referred to an 
ideal world, the creation of the writer ; but 
the situations were often striking, and the 
sentiments always noble. They would 
have reigned longer, had they been less 
tedious — ^there exists no appeal for an au- 
thor who makes his readers weary. Boi- 
lieu ridiculed these, as Cervantes had done 
the others, and their knell was rung : peo- 
ple were ready to wonder they had ever 
admired them., 

A closer imitation of nature began now 
to be called for : not but that, from the 
earliest times, there had been tales and 
stories imitating real life j a few serious, 



but generally comic. The Decamerone of 
Boccacio, the Cent Nouvelles of the Queen of 
Navarre, contes and fabliaux without num- 
ber, may be considered as novels, though 
of a lighter texture j they abounded with 
adventure, generally of the humourous, 
often of the licentious kind, and, indeed, 
were mostly founded on intrigue, but the 
nobler passions were seldom touched. The 
Roman Comique of Scarron is a regular 
piece of its kind, and possesses great merit 
in the humourous way ; but the Zaide, and 
the Prlncesse de Cleves» of Madame de la 
Fayette, are esteemed t© be the first that 
approach the modern novel of the serious 
kind, the latter especially ; they were writ- 
ten in the reign of Louis XIV. greatly ad- 
mired, and considered as making a new 
era in works of invention. Voltaire says 
of them, that they were " I^s premiers Rc» 
" mans oh Von vit les mmurs des honnctes genSt 
" ei des avantiires naturelles, decrites avec 
*' grace. Avant elle on ecrivait d'un stile emf 



" po?ile, des chases pen vraisemblables." "The 
" first romances in which were seen natural 
" incidents, and the manners of good com- 
" pany, described with elegance. Before 
*' her time, improbable adventures were de- 
" scribed in aturgidand affected stile." The 
novels of Madame la Fayette are certainly 
beautiful, but a step is still wanting ; they 
no longer speak, indeed, of Alexanders and 
Brutus's, still less of giants and fairies ; but 
the heroes and lieroines are princes and 
princesses — they are not people of our ac- 
quaintance. The scene is, perhaps, in 
Spain, or amongst the Moors ; it does not 
reflect the picture of domestic life, they are 
not the men and women we see about u& 
every day. 

Le Sage, in his Gil Bias, a work of infi- 
nite entertainment, though of dubious mo- 
pality, presented us such, people; but hi9 
portraits were mostly of the humourous 
kind, and his work was rather a series of 
separate adventures than a chain of events 



CDiicurring, in one plan, to the production 
of the catastrophe. There was still want- 
ing a mode of writing which should con- 
nect the high passion, and delicacy of sen- 
timent of the old romance, with character* 
moving in the same sphere of life with our- 
selves, and brought into action by inci- 
dents of daily occurrence. 

In the earlier periods of English histor3% 
we had our share in the rude literature of 
the times, and we were familiar, either by 
translations or stories of our own growth^ 
with the heroes of the chivalrous times,^ 
many of whom belonged to our own coun- 
try. We had also, in common with our 
neighbours, the monkish legends, a species 
of romance abounding with the marvellous, 
and particularly suited to the taste of a 
superstitious age. Many of these merit 
attention as a branch, and no small one^ 
of fiction ; they have been properly ex- 
ploded for their falsehood ; they should 
now be preserved for their invention : they 



are now harmless j they can no longer ex- 
cite our indignation, let them be permitted 
to amuse our fancy. 

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, we had 
the once famous romance Sidney^s Arcadia, 
of the pastoral heroic kind, if the expres- 
sion may be permitted. It is a book that 
all have heard of, that some few possess, 
but that nobody reads. 

From that period, to the middle of the 
last reign, we had tales and stories of va- 
rious kinds, but scarcely one that continues 
to be read to the present day, and, I believe, 
not any (the singularly ingenious allegori- 
cal fiction of the Pilgrim's Progress ex- 
cepted) that was known out of our own 
country. We had poets, we had philoso- 
phers, long before we had attained any 
excellence in the lighter kinds of prose 
composition. Harrington's Oceana is po- 
litical, and will grievously disappoint those 
who look into it for amusement. The Ata- 
lantis of Mrs. Manley lives only in that line 



of Pope which seems to promise it immor- 

** As long as Atalantis shall be read." 

It was, like Astrea, filled with fashionable 
scandal. Mrs. Behn's novels were licen- 
tious : they are also fallen. Till the middle 
of the last century, theatrical productions 
and poetry made a greater part of polite 
reading than novels, which had not at- 
tained cither elegance or nice discrimina- 
tion of characters ; some adventure and a 
love story, were all they aimed at. Tlie La* 
dies' Libraryy described in the Spectator, 
contains " the Grand Cyrus, vf\i\i a pin stuck 
" in one of the leaves, and Cklia, which 
" opened of itself in the place that describes 
** two lovers in a bower j" but there does not 
occur either there, or, I believe, in any 
other part of the work, the name of one 
English novel, the Atalantis excepted. 
Plays are often mentioned as a favourite 
and dangerous part of ladies' reading. The 



first author we had, who distinguished hmt- 
self by natural painting, was that truly ori- 
ginal genius De Foe ; and if from any on>e 
Richardson caught, in some, measure, his 
peculiar manner of writing, to him it must 
be traced, whose Robinson Crusoe and 
Family Instructor (the latter consisting of 
domestic dialogues,) he must have read in- 
his youth. They were both accurate de- 
scribers, minute and circumstantial, but 
with this difF(prence, that the minuteness of 
De Foe was more employed about things, 
and that of Richardson about persons and 
sentiments. No one ever knew like De 
Foe to give to fiction, by an accumulation 
of circumstance, and a grave natural way 
of telling the story, the most serious air of 
truth ; except, indeed. Swift, in his Gulli- 
ver's Travels. De Foe wrote also some 
novels; I cannot speak of them, for I have 
not seen them : they do not appear to have 
attained much celebrity. Richardson was- 
the man who was to introduce a new kind 



of moral j>ainting ; he drew equally from 
nature and from his own ideas. From the 
world about him he took the incidents, 
manners, and general character, of the 
times in which he lived, and from his own 
beautiful ideas he copied that sublime of 
virtue which charms us in his Clarissa, and 
that sublime of passion which interests us 
in his Clementina. That kind of fictitious 
writing of which he has set the example, 
disclaims all assistance from giants or ge- 
nii. The moated castle is changed to a 
modern parlour ; the princess and her 
pages to a lady and her domestics, or even 
to a simple ^naiden, witliout birth or for- 
tune ; we are not called on to wonder at 
improbable events, but to be moved by 
natural passions, and impressed by salu- 
tary maxims. The pathos of the story, 
and the dignity of the sentiments, interest 
and charm us ; simplicity is warned, vice 
rebuked, and, from the perusal of a novel, 
5ve rise better prepared to meet the ills of 


Xxii THE Lirfe 

life with firmness, and to perform our re- 
spective parts on the great theatre of life. 
It was the high and just praise given by 
our great critic. Dr. Johnson, to the author 
of Clarissa, that " he had enlarged the 
*' knowledge of human nature, and taught 
** the passions to move at the command of 
** virtue." The novelist has, indeed, all the 
advantage of the preacher in introducing 
useful maxims and sentiments of virtue ; 
an advantage which Richardson made large 
use of, and he has besides the power of 
impressing them upon the heart through 
the best sensibilities of our nature. Rich- 
ardson prided himself on being a moral and 
religious writer ; and, as Addison did be- 
fore him, he professed to take under his 
particular protectiou that sex which 
is supposed to be most open to good or 
evil impressions j whose inexperience most 
requires cautionary precepts, and whose 
sensibilities it is most important to se- 
cure against a wrong direction. The 



inanner of this captivating writer was also 

There are three modes of carrying on 
^ story: the narrative or epic as it may 
be called; in this the author relates him- 
self the whole adventure ; this is the man- 
ner of Cervantes in his Don Quixote, and 
of Fielding in his Tom Jones. It is the most 
common way. The author, like the muse, 
is supposed to know every thing; he can 
reveal the secret springs of actions, and 
iet us into events in his own time and 
manner. He can be concise, or diffuse, 
according as the different parts of his story 
require it. He can indulge, as Fielding has 
done, in digressions, and thus deliver senti- 
ments and display knowledge which would 
not 2^roperly belong to any of the charac- 
ters. But his narration will not be lively, 
except he frequently drops himself, and 
runs into dialogue: all good writers there- 
fore have thrown as much as possible of 
the dramatic into their narrative. Mad. 



d'Arblay has done this so successfully, 
that we have as clear an idea, not only of 
the sentiments, but the manner of expres- 
sion of her different personages, as if we 
took it from the scenes in a play. 

Another mode is that of memoirs ; where 
the subject of the adventures relates his 
own story. Smollet, in his Roderic Ran- 
dom, and Goldsmith, in his Vicar of Wake- 
field, have adopted this mode; it confines 
the author's stile, which should be suited, 
though it is not always, to the supposed 
talents and capacity of the imaginary 
narrator. It has the advantage of the 
warmth and interest a person may be sup- 
posed to feel in his own affairs; and he 
can more gracefully dwell upon minute 
circumstances which have affected him. 
It has a greater air of truth, as it seems 
to account for the communication to the 
public. The author, it is true, knows every 
thing, but when the secret recesses of the 
heart are to be laid open, we can hear no 



'One with so much pleasure as the person 
himself. Mai'ivaux, whose productions 
partly followed, and partly were cotem- 
porary with those of Richardson, has put 
the history of Marianne into her own 
mouth, and we are amused to hear her 
dwell on little touches which are almost 
too trivial to be noticed by any body but 

But what the hero cannot gay, the author 
cannot tell, nor can it be rendered pro- 
bable, that a very circumstantial nar-rative 
should be given by a person, perhaps at 
the close of a long life, of conversations 
that have happened at the beginning of it. 
The author has all along two characters to 
support, for he has to consider how his 
hero felt at the time the events to be related, 
and how it is natural he should feel them 
at the time he is relating them; at a period, 
perhaps, when curiosity is extinguished, 
passion cooled, and when, at any rate, the 
suspense which rendered them interesting 

VOL. I. b is 


is over. This seems, therefore, the least 
perfect mode of any. 

A tliird way remains, that of epistolary 
'Correspondence t carried on between the cha- 
racters of the novel. This is the form made 
use of by Richardson and many others af- 
ter, none, I believe, before him. He seems 
to have been led to it by circumstances in 
his early youth, which will be hereafter 
related. This method unites, in a good 
measure, the advantages of the other two ; 
it gives the feelings of the moment as the 
writers felt them at the moment. It allows 
a pleasing variety of stile, if the author 
has suflicient command of pen to assume 
it. It makes the whole work dramatic, 
since all the characters speak in their own 
persons. It accounts for breaks in the 
jstory, by the omission or loss of letters. 
It is incompatible with a rapi4 stile, but 
;gives room for the graceful introduction of 
remark and sentiment, or any kind, almost, 
4)f digressive matter. But, on the other 



hand, it is highly fictitious ; it is the most 
natural and the least probable way of tell- 
ing a story. That letters should be writ- 
ten at all times, and upon every occasion 
in life, that those letters should be pre- 
served, and altogether form a connected 
story, it requires much art to render spe- 
cious. It introduces the inconvenience so 
much felt in dramatic writing, for want of 
a narrator ; the necessity of having an in- 
.sipid confidant to tell the circumstances to 
that an author cannot relate in any other 
way. It obliges a man to tell of himself, 
what perhaps no man would tell ; and some- 
times to repeat compliments which modesty 
would lead him to suppress : and when along 
conversation is repeated, supposes a me- 
mory more exact than is generally found. 
Artificial as it therefore is, still as it enables 
an author to assume, in a lively manner, the 
hopes and fears, and passions, and to imi- 
tate the peculiar way of thinking of his 
/characters, it became fashionable, and has 
b 2 been 


>been adopted by many both at home and 
abroad, especially by the French writers; 
4jieir language, perhaps, being particularly 
asuited to the epistolary stile, and Rousseau 
himself, in his Nouvelle Heloise, has fol- 
iowed the steps of our countryman. 

Our author had a most ready pen, in- 
deed it was seldom out of his hand, and 
this readiness, with the early habit of writ- 
ing letters, made him take pleasure in an 
extensive correspondejnce, with which he 
filled the interstices of a busy day. Be- 
fore this -correspondence is presented to 
the reader, it may not be undesirable to 
preface the collection with all the particu- 
lars which can now be collected, relative 
to hijii who Avas the centre of it. The facts 
are taken either from the letters themselves, 
or the objigin^ communications of some of 
his surviving cotemporaries, or from printed 
biographical anecdotes. 

Mr. Samuel Richardswi, whose name and 
genius no English readers, and it may be 



added, few foreign ones, are nnacouaintccl 
with, is one instance, among innumerable 
others, of natural talents making their way 
to eminence, under the pressure of narrov/ 
circumstances, the disadvantage of obscure? 
birth, and the want of a liberal education. 

The following is the account he gives of 
his family, in a letter to Mr. Stinstra. " My 
** father was a very honest man, descended 
" of a family of middling note, in the county 
" of Surry, but which having for several ge- 
** nerationsahu'ge number of children, the 
** not large possessions were s-plit and di- 
** vidcd, so that he and his brothers were 
•* put to trades j and the sisters were mar- 
" ried to tradesmen. My mother was also 
** a good woman,^ of a family not ungen- 
" teel } but wliose father and mother died, irr 
** her infancy, within half-an-liour of each 
** other, in the London pestilence of 1665. 

" My father's business was that of a join- 

^ er, then more distinct from that of a car- 

^ neuter than now it is with us. He was 

b 3 a good 


" a good draughtsman, and understood ar- 
" chitecture. His skill and ingenuity, and 
** an understanding superior to his busi- 
" ness, with his remarkable integrity of 
" heart and manners, made him person- 
•* ally beloved by several persons of rank, 
•' among whom were the Duke of Mon- 
•* mouth and the first Earl of Shaftsbury, 
" both so noted in our English history; 
" their known favour for him having, on 
" the Duke's attempt on the crown, sub- 
*' jected him to be looked upon with a 
*^ jealous eye, notwithstanding he was 
" noted for a quiet and inoffensive man, 
" he thought proper, on the decollation 
" of the first-named unhappy nobleman, 
** to quit his London business, and to re- 
•* tire to Derbyshire, though to his great 
*' detriment ; and there I, and three other 
" children out of nine, were born." 

As it was probably a great disadvantage 
to Mr. Richardson's father to leave his 
flourishing business in London, and as it is 



not very likely that a man in his way of 
life should have so companionable an inti- 
macy with the Duke of Monmouth and the 
Earl of Shaftsbury, as to subject him to dan- 
ger on that account merely; it is probable 
that he entered further into their political 
views, than appears from the foregoing ac- 
count. Mr. Samuel Richardson was born 
in the year 1689, in Derbyshire, but in 
what particular place cannot be traced out. 
It is said that Richardson, from some mo-^ 
lives known only to himself, always avoid- 
ed mentioning the town which gave him 
birth. If this concealment arose from a 
reluctance to bring into view the obscu- 
rity and narrow circumstances in which 
his childhood was involved, the motive was 
an unworthy one, since they only served 
to reflect honour on the genius which could 
break through so thick a cloud. But, in 
truth, the candour and openness with which 
he relates the circumstances of his early 
life, ought to clear him from this imputa- 
b 4 tion. 

xxxu THE LIFE 

tion. He goes on to inform his friend;^ 
that his father intended him for the churchy 
^ designation perfectly agreeable to his 
©wn inclinations, and which indeed his 
strong sense of religion, and the sobriety 
«f his conduct, gave him an appropriate 
litness for. Bat he adds : " But while I 
" was very young, some heavy losses hav- 
** ing disabled hhn from supporting me as 
" genteelly as he wished in an education 
" proper for the function, he left me to 
" choose, at the age of fifteen or sixteen, 
" a business; having been able to give me 
** only common school-learning." 

Some of the admirers of Richardson have 
wished to raise his character by asserting, 
that he possessed a knowledge of the clas- 
sics; but his own assertions are frequent- 
in his letters, that he possessed no lan- 
guage but his own, not even French. It is- 
said, indeed, that Dr. Young and he have 
been heard to quote Horace and other- 
classics in their familiar conversations, and 



tlie letters of the pedant Brand in Clarissa, 
which are larded with Latin quotations, ave 
adduced as proofs of his scholarship ; but, 
with regard to the latter, it seems proba- 
ble, as niav ])e seen in the letters, that he 
was assisted by his friend Mr. Channing; 
and, as to tlie former, it is not unlikely that 
he might, be familiar with a few of those 
Jvatin phrases which are used, in a manner 
proverbially, by scholars, as the gar^iiture 
of their discourse ; and that he might also re- 
member something of the rudiments, which 
he probably learnt at school, neither of which 
circumstances imply any real knowledge of 
the language. His deficiencies in this respect 
he often lamented 5 and it is certain his 
3tyle is as far as possible from that of a 
scholar. It abounds with colloquial vul- 
garisms, and has neither that precision, 
nor that tincture of classic elegance, which 
is generally the result of an early familiar- 
ity with the best models. 

But, however an ignorance of the learned 
b 5 languages 


languages might, some centuries ago, have 
precluded the unlearned Englishman from 
those treasures of literature which open the 
faculties and enlarge the understanding, 
our own tongue now contains productions 
of every kind sufficient to kindle the flame 
of genius in a congenial mind. Reading, 
provided a man seeks rather after good 
books than new books, still continues to 
be the cheapest of all amusements j and 
the boy who has barely learned to read at 
a village school-dame's, is in possession of 
a key which will unlock the treasures of 
Shakespeare and of Milton, of Addison and 
of Locke. Nor is time generally wanting j 
the severest labour has its intervals, in 
which the youth, who is stung with the 
thirst of knowledge, will steal to the page 
that gratifies his curiosity, and afterwards 
brood over the thoughts which have been 
there kindled, while he is plying the awl, 
planing the board, or hanging over the 
loom. To have this desire implanted in the 



young mind, does, indeed, require some pe- 
culiarly favourable circumstances. These 
Can sometimes be traced, oftener not. In 
regular education, the various stimuli that 
produce this effect are subject to our ob- 
servation, and distinctly marked ; in like 
manner as we know the nature and qua- 
lity of the seed we sow in gardens and 
cultured ground ; but of those geniuses 
called self-taught, we usually know no more 
than we do of the wild flowers that spring 
up in the fields. We know very well they 
had a seed, but we are ignorant by what 
accidental circumstances the seed of one 
has been conveyed by the winds to some 
favourable spot, where it has been safely 
lodged in the bosom of the ground, nor 
why it germinates there, and springs up in 
health and vigour, wliiie a thousand others 
perish. Some observation struck the young 
sense ; some verse, repeated in his hearing, 
dropt its sweetness on the unfolding ear ; 
some nursery story, told with impressive 
b 6 tones 


tones and gestures, has laid hold on the 
kindling imagination, and thus have been 
formed, in solitude and obscurity, the ge- 
nius of a Burns or a ^akespeare. 

With regard to Richardson,- it is not 
often we possess such particular informa- 
tion as he has given us, in his own. words, 
of his early invention, and powers of af- 
fecting the heart. — " I recollect, that I was 
" early noted for having invention. I 
" was not fond of play, as other boys : my 
" school-fellows used to call me Serious and 
" Oravittj s and five of them particularly 
" delighted to single me out, either for a 
" walk, or at their father's houses, or at 
" mine, to tell them stories, as they phrased 
" it. Some I told them, from my reading, 
" as true ; others from my head, as mere 
** invention ; of which they would be most 
** fond, and often were affected by them. 
" One of them particularly, I remember, 
** was for putting me to write a history, as 
** he called it, on the model of Tommy 

<« Pots : 


*^ Pots; I now forget what it was, only 
" that it was of a servant-man preferred 
** by a fine young lady (for his goodness) 
" to a lord, who was a libertine. All my 
" stories carried with them, I am bold to 
" say, an useful moral." 

It is in like manner related of the Abbe 
Prevost, one of the most affecting of the 
Frenclr novelists, that, when he was among 
the Carthusians, into which order he had 
originally entered, he was accustomed to 
amuse the good fathers with telling them 
stories of his invention ; and once, it is re- 
corded, they sat up the whole night listen- 
ing to him. But not only our author's in- 
ventive turn, the particular mode in which 
he exercised it was very early determined. 
He was fond of two things, which boys have 
generally an aversion to — letter-writing, 
and the company of the other sex. An in- 
cident, which he relates in the following 
words, shews how early he had devoted 
himself to be the Mentor of his female ac- 
quaintance : 

A r: 'J '? «> ** From 

't J O -i ^ 

Xxxviii THE LIFE 

'* From my earliest youth, I had a love 
" of letter-Writing : I was not eleven years 
" old when I wrote, spontaneously, a 
** letter to a widow of near fifty, who, 
" pretending to a zeal for religion, and 
" being a constant frequenter of church 
" ordinances, was continually fomenting 
** quarrels and disturbances, by back- 
*' biting and scandal, among all her ac- 
" quaintance. I collected from the scrip- 
" ture texts that made against her. As- 
*• suming the style and address of a person 
** in years, I exhorted her, I expostu- 
•* lated with her. But my hand-writing 
•* was known. I was challenged with it, 
** and owned the boldness; for she com- 
" plained of it to my mother with tears. 
" My mother chid me for the freedom 
" taken by such a boy with a woman of 
•* her years 3 but knowing that her son was 
'* not of a pert or forward nature, but, on 
** the contrary, shy and bashful, she com- 
** mended my principles, though she ccn- 
" sured the liberty taken." 


Notwithstanding the ill-will which this 
freedom might draw upon him from indivi- 
duals, he was, he tells us, a general favourite 
with young and old. 

" As a bashful and not forward boy, 
** I was an early favourite with all the 
** young women o^* taste and reading in 
" the neighbourhood. Half a dozen of 
" them, when met to work with their 
** needles, used, when they got a book 
** they liked, and thought I should, to 
" borrow me to read to them; their mo- 
*' thers sometimes with them ; and both 
** mothers and daughters used to be pleased 
" with the observations they put me upon 
" making. 

" I was not more than thirteen, when 
" three of these young women, unknown 
" to each other, having an high opinion 
*' of my taciturnity, revealed to me their 
" love-secrets, in order to induce me 
** to give them copies to write after, or 
" correct, for answers to their lover's 

" letters : 


** letters : nor did any one of them ever 
** know that I was the secretary to the 
" others. I have been directed to chide> 
" and even repulse, when an offence was 
** either taken or given, at the very time 
" that the heart of the chider or repulser 
" was open before me, overflowing with 
** esteem and affection ; and the fair re- 
** pulser, dreading to be taken at her word, 
" directing this word, or that expression, 
" to be softened or changed. One highly 
" gratified with her lover's fervour, and 
" vows of everlasting love, has said, when 
*' I have asked her direction ; I cannot 
" tell you what to write ; but, (her heart 
*' on her lips) you cannot write too kindly ; 
" all her fear was only, that she should 
•* incur slight for her kindness." 

Human nature is human nature in every 
class J the hopes and the fears, the per- 
plexities and the struggles, of these low- 
bred girls in, probably, an obscure village, 
supplied the future author with those ideas, 



which, by their gradual development, pro* 
duced the characters of a Clarissa and a 
Clementina J nor was he probably hap- 
pier, or amused in a more lively manner, 
when sitting in his grotto, with a circle of 
the best informed women in England about 
him, who, in after-times, courted his so- 
ciety, than in reading to these girls in, it 
may be, a little back-shop, or a mantua- 
maker's parlour, with a brick-floor. In 
the mean time, years went on, and the fa- 
ther of Richardson, being disappointed in- 
his views of bringing him up to a profes- 
sion, it became incumbent on him to chuse 
a humbler employment, and he fixed upon 
that of a printer j chiefly, as he informs usj 
because he thought it would gratify his thirst 
for reading. He was bound apprentice to 
M7\ John Wilde J of Stationer' s-hally in the 
year 1706. He did not, however, find it 
easy to gratify this thirst, though the 
stream ran by his lips, " I served," (says 
Ue) " a diligent seven years to its to a 

" master 

xlii THE LIFE 

" master who grudged every hour to mc 
" that tended not to his profit, even of 
" those times of leisure and diversion, 
" which the refractoriness of my fellow- 
" servants obliged him to allow them, and 
" were usually allowed by other masters 
" to their apprentices. I stole from the 
" hours of rest and relaxation, my read- 
** ing times for improvement of my mind y 
" and, being engaged in a correspondence 
** with a gentleman, greatly my superior 
" in degree, and of ample fortune, who, 
" had he lived, intended high things for 
•* me ; those were all the opportunities 
" I had in my apprenticeship to carry it 
** on. But this little incident I may men- 
** tion ; I took care that even my candle 
" was of my own purchasing, that I might 
" not, in the most trifling instance, make 
** my master a sufferer (and who used to 
*' call me the pillar of his house) and not 
** to disable myself by watching or sitting- 
** up, to perform my duty to him in the 

«' day- 


" day-time." The correspondence with 
the gentleman just mentioned, must have 
been of great service to the young ap- 
prentice, in gaining that fluency of pen 
which he was remarkable for, though it 
appears he was deprived by death of the 
patronage he expected. " Multitudes of 
" letters passed between this gentleman 
** and me ; he wrote well, was a master 
" of the epistolary style. Our subjects 
'* were various : but his letters were mostly 
** narrative, giving me an account of his 
" proceedings, and what befel him in 
" the different nations through which he 
" travelled. I could from them, had I 
" been at liberty, and had I at that time 
" thought of writing as I have since done, 
" have drawn great helps : but many years 
** ago, all the letters that passed between 
** us, by a particular desire of his (lest they 
*' should, ever be published) were com- 
*' mitted to the flames." 

After the expiration of his appren- 


ticeship, our author continued five of 
six years working as a compositor and 
corrector of the press to a printing-office, 
and part of the time as an overseer 5 and, 
at length thus working his way upwards 
into day-light, he took up his freedom, and 
set up for himself; at first in= a court in 
Fleet-street,. from whence, as his business 
grew more extensive,' he removed into Sa- 

Richardson was not one of those who 
make genius an- excuse for idleness. Hfe 
had been diligent and conscientious as an 
apprentice, he was assiduous and liberal 
as a master. Besides the proper work of a 
printer, he did a good deal of business for 
the booksellers, in writing for them in- 
dexes, prefaces, and, as he stiles them, 
honest dedications. These humble em- 
ployments tended to facilitate to him the 
use and management of the pen. Mr; 
Richardson's punctuality, and the honour 
end generosity of his dealings,. soon -gained . 



4iim friends, and his business greatly flou- 
j*ished. He printed, for a while, the True 
Briton, a periodical paper, published in 
1723, under the auspices of the Duke of 
AV^harton, who, at that time, was endea- 
vouring to foment a spirit of opposition in 
4;he City ; and, to gain popularity, became 
.a member of the AVax-chandler's Company. 
Richardson, though his principles were 
•very different, was intimate with him, as 
was also, in early life. Dr. Young. Some 
of the numbers of the True Briton were 
prosecuted, but Air. R. escaped, as his 
name did not appear. He was engaged 
>:ome time in printing a newspaper, called 
The Daily Journal^ and afterwards. The 
Dailij Gazetteer. Through the interest of 
the Speaker, Mr. Onslow, he had the print- 
ing of the Journals of the House of Com- 
mons, in twenty-six volumes, folio. Mr. 
Onslow had a great regard for him, and 
•often received him at his house in Ember- 
•court. Polite regards are sometimes more 



easily obtained than money from the court 
end of the town. Mr. R. did not find this 
branch of his business the one which 
yielded him the quickest returns. He thus 
writes to his friend Aaron Hill: " As to my 
" silence, I have been at one time exceed- 
** ingly busy in getting ready some vo- 
" lumes of Journals, to entitle myself to 
" a payment which yet I never had, no, 
** not to the value of a shilling, though the 
** debt is upwards of three thousand pounds, 
** and though I have pressed for it, and 
*' been excessively pressed for the want 
« of it." 

He was chosen master of his company, 
an office, which, in the Stationer's Com- 
pany, is not only honourable but lucrative, 
in 1754; on which occasion one of his 
friends tells him, that though he did not 
doubt his going very well through every 
other part of the duty, he feared his habi- 
tual abstemiousness would allow him to 
make but a tery poor figure at the city 



feasts. His indulgencies were not of the 
sensual kind — he had, according to the sa- 
lutary custom of the London citizens, a 
country residence ; first at North-end, near 
Hammersmith, and afterwards at Parsons's- 
green, where he spent the time he could 
spare from business, and seldom without 
visitors. He loved to encourage diligence 
and early rising amongst his journeymen, 
and often hid a half-crown amongst the 
letters, so that the first who came to work 
in a morning might find it. At other 
times 'he brought, for the same purpose, 
fruit from his garden. 

Mr. R. was twice married, his first wife 
was Allington Wilde, his master's daugh-' 
ter, she died in 1731. His second was the 
sister of Mr. James Leake, bookseller, at 
Bath, with whom he always maintain- 
ed a very friendly intercourse : this lady 
survived him. Of his family, history, and 
the many wounds his affectionate nature 
received in the loss of those dear to him, 



he thus speaks in a letter to Lady Brad- 
shaw, who had been pleading against a 
melancholy termination to Clarissa. 

" Ah ! Madam ; and do you thus call 
" upon me ! Forgive an interrupting sigh, 
•" and allow me a short abruption. 

" I told you. Madam, that I have been 
" married twice; both tunes happily : you 
" will guess so, as to my first, when I 
" tell you that I cherish the memory of 
" my lost wife to this hour : and as to 
** the second, when I assure you that I 
" can do so without derogating from the 
" merits of, or being disallowed by my 
" present ; who speaks of her on all oc- 
" casiohs, as respectfully and affectionately 
" as I do myself. 

" By my first wife I had five sons and 
" one daughter; some of them living, to 
" be delightful prattlers, with all the ap- 
*' pearances of sound health, lively in 
" their features, and promising as to their 
" minds ; and the death of one of them, I 



'* doubt, accelerating from grief, that of 
'* the otherwise laudably afflicted, mother. 
** I have had, by my present wife, five 
" girls and one boy; I have buried of 
** these the promising boy, and one girl : 
" four girls I have living, all at present 
" very good ; their mother a true and in- 
" structing mother to them. 

" Thus have I lost six sons {all my sons) 
** and two daughters, every one of which, 
" to answer your question, I parted with 
" with the utmost regret. Other heavy 
" deprivations of friends, very near, and 
" very dear, have I also suffered. I am 
" very susceptible, I will venture to say, 
** of impressions of this nature. A father* 
" an honest, a worthy father, I lost by the 
" accident of a broken thigh, snapped by 
»* a sudden j irk, endeavouring to recover 
" a slip passing tlirough his own yard. 
" My father, whom I attended in every 
** stage of his last illness, I long mourned 
" for. Two brothers, very dear to me, I 

VOL. I. c ** lost 


" lost abroad. A friend, more valuable 
" than most brothers, was taken from 
" me. No less than eleven affecting deaths 
•* in two years ! My nerves were so affect- 
•• ed with these repeated blows, that I have 
** been forced, after trying the whole ma- 
" teria medica, and consulting many physi- 
** cians, as the only palliative (not a reme- 
** dy to be expected) to go into a regimen ; 
" and, for seven years pasc have I forborne 
" wine and flesh and fish ; and, at this 
** time, I and all my family are in 
" mourning for a good sister, with whom 
" neither I would have parted, could I 
" have had my choice. From these af- 
" fecting dispensations, will you not allow 
" me. Madam, to remind an unthinking 
" world, immersed in pleasures, what a 
" life this is that they are so fond of, and 
" to arm them against the affecting 
" changes of it?'* 

Severely tried as he was, he had yet 
great comfort in his family j his daughters 



grew up under his tuition, amiable and 
worthy; they were carefully educated, 
and engaged his fondest affections. It is 
remarkable that his daughter Anne, whose 
early ill-health had often excited his ap- 
prehensions, was the last survivor of the 
family. They were all much employed in 
writing for him, and transcribing his let- 
ters ; but, his chief amanuensis was his 
daughter Martha. 

In addition to his other business, Mr, 
Richardson purchased, in 1760, a moiety of 
the patent of law printer to his majesty, 
which department of his business he car- 
ried on in partnership with Miss Catherine 
Lintot, From all these sources he was 
enabled to make that comfortable provision 
for a rising family, which patient industry, 
judiciously directed, will, generally, in this 
country, enable a man to procure. 

But the genius of Richardson was not des- 
tined to be for ever employed in ushering 
into the world the productiQns of others. 
c 2 Neither 


Neither city feasts and honours, nor printing 
law books and acts of parliament, nor the 
cares of a family, and the management of so 
large a concern of business, could quench 
the spark that glowed within him, or 
hinder the lovely ideas that played about 
his fancy, from being cloathed in words, 
and produced to captivate the public ear. 
The printer in Salisbury-court was to create 
a new species of writing ; his name was to 
be familiar in the mouths of the great, the 
witty, and the gay, and he was destined to 
give one motive more to the rest of Europe, 
to learn the language of his country. The 
early fondness of Mr. Richardson for episto- 
lary writing has already been mentioned, as 
also that he employed his pen occasionally 
for the booksellers. They desired him to 
give them a volume of Familiar Letters, 
upon a variety of supposed occasions. He 
began, but, letter producing letter, like 
John Bunyan, " as he pulled, it came j" 
till, unexpected to himself, the result was 



his History of Pamela. His account of it 
is as follows : — " The writing it, then, was 
" owing to the following occasion : — ^Two 
** booksellers, my particular friends, en- 
** treated me to write for them a little vo- 
" lume of Letters, in a common style, on^ 
" such subjects as might be of use to 
" those country readers, who were unable 
" to indite for themselves. Will it be any 
" harm, said I, in a piece you want to be 
'* written so low, if we should instruct 
** them how they should think and act in 
** common cases, as well as indite ? They 
** were the more urgent with me to begin 
" the little volume for this hint.J^I set 
" about it -y and, in the progress of it, 
" writing two or three letters to instruct 
" handsome girls, who were obliged to go 
** out to service, as we phrase it, how to 
" avoid the snares that might be laid 
" against their virtue j the abcv8 siory 
" recurred to my thought: And hence 
** sprung Pamela. This volume of letters 
c 3 "is 


'* is not worthy of your perusal. I laid 
•* aside several letters after I had written 
** them f6r this volume, as too high for the 
'* vidw of my two friends." 

This was written, (it was then only in 
%P70 volumes) in three months. The idea 
he set out with of writing letters for rather 
the lower class, probably determined him 
to the station of his heroine, and the sim- 
plicity of her language. 

The author's object in Pamela is two- 
fold : to reclaim a libertine by the influence 
of virtuous affection, and to conduct 
virtue safe and triumphant through the se- 
verest trials, to an honourable reward. For 
this purpose Pamela, a young girl, born 
of poor, but pious and worthy parents, 
taken by a lady of fashion to wait upon her 
person, and brought up by her with great 
tenderness and attention to her improve- 
ment, is, after the lady's death, at which 
event the story opens, exposed to the soli- 
citations of her youthful master, the only 



son of her benefactress. The story is car- 
ried on by letters, chiefly between Pamela 
and her father and mother. Her youth 
and innocence render her, for some time, 
unsuspecting of the passion she has in- 
spired ; and, when she can no longer mis- 
understand the purposes of her master, she 
prepares to leave his house, but he detains 
her under various pretences, and attempts 
liberties with her person, which she resists 
with firmness, as well as his pecuniary 
offers J though not disinclined to his per- 
son, and though she has no resource, on the 
supposition of leaving him, but to return 
to hard country labour. Her behaviour is 
all the while full of humility and respect to 
her master, in every instance consistent 
with the defence of her honour. Her mas- 
ter, who, though young, is a practised li- 
bertine, finding her protected by the 
watchful advice of her parents, and by the 
care of a virtuous house-keeper, who had 
belonged to his mother, determines to con- 
c 4 vey 


vey her to a place where she shall be en- 
tirely in his power. Under pretence, 
therefore, of sending her home to her pa- 
rents, he has her conveyed to another of 
his seats, where she is absolutely confined, 
under the guardianship of an abandoned 
woman, whose office it has been to minis- 
ter to his pleasures. The poor Pamela 
forms many schemes to get away, and en- 
deavours, by means of a young clergyman, 
to engage some of the families of the neigh- 
bourhood in her favour, but without effect. 
She then endeavours to escape alone, and 
actually gets through a barred window 
into the garden, from whence she hopes to 
escape into the fields, though ignorant of 
any ne who will receive her 5 but she falls, 
and bruises herself in attempting to get 
over the high brick wall. Her sulferings 
in this attempt are affectingly described. 
Finding all her schemes abortive, she is 
greatly tempted to free herself from the 
danger of dishonour, by throwing herself 



into the pond, but considerations of piety 
at length prevail, and she determines to 
trust to Providence. Her master at length, 
after many ineffectual attempts to vanquish 
her resistance, begins to relent, professes 
honourable love to her ; and, after a severe 
struggle between his passion and his pride 
of birth and fortune, offers her his hand in 
marriage. Pamela acknowledges her love 
for him, and accepts (almost upon her 
knees it must be allowed) his proposal. 
Difficulties remain to be got over with Lady 
Davers, a proud and termagant woman of 
quality, sister to Mr. B. but the sweetness 
and prudence of Pamela overcome her dis- 
like, and the whole concludes with the per- 
fect happiness of the wedded pair. 

Such is the outline of this first work of 
our author, which was published in 1740. 
(^ It was received with a burst of applause 
from all ranks of people. The novelty of 
the plan, the strokes of nature and pathos 
with which the work abounds, the simpH- 
c 5 city 


city of the language, the sentiments of 
piety and virtue that are brought forward, 
took at once the taste of the public. Num- 
berless were the compliments Mr. Richard- 
son received upon it, as soon as he was 
known to be the author, for in the publi- 
cation he only assumed the character of 
editor, and that not by name. He had 
earnestly wished, he saidyto be concealed; 
probably he did, till its reception was 
known. All that read were his readers^ 
Even at Ranelagh, those who remember the 

I publication say, that it was usual for ladies 
to hold up the vohimes of Pamela to one 
another, to shew they had got the book 
that every one was talking of. The ten- 
dency of this novel was held to be so ex- 
cellent, that it was recommended by Dr. 
•Slocock, even from the pulpit. The friends 

I of the author were lavish, not to say ex- 
travagant, in their compliments, and he 
received spontaneous eulogiums from many 
of the first authors of the age. Mr. Leake 



thus writes of Mr. Allen and Mr. Pope: Mr. 
Pope says, " it will do more good than many 
" volumes of sermons ; I have heard them 
" both very high in its praises, and they 
** will not bear any faults to be mentioned 
" in the story ; I believe they have read it 
" twice a-piece at least; I believe Mr. Pope 
" will call on you." Mr. Chetwynd sa3^s^ 
" that if all other books were to be burnt,' 
" this book, next to the Bible, ought to 
" be preserved.'* Mr. Lobb talks of 
bringing-up his son to be virtuous, by giv- 
ing him Pamela as soon as he could read, 
a choice of book* for a youth which we,, 
At present, should be very much sur- 
prised at J and Mr. Lucas, the esteemed 
author of the Search after Happiness, 
thus writes: " I am inform 'd that the 
•* author of Pamela, (the best book ever 
** published, and calculated to do most 
" good) is one Mr. Richardson, Printer. 
** I think it a piece of common justice, 
** to shew my regard to this common bc- 
c ^ " nefactor 



" nefactor of mankind, by making him a 
" tender of my best services. Accord- 
" ingly, being about to publish a volume 
** of sermons, I take the liberty of making 
" him the offer of them." It was im- 
mediately translated into French and 

The fame of this once favourite work is 
now somewhat tarnished by time, as well 
as eclipsed by the author's subsequent pub- 
lications j but the enthusiasm with which it 
was received, shews incontrovertably, that 
a nwel written on the side of virtue was 
'considered as a new experiment. 

Appreciating it at this distance of time, 
we must acknowledge that the faults are 
great, but the beauties are genuine. The 
character of Pamela, so long as her sole 
object was to resist her master's attempts, 
is beautifully drawn, with many affecting 
incidents, and little strokes of nature. Her 
innocent prattle to Mrs. Jervis, the rustic 
dress in which she equips herself, when de- 


termined to leave her place, her stealing 
down to the kitchen to try if she could 
scour the pewter, in order to accustom 
herself to course household work — " I see 
I could do it," says she, " it only blistered 
my hand in two places " the sudden spring* 
she gives on seeing her father, by which 
she overturns the card-table, and the af- 
fecting account of her sufferings on at- 
tempting to make her escape, are all wor- 
thy of a master-hand. There are not many 
under-characters in this work ; the most 
pleasing, and perhaps the best sustained, 
of the whole, are those of Goodman An- 
drews and his wife, Pamela's father and 
mother. It would not be easy to find a 
prettier picture of low life, and of true 
English low life, in its most respectable 
garb ', made respectable by strict honesty, 
humility, patience of labour, and domestic 
affection i the whole rendered saintly and 
venerable by a touching air of piety and 
resignation, which pervades all their senti- 


ments. The behaviour of the old man, 
when he walks to Mr. B.'s to enquire after 
his child 5 and his humble grief, is truly 
pathetic. The language of the good cou- 
ple is simple, without being vulgar. It is 
not the simplicity of Arcadian shepherds : 
It is such as people in low life, with the 
delicacy of a virtuous mind, might fall into 
without any other advantages than a bible 
education. It is the simplicity of an Eng- 
lish cottage. Mrs. Jervis, the virtuous 
house-keeper, is well-intentioned, grateful, 
but timid. The other, Mrs. Jewkes, is 
drawn in coarse but natural colours. 
The pride and passion of Lady Davers are 
strongly drawn, some may think, perhaps 
too strongly, for a lady of her fashion ; but 
we every now and then see instances in 
which nature will get the better of the de- 
corums of life, and one of Richardson's 
correspondents tells him he could find him 
half a dozen Lady Davers's (her wit ex- 
cepted) amongst his q^uality acquaintance.. 



The character of Mr. B. himself is drawn 
with less address than that of any one in 
the piece ; he is proud, stem, selfish, for- 
bidding, (selfish, that is^ to say, in his love, 
for he has generosity enough in money 
matters) and his ideas of the authority of a 
husband are so high, that it is not easy to 
conceive of Pamela's being rewarded by 
marrying him, unless her regard for ex- 
ternal circumstances was greater than the 
author would wish to have supposed. The 
moral of this piece is more dubious than, 
in his life time, the author's friends were 
willing to allow. So long as Pamela is 
solel}' occupied in schemes to escape from 
her persecutor, her virtuous resistance ob- 
tains our unqualified approbation -, but from 
the moment she begins to entertain hopes 
of marrying him, we admire her guarded 
prudence, rather than her purity of mind. 
She has an end in view, an interested end, 
and we can only consider her as the 
conscious possessor of a treasure, which 



she is wisely resolved not to part with but 
for its just price. Her staying in his house 
a moment after she found herself at liberty 
to leave it, was totally unjustifiable ; her 
repentant lover ought to have followed her 
to her father's cottage, and to have married 
her from thence. The familiar footing upon 
which she condescends to live with the odious 
Jewkes, shews also, that her fear of offend- 
ing the man she hoped to make her hus- 
band, had got the better of her delicacy 
and just resentment, and the same fear 
leads her to give up her correspondence 
with honest Mr. Williams, who had gene- 
rously sacrificed his interest with his patron 
in order to effect her deliverance. In real 
life we should, at this period, consider Pa- 
mela as an interested girl ; but the author 
says, she married Mr. B. because he had 
won her affection, and we are bound, it 
may be said, to believe an author's own 
account of his characters.. ' But again, is it 
quite natural that a girl, who had such a 



genuine love for virtue, should feel her 
heart attracted to a man who was endea- 
vouring to destroy that virtue ? Can a wo- 
man value her honour infinitely above her 
life, and hold in serious detestation every 
word and look contrary to the nicest purity, 
and yet be won by those very attempts 
against her honour to which she expresses 
so much repugnance ? Does not pious love 
to assimilate with pious, and pure with 
pure ? There is, indeed, a gentle seduction 
of the affections, from which a virtuous 
woman might find herself in danger, espe- 
cially when there existed such a bar to a 
legitimate union as great disparity of rank 
and fortunes but this kind of seduction 
was not what Mr. B. employed. He did 
not possess, with Sedley, 

■ ■ That prevailing gentle art, 
Wiiich can, with a resistless force, impart 
The loosest wishes to the chasest heart ; 
■ Raise such a conflict, kindle such a fire 
'Betw.een declining virtue and desire, 
;That the poor vanquished maid dissolves away, 
Iq dreams all uight, in sighs and tear^- all day. 


Ixvi * THE LIFE 

His attempts were of the grossest nature, 
and, previous to, and during those attempts, 
he endeavoured to intimidate her by stern- 
ness. He puts on the master too much to 
vi^in upon her as the lover. Can affection 
be kindled by outrage and insult ? Surely, 
if her passions were capable of being awa- 
kened in his favour, during such a perse- 
cution, the circumstance would be capable 
of an interpretation very little consistent 
with that delicacy the author meant to give 
her. The other alternative is, that she mar^ 
ried him for 

*' The gilt coach, and dappled Flanders' mares.** 

Indeed, the excessive humility and grati- 
tude expressed by herself and her parents 
on her exaltation, shews a regard to rank 
and riches beyond the just measure of an 
independent mind. The pious Goodman 
Andrews should not have thought his vir- 
tuous daughter so infinitely beneath ••her 
licentious master, who, after all, married 
her to gratify his own passions^ 



The indelicate scenes in this novel have 
been justly found fault with, and are, in- 
deed, totally indefensible. Dr. Watts, to "^ 
whom he sent the volumes, instead of com- 
pliments, writes him word, that he under- ' 
stands the ladies complain they cannot read 
them without blushing. 

Great curiosity was expressed by many, 
to know whether the story was founded in 
fact \ just as children ask eagerly, when ^j^ 
they hear a story that pleases them, " Is it | 
*' true ?" The author received anonymous .j 
letters from six ladies, who pressed him to 
declare, upon his honour, which they were 
sure he was too much of a gentleman to 
violate, whether the story was true or false, 
and they hoped Mrs. B. if there was such 
a lady, would not be against satisfying a 
request which redounded so much to her 
honour ; they tell him also, that they have 
taken an oath to keep the secret, if he will 
entrust them with it ; and that they will 
never cease writing till he has obliged 


Ixviii THE LIFE 

them. He Jtells them, in his answer, that 
it was never known, since the world began, 
that a secret was kept which had been en- 
trusted to six ladies, and pretends that he 
was not at liberty to break the trust ; also, 
that they are very unreasonable in expect- 
ing him to give up the name of his heroine 
to ladies who keep their own names a se- 

The real Pamela was said by some to be 
the wife of Sir Arthur Hazelrig, who had 
then lately married his maid ; others affirm- 
ed, with great confidence, that she was 
daughter to the gamekeeper of the Earl of 
Gainsborough, who had rewarded her vir- 
tue by exalting her to the rank of Coun- 
tess. Both these ladies were of exemplary 
characters ; but the author's own account 
of the matter is given in the following 
words, in a letter to his friend and great 
admirer Aaron HilL 

.L "I>e«r 



« Dear Sir, 

" I will now write to your question— 
** AVhether there was any original ground- 
*• work of fact, for the general foundation 
** of Pamela's story. 

" About twenty-five years ago, a gen- 
** tleman, with whom I was intimately ac- 
** quainted (but who, alas! is now no 
** more !) met with such a story as that of 
** Pamela, in one of the summer tours 
"** which he used to take for his pleasure, 
•* attended with one servant only. At 
" every inn he put up at, it was his way 
* to inquire after curiosities in its neigh- 
** bourhood, either ancient or modern ; 
*' and particularly he asked who was the 
** owner of a fine house, as it seemed to 
** him, beautifully situated, which he had 
** passed by (describing it) within a mile or 
" two of the inn. 

" It was a fine house, the landlord said. 
" The owner was Mr. B. a gentleman of 
** a large estate in more counties than 

** one. 


" one. That his and his lady's history 
** engaged the attention of every body 
** who came that way, and put a stop to 
" all other enquiries, though the house 
" and gardens were well worth seeing. 
** The lady, he said, was one of the great- 
** est beauties in England ; but the quali- 
** ties of her mind had no equal : beneficent, 
" prudent, and equally beloved and admired 
" by high and low. That she had been taken 
" at twelve years of age, for the sweet- 
** ness of her manners and modesty, and 
'* for an understanding above her years, 
" by Mr. B — 's mother, a truly wortjhy 
" lady, to wait on her person. Her pa- 
•* rents, ruined by suretiships, were re- 
" markably honest and pious, and had in- 
** stilled into their daughter's mind the 
** best principles. When their misfortunes 
" happened first, they attempted a little 
" school, in their village, where they were 
** much beloved ; he teaching writing and 
" the first rules of arithmetic to boys 5 his 



" wife plain needle-works to girls, and to 
** knit and spin ; but that it answered not : 
" and, when the lady took their child, the 
** industrious man earned his bread by 
" day labour, and the lowest kinds of 
** husbandry. 

" That the girl, improving daily in 
** beauty, modesty, and genteel and good 
** behaviour, by the time she was fifteen, 
" engaged the attention of her lady's son, 
" a young gentleman of free principles, 
" who, on her lady's death, attempted, by 
** all manner of temprtations and devices, 
" to seduce her. That she had recourse 
** to as many innocent stratagems to escape 
** the snares laid for her virtue j once, 
'* however, in despair, having been near 
" drowning ; that, at last, her noble re- 
** sistance, watchfulness, and excellent 
** qualities, subdued him, and he thought 
" fit to make her his wife. That she be- 
" haved herself with so mi^ch. dignity, 
*^ sweetness, ajoyd humility, that she made 

** herself 

l^Cxii THE LIFE 

" herself beloved of every body, and even 
" by his relations, who, at first despised 
" her; and now had the blessings both of 
** rich and poor, and the love of her hus- 
« band. 

" The gentleman who told me this, 
" added, that he had the curiosity to stay 
** in the neighbourhood from Friday to 
*' Sunday, that he might see this happy 
** couple at church, from which they never 
" absented themselves : that, in short, he 
" did see them ; that her deportment was 
** all sweetness, ease, and dignity mingled ; 
" that he never saw a lovelier woman : 
" that her husband was as fine a man, and 
" seemed even proud of his choice: and 
" that she attracted the respects of the 
" persons of rank present, and had the 
" blessings of the poor. — The relater of 
" the story told me all this with trans- 
" port. 

" This, Sir, was the foundation of Pa- 
** mela's story j but little did I think to 

" make 

OF IvHl. RICIIAtlDSON. Ixxiii 

*' make a story of it for the press. That 
" was owing to this occasion. 
/ ** Mr. Rivington and Mr. Osborne, 
" whose names are on the title-page, had 
" long been urging me to give them a 
^' little book (which, they said, they were 
*' often asked after) of familiar letters on 
" the useful concerns in common life; 
" and, at last, I yielded to their importii- 
*' nity, and began to recollect such sub- 
" jects as I thought would be useful in 
*^* such a design, and formed several letters 
*' accordingly. And, among the rest, I 
" thought of giving one or two as cautions 
" to young folks circumstanced as Pamela 
** was. Little did I think, at hrst, of 
" making one, nuicli less two volumes of 
" it. But, when I began to recollect what 
"- had, so many years before, been told me 
'* by my friend, I thought the story, if 
" written in an easy and natural manner, 
" suitably to the simplicity of it, might 
/ " possibly introduce a new species #f 
' VOL. I. d " writing. 


" writing, that might possibly turn young 
" people into a course of reading different 
," from the pomp and parade of romance- 
** writing, and dismissing the improbable 
" and marvellous, with which novels gene- 
" rally abound, might tend to promote 
" tlie cause of religion and virtue. I 
" therefore gave way to enlargement : and 
" so Pamela became as you see her. But 
" so little did I hope for the approbation 
" of judges, that I had not the courage to 
" send the two volumes to your ladies, until 
" I found the books well received by the 
" public. 

" AVhile I was writing the two volumes, 
" my worthy-hearted wife, and the young 
" lady who is with us, m hen I had read 
" them some part of the story, which I hud 
" begun without their knowing it, used to 
" come in to my little closet every night, 
" with — '* Ha^ e you any more of Pamela, 
" Mr. R. ? AVe are come to hear a little 
*' more of Pamela,' &c. This encouraged 

" me 


*' me to prosecute it, which I did so dili- 
' gently, through all my other business, 
that, by a memorandum on my copy, I 
began it Nov. 10, 1739, and finished it 
" Jan. 10, 1739-40. And I have often, 
" censurable as I might be thought for 
" my vanity for it, and lessening to the 
** taste of my two female friends, had the 
" story of Molicre's Old Woman in my 
*f thoughts upon the occasion. 

" If justly low were my thoughts of this 
** little histor}', you will wonder how it 
" came by sucli an asuming and very im- 
*" pudent preface. It was thus: — The ap- 
" probation of these two female friends, 
" and of two more, who were so kind as 
" to give me prefaces for it, but which 
** were much too long and circumstantial, 
** as I thought, made me resolve myself on 
** writing a preface ; I therefore, spirited 
** by the good opinion of these four, and 
" knowing that the judgments of nine 
*' parts in ten of readers were but in hang- 
d 2 ing 

txxvi THE LIFE 

■" mg-sleeves, struck a bold stroke in the 
*' preface you see, having the umbrage of 
'* the editor's character * to screen myself 
** behind. — And thus, Sir, ail is out. " 

The success of the work ga\e occasion 
to a spurious continuation of it, called 
Pamela in High lAfe. The author had, in 
reality, no reason to be disturbed at tliis ; 
the continuation would have had the same 
fate with that of iMarianne, afterwards pub- 
lished, which no one ever confounded with 
the Marianne of Marivaux. However, up- 
on this, the autiior prepared to give a 
second part. Pope and Warburton, who 
heard he was about it, advised him to 
make it a vehicle for satire upon tlie 
fashions and follies of the great world, by 
representing the'light in which they would 
appear to the rustic Pamela, when she was 
introduced to them. The plan might have 

* Un<ier the character of Editor, he gave great 
commendations to the letters, fur wliich 'he was blamed 
by some of his friends. 


. OF MR.^WCI4ARDS0N. Ixxvil 

.wited PojTc or Swift, but Richardson did not, 
hy any means, possess those light touchesj 
o£ delicate humour which were required in 
ii ', and the knowledge of the great world 
he had yet to acquire. These volumes, two, 
in number, are, like most second parts, 
greatly inferior to the first. They are su- 
pcrtluous, for the plan was- already coni,-i 
jiileted, and they are dull, for instead of 
incident and passion, they are filled with 
heavy sentiment, in diction far from ele- 
gant. A great part of it aims to pallicatc, 
by counter criticism, the faults which had 
been found in the first part. It is less a 
continuation than the author's defence of 
himself. The only incident of consequence 
is, the adventure at the masquerade, and 
Mr. B.'s beginning intrigue with a lady 
there, which gives Pamela an opportunity 
to shine in so critical a circumstance as a 
married jealousy J her behaviour under it 
is very well drawn, with a proper mixture 
of acute feeling, spirit, and gentleness, and 
(13 is 

Jxxviii THE LIFE 

is supposed to have the effect of finally and 

,J ccmpletely reclaiming her repentant hus- 

^r\^ band. Goldoni has written two plays on 

the story of Pamela; his Pamela Nubile 

and Pamela Maritata. 

Jt may be worth mentioning, that this 
novel changed the pronunciation of the 
name Pamela, which before was pro- 
nounced Pamela, as appears from that 
line of Pope — 

"■ The gods to curse Pamela with her prayers*'. 

Aaron Hill thus writes about it: "I 
" have made" (viz. in some commendatory 
verses he wrote upon the occasion) ** the 
" e short in your Pamela j I observe it is 
" so in her own pretty verses at parting. 
" I am for deriving her name from her 
** qualities; only that the Greek tiks and 
'* ^ixof allude much too faintly to the all- 
" reaching extent of her sweetness :" and 
lie adds, " that Mr. Pope has taught half 
" the women in England to pronounce 
" it wrong." 



It is well known that Fielding, who 
started in his career of fame soon after 
Richardson, wrote his Joseph Andrews 
in ridicule of Pamela. Joseph is sup- 
posed to be the brother of Pamela, and 
Mr. B. is 'Squire Booby. Richardson 
was exceedingly hurt at thisj the more so, 
asThey IiaHnbeen upon good terms, and 
he was very intimate with Fielding's two 
sisters. He never appears cordially to have 
forgiven it, (perhaps it was not in human 
nature that he should) and he always 
speaks in his letters with a great deal of 
asperity of Tom Jones, more indeed than 
was quite graceful in a rival author. No 
doubt he himself thought his indignation 
was solely excited by the loose morality 
of tho work and of its author, but he could 
tolerate Cibbcr. Richardson and Fielding 
possessed very dilTerent excellencies. — 
Fielding had all the ease which Richard- 
son wanted, a genuine flow of humour, 
and a rich variety of comic character ; nor 
was he wanting in strokes of an amiable 
d 4 seusi- 

sensibility, but he could not deseribie a 
consistently virtuous character, ajid..ij> 
deep pathos he -was far excelled by \\m 
rival. When we see Fielding parodying 
Pamela, and Richardson asserting, as he 
does in bis letters, that the run of Tom 
Jones is over, and that it would be soon 
completely forgotten : Ave cannot but smile 
on seeing the two authors placed on the 
same shelf, and going quietly down to 
posterity together. Richardson, encou- 
raged by the applauses, and benefited by 
the criticisnis he had received, soon pro- 
ceeded to a new work. 

But Pamela, captivating as was the pub- 
lication, shewed only the dawn of our au~ 
thor's genius; and, if he sunk in the se- 
cond part of it, it was only to rise with 
new lustre in Clarissa, the first two volumes 
of which were published eight years after 
the preceding. 

The production upon which the fame of 
Richardson is principally founded, that 



whioli will transmit his name to posterity, 
as one of the first geniuses of the age in 
which he lived, is undoubtedly his Clarissa. 
Nothing can be more simple than the story, 
— A young lady, pressed by her parents 
to many a man every way disagreeable 
to her, and placed under the most cruel 
restraint, leaves her father's house, and 
throws herself upon the protection of her 
Jover, a man of sense and spirit, but a li- 
bertine. AVhen he finds her in his power 
he artfully declines marriage, and conveys 
her to a house kept for the worst of pur- 
poses. There, after many fruitless attempts 
to ensnare her virtue, he at length violates 
her person. She escapes from further out- 
rage: he finds her out in her retreat j offers 
her marriage, which she rejects. Her friends 
are obdurate. She retires to solitary lodg- 
ings ; grief and shame overwhelm her, and 
she dies broken-hearted; her friends lament 
their severity when too late. Her violator 
is transiently stung with remorse, but not 
d 5 reformed} 

Ixxxii THE LIFE 

reformed ; he leaves the kingdom in order 
to dissipate his chagrin, and is killed in a 
duel by a relation of the lady's. 

On this slight foundation, and on a 
story not very agreeable or promising in 
its rude outline, has our author founded 
a most pathetic tale, and raised a noble 
temple to female virtue. The first volumes 
are somewhat tedious, from the prolixity 
incident to letter-writing, and require a 
persevering reader to get through them: 
but the circumstantial manner of writing 
which Richardson practised, has the ad- 
vantage of making the reader thoroughly 
acquainted with those in whose fate he is 
to be interested. In consequence of this, 
our feelings are not transient, elicited here 
and there by a pathetic stroke; but we 
regard his characters as real personages, 
whom we know and converse with, and 
whose fate remains to be decided in the 
course of events. The characters, much 
more numerous than in Pamela, are all 



distinctly drawn and well preserved, and 
there is a proper contrast and variety in 
the casting of the parts. The plot, as we 
have seen, is simple, and no under-plots 
interfere with the main design. No di- 
gressions, no episodes. It is w^onderful 
that without these helps of common wri- 
ters, he could support a work of such 
length. With Clarissa it begins, — with 
Clarissa it ends. We do not come upon un- 
expected adventures and wonderful recog- 
nitions, by quick turns and surprises : we 
see her fate frorn afar, as it were through 
a long avenue, the gradual approach to 
which, without ever losing sight of the 
object, has more of siniplirity and gran- 
deur than the most cunning labyrintii that 
can be contrived by art. In the approach 
to the modern country seat, we are made 
to catch transiently a side-view of it 
through an opening of the trees, or to 
burst upon it from a sudden turning in 
the road; but the old mansion stood full 
d (3 ' in 

Ixxxlv THE LIFE 

in the eye of the traveller, as he drew 
near it, contemplating its turrets, which 
grew larger and more distinct every step 
that he advanced; and leisurely filling his 
eye and his imagination with still increas- 
ing ideas of its magnificence. As the work 
advances, the character rises ; the distress 
is deepened; our hearts are torn with pity 
and indignation; bursts of grief succeed 
one another, till at length the mind is 
composed and harmonized with emotions 
of milder sorrow ; we are calmed into re*- 
signation, elevated with pious hope, and dis- 
missed glowing with the conscious triumphs 
of virtue. 

The first group which presents itself is 
that of the Harlowe family. They are suf- 
ficiently discriminated, yet preserve a fa- 
mily likeness. The stern father, the pas- 
sionate and darkrsouled brother, the en- 
vious and ill-natured sister, the money- 
loving uncles, the gentle, but weak-spirit- 
€d mother, are all assimilated by that 



stiffness, love of parade, and solemnity^, 
which is thrown over the whole, and by 
the interested family views in which they 
alJ concur. Miss Howe is a young lady 
of great generosity and ardent feelings, 
with a high spirit and some love of teaz- 
ing, which she exercises on her mother, a 
managing and notable widow lady, and 
on her humble servant Mr. Hickman, a 
man deserving of her esteem, but prim 
and formal in his manner. Miss Howe is 
a character of strong lights and shades, 
but her warmest aftections are all along 
directed to her friend, and the correspond- 
ence between them is made the great ve- 
hicle of Clarissa's narrative of events, as 
that between Lovelace and his friend Bed- 
ford is of his schemes and designs. The 
character of Clarissa herself is very highly 
wrought: she has all the grace, and digni- 
ty, and delicacy, of a finished model of 
female excellence. Her duty to her pa- 
rents is implicit, except in the article of 


Ixxxvi THE LIFE 

sacrificing herself to a man utterly dis- 
gustful to her; and she bears, with the 
greatest meekness, the ill usage she re- 
ceives from the other branches of the fa- 
mily. Duty, indeed, is the great princi- 
ple of her conduct. Her affections are 
always compleatly under command; and 
her going off with Lovelace appears a step 
she w as betrayed, not persuaded, into. His 
persuasions she had withstood, and it was 
fear, not love, that at last precipitated her 
into his protection. If, therefore, the au- 
thor meant to represent her subsequent 
misfortunes as a punishment, he has scarce- 
ly made her faulty enough. That a young 
lady has eloped from her father's house 
with a libertine, sounds, indeed, like a 
grave offence; but the fault, when it is 
examined into, is softened, and shaded off 
by such a variety of circumstances, that it 
becomes almost evanescent. Who that 
reads the treatment she experienced, docs 
not wonder at her long-suffering. After 



Clarissa finds herself, against her will 
and intention, in the power of her 
lover, the story becomes, for a while, 
a game at chess, in which both parties 
exert great skill and presence of mind, 
and quick observation of each others mo- 
tions. Not a moment of weakness does 
Clarissa betray, and she only loses the 
game because she plays fairly, and with 
integrity, while he is guilty of the basest 

During this part of the story, the ge- 
nerality of readers are perhaps inclined to 
wish, that Lovelace should give up his 

wicked intentions, reform, and make Cla- 

rissa happy in the marriage state. This 
was the conclusion which Lad}' Bradshaw 
so vehemently and passionately urged the 
author to adopt. But when the unfeeling 
cliaracter of Lovelace proceeds to deeper 
and darker wickedness, when his unre- 
lenting cruelty meditates, and actually 
perpetrates, the last unmanly outrage upon 


h'xxvin THE LIFE 

unprotected innocence and virtue j the 
heart surely cannot have right feelings 
that does not cordially detest so black a 
villain, notwithstanding the agreeable qua- 
lities which are thrown into his character, 
and that woman must have little delicacy, 
who does not feel that his crime has raised 
an eternal wall of separation between him 
and the victim of his treachery, whatever 
affection she might have previously enter- 
tained for him. Yet it is said by some, 
that the author has made Lovelace too 
agreeable, and his character has been 
much t\\e object of criticism. But a lit- 
tle reflection will shew us, that the au- 
thor had a more difficult part to manage, 
in drawing his character, than that of any 
other in the work, and that he could not 
well have made him different from what 
he is. If he had drawn a mean-spirited 
dark villain, without any specious quali- 
ties, his Clarissa would have been degrad- 
ed. Lovelace, as he is to win the afiections 


OF MRv RICIfc\i«)SON. Ixxxi?* 

of tlliC heroine, is necessarily, in some sort, 
the hero of the piece, and no one in it 
must be permitted to outshine him. The 
author, therefore, gives him wit and spirit, 
and courage, and generosity, and maidy 
genteel address, and also transient gleams 
of feeling, and transient, stings of remorse ^ 
so that we ar^e often led to hope he mayj 
follow his better angel, and give up his 
atrocious designs. This the author has 
done, and less he could not do, for tho 
man whom Clarissa was inclined to favour. 
Besides, if it was part of his intention to 
warn young women against placing their 
affections upon libertines, it was certainly 
only against the agreeable ones of that 
class, that he had any occasion to warn 
them. He tells us in one of his letters, 
that finding he had made him too much a 
favourite, he had thrown in some darker, 
shades to obviate the objection j and surely 
the shades are dark enough. In one par- 
ticular, however, the author might per- 


haps have improved the moral effect of the 
workj he might have given more of hor- 
ror to the last scene of Lovelace's life. 
When Clarissa and he were finally sepa- 
rated, there was no occasion to keep mea- 
sures with him J and why should Belton 
die a death of so much horror, and Lo\e- 
lace of calm composure and self-posses- 
sion. Lovelace dies in a duel, admirably 
well described, in which he behaves w ith 
the cool intrepidity of a gentleman and a 
man of spirit. Colonel Morden could not 
behave better. Some tender strokes arc 
thrown in on his parting with Belford, and 
on other occasions, tending to interest the 
reader in his favour ; and his last words, 
" Let this expiate," are manifestly intend- 
ed to do away our resentment, and leave 
a favourable impression on our minds with 
regard to his future prospects. Something, 
indeed, is mentioned of impatience, and a 
desire of life; but Richardson could have 
drawn a scene which would have made us 



turn with horror from the features of the 
gay, the agreeable seducer, when changed 
into the agonizing countenance of the 
despairing self-accuser. 

But, if the author might have improved, 
in this respect, the character of Lovelace, 
that of Clarissa comes up to all the ideas 
we can form of female loveliness and dig- 
nified suffering. The first scenes with her 
hard-hearted fomily, shew the severe strug- 
gles she had with herself, before she could 
withdraw her obedience from her parents. 
The measure of that obedience, in Richard- 
son's mind, was very high -, and, therefore, 
Clarissa seems all along, rather to lament the 
cruelty, than to resent the injustice, of im- 
posing a husband upon her whhout her 
own consent. It is easy to see she would 
have thought it her duty to comply, if he 
had not been quite so disagreeable. The 
mother is a very mean character ; she gives 
a tacit permission to Clarissa, to correspond 
with Lovelace, to prevent mischief, and 


?:pii Tint LIFE- : ) 

yet consents to be the tool of. the family iit 
persecuting her innocent and generous 
daughter ; — bnt, this was her duty to her 
husband ! — Yet, distressing as Clarissa a 
situation is in her father's house, the author 
has had the address to make the readec 
feel, the moment she has got out ©f it, that 
he would give the world to have her safe 
back again. Nothing takes place of that 
pleasure and endearment which might na« 
turally be expected on the meeting of two 
lovers J Me feel that she has- been hunted 
into the toils, and that every avenue is 
closed against her escape. No young perr 
son, on reading Clarissa, even at this pe- 
riod of the story, can think of putting herr 
self into the power of a lover, without aur 
nexing to it the strongest sense of degrar 
dation and anxiety. A great deal of con- 
trivance is expended by the author, in the 
various plots set on foot by Lovelace, to 
keep his victim toterably easy in her ambi- 
guous situation ^ and> though someof these 



ere tedious, it was necessary, for Clarissa's 
honour, to make the reader sensible that 
she had an inextricable net wound around 
her, and that it was not owing to her want 
of prudence or vigilance, that she did not 
escape. In the mean time the wit of 
•JLovelace, and the sprightliness of Miss 
Howe, prevent monotony. In one instance, 
however, Clarissa certainly sins against the 
delicacy of her character, that is, in allow- 
ing herself to be made a show of to the 
loose companions of Lovelace : — But, how 
does her character rise, when we come 
to the more distressful scenes ; the ^ iew of 
her horror, when, deluded by the pre- 
tended relations, she re-enters the fatal 
house, her temporary insanity after the 
outrage, in which she so affectingly holds up 
to Lovelace the licence he had procured, 
and her dignified behaviour when she first 
sees her ravislier, after the perpetratioji of 
.his crime. Wiiat hner subject could be 



presented to the painter, than that in 
which Clarissa grasps the pen-knife in her 
hand, her eyes lifted up to heaven, the 
whites of them only visible, ready to plunge 
it in her breast, to preserve herself from 
further outrage ; Lovelace, aghast with 
terror, and speechless, thrown back to the 
further end of the room ? Or, the prison 
.scene, where she is represented kneeling 
amidst the gloom and horror of the dismal 
abode ; illuminating, as it were, the dark 
chamber, her face reclined on her crossed 
arms, her white garments floating round 
her in the negligence of ^^ oe ; Belford con- 
templating her with respectful commisera- 
tion ; or, the scene of calmer, but heart- 
piercing sorrow, in the interview Colonel 
Morden has with her in her dying mo- 
ments: She is represented fallen into a 
slumber, in her elbow-chair, leaning on the 
widow Lovickj whose left arm is around 
her neck ; one faded cheek resting on the 
• good 


good woman's bosom, the kindly warmth 
of which had overspread it with a faintish 
flush, the other pale and hollow, as if al- 
ready iced over by death ; her hands, the 
bliieness of the veins contrasting their 
whiteness, hanging lifelessly before her, 
the widow's tears dropping unfelt upon her 
face — Colonel Morden, with his arms 
folded, gazing on her in silence, her coffin 
just appearing behind a screen. AVhat 
admiration, what reverence does the author 
inspire us with for the innocent sufterer, 
the suftcrings too of such a peculiar na- 

There is something in virgin purity, to 
which the imagination willingly pays ho- 
mage. In all ages, something saintly has 
been attached to the idea of unblemished 
chastity. Hence the dignity of the lady in 
Comus ; hence the interest we take in 
those whose holy vows have shrowded them 
from even the wanton glanccij of an as- 

sailer ; 

ififevi "^ the: tlFE'^ ^^ 

sailer ; hence the supposed virtue ctf 

From fastkig maids whose minds are dedicate, 
■ ■■ To nothing earthly. 

Beauty is a flower which was meant in 
due time to be gathered, but it attracts the 
fondest admiration whilst still on the stalk, 
before it has felt the touch of any rude 
•hand. "'-' 

Sic Virgo, dum intacla maneti dum cara suiscst. 

It was reserved for Richardson to over- 
come all circumstances of dishonour and 
disgrace, and to throw a splendour round 
the violated virgin, more radiant than !§he 
possessed in her first bloom. He has 
made the flower, which grew 

Sweet to sense and lovely to the eye. 

throw out a richer fragrance offer *' the 
" cruel spoiler has cropped the fair rose, 
" and rifled its sweetness ^ He has drawn 



the triumph of mental chastity; he has 
drawn it uncontaminated, untarnished, and 
incapable of mingling with pollution. — 
The scenes which follow the death of 
the heroine, exhibit grief in an affect- 
ing variety of forms, as it is modified by 
the characters of different survivors. They 
run into considerable length, but we have 
been so deeply interested, that we feel 
it a relief to have our grief drawn off, as 
it wertJ, by a variety of sluices, and we are 
glad not to be dismissed till we have shed 
tears, even to satiety. We enjoy, besides, 
the punishment of the Harlowes, in the 
contemplation of their merited anguish. 
Sentiments of piety pervade the whole 
work ; but the death-bed of Clarissa, her 
Christian forgiveness, and her meek resig- 
nation, are particularly edifying. Richard- 
son loved to draw deatli-beds ; He seems 
to have imbibed, from his friend Dr. Young, 
an opinion of tlieir being a touch-stone of 
jnerit or demerit. There are three de- 
scribed in this work, besides that of Love-. 
Vol. I. e lacci 

XCVIU THE life' 

lace ; that, it has already been mentioned, 
would have had a more moral effect, if it 
had been fuller of horror. Lovelace is 
made to delare, that he cannot be totally 
unhappy, whatever be his own lot in a fu- 
ture state, if he is allowed to contemplate 
the happiness of Clarissa : He exclaims. 

Can I be at worst? avert that worst, 
O thou Supreme, who only canst avert it ! 
So much a wretch, so very far abandoned. 
But that I must, even in the horrid'st glooni. 
Reap intervenient joy; at least, some respite 
From pain and anguish in her bliss. 

This is a sentiment much too generous 
for a Lovelace. — ^The author has shewn him- 
self embarrassed with regard to the duel, 
by his principles, which forbade duelling. 
Yet, it was necessary to dispatch Lovelace ; 
for what family could sit down with such 
an injury unpunished? or which of his 
readers could be satisfied to see the perpe- 
trator of so much mischief escape ven- 
geance. Colonel Morden was a man of 



the world, acted upon the maxims of it, 
and, therefore, it seemed hardly necessary 
to make him express regret at having pre- 
cipitated Lovelace into a future state ; 
Richardiion was not then drawing his per- 
fect character, and did not seem called 
upon to blame a duel, which, in our hearts 
we cannot, from Colonel Morden, but ap- 
prove of. 

That Clarissa is- a highly moral work, 
has been always allowed ; but what is the 
moral ? Is it that a young lady who places 
her affections upon a libertine, will be de- 
ceived and ruined. Though the author, 
no doubt, intended this as one of the con- 
clusions to be drawn, such a maxim has 
not dignity or force enough in it, to be the 
chief moral of this interesting tale. And, 
it has been already meiitioned, that Cla- 
rissa can hardly stand as an example of 
such a choice, as she never fairly made the 
choice. On the contrary, she is always 
ready, both before her elopement and after 
e 2 it. 


it, to resign the moderate, the almost insen- 
sible predilection she feels for Lovelace, to 
the will of her parents; if she might only 
be permitted to refuse the object of her 
aversion. Is she, then, exhibited as a rare 
pattern of chastity ? Surely this is an idea 
very degrading to the sex. Lovelace, in- 
deed, who has a very bad opinion of 
women, and thinks that hardly any woman 
can resist ^im, talks of trying her virtue, 
and speaks as if he expected her to fail in 
the trial. But, surely, the virtue of Cla- 
rissa could never have been in the smallest 
danger. The virtue of Pamela was tried, 
because the pecuniary offers were a temp- 
tation which many, in her station of life, 
would have yielded to ; and, because their 
different situations in tife opposed a bar to 
their legitimate union, which she might a\ ell 
believe would be insuperable. The virtue of 
Werter's Charlotte was tried, and the virtue 
of the wife of Zeleuco was tried, l^ecause 
the previous marriage of one of tlie par- 


ties made a virtuous union impossible.— 
But Clarissa! a young lady of birth and for- 
tune, marriage completely m her lover's 
power — she could have felt nothing but in- 
dignation at the first icTea which entered 
her mind, that he meant to degrade her 
into a mistress. Was it likely that she, 
who had sliewn that her affections were so 
much under her command, while the object 
of his addresses appeared to be honour- 
able marriage, should not guard against 
every freedom with the most cautious vigi- 
lance, as soon as she experienced a beha- 
viour in him, which must at once destroy 
her esteem for him, and be offensive to her 
JAist pride, as well as to her modesty ? It is 
absurd, therefore, in Lovelace to speak of 
trying her chastity ; and the author is not 
free from blame in favouring the idea that 
such resistance had any thing in it uncom- 
mon, or peculiarly meritorious. But the 
real moral of Clarissa is, that virtue is tri- 
umphant in every situation ; that in cir- 
e 3 cunistances 


cumstances the most painful and degrad- 
ing, in a prison, in a brothel, in grief, in 
distraction, in despair, it is still lovely, 
still commanding, still the object of our 
veneration, of our fondest affections j that 
if it is seated on the ground it can still 
say with Constance, 
'* Here is my throne, kings come and bow to it !'* 

The Novelist that has produced this effect, 
has performed his office well, and it is imma- 
terial what partifrular maxim is selected un- 
der the name of a moral, while such are the 
reader's feelings. If our feelings are in fa- 
vour of virtue, the novel is virtuous ; if of 
vice, the novel is vicious. The greatness of 
Clarissa is shewn by her separating herself 
from her lover, as soon as she percei^^s his 
dishonourable views ; in her chusing death 
rather than a repetition of the outrage ; in 
her rejection of those overtures of marriage, 
which a common mind might have ac- 
cepted of, as a refuge against worldly dis- 
honour ; in her firm indignant carriage, 



mixed with calm patience and christian 
resignation, and in the greatness of mind 
with which she views and enjoys the ap- 
proaches of death, and her meek forgive- 
ness of her unfeeling relations. In one 
particular tlie author has been blamed, and 
perhaps justly, for encouraging supersti* 
tion, in representing Clarissa so greatly 
terrified at the curse laid upon her by 
her unnatural father. He may be faulty 
as- a moralist, but it has a good dra- 
matic effect: and, I question if Richard- 
son went much beyond his own ideas of 
the efficacy of a parent's curse on this 
occasion. The too high colouring of some 
of the scenes has been objected to, as tend- 
ing to inflame passions which it was the 
author's professed aim to regulate. He 
was led to it, in some measure, by the na- 
ture of his story, but he seems to have be- 
gun writing with a coarseness of ideas in 
this respect, which he got rid of by de- 
grees. His Clarissa is far less objection- 
able than his Pamela ; his Grandison not 
e 4 at 


at all so. The death of Sinclair is painted 
with great strength, but excites - painful 
disgust as well as horror ; yet, being in- 
tended to excite a salutary disgust to the 
haunts of vice and infamy ; perhaps, in 
that light may be borne with. It* opera- 
tion is that of a strong medicine, meant to 
create a nausea. The death of Belton is an 
admirable piece of painting, and not ex- 
celled by any thing in the admired scene 
of Cardinal Beaufort. 

It is not perfectly delicate that Clarissa 
should have so many interviews with Love- 
lace after the catastrophe. Clarissa, in- 
deed, could not help it, but the author 
could. He should only have exhibited 
them together in those few striking scenes 
in which our feelings are wound up to the 
highest pitch. No long parleys, nothing 
that can be called trivial should pass between 
them then. If the reader, on opening ca- 
sually the book, can doubt of any scene be- 
tween them, whether it passes before or 
after the outrage, that scene is one too much. 



The character of Lovelace, though la- 
boured with great art, is, perhaps, after all, 
more of a fancy piece than a real portrait 
of an English libertine. Where is the li- 
bertine who would attempt in England the 
seduction of young women, guarded by 
birtli and respectable situations in life, and 
friends jealous of their honour, and an edu- 
cation which would set them far out of the 
reach of any disgraceful overtures. A love 
of intrigue, rather tl>an a love of pleasure, 
characterizes Lovelace ; he is a cool syste- 
matic seducer, and the glory of con- 
quest is what he principally aims at. Had 
such a character been placed in France, 
and his gallantries directed to married 
women, it would have been more natural, 
and his epistolary memoirs rendered more 
probable j but, in England, Lovelace would 
have been run through the body, long be- 
fore he had seen the face of Clarissa, or 
Colonel Morden. 

There is an improbability which the 
e 6 author 


author could not well avoid, as it resulted 
from his plan of carrying on the narrative 
by letters, and that is, the tame acquiescence 
of Belford in a villainy vs^hich he all along so 
strongly disapproves. It is true, as a man 
of honour, he might think himself obliged 
not to betray his friend's secrets, but his 
disapprobation would certainly have pre- 
vented his friend from communicating those 
secrets. Belford is, in fact, reformed, from 
the time we first hear of him ; and, there- 
fore, those intimate communications could 
iiot any longer have subsisted. But Bel- 
ibrd is a being, created in order to carry 
on the story, and must not be made 
too strictly the object of criticism. A 
novel writer must violate probability some- 
where, and a reader ought to make all 
handsome and generous allowances for it. 
We should open a book as we enter into a 
company, well persuaded that we must not 
expect perfection. In Belford, too, we have 
a reformed libertine, one whom the reader 



regards with esteem and affection. Ri- 
chardson mentions in one of his letters, 
that Mr. More, author of the Foundling, had 
an intention of bringing the story of Cla- 
rissa upon the stage, and that Garrick told 
him he should with great pleasure be the 
Lovelace of it. The powers of More were 
no means equal to such an undertaking ; 
but, if they had been greater, the gaiety 
and spirit of Lovelace, in the hands of 
Garrick, would' have been too strong for 
the morality of the piece. We know how 
great a favourite he was in Ranger. 

The publication of Pamela occasioned 
the sensation of surprize and pleasure, 
which a new author, a new style, a ne\r 
mode of writing, is calculated to inspire ; 
that of Clarissa raised its author at oncd t6 
the first rank among novelists ; it is even 
more admired by foreigners than by the 
English themselves. Rousseau, whose 
Heloise alone, perhaps, can divide the palm 
with Clarissa, asserts in a letter to d'^VIeni- 
e 6 bert. 


bert, that nothing was ever written equal 
to, or approaching it, in any language. 
Diderot speaks of Richardson with high 
applause. Dr. Johnson, in his Life of 
Rowe, expresses himself in the following 
forcible language : 

** The character of Lothario seems to 
** have been expanded by Richardson into 
" that of Lovelace j but he has excelled his 
** original in the moral effect of the fiction. 
" Lothario, with gaiety which cannot be 
" hated, and bravery which cannot be 
" despised, retains too much of the spec- 
" tator's kindness. It was in the power of 
** Richardson alone, to teach us at once 
** esteem and detestation ; to make virtuous 
** resentment overpower all the benevo- 
** lence which wit, and elegance, and cou- 
" rage, naturally excite ^ and to lose at 
«' last the hero in the villain." 

French travellers often shew their ad- 
miration of this work, by enquiry after 
little local circumstances mentioned in it. 



The writer of these observations well re- 
members a Frenchman who paid a visit to 
Hampstead, for the sole purpose of finding 
out the house in the Jlask-zvalk where Cla- 
rissa lodged, and was surprised at the ig- 
norance or indifference of the inhabitants 
on that subject. Thejlask-xvalk was to him 
as much classic ground as the rocks of 
Meillerie to the admirers of Rousseau; and, 
probably, if an English traveller were to 
make similar enquiries in Switzerland, 
he would find that the rocks of Meillerie, 
and the chakts of the Valais, suggested no 
ideas to the inhabitants, but such as were 
connected with their dairies and their 
farms. A constant residence soon destroys 
all sensibility to objects of local enthu- 

The interest which Clarissa excited, 
ivas increased by the suspense in which 
its readers were so long held. In ge- 
neral, the suspense of a reader la.sts no 
longer than the time which is necessary 



for him to read the book ; and, in the case 
of a book which is much talked of, very 
few readers enjoy the full pleasure of the 
story, as they can scarcely help learning, 
from some quarter or other, how it is to 
end. But, in this instance, the interval of 
several months, which was allowed to pass 
between the publication of the first four 
volumes, and the remaining four, wound 
up its readers to the highest pitch of en- 
thusiasm ; and, it is really impossible to 
conceive greater earnestness in a matter of 
real life and death, than some of his cor- 
respondents expressed in favour of the 
heroine. One who signs Philaretes, thus 
expresses himself: — " Since I have heard 
" that you design the end shall be un- 
" happy, I am determined to read no 
" more ; I should read the account of her 
" death with as much anguish of mind as 
" I should feel at the loss of my dearest 
" friend." Some, entreated, others threat- 
ened. The veteran Gibber was quite out- 


rageous at the idea of an unhappy termi- 
nation, and the ladies pleaded — but in vain. 
To have made a different ending, the au- 
thor well knew would have spoiled his 
Work ; yet, he could not but have been se- 
cretly flattered with seeing the strong im- 
pression he had made. That a work is 
canvassed, is criticised, ought to present no 
disagreeable idea to an author. He alone 
has to complain of the public, of whose book 
it says nothing. To the author's supreme 
talent of moving the passions, every one 
bore witness. Miss Highmore expresses 
herself in a pretty and touching manner 
on this subject := — ** What must have been 
" your feelings, at the time you wrote what 
" nobody can read without streaming eyes 
" and heart-breaking sorrow ? It has had 
** the same effect on my fatlier and mother 
^* as on myself We could none of us 
" read aloud the affecting scenes we met 
** yfkhi but each read to ourselves, and fii 
" separate apartments wept." MissHigh- 
**■ * more 


more was not mistaken in her idea of 
the feelings the author must have had in 
writing his work. . He bore testimony 
to the maxim si vis me jiere dolaidum est 
primum ipsi tibi, for, he says, in one 
of his letters, that Clarissa has cost him 
as many tears as any of his readers. 
A number of correspondencies were the 
consequence of his celebrity ; but, certainly 
the most singular compliment he ever re- 
ceived, though probably not the most ac- 
ceptable, was from a lady who had herself 
written a novel, and signs Cleomira ; she 
says, " I am more and more charmed with 
" your Clarissa ; it is, indeed, a noble cha- 
" racter -, but, I fear, no where to be. met 
" with except in your letters. What a 
" pity it is you are not a woman, and blest 
" with means of shining as she did ; for, a 
** person capable of drawing such a cha- 
" racter, would certainly be able to act 
" in the same manner, if in a like situa- 
« tion." 



The Abbe Prevost gave a version of 
Clarissa into French, but rather an abridg- 
ment than a translation. It was after- 
wards rendered more faithfully by Le 
Tournour. Prevost says, and truly, that 
Clarissa required some softening to adapt 
it to the more delicate taste of the French. 
It was also translated into Dutch by Mr. 
Stinstra, and into German under the 
auspices of the celebrated Dr. Haller. 

Our author was now at the zenith of his 
fame, but his fancy was not exhausted, nor 
his powers of writing diminished j and, 
after an interval of between four and five 
years, he again appeared befoire the public. 

After Mr. Kichardson had published two 
works, in each of which the principal cha- 
racter is a female, he determined to give 
the world an example of a perfect man. 
His laudable design was to unite every 
thing that is graceful and engaging in the 
man of spirit and the fine gentleman, with 
every moral virtue, and with the observance 



of the strict rules of Christianity — an ar- 
duous undertaking ! 

He was partly stimulated to this design 
by the attacks of his female disciples, who, 
in answer to the reproaches he made them 
of liking Lovelace too well, observed to 
him, that he had given them nobody else 
to like : — the virtuous Hickman was too 
tame and too formal to do justice to his 
good principles ; and, in short, that he 
had not presented them with one male 
character, on which the imagination 
might rest with complacence. If he did not 
wish they should regard men of pleasure 
with too favourable an eye, it was his duty 
to provide some' one whom they might like 
upon principle. Upon this idea he deter- 
mined to give them A Good Man, the title 
by which he always speaks of the work 
while he is writing it, though he after- 
wards changed it to that of Sir Charles 

Sir Charges is a man of birth and for- 



tune, endowed with every personal advan- 
tage, and master of every fashionable ac- 
complishment. He is placed in a variety 
of situations, calculated to draw forth the 
virtues and energies of his character, as a 
son, a brother, a guardian, a friend, and a 
lover; and his conduct is every where ex- 
emplary. He is a man of address, of 
knowledge of the M'orld, and^ makes him- 
self to be respected in different countries, 
and by all sorts of people, bad as well as 
good. He is generous without profusion j 
religious without superstition ; complai- 
sant without weakness, firm in his pur- 
poses, rapid in the execution of them ; 
jealous of his honour, yet always open to 
a generous reconciliation, feeling (at least 
as the author would have us believe) the 
passions of human nature, yet always pos- 
sessing a perfect command over them. 

The conduct of this piece differs from 
that of Pamela and Clarissa in this respect; 
that it does not depend upon one great 



event, but is intended to open and display 
this character in a variety of lights. The 
unity of the work, therefore, consists in 
the reference which every person, and every 
incident, bears to him who is the hero of 
it. Of him the author never loses sight 
after his first appearance, which he makes 
as soon as the reader lias been prepared 
by the play of some inferior characters, 
(who, to use a military phrase, keep the 
ground for him) in a brilliant action, the 
rescuing the lady, he is finally to marry, 
from the hands of a lawless ravisher. 

It was necessary for the execution of the 
plan, and it is so contrived, in fact, that 
this work should be diversified with a 
greater variety of characters than his for- 
mer ones. It has, particularly, many more 
of the pleasing cast. The author shews in 
it, that he had improved in the knowledge 
of life and the genteel world v and there 
are none of those warm descriptions in it 
which were justly blamed in its two elder 



sisters. He has an enlevemejity a incident 
he seems to have been fond of, since it 
occurs in all the three works ; but the 
object is only marriage, and it is managed 
with perfect decorum, at the same time 
that it presents a truly aft'ecting scene. 
The early part of the novel presents a rich 
display of incidents and personages. The 
history of Sjr Thomas and Lady Grandison 
is admirably executed, and highly moral. 
The behaviour of Sir Charles to his father's 
mistress, to his sisters, to his uncle Lord 
W., to the Danbys, is all excellent, and 
opens his character to the greatest advan- 
tage. But the chief intrigue of the piece 
arises from the double love of Sir Charles 
to Miss Byron and Clementina. A double 
love, say the critics in that passion, is no 
love at all ; and thty will insist upon it, that 
Sir Charles is all along actuated by com- 
passion solely for both the ladies. 

The character of Miss Byron is meant 
by the author as a model of true female 



excellence; but it is judiciously kept down, 
not only with relation to Sir Charles, but 
to the high-wrought portrait of the Italian 
lady. Miss Byron is gentle, timid, and 
somewhat passive ; her character has no 
very prominent feature, except her love for 
Sir Charles. As she was destined to reward 
the hero, the author has shewn great ad- 
dress in previously interesting his readers 
in her favour, before we become acquainted 
with Clementina; so that, notwithstanding 
our admiration for the latter, and the strong 
feelings she has called out, we all along 
consider the Italian family, as intruders, 
and are glad, upon the whole, when Sir 
Charles is disengaged from them. We 
adore Clementina, but we come home to 
Miss Byron. 

Richardson had been accused of giving 
a coldness to his female characters in the 
article of love. The accusation was ill- 
founded ; for the circumstances of the 
story in his two former pieces forbade the 



display of a very tender sensibility ; but 
he has made ample amends for the imputed 
omission in his Grandison, where he has 
entered into the passion with all the mi- 
nuteness, and delicacy, and warmth, that 
could be desired, and shewn the female 
heart to be open to him in all its folds and 
recesses. In his Olivia, his Harriet, his 
Emily, his Clementina, he has well ex- 
emplified the sentiment of the poet — 

Love, various minds does variously inspire ; 

In gentle bosoms kindles gentle fire. 

Like that of incense on the altar laid ; 

But raging flames tempestuous souls invade, 

A fire which every windy passion blows, 

Wiili pride it mounts, and with revenge it glows. 

But, as the character of Sir Charles is 
the most instructive, that of Clcmontina is 
the highest cifort of genius in this piece. 
In her, he has drawn a young creature in» 
volved in a passion expressed with the 
utmost innocence and delicacy, yet so 
strong as to overturn her reason; and af- 


terwards, on the recovery of her reason, 
after a severe struggle, voluntarily sacri- 
ficing that very passion at the shrine of re- 
ligious principle. Clementina is indeed 
a heroine, and her conduct is truly noble, 
because, with her articles of faith, the ob- 
stacle was, in reality, insurmountable to a 
well principled mind. Her faith might be 
erroneous J but her conduct, grounded on 
that faith, was just and rational. This 
sentiment is insisted on, because some 
good protestants have called Clementina a 
poor narrow-minded bigot. A bigot she 
certainly was ; but it had been strange if 
she had not believed the religion in which 
she had been carefully educated, and she 
only acted consistently with that belief. 
It were ^superfluous to any one who has 
perused this work, to remark the masterly 
manner in which the madness of Clemen- 
tina is painted. Dr. Warton speaks thus 
of it : 
** I know not whether even the madness 

« of 


** of Lear is wrought up and expressed 
" by so many little strokes of nature and 
" passion. It is absolute pedantry to pre- 
" fer and compare the madness of Orestes, 
'* in Euripides, to this of Clementina.'* 
There is such a tenderness and innocence 
in her wanderings, such affecting starts of 
passion, such a significant woe in her looks 
and attitudes, such a sanctity of mind, 
with so much passion, that he who is not 
moved with it, must resign the pretension 
of being accessible to fictitious sorrow. 

It is the fault of Richardson that he 
never knew when to have done with a 
character : that of Clementina would have 
been dismissed with dignity after her re- 
fusal of Sir Charles ; instead of which, he 
resumes her story in the last volumes, 
brings her to England, a step little con- 
flistent with the delicacy of her character, 
nor necessary to any event ; and, finally, 
leaves the reader to conclude that she will 
be brought to accept the hand of the 
Count de Belvedere. How easily and na- 

VOL. I. f turally 


turally might he have disposed of her in 
a convent, there to complete the sacrifice 
die had made of her love to her religion. 
He probably would have done so, if a de- 
sire of making his piece instructive had 
not, in this instance, warped his judgment, 
and restrained his genius. He was in the 
habit of inveighing to his young friends 
against romantic ideas of love, and parti- 
cularly the notion that a first passion could 
not be conquered, and he feared it would 
have a bad effect if he represented the 
contrary in his works.* 

But though, in real life, a passion, how- 
ever strong, will generally give way to time, 
at least so far as to permit the disappointed 
party to fill her proper station in social 
life, and fulfil the relative duties of it with 
calm complacence, if not with delight, we 
cannot easily figure to ourselves that Cle- 
mentina, with such a high-toned mind, 

* I want to have young people think there is no 
(iacli mighty business as they are apt to suppose, in 
conquering a first love. — Letter to Miss Mulso, 



and a passion so exalted, a passion that 
had shaken the very seat of reason in her 
soul, could, or with so shattered an intel- 
lect ought, to turn her thoughts to a second 
lover. Novels will always be different 
from real life, and therefore always, per- 
haps, in some degree, dangerous to the 
young mind ; but they must be consistent 
with themselves ; and if the author chose 
to describe a passion which unhinged the 
reason of one lady, and was sinking the 
other to the grave, a catastrophe which we 
are led to suppose would have been the 
effect of Miss Byron's final disappoint- 
ment, he should not then have been scrupu- 
jous of allowing it to have its full effect. 

Great debates took place in the author's 
female senate concerning the point we 
have been discussing. Some voted for kil- 
ling Clementina, and very few were satis^ 
fied with the termination, as it stands; 
which, however, is only distantly implied^ 
as, at the conclusion of Le Cid of Cor- 
«eille, we are led to suppose that Chimene 
f2 will. 

cxxiv THE LIFE 

will, in due time, give her hand to Don 

The correspondence, in these volumes, 
^ carried on, for the most part, between 
Miss Byron and her friends and Lady G. 
Sir Charles's sister, on the one side, and 
Sir Charles and Dr. Bartlett, (a respectable 
clergyman) on the other. Lady G.'s cha- 
racter ifi sprightly and pettilant, and her 
letters have a good deal of wit, though 
sometimes it degenerates into flippancy. 
She resembles Miss Howe, but with less 
cf fire and ardour, and more of levity, 
^e behaves to her husband ^>till more pro- 
Yokingly than that lady to Mr. Hickman, 
Notwithstanding, however, the general re- 
semblance just suggested, and a few otliers 
that might be pointed out, there is no man, 
perhaps, who has written so much, and 
who has less repeated himself, than Rich- 
ardson. If we may judge by the variety 
of characters in this, his last publication, 
tJiie fertility of his fancy was hy no means 



exhausted. Of all the under characters, 
none is more delightful than Emily Jer- 
vois, the young ward of Sir Charles, in the 
beautiful and touching simplicity wifh 
which he has invested her. Her uncon- 
scious love for her guardian, arising so 
naturally, as she advances towards woman- 
hood, from her grateful affection and un- 
bounded esteem for him, her ingenuous 
shame at the bad conduct of her dissolute 
mother, and her generosity to that mother 
on the first symptoms of reformation, to- 
gether with the naivett which is so happily 
hit off both in her ideas and her language, 
render her uncommonly interesting. Mrs. 
Shirley is a graceful portrait of mild and 
venerable age. Lady Beauchamp's cha- 
racter gives Sir Charles an opportunity to 
shew the address and dexterous manage- 
ment of a man of the world; Olivia, his 
virtuous forbearance ; the proud Porretta 
family, his manly spirit, tempered with 
presence of mind and a guarded prudence j 
f3 the 


the behaviour of Mr. Lovvther, and th« 
French surgeons, shew a knowledge of 
professional character; and various parts 
of the work attest the author's improvement 
in general information, and more enlarged 
views of life. 

There is not, in any of Richardson's works, 
©ne of those detached episodes, thrown in 
like make-weights, to increase the bulk of 
the volume, which are so common in other 
works : such is the story of The Man of the 
Hilly in Tom Jones. If his works are Islt 
boured into length, at least his prolixity is 
all bestowed upon the subject, and increases 
the effect of the story. Flashes of humour, 
and transient touches of sensibility, shew, 
indeed, genius ; but patient and persever- 
ing labour alone can fmish a plan, and 
make every part bear properly upon the 
main subject. 

Sir Charles Grandison, however, lies 
open, as what work does not ? to criticism. 
Besides the double love, which has been 
mentioned, there was another point which 



perplexed the author much : Sir Charles, 
as a Christian, was not to light a duel, yet 
he was to be recognised as the finished 
gentleman, and could not be allowed to 
want that most essential part of the cha- 
racter, the deportment of a man of honour, 
courage, and spirit. And, in order to ex- 
hibit his spirit and courage, it was neces- 
sary to bring them into action by adven- 
tures and rencounters^ His first appear- 
ance is in the rescue of Miss Byron, a 
meritorious action, but one which must 
necessarily expose him to a challenge- 
How must the author untie this knot ? He 
makes him so very good a swordsman, 
that he is always capable of disarming his 
adversary without endangering either of 
their lives. But are a man's principles to 
depend on the science of his fencing-ma»- - 
ter ? Every one cannot have the skill of 
Sir Charles ; every one cannot be the best 
swordsman ; and the man whose study it 
is to avoid fighting, is not quite so likely 
f 4 as 


as another to be the best. Dr. Young, in- 
deed, complimented the author upon his 
success in this nice point, in a flourishing 
epigram, which is thus expressed : 

What hast thou done ? I'm ravished at the scene ; 
A sword undrawn, makes mighty Caesars mean. 

But, in fact, it was not undrawn. In the 
affair with Sir Hargrave, he may be said to 
have really fought a duel ; for, though he 
refuses the challenge in words, he virtually 
accepts it, by going into the garden with 
him, knowing his purpose. In like manner 
he with Greville retires to a private spot, and 
there, on his adversary's drawing, which 
he might be sure he would do, draws, dis- 
arms, and gives him his life. But Greville 
might not have given him his, nor could 
every one turn a duel into such harmless 
play. Can, then, a better expedient be 
suggested? If not, must we not fairly 
confess that, in certain cases, the code of 
the gospel and the code of worldly honour 



are irreconcileable, and that a man has 
Only to make his choice which he will 
give up. 

Another fault is, a certain stiffness which, 
it can hardly be denied, is spread over 
this admirable character. This results 
partly from the author's stile, which, where 
it aims to be elegant, wants ease ; partly 
from the manner in which the hero is 
pron^t as the French say, by all the other 
characters, and from the abundance of 
compliments which are paid on all sides ; 
for certainly Sir Charles is de la vitille 
cour. In part, too, it arises from the 
very circumstance of his being so per- 
fect and so successful. Perfection of 
character, joined to distress, will interest ; 
but prosperous perfection does not greatly 
engage our sympathy. We are apt t<^ 
Conceive of Sir Charles as having, in reality, 
no passions ; and we do not greatly pity 
him for the loss of Clementina, when a 
most amiable lady, Avho had the other half 
' fo of 


of his heart, was waiting his acceptance on 
the other side of the water. We are not 
quite satisfied with the dutiful resignation 
with which he gives up corresponding with 
two amfable and beloved sisters, in com- 
pliance with the injunctions of a tyrannical 
father. We are the less surprised, how- 
ever, as we recognize in it the high notions 
entertained by the author of parental au.- 
thority ; but we can give no answer to the 
question. How came so dutiful a son to 
enter into a treaty of marriage without 
consulting his father ? except, what per- 
haps is sufficient, that it would have em- 
barrassed the story. 

There is one important particular in 
which this highly-wrought character does 
not present an example for imitation, and 
that is his going so far into a matrimonial 
treaty with a bigotted catholic > with a 
woman, whose very love for him must ex- 
pose him to continual distressing importu- 
nities to change his religion. Italian ser- 


vants, an Italian confessor, a stipulated 
residence half liic^ year out of his native 
country, and, above all, the giving up half 
his children (it might happen to be all) to 
the errors of a faith which he believed to 
be erroneous — these are among the sacri- 
fices which a conscientious man will scru- 
ple, and a wise man will refuse to make. 
Horrible must be a union, where the most 
tender affection can only serve to lacerate 
the heart, as must be the case, when the 
object of it is supposed to be under the 
wrath of God, and doomed to everlasting 
perdition. This must be the consequence 
of marrying a bigot to any mode of faith, 
where the other party is of a different one. 
Add to this, that the very proposal, made 
so often by the proud Porretta family to 
Sir Charles, to change his religion for a 
wife, and bind himself to live half the year 
out of his native county, was a high insult 
to him, considered only as an English gen- 
tleman. The author, however, valued him- 
self upon his management of this nice 
f 6 nogo- 


negociation; and, in a letter to one of his 
French translators, dexterously brings it 
forward, as a proof of his candour andP 
liberality towards the catholic religion*. 

The author of Sir Charles often men- 
tions in his letters, that he was impor-. 
tuned by many of his friends, to give 
them another volume, and the Gottenburg 
translators sent for the rest of the work, 
supposing it incomplete : he ought to have 
received it as a proof that it was too long, 
and not too short. He had already con- 
tinued it a whole volume beyond the pro- 
per termination, the marriage of his hero, 
and having done so, he might, without 
more impropriety, have gone on to the 
next point of view, and the next, till he 
had given the history of two or three ge- 
nerations. Clarissa, perhaps, runs out into 

* It is said, that an Italian translation of the bible 
appeared some years since at Naples, in the preface 
to which the translator warned his readers against 
English publications; but excepted one, the Clarissa 
of Richardson* 



too great a length, but bold were the 
hand that should attempt to shorten it. 
Sir Charles, on the contrary, would be 
improved by merely striking out the last 
volume, and, indeed, a good part of the 
sixth, where descriptions of dress, and 
parade, and furniture, after the interest 
is completely over, like the gaudy colour- 
ing of a western sky, gives symptoms of 
a setting sun. But it is ungrateful to 
dwell on the faults of genius. 

Besides his three great works, Richard- 
son gave to the world a volume of Fami- 
liar letters; A paper in tJw Rambler i An 
edition of Msop's Fables, with Reflections ; 
and he was concerned in a few booksellers 
publications. The Familiar Letters is the 
book he laid by to write Pamela, and 
which he finished as soon as he had done 
with that work. He did not give his name 
to it. It is seldom found any where but 
in the servant's drawer, where it is a fa- 
vourite book, but when so found, it has 
not unfrequently detained the eye of the 



mistress, wondering all the while by what 
secret charm she was induced to turn over 
a book, apparently too low for her peru- 
sal; and that charm was — Richardson. 
This book shews him intent, as he always 
was, to inculcate the duties of life, and it 
shews how accurately he had attended to 
the various circumstances and relations 
of it. The Rambler he wrote was the 
ninety-fifth number : it describes the pro- 
gress of a virtuous courtship, and pleased 
the public so much, that it is said to be 
the only paper which experienced a great 
demand, while the work was publishing in 
numbers. Richardson v/as a sincere friend 
of Dr. Johnson's, and interested himself 
much for the success of the Rambler, 
•which, before the papers were collected 
in volumes, went off but heavily. He also 
published a large single sheet of the Du- 
ties of Wives to Husbands, and a Selec- 
tion of Maxims and Moral Sentiments, ex- 
tracted from his three novels, for he al- 
ways valued himself upon the morality of 



his pieces, much more than upon his inven* 
tion, and had partly persuaded himself, and 
partly been flattered by others, into the 
idea, that he was the great reformer of the 
age. An excellent moral writer he cer- 
tainly was> because his pathetic powers 
interested the feelings in the cause of 
virtue; but as he did not possess that 
kind of style, either of terseness or dig- 
nity, which is necessary to give brilliancy 
to moral maxiii\s and observations taken 
separately, it was a vain expectation that 
his should attract attention, when they 
were abstracted from all that had ren- 
dered them impressive. Yet he certainly 
did seem to expect, that this little volume 
would be used by his admirers as a kind 
of manual of morality. 

The style of • Richardson, which it re- 
mains to take notice of, was not in pro- 
portion to his other excellencies of com- 
position, lie wrote with facility; expres- 
sions, as well as thoughts, flowing readily 
to his pen ; but we do not find in his writ- 


ings, either the ease and elegance of good 
company, or the polished period of a 
finished author. They are not only over- 
loaded with a redundance of complimen- 
tary expression, wMch gives a stiffness to 
the dialogue, particularly in his Grandi- 
son, where he has most attempted to give 
a picture of genteel life, but they are 
blemished with little flippancies of expres- 
sion, new coined words, and sentences in- 
volved and ill-constructed. One of his 
correspondents, a Mr. Read, after giving 
him high and just praise, thus expresses 
himself: " But is there not here and there 
** a nursery phrase, an ill-invented un- 
** couth compound ; a parenthesis, which 
*^ interrupts, not assists, the sense? If I 
" am wrong, impute it to the rudeness 
" of a college-man, who has had too little 
" commerce with the world, to be a judge 
** of its language." If this was considered 
to be the case when Richardson wrote, it 
is a still greater impediment to his fame at 



present, when we are become more fasti- 
dious with regard to style, in proportion 
as good writing is become more common j 
that degree, I mean, of good writing, which 
a habit of the pen will always give. The 
style of Richardson, however, has the pro- 
perty of setting before the reader, in the 
most lively manner, every circumstance of 
what he means to describe. He has the 
accuracy and fmish of a Dutch painter, 
with the fine ideas of an Italian one. Hfe 
is content to produce elFects by the patient 
labour of minuteness. Had he turned his 
thoughts to an observation of rural nature, 
instead of human manners, he would have 
been as accurate a describer as Cowper : 
how circumstantial is the following de- 
scription of a bird new caught ! " Hast 
** thou not observed how, at first, refusing 
** all sustenance, it beats and bruises it- 
" self against its wires, till it makes its gay 
** plumage tly about , and overspread its wcll- 
" secured cage. Now it gets out its head, 

«* sticking 

cxxxrni THE LIFE 

** sticking only at its beautiful shoulders^ 
" then, with difficulty, drawing back its 
•* head, it gasps for breath, and erectly 
*' perched, with meditating eyes, first sur*- 
" veys, and theia attempts, its wired ca^ 
" nopy. As it gets breath, with renewed 
" rage, it beats and bruises again its pret- 
" ty head and sides, bites the wires, and 
" pecks at the fingers of its delighted 
" tamer J till, at last, finding its efforts 
" ineffectual, quite tired and breathless, 
•* it lays itself down, and pants at the 
" bottoin of the cage, seeming to bemoan 
" its cruel fate, and forfeited liberty. And, 
" after a few days^ its struggles to escape 
" still diminishing, as it finds it to no pur- 
" pose to attempt it, its new habitation 
" becomes familiar, and it hops about from 
" perch to perch, and every day. sings a 
" song to amuse itself, and reward its 
" keeper." 

An idea prevailed at the time, and has 
gained credit with many, that RichardsoH 



was assisted in his works, particularly his 
Grandison, by some of his lady corres- 
pondents. It is true that he often compli- 
mented them, by asking their advice and 
assistance, and was so far at least in earnest 
in the request, that, being very sensible of 
his deficiencies in his knowledge of fashion- 
able life, he hoped to be benefited by their 
hints and criticisms. How should he draw 
a fine gentleman, he often asks, except they 
would condescend to tell him what sort of 
a man he must be to please. Lady G.'s let- 
ters, in particular, were said to be written 
by Lady Bradshaigh ; but the author's own 
words, in a letter to that lady, are a 
sufficient confutation of the report, at 
the same time that they, mention a trifling 
insertion from another lady ; but, it should 
be observed, a mere insertion, and not 
at all connected with the story of the 
novel. " Your ladyship has been forced 
" to aver, you say, to some of your ac- 
" quaintance, that you had no hand in 

" the 



" the history of Sir Charles. Miss Mulso 
" has suffered from the same imputation: 
" so has that very worthy man Mr. Ed- 
" wards, the author of the Canons of 
" Criticism. I once wished, that each of 
** the ladies who honoured me with their 
** correspondence, would give me a let- 
" ter. But they would not favour me so 
" far. Yet one lady, on recollection, 
" shewed me some pretty observations on 
" the education of women, and their at- 
** tainments. I begged a copy, telling 
" the use I intended to make of it. It 
" appears as good Mrs. Shirley's, in the 
" debate on the inferiority and superiority 
" of the two sexes, at the latter end of 
*' vol. V. octavo, vi. duodecimo -, you will 
" be pleased with this anecdote." 

The works of Richardson bear all the 
internal marks of having been written by 
one person. The same sentiments, the 
aame phraseology, the same plan sedu- 
lously followed from beginning to end, 



proclaim the hand of a single author. It is 
true, indeed, that when his female friends 
pressed him to give tliem another volume 
of Sir Charles, he told them, that in that 
case they must each contribute. Whether 
he had reidly any serious design in what 
he said, cannot now be known, but Lady 
Bradshaigh seems to have been the only 
one who complied. She wrote one letter, 
in the character of Lady G. It is exe- 
ci||ed with a degree of liveliness and spi- 
rit, and not unsuitable to the character 
she had engaged to support, but it is evi- 
dent from Richardson's answer, that he 
did not like it weJl enough to have made 
use of it, had the intended volume taken 
place. But where could Richardson have 
found a pen able to supply his own, ex- 
cept in some detached ornament or trifling 
appendage? Mrs. Carter's beautiful Ode 
to Wisdom, made its first appearance in 
Clarissa, but indeed, without the author's 
permission. T^iere is a fragment among 



cxlii the' LIFE 

the unprinted correspondence, by the fa- 
mous Psalmanazer, written for the pur- 
pose of being inserted in Pamela, in the 
second part. It is an account of Pamela's 
charities to a poor family : but it is coarsely 
written ; attempting to move the heart by 
a mere representation of squalid misery, 
(a representation easy to execute) without 
a spark of the grace and delicacy which 
is necessary to touch the fmer feelings: 
it was very properly laid aside. The frag- 
ment, entitled, the History of Mrs. Beau- 
mont, printed at the end of volume the fifth 
of this publication, was possibly meant for 
this additional volume; or, it may be, 
thrown out of the former ones, as what 
might be spared without injuring tli« gene- 
ral effect, for Richardson shortened conside- 
rably all his works, voluminous as they are. 
Clarissa was reduced by two whole volumes 
after the first draught of it. He had never 
occasion to solicit his invention, his only 
care was to rein it in : a g^rong characte- 


ristic of true genius. Clarissa underwent 
the criticism of CoJley Gibber, Dr. Young, 
and Aaron Hill. The latter undertook to 
go through it, and write the whole again 
more briefly : he wrote over again the first 
seven letters, but he soon found he should 
take a great deal of pains only to spoil it, 
and the author found it still sooner than 
he did. 

Dr. Young, sensible of the arduous task 
his friend would have, to support the re- 
putation he had gained by this work, had 
advised him to repose upon his laurels: 
but, when his Grandison was published, 
he retracted,- in the following couplet : 

I DOW applaud, what I presumM to blanie, 
.^/Ur Clarissa you shall rise in fame. 

That tie rose in fame by it, is very true ; 
not, however, in the general opinion, by 
the last surpassing the former, but by the 
accession it brought to what he had al- 
ready performed. Ho himself used to say, 



that he looked upon himself as the fatlier 
of three daughters, all of whom he loved 
with so much tenderness, that he enjoyed 
the praises of all equally, and it was in- 
different to him, whether the elder or the 
younger were thought the handsomest. A 
lady, indeed, told him, that they put her in 
mind of a story she had heard from her 
nurse, of a man who had three daughters, 
the first was the handsomest that ever was, 
the second was handsomer than she, and 
the third was the handsomest of all. 

His Grandison was published in 17^53. 
While it was in the press, an affair hap- 
pened which gave him great di^sgust and 
vexation, and considerably injured his 
well-earned property. This was the piracy 
of the Dublin booksellers. The printing 
Irish editions from published books, how- 
ever it might prejudice an author, was not 
forbid by any law, though it was illegal 
to vend them in England. But, at least, 
the author's edition had so much the start 



of any other, as made it worth-while for a 
Dublin bookseller to .purchase his concur- 
rence. But these men bribed the servants 
of Richardson to steal the sheets while they 
were under the press. They broke open 
the place where they were kept, as he says, 
under lock and key ; sent over what was 
prepared for publication, which was about 
half the work, and came out with a cheap 
dition of several of the volumes, before 
the author's English one ; and almost all 
the Dublin booksellers concurred in this 
atrocious act of robbery. Faulkner, who 
was the author's agent for his own edition, 
seems to have acted like the dog in tiie 
story, who, being set to defend a basket of 
meat, his master's property, which was at- 
tacked by a number of other dogs, kept 
them off for some time with great vigilance, 
but finding that one snatched a piece, and 
another snatched a piece, abandoned the de- 
fence ; and, since he could not keep oflP 
the depredators, resolved to come in for 
VOL. 1. g his 

cxlvi THE LIFE 

his share. Richardson sent his own edi- 
tion to be sold there at a reduced price, 
but they were resolved to undersell him, 
and for what he did sell he could not get 
the money. His friends in Dublin ex- 
pressed great indignation at the behaviour 
of their countrymen, and endeavoured to 
serve him in the matter. Many letters 
passed, but to little purpose. This affair 
seems to have vexed Richardson to the heart. 
His reputation was at the highest, the sale 
of his works sure, and he reasonably ex- 
pected to reap the profit of of it. Not- 
withstanding, however, those disappoint- 
ments which people in business are liable 
to meet with, Mr. Richardson's assiduity 
and success was gradually encreasing his 
fortune. In the year 17^5 he was engaged 
in building, both in town and in the coun- 
try. In .the country he removed from 
North End to Parsons Green, where he 
fitted up a house. In town, he took a 



range of old houses, eight in number, 
which he pulled down, and built an ex- 
tensive and commodious range of ware- 
houses and printing-offices. It was still in 
Salisbury-court, in the north-west corner, 
and it is at present concealed by other 
houses from common observation. The 
dwelling-house, it seems, was neither so 
large nor so airy as the one he quitted 5 and, 
therefore, the reader will not be so ready, 
probably, as Mr. Richardson seems to have 
been, in accusing his wife of perverseness, 
in not liking the new habitation so well as 
the old. " Every body (he says) is more 
" pleased with what I have done, than my 
" wife." Two years after, he married his 
daughter Mary (the only one married in 
his life-time) to Mr. Ditcher, a respectable 
surgeon at Bath. He now allowed him- 
self some relaxation from business; and 
only attended from time to time, his print- 
ing-offices in London. He often regretted, 
g 2 tliat 

cxlviii THE LIFE 

that he had only females to whom to trans- 
fer his business ; however, he had taken in 
to assist him a nephew, who relieved him 
from the more burdensome cares of it, and 
who eventually succeeded him. He now 
had leisure, had he had health, to enjoy his 
reputation, his prosperous circumstances, 
his children, and his freinds; but, alas! 
leisure purchased by severe application, 
often comes too late to be enjoyed ; and, 
in a worldly, as well as in a religious sense. 

When we find 

The key of life, it opens to the grave. 

His nervous disorders increased upon 
him, and his valuable life was a,t length 
terminated by a stroke of an apoplexy, on 
the 4th of July, 1761, at the age of seventy- 
two. He was buried, by his own direc- 
tion, near his first wife, in the middle aisle, 
near the pulpit of St. Bride's church. 

The moral character of Mr. Richardson 
may be partly gathered from the preceding 



sketch of his life. It was most respectal)le 
and worthy of his genius. He was sober 
and temperate, regular and assiduous in bu- 
siness, of high integrity, and undoubted 
honour. It is no small praise, that in his 
unfriended youth, and in the midst of those 
miscellaneous connections which a man 
who acts in the world unavoidably forms, 
(and of intercourse with the gay and the 
dissolute, the Gibbers and "WTiartons of the 
time, he had his share) that, so circum- 
stanced, he should have firmness of mind 
to resist the temptations which offer them- 
selves in a licentious metropolis, and should 
be able to say thus of himself, " I nev*. r 
" was in a bad house, nor, to my knowledge, 
" in company with a licentious woman in my 
" life." This assertion was drawn from him 
by his friend Mr. Stinstra, who had insi- 
nuated, that in order to draw a Lovelace, 
it was necessary he should have been some- 
thing of a libertine at one period or other 
of his life. His admirers, however, are 
g 3 coil- 


constrained to acknowledge, that his ima- 
gination was not quite so pure as his con- 
duct. He seems, by some means or other, 
to have acquired a most formidable idea of 
the snares to which young women are ex- 
posed, and of their incapacity (in general) 
to resist them. He seemed to think women 
had a great deal to hide, and though his chief 
intimacies were with ladies, he sometimes 
betrays a mean opinion of the sex in ge- 
neral. Perhaps we might find the origin 
of some of these ideas, if we were in pos- 
session of the. love letters he wrote for his 
female companions, in the early period of 
his life, with their dangers and escapes ; 
but, it is certain his writings rather tend 
to inspire a certain bashful consciousness, 
and shrinking reserve, than the noble sim- 
plicity of truth and nature, in the inter- 
course between the sexes. Richardson was 
a careful, kind father, and a good husband 
in essentials ; but, it must be confessed, 
there appears to have been a certain for- 


mality and stiffness of manner, but ill cal- 
culated to invite his children to that fami- 
liarity and confidence, which is so lovely 
when it does take place, but which fre- 
quently fails to do so, even where there is 
real affection, between such relations. Of 
this he was himself sufficiently sensible, 
and often laments it. " My girls," says 
he,, " are shy little fools." But manner does 
not depend on the wilK The manner of a 
bashful,, reserved man, is seldom encou- 
raging to others ; especially if he stands in 
a superior relation to them. Besides, he 
not only had high notions of filial as well 
as conjugal obedience, but expected all 
those reverential demonstrations of it in 
the outward behaviour, which are now, 
whether wisely or not I will not pretend 
to determine, so generally laid aside. Lady 
Bradshaigh writes him a very sensible letter 
on this subject. She finds fault with the 
stile of his daughter's letters, as too stiff, 
with the Honoured Sir, and the ever duiiful, 
constantly occurring, which, she tells him, 
g 4 Moa 

tlii THE LIFE 

was not likely to produce the familiarity 
he wished to invite; and objects, that in 
his writings, filial awe is too much incul- 
cated. In his answer he acknowledges the 
too great distance of his own children ; 
but as to the general maxim observes, ** I 
" had rather (as too much reverence is not 
«* the vice of the age) lay down rules that 
" should stiffen into apparent duty, than 
" make the pert rogues too familiar with 
" characters so reverend ;" and adds, " I 
" could wish, from the respectful manner 
•' (avoiding formality and stiffness as much 
" as possible) in letters to a parent, let my 
" eye fall on what part of the letter it 
" would, to be able to distinguish it from 
" one directed to a playmate." To young 
children Richardson was familiarly kind, 
and they were very fond of him ; he gene- 
rally carried sugar-plumbs in his pocket 
to make his court to them. It must also 
be observed, that one lady who knew him 
personally, imputes the formality of the fa- 


mily rather to Mrs. Richardson than to 
Iiim. She was, by all accounts, a formal 
woman, but with a very kind heart. " My 
" worthy-hearted wife," her husband ge- 
nerally calls her, and, no doubt, always 
thought her, though he often affects to 
speak of her in a different style, and with 
a degree of petulance between jest and ear- 
nest, not unlike the captiousness of hi« 
own uncle Selby ; and grievously does he 
complain of being governed by his meek 
wife. " What meek woman," says he, 
" ever gave up a point that she had fixed 
" her heart upon ? O the sweet Parthians !" 
And, in another letter, " My wife,, a very 
" good woman, in the main, as I have often 
" said, governs me tims ; She lets me bear 
" my testimony against what 1 dislike. I 
" do it, now-and-theu, as I think reason 
" calls, with some vehemence : she hears 
" me out. A day or two after, (if it be a 
" point she has her heart in, or her will, 
" which to a woman is the same thing) with- 
S ^ " out 


" out varying much either lights or shades, 
" she brings the matter once more on the 
** tapis. I have exhausted all my reason- 
*' ings, cannot bear to repeat what I had 
** said before, and she carries her point; and, 
*' what is the worst of it, judging by her 
" success, thinks me convinced, and that she 
" was right at first, and I was wrong ; and 
" so prepares to carry the next." In this 
kind of half captious pleasantry, his con- 
versation, as well as his letters, abounded. 
He was a benevolent and kind-hearted, 
but I do not feel sure that he was a good- 
humoured, man. For liberality, genero- 
sity, and charity, Richardson claims un- 
qualified praise. His generosity knew no 
bounds, but the necessary attention to the 
welfare of a growing family. Various in- 
cidents in the numerous volumes of his 
letters, both those which appear, and the 
far greater part which do not appear, shew 
how much he was in the habit of obliging. 
He assisted Aaron Hill with money ; he 



had the honour to bail Dr. Johnson. He 
writes to a neighboiir, who had suffered 
from a fire, and with whom he does not ap- 
pear to have been in habits of intimacy, 
offering the use <>f all his first floor for a 
week, fortnight, month, or as long as he 
should be unprovided ; and the attendance 
of his servants for himself and family, and 
an occasional bed at his country resi- 
dence, and all this he presses upon him 
with the most generous earnestness. In 
all these kindnesses his wife concurred 
with affectionate readiness. Miss Collier, 
it is evident, was in the habit of re- 
ceiving pecuniary assistance from him. 
The unhappy Mrs. Pilkington found a 
friend in him. When Lady Bradshaigh men- 
tioned the case of the poor penitent girl, 
for whom she wanted a situation': " Let 
** her come to us," he said, ** she shall do 
** just what she can, and stay till she is 
** otherwise provided for." He was a great 
promoter, if not the first mover, of the 
Magdalen charity. In short, his purse 
g 6 was 

clvi THE LIFE 

was ever open to any proper call upon it, 
not to mention the many opportunities a 
man in business has, of doing essential fa- 
vours without any actual donation. Be- 
sides all this, he had a brother's family 
thrown, in a great measure, upon his hands. 
He thus writes of the event in 1750: " It 
" is a brother's death I mourn for 3 an 
*' honest, a good-natured, but a careless 
" man ; of late years careless, so that his 
" affairs were embarrassed, and he has left 
" six children, five of them small and help- 
" less." In the affairs of a family diffe- 
rence, in which he was the mediator, his 
advice seems to have been prudent, con- 
ciliating, and judicious. His advice and 
opinion was greatly valued by all his 
friends, both literary and others, and his 
trouble, as a printer, was enhanced by the 
criticisms and remarks they engaged him 
to make, on the pieces they entrusted 
him with. 

In the qualities of courtesy and hospi« 
tality, Richardson was excelled by no man. 

" I think 


" I think I see you," says one of his corre- 
spondents, " sitting atyourcloorlikeanold 
** patriarch, and inviting all vvlio pass by to 
" come in." Whether sick or well j whether 
they could entertain him with vivacity and 
chearfulness, or wanted themselves the 
soothing and attentions of himself and fa- 
mily, they were always welcome. Two of 
his friends were nursed at his house in their 
last illness. In all the intercourses of ci- 
vility he loved to be the obliger, espe- 
cially if his friends were of rank and for- 
tune superior to his own. His letters, 
particularly to Lady Bradshaigh, are full of 
contests about little presents, which he 
loved better to give than to receive. In 
this there was, no doubt, a jealous fear of 
being treated otherwise than as an equal, 
and somewhat of a painful consciousness 
of inferiority of station prompting that 
fear ; for he possessed the dignity of an 
independent mind. When Lady Echlin 
expressed Ixer wishes that he might be ac- 

civiii THE LIFE 

quainted witli her daughter, Mrs. Palmer, 
a lady of fashion ; " the advances, then," 
said he, " must come from her. She was 
" the superior in rank, but he knew ladies 
" of the west-end of the town did not wish 
" to pass Temple-bar ;" and, sometimes, 
perhaps, this consciousness made him a 
little captious with regard to the atten- 
tions he expected from ladies of fashion ; 
who, coming to town for a short period, 
could not devote so much time to him, 
as, perhaps, the warm affection expressed 
in their correspondence, might have led 
him to expect. 

It will not be supposed that a man who 
knew so well how to paint the passion of 
love, should be inaccessible to its influence. 
His matrimonial connections were, most 
probably, those of convenience and calm 
affection ; but he intimates that he once 
loved with ardour. The passage referred 
to is in a letter to Lady Bradshaigh, who 
had been desiring him to write, for his 



next publication, the history of his own 

" The fortune of the man you hint at, was 
** very low : his mind, however, was never 
** mean. A bashfulness, next to sheep- 
" ishness, kept him down : but he always 
•' courted independence ; and, being con- 
" tented with a little, preserved a title to 
" it. He found friends, who thought they 
•* saw something of merit in him, through 
** the cloud that his sheepishness threw 
** over him, and, knowing how low his 
" fortune was, laid themselves out to raise 
«* him ; and most of them by proposals 
" of marriage, which, however, had al- 
" ways something impracticable in them. 
** A pretty ideot was once proposed, with 
" very high terms, his circumstances con- 
** sidercd : her worthy uncle thought this 
** man would behave compassionately to 
•* her. — A violent Roman Catholic lady 
** was another, of a fine fortune, a zeal- 
" ous professor ; whose terms were (all 

« her 


her fortune in her own power — a very 
apron-string tenure!) two years proba- 
tion, and her confessor's report in favour 
of his being a true proselyte at the end 
of them *. — ^Another, a gay, high-spi- 
rited, volatile lady, whose next friend 
offered to be his friend, in fear of her 
becoming the prey (at the public places 
she constantly frequented) of some vile 
fortune-hunter. Another there was 
whom his soul loved ; but with a reve- 
rence — Hush ! — Pen, lie thee down ! — 
" A timely check j where, else, might I 
have ended? — This lady — how hard to 
forbear the affecting subject ! — But I 
will forbear. This man presumed not — 
Again going on ! — not a word more this 

This lady, from hints given in other 
places, and from the information of Mrs, 
Duncombe, appears to have been the same 
whose history he has delicately and ob- 
scurely shadowed out in that of Mrs. Beau- 
* Might not this give the first hint of his Clementina ? 



mont ; and never, she adds, did he appear 
so animated as when he was insensibly led 
into a narration of any circumstances in 
the liistory or description of that most re- 
vered lady. 

The author of Clarissa was always fond 
of female society. He lived in a kind of 
flower-garden of ladies : they were his in- 
spirers, his critics, his applauders. Con- 
nections of business apart, they were his 
chief correspondents. He had generally 
a number of young ladies at his house, 
whom he used to engage in conversation 
on some subject of sentiment, and provoke, 
by artful opposition, to display the treasures 
of intellect they possessed. Miss Mulso, 
afterwards Mrs. Chapone ; Miss Highmore, 
now Mrs. Duncombe; Miss Talbot, niece to 
Seeker, and author of some much esteemed 
devotional pieces; Mi.ssPrescott, afterwards 
Mrs. Mulso J Miss Fieldings; amlMissCol- 
liers, resided occasionally with him. He 
was accustomed to give the young ladies 
ke esteemed the endearing api)cllution of 


clxii THE LIFE 

his daughters. He used to write in a little 
summer-house, or grotto *, as it was called, 
within his garden, before the family were 
up J and, when they met at breakfast, he 
communicated the progress of his story, 
which, by that means, had every day a 
fresh and lively interest. Then began the 
criticisms, the pleadings, for Harriet By- 
ron or Clementina ; every turn and every 
incident was eagerly canvassed, and the 
author enjoyed the benefit of knowing be- 
fore-hand how his situations would strike. 
Their own little partialities and entangle- 
ments, too, were developed, ^id became 
the subject of grave advice, or lively rail- 
lery. Mrs. Buncombe thus mentions the 
agreeable scene, in a letter to Mrs. Mulso. 
" I shall often, in idea, enjoy again the 
** hours that we have so agreeably spent in 
** the delightful retirement of North End : 

" For while this pleasing subject I pursue, 
" The grot, the garden, rush upon my view ; , 

* The same of which an engraving is given in the 

" There, , 


** There, in blest union, round the friendly gate, 
*' Instruction, Peace, and chearful Freedom wait ; 
" And there, a choir of list'ning nymphs appears 
" Oppress'd with wonder, or dissolved in tears ; 
" But on her tender fears when Harriet dwells, 
" And love's soft symptoms innocently tells, 
" They al],with conscious smiles, those symptomsview, 
" And by those conscious smiles confess them true.'* 

Mr. Richardson was a friend to mental 
improvement in women, though under all 
those restrictions which modesty and de- 
corum have imposed upon the sex. In- 
deed, his sentiments seem to have been 
more favourable to female literature, be- 
fore than after his intercourse with the 
fashionable world j for Clarissa has been 
taught Latin, but Miss Byron is made to 
say, that she does not even know which 
are meant by the learned languages, and 
to declare, that a woman who knows them 
is an owl among the birds. The prejudice 
against any appearance of extraordinary 
cultivation in women, was, at that period, 
very strong. It will scarcely be believed, 


clxiv THE LIFE 

by this generation, that Mrs. Delany, the 
accomplished Mrs. Delany, objects to the 
words intellect and ethksj in one of the 
conversation pieces, in Grandison, as too 
scholastic to proceed from the mouth of a 
female. "NVliat would some of these critics 
have said, could they have heard young 
ladies talking of gases, and nitrous oxyd, 
and stimuli, and excitability, and all the 
terms of modern science. The restraint 
of former times was painful and humiliat- 
ing j what can be more humiliating than 
the necessity of aftecting ignorance ? and 
yet, perhaps, it is not undesirable that 
female genius should have something to 
overcome ; so much, as to render it pro- 
bable, before a woman steps out of the 
common walks of life, that her acquire- 
ments are solid, and her love for literature 
decided and irresistible. These obstacles 
did not prevent the Epictetus of Mrs. Car- 
ter, nor the volumes of Mrs, Chapone, 
from being written and given to the 


The moral qualities of Richardson were 
crowned with a serious and warm regard 
for religion ; it is conspicuous in all his 
works i and we shall, probably, not find 
any writings, of the class of novels, in 
which virtue and piety are so strongly and 
uniformly recommended, without any party 
spirit, or view to recommend a particular 
system, and it would be doing injustice to 
he taste of the worhl not to say that they 
were highly valued on that account. The 
house of Richardson was a school of vir- 
tuous sentiment and good |^orals. The 
following letter, from Mr. Reich, of Leip- 
sic, shews the pleasing impression a visit 
to him made on the lively feelings of a 

" You know. Sir, I set out for England 
" purely with a view of cultivating a per- 
" sonal acquaintance with so great a man 
" as Mr. Samuel Richardson, who had so 
" long endeared himself to me by his 
" works, and who, afterwards, by the corrcs- 

" pondencc 

clxvi THE LIFE 

pondence established between tis, grant- 
ed me his friendship. I arrived at Lon- 
don the eighth of August, and had not 
much difficulty in finding Mr. Richard- 
son in this great city. He gave me a 
reception worthy of the author of Pa- 
mela, Clarissa, and Grandison -, that is, 
with the same heart which appears 
throughout his works. His person, his 
family, and even his domestics, all an- 
swer this character. He carried me into 
hisjibrary, and his printing-house, (for 
he is a printer), in both which I never 
saw things so well disposed. Sunday 
following, I was with him at his coun- 
try-house, (Selby-house) where his] fa- 
mily was, with some ladies, acquaint- 
ances of his four daughters, who, with 
his lady, compose his family. It was 
there I saw beauties without affecta- 
tion; wit without vanity; and thought 
myself transported to an inchanted land. 
After chocolate, Mr. Hichardson brought 

" us 


US into the garden, adjoining to the 
house. He invited me to partake of its 
fruits, of which the trees afforded the 
finest of their kind; and, perceiving 
that I hesitated, gathered some himself, 
which he presented to me. Every thing 
I saw, every thing I tasted, recalled to 
me the idea of the golden age. Here 
are to be seen no counterfeits, such as 
are the offspring of vanity, and the de- 
light of fools. A noble simplicity reigns 
throughout, and elevates the soul. The 
harmony of this charming family fur- 
nished me with many reflections on 
the common ill-judged methods of edu- 
cation, whence springs the source either 
of our happiness or misery. Tlie ladies 
affected not that stiff preciseness peculiar 
to coquettes. Trained up by a parent 
who instructs them, still more by his 
example than by his works, they strive 
to imitate him ; and, if you feel a ten- 
derness for objects so lovely, you will 


clxviii " THE LIFE 

" surely be sensible of a still greater re- 
" spect for them. 

" In the middle of the garden, over 
" against the house, we came to a kind 
" of grotto, where we rested ourselves. It 
" was on this seat, Mr. Le Fevre, (Mr. 
" Richardson's friend) told me, that Pa- 
" mela, Clarissa, and Grandison, received 
" their birth; I kissed the ink-horn on the 
" side of it. We afterwards proceeded to 
" table, (dinner,) where an opportunity 
" was offered me of reading the letters 
" written to me by Malle. Sack, from 
" Berlin, concerning my voyage, and Mr. 
" Richardson. One might in them dis- 
" cern that wit which is the peculiar cha- 
" racteristic of that lady; and, every one 
" listened with the closest attention to 
" whatever truth obliged me to say 
" concerning her. Whereupon Mr. Ri- 
" chardson observed to me, that the la- 
" dies in company were all his adopted 
" daughters: that he should be very proud 

" to 


**^ to give to them, as well as to his own, 
" so charming a sister; and desired to 
" signify as much to her, and to send her 
" his picture, which he gave me for that 
" purpose. The rest of our discourse 
" turned on the merits of Mr. Gellert, 
" and of some other Germans of distinc- 
*' tion. I told him, we had the same 
" reason to glory in our relationship, as 
" countrymen of these worthy gentlemen^ 
" as the English had in regard, ti^.Uimv 
" Mr. Richardson's usual n>odesty dic- 
" tated his answ£»j\ Towards evening h& 
'* brought me to London, where he mad» 
^* me promise to come and see l^aa Q& 
" often .a« I could. On the Suaday fol- 

V lowing 1 1 was with him again at hi« 
*f pleasant country seat. We found there 
t a large ^con)pany, all people of merit; 

V Mr. Miller, author of the Gaidencr's 
'* Dictionary, {which has been translated 
*' at Nurnburg, with such success), and 
*" Mr. Ilighmore, the famoius puinler, 
. VQI.. T. h »' were 

clxx THE LIFE 

" were there. This last, two days after- 
" wards, conferred on me a genteel piece 
" of civility, which I shall never forget : 
" he must, indeed, be the accomplished 
** gentleman he appears to be, by oblig- 
** ing with so good a grace. I was ex- 
" tremely concerned on not seeing his 
** only daughter, v/ho was in the coun- 
'* try. I have read some of her letters, 
" which excite in me the highest esteem 
" both for her understanding and her 
** heart. In the evening I took my leave 
'* of the family, and returned with Mr. 
" Richardson. I saw him several times 
" since, during the eight days I staid in 
** England; but it was necessary, at last, 
•* to quit that divine man. I gave him 
" the letter entitled No. I. he embraced 
" me, and a mutual tenderness deprived 
" us of speech. He accompanied me 
** with his eyes as far as he could: I 
** shed tears." 

There is one fault of which it will not 



be easy to clear our author. It is said 
that he was vain; he was fed with praise, 
and, with regard to that diet, it may be 
truly affirmed, that 

increase of appetite doth ktoi 

By what it feeds on. 

In the circle of his admirers, his own 
works occupied, naturally, a large share 
of conversation; and he had not the will, 
nor perhaps the variety of knowledge ne- 
cessary to turn it on other topics. The 
same subject forms the prominent feature 
in his correspondencies, -r- Impartiality, 
perhaps, requires a biographer to notice 
the opinion of such a man as Johnson, 
delivered llirough the medium of Mr. 
Boswell's memory, as follows, giving an 
account of a conversation at Mr. Nairne'd, 
where Dr. Johnson drew the character of 
Richardson. " I only remember that he 
" expressed a high value for his talents and 
" virtues: But that his perpetual study 
h 2 ** wa<» 

olxxii THE LIFE 

'* was to ward off petty inconveniences," 
" and to procure petty pleasures; that his 
" love of continual superiority was such, 
" that he took care always to be sur- 
" rounded by women, who listened to 
" him implicitly, and did not venture to 
" contradict his opinions ; and that his 
" desire of distinction was so great, that 
" he used to give large vails to Speaker 
" Onslow's servants, that they might treat 
** him with respect." 

It may be observed upon this, that the 
ladies he associated with were well able 
to appreciate his works. They were both 
his critics and his models, and from their 
sprightly conversation, and the disquisi- 
tions on love and sentiment, which took 
place, he gathered what was more to his 
purpose than graver topics would have 
produced. He was not writing a dic- 
tionary, like Johnson, or a history, like 
Gibbon. He was a novel writer; his bu- 
siness was not only with the human heart, 
but with the female heart. 



No man sought criticism with more di- 
ligence, or received it with more candour, 
than Richardson ; he asks it even from 
some who had little title to give it. The 
fault of his mind was, rather that he was 
too much occupied with himself, than that 
he had too high an opinion of his talents. 
Praise, however, he certainly loved, and 
all that remains to be said on this head is, 
that when a man of genius is humane, bene- 
volent, temperate, and pious, we may allow 
in him a little shade of vanity, as a tribute 
to human weakness. As to the vails, it 
was a disgraceful circumstance, not to Ri- 
chardson, but to the customs of our coun- 
try, and to Mr. Onslow, if he could not 
make his servants pay respect to his guests 
without it. But it were as candid to ac- 
count for Richardson's giving more than 
others, from his known generosity as from 
his desire of distinction. I cannot pass by 
in silence, though it is unpleasant to ad- 
vert to, the contemptuous manner in which 
h 3 Lady 

clxxiv THE LIFE 

Lady Wortley Montagu has mentioned our 
author, in terms as little suited to the de- 
corum of her own rank and character, as 
to the merit and respectable situation in 
life of the person she speaks of. " The 
" doors of the great," she says, " were never 
** opened to him." If the doors of the 
gteat were never opened to a genius whom 
<fvery Englishman ought to have been 
proud of, if they were either tasteless of 
his merit, or so selfishly appreciated it as 
to be content to be entertained and in- 
structed by his writings in their closet, 
and to sufier the man to want that notice 
and regard which is the proper and de- 
served reward of distinguished talent, — 
upon them let the disgrace rest, and not 
upon Richardson. And, I believe it is true, 
that in England genius and learning ob- 
tain less personal notice than in most other 
parts of Europe, and that men are classed 
here more by similiarity of fortune than 
by any other circumstance. Still, how- 


ever, they do attract notice j and the 
reader must be aiiipiy convinced, by the 
list of Richardson's friends and correspon- 
dents, that Lady Wortley's assertions are as 
untrue as illiberal. It is strange that she, 
whose talents, not her rank, have trans- 
mitted her name to posterity, should not 
have experienced a more kindly fellow- 
feeling towards talent : but the public 
will Judge which was most estimable, she 
whose conduct banished her from those 
with whom her birth entitled her to asso- 
ciate, or he who, by his merit, raised him- 
self above the class whence he drew hit 
humble origin. 

I omitted to mention, in its proper place, 
that Richardson had a pressing invitation 
from the Moravians to go to Germany. 
He was written to, for tluit purpose, by the 
secretary of Count Zinzcndorf, their head, 
and solely, it should seem, from their high 
opinion of the moral tendency of his 

h 4 Richardson 

tlxxvi THE LIVE 

Richardson was, in person, below the 
middle stature, and inclined to corpu- 
lency j of a round, rather than oval, face, 
with a fair ruddy complexion. His fea- 
tures, says one, who speaks from recollec- 
tion, bore the stamp of good nature, and 
were characteristic of his placid and ami- 
able disposition. He was slow in speech, 
and, to strangers at least, spoke with re- 
serve and deliberation j but, in his man- 
ners, was affable, courteous, and engag- 
ing, and when surrounded with the so- 
cial circle he loved to draw around him, 
his eye sparkled with pleasure, and often 
expressed that particular spirit of arch' 
ness which we see in some of his cha- 
ra<"ters, and which gave, at times, a vi- 
vacity to his conversation, not expected 
from his general taciturnity and quiet 
manners. He has left us a characteristic 
portrait of himself, in a letter to Lady 
JBradshaigh, written when he was in his 
sixtieth year, before they had seen one 


or MR. RICHARDSON. clxxvii 

another. She was to find him out by it 
(as she actually did,) as he walked in the 
Park. " Short, rather plump, about fivo 
" feet five inches, fair wig, one hand ge- 
" nerallv in his bosom, the other a cane 
" in it, which he leans upon under the 
" skirts of his coat, that it may impercep- 
" tibly serve him as a support, when at- 
" tacked by sudden tremors or dizziness, 
" of a light brown complexion, teeth not 
**'yet failing him." What follows is very 
descriptive of the struggle in his charac- 
ter between innate bashfulness and a 
turn for observation. '* Looking directly 
" forcright, as passengers would imagine, 
" but observing all that stirs on either 
" hand of him, without moving his short 
" neck; a regular even pace, stealing away 
" ground rather than seeming to rid it y a 
" grey eye, too often overclouded by mis- 
" tiiiess from the head, by chance lively, 
" very lively if he sees any he loves j if he 
*• approaches a lady, his eye is never fixed 
h 5 «« iirst 

Clxxviii THE LIFE 

" first on her face, but on her feet, and 
" rears it up by degrees, seeming to set 
*' her down as so or so." 

The health of Richardson was griev- 
ously affected by those disorders which 
pass under the denomination of nervous, 
and are the usual consequence of bad air, 
confniement, sedentary employment, and 
the wear and tear of the mental faculties, 
Jt is astonishing how a man who had to 
raise his fortune by the slow process of 
his own industry, to take care of an ex- 
tensive business, to educate his own fa- 
mily, and to be a father to many of his 
relations, could find time in the breaks 
and pauses of his other avocations, for 
works so considerable in size as well as in 
merit, " nineteen close printed volumes," 
SiS he often mentions, when insisting upon 
it, in answer to the instances of his cor- 
respondents, that he would write more, 
that he had already written more than 
enough. "Where there exists strong ge- 


nius, the bent of the mind is imperious, 
and will be obeyed : but the body too 
often sinks under it. " I had originally," 
{says he) " a good constitution; I hurt it 
" by no intemperance, but that of appli- 
" cation." 

Richardson scarcely writes a letter with- 
out mentioning those nervous or paralytic 
tremors, which indeed are very observ- 
able in those letters written with his own 
hand, and which obliged him often to 
employ the hand of another. Yet his 
writing, to the last, was small, even, and 
very legible. Though a strong advocate 
for public worship, he had discontinued, 
for many years, going to church, on ac- 
count, as he tells Lady B. of his not 
being able to beiir a crowd. It is pro- 
bable, however, that he also wanted the 
relaxation of a Sunday spent in the coun- 
try. He took tar-water, then very much 
in vogue, and lived for seven years u})oh 
a vegetable dietj but his best remedy was 
h 6 probably 

clxxx THE LIFE 

probably his country house, and the 
amusement of Tunbridge, which he was 
accustomed to frequent in the season. 
He never could ride, being, as he de- 
clares, quite a cockney, but used a cfiam- 
ber horse, one of which he kept at each 
of his houses. His nervous maladies not- 
withstanding increased, and for years be- 
fore his death he xjould not lift the quan- 
tity of a small glass of wine to his mouth, 
though put into a tumbler, without as- 
sistance. He loved to complain, but wha 
j^hat suffers from disorders that affect the 
very springs of life and happiness, does 
not? Who does not wish for the friendly 
soothings of sympathy, under maladies 
from which more material relief is not 
to be expected ? That sympathy was feel- 
ingly expressed by Mrs. Chapone, in her 
Ode to Health, in the following apos- 
trophe : 



Hast thou not left a Richardson unblest? 

II<j woos thee st.-' in vain, relentless maid. 

Tho' skillM in sweetest accents to persuade. 
And wake soft Pity in the ravage breast j 

Him Virtue loves, and bctghtest Fame is his: 

Smile thou tooj Goddess, and complete his bliss. 

In the latter part of his life, he was 
rarely seen among his workmen, some- 
times not twice in a year, and, even when 
he was in town, gave his direetions by 
little notes. His principal workman was 
hard of hearing ; and Richardson felt a 
nervous irritation, which made it not easy 
for him to bear any thing of hurry or per- 
sonal altercation.. 

His will shews the same equitable, 
friendly, and beneficent disposition, which 
was apparent in his life j legacies to a tribe 
of relations, to whom, it appears, he had 
given little pensions during his life ; one 
third \y{ his fortune to his wife, and the 
rest to be divided equally among his daugh- 
ters J recommending, however, his daugh- 

clxxxii THE LTFE 

ter Anne to her mother's peculiar care, 
from the weak state of her health and spi- 
rits. Yet this object of his tender anxiety 
was the survivor of the whole family. She 
is said to have possessed " an excellent 
" and cultivated understanding, true piety, 
" sensibility, resignation, and strength of 
" mind." 

His daughter Martha was married, in 
1762, to Edward Bridgen, Esq. and Sarah 
to Mr. Crowther, surgeon, of Boswell- 
court. Mrs. Richardson survived her hus 
band twelve years. 

It is with particular pleasure I subjoin 
to this account of Richardson, the animated 
and lively description of his character, 
which has been obligingly communicated 
to me in a letter from a lady, whose per- 
sonal knowledge of him gives to her ac- 
count both authenticity and interest. 

" I am willing to give you every aid in 
" my power, and contribute my mite of 
" praise to my venerated friend. 

" My 

OF MR. RICHARDSON. clxxxiii 

" My first recollection of him is in his 
** house ill the centre of Salisbury-square, 
" or Salisbury-court, as it was then called ; 
** and of being admitted, as a playful 
" child, into his study, where I have often 
" seen Dr. Young, and others ; and where 
" I was generally caressed, and rewarded 
" with biscuits or bonbons of some kind 
" or other, and sometimes with books, for 
" which he, and some more of my friends, 
" kindly encouraged a taste, even at that 
" early age, which has adhered to me all 
** my life long, .and continues to be 
" the solace of many a painful hour. I 
** recollect that he used to drop in at my 
•^ father's, for we lived nearly opposite, 
" late in the evening, to supper ; when, as 
** he would say, he had worked as long 
" as his eyes and nerves would let him, 
" and was come to relax, with a little 
•* friendly and domestic chat. I even then 
** used to creep to his knee, and hang 
** upon his words, for my whole family 

•* doatcd 

clxxxiv THE LIFE 

" doated on him ; and once,. I recollect,, 
" thaty. at one of these evening visits, pro- 
" bably about the year 1753, I was stand- 
" ing by his knee, when my mother's maid 
" came to summon me to bed; upon 
" which, being unwilling to part from 
** him, and manifesting some reluctance, 
" he begged I might be permitted to stay 
" a little longer -, . and, on my mother's 
" objecting that the servant would be 
" wanted to wait at supper, for, in those 
" days of friendly intercourse and j-eal 
" hospitality, a decent maid-servant was 
" the only attendant at his oitm, and many 
" creditable tables, where, nevertheless, 
" much company was received, Mr. Rich- 
" ardson said, * I am sure Miss P. is now 
" so much a woman, that she does not- 
" want any one to attend her to bed, but 
" will conduct herself with so much pro- 
" priety, and put out her own candle so- 
" carefully, that she may henceforward be 
" indulged with remaining with us till- 

" supper 


supper is served.' This hint, and tlie 
coniidence it implied, had such a good 
eiFect upon me, that, I believe, I never 
required the attendance of a servant 
afterwards, while my mother lived j and, 
by such sort of ingenious and gentle 
devices, did he use to encourage and 
draw in young people to do what was 
right. — I also well remember the happy 
days I passed at his house at North 
End J sometimes with my mother, but 
often, for weeks, without her, domesti- 
cated as one of his own children. He 
used to pass the greatest part of the 
week in town ; but, when he came down, 
he used to like to have his family flock 
around him, when we all first asked* 
and received his blessing, together with 
some small boon from his paternal kind- 
ness and attention ; for, he seldom met 
us empty-handed, and was by nature 
most generous and liberal. 
** The piety, order, decorum, and strict 

" regu- 

clxxxvi THE LI>^* 

" regularity, that prevailed in his family, 
** were of infinite use to train the mind 
" to good habit»j and to depend upon 
** its own resources. It has been one of 
'^ the means which, under the blessing of 
" God, has enabled me to dispense with 
" the enjoyment of what the world calls 
" pleasures, such as are found in crowds j 
" and actually to relish and prefer the 
'* calm delights of retirement and books. 
" As soon as Mrs. Richardson arose, the 
'* beautiful Psalms in Smith's Devotions 
'* were read responsively in the nursery, 
** by herself, and daughters, standing in 
" a circle : only the two eldest were al- 
" lowed to breakfast with her, and what- 
" ever company happened to be in the 
" house, for they were seldom without. 
" After breakfast we younger ones read 
" to her in turns the Psalms, and lessons 
*' for the day. We were then permitted 
" to pursue our childish sports, or to 
" walk in the garden, whick-I was allowed 

« to. 

OF MR. RICHARDSON, clxxxvli 

to do at pleasure ; for, when my mother 
hesitated upon granting that privilege, 
for fear I should help myself to the 
fruit, Mrs. Richardson said, * No ! I have 
so much confidence in her, that, if she 
is put upon honour, I am certain that 
she will not touch so much as a goose- 
berry.* A confidence, I dare safely aver, 
that I never forfeited, and which has 
given me the power of walking in any 
garden ever since, without the smallest 
desire to touch any fruit, and taught me 
a lesson upon the restraint of appetite, 
which has been useful to me all my life. 
We all dined at one table, and gene- 
rally drank tea and spent the evening in 
Mrs. Richardson's parlour, where the 
practice was for one of the young ladies 
to read, while the rest sat with mute at- 
tention, round a large table, and em- 
ployed themselves in some kind of 
needle-work. Mr. Richardson generally 
retired to his study, unless there was 
particular company. 

" These 



" These are childish and trifling an«c- 
dotes, and savour, perhaps you may 
think, too much of egotism. They cer- 
tainly can be of no further use to you, 
than as they mark the extreme benevo- 
lence, condescension, and kindness, of 
this exalted genius, tovi^ards young peo- 
ple ', for, in general society, I know he 
has been accused of being of few vi^ords, 
and of a particularly reserved turn. He 
vi^as, hovi^ever, all his life-time, the pa- 
tron and protector of the female sex. 
Miss M. (afterwards Lady G.) passed 
many years in his family. She was the 
bosom friend, and contemporary of my 
mother ; and was so much considered as 
enfant de famille in Mr. Richardson's 
house, that her portrait is introduced 
into a family-piece. 

" He had many protegees : — A Miss Ro- 
sine, from Portugal, was consigned to 
his care ; but of her, being then at school; 
I never saw much. Most of the ladies 

" tli^fe 


*' that resided much at his house, acquired 
*' a certain degree of fastidiousness and 
" delicate refinement, which, though amia- 
" ble in itself, rather disqualified them 
** from appearing in general society, to 
" tJie advantage that might have been ex- 
" pected, and rendered an intercourse with 
" the world uneasy to themselves, giving a 
** peculiar air of shiness and reserve to 
" their whole address, of which habits his 
" own daughters partook, in a degree that 
" has been thought by some, a little to ob- 
** scure those really valuable qualifications 
" and talents they undoubtedly possessed. 
" Yet, this was supposed to be owing more 
" to Mrs. Richardson than to him ; who, 
** though a truly good woman, had high 
" and Harlowean notions of parental au» 
" thority, and kept the ladies in such order, 
'• and at such a distance, that he often la- 
" mented, as I have been told by my mo« 
" ther, that they were not more open and 
" conversable with him. 

** Beside* 


" Besides those I hare already named, 
" I well remember a Mrs. Donellan, a ve- 
" nerable old lady, with sharp-piercing 
" eyes ; Miss Mulso, &c. &c. Seeker, 
** Archbishop of Canterbury ; Sir Thomas 
" Robinson (Lord Grantham), &c. &c. 
** who were frequent visitors at his house 
" in town and country. The ladies I have 
" named, were often staying at North 
" End, at the period of his highest glory 
" and reputation ; and, in their company 
" and conversation, his genius was ma- 
" tured. His benevolence was unbounded, 
** as his manner of diffusing it was delicate 
" and refined." 

The correspondence of Richardson be- 
gins a short time before his first publica- 
tions, and extends through the remainder 
of his life. Before the appearance of Pa- 
Kiela, he does not seem to have transcribed 



his own letters. After his celebrity was 
acquired, tliey probably assumed an im- 
portance in his eyes, which they did not 
possess before. In the decline of life, let- 
ter-writing was his favourite employment ; 
It is one which men are apt to have either 
a fondness for, or an aversion to. He 
wrote more than he read. ** I cannot tell 
** why," he says, ** but my nervous dis- 
" orders will permit me to write with 
" more impunity than to read ;" and he 
often laments, that, through want of time, 
and ill-health, he was not better acquainted 
with books. He visually wrote upon a 
little board, which he held in his hand. 

The correspondents of Richardson were 
either those connected with him by busi- 
ness, by personal friendship, or those at- 
tracted by his fame as an author. A largq 
proportion of them are ladies. It has beeiv 
observed how fond he was of female so- 
ciety. In this he resembled another amia- 
ble genius^ the author of the Task -, both 




felt the depressing influence of a bashful 
sensibility, and both felt their hearts opened 
by the caressing manners and delicate at- 
tentions of female friendship. There was, 
indeed, this great difference : Cowper's 
reserve was constitutional. Richardson's, 
probably, was owing to the want of an 
early familiarity with genteel life. 

The earliest correspondent upon this 
list is Aaron Hill, a man of some real 
genius, a warm heart, and a generous dis- 
position. He wrote several plays, was at 
one time manager of the theatre, several 
poems, one in praise of Czar Peter, called 
the Northern Star, yet is better known 
to most readers of the present day, by the 
lines Pope bestowed upon him in the 
Dunc;iad, than by his own works. Con- 
scious of originality of thought, wliich he 
really had, he affected to despite the 
public taste ; and fondly prophesied, that 
posterity would read liis works when 
*opc's were fallen into oblivion* He did 



not SO far trust to Posterity, however, as 
not to retaliate on his satirist in some 
finislied lincs^ whicli may bear a compa- 
rison with Pope's on Addison. 

Hill was a schemer, an unsuccessful one 
all his life. During the greatest part of 
this correspondence, he lived retired at 
Plaistow, an aguish situation, from which 
the health of himself and his family seem to 
liave suffered much. In this retirement 
he wrote several poems; the following 
lines, in which he speaks of himself, arc 
very touching: 

Cover'd in Fortune's shade, I rest reclin'd. 
My griefs all silent, and my joys resign'd ; 
With patient eye life's coming gloom survey. 
Nor shake th' outhasting sands, nor bid them stay ; 
Yet, while from life my setting prospects fly. 
Fain would my mind's weak oflspring shun to die ; 
Fain would their hope some light thro* time explore. 
The name's kind passport, when the man's no more. 

His style, in his letters, is turgid and 

cloudy, but every now and then illuminated 

VOL. I. i with 


with a ray of genius ; as, when speaking 
of his hectic complaints, he says, (alluding 
to the march of the Israelites) " they are 
" a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by 
" night.*' Hill wanted judgment and 
temper. He speaks with unmeasured con- 
tempt of those he dislikes, and is equally 
lavish in panegyric. Richardson has writ- 
ten on the back of some of his letters — 
" Too high praise." Their friendsliip 
appears to have been warm and uninter- 

. Of the author of the NiGHT Thoughts 
it is unnecessary to give any information. 
He was in the decline of his genius when 
he was most connected with Richardson, 
and seems to have been often benefited by 
the judgment of the latter in his publica- 
tions ; yet his letters are agreeable ; they 
shew the turn for antitliesis, and bold 
swelling expression, which always distin- 
guished him, and a strong sense of religion, 
tinctured with gloom. 



With Mr. Edwards, of Turrick in 
Buckinghamshire, author of the Canons of 
Criticism, and Sonnets, Richardson main- 
tained a cordial, affectionate, and long-conti- 
nued friendship. His letters are not brilliant; 
but he Seems to have been a very good, 
pious, and kind-hearted man. I fear, in- 
deed, his charity did not include Bishop 

Richardson was intimate with the two 
Miss Colliers, and with Miss Fieldings, 
sisters to the novel-writer. Miss S. Field- 
ing wrote the Governess, David Simple, 
and some other pieces, all well received 
by the public. Miss Jane Collier, in con- 
junction with Miss Patty Fielding, wrote 
the Cry, a novel that* had some run. She 
died poor, and her sister retired to the Isle 
of M'ight, then cheap and little frequented ; 
and her resignation was mixed with the 
pang inflicted by solitariness and neglect. 
Richardson's letters to her are soothing, 
and yet insinuate wholesome advice. 

i2 To 


To speak of L^titia PiLKiNGTON is 
to speak of a tale of other times ; yet the 
tale may be useful, to shew how low a 
woman may fall who has parted with her 
virtue. That the companion of Swift and 
Delany, adorned with wit and beauty, 
«hould be reduced to lie upon straw in a 
night-cellar, and weep over her daughter's 
misconduct, without having, as she pathe- 
tically expresses it, " the right to find 
** fault with her that another mother would 
" have had, presents a striking lesson. 
Her letters are too complimentary, but 
have an easy flow of expression, and shew, 
if she was sincere, that she was susceptible 
of the gratitude to which Richardson's 
kindness gave him so just a claim. 

ClBBER*s intimacy with Richardson was 
after the most dissipated part of his life 
was ov^r; but the sprightly veteran shews, 
in every line, the man of wit, and the man 
of the world. 



Mrs. Sheridan was an estimable wo- 
man : good sense, and calm good humour, 
are said to have characterised her: She wrote 
Sidney Bidulph, of which Dr. Johnson said 
to her — " I know not, Madam, whether you 
" have a right, on moral principles, to 
** make your readers suffer so much." She 
also wrote the comedy of the Discoveryy 
and other pieces. She died at Blois, whither 
Mr. Sheridan had retired on account of his 
affairs. He had been driven from the 
Dublin theatre (of which he was manager, 
and which he had brought to a state of 
order and decorum, from great licentious- 
ness) by an opposition, and, for five 
years, he supported himself in London by 
his literary exertions. 

Miss MuLSO was a favourite correspon* 
dent of Richardson ; he loved to draw out 
her reasoning powers, then beginning to 
unfold themselves. He engaged her in a 
controversy on the measure of filial obe- 
i 3 dience ; 

cxcviii THE LIFE 

dience ; but her part of it, with the rest of 
lier letters, was withdrawn from the collec- 
tion after Richardson's death. 

"With the worthy families of HfGHMORE 
and Buncombe, afterwards united by the 
marriage of Miss Highmore to Mr. Dun- 
combe, Junior, author of the Feminead, 
Richardson was much connected. Mr. 
Highmore was a painter of eminence, — 
at a time, indeed, when the arts were 
at a very low ebb in England, the reigns 
of George the First and Second. He 
painted most of Richardson's characterSo 
Clarissa, in a Vandyke dress; the Har- 
lowe family, Clementina, and twelve prints 
of the history of Pamela, were engraved 
from his pencil. 

Miss Sutton was the daughter of the 
Countess of Sunderland, by Robert Sut- 
ton, Esq. 

Mrs. DONNELAN, a maiden lady, and 
Mrs. Delany, were among the most judi- 


cious of Richardson's correspondents; they 
criticised his works with a friendly free- 
dom. Mrs. Dews was sister to Mrs. De- 

Miss Westcombe's letters shew great 
sweetness, modesty, and the highest reve- 
rence for her adopted father. 

Mr. Skelton was a singular character j 
most singular, perhaps, in his uncommon 
benevolence. Placed in the wildest part 
of Ireland, amongst a people who diflered 
more from the brutes around them in the 
evils to which human wants exposed them, 
than in any improvements or advantage? 
witli which human intellect had supplied 
them, he devoted his life, (the life of a scho- 
lar) and, in a year of scarcity, sacrificed hi? 
books, (the treasure of a scholar) for their 
relief. He was of an athletic make, and had 
often occasion to exercise his personal cou- 
rage,as well as his pastoral care, amongst hi? 
flock. He used to go out attended by a 
i 4 great 


great dog, and a stout labourer, armed, as 
"well as himself, with a huge club, when he 
made his pastoral visits in the neighbour- 
hood. His connection with Mr. Richard- 
son bore upon two points ; his good offices 
exerted towards* his friend in the affair of 
the piracy, and in getting in his Irish 
debts (no easy matter to perform) and on 
the publications he sent to Mr. Richard- 
son's press. He was esteemed a writer of 
strength and acumen in the controversial 
line. His letters are frank and hearty; 
they shew him occasionally subject to the 
pettishness of low spirits, and it is pleasing 
to observe with what tenderness, for- 
bearance, and calm reasoning, his friend 
smooths away the roughness of his dispo- 
sition. There is a life of Skelton published 
in Ireland, which is worth reading, as it 
gives many particulars of an original and 
eccentric character. He was, at length, 
transplanted to Dublin; but too late to 
change his manners from the rustic to the 

/ .Mark 


Mark Hildesley, bishop of Sodor and 
Man, was, before his promotion to that 
see, vicar of Ilitchen, in Hertfordshire, 
and rector of liolwell, in the county of 
Bedford. He distinguished himself by a 
most diligent attendance on the duties of 
his parish, preaching, catechising, and dis- 
tributing good books. In his bishopric 
he succeeded Dr. Wilson, who had begun 
a translation of the bible into the Manks 
language, which Hildesley completed. 

The foreign correspondences of Rich- 
ardson turn chiefly on the translations of 
his works j not many, therefore, have been 
given; but those of Mrs. Klopstock, 
must interest every reader. She is buried 
near Hamburgh, and an epitaph, in verse, 
of twenty lines, composed by her husband, 
is inscribed on her tomb. Mr. Klopstock 
never married again till, in his old age, a 
few years before his death, he had the ce- 
remony performed between himself and a 
kinswoman, who lived with him, in order 
i5 to 


to entitle her, as his widow, to the pen- 
sions he enjoyed from different courts. It 
is presumed the reader of taste will not 
wish that Mrs. Klopstock's letters had 
been put into better English. 

Mr. Stinstra, the Dutch minister, who 
translated Clarissa, is the same who wrote 
a tract against Count Zinzendorff, and his 
followers, with extracts from their hymns, 
and other writings, in which their enthu- 
siasm and indecency is fully exposed. It 
was translated into English, by Rimius. 
Stinstra, as a divine, seems to make some 
scruple of translating a novel ; but he 
satisfied himself by the moral tendency of 
Richardson's. — Gellert, the author of 
the Fables; and Clairaut, a celebrated 
mathematician, were also among Richard- 
son's translators. 

But the largest contributor to this cor- 
respondence was Lady Bradshaigh, of 
whose family and connections some account 
may be acceptable. 

She married (after a persevering court- 


ship, on liis part, of ten years, as she her- 
self informs us) Sir Roger Bradshaigh, of 
Haigh, near AV^igan, in Lancashire, at which 
place they lived in what was called the true 
English sLile of country gentry, before the 
villa of the manufacturer had eclipsed, by 
its ephemeral splendour, the paternal scat 
of the hereditary landholder. 

Haigh is a large old-built mansion j the 
grounds and gardens are laid out in tliat 
style which modern refnicment has dis- 
carded for one which is generally admitted 
to be more agreeable to true taste, though, 
perhaps it may not be calculated togive more 
pleasure. Sir Roger's estate was in the midst 
of the mines of that most elegant species of 
coal called the cannel, or candle coal, which, 
it is well known, takes a high and beautiful 
polish. Of this material I^dy Bradshaigh 
built a summer-house. From its colour, 
like black marble, and its combustible na- 
ture, it may be considered as a kind of 
contrast to the brilliant ice-palace of the 
Empress of Russia. 



Lady Bradshaigh bore the character of a 
most worthy^ pious, and charitable woman. 
Sir Roger and herself were a very happy 
couple, as, indeed, sufficiently appears 
from the letters. She was active and ma- 
naging, and her large houshold was so 
regulated as to be a pattern of order and 
decorum. They had no children. Lady 
Bradshaigh lived many years at Haigh, as 
a widow, keeping up the same stile of 
chearful hospitality as in her husband's 
life-time. She died at an advanced age, 
above eighty, with all the sentiments of a 
piety which had been habitually wrought 
into the constitution of her mind. 

Lady Bradshoigh's mental qualifications 
seem to have been a good deal of sound 
native sense, and strong feeling, with a lively 
impressible imagination. She wrote with 
ease, and was fond of writing. She had a 
chearful and generous disposition, as well 
as great natural vivacity, and in her letters 
exhibits a flow of expression, which, if the 
critic will "not admit to be wit, must at 



least be allowed to rise to an agreeable 

Ladies, at that period, were far from 
enjoying those advantages of education 
which olfer themselves to the present rising 
generation ; at a distance from the metro«- 
polis, especially, a reading female was a sort 
of phenomenon, and the county in which 
Lady Bradshaigh lived was, by no means, 
the first to free itself from these symptoms 
of rusticity. Accordingly, we observe-in- 
the -correspondence, that Lady Bradshaigh 
was much disturbed by the fear of be- 
ing known by her neighbours to cor- 
respond with an author, and to escape 
the imputation, very ingeniously, after 
Richardson had sent her his portrait, 
changed his name into Z)/('A'enson, that 
the questions asked her about iier dis- 
tant friend, might not betray her secret. 
She, indeed, was by no means a literary 
woman, and Richardson combats the nar- 
rowness of her notions on the subject of 



female learning; yet she read a great 
variety of English books, and her re- 
marks upon them are', in general, judi- 
cious. In the subjects of controversy 
between herself and her correspondent, 
«he would often er have the better of the 
argument, if Richardson had not laid hold 
on strong and unguarded expressions to 
teaze and perplex her, and many topics 
he insists on evidently for tlie sake of 
argument. An excellent heart is shewn 
by this lady throughout the whole; she 
seems to have been rather a hearty friend 
and a clever active woman, than a po- 
lished one. She had the highest vene- 
ration for Richardson, and for his pro- 
ductions. The eager and passionate in- 
terest she took in the story of Clarissa, 
though carried to almost a whimsical 
excess, does honour to the powers of 
the author, and the feelings of the lady. 
She seems to have considered Clarissa 
and Lovelace as real beings, whose 



fate the writer held in his hands. — 
*' Pray, Sir, make her happy, you can so 
** easily do it! Pray reform him! Will 
" you not save a soul, Sir?" The circum- 
stances in which the correspondence be- 
gun and was carried on, under a feigned 
name, for above a year, bear a roman- 
tic cast, and the gradual steps of the 
discovery cannot fail of amusing the 
reader. No lover ever expected his mis- 
tress with greater ardour tlian the grave 
Richardson seems to have felt for his //i- 
cognita, when he paced so fruitlessly up 
and down the Mall, gazing with expec- 
tation at every lady he met. Indeed, they 
were very near teasing one another into 
serious ill-humour on the occasion. — 
Tiiougli Lady Bradshaigh did not give the 
kind of assistance many imagined to Ri- 
chardson, he often made use of her re- 
marks and criticisms. To mention a trivial 
instance, he altered the month of Julv, in 
which he had originally made Miss Byron 


ecviii the ltf£ 

come up to Lcwidoii, to January,"on her 
representation that July was not the sea«- 
son which would be chosen for a j'^oung 
lady to see the town. Her letters extend 
from the year 1750 to the death of Ri- 
chardson, a period of eleven years. They, 
together with Richardson's answers, would 
alone make several volumes, I believe as 
many as the whole of this publication, a 
proof, by the way, that the bookseller 
and the editor have had some mercy on 
the public. 

Lady ECHLIN was the sister of Lady 
Bradshaigh, and wife to Sir Robert Echlin, 
nephew, by marriage, to Mr. Tickell, the 
friend of Addison. With the Tickells, 
with Lady Lambard, and other wortliy 
people, she was very respestably con- 
nected, as also witli the good Bishop 
Hildesley, whose preferment to the IsLe 
of Man she compares to the banishment 
of St. John to the Island of Patmos. Her 
country seat, at Villa Rusa, was on the 



sea-coast, directly opposite to his residence. 
iAdy Echlin had not the parts and vi- 
vacity of her sister; she seems to have 
been rather a good and pious, than a 
brilliant woman: but piety and goodness 
it is always pleasing to contemplate. She 
appears, indeed, from her favourable men- 
tion of the Countess of Huntingdon, and 
other circumstances, to have been of that 
class who make piety not only the re- 
gulator of their conduct, but the business 
ef their lives. One might suppose novels 
wod J form a small part of the reading 
of such a woman, but the novels of Ri- 
chardson were received by his admirers 
as manuals of instruction, and Lady 
Echlin, in particular, considered the mo- 
rality of them, not only as the iudispen- 
sible, but as the only material point. She 
too was seized with the desire of alter- 
ing Clarissa, and making up the story to 
her own miad, which she accordingly ex- 
ecuted, and after some hesitation and re- 
luctance communicated to Richardson.-— 
. . She 


She had reformed Lovelace by means of 
a Dr. Christian, and made him die after 
a lingering illness, occasioned by remorse, 
though the last or.trage is not supposed to 
be committed. Though Richardson, after 
he had read her alterations, let her off 
very gently, one cannot but suspect he 
must secretly smile at the presumption 
which had induced so inferior a hand to 
lay colours upon his canvas. Lady Echlin 
lived chiefly in England, after she be- 
came a widow. 

Nothing tends so strongly to place us 
in the midst of the generations that are 
past, as a perusal of their correspondence. 
To have their very letters, their very hand- 
writing before our eyes, gives a more inti- 
mate feeling of their existence, than any 
other memorial of them. To see the heart 
that is now chilled with age, or cold in the 
dust, pouring forth its first youthful feel- 
ings ; to see the hopes and fears, the friend- 
ships and animosities, the pains and cares 
of life, as it passes on, inspires the soul 



with a tender melancholy. We see some, 
now established in fame, who at first ad- 
vanced timid and doubting of their own 
powers; others sunk into oblivion, who 
had the highest confidence in them ; we 
see secret kindnesses brought to light; 
and where there has been atVectation of 
any kind, we see it did not avail, but 
that the man is known, and the real 
motives of his actions, throuf^h all the 
glosses he puts on. We compare the 
tar-wat^r of one age with the medicated airs 
of another, and the waters of Tunbridge 
with the sea-bathing places, and we find 
both equally inefficacious against the 
long-rooted malady, and touched with a 
deep feeling of the vanity of life, we cry 
out with Thomson — 

Wlierc now are fled 
Those busy bustling days — those gay-spent nights — 
Those veering thoughts— those longings after fame ? 
All now are vauish'd ! virtue sole sutvives. 
Jmmortalj never-failing friend of maOf 
His guide to happiness on high. 



It may not be unacceptable to i\\e 
reader, to conclude this account of Ri- 
chardson with the following lines, written 
as an epitaph for him, by Mrs. Carter. 

If ever warm benevolence was dear. 
If ever wisdom gain'd esteem sincere^ 
Or genuine fancy deep attention won. 
Approach with awe the dust — of Richardson. 

What tho* his muse, thro' distant regions known. 
Might scorn the ti'ibute of this humble stone ; 
Yet pleasing to his gentle shade, must prove 
The meanest pledge of Friendship, and of Love; 
For oft will these, from ven,al throngs exil'd ; 
And oft will Innocence, of aspect mild. 
And white-robM Charity, with streaming eyes. 
Frequent the cloister where their patron lies. 

This, reader, learn ; and learn from one whose woe 
Bids her wild verse in artless accents flow ; 
For, could she frame her numbers to commend 
The husband, father, citizen, and friend ; 
How would her muse display, in equal strain. 
The critic's judgment, and the writer's vein !— 
Ah, no ! expect not from the chissel'd stone 
The praises, graven on. our hearts alone. 
There shall his fame a lasting shrine acquire j 
And ever shall his moving page inspire 
Pure truth, fixt honour, virtue's pleasing lore; 
While taste and science crown this favour'd shore. 








June 1, 1730. 
Jl THANK you, dear Sir, for the very 
agreeable news that you begin to perceive 
yourself better, under effect of your trou- 
blesome regimen. Such a blessing is 
health, that we purchase it cheaply, at ex- 
pence of mere time and more torture, 
than, I hope, it is likely to cost you. The 
relation you send me, of your doctor's 
disinterestedness and generosity of beha- 
viour, makes it reasonable to expect due 
VQ.U I. B success 


success from his skill. For, whence ought 
we to look for capacity to be publicly use- 
ful, if not from minds that can give up 
their selfish attachments, and take others 
into their thoughts and their leisure? 

It pleases me, but does not surprise me 
at all, that your sentiments concerning 
Milton's prose writings, agree with those 
I threw out, under influence of that back- 
handed inspiration, which his malevolent 
genius had filled me with, as I drew in the 
bad air of his pages. I know your good 
nature too well, to suspect it of esteem 
for an object so remotely unlike and un- 
equal. One might venture on a very new 
use of two writers : I would pick out my 
friends and my enemies, by setting them 
to read Milton and Cowley. I might take 
it for gi'anted, that I ought to be afraid of 
his hearty who, in the fame and popularity 
of the first, could lose sight of his malice 
and wickedness. And it could be running 
no hazard in friendship, to throw open 



one's breast to another, who, in contempt 
of the fashion we are fallen into, of decry- 
ing the works of the second, could have 
courage to declare himself charmed, by 
both the muse and the T?iaTi, in that writer. 
What you tell me concerning my desar, 
gives me the pleasure you intended it 
should; but I receive it from a diflerent 
quarter. It was your purpose to balance 
my chagrin at the inconsiderable effect of 
that essay, by representing it as obtaining 
some notice; whereas all the delight I en- 
joy from this generous artifice, is in my 
reflection on the view it arose from. For 
ni}^ part, I am afraid to be popular. I see 
so many who write to the living, and de- 
serve not to live, that I content myself 
with a resurrection when dead. I very 
often remember, with pleasure, an old man 
(I am sure near a hundred), whom I rode 
by in a journey to Devonshire, and ob- 
served in the midst of a field, that had 
newly been plowed, very busy with a stick 
B 2 and 

4 corhespondence' 

and a basket. When I came up to the 
place he was at work in, I found he was 
making holes in the ground, and in every 
one of them planting an acorn. Friend, 
eaid I, is it for profit, or pleasure, you la- 
bour? — ^^For neither. Sir, replied the honest 
old patriot ; but here will be a grove when 1 
want no shelter. 

Before I put an end4:o this letter, I must 
say a word or two concerning your post- 
script. You tell me you had given your- 
self up, for some days, to a -state of indo- 
lence, at North-End. I like leisure ex- 
tremely; but have a sitspicion of that va- 
pourish word, indolence ! Whatever you do, 
encourage cheerful and lively ideas. If 
you give your distemper a vacuum, it will 
f\ll it with lassitude and anguish. I am. 

Pear Sir, 
your most affectionate and 

most humble servant, 
A. Hill, 




Jidy 2, 1736. 

ijATE last night I found the books and 
letter which had been left at my house by 
your servant. I have too long been ac- 
quainted with the extent of your spirit, 
and the elegance of your manner, to won- 
der at any thing that does new justice to 
your character. Yet you must allow me 
to remember, what your good nature is so 
willing to forget, that I continue a great 
deal longer than I ought, or intended, your 
debtor, on a considerable account, foi 
printing bills, advertisements, &c. 

You must also permit me to reflect, that 
you, who have so firm a possession of my 
esteem, have the most natm*al title in the 
world to my writings. 

To which let me add, that though, with 

view to do some service to an industrious 

B 3 com- 


company of actors, I suffered such a play 
as Alzira to appear in an improper season 5 
yet I cannot be ignorant how far that must 
lessen, in all likelihood, the immediate de- 
mand of the copy. Nor can it be reason* 
able (indeed scarce honest), to be unmind- 
ful, in cases of this nature, that booksel- 
lers are less secure than they ought to be 
made, for want ©f an act of parliament, 
to appropriate and defend their just right 
in the copies they purchase. 

I must, therefore, entreat your leave, and 
the three gentlemen's, to return the in- 
closed note of Sir Francis Child's. I can- 
not receive it, without acting against the 
consent of my heart. Yet to ease, to the 
utmost degree possible, all that amiable- 
confusion which, but in your own genero- 
sity, you could here find no reason for 
feeling, I will receive, in its stead, ano- 
ther, just half its amount ; upon condition 
you give me your wordy to make no future 
opposition to the pleasures I shall seek to 



enjoy, from a proper disposal of whatever 
may lie in the power of. 

Dear Sir, 

your most affectionate 

and most obedient 

humble servant, 

A. Hill. 



Jl AM s-orry to see that my fears, at the 
sight of your black wax, were too well 
grounded. Yet was it no little mitigation 
of my concern, that the blow was, near as 
it is, still no nearer you. I allow all the 
force of that tender affection you so beau- 
tifully feel and express for a mother. We 
B 4 have 


have the double reasons of duty and grati* 
tude, for the sorrow we pay to the loss of 
a parent : but we correct and set bounds 
to an affliction, so due and so naturally to 
be looked for. It is the regular measure of 
death, and he neither stretches his hand on 
one side, nor step& suddenly out of his 
road, when he reaches the fruit that is ri- 
pest. But it is very much otherwise, in 
the painful surprise of our anguish, when 
a wife is torn away from our heart, or a 
child froHL our hopes, in whose endearing 
society we had commission from the pro- 
mise of time, to expect a long and delight- 
ful continuance. It is the disappointment, 
in this case, that enrages the bitterness : 
we repine not at the loss, as if unwillingly 
resigning ourselves to the common calami- 
ties of nature, but we are taken unprepared 
to consent i and consider, as a too early 
and unseasonable demand, such , exaction 
of a debt, which, though we know to be 
due, we had too rashly concluded would 
aever be so suddenly called for. 

I hope 


I hope it will not be long before I can 
?iave the pleasure of making you a visit, in 
your retirement at North-End; when (I 
think) I am sure I shall be able to shew 
you an easy and pleasant short way to get 
rid of that phthisical tendency. As for the 
good air in the places you mention, those 
bad qualities which such a concourse ex- 
poses them to, is undoubtedly such a trou- 
blesome balance, that good sense and good 
taste would avoid it. — I am, dear Sip, 

Your affectionate and 

most obedient servant, 

A. Hill., 


^pril 14; 1*737. 

I THANK you for your good-natured 

hint about the fineness of the weather : 

B 5 But 


But the cheerfulness in a friend's eye is 
all the sunshine I require, to make a visit 
tempting ; and (that way) it will be always 
summer where you hold your residence. 

I thank you for the pleasure I have re- 
ceived from Leonidas, which excellent 
poem I herewith return you. I am told 
that the author is young; and I gather 
comfort, in his right, for the rising gene- 
ration. God would never have bestowed 
such a genius upon this part of the world, 
but with a view to the spirit he designs to 
distinguish the next age by. In our present 
condition, such a writer as Mr. D'Urfey 
would have been better adapted than Mr. 
Glover. May he be understood for his 
own honour, and popular for that of the 
nation! And may Mr. Richardson be as 
happy as he is wished, by 

His most affectionate, obliged, 

and obifedient servant, 

A. Hill. 




Oct. 1737 

About the beginning of this summer 
I found myself under an unexpected obli- 
gation to retire, for some time, abroad, 
from an uneasy situation in my private af- 
fairs i which I hope will be of no long con^ 

In the interim, I satisfy myself, as well as 
I can, by reflecting, that no place on this 
globe should be foreign ; except to one 
whose humanity is domestic (in the narrow- 
est sense of the word). Since, wherever man 
can find man, he is at home : and our dis^ 
agreements in language, religion, and cus- 
toms, are, if we consider them without 
prejudice, as natural diflereiices as the 
tempers and faces in families. 

But, be that as it will, the leisure which 
men are thrown into upon such disappoint- 
ments as these, aflbrds them an equivalent 
B 6 for 


for their mortification. And, to say trutfiv- 
there are in books, and in reflection, such, 
amusements, both lively and solid, that a 
man, when he has nothing to do, seems 
surrounded with most business. 

For my own part, though I have no ex- 
traordinary pretensions this way, I had 
rather be active without consequence, than 
idle without aim ; and you will go near to 
see, this winter, three or four very diffe- 
rent effects of my summer's retirement. 
To begin, like the heralds, and let the 
lowest in quality march foremost, I now 
intreat your acceptance of a poetical pre- 
sent, of the satirical kind, and therefore, I 
am afriiid, in most danger to. be popular ; 
unless the salt is scattered too wide to con- 
tent that particularity of malice which 
expects that persons, not things, should be 

You will be startled a little at the title ; 
but may always be sure you have nothing 
to fear in my copies. This is merely an. 



artifice, to secure a demand, for your- sake, 
from an honest and innocent use of a very 
dangerous and factious disposition. And 
I am sorry to find it the means most efl'ec- 
tual for animating the curiosity of the 
public. I am always, &c. 

Dear Sir, 

your most affectionatcj, 

and obedient, humble servant, 

A, Hill. 


JtilySy 1738. 

JL OUR answers to the troublesome re^ 
quests I am continually making you, put 
me in mind of those which God sends to 
•ome orthodox doctor, when he prays but 



for daily bread, and receives with it a 
bishopric. I will carefully and speedily 
return you the folio with which you so 
kindly surprised me. It promises me, as 
I turn the leaves transiently over, a good 
deal of pleasure^ in the perusal. 

But no book can give me so much as 
you have obliged me with in one single 
paragraph: for I am positive, from what 
you now tell me, that there is nothing 
apoplectic in your distemper. And it is 
with no small addition to my pleasure, that 
I find your friend. Doctor Cheyne, declar- 
ing himself of the same opinion. What: 
he says of amusement and exercise would- 
be, doubtless, a very great help ; but, since 
it is not so consistent as were to be wished' 
with the avocations of a business that de- 
mands so much care and attention, the 
next certain benefit must be from medi- 

Give me leave to observe to you, that 
whenever you make use of the chaise, the 



road you should chuse ought to be upland, 
to as high and as piercing an air as your 
time can allow you to think of reaching. 
To which let me add, that the swifter you 
drive, the more benefit by far is to be 
hoped from such airings, both from respi- 
ration and exercise. 

I come now to the thanks I owe you for 
the gazetteer you were so kind to send me. 
1 know it is a party paper, in that least 
excusable sense of the word, a professed 
and unconditional attachment not to things 
but to persons. This is a terrible hardship 
on genius ; unless the person was inflexibly 
steady in pursuit of some strait course of 
politics ; because the veerings which an 
irresolute steerer is subject to, throw out, 
with too sudden a jirk, the panegyrists of 
his skill to sail evenly. 

Yet I am very much pleased that the 
good advice you have given seems to have 
had its due weight in the variation of sub- 
ject,whith that paper appears to be opening 



itself into. Not but that, with regard to 
my own taste, I always read both ex- 
tremes, in all controversy, with an equal 
delight : for, as the graver completes not 
its line but by what it borrows from each 
side of the plate, so the images of opinion 
and reason are the result from both sides of 
a question. To say^ truth, I believe that, 
even' m> that limited view (the defence of 
the one person's measures they write for) 
the gentlemen who manage that paper 
would find their purpose better answered, 
if they admitted the letters of opposite, or 
seeming-opposite, thinkers. For, besides 
that this would carry the face of a bold and 
generous impartiality, it would quicken 
their reader's curiosity, and multiply the 
enquirers after the paper -, to add nothing 
of its removing the present tiresome and 
servile pursuit of those tracks which are 
opened for them, by anti-ministerial, more 
popular, outstarters. There is something 
too narrow, in the very air, of perpetual 

defence r 


defence and apology. Antl I have a thou- 
sand times been astonished to find them 
always in humble expectation of what sub- 
ject shall be struck out for them by their 
enemies, instead of plowing up new patJis 
for themselves, in a field so extensive as 
politicks ! Their patron would certainly 
have a good deal mere reason to thank 
them, if they considered his dignity as part 
of his interest ; and in place of endeavour- 
ing to prove him no criminal, took the 
pains to find arguments which might call for 
respect on his conduct. But, enough of this 
subject. I will now and then send a paper 
which shall flatter no side, misrepresent no 
intention, nor disoblige any person ; and 
yet may, possibly, even on politic subjects, 
be acceptable enough in either of the two 
which you, and Messrs. Peel, &c. are con- 
cerned in the success of. 

I will also overlook all my own papers 
in the Prompter, and fit them for appear- 
ing ia volumes. The time for which, the 



manner in whith, and every right, choice, 
and decision concerning them, I resign and 
submit wholly to yourself, both now and 
for ever hereafter. 

And now, too late, I look back on the 
length of my letter j and remember I am 
leading you into a breach of the very ad- 
vice I would give you^ not to pore oyer 
tedious and roughwritten manuscripts. I 
should be more ashamed of my own than I 
am, but that I have the comfort (bad as it 
is) to observe it more legible still than ho- 
nest Dr. Cheyne*s. 

I am, dear Sir, 
Your most affectionate, 

anjd obedient servant,, 
A. Hill. 




August 29, 17S8. 

^^HEN Whittington received an estate 
in return for his cat, one would be apt to 
believe that the name of his factor was 
Richardson. While it is a fashion with the 
generality of the world to forget real bene- 
fits, it is your way to be grateful for ima- 
ginary ones J nay, j'^ou reward me for giv- 
ing you trouble. I could exhaust all that 
plentiful store you have sent me, of the inr 
struments of silent expression, without 
being able, at last, to explain half the plea- 
sure and wonder you give me. If heaven 
were as fond of the balancing principle, as 
some of its modern vicegerents, you must 
seem to have been sent into the world, as 
(what Mr. Cowley called his friend, Dr^ 
Scarborough) — 

" A countcr-poisoa to the age." 



I shall never be able to thank you for 2S 
single obligation {that's anotlier of your' 
peculiarities). Why would you be so need- 
lessly kind, to think of either volume of 
Oldmixon, after what I purposely said in 
my last, with a view to prevent it ? 

I return now to my quackery (though* I 
think I should speak of my practice with a 
little more dignity, since you treat me like 
a doctor of the college, and pay me for 
prescriptions that have done you no ser- 
vice). Pray, do you ever drink coffee ? — 
I dare almost promise your head some re- 
lief, and the sooner, if you drink it as hot 
as you can -, covering the dish (on its out- 
ward edge), with your hand, so as- tO' re- 
ceive the full stream of the vapour at your 
mouth, nose, and eyes, in the drinking. 

The little sweating-tent I just touched 
on in my last, has done wonders in Tur- 
key and Persia. Nay, I lately observed, 
that a practice very like it, has reached 
still farther eastward ; and there, too, done 



miracles: an instance of which I must 
send you, out of one of the volumes of 
Churchill, which you were so good ^is to 
oblige me with : 

*^ Sweating cure for the bite cj a scorpioK, 
bi/ a Cochin-Chinese Doctor. 

" A scorpion bit a brother of ours (the 
Jesuits) in the neck, (and in that kingdom 
the bite of a scorpion is mortal). All his 
throat swelled immediately, and we were 
about giving him extreme unction. A sur- 
geon being sent for, he set a pot of rice a 
boiling, in nothing but fair water j then 
<:lapping the pot to the brother's feet, co- 
vered him and it close with clothes, that 
the steam might not go out. And as soon 
as the said steam and hot smoke of the 
rice came up to the place where the bite 
was, the brother felt the pain assuage, the 
swelling in his throat fell, and he remained 
as sound as if nothing had ailed him.** 

Dear Sir, what comfort will not inference 



give you, in a case of so much less dan- 
ger and difficulty? Ail the blessings of 
Nature are obviousi, and our physicians pur- 
sue them through intricacies! — God bless 
you, and bring them no nearer you than 
to some of your presses. 

I am, dear Sir, 

your most obliged 
and most affectionate Servant, 
A. Hill. 


Jpril\2y 1739. 
DINCE I writ to you last, I have been de- 
fying the sharpness of the season in Essex, 
VI' here I shall hope the delight of often feel- 
ing it milder and more pleasant this sum- 
mer in your company ; and where I have 
been planting near a hundred thousand 
French vines, with resolution next year to 
extend them over forty or fifty acres of 



vineyard. For knowing perfectly well, 
that it is not our climate but our skill, which 
is defective, both as to managing the vines 
jn their growth, and their juice in its pre- 
paration. I have judged it an honester 
service to my country, to establish, if I 
can, the success of so considerable a branch 
of new product to her benefit, than to busy 
my cares, and make war on my own quiet, 
by a fruitless concern at aifairs, which, 
whether rightly or wrongly administered, 
neitlier I, nor all those abler malcontents 
who are loudest in their contradictory pur- 
poses, will ever live to see settled in a 
channel, that can satisfy more than the 
present. Discontent is the thorn that is as 
natural as roses in the garden of liberty; 
and whoever is for plucking it off, has forgot 
the very nature of the tree, and will only 
be scratching his fingers. 

I am, now and for ever. 
Dear Sir, 
most affectionately and faithfully, 

A. Hill. 


'qI gorrespondence 

to mr. richardson. 

May, 113%. 

Jl AM ashamed to be so late in my ac- 
knowledgments for your obliging succes- 
sion of favours — ^your Harris, your Survey 
of Britain, and your three new volumes of 
Salmon. But I dare confess, to a humanity 
so well known as yours, that I have 
felt a discomposure in my mind for some 
weeks past, occasioned by the fate of an 
unhappy fugitive from my family, whose 
follies (while I thought him murdered) lay 
quite buried in compassion ; and demand- 
ed, and possessed, my utmost application 
to discover and to prosecute the guilty. 

But (to trust a secret where I saf<5ly may, 
that was not proper for the public) the 
guilt was all his own. His breach of oath, 
discretion, duty, and all ties that should 
have held him, by ^ low and miserable 
marriage, made his life <it length so irk- 


some to him, from tlie daily shocks he met 
with among coarsenesses and provocations, 
vviiich, as he wanted foresight to expect, 
he wanted patience to support with tem- 
per, that he rashly sltorteaed it, in a wild 
start of rage, with the same hand that had 
subjected him to suffer insults (even after 
his wife's death), from an ill-bred and im- 
placable spirit of her iamily, with whom 
4ie weakly chose to continue a lodger, and 
who was jealous, it seems, of his frequent- 
ing the company of «ome woman she had 
taken a dislike to. 

He lived five or six days after this irre^ 
triev able eifect of his madness ; exacting 
promises, in the most solemn manner he 
could contrive, from «ome of his own &o 
(juaintance and her's, who were present, 
that they would conceal the true state of 
the fact from his family, and give out the 
accident to have happened as he told it 
•himself to the physician and surgeofi*, and 
^is it has, from their representation of it 

VOL, I. C «gain. 


again, been made public in some of the 

Nor had I ever been acquainted with the 
truth, but that one of the persons in com- 
pany when it happened had beea many 
years a servant in my family, and, hearing 
that I was dissatisfied with the improbable 
circumstances of the story, as they told it, 
and fearing some suspicions might arise of 
i'l consequence to himself, and one or two 
more, who had no other part in the affair 
than the misfortune of having been invited 
to supper, and being witnesses of the trans- 
port he was urged into, and its conse- 
quence ; he then declared the plain fact, 
OS I have described it to you, after the 
unfortunate sufferer himself had been many 
days dead, and had persisted to the last in 
lh3 story as it was told in the papers, 
th )u^h often and separately asked ques- 
tions concerning it by his father, and by 
my son, whom I commissioned to do him 
all the good offices possible before he died 
and after. 



Poor boy ! what a startling connection 
did he find between the crime that undid 
him and its punishment ! He is gone — a 
too lively and terrible instance, that the 
force of the imagination, without some 
adequate temper in the judgment, is a ship 
with all sail and no rudder. I beg your 
pardon, dear Sir, for this long and too 
melancholy story : but, though it Mas pru- 
dent to conceal it from the general world, 
I could not resist the propensity of my 
friendship, and should have thought it an 
injustice, when I spoke of it to you at all, 
jfiot to do it with truth and with confidence. 

Your's aifcctionately, 

A. Hill. 

C 2 TO 



Sept. 21, 1739. 

JtilAVING, with an inexpressible slow- 
-ness and difficulty, struggled back into life 
from the very brink of the grave, I cannot 
better employ the first moments of reco- 
very tlian in an enquiry after your health ; 
which, under my own severest despair of 
regaining, I was hourly and inly solicitous 
after; and which I progressively wished 
you, with a still greater ardour, as I more 
and more felt the pain of its absence. I hope, 
in God's goodness, you have escaped the re- 
laxing effects of this moist and unseason- 
able summer, in which I had promised 
myself a hundred different enjoyments ; 
and that many of them should have been 
heightened by the delight of being felt in 
your company. But, we are chained too 
phort in the world which we crawl on, to 



make prospects of pleasure at distance any 
rational part of our comfort. What we 
can do with the diminutive present, we 
may ; but the future eludes our faint grasp, 
behind a tiiousand interposing calamities. 

Within a few days after writing the last 
letter I had the pleasure to send 3'ou, I 
went into the country, with design to have 
stayed but a fortnight; for direction of 
some necessary cautions in preparing for 
the due cultivation of that soil wherein, as 
I think, I told you in a former, I have been 
bold enough to plant such a number of 
vines as will make me master of much the 
largest vineyard in England. In the midst 
of this agreeable work, whether by staying 
too late, exposed to the cool dewy even- 
ings, or whether from effect of a change 
too precipitate into exercise and activity, 
out of a life, I am afraid, a littlctoo lazy and 
sedentary, I was surprised by an ague ; the 
forerunner of an intricate succession of 
obstinate and ever -varying symptoms, 
C 3 which 



which required the utmost extent of my 
patience to support, and much more than 
my skill to understand and provide against. 
However, I thank God, I had courage to 
repel the assaults of the doctor and apothe- 
cary, and have escaped, without all those ad- 
ditions to danger and pain, which the arts 
of their torture could never have failed to 
procure me. 

I was speaking above of my vines ; and, 
remembering your delight in a garden, 
cannot help telling you, as something ex- 
traordinary, that, among forty or fifty 
thousand cuttings, which were planted out 
as fast as cut, in March and last April, and 
managed according to the direction of your 
friend, Mr. Miller, I have few now less than 
from five to six feet high -, and had actually 
bunches of grapes upon several of them in 
the summer, which grew within two to six 
inches from the ground, as large and as 
promising as any upon my old-bearing 
plants in the garden. I believe Mr. Mil- 


ler will look upon this as something un- 
common ; as, possibly, he may on some 
other informations, which I have thoughts, 
through your hands, of conveying to him, 
against he may be ready for publication of 
the second volume of his useful and excel- 
lent dictionary ; wherein, I hope, he will 
be mindful to repair an accidental defect in 
the first, having referred us to the article 
of wines, for certain hints as to the manner 
of making them j yet omitted to say any 
thing at all under any such head, it being 
wholly left out of his dictionary. 

May the pain and vexation I have been 
sulfering this summer, serve for you and 
for me all our lives ! And may nothing 
prevent you from being everyway as happy 
as you always are in the wishes and hopes 
of, Dear Sir, 

Your ever affectionate, 

and obedient, humble servant. 

A. Hill. 

c 4 TO 



Oct. 16, n39. 

A THOUSAND thanks to you, dear Sir» 
for the kindness of your last night's en- 
quiry ; and for these books, which I return 
by the bearer ; and for the excellent basket 
of grapes, which you had the goodness to 
send me last week ; and for all and every 
your endless succession of thoughts and 
actions, for ever engaging ! 

I have been so pinched by the easterly 
winds, that I was under a reluctant neces- 
sity to let them begin vintage, in the x:oun- 
try, without me ; but I am endeavouring to 
flatter myself into a dependance on strength 
enough to venture to look on, before they 
can finish their labour. How crazily, my 
dear Mr. Richardson ! are our active souls 
lodged, in bodies too frail to preserve them 
from impressions of pain, and yet strong 
€O0ugh to confine them from changing 



their quarters ! Mine would quit its cap- 
tivity with rapture ; but it is chained to its 
too limited prison — doing penance, I am 
afraid, (in your friend. Doctor Cheync's, 
conception) to prepare itself for some more 
extended capacity of acting hereafter. 
Would to God it had power, in its pre- 
sent situation, to transfer all the good which 
it must not be allowed to enjoy ! I would 
then tell you something more worthy your 
knowing, than that I am, faithfully and 
affectionately. Dear Sir, 

Your most obliged humble servant. 

A. Mill. 


Dec. 19, 1739. 

jSeING come to town, in order to settle 
accounts with just such a tedious and slow- 
paced executor as I would wiah to youp 
C 5 enemy's 


enemy's purposes (if there is such a wretch 
in the world as an enemy to Mr. Richard- 
son), one of the first things that I heard of 
was the kind and obliging concern you 
have shewn for my health in a succession 
of unwearied enquiries, for which I never 
can thank you sufficiently. 

I think I may say, with some confidence, 
that I have now almost perfectly recovered 
that constitutional firnuiess of health, which 
was, in a manner, the only full and unsha- 
dowed enjoyment it has pleased God to 
brighten my lot with ; and I tell it you 
with pleasure, because I know it will give 
you some to hear it 3 for you are one of 
the noble minority, who can taste the feli- 
city of others, as a generous increase of 
your own! 

Give me leave to hope your pardon for 
the too great and unpurposed delay I have 
made in returning you the interleafed vo- 
lumes of Plain Dealers and Prompters. 
The unpleasing situation of my affairs, and 

a mind 


a mind endeavouring in vain to resist the 
impressions attacking it, took away, not 
the leisure so much as the temper that 
would have been necessary ; but, now, I 
design to set about it with the proper at- 

While I am writing, there is brought me, 
by one of the inhabitants of an out-quarter 
of the city, the ridiculous proposal inclosed. 
I was in hopes, that in a town where the 
best things I am able to write are so little 
regarded, the zvorst * might have been suf- 
fered to sleep in their merited neglect and 
obscurity. But I am apprehensive that 
malice has more share than judgment in this 
violation of the right of an author to his 
own nonsense. The bookseller, I suppose, 
has the same kind of reason in view which 
the players once had when they were for 
acting my LordGrinston's comedy, called, 

* Present State of the Ottoman Empire. 

c 6 Love 


Love in a hollow Tree *. To confess the 
plain truth, I was so very a boy when I 
suffered that light piece of work to be pub- 
lished, that it is a sort of injustice to make 
me accountable for it-. If you know any 
body who has influence with the under- 
taker, I should be very much pleased could 
a stop be put to his purpose ; and I know, 
if it lies in your way, you will be so good 
to endeavour it. 

This moment I am agreeably inter- 
rupted by your servant's calling here with 
a new proof of your goodness, which hast- 
ens me (after having thanked you most 
heartily) to seal up my letter a page or two 
sooner than I else should have done it, that 
he might carry it with him, from. 

Dear Sir, 

Yours, &c. 

A. Hill. 

* Published when Lord Grimstone was candidate at 
an election, by the opposite party, in order to make 
him ridiculous. 



Jan. 8, 1739-40. 

Jl jHOUGIT, throughout aH parts of the 
year, I prolong and increase my good- 
wishes for whatever can relate to your hap- 
piness, and might address to you the vvord*^ 
of Mr. Milton, to one of the possessors of 
paradise : — 

With thee conversing, T forget all times. 
All seasons, and their change 

Yet I cannot find it in my heart to begin 
this first letter I have the pleasure of writ- 
ing to you, for the opening year, without 
charging it with every possible prayer for 
the long-lasting health and felicity of your- 
self, and your other-self j and, in the sin- 
cerest warm wishes of this kind, 1 am 
joined by those of my family of cither sex : 
all which is so heartily and affectionately 



yours, that I can say nothing in the name 
of any branch of it, on this head, which 
is not seriv)usly made good by their real 
conceptions. And of this, I wish your 
very kind and repeated invitations to North 
End may not draw upon you some trou- 
blesome proofs in the spring. In the mean 
time, while I am half frozen-up here in 
Essex, when I but venture to breathe the 
air of the garden, I never fail to remember 
the delight which you take in the country, 
and feel a fear or two for its effect to your 

What shall I say to you, dear Sir, for 
such a deal of unpurposed trouble as I 
have led you into on account of that pue- 
rile sally of mine. The Present State of the 
Ottoman Empire } Had I ever heard, or 
imagined, that it had already been scattered 
abroad in that dirty low manner you men- 
tion, the tenderness of apprehension which 
I felt for this new purpose of Marshe's, had 
been a needless, as well as fruitless, anxi- 


ety. All the mischief, it seems, has been 
done, which I had in view to have hin- 
dered. But I am infinitely obliged to you 
for the measures you have had the good- 
ness to take, which may probably intimi- 
date the pirate. 

And, as to the other, less juvenile, and 
more pardonable, productions of my pen, 
which I begin to be desirous of publishing 
together, for no other reason but to pre- 
vent the probability of its being done after 
my death with less judgment, at least, with 
less severity, by some collector of quantity, 
not quality, I can think with no pleasure 
of their property in any hand but your 
own, and those of your chusing. This 
property (I speak of what is not already 
made yours) I am fully resolved to assign 
you. And, sincerely, am apprehensive, 
that, having always detested, as I shall 
always continue to detest, the poor arts of 
©ur poachers of popularity, the collection 
will make its way too slowly for you to 



find your account in the sale of it ; and 
therefore think, that I ought not only to 
offer it to you as a present, which I heart- 
ily wish might be worth your acceptance ; 
but, in order to render it more certainly 
such, to be myself at the charge of youF 
printing and publishing it. 

I cannot close my letter without a word 
or two concerning your nei^es. Your tel- 
ling me lately that those too sensible feelers 
are the root of your malady, made the most 
touching impression upon me in your be- 
half, from what I just then underwent in 
my own ; the too little guard I had held 
over my passions, in resentment of the 
baseness of a vile wretch, who has trifled 
with me these four or five years past, in 
matters of the utmost importance, having* 
hazarded the throwing me back into the 
danger, with regard to my health, from 
which I so lately escaped with such difii-^ 
eulty. I hope, therefore, you have always 
philosophy enough to balance your mind 



m that happy serenity which repels all 
attacks from the follies and vices of otliers. 
It is a pity that things we can scorn 
should have power to disturb our tranquil- 
iity. May you for ever keep free from the 
weakness, which shall never, (I think) for 
the future, get ground upon. 

Dear Sir,, . Your's, 

A. Hill. 


Sept.n, 1740. 

JL HAVE been so long, and so shamefully 
silent, where I have been called upon daily, 
by the warmest affection, to break through 
the unaccountable languor, and send you 
my thanks for your many obliging enqui- 
ries after my healthy that nothing ought to 
procure me your pardon, but the almost 



inconceivable degree to which I have' 
wanted it. I knew your good-nature so 
well, that I ordered myself to be reported 
(to the messengers you so kindly and fre- , 
quently sent) in a very different state from 
that which was a long tin^e my true one. 
And, even after I was really recovered, in 
the usual signification of the word, my 
mind underwent a new malady, and I 
sickened into a restraint of my sentiments, 
A restless feverish unaptness for repose 
or reflection, carried me about (like the 
children of Israel in their marches) with a 
cloud hy day, and a Jire by night : and, 
in short, all the plague of our climate took 
an absolute and permitted possession of 
my faculties. 

If, in all this suffusion of thought, I re- 
member any thing with an idea of pleasure, 
it is, that I never forget i/ou a day j nor 
remembered you without impressions- of 
gladness. I am now, I thank God, greatly 
changed for the better j and most heartily 



hope I shall hear that you have continued 
to enjoy that new prospect you were be- 
ginning to form from the success of your 
last application. 

I have lately, with the greatest satisfac- 
tion, read over your beautiful present of 
Sir Thomas Roe's Negotiations in Turkey. 
But, as full as I acknowledge that author 
to be of a wisdom, discernment, and spirit, 
so much wanting in the feebleness of our 
modern state-maxims, I owe most of the 
pleasure he gave me to the discovery I 
made, with astonishment, as I turned over 
the book, that your comprehensive and ex- 
cellent index of heads had drawn every 
thing out of the body ! 

You was very obliging to send me Mr. 
Miller's new volume. I read all his pieces 
with profit. I do not love our swallow- 
like writers of gardening, who dip and 
skim into every body's pool. Mr. Miller 
dives under the surface, and brings up 
what he finds at the bottom. One is pleased 
with and instructed by his writings. 


Biit I observe, in some parts of his diV- 
course on the new spirit for vineyards that 
i?s rising in England, Mr. Miller seems to 
think with discouragement concerning the 
success of that prospect. I hope he will 
soon have the pleasure to find that his 
wishes are more in the right than his fears. 
I think I can venture to promise my coun- 
try, that her wines, in a few years, shall 
hold at least equal rank with the French^ 
It is not the inconsiderable advantage they 
have of us in regard to the difference of lati- 
tude that throws us behind them j it is rather 
the natural curtain that is drawn between 
us and the sun, the island vapours and 
clouds that hang over our fields and our 
spirits ! This unripening influence of mois- 
ture is the bar to our hopes without-doors j 
and compels us (if we would have wines fit 
for drinking) to correct in the cellar that 
green, hard, and tartarous quality, to which 
we owe the disgrace of our vintages. 

But the diflicuity is, how shall this end 



be obtained ? They who mix foreign wines 
with the English, if French^ marry beg- 
gars together, and by their union increase 
but their poverty : if Spanish, overlay our 
thin product, and induce the specifical 
flavour (though with the body a great deal 
diminished) of the additional wine they 
make choice of. All the while, this is no 
English produce. If they use raisins, the 
same disadvantage, as to flavour, prevails ; 
besides the unavoidable consequence of a 
heavy, flat, disgustive insipidness, which is 
made still worse by those who, instead of 
raisins, use sugar. And as for their endea- 
vours who by mixture of spirits would hope 
to add the strength they find wanting, they 
are, more than all others, mistaken ; and, 
instead of increasing the body, that is, the 
consistence and weight of the wine, only 
add a lean dryness, and thin sapid sharp- 
ness, to the native austerity of the liquor. 

I speak with assurance, concerning the 
foregoing weak helps, having, for a long 



course of years, made and varied, to no 
purpose, the experiments of them all ; till 
I grew weary, at last, of the trials, and 
threw them into the list of Solomon's va- 

At length (that I might not have it to 
say, I once travelled much to no purpose 
at all) it came into my thoughts, that, in 
Candia, and Rhodes, and two or three 
other of the islands of Greece, I had seen 
them boiling their newly-pressed must (be- 
fore fermentation) into a very thick, syrup- 
like consistence; which I take to be the 
same thing the Spaniards call cute, and put 
in practice in the parts about Alicant and 
Malaga. Though I was very young at that 
time, I remember I had the curiosity of 
asking the cause of the process ; and was 
answered, that the grapes in those coun- 
tries always ripening to a viscid and clam- 
my excess, the juice that they yielded came 
too thick into the vat, and carried along 
with it such a mucilaginous texture of 



fibres, as not only prolonged fernientation 
till it induced an acidity on the wine, but 
also kept it in a ropy indisposition to set- 
tle ; so that, to accelerate the fining of the 
wine, they had fijund out this method of 
boiling the must : whereby, the pulp be- 
coming liquified, the strings were no lon- 
ger suspended, but grew naked and thready, 
and sunk easily down with the faeces. 

You have met with a great many men 
in your time, who were unexpectedly got 
to the end of their lives, just as they were 
beginning the plan of their purposes. You 
see an image of it just now. I was come to 
the end of my sheet, w hen I had scarce 
reached the middle of my story. 

But I was telling you a remedy for wines, 
that are by nature too rich, and in a cli- 
mate where grapes ripen too much. You 
will wonder of what use such a practice 
ran be, with regard to a country where the 
wines are so poor, that the] grapes scarce 
ever ripen at all. But it is so easy to graft 

di lie rent 


different fruits on one stock, that a very 
little reflection threw a benefit in my way 
from this slight observation, that will, I 
hope, prove no small one to my country. 
I considered that jejune unripe juices want 
two qualities of wine, that is, body and 
softness. It was obvious that the first of 
these two could not fail to be a consequence 
of boiling down new must to u third, more 
or less, of its original quantity; for nothing 
evaporating before fermentation, but the 
watery parts of a liquor, it follows, that if 
two parts be wasted in boiling, the third 
will be three times as thick as it would have 
been in its natural condition. And, as to 
the second thing wanting, the softness, i 
expected, v/hat fell out in the experiment, 
that the boiling would not only sweeten the 
juice, but precipitate a great part of the 
tartar, to tlie increase of both smoothness 
and flavoar. 

But here arose an unforeseen difficulty, 
which^ at last, I had the good fortune to 



get over. The mu^t, so enriched from its 
syruppy consistence of body, and an in- 
disposition to ferment (an effect it derived 
from the boiling), lay inactive and still in 
the pipes, and found the autumn and vv^in- 
ter of England too cold to allow it to work; 
and, even when next summer came on, of- 
ten passed the warm months in the same 
calm condition, so that these were the two 
extremes of the prospect ; either improving 
the consistence of the must, it became in- 
capable of working so much as it ought, or 
leaving it in its natural greenness, it would 
fret, with renewed fermentations upon every 
mild change of the weather, till the poor 
body it brought from the grape was de- 
stroyed, and the wine became undrinkably 

The medium I happened to find, was to 
boil down one proper proportion into an 
excessive thick cute, and therewith feed 
the other, left to work according to its na- 
tural tendency, so as to prolong and invi- 

voL. I. D gorate 


gorate the fermentation till the oils were 
Sufficiently rarefied, and the salts as com- 
pletely expanded; and a body produced 
of force to sustain all the tumult, and 
sheath the two contraries, in a flavorous 
and spirited smoothness. 

See, dear Sir, the history of the wine 
I have sent you a taste of. It waits on you, 
perhaps, before it is so bright, as it would 
have been the easiest thing in the world to 
have made it. But, none of the wine- 
cooper's arts having been permitted to de- 
bauch its true English firmness of heart, I 
was resolved to use none in the fining it 
down, but have left it, in every particular, 
to nature; so led, but not pushed, as you 
have seen in the foregoing part of this let- 
ter ; and, I am mistaken, if France can 
produce such a Burgundy. I believe it 
would be proper to put the bottles (for one 
night a,t least), down into a cellar, before 
you taste the wine j it having been bottled 
"but yesterday from the cask, and probably 
a little warmed by the cai'riage. 



And now, dear Sir, I will tell you why I 
send you the wine, with so long a descrip- 
tion of its manner of making. In the first, 
I consulted your health j in the second, 
your pleasure. What I mean by your plea- 
sure, I will explain by and by ; giving your 
health, as it deserves, the first place in my 
meanings. It is not above a month or six 
weeks since, when observing the quick 
lively taste to be just what I wished it; and 
that, notwitlistanding the brisk sprightly 
flavour, the wine seemed to carry a full 
and deep strength of body, I took a fancy 
to compare (in an experiment from distil- 
lation of two equal quantities), not foreign 
Burgundy, for that, I made no doubt, was 
much weaker, but the strongest French 
claret I could get, in order to try it against 
this product of England. The efiect was, 
that from the claret I obtained a sixth part 
of the quantity in spirit; from the English 
Burgundy, a full fourth; which being more, 
by one in five, than the oldest port wines 
will produce, gave me an inclination to 
D 2 drink 


drink it every day since that time : and my 
recovery so immediately and surprisingly 
followed, that I cannot help flattering my- 
self, you will feel some good consequences 
yourself, in regard to the disorder on your 

And now I am come to the last thing, 
your pleasure. You may remember that 
about the end of the summer before this, 
you sent me Mr. Miller's folio volume, 
wherein he had been very full on that head, 
though it had not been printed in the oc- 
tavo edition. He has there a paragraph, 
that hints at feeding thin wines, when they 
fret overmuch, with some of the same kind 
of grapes the must had been made of; and 
the idea yet arose in my mind, from his use 
of the significant expression oi^ feeding, to 
the new manner of using my cute, with a 
success tiiat has answered my best expec- 
tation. And I am sure it will give you 
a pleasure to find yourself contributing, so 
immediately, the occasion to which I owed 
the improvement. 

I looked 


I looked back in this place, and am 
frighted to see myself at the bottom of the 
eighth page of a letter ! I snatch oif my 
my pen, with astonishment ! and hasten to 
tell you that, whether too silent, as lately, 
or too much the reverse, as at present, 
I am always, your's, &c. 

A. Hill. 


Dec. 17, 1740. 

JL OU have agreeably deceived me into a 

surprise, which it will be as hard to express, 

as the beauties of Pamela. Though I 

opened this powerful little piece with more 

expectation than from common designs of 

like promise, because it came from your 

hands for my daughters, yel who could 

have dreamed he sho\dd find, under the 

modest disguise of a novel, all the soul of 

jreligion, good breeding, discretion, good- 

D v^ nature,. 


nature, wit, fancy, fine thought, and mo- 
rality? I have done nothing but read it to 
<)thers, and hgar others again read it to me, 
ever since it came into my hands; and I 
find I am likely to do nothing else, for the 
Lord knows how long yet to come; be- 
cause, if I lay the book down, it comes af- 
ter me. When it has dwelt all day long 
upon the ear, it takes possession, all night, 
of the fancy. It has witchcraft in every 
page of it ; but it is the witchcraft of pas-- 
sion and meaning. 

Yet, I confess, there is one in the world, 
of whom I think with still greater respect 
than of Pamela, and that is of the wonder- 
ful author of Pamela. Pray who is he, dear 
Sir ? and where and how has he been able 
to hide, hitherto, such an encircling and 
all-mastering spirit ? 

I must venture to add, without mincing 
the matter, what I really believe of this 
book. It will live on, through posterity, 
with such unbounded extent of good con-- 



quences, that twenty ages to come may b^ 
the better and wiser for its influence. 

If it is not a secret, oblige me so far as 
to tell me the author's namcj for since I 
feel him the friend of my soul, it would be 
a kind of violation to pretend him a stran- 
ger. I am not able to thank you enough 
for this highly acceptable present ; and, as 
for my daughters, they have taken into 
their own hands the acknowledgments due 

frpm their gratitude. 

I am, &c. 

A. HiT.T... 


Dec. 29, 1740. . , V /V 

^^HOEVER considers your Pamela, ^-^ 
with a view to find matter for censure, is in / 
the condition of a passionate lover, who 
breaks in upon his mistress, without fear / 

D 4 



or wit, with intent to accuse her and quar- 
rel. He came to her with wrath in his pur- 
pose ; but his heart subdues his malice, and 
he goes away more enslaved for complain^ 

The designs you have taken for frontis- 
pieces, seem to have been very judiciously 
chosen -, upon pre-supposition that Mr. 
Hogarth is able (and if any-body is, it is he), 
to teach pictures to speak and to think. 

We have a lively little boy in the familj'-, 
about the age of your dear eldest charmer ; 
but, alaa for him, poor child, quite un- 
friended, and born to no prospect. He is 
the son of an honest, poor soldier, by a 
wife, grave, unmeaning, and innocent. 
Yet the boy (see the power of connubial 
simplicity 1) is so pretty, so gentle, and gay- 
spirited, that we have made him, and de- 
signed him, our own, ever since he could tot- 
ter and aim at words. The wanton rogue is 
half air ; and every motion he acts by, has 
a spring like your Pamela's, when she threw 




down the card-table. All this quickness, 
however, is tempered by a good-natured 
modesty; so that the wildest of his flights 
are thought rather diverting than trouble- 
some. He is an hourly foundation for 
laughter, from the top of the house to the 
parlours ; and to borrow an attribute from 
the Rev. Mr. Peters, plays a very goodfd- 
dle in the family, I have told you the his- 
tory of this tom-tit of a prater, because, 
ever since my first reading of Pamela, he 
puts in for a right to be one of her hearers j 
and, having got half her sayings by heart, Q 
talks in no other language but her's ; and '^'^j^ 
what really surprises, and has charmed me 
into a certain foretaste of her influence, he 
is, at once, become fond of his books, 
which (before) he could never be brought 
to attend to — that he may read Pamela, he 
says, without stopping. The first discovery 
we made of this power, over so unripe and 
unfixed an attention, was one evening, wIku 
I w<as reading her reflections at the pond to 
D 5 some 


some company. The little rampant intru- 
der, being kept out by the extent of the 
circle, had crept nnder my chair, and 
was sitting before me on the carpet, with 
his head almost touching the book, and his 
face bowing down towards the fire. He had 
sat for some time in this posture, with a 
stillness that made us conclude him asleep ; 
when on a sudden we heard a succession of 
heart-heaving sobs, which, while he strove 
to conceal from our notice, his little sides 
swelled as if they would burst, with the 
throbbing restraint of his sorrow. I turned- 
his innocent face to look towards me, but 
liis eyes were quite lost in his tears; which 
Tunning down from his cheeks in free cur- 
Tcnts, had formed two sincere little foun- 
tains on that part of the carpet he hung 
over. All the ladies in company were ready 
to devour him with kisses, and he has since 
become doubly a favourite ; and is, perhaps, 
the youngest of Pamela's converts. 

Your's, &c. A. Hill. 




Dec. 1740. 

V y HAT a genteel wellrturned epigram 
have jou sent me, my (Jcar friend! But 
from so kind and so partial a hand, that 
whatever I may think, I will rather say 
nothing than confess myself charmed; ex- 
cept with that part of it which compares 
the ridge of rocks in the Shannqn, dividing 
and enfeebling its current, to the perplex- 
ing intervention of riiime, interrupting and 
weakening the sense of expression *. The 
ingenious complaint is too just (as our verse 

* When noble thoughts with language pure unite,- 
To give. to kindred excellence its right; 
Tho' unencumber*d with the clogs of rhyme. 
Where tinkling sounds for want of meaning chime; 
Which, like the rocks in Shannon's midway course. 
Divide the sease and interrupt its force; 
Well we may judge so strong and clear a rill, 
Flows hitlier from the Muses* sacred HILL.- 

D & is 


is most commonly managed) for what page 
in what poet will not give in cle-ar evidence, 
that rhyme is as sweet a misleader as love ? 
And yet, pray please to ask your lady and 

Miss M ' (whose judgments, I am 

sure, you have undeniable cause to confide 
in) whether it is not the fault or neglect of 
men's reason, when they follow beauty di- 
vided from merit ? 

I have a commission to thank you, again 
and ag'ain, for my daughters. What a 
terrible condition would you be in, if you 
were bound to read half what they say of 
you ! It is a comfort (you will answer) 
when a man has to do with such menacing 
baggages, that women cannot send their 
tongues in a letter ! Yet it stands decreed 
that the very next day these bold threat- 
eners set their faces for London : Salisbury- 
square is to be the first place against which 
they will form their approaches. Nay, 
and that all may be out (as you say) they 



have pressed me along with them, as an 
escort in the march ; but I shall discharge 
this my trust, like a true modern guide ; 
and give notice, when we dislodge, to tlie 

Here I thought to have closed ; but there 
is a never-to-be-wearied male tongue within 
hearing that makes twice as much noise 
(would you think it ?) as two dozen of good 
girls all united ! And he (the six-year-old 
urchin you wot of) will not suffer me to be 
quiet a moment, till I promise him to let 
you know what an effect your kind notice 
had on him. And indeed, to say truth, I 
would give a great deal for a power ta 
impress your own generous heart but with 
just half the joy wherewith you have quite 
deluged over that of our volatile little bird 
of a boy, upon his sight of your so-prettily 
adapted kind present of books, and hearing 
some of those tender and compassionate 
expressions wherein your goodness eonde^ 
ficended to speak of him. Never talk of a 



picture. — ^M^hat a faint gleam has painting 
against the bold glow of Nature ! Would 
I could describe to you the transported 
rogue in his ecstacy ! Every \vord would 
communicate a passion, and, by a kind of 
contagious felicity, spread his rapture from 
your ear to your fancy. 

My daughters and I were sitting with a 
table between us, and against a leaf of it, 
-that fronted the fire, stood, bending, the 
iittle scribbler, w ith his back to the chim- 
ney, scrawling letters and syllables (as un- 
restrained and as wild as his own active 
innocence) upon pieces of paper, which I 
allow him to collect, ^nd fill up his own 
way, that the pleasure which he takes in 
aspiring to meanings may attract him, by 
insensible stages, to mean something, at 
last, in good ep,rnest. It was easy to judge, 
upon opening (the books, to whose hand 
your indulgent and considerate elegance 
had consigned them. However, I laid 
them b.otii ,do>vn, aiid ^ai4. nothing; but 



proceeded to open one letter, after having 
given my daughters the other. The busy 
pirate, mean while, who had thrown aside 
his pen upon a glimpse of the pictures, fell 
to lifting the leaves, one by one, and was 
peeping between them with the archness 
and fear of a monkey ; and I left him (as 
he thought) unobserved to the enjoyment 
of his cautious discoveries, till I came to 
that paragraph in your letter where you 
call him the dear amiable boy^ which I pur- 
posely read out aloud. At those words, 
up flSlied all the fire of his eyes, with a 
mixture of alarm and attention; and just 
then one of my daughters happening to 
say — " Now am I sure that this good-na- 
tured and generous Mr. Richardson has 
sent those two books for little Harry." 
" See there,*' added the other, " what it is 
^to be praised for a boy that is wise, and 
loves reading." All the triumphs of fortu- 
nate love, war, and glory, would be cold if 
compared to his ecstacy ! Out burst a hun- 


dred O Lords ! in a torrent of voice ren- 
dered hoarse and half choaked by his pas- 
sions. He clasped his trembling fingers 
together ; and his hands were strained hard, 
and held writhing. His elbows were ex- 
tended to the height of his shoulders, and 
his eyes, all inflamed with delight, turned 
incessantly round from one side, and one 
friend, to the other, scattering his triumph- 
ant ideas among us. His fairy-face (ears 
and all) was flushed as red as his lips; and 
his flying feet told his joy to the floor, in 
a wild and stamping impatience of gra- 
titude. At last he shot himself, in acknow- 
ledgment, upon me, with a force like a 
bullet; and fastening his arms round my 
neck, fell to kissing me for a minute or 
two together, with so hard and so clinging 
an eagerness, that it was impossible, with- 
out hurting the little honest assaulter, to 
disposses him of his hold, or his rapture. 
Nobody could see such a scene without 
being touched with uncommon delight at 



this strong sensibility in a child's appre- 
hension ! What, though his words wanted 
art to explain his conceptions? Nature 
spoke them (most expressively) in the pangs 
which adorned him ! 

So arose the first swell of this animal 
tempest; nor have the waves yet subsided, 
nor are they likely to subside, I assure you. 
He reads, laughs, and dances all day : and 
at night carries his two books to bed 
with him; and, as I began, about a fort- 
night ago, to encourage him to look some 
poor letters together, and scrawl out his 
notions upon small slips of paper (bidding 
him look into written sheets which I lend 
him, or into printed books, for the words 
he would scribble, and if he finds them 
not there, ask of any body in the house 
how to spell them), he brings me every 
morning some new piece of nonsense, from 
the mint of his own wanton fancy; and 
now, what a tedious long story of childisli 
insignificance were here; but that I know 



you feel a pleasure in observing with how 
early a tendency nature forms our first 
passions to virtue ! How unhappy is it, that 
the human degeneracy to evil should be a 
consequence but of increase in our know- 
ledge ! But for shame, let me now make an 
end, lest you should think there is no 
measure of conscience in. 

Dear Sir, &c. 

A. Hill. 


April \Z, 1741. 

Jl SHOULD not be able to forgive myself 
for not writing to you so long, but that I 
can honestly plead in atonement, that I 
have never passed an hour without the 
pleasure of thinking of you. My daugh- 
ters are newly returned from a long couo- 



try ramble, whither they went with a kind 
of regret, as it postponed a delight which 
dwelt (and still dwells), in the uppermost 
view of their hope. And, indeed, the de- 
lay is, at present, rather my fault than 
theirs j or, to speak it more properly, it is 
the misfortune of us all j as arising from a 
good deal of vexatious concern I have been 
under, at some juvenile weaknesses in the 

conduct of , whom, I begin to 

be afraid, I shall find quite incapable of 
the solid or serious turn of mind — 'Whether 
in learning or business. 

Well ! these are troubles we are heirs to 
by nature, and we must receive them as 
part of our patrimony. Neither ought I, 
I think, to complain of my lot, while I 
have two, out of four, who are just what I 
wish them. • 

The two good girls above meant, are 
come home, quite filled and transported 
with the triumphs of Pamela; and, I think, 
in my conscience, they could not feel so 



inuch pleasure from a sense of their ownv 
if they made any worth their desiring. 

How does my dear Mr. Richardson doy 
and all his dear family ? And how runs the 
growing renown of his name, in a great, 
wicked town, which his genius does honour 
to ? — I am so hid among green leaves and 
blossoms, that I read or see nothing that 
busies the public, except now and then a 
few newspapers ; but even from those I 
have the joy to discern the justice that is 
done to your Pamela ; and the oblique re- 
putation weaker writers endeavour to draw, 
from a distorted misuse of her name, for a 
passport to malice and faction. 

You will fmd, by what I now send yow, 
how sincerely I told you, that it hardly was 
possible to do what you have urged so re- 
peatedly, so far as to change any thing 
but a word, here and there, in your beau- 
tiful work (for a work one, may call this fme 
piece, with propriety, that is built for 
ages !) — Yet, as you so kindly and warmly 



insisted on the attempt, I, who love to con- 
sider your wishes as laws to my own- incli- 
nation, took a late resolution to try how 
far it was practicable, if a man could go 
over your Pamela with the eye and the 
heart of a cynic, at one reading, and, in 
the next, with the vigilance of friendship — 
to pick out any thing that might not suffer 
by altering. 

Upon the word of a friend and a gentle- 
man, I found it not possible to go farther, 
without defacing and unpardoriably injur- 
ing beauties, which neither I, nor any man 
in the world, but their author, could sup- 
ply, with others as sweet and as natural ! 
—If you conceive such an inspection of 
the rest worth your wishing, I will go 
through them all, with the same care and 

I am, &c. 

A. Hill. 





jdpril 21, 1741. 

!Rl11Y daughters being with me when I 
had the pleasure of receiving your letter, 
wherein you express a desire that some of 
^^our praises might be retrenched, I read 
it out to them aloud, and proceeded to re- 
mark on it as follows: 

There are three sorts of men, said I, 
who can never have concurring opinions. 
The envious hates all praise, except that 
which is claimed by himself. The weak 
has a sneaking and cowardly doubt of his 
friend; because, wanting spirit to judge 
for himself, he hangs his ear upon other 
men's censures. But the candid examiner, 
neither partial to friendship, nor biassed 
by fools or their fashions, gives way to no- 
thing but virtue and truth; and will* be 
•equally warm and sincere in a reproach he 



finds due to a friend, or in a praise that is 
the right of an enemy. It is easy, con- 
tinued I, to determine, that out of these 
three there are two, who deserve no regard 
from a writer of genius. And yet, what a 
pity it is, to see him resigning his judg- 
ment with a fruitless, however beautiful, 
hope, to reconcile inconsistent extremes, 
and unite all mankind in one sentiment! 

Little Harry Campbell, whom you so 
kindly condescend to remember, had 
been listening all this while upon the floor, 
under the umbrage of a pair of out-strut- 
ting hoops; and sate so snugly concealed 
in his covert, that I had forgot we had the 
monkey so near us; till peeping out from 
his petticoat canopy, with his face twisted 
upward to find me, " Sir," said he, with an 
air of attentive importance, " that's just 
like one of my fables; there's no pleasing 
every body. I will shew you the man, and 
his little boy, and the ass ; and pray let me 
write to my good Mr. Richardson about it, 



for it is in the book he was so kind as to 
send little Harry." 

I heard and have complied with the or- 
der of the volatile busy-body; because, out 
of the mouths of babes and sucklings — ^you 
know the conclusion, and I leave it to your 

However, I have gone carefully over the 
sheet, and return it you, with a retrench- 
ment of every praise I found fit to give up. 

Sordid taste, of an age we are doomed 
to make part of! when to belie and ca- 
lumniate with spirit, is thought the highest 
attainment of wit ; and to applaud and dis- 
tinguish with judgment, the boldest adven- 
ture of folly. 

After all, there is something due from a 
man to himself, as well as to the rest of 
the world; and I do not know which of the 
two is exposed to tlie most dangerous error 
—he who (too tenacious of his own first 
impressions), gives up nothing to the judg- 
ment of others } or he who, resolving upon 



nothing without previous deliberation and 
forecast, quits his notions too easily, in 
respect to rasher and much weaker deci- 
sions ? 

As to that extraordinary exception, which 
has been taken by some of the cloth, against 
the word silly, applied to a parson, I have 
resumed it from Mr. "Williams, and bestow 
it very heartily on the objectors. Sure 
these gentlemen forgot, who injoined his 
disciples to be wise as serpents. But if I 
understand the distinction you designed for 
Mr. Williams's character, he is drawn as a 
well-moaning weak man, of too credulous 
and unreflecting a confidence, to be hit by 
the e[)itliet unguarded (my substitute, as 
it now stands, for silly; for I would hu- 
mour the sensibility — it would be uncivil to 
cull it the pride — of the gentlemen who 
think themselves hurt through his sides). 

1 am charmed at the good news you send 
me, concerning the progress of Pamela. 
But you are too obliging, dear Sir, to put 

V«L. I. E me 



me in mind of renewing a trouble, I hav« 
been so often encouraged to give you ; and, 
excepting tlie pieces you have been so kind 
as to favour me with a sight of, I have read 
nothing, of what has been published, for 
eighteen months past; so that any books, 
great or small, containing matter either so- 
lid or curious, cannot fail to be welcome 
and useful. 

Against we hear that your present hurry 
is a little abated, which, I suppose, may 
be upon the rising of the house, my good 
girls and I retain our purpose upon Salis- 
bury-square. And, in the mean time, they 
desire me to tell good Mrs. Richardson 
^nd yourself, that they often dream of you 
in the night, and have the liveliest foretaste 
of your companies. I threatened them 
tliis morning, that I would send their true 
pictures before them, that you might ex- 
pect to see nothing extraordinary; and 
one of the baggages answered me, that the 
most extraordinary thing I could send, 



would be the pictures of women drawn 
truly. But I am running on, as if you had 
nothing to do, but amuse yourself with the 
prattle of two idle girls, and their imperti- 
nent father, who is, 

Your's, &c. 
A. Hill. 


yu/y29, 1741.. 

jl "WILL not wound your apprehensive 
mind, my dear friend, with the particulars 
of what my days and nights have suffered, 
since the happy afternoon we passed in 
Salisbury-court. — It was the last and live- 
liest of our pleasures ; and it seemed as if 
the checquer-work of human instability 
condemned us to this long vexation, be- 
"Cause no short or common one could be 
£ 2 consi' 


considered as a balance for it. It is not 
possible to tell you with how charmed a 
sensibility my daughters and myself re- 
turned from that delightful visit, and what 
schemes were formed between us for re- 
newing and extending the felicity. But — 
there followed a discovery, of such domestic 
melancholy consequence, that I do not 
know whether they, from sisterly, or I, 
from fatherly concern, have undergone the 
greatest share of restlessness. I fear vain 
application to prevent the ruin of a youth, 
who, being born without any aptitude to 
thinkj.was destined to be led away by every 
light temptation. 

Imagine for us, from this general hint of 
our affliction, that has many branches, 
and let it justify us to your generous 

I have been long accustomed to prepare 
and arm my mind against impressions of 
calamity; but, whether frequent exercise 
of this too necessary virtue may now, at 



last, have deadened its due power to make 
resistance, or what other weakness I should 
charge it on, I know not ; but I find my- 
self less able than I ought to be to shake ' 
off these successions of fresh evils, and 
support a frame of temper answerable to 
the shocks they give me. 

But I will turn aside myself, and be no 
part of my own prospect. Let me look 
at, and delight in you, through all your 
brightness of increasing fame : — a fame that 
never was so well deserved before, and 
never can be hurt by envy ; yet, what a 
monstrous breadth of her coarse clouds 
have you drawn up, by shining on them 
with too strong a lustre ! Sometimes 
I pity, and am sometimes very angry at, 
the persisting dulness of their malice.— 
Hitherto, however, it is innocent of con- 
sequence. It must depend on you, not 
them, to give ability to their bad purpose. 
Should they prevail so far as to deprive the 
world of any part of what your promise to 
E 3 the 


the piiblic has now made a debt of honour, 
then, indeed, their influence would be felt : 
but this, dear Sir, you must not, cannot, 
sufler. And yet, I almost dread to ask 
what I long ardently to hear: — how far 
have you gone on in that bold, dangerous, 
glorious. Second Part, which no man 
breathing but the author of the First is 
equal to ? 

My two good girls, all-charmed and 
filled with the idea of that happy afternoon, 
will not allow me to say any thing about 
them; because, as soon as they can find 
their hearts at ease enough to tell their 
transports, they reserve themselves the 
pleasure of avowing what they feel. And, 
as for me, I never shall be able to express 
how truly I shall live and die. 

Dear Mr. Richardson's 
most humble 

and affectionate Servant, 
A. Hill. 





Oct. 15, 1741. 

Al. thousand thanks are due to you 
for the two delightful sheets of Pamela, 
part II. Where will your wonders end? or 
how could I be able to express the joy it 
gives me to discern your genius rising, not 
like a pyramid, still lessening at it labours 
upward, but enlarging its proportion witii 
the grace and boldness of a pillar, that, 
however high its shaft is lifted, still looks 
largest at its capital. Go on. Dear Sir, (I 
see you will and must) to charm and cap- 
tivate the world, and force a scribbling race 
to learn and practice one new virtue — to 
be pleased with what disgraces them. My 
daughters are in Surry, preaching Pamela, 
and Pamela's author, with true apostolical 
attachment J and they and I are, every 
where and every way, both his and his 
dear family's most faithful servant, 

A. Hill. 

E 4 TO 



Oct. 24, 1742. 

it OU are, as usual, very kind and good ; 

and, because I know that your good-nature 

would be pleased if I could tell you what 

it wishes to hear from me, I am grieved it 

is not in my power to send you word that 

we are all, once more, recovered. 

On the contrary, I languish still, and 
hourly shrink away in flesh and spirit, 
without any other visible remains of my 
late fever. I have neither strength nor 
appetite ; and (which is quite af new afflic- 
tion to me) I am tortured with sharp head- 

All my family have been, or are, in the 
sajne bad condition. Our gardener we 
have buried, who was taken ill the very 
day and hour that I was. And, truly, it 
was a loss beyond all likelihood or pro- 
mise from a man of his condition. He 



was one of those few servants who attach 
themselves by heart, as well as duty, to the 
will and interest of the family they live in. 
He was sober, modest, silent, ever busily 
laborious, and ingenious beyond any in- 
stance I have met with, of a person in his 
■station. He turned his hand, with readi- 
ness and pleasure, to whatever interruption 
of his present applications he was called 
away to, and was never known to murmur, 
or even look dissatisfied. He was an ex- 
cellent mathematician j surveyed and mea- 
fiured land, with great exactness ; was 
«mith, cargenter, cooper, bricklayer, and 
whatever artizau the family had use for; 
and, in all these different talents had at- 
tained a -handy and dispatchful readiness. 
He loved, and was beloved by every body 
in the family: and I will not ask your 
pardon for this story I have told you of 
him ; because it would be doing an injus- 
tice to your humanity, who know to mea- 
sure the true value of a good and faithful 
E ^ servant. 


servant, not as it often is, but as it should 
be measured. 

As soon as it please God we have the 
power to think of stirring, we shall quit, 
with proper haste and indignation, this 
unlucky and ill-chosen place, (most part of 
whose inhabitants we have seen buried) 
and are in hopes to find relief in the dry, 
smoaky air of London. 

My daughters (all that is left them of 
themselves) are most sincerely and affec- 
tionately your's, and your dear family's. 

My only comfort is, that I am able now 
to write and read, without much difficulty; 
and so I fdl up a large vacuum? which else 
would but make room for idle thoughts and 
vapours. I will yet delight myself with 
the idea of those future happier hours, I 
hope to make myself amends by,, in your 
company, for all these sad and gloomy ones, 
that have so Long and cruelly affected, 

Your ever faitliful servant,. 

A. Hill. 



Salisbury-court, Fleet-street, 
Oct. 29, 1742. 
Jl CANNOT avoid troubling you with a 
ftew lines on the melandioly subject of 
your last, which so greatly affected me, 
that I could not help speaking of it to a 
skilful friend, who greatly admires you. 

He desired me to recommend to your 
better consideration two things for your 
case: the one to quit, with all possible 
haste, the air that has been so unkindly 
pernicious to you^ and to get into the 
town. His reason was more especially 
the season of the year, w^hen, as he ob- 
serves, the fall of the leaves fills the pools, 
the ponds, and the dikes, as well as the mois- 
ter air, with particles, and animalcula, and 
perishables, of vegetable as well as animal 
nature, that are so noxious to tender con- 
stitutions 5 and which are qualified by the 
E. 6 Londoiv 


London smoak, and the warmer air of a 
close compacted city. The other is, the 
asses milk ; and I have such hopes from 
both, that I should not have held myself 
excused, if I had not instantly — ^the very 
moment — ^while eyen my friend was but 
stepping from me, taken pen in hand on 
the occasion. 

In mean time. Sir, and till you can be 
provided to your wish, and that you may 
change your present air by such degrees 
for that of the town as may not be too sen- 
sible, I should think myself greatly favour- 
ed, if you would be pleased to fill a coach 
£rom your dear family, and try the Ham- 
mersmith air. I have only a female ser- 
vant there, who is there all the year, and 
one of my town maids, whom I send thither 
for her health, which is amended by the 
air. And that you may see how free I will 
be, I will acquaint you, that, from this time 
to the 12th of November, I shall not have 
<my otlier friead there : tliat, on that day, 



indeed. Miss R- , who is to change 

her name with her new friend, retires thi- 
ther, to avoid the noise of the town, for 
one week, or so ; and, after that, it will 
again be quite free, and at your service. 
And, as the parlours are distinct, as well 
as the bedchambers, and I can make ten 
beds within the house, I will be down or 
up, and not invade, but at your pleasure 
and that of the ladies, a moment of your 
retirement, nor shall any one else. The 
preparations for the solemnity I have men- 
tioned permit me not to make the same 
offer as to Salisbury-court ; else, with what 
pleasure should I do it ! And, I hope. Sir, 
my freedom in what I have mentioned will 
conyince you of the ease and convenience 
it would be to me to be thus favoured. 
My dear Sir, what can be done ? Change 
of air only, even sometimes of a good to a 
more indifferent one, is of benefit j what 
then may it not be of an indifferent to a 
better: for a swampy to a drier? And 



there will not want one hour's time on my 
side to prepare for you or your's; for I 
will not make strangers of you, or do one 
thing for you that I would not otherwise 
do, as to the customary matters of the 
house, furniture, &c. 

What an excellent servant have you lost ! 
But he was happy in such a master and 
ladies ! That servant must be very bad in 
nature, that could not be made good in 
such a household. — Yet, for his many other 
talents and abilities, M'here can such an- 
other, in his or in any station, be found \ 
But could he have known that he should 
have been thus lamented; the loss of him 
thus regretted, by so excellent a masteri, 
how happy to him must have been the last 
moments of his life ! 

I Vv ill not dwell upon the melancholy 
subject, although it affords me another 
argument — change of scene, as well as air, 
to support my earnest wishes in the favour 
begged for by. Sir, your's truly, 

S. Richardson. 




January 20 J 1743-4. 

JLF, among the arts, whereby I delight 
myself, in amusing my retreat from the 
world, by the practical examination of 
their ideas, I could but find out some way 
to transmute a warm wish into benefit, ne- 
ver mortal was happier than I would make 
you feel and confess yourself. You should 
be puzzled by nothing, but how to raise a 
new hope ; or contrive a desire, which you 
already possessed not the end of. As it is, 
I must content myself with the simple 
power of sending you a few fruitless thanks, 
for the obliging regard you are so good to 
retain for me and my family ^ not a branch 
of which but knows how to value it, at so 
just a rate, as to prefer it to any of the 
fashionable new-year's gifts, that are said 
to be sent abroad from St» James's. 

I began 


I began to fear for the state of your 
health, and almost dreaded to ask how 
your spirits sustained the late sharp wea- 
ther, quite unheedful as I was; that I my- 
self had been the cause of your long si- 
lence, by forbearing to inform you, that 
'we were condemned (for one year, still, 
from Christmas last), to bear with the bad 
air of Plaistow. It is a quiet, and not quite 
unpleasant (were it but a healthy), soli- 
tude ; a place tha$ seems to have been only 
formed for books, and meditation, and the 
Muses. — God give to you, and all you love, 
those pleasures, and a thousand livelier, 
for a long, long, happy length of years to 
<;ome, and every year still mending. I am^ 

Dear Sir, 

iJar ever your most faithful 

and affectionate servant, 

A. Hill. 




Jpril 2, 1745. 

Jl NOW daily gather better hopes, and 
will, as soon as I can bear the yet too 
pinching sharpness of the air, enjoy a few 
days with you> where your goodness has 
so often wished me; and whence some evil 
daemon, envious of my intended happiness, 
has seemed, as often, busy in contriving 
accidents to disappoint me ! 

Do me the favour to accept an Easter 
offering from me. It is a small one ; but, 
I hope, may be productive of some future 
ones, deserving your possession. I believe 
the piece may yet be out in a fit season, 
and before the town begins to thin. 

The title may a little startle you * ; but 
you will find the satire (as it should be al- 
ways), general, and levelled against things, 

* Go to bed Tom, afterwards The Fanciad. 



not persons. I do not love the air of boast 
or vanity j but, if the world receives this 
poem coldly, I have done with hoping to 
content them. It will have novelty, at 
least (if that can recommend it) ; for many 
of the sentiments are such as are not only 
new, but for the most part opposite to the 
received opinions upon commercial, poli- 
tic, and military subjects j and that, too, 
in points, whose consequences deserved to 
have been better weighed than they have 
been, or seem to me to have been, by the 
managers of states, and their determinar- 

So much for the general turn and matter 
of the poem, which I beg you to bestow^ 
at leisure, an attentive reading on, and; 
tell me frankly what elfect it has upon you» 
I shall, and safely may, from that; fore- 
judge its public fate ; for, if it does not 
please yoiL,. more than commonly,.! have 
been cheated into an ill-grounded hope, 
fi'om a fond parent's blind partiality : bav- 


ing bestowed more care and labour on this 
piece, than I shall dare confess, if you do 
not feel it in the reading you bestow upon 
the verses. 

As to what may seem particular in the 
poem, the compliments to the Marlborough 
family, my purpose is as public-spirited, 
even there, as every poet's ought to be, on 
every subject which he touches. If it can 
prove a means of stirring up an inclination 
to enable (by their family memoirs), some 
fit hand to write a history of the late duke's 
conduct • of the war, that both the nation 
and the family may draw due glory from, 
I shall have been the instrument of no small 
future reputation to my country ; which is 
(I hope), I* am sure she ought to be, 
ashamed to see a length of victories, that 
shook one half of Europe, and redeemed 
the other, making so lame, so dark, so all- 
entangled and confused a figure; that what 
must certainly have been the laboured, and 
produced, effect of genius, almost more 
than human, seems a mass of huddled and 



unpurposed accidents, wherein events were 
thrown for, and but followed fortune ! 

It is impossible for me to close this let- 
ter, before I have added the most import- 
ant affair it will speak of — I mean, that 
obstinate weight and dizziness in your 
head — shall I venture to tell you, that I 
am sometimes afraid, lest you should fall 
too far into the practice of your friend> 
Dr. Cheyne's cold doctrines, of abstinence 
and excess of evacuations. All extremes 
are reproachable ; and that gentleman, in 
many of his late writings, seems to forget, 
that his own case is not every-body 's ; and 
is for treating us, all, like valetudinarians. 
Nature ought to be followed (helped, in- 
deed, now and then), but fiever to be 
thwarted and crossed in her tendencies. 1 
have strongly experienced this truth in my 
late long confinement. Among other joint 
causes, I owed the misfortune to a decay 
in the force of my spirits, under a too cold, 
too abstinent, regimen of diet. 

I will trouble you with no more, now* 



upon this subject, or on any other; but 
make haste to tell you, that in health, or 
out of health, in poetry or prose, in spirit 
And in truth, I never can be other than. 

Your faithful humble servant, 

A. Hill. 


April 5y 1743. 

JL OU are kind, with the usual partiality 
of your friendly good wishes, in what you 
hint about the hand wherein you would 
be glad to see the memoirs of the great 
family mentioned in the poem. To be 
sure, min<i is infinitely too weak for the 
demand of the subject ; and so, I fear, will 
any other be found, to whose care such a 
trust has a probability of being committed. 
For, I do not know how it happens, but 



certain it is, history is one of the rarest of 
all human accomplishments, and no plant, 
I am sure, of our climate. It is owing to 
a very long and unwearied application to 
its study, that I am more than ordinarily 
shocked at its too scandalous deficiency, 
upon a subject so replete with occasion for 
national glory ! But I am doubtful whether 
this defect is so obvious as it ought to be 
to the family in whose possession the papers 
lie, which alone can give foundation to a 
hope for the cure of it. I will tell you, 
very frankly, the whole extent of my scheme 
on this subject. 

I hope it is no extravagant supposition, 
that the poem may remind the family, and 
also the public, that such an undertaking 
ought to be promoted; and when, against 
next winter, (many general conversations 
on the subject being likely in the interval) 
they shall be prepared for the impression of 
a proof, that nothing that deserves the name 
of history has yet appeared in honour of the 



fluke's great actions, I have tlioughts of get- 
ting ready an essay on the campaign of one 
year only; (for instance, that of Blenheim) 
wherein, when they discern how different 
a figure the duke makes from that which 
he has hitherto appeared in, they will infer 
that he might still be made to shine beyond 
comparison more brightly, by the help of 
those assistances which they can furnish 
for the future. For they will feel, that 
what they now beleive sufficiently ex- 
plained is darkness, when they see the 
subject in the lights it ought to be pro- 
duced in; whereas, till then, they may, and 
I believe they do, conceive that there is 
nothing wanting, to convey a full idea to 
posterity of actions, which (far from it!) 
must, as now related, carry down a gross 
and muddy bulk of ill-packed and hard- 
folded intricacies. 

My greatest difficulty would be to find, 
among our own and the Frciich tracts, ex- 
aiiiined and considered together, matter 



enough wherefrom to disentangle facts and 
motives, in sufficient charity to form, at 
least, so much upon as to demonstrate, by 
another model, that the old ones are too 
heavy and defective to content the nation 
t)r the family; but, I believe, it might be 
practicable to select, one way or other, 
materials for that one year's history; and 
what defects the manuscript must have, for 
want of helps the family could furnish, may 
(if they please) be remedied before the 
public comes to judge of the performance^ 
This is my plan : and my chief motive 
is that true and honest one insinuated in 
the poem, from the apprehension of our 
conquerors losing ground in histories so 
far inferior to the genius they pretend to 
celebrate. I know it is too likely, from 
my own experience. The duke's own 
modest silence on the actions he could 
have best described, who only could have 
executed tliem, and the confused and dark 
accounts which other hands perplexed my 



apprehension by, while they pretended to 
enlighten it, misled me to a rash conclu- 
sion, which I have since, but by mere ac- 
cident, discovered to have been a very false 
and unjust one. And, I am sure, it is rea- 
sonably to be suspected, that what now, so 
near the time wherein the actions were 
performed, could cause me to mistake the 
author of them so unjustly, will, in times 
still more and more removed, produce still 
grosser errors, to the disadvantage of that 
great man's future character. 

I am, &c. 

A. HiLU 



jl SEND you back LeUers XI. and XII. of 

your still growing, as well as lengthening, 

beauty. She is infinitely pleasing, and so 

VOL. I. F sweetly 


sweetly natural in her movement, that you 
could not make her seem too tall, though 
you should stretch her out to as much vast- 
ness as the fame of Virgil. 

If there is any place that can be short- 
ened, without maiming this delightful com- 
position, you, who have created it, and have 
its whole proportion and connexion in your 
eye at once, are better justified in doing it, 
than it is possible for any other man to be, 
who, seeing it in parts, divided, and at 
distant times, would use, methinl>s, a bold- 
ness too unpardonable in advising to re- 
trench the smallest piece of any of its 
pages, ttll he has revised and re-considered 
it in its conclusive and accomplished full- 

You crowd, indeed, your observations 
and reflections, in this charming work. 
But is not that the very life, and soul, and 
fire, that makes the use and beauty of it 
impressive and so striking? Jn fact, it is in 
the first stages (if at. all) that you must look 



for lopping-places. All your after-growths 
are sacred, to the smallest twig ; and can ad- 
mit no cutting, without downright violation. 

I am greatly pleased at the small hint 
you give of a design to raise another Alps 
upon this Appenine ! We can never see 
too many of his works who has no equal 
in 4^is labours. 

Forgive the haste I write this with, being 
called off, by business, in the middle of it 
but, for ever. Dear Sir, 

your most obliged, &c. 

A. Hill. 


January 1y 1 744-5. 

JlT now seems so long since you obliged 
me with the two first pieces of your beau- 
tiful new work, that I am half ashamed to 
tell you why I have not sooner thanked 
F 2 yoH 


you for the pleasure they brought with 

I hsLve (in weighed and oft-repeated read- 
ings), found your blank leaves doomed to 
an unspotted virgin purity. I must not, 
nay, I dare not, think of violating them. 
Indeed, I see no modest possibility of do- 
ing it ; since precision, in so natural a flow 
of drapery, would only serve to stiffen, 
what you bid me shorten. You have form- 
ed a style, as much your property as our 
respect for what you write is, where ver- 
bosity becomes a virtue; because, in pic- 
tures which you draw with such a skilful 
negligence, redundance but conveys re- 
semblance; and to contract the strokes, 
would be to spoil the likeness. 

In short, I cannot improve you. Would 
you have me frankly tell you why? It is, 
because I want the power to imitate you. 
You must be content to stand alone ; and 
truly so you would, though fifty dwarf as- 
sistants were to croud into your shadow ! 



You contain, like the new notion of philo- 
sophy in vegetation, a whole species in on# 
single kernel. Nothing will be ever of 
your kind, unless yourself produces it. 

I could not have said less than this ; and 
more I will forbear to say, till you have 
sent the wiiole performance to. 

Dear Sir, Your's, &c. 

A. Hill. 



July 24, 1744. 
JL HAVE, again and again, re-perused 
and reflected on that good and beautiful 
design I send you back the wide and ar- 
duous plan of. It is impossible, after the 
wonders you have shewn in Pamela, to 
question your infallible success in this new, 
natural, attempt. But you must give me 
^ 3 leave 


leave to be astonished, when you tell me 
you have finished it already ! 

The honour you intended me, in such a 
trust as you once thought of*, is a com- 
pliment, you may be sure, of no small in- 
fluence ; since it had the power of giving 
me some pleasure, mixed, as k came to 
me, with so horrible, and not to be re- 
thought of, an idea ! 

As to Dr. Young, I know and love the 
merit of his moral meanings ; but am sorry 
that he overflows his banks, and will not 
remind himself (when he has said enough 
upon his subject), that it is then high time 
to stop. He has beauties scattered up and 
down in his complaints, that, had he not so 
separated them by lengths of cooling in- 
terval, had been capable of carrying into 
future ages such a fire, as few past ones 
ever equalled. What a pity want should 
be derived from superfluity! 

• To bequeath to his friendly care and judgment my 
poor writings. 



To the author of the Seasons, will yon 
be so good as to return my thanks, for his 
remembering an old friend j who, though 
he had still been forgotten, would, not- 
withstanding that, have yearly traced him 
round with new delight, from Spring quite 
down to Winter. 

And, because I find myself obliged to 
another writer for his present, through such 
a hand as your's, pray please to let him 
know, I thank him for the favour. But, 
indeed, the more I read of these blank 
verse eruptions, the more beautifully ne- 
cessary I perceive the yoke of rhyming. 
It is a kind of trammel that compels close 
stepping j whereas the wild luxuriant wan- 
tonness of those unfettered launchers into 
liberty, throws down enclosure, on pre- 
tence of latitude; and overtrampling all 
propriety, marked bound, or limitation, 
turns distinction into dcsart, and lays dry 
the Muses' districts. 

Good night, my dear Mr. Richardson.; 
F 4 be 


he happy and healthy, and continue to 
write on and charm on, and instruct the 
true way by example ! 

Your's ever. A, Hill. 



Sept, 10, 1744. 

Tt^E cannot yet say a great deal of the 
health you are so kind to wish us. But 
our tedious lease is near expiring j and, by 
next spring, we shall have before us the 
advantage of some better choice, for mend- 
ing our bad situation. 

Mr. Pope, as you with equal keenness 
and propriety express it, is go?ie out. I 
told a friend of his, who sent me the first 
news of it, that I was very sorry for his 
death, because I doubted whether he would 
live to recover the accident. Indeed, it 
gives me no surprise, to find you thinking 
he was in the wane of his popularity. It 



*rose, originally, but from meditated little 
personal assiduities, and a certain bladdery- 
swell of management. He did not blush 
to have the cunning to blow himself up, 
by help of dull, unconscious, instruments, 
whenever he would seem to sail, as if his 
own wind moved him. 

The heart of man is said to be inscruta- 
ble : but this can scarce be truly said of 
any writing man. The heart of such still 
shews, and needs must aiiew itself, beyond 
all power of concealment; and, without 
the writer's purpose, or even knowledge, 
will a thousand times, and in a thousand 
places, start up in its own true native co- 
lour, let the subject it is displayed upon 
bend never so remotely from the un-in- 
tended manifestation. — How many have I 
heard declare (and people, too, who loved 
truth dearly, and believed they spoke it), 
that they charmed themselves in reading 
Pamela; when, all the while, it was Mr. 
Kichardson they had been reading. 

F 5 In 


In fact, if any thing was line, or truly 
powerful, in Mr. Pope, it was chiefly cen- 
tered in expression : and that rarely, when 
not grafted on some other writer's precon- 
ceptions. His own sentiments were low 
and narrow, because always interested ; 
darkly touched, because conceived imper- 
fectly; and sour and acrid, because writ 
in envy. He had a turn for verse, without 
a soul for poetry. He stuck himself into 
his subjects, and his muse partook his ma- 
ladies ; which, with a kind of peevish and 
vindictive consciousness, maligned the 
healthy and the satisfied. 

One of his worst mistakes was, that un- 
necessary noise he used to make in boast of 
his morality. It seemed to me almost a 
call upon suspicion, that a man should rate 
the duties of plain honesty, as if they had 
been qualities extraordinary ! And, in fact, 
I saw, on some occasions, that he found 
those duties too severe for practice ; and 
but prized himself upon the character, in 



proportion to the pains it cost him to sup- 
port it. 

But rest his memory in peace ! It will 
very rarely be disturbed by that time he 
himself is ashes. It is pleasant to observe 
the justice of forced fame ; she lets down 
those, at once, who got themselves pushed 
upward ; and lifts none above the fear of 
falling, but a few who never teazed her. 

What she intends to do with me, the 
Lord knows ! The whole I can be sure of 
is, that never mortal courted her with less 
solicitude. And, truly, if I stood con- 
demned to share a place in her aerial store- 
house, with some> characters that fill up 
great voids there, as things go at present, 
I should railier \w<\kv a leg, shrink back, 
and ask her pardon. 

But, what have I to do with fame, who 
have only, now and then, tiirown out a 
loose leaf (sybil-like), and given the wind 
free privilege to scatter it? Perhaps it 
is better they should so be scattered > for so 
F C I see 


I see it would have been, for many of our 
liberal entailers of their works upon a 
public, that is scarce disposed to rank 
them among pastimes. — I am. 

Dear Sir, Your's, &c. 

A. Hill. 




Jl MET with your letter (as a most sea- 
sonable consolation), upon my return from 
an application, that of all applications I 
hate, a law plague, of tedious delays and 
attendances, which my very soul seems 
corroded by the oppressive chicaneries of. 
You are always so good, that I scarce 
knov/ where to begin or end the thanks I 
find due to you. Reading, to say truth, 
is the strongest holder-down of xny thought, 



to a diversion from uneasier reflexions. 
Writing, possibly, might have the same 
effect; but that I mortify myself with a 
conscious distrust, that I think not to the 
taste of the public. What a monstrous 
new proof of it is, the reception that the 
Fanciad has met with) It is a year or 
more, too, since, upon information that 
they were bringing on Alzira, at Drury- 
lane House, I revised and altered that play, 
and sent it them, improved and strength- 
ened to a very great degree ; with the ad- 
ditional name to it of Spanish Pride hum- 
bled : and the seasonable popular prologue 
I here inclose you, which I writ at Mr. 
Fletewood's pressing desire. The play is 
given out in parts, and is (they tell me), 
to come on this season. But the manage- 
ment there is so loose, that I question 
whether it ought yet to be so far depended 
on, as to deserve your thinking of another 
edition, to be ready against its acting. 
You charm me by the generous truths 



you remark, on the mercenary malignity 
of Mr. Pope's narrow conduct. His ge- 
nius is not native nor mventive : it is a 
verbal flexibility of expressiveness, that 
now and then throws such light on his 
couplets. He can add a door or a window 
to another man's house ; but he would 
build very badly on a new plan, or model, 
of his own disposition. He must have 
something to lean against, or would not 
move without falling. His imagination, 
therefore, is weak and defective ; and since 
his judgment too is demonstrably so, by 
his everlastingly correcting his new edi- 
tions for the Morse, below comparison, to 
what else can we attribjite the prodigious 
success which his writings have met with, 
but to the industrious servility of the arts, 
which he used, in his youth, to cajole and 
hook in his supporters ? Never was any 
thing, I think, more visible than this ap- 
pears in the correspondence betwixt him 
and Mr. Wycherly ^ and every-where else, 



indeed, throughout all that we see, of his 
beginnings. As to his Essay on Man 
(which is a battle between beauties and 
obscurities), you are very kind to his ge- 
nius, when you consider that as a proof of 
it, when the versification, I am afraid, is 
liis whole — and the matter and design my 
lord Bolingbroke's. And yet, in spite of 
these truths, there is always here and there, 
in whatever he writes, something so expres- 
sed to bewitch us, that I cannot, for my soul, 
help admiring him ; for he out-charms even 
a poet, though he is none. — In this ridicu- 
lous combat against king CoUey, some Mi- 
nerva has lent the laureat a spear j for there 
are strokes, of no Cibberine hand, in this 
new Sixpenny-worth of Scorn, that he has 
so wisely provoked the severity of 

God bless the new shoots of your family, 
and their dear root and sweet stem, and all 
the lovely little blossoming branches. 

I am, dear Sir, Your's, &,c. 

A. Hill. 





Oct. 13, 1746. 

-A-S to the story promised you concerning 
Mr. iPope, I could not have forgot to give 
it you. It left a much more deep impres- 
sion on my memory than any vanity, that 
was but a mere vanity, could have been 
capable of fixing there. For a too partial 
sensibility to self is often but a harmless, 
to-be-pitied pride of head ; whereas here 
seemed to have been something worsfe than 
even a pride of heart — something that blew 
up lightness into insolence; and added 
coarseness to. ingratitude. 

There was a verse, which Mr. Pope 
had drawn from a mistaken hint in 
Horace, which he would be oft repeating, 
and was very fond of: 

** For fools admire; but men of sense approie." 

I used 


I used to tell him I abhorred the senti- 
ment ; both from its arrogance, and want 
of truth in nature. We had many con- 
tests of this kind : but there are arguers, 
whom heaven, as this same gentleman ex- 
presses it extremely well, 

" Has cun'd with hearts unknowing how to yield. '^ 

And so our battles usually were drawn 
ones, where both sides laid claim to 

In the last debate we had upon this sub- 
ject, I desired to know if he was still, as 
formerly, convinced Longinus's remark on 
the sublime was right ? — " That the most 
certain way of knowing it is from the 
power in some idea touch'd enthusiasti- 
cally, to move the blood and spirits into 
transport, by a thrilling kind of joy, that 
raises pride in him who hears the passage, 
as if his soul grew wider, by expanding to 
conceive such images." 



He owned it was the strongest definition- 
of the true sublime that could be possibly 
imagined : but was sure, that only men of 
genius could conceive it. Whereupon I 
asked him whether joy^ and transport, and 
enthusiasm, and a thrill of blood, could pos- 
sibly consist with want of admiration ? He 
perceived the use I made of his concession, 
and said nothing, till I added this new 
question: whether only fools admire, if only 
men of genius are susceptible of a subr 
limity of admiration ? 

In some perplexity to find a better an- 
swer, he was forced to satisfy himself with 
saying, that Longinus's remark was truth; 
but that, like certain truths of more im- 
portance, it required assent from faith, 
without the evidence of demonstration. I 
replied, that I had had the pleasure to be 
witness of its demonstration, in an instance 
that himself gav e cause for. 

His curiosity was raised, and I informed 
him, that, at reading a new play at Lord 
Tyrcounel's, there was present a gentle- 


marij distinguished both for rank and ge- 
nius, who, on a discourse about the difli- 
Gulty of a delicate and manly praise, re- 
peated those fine lines, in compliment to 
the earl of Oxford, printed before D. Par- 
nell's poems. — I added, that this gentle- 
man had been so generously warmed, in 
his repeating them, that he was the most 
undeniable example I had ever seen of all 
Longinus's effect of the sublime, in its 
most amiable force of energy ! for, (break- 
ing off into a humanised excess of rapture, 
that expressed philanthropy with such a 
natural beauty, that, had he been my 
greatest enemy, I must have, from that 
moment, been compelled to love him for 
it) he told us, " He could never read those 
verses without rapture j for, that sentiments 
such as those were, appeared to carry 
more of the god in them than the man, and 
he was never weary of admiring them !" 

I there looked on Mr. Pope, in expec- 
tation of a question that he asked im- 
mediately — " AVho was this gentleman ?'* 

I an* 


I answered, it was the Speaker of the 
House of Commons : and re-paused atten- 
tively for the effect his gratitude was 
brought in debt for. 

But here arose the groundwork of my 
story, in a vanity, that merited a name so 
much severer, that, I own, I never after- 
wards recovered the opinion I then lost of 
that (too loud) pretensi^yn to high morals^ 
which you know he loved ta make on all 

In short, he had so much unfeeling ar- 
rogance, as to receive this honour (done 
him in so noble and so natural a manner) as 
deserving only a strained supercilious 
smile J and all he said upon it was — " The 
Speaker is a man remarkable for heat of 
passion j and such transports will be com- 
mon to such tempers !" 

I have done with this long little story. 
But, as painters better catch a likeness 
from some §mall unguarded glance of 
negligence,, (ban any set position of the 



countenance, so, if I were disposed (as I 
am not) to give the world an ugly picture 
•of this famous poet's mind, I could not 
chuse the help of a more strikingly charac- 
teristic feature. It affected me the more, 
because I knew him in the first gradations 
of his rise to notice j and compared his 
present ill-bred and contemptuous disre- 
gard of admiration, with the mean sedulity 
of all those arts of flattery wherewith he 
courted praise, in the beginnings of his 
growth to eminence. Many poor plots there 
are which the least discerning eye can look 
through, in the letters between him and 
Mr. W3^cherly, and Harry Cromwell, and 
in a long et castera of observations on his 
<?Utset conduct. But it is time to put an 
end to letters on the fourth page of a 
sheet, and so. 

Dear Sir, Your's, &c. 

A. HiLt. 





JL HERE is a manner, (so beyond the mat* 
ter, extraordinary always, too, as that is \) 
in whatever you say and do, that makes it 
an impossibility to speak those sentiments 
which it is equally impossible not to con- 
ceive in reverence and affection for your 
goodness ! 

This single word, upon receipt of your 
sixty, and two twenty pound bank notes, 
in so surprisingly obliging (yet so pain- 
inforcing) a manner, I could not but, in the 
fulness of my heart, compel an aching head 

to let me say to you, just now 

The rest I must refer to another day, and 
larger letter, having neither words, nor 
time, in this to say a hundredth part of what 
I feel — ^who am, for ever. Dear Sir, 
Your obliged 

A. Hill. 


wrrn aaron hill. 119 


Oi;t. 27, 174S. 

^y ITH regard to some parts of your fa- 
vour of the nineteenth, I will only say, 
that I am too much pained on your account 
to express any thing but my pain. A mind 
so noble ! so generous ! so under-rating 
intentional good from himself! so over- 
rating tritiing benefits from others ! But 
no more on this suUject. You are an alien, 
Sii:, in this world j and no wonder that the 
base world treat you as such. 

You arc so very earnest about transfer- 
ring to me the copyright to all your works, 
that I will only say, that that point must 
be left to the future issues of things. But 
I will keep account. I will, though I were 
to know how to use the value of your fa- 
vours as to those issues (never can I the 
value of your generous intentions). You 



will allow me to repeat, ./ will keep account. 
It is therefore time enough to think of the 
blank receipt you have had the goodness 
to send me to fill up. 

Would to heaven that all men had the 
same (I am sure I may call it just) opinion 
of your works that I have ! But — shall I 
tell you. Sir ? — The world, the taste of 
the world, is altered since you withdrew 
from it. Your writings require thought to 
read, and to take in their whole force; 
and the world has no thought to bestow. 
Simplicity is all their cry ; yet hardly do 
these criers know what they mean by the 
noble word. They may see a thousand 
beauties obvious to the eye : but if there 
lie jewels in the mine that require labour 
to come at, they will not dig. I do not 
think, that were Milton's Paradise Lost to 
be now published as a new work, it would 
be well received. Shakespeare, with all 
his beauties, would, as a modern writer, be 
hissed off the stage. Your sentiments, even 



they will have it who allow them to be no- 
ble, are too munificiently adorned : and they 
want you to descend to their level. Will 
you, Sir, excuse me this freedom ? Yet I 
can no longer excuse myself, to the love 
and to the veneration mingled that I bear 
to you, n I do not acquaint you with what 
the world you wish to mend says of your 
writings. And yet, for my own part, I 
am convinced that the fault lies in that 
indolent (that lazy, I should rather call it) 
world. You would not, I am sure, wish 
to write to a future age only. — A chance, 
too, so great, that posterity will be mended 
by what shall be handed down to them by 
this. And few, very few, are they who 
make it their study and their labour, to 
stem the tide of popular disapprobation or 
prejudice. Besides, I am of opinion that 
it is necessary for a genius to accommodate 
itself to the mode and taste of the world it 
is cast into, since works published in this age 
must take root in it, to flourish in the next. 
As to your title, Sir, which you are 
VOL. I. G pleased 

12€[ •<:OTlREST'ONt)ENCE 

pleased to require my opinion of, let me 
premise, that there was a time, and that 
within my own remembrance, when a 
pompous title was almost necessary to pro- 
mote the sale of a book. But the book- 
sellers, whose business is t<> watch thetaste 
and foibles of the pubiie, soon (as they 
never fail on such cKicasions to do) wore 
out that fashion : and now, verifying the 
old observation, that good wi«e needs no 
bush, a pompous or laboured title is looked 
upon as a certain sign of want -of merit in 
tlie performance, and hardly ever becomes 
an invitation t© the purchaser. 

As to your particular title to this great 
work, I hav e your pardon to beg, if I refer 
to your consideration, whether epic, truly 
epic, as the piece is*, you would choose to 
call it epic in the title-page ; since him- 
dreds who will see the title, will not, at 
the time, have seen your admirable defmi- 
.tion of the word. Excuse, Sir, this free- 

'* Gidcoa J or, the Patriot. An epic Poem. 



dom also, and excuse these excuses. — I am 
exceedingly pressed in time, and shall be 
for some time to come, or, sloven as I am 
in my pen, this should not have gone. 

God forbid that I should have given you 
cause to say, as a recommendation, that 
there will be more prose than verse in your 
future works ! 

I believe. Sir, that Mr. Garrick, in par- 
ticular, has not in any manner entered into 
vindictive reflections. I never saw him on 
the stage j but of late I am pretty well ac- 
quainted with him. I know he honours 
you. But he thinks you above the present 
low taste ; (this I speak in confidence) and 
once I heard him say as much, and wish 
that you could descend to it. Hence one 
of the reasons that have impelled me to be 
so bold as I have been in this letter. 

The occasion of the black wax I use, is 

the loss of an excellent sister. We loved 

each other tenderly ! But my frequent, I 

might say constant, disorders of the nervous 

G 2 kind 


kind ought to remind me, as a consolation, 
of David's self-comfort on the death of his 
child, perhaps oftener than it does, im- 
mersed as I am in my own trifles, and in 
business, that the common parental care 
permits me not to quit, though it becomes 
every day more irksome to me than an- 
other. I am. Sir, 

With ivue affection. 

Your most faithful, 

and obedient servant, 

S. Richardson. 


Nov. 2, 1748. 
Ji REALLY thought, ^ear Sir, that nei- 
ther my affection, admiration, or warm 
grateful sense of your inimitable virtues, 



'-'' \A110N HILL. 125 

could have admitted the increasi. given i'* 
it, by the sincere, kind, friendly plain- 
ness, of this last obliging letter. 

Yet, it tells me nothing new, of the low 
estimation of my writings : I have always 
known them, and expected them to be, 
unpopular : nor shall I live to^ see them 
in another light. But there will rise a 
time, in which they will be seen in a far 
different one : I know it, on a surer hope 
than that of vanity. 

As for the present world and me, we are 
so well agreed in our contempt of one an- 
other, that (exclusive only of one amiable 
interest I would wish myself, more spee- 
dily, of some poor little use' to), I feel no 
desire at all to undergo the imputation of 
contenting it. 

The simplicity they make so great a cry 
about, is what I love as much as they pre- 
tend f o love it y for, indeed, they talk of 
what they do not understand. Nor can 
sucli creatures as complain of poetry, be- 
G 3 cause 


cause it puts them to the pain of thinking, 
merit any poet's thinking of. Obscurity, 
indeed (if they had penetration to mean 
that), is burying sense alive ; and some of 
my rash, early, too affected puerile scrib- 
blin^s must, and should, have pleaded 
guilty, to so just an accusation. But the 
case, thank God, is very different now ; 
and these implicit mules, that oarry malit:^ 
for their owners, might perhaps have mo- 
desty enough to think it so, if they could 
see with what unpardoning severity I do, 
and shall, revise my copies. 

But I am sure, that when my dear friend 
told me that the world has changed its 
taste, he gives that word the same re- 
strained sense I have used it in above. 
For no judge better knows, that with ex- 
ception to a Jev;ish and stock-jobbing 
city, and a foreign court (with their too 
numerous dependents), where our very 
Janguage is despised, and in a manner out 
of use; and English taste, there, changed 



in consequence : I say, with due exception 
to deaf ears, the world was never more 
disposed than now, to English thought 
and English feeling. Nor shall we (if our 
period, as a people, is as distant as I hope 
in heaven it is), in any part of the now 
current century, want sufficient numbers 
of learned men, and persons of exacted 
genius, to preserve all writings worth their 
notice J such, I mean, as carry figure to 
attract it: for small pamphlet pieces, I 
suspect, too seldom reach good hands, or 
run a hazard to be lost, among t^e rul- 
bish that sinks round them. 

What you hint of Mr. Garrick, with 
your usual and peculiar sweetness of in- 
tention, is just what I think of him, as to 
his own free sentiments, detached from 
wrong suggestions of malignant minds, 
which he too easily adopts, without exam- 
ining. We correspond but little, and it 
•has been always on a civil footing. But I 
Am not without reasons, no,! worth telling 
Q 4 you. 


youj for fearing him (which is a weakness 
Tery strange, yet but too common through- 
out life !) pervertible by men, whose judg- 
ment, at the same time, he despises. But, 
I hope, my Merope is in a fair way to 
come down to him this season from a hand 
of power y whence, if it does so come, 1 
shall soon better know him. 

I cannot help saying something more 
about simplicity; because, as Mr. Dryden 
told some fools of his own days, that when 
they praised an easy way of writing, they 
meant that which men could write most 
easily 3 so their successors, of the modern 
stamp, are far from meaning, when they 
cry up what they call simplicity, that na- 
tural and delightfully instructive elegance 
of unaffected passion, which your touched 
and thinking readers see, and suffer under, 
and grow better by, in the distresses and 
reflections of a Pamela, or a Clarissa. All 
that these dim humble wretches mean, by 
their abuse of it to a benumbing sense, is 



the unjogging slide of something, but they 
cannot tell what, that paces their lame un- 
derstanding smoothly on, and does not 
shake it out of a composure, necessary to 
its weakness. 

Simplicity (you know it best of all men^ 
breathing), is a weaker word for the same 
thing, propriety. Whatever is conceived 
with and .expressed with that wants no^ 
thing; it has every ornament becoming its 
demand, not one beyond it. If it had 
none, it would be naked; if too feWy de- 
fective; if too many, tawdry. This, my 
dear friend, is simplicity ; and this is your 
simplicity. Whether we take the word 
from simplex (sine plica), or from simphts 
(sine and plus), its true sense must l>e 
found in its reverse to duplex i so that every 
thing is simple, that has nothing added 
contrary to its own quality; and every 
thing un-simpic, that has foreign and un- 
natural annexions. If a camel were to be 
described, it might be done with all the 
G 5 requisite 


requisite simplicity^ however loftily the 
poet should express the beast's raised neck, 
majestic pace, and venerable countenance. 
J3ut from the moment he began to mention 
-claws and courage, as the camel's attributes, 
iiis deviation from the rules of true simpli- 
jcity would justly call for the reproach of 
4oo magnificently adorned; not because 
xjamels ought not to be spoken of magnifi- 
«c-eHtly, but because there should not be 
^assigned them a magnificence repugnant 
•to their nature. 

JLong as this letter is already, I have 
something still to add, relating to a prose 
jpiece I informed you I should want your 
judgment on. Jt is my tract of new im- 
provements in the art of war, by 4sea and 
land. This piece is very full of novelty, 
Mid possibly will have jnuch future conse- 
quence. And yet the supercilious narrow- 
jDess in vogue may make it be supposed, 
ilhat mothing of this nature can be worth 
ucgard, nor authorised by a commission, 



to think rationally. To such heads it were 
of little influence to say, how much I saw 
and learned in armies of three different 
nations at the outset of my life (too soon 
engaged in foreign ramblings). A still less 
.effect would .follow, if I went about to 
make them sensible, how preferable to 
whole lives of mill-horse rounds in practi- 
cal contractions, an extended theory may 
Jbe, when exercising a not-unadapted ge- 
nius, long and obstinately bent on all ex- 
aminations pro-per to that study. — Would 
it rnot he better I should spare myself the 
trouble of these undeserved apologies, to 
^uch a .war-defaming race as we know 
where to look for? and, instead of a dry 
dissertation on what might be done in arms, 
present it to the entertained imagination, 
us what had already been; laying the scene, 
at some pretended time, in some imagi- 
nary country^ and uniting, in a lively 
story, all the use, surprise, and pleasure, 
;0f historical narration, filled with warlike 
G 6 and 


and political events, of a new turn and 
species to the active demonstrations of a 
theory, that else might pass for project 
only. I persuade myself that one might 
make a piece of this kind very pleasing ; 
and will throw it into such a form, If you 
conceive it would do better. 

Are you to hope no end to this long, 
long, long, nervous persecution ? But, it 
is the tax you pay your genius ; and I ra- 
ther wonder you have spirits to support 
such mixture of prodigious weights, such 
an effusion of the soul, with such confine- 
ment of the body, than that it has over- 
strained your nerves to bear yaur spirit's 
agitation! — God Almighty bless you! I 
should never end at all, if I writ on till I 
had nothing left that I still wished to tell 
you, from your (beyond his power of tell- 

Most obliged and 

grateful humble servant, 
A. Hill. 




Mr. W a R B U R T O N 





Dec.2Sy 1742. 

Jl HIS very day, on receiving my things 

from London, I liad the pleasure to find in 

the box an obliging letter from you, of the 

17th past, with a very kind and valuable 

present of a fme edition of your excellent 

work, which no one can set a higher rate 

upon. I find they have both lain all this 

time at Mr. Bowyer's. 

I have so tru6 aa esteem for yon, that 



you may depend on any thing in my power, 
that you think may be of any service to 

Mr. Pope and I, talking over your work 
when the two last volumes came out, 
agreed, that one excellent subject of Pame- 
ila's letters in high life, would have been to 
diave passed her judgment, on first stepping 
dnto it, on every thing she saw there, just 
AS simple nature (and no one ever touched 
mature to the quick, as it were, more cer- 
itainly and surely than you) dictated. The 
•effect would have been this, that it would 
have produced, by good management, a 
most excellent and useful satire on all the 
follies and extravagancies of high life; 
which to one of Pamela's low station and 
good sense would hav« appeared as absurd 
and unaccountable as European polite 
vices and customs to an Indian. Vou 
easily conceive the effect this must have 
added to the entertainment of the book ^ 
ajid for the use, that is incontestable. And 


Ml?. 17ARBURT0N. 135 

what could be more natural than this in 
Pamela, going into a new world, where 
•every thing sensibly strikes a stranger? 
But, wheA I have the pleasure of seeing 
3^ou in town, we will talk over this matter 
•at large ; and, I fancy, you will make some- 
thing extremely good of our hints. I have 
a great deal to say upon this subject, that, 
when we are together, you will not only 
understand more 'perfectly, hut I shall be 
able to conceive more clearly by the use of 
your true judgment. 

At least, I shall be always zealous of 
shewing how much I am, X»ood Sir, 

Your very obliged and most 

affectionate, humble servant, 

W. Warburtoi^. 






Mr. strahan; 


Edinburgh^ Aug. 17, 1749. 
j^FTER an agreeable, though somewhat 
fatiguing, journey of five days, we arrived 
safely at this place, where we found all 
friends as well as we expected. The alte- 
rations in persons, places, and things, since 
I was here last, struck me exceedingly, 
and afi'orded me the most convincing proof 
imaginable of the mutability of human 
aifairs. Many people are strangely altered, 



many have disappeared, and many are now 
no more, which it is impossible to think of 
without concern, and a degree of serious- 
ness not to be suddenly checked. Nay, so 
natural is it to be prejudiced in favour of 
the appearances things had when we were 
young, that even the alterations for the 
better please me not ; at least, not till I 
have reasoned myself into the utility and 
propriety of the change. 

I am like to be very well entertained 
while I stay here. TTiere are sensible men 
in plenty; though such as Mr. R. are 
rarely found any where. I assure you the 
most valuable folks here like your writings 
best. You may, with great propriety, say, 
exegi monument um. 

There is nothing in this place worth 
WTiting you, only that there seems to be a 
great spirit of industry gone forth, which 
I am sure will turn to the advantage of 
both parts of the united kingdom. 

I hope this will lind you in perfect health, 



and happy in every sense. None merits 
•every good thing better than you do; nor 
is there any person better qualified for the 
enjoyment of every rational pleasure. I 
hope your little girl is somewhat better, 
and that the rest continue perfect models 
of what young ladies sliould be. You will 
he so good to give my best respects to 
the valuable Mrs. Richardson ; and to Mrs. 
Poole and Miss Button, whom, you know, 
you and I both love. 

I remember your long-continued friend- 
ship for me with pleasure and gratitude. 
I admire your generosity, your benevo- 
lences your sagacity, your penetration, 
your knowledge of human nature, and 
your good heart; I esteem you as my 
friend, my adviser, my pattern, and my 
benefactor; I love you as my father i 
and let me, even me also, call you my 

My wife and her mother bid me say 
every thing that is kind and respectful to 



you and Mrs. Richardson: shall we have 
the pleasure of hearing from you ? — Mr. 
Hamilton will, no doubt, have occasion to 
trouble you now and then. I know you 
will not grudge giving him your best ad- 
vice ^ whose every long day is filled with 
acts of benevolence to every body you 


I am, dear Sir, 

Your most obliged humble servant. 

W. Strahan. 


Edinkurghy Aug. 24, 17494 
J.F I were to be long at a distance from 
you, I fancy I should become as trouble- 
some in writing, as you have experienced, 
to your cost, I have often been in talking 
to you, as every thing I see puts me in 



mind of you. — What would Mr. Richardson 
think of this ? — Here is room for his 
praise; — and here for his censure: — 
this would raise his compassion; this his 
indignation ; this would touch his benevo- 
lent heart with joy; and here he would 
exercise his charity ; this man's solid sense 
would delight him; the ladies would, in 
general, charm him; and the honest preju- 
dices of many, in favour of their native 
country, would make him smile. These, 
and many other such-like thoughts often: 
occur to me, so that I am oftener in your 
company than you imagine. The civilities 
I daily meet with, and the hospitality with 
which I am entertained, are not to be ex^ 
pressed. I have nothing to do but go from 
feast to feast, the manners of the better 
part of this country bearing a very near 
resemblance to those of North End. I am 
overwhelmed with their kindness, so that 
I must really make my stay here as short 
as possible, lest living thus i iotously should 



prejudice my health. But no more of thia 
till I see you — a pleasure I truly long for. 

At intervals, as I am now almost become 
a stranger to this country, and am possibly 
now taking my leave of it, I visit what is 
ancient or curious. Yesterday I paid my 
compliments to the remains of King James 
the Fifth, and shook Lord Darnley by the 
hand ; he was Queen Mary's husband, you 
well know, and was seven foot eight inches 
in stature: a portly personage once, and 
now — what we must all be. O what a 
pleasing melancholy filled me on beholding 
their venerable remains. To see the very 
bodies of two such great men, who existed 
two centuries ago, is a curiosity indeed. 
They are in the chapel of Holyrood House, 
a very noble structure, but almost entirely 
demolished at the revolution, and since 
utterly neglected. Here monuments of 
men, like men, decay ! But, however, the 
outside is firm, so that it may easily be re- 
paired, when the government thinks proper. 



What else I have seen, with my observa- 
tions on every thing that occurs, will afford 
me matter of conversation with you, when 
my tongue, perhaps, would be more imper- 
tinently employed. I shall therefore say 
no more now. Suffer me only to take 
every occasion of making my sincere ac- 
knowledgments for your continued and 
uninterrupted kindness and friendship to 
me. When I think of particular instances 
of your goodness to me, all I can say to 
you upon that subject comes so very short 
of \\ hat I feel, that I do myself great in- 
justice in endeavouring to say any thing 
at all. I am. Dear Sir, 

Your most obliged servant, 
W. Straiian. 




Sept^2f 1749, 

Could you communicate to me a very 
small portion of your lively and creating 
fancy, my letters would be much more 
worthy of your perusal. The Israelites, 
who were obliged to make bricks without 
straw, were, in my opinion, in a much 
more tolerable situation than the man who 
is obliged to write without genius, because, 
though they had, indeed, no allowance of 
straw delivered out to them, they had the 
whole land of Egypt to glean it in j and as 
that, like Clarissa, was notoriously a most 
fruitful country, in which there were doubt- 
less many delicious spots, they unquestion- 
ably found very pretty pickings in it. 

Since my last, I have been at Glasgow, 
a town greatly altered for tlie better, in 
point of trade, since I was there last. Se- 
veral large manufactories are set on foot, in 



which the poor of all ages, and both sexes, 
are usefully employed. From thence I 
went to Paisley, where Mr. Millar's father 
is minister, a venerable old man, who, like 
the church he preaches in, is nodding to 
his dissolution, but beautiful even in riiins. 
The town is almost entirely composed of 
manufacturers, and is in so exceeding 
thriving a way, that it is, they tell me, 
considerably increased even since last year 
when Mr. Millar was there. I returned 
thence to Stirling, and visited the castle, 
and went over the noble monuments of the 
amazing grandeur of our kings before the 
union of the crowns that are crumbling into 
dust. Here is a fine palace built by King 
James the Fifth, and a parliament-house, 
infmitely superior to that of Westminster. 
Here is a chapel also, purposely erected 
for the christening of Prince Henry, King 
Charles the First's eldest brother. Had he 
been preserved, who knows how thing$ 
might now have been altered from what 



they are. — ^AU these are hastening to de- 
cay, as no care is taken of any thing here 
except the fortifications. I had forgot to 
tell you, tliat the great church at Glasgow, 
and that noble structure at Paisley, are 
about 600 years old, and are most authen- 
tic proofs of the power of the church, or 
rather churchmen, in those days, who were 
able, in times of poverty and rudeness, to 
erect a variety of piles, any one of which 
would sensibly distress the whole kingdom, 
now, in its improved and flourishing state, 
to finish. On my return to Edinburgh, I 
passed by the ruins of the abbacy of Cul- 
ross, part of which is now turned into a sta- 
ble. The Temains of gentlemen's houses, of 
long standing, occur every where ; in which 
the builders have visibly studied strength 
and security, preferably to pleasure and 
conveniency. During this excursion, I 
was continually comparing past times with 
the present ; the ancient glory of a prince, 
and a few noble families, supported at the 
VOL, I, II cxpence 


expence of the lives of some, and the liber- 
ties of all the rest of the people, (who, the 
clergy excepted, laboured under the last 
degree of poverty, slavery, and ignorance) 
with the present economy of things, when 
our merchants are princes, and tradesmen 
enjoy the good things of the earth; when 
property may be acquired and safely en- 
joyed by the meanest labourer; and when 
superstition and ignorance can hardly find 
shelter in our meanest cottages. And yet, 
comfortable as this comparison is, tlie ruin 
of these ancient badges of om* slavery, by 
reason of their splendour and magnificence, 
impresses me with a very deep concern. 

I have insensibly spun out a long letter, 
without saying hardly any thing ; and, least 
I tire you too much at once, I shall only 
add, at present, the assurances of my most 
perfect gratitude and esteem, being always, 

Dear Sir, Your's, &c. 

W. Strahan. 




Edinburgh, Sept. 16, 1749. 


^VHEN I sit down to write to you, I 
present you before my eyes, with a smile 
of complacency overspreading your intel- 
ligent countenance, as if telling me, before 
I put pen to paper, that you expected to 
hear nothing new from me ; but that's your 
fault, not mine. Had you been less assi- 
duous in storing your mind with every sort 
of useful knowledge, you would yet have 
had something to learn. / have the plea- 
sure of daily making new discoveries, which 
youy who have long ago travelled over the 
whole territories of human nature, are al- 
ready intimately acquainted with. In this 
respect, I am happier than you. — " I am 
glad of it, Mr. Strahan ; I envy not your 
superior ignorance, I assure you." 

This moment I was going to say several 
H 2 bright 


bright things, which, as lam afraid I shall 
not be able to recollect again, I am sorry 
to tell you, you will probably lose for 
ever ; but was interrupted by several peo- 
ple, who insist on my company, whether I 
will or no. I must therefore hasten to tell 
you, that I have had the pleasure and 
honour of your kind epistle ; that my face, 
sleek as it is, I am very sensible wilJ, in 
time, if it lasts, undergo a change, which 
I now neither hope for nor fear — ^that I 
hope I shall be able to tell you this, to 
your face, twenty years hence r-^—that my 
wife says- she loves you, as does also her 
old infirm mother ; poor conquests you 
would say, if you were not Air. Richard- 
son : — that I have not yet seen Mrs. A , 

but intend it soon : — that Mr. — — — 
is in Ireland, from whom you need never 

expect any thing : — that is 

in the North just now, but having got a 
good post, you will surely recover his 
tJioney j please, therefore, send me down 



another copy of the bill, with a letter an- 
nexed, (directed to Mr. George Balfour, 
writer to the Signet in Edinburgh,) im- 
powering him to receive it for you; this 
you will be so good as to do directly. I 
have spoke to him, and he will take parti- 
cular care of it. Mr. Hamilton has franks 
to forward to town. That I am very greatly 
pleased Mr. Hamilton has your good 
opinion and approbation; he is full of 
your kindness in all his letters. 

Allow me also. Sir, to acknowledge, 
(and I do it with the utmost sense of 
gratitude) the great honour you have 
done me, in admitting me to such a share 
of your conversation and friendship, which 
I have reason to value and be proud of oa 
many accounts. You have indeed laid me 
under so many repeated obligations, and 
oblige too in so obliging a way, that I 
am afraid I must remain your poor in- 
solvent debtor as long as I live: yet I will 
beg leave to say, that, if I do not deceive 
tt 3 myself. 


myself, I think I shall ever endeavour to 
pay all I can towards the interest of them, 
since the principal I am afraid I shall 
never he able to discharge. I know you 
may justly reproach me with neglecting 
one affair in particular you recommended 
to me ; but I can with great truth say, it 
proceeds not from indolence, or any worse 
cause, but purely from an almost irresis- 
tible dislike to that sort of employment, 
which I really did not perceive in myself 
before, but which I am determined never- 
theless to conquer. 

I take this opportunity also to acquaint 
you, that my spouse was yesterday, be- 
tween six and seven in the morning, safely 
delivered of a boy. She and I had long 
ago determined, if this child should be a 
male, to name it Samuel, after you; to 
make him, as it were, a living monument 
of your friendship ; but without intention 
of putting you to expence, as I never make 
any formal christening. This, I hope, you 
will do me the honour to accept of. 

I shall 


I shall ever retain that just value and 
esteem for your singular humanity and 
goodness, which such a variety of amiable 
qualities never fail to command j and it 
shall always be my sincere wish, that you 
may enjoy a good state of health, to enable 
you to do all the good that is in your 
heart to do ; that your young and promis- 
ing family may exceed all your expecta- 
tions of them; and that they, with Mrs. 
Richardson, (whose invincible honesty of 
heart, and unaffected love and veneration 
for you, must daily gain ground in the 
affections of a heart like your's) may all 
concur to make life serenely agreeable to 

you. I am, &c. 

William Strahan. 


September 21, 1749. 

jl THINK it is an observation of your 

own, that people cannot be at a loss for a 

U 4 subject 


subject when they write to those they es- 
teem and love. I own I am entirely of 
your opinion, and therefore when I sit 
down to write to you, I am not at all 
puzzled to say enough, but only to say 
something that may in some degree de- , 
serve your reading. If this was not the 
case, you might expect to be overpowered 
with my letters, as you have often been 
with my talking, when, from a sincere de- 
sire to please and divert you, (however 
short I came of my intention) I have 
opened the sluice? of every folly in my 
brain, and overwhelmed you with non- 

Since I wrote last I have been in the 
north, seeing an old and a dear comrade, 
the parting from whom pierced me to the 
very soul. In my way I visited the ancient 
city of St. Andrew's, a most august mo- 
nument of the splendour of the Scots epis- 
copal church in former times. It is a most 
awful heap of ruins, to which I could wish 
all high-churchmen in Britain would take 

a visit 


a visit once a-year, in pilgrimage, where 
they will behold a tremendous and amaz- 
ing instance to what a deplorable degree 
of contempt and ruin they may reduce 
themselves, by their excessive arrogance, 
pride, and oppression. 

On my return I had the pleasure to re- 
ceive your letter. I shall set out for Lon- 
don in about eight days, and hope to have 
the pleasure to see you ten days after that. 

This recess from the hurry of business • 
has been no disagreeable pause to me: it 
has, I may venture to say, afforded me 
both amusement and instruction. It is 
like turning over another leaf in the book 
of life, which, though not so crowded with 
the most useful matter, is nevertheless 
much fairer to the eye, more legible and 
pleasant in the reading. In traversing the 
country I have had occasion to see seve- 
ral pictures of life, which, though not en- 
tirely new to'me, were yet nearly so. I 
have seen (a rare sight in London) indo- 
H 5 . lence,. 


lence, inactivity, poverty, tranquillity, and 
happiness, dwelling under one roof. I have 
seen the several gradations from that to 
the busy moiling trader, and from him 
again to those who were born to every 
earthly enjoyment. How seemingly dif- 
ferent their situations, how nearly equal 
their pretences to real happiness ! What an 
amazing variety in one little island. Here 
the poor reaper issues from his homely 
cot, in the bleak regions of the everlasting 
mountains, contented if after the weeks of 
harvest are over in the more fertile plains, 
he can return home with a few shillings to 
subsist him till the return of that season. 
This is the utmost his most laborious 
employment of cutting down the corn, 
can procure him. There, the merchant 
thirsts after a princely inheritance; or the 
ambitious statesman labours to lord it not 
only over all his fellow-subjects, but even 
over his prince. But I will tire you no 
longer than till I tell you, that 1 have seen 



Captain C , who is a very pretty gen- 
tleman, and lives in the finest house in 
Scotland, which he is exceedingly fond of, 
and is indeed particularly pleased with this 
country. I am really greatly affected, and 
my wife more so, with the loss of my pretty 
little Anne, and could delineate the pangs 
I felt on that occasion, but that I write to 
one who is too susceptible of the most ten- 
der impressions, and who has had too many 
occasions (may he never have another) to 
exercise the most difficult of all christian 
duties, resignation to the will of heaven. 

I hope you will believe, that I remem- 
ber not only you, but your's, with very 
great respect and affection. I wish to find 
health even in that part of your family 
where you seem least to expect it; and 
my wife and her mother join me in every 
good wish to you all. 

I am, &c. 

W. Strahan. 
H 6 TO 



Answickf Oct, 1, n4£>. 


Jl AM thus far on my road to you, and 
long to finish my journey; but as I travel 
with women and a child, we make but a 
slow progress. 

■^ Had I a tolerable pen, I could describe 
to you, I think, in lively colours, what I 
felt at parting with dear friends, some of 
whom I am sure I shall see no more. I 
could tell you how exquisitely pleasing 
the sight of my native country has been 
to me ; and how easily, how naturally, how 
cordially, I have renewed old friendships. 
I could tire you with descriptions of the 
different states of my mind, as I was dif- 
ferently affected with joy, sorrow, surprise, 
&c. I could paint to you the analogy 
between an excursion of this kind, and the 



journey of life itself. But these things I 
must defer for a few days longer, and am, 
meanwhile. Dear Sir, 

Your most obedient 

humble servant, 

W. Strahan. 

P.S. There is a very pretty lady in com- 
pany, much resembling your Clarissa. 


Yorkj October 5 J 1749. 

Once more — I am now half way, and 
shall have the pleasure of seeing you two 
days after you receive this : as nothing has 
occurred during our journey worth men- 
tioning, I have nothing to say on that sub- 
ject. The lady in my last postscript is one 



after your own heart; she has true sim* 
plicity of manners, attended at the same 
time with a most becoming and easy dig 
nity. Her person is well proportioned 
and stately, and commands respect; her 
deportment, her unaffected and engaging 
affability and constitutional good-nature, 
commands your affection; she discovers a 
fund of good sense, and knowledge of life 
and manners, accompanied with a solidity 
of judgment rarely to be found with so few 
years, and so much beauty: her sweet 
temper is most engaging, whilst her con- 
versation is most instructive. Having seen 
much of the world, she seems to have made 
a very proper use of it, and made a just 
estimate of human life. Thus qualified, I 
prophesy you will be very fond of her. I 
have not done her half justice; your pene- 
trating judgment will soon discover a 
thousand beauties which I have not saga- 
city enough to find out: But from what I 
have said, you may easily perceive my 



wife has no small cause of jealousy ; but I 
am open and above-board with it, and 
freely own I cannot help admiring beauty 
and loving virtue, wherever I find it ; and 
she has good sense enough not to be of- 
fended, and is indeed as fond of her as 
I am. 

While I am writing, I cannot help look- 
ing back with some astonishment on my 
manner of life for these two months. In- 
stead of plodding in business; hunting after 
pleasure, roving from place to place, from 
company to company, with a degree of 
unconcern about my most material affairs, 
which I did not believe myself capable of. 
These scenes have, however, been inter- 
spersed with others of a distressful kind, 
which gave me pause; and while they 
melted my heart with grief, and stirred up 
all that was friendly and affectionate in me, 
at the same time afforded proper motives 
for recollection, and gave occasion for 
many serious, and, I hope, not unusefui 



Your goodness and your known friend- 
ship for me, will, I hope, excuse me for 
troubling you, upon all occasions, with 
whatever is uppermost in ray heart. You, 
yourself, will answer for me, that I mean 
well J for you know how much I am. 

Dear Sir, 
Your most obliged 

and affectionate 

humble servant, 

\Vm. Strahan. 








Sarurrif June 13, 1749. 

JL AM much obliged for your kind pre- 
sent; yet, not so much for that, as for the 
very friendly and benevolent manner in 
which you make it. As to the work itself, 
I shall always value it, as having that 
stamp or character which alone can make 
any work valuable, to the liberal and dis- 
interested j that is, I shall value it as the 
work not only of a sensible, but of an 
honest man. 

My wife begs your acceptance of her 
compliments. With her's I join my own 



to Mrs. Richardson, and your little family, 
for whose welfare you have our sincerest 
wishes. I am. Dear sir. 

Your most obedient servant, 

James Harris. 


Sarmn, Jan, 19, 1752. 

JL AM glad that Hermes has been able to 
merit the approbation of so worthy a man, 
and so rational a reader, as yourself. 
It would be hard, indeed, if the notion of 
learning were confined to the mere know- 
ledge of one or two dead languages. Who- 
ever surely possesses a good understand- 
ing, duly exercised upon becoming sub- 
jects, may justly aspire both to the name 
and to the character. In this light I con- 
sider yourself, having withal this farther 



reason to applaud you, that the sordid 
views of trade have not (as usual) been so 
far able to engross you, as to withdraw 
you from the contemplation of more ra- 
tional, more ingenuous, and (what per- 
haps may sound strange to many of your 
neighbours) more interesting subjects. 

Your kind wishes for my family I accept 
with thanks. Be pleased to accept, in re- 
turn, the sincerest wishes both of myself 
and wife, for the prosperity of all that you 
call your's, believing me to be, as I truly 

Dear Sir, 

Your very sincere friend, 

and humble servant, 

James Harris. 






Mr. cave. 


j4vg.9, 1750. 

JL HOUGH I have constantly been a pur- 
chaser of the Ramblers from the first five 
that you was so kind as to present me with, 
yet I have not had time to read any farther 
than those first five, till within these two 
or three days past. But I can go no fur- 
ther than the thirteenth, now before me, 
till I have acquainted you, that I am inex- 
pressibly pleased with them. I remember 
not any thing in the Spectators, in those 



Spectators that I read, for I never found 
time — {Alas! my life has been a trifling 
busy one) to read them all, that half so 
much struck me ; and yet I think of them 

I hope the world tastes them; for its own 
sake, I hope the world tastes them ! The 
author I can only guess at. There is but 
one man, I think, that could write them ; 
I desire not to know his name; but I 
should rejoice to hear that they succeed ; 
for I would not, for any consideration, 
that they should be laid down through 

I have, from the first five, spoke of them 
with honour. I have the vanity to think 
that I have procured thema^Imirers; that is 
to say, readers. And I am vexed that I have 
not taken larger draughts of them before, 
that my zeal for their merit might have 
been as glowing as now I fmd it. 

Excuse the overflowing of a heart highly 
delighted with the subject, and believe me 



to be an equal friend to Mr. Cave and the 
Rambler, as well as 

Their most humble servant, 

S. Richardson. 


St. JohrCs Gate, August 23, 1750. 
JL received the pleasure of your letter of 
the 9th inst. at Gloucester, and did intend to 
answer it from that city, though I had but' 
one sound hand (the cold and rain on my 
journey having given me the gout) ; but, 
as soon as I could ride, I went to West- 
minster, the seat of Mr. Cambridge, who 
entertained the Prince there, and, in his 
boat, on the Severn. He kept me one 
night, and took me down part of his river 
to the Severn, where I sailed in one of his 
boats, and took a view of another of a pe- 


culiar make, having two keels, or being 
rather fcwo long canoes, connected by a 
floor or stage. I was then towed back 
again to sup and repose. Next morning 
he explained to me the contrivance of some 
waterfalls, which seem to come from a 
piece of water which is four feet lower. 
The three following days I spent in re- 
turning to town, and could not find time to 
write in an inn. 

I need not tell you that the Prince ap- 
peared highly pleased with every thing 
that Mr. Cambridge shewed, though he 
called him upon deck often to be seen by 
the people on the shore, who came in pro- 
digious crowds, and thronged from place 
to place, to have a view as often as they 
could, not satisfied with one ; so that many 
who came between the towing line and the 
bank of the river were thrown into it, and 
his royal highness could scarce forbear 
laughing ; but sedately said to them, " I 
am sorry for your condition." 



Excuse this ramble from the purpose of 
your letter. I return to answer, that Mr. 
Johnson is the Great Rambler, being, as 
you observe, the only man who can furnish 
two such papers in a week, besides his 
other great business, and has not been 
assisted with above three. 

I may discover to you, that the world is 
not so kind to itself as you wish it. The 
encouragement, as to sale, is not in propor- 
tion to the high character given to the 
work by the judicious, not to say the rap- 
tures expressed by the few that do read it ; 
but its being thusi relished in numbers 
gives hope that the sets must go off, as it 
is a fine paper, and, considering the late 
hour of having the copj^, tolerably printed. 

When the author was to be kept private 
{which was the first scheme), two gentle- 
men, belonging to the Prince's court, came 
to me to enquire his name, in order to do 
him service ; and also brought a list of 
seven gentlemen to be served with the 



Rambler. As I was not at liberty, an in- 
ference was drawn, that I was desirous to 
keep to myself so excellent a writer. Soon 
after, Mr. Doddington sent a letter directed 
to the Bafnbler, inviting him to his house, 
when he should be disposed to enlarge his 
acquaintance. In a subsequent number a 
kind of excuse was made, with an hint that 
a good writer might not appear to advan- 
tage in conversation. Since that time, 
several circumstances, and Mr. Garrick 
and others, who knew the author's powers 
and stile from the first, unadvisedly assert- 
ing their (but) suspicions, overturned the 
scheme of secrecy. (About which there is 
also one paper.) 

I have had letters of approbation from 
Dr. Young, Dr. Hartley, Dr. Sharpe, Miss 
C , &c. &c. most of them, like you, set- 
ting them in a rank equal, and some supe- 
rior, to the Spectators (of which I have not 
read many for the reasons which you as- 
sign) : but, notwithstanding such recom- 

YOt. I. I mendation. 


mendation, whether the price of fw(hpenc€» 
or the unfavourable season of their first 
publication, hinders the demand, no boast 
can be made of it. 

The author (who thinks highly of your 
writings) is obliged to you for contributing 
your endeavours ; and so is, for several 
marks of your friendship. 

Good Sir, 

Your admirer, 

And very humble servant, 

E. CayE. 







TO MR. rk:hardson. 

Marstcn House, near Fromt, in Somenetshtr^, 

Nov, 9, nsv 

JBY means of Mr. Leake, I yesterday re- 
reived your most valuable present. Give 
me leave to thank you, not only in my 
own name, but in the name of my whole 
family. Yet, I own, we thank you for 
sleepless nights and sore eyes, and per- 
haps, there are aching hearts and salt tears 
still in reserve for us. 

I 2 I wish 

172 LETTER, &C. 

I wish your gift might have been to a 
more useful servant ; but, as I feared, so I 
found it impossible to be the important 
friend I most heartily wished myself*. 
However, I was happy in receiving your 
commands ; and I hope my ill success will 
not hinder you from giving me opportunity 
of publicly shewing myself. Sir, 

Your obliged and obedient, 
humble Servant, 


♦ Relating to the Irish Piracy. 










May 21, 1743*. 

Jl SHOULD have thought a compliance 
with my request *, without any marks to 
distinguish it from those that are usual on 
such occasions, a very great obligation 
upon me ; but a compliance so big with 
generosity as your's, in terms that express 

* To stand god-father to his child, 

1 3 jus^ 


just what I was wishing, but, really, was 
far from having the presumption or vanity 
to expect, shews not a bare esteem, 
but the affection of a sincere friend ; and 
this accompanied with such a respect for 
one, indeed, of the bestof wives andmothers; 
and with such tenderness for the dear little 
stranger you so kindly consider already as 
your own. So unexpectedly engaging a 
compliance as this, affected me on my first 
perusing your most obliging letter ; and 
every time I think of it, still affects me in 
a manner I can no other way give you the 
idea of, than by referring you to what you 
must have felt yourself, if at any time, with 
such warm wishes for an interest in the 
friendship of a person you most highly 
valued, you have had your expectations so 
agreeably disappointed and exceeded, as 
by a goodness that admits of but few ex- 
amples, mine have now been. 

I do not pretend, by thus referring you 
to your own sentiments of gratitude, that 



itime are equally grateful. The true ster- 
ling generosity is uniform and of a piece 
on all occasions, if exerting itself; and, 
therefore, shews itself as much in acknow- 
ledging, and, where there is the opportu- 
nity, in returning obligations, as in seek- 
ing and embracing opportunities of con- 
ferring them. 

On the 19th of May, through the good- 
ness of God, we had all the friends with us 
we had invited, but Mrs. Leake, and Mrs. 
Oliver, who were not horsewomen enough 
to accompany our other friends. What an 
additional pleasure would it have been, 
could your afiairs, and the time, have per- 
mitted you to have indulged your kind 
disposition of making one of the company. 

Our much esteemed friends, Mr. and 
Mrs. Allen, desired me to send you their 
best compliments, and to Mrs. Richardson, 
of whom Mrs. Allen speaks with great re- 
spect and good-liking. 

The god-father and god-mother of our 
I 4 dear 


dear little fellow surprised us with their 
liberality on the occasion. The evening 
my friends were going, I gave the nurse, 
who is a widow with seven children, three 
guineas, without any intimation that any 
thing more was likely to come to her share 3 
for this she was very thankful ; but when, 
the next day, I added the other three gui- 
neas, she was almost beside herself, and, in 
the surprise of her joy, she fell down on 
her knees, stammering out a million, ten 
millions, of thanks, with a most beautiful 
and natural remark on the goodness of 
God, in the care of the fatherless and 
widow. It was very affecting to see the 
natural workings of a grateful mind. 

I am. Dear Sir, 

Your most obliged and affectionate 

friend and servant, 



WiTir THE REV. S. LOBB. 177 


March 1, 1747-8. 
A CERTAIN friend, that at present shall 
be nameless, has laid me under a very 
great and unreturnable obligation, by a 
very singular and quite unexpected favour^ 
Now, though it be ever so much against 
me, I will do him the justice to give you 
his true character ; or else, you know, how 
will you be able to form a judgment? If 
any good quality may be said to be bom 
with a person, generosity and he were cer- 
tainly born together. I do not mean that 
they were twins ; it is part of his very self. 
Now you must be sensible that such a per- 
son (wliich is another consideration that 
makes terribly against me) can never con- 
fer a favour, but he makes it as big again 
as it would be (were it conferred by an- 
other of less generosity), by the very man- 
I 5> 


tier of his conferring it. The case there- 
fore, in short, is this. This friend has 
obliged me, as above, so long ago as- the 
12th day of January last; and now it is 
the first day of March, and, in all this 
time, that is, in the space of near six-and- 
fbrty days, has not had from me so much 
as a bare acknowledgment. And now, in 
spite of your own generosity, tell me the 
truth: do not you feel your breast rise 
with some degree of indignation ; and have 
you not already passed sentence upon me, 
as chargeable with the crime I pretend to 
such an abhorrence of ? Why, really, while 
I have the case, as I have stated it, in 
view, without my defence, I am apt to 
take your part, and feel some of that very 
indignation myself; but still I will not 
plead guilty, till, after your having fairly 
weighed what I have to allege in my be- 
half; you declare, that in spite of your 
prejudice in my favour you must be against 
me. That, indeed, will sink me at once ! 



That will bring me on my knees : — but I 
iiope better things. Thus, then, stands 
my defence. — I received the favour, with 
all the sentiments the nature of it, and the 
manner of conferring it, could inspire. I 
admired the benefaction, I loved my friend 
for his generosity. I felt myself warmed 
with all the gratitude an ingenuous mind 
would wish to feel. I was full of it. I 
must also confess, that, being then a visitor 
^t the house of a gentleman of the very 
«ame ^tamp for generosity and goodness, 
one Ralph Allen, Esq. in the impatience 
of my gratitude, or, perhaps, rather of my 
pride to shew him what a footing I had in 
the friendsliip of one, whose character I 
knew he was no stranger to, I sliewed him 
my friend's letter, without so much as once 
thinking, till afterward, of the construction 
it was capable of— that of an invitation to 
go and do likewise. I own, even that 
after-thought gave me no real pain ; for as 
he needs no intimations of that sort, so, 
1 6 from 


from his knowledge both of my circum- 
stances and my character, I was satisfied 
he could not suspect me of being guilty 
of such a meanness. But to return to my 
other friend ; with the same grateful senti- 
ments, and, I will not deny it, with the 
same pleasing vanity, I betrayed his gene- 
rosity to more than he is acquainted with : 
but he knows the above-mentioned gentle- 
man's lady; he has some knowledge of Dr. 
Oliver, of Bath ; and a greater of Mr. and, 
Mrs. Leake, of the same city, who were of 
the number of those to whom, in the ful- 
ness of my heart, I shewed the letter I w^as 
so proud of So that, I flatter myself, you 
will allow that I have nothing further to 
account for, but my deferring so long my 
acknowledgements to himself Why, what 
if I hesitated a little whether I ought to 
accept of the favour ? But, indeed, no : my 
friend's generosity furnished him. with 
an expedient by which, I know, he de- 
signed to remove that difficulty. For 



he throws in my way a pretty little godson 
of his, whom he knows I love as well as 
himself, in such a manner, that my refusing 
his kindness might be construed a faulty 
disregard to that little fellow. 

I am^ &c. 



London, March 7, 1747-8. 

JL OUR kind acceptance overpays the 
present ; and your equally kind letter, by 
its agreeable length, and the heart that it 
incloses, more than make amends for the 
delay you blame yourself for. I must have 
over-valued the trifle almost as much as 
you do, had I presumed to harbour the 
least hard thought of a irieud I esteem so 



much (and that for his unquestionable 

goodness of heart), because he observed 

not a punctilio. I am even sorry that 

you should seem to think yourself under 

the necessity of apologizing on this score ; 

had you been as many weeks as days in 

answering, well as I love to hear from yoUj 

I should only have doubted your health, 

and been solicitous to have put a private 

enquiry after it into my next letter to 

Bath, and enjoined it to be kept private, 

lest it should have been a reflection on my 

own expectation for a thing so much in the 

way of my business, and so very a nothing 

in itself, 

I was a little concerned at first reading 
your letter, where you mention the shewing 
of mine to several of my worthy and valued 
friends j but was easy when I considered, 
that you, undesignedly, gave greater re- 
putation to your own amiably grateful 
disposition in the over-rate, than could be 
due to me, had the matter been of much 
higher value. 




My sincere respects to your other self, 
and kindest love, as well as blessing, to 
my godson, not forgetting the other young 
gentleman, from whom not only I, but all 
who have seen or heard of him^ expect 
great things ; and who w ill never forget 
(from such a monitor as he has the happi- 
ness to have) that great means, at least, in- 
cludes, as of necessary consequence, good. 

I am, &c. 

S. Richardson. 


L&ndon, Dec. 29, IISS. 

I HAVE finished, thank God! the build- 
ing that has engaged my attention for 
many past months; and now am collecting 
the letters of my kind correspondents, 
which I had not answered, because of that 



engagement, in order to perform that 

A very kind one of your's, my dear Mr. 
Lobb, rises to my eye, bearing date Sept. 
20, 1755. Can that be the last you wrote ? 
Have I not mislaid one of a later ? I had 
the pleasure of seeing you since; I apolo- 
gized to you for my silence to that letter ; 
I told you how much I was engaged, 
mind and person, with workmen of almost 
all denominations; and you was so kind as 
to say, that if I were to be further hin- 
dered from writing in answer to your's that 
had come to hand, you would write again, 
despising form, &c. Sur^y, then, some 
other intermediate letter must have been 
Avritten, and miscarried. September, Octo- 
ber, November, December. If you have 
not written in all this space of time, write 
now, to let me know how you have been 
engaged; what studies you have mastered ; 
what improvements are made, or hoped 
for, by the pupils entrusted to your care 3 



what more valuable correspondents have 
been gratified, &c. 

Your's, of the 20th of Sept. the last of 
your's that came to my hand, was a very 
pleasing one, as it gave me assurances, that 
you would copy into your life and practice, 
all that was copiable (No academical 
word, I doubt; but it is mine, not yours.) 
in your different station, in Sir Charles 
Grandison. Look to it, my dear Mr. Lobb ; 
I value not myself for any quality (invention, 
or any thing whatever,) so much as for the 
assurances of this nature, which you, and 
some of my young friends, have given me. 
If there be any thing amiable in the better 
characters of my humble performances, 
and thought so, and pointed out by young 
gentlemen and young ladies as such, and 
which they promise to make subjects for 
imitation, I hold them to it in my mind, 
and try them by their own professions. 
Have you the copy of that letter by you ? 
you promise largely in it, my dear young 



friend. You are esteemed much in ihtf 
university for the talents lent you: you 
have raised in me an high opinion of them. 
Take care; let me repeat. — Not for my 
sake, but your own ! take care ! 

Wlio now are your rising geniuses at 
Cambridge ? What new works are in hand ? 
I love your Alma Mater. May you be 
more and more an ornament to it, and a 
comfort and pleasure to the dear parents I 
love, and who so well deserve it, prays 

Your's, most sincerely, 

S. Richardson. 


A.N answer already! Now is he wanting 
to know w hat I have heard about his Billy* 
Ha'n't I hit it, friend Lobb ? Not the 
only motive, I assure you ; yet I must ask 



my friend, what he has heard of my boy, 
that occasioned such an affectionate con- 
gratulation. But, on second thoughts, I 
think I will not ; for why do I want to know 
what ? Do I pretend to be a stranger to 
the honour he has received? I do not. 
Indeed, I know enough to think myself 
under great obligations to the gracious 
giver of his parts, and of his opportunities 
and inclinations for improving them ; and 
I hope all his good friends and mine 
will join their best remembrances with 
our's for the favours he has received, and 
pray that they may be long continued, and 
always improved, to his being while he 
lives, and to his long being a most amiable 
example of a person's improving and 
employing fme parts to worthy pur- 
poses. *' As to his negligence in writing, 
do not suppose our Billy to be one 
of my correspondents : I have not for 
a long time received a letter from him." 
*' Our Billy!" how kind is that? How shall 

I bring 


I bring my poor boy off, charged with a 
neglect that has such an ugly appearance 
of his not having been so grateful as he 
should have been ? You are a father, and 
cannot, in your heart, find fault with a fa- 
ther, for suggesting what shall occur to 
his thoughts to lessen his son's offence. But 
the truth of the case I take to be this. 
Ever since he has been at the university, 
he has had a larger acquaintance than has 
been common for an obscure country cler- 
gyman ; all along he has had, from princi- 
ple, a concern to answer his friends' ex- 
pectations, which could only be by a proper 
application. Every week, after the first 
month, during the time of his being from 
me, he has wrote to me once, and generally 
three parts of a sheet : when he is to write 
to a friend, he must write something worth 
writing : for that, every one of good parts 
is not so well qualified. I will not pretend 
to clear him absolutely; but to save him, 
at least, from so heavy a charge as that 



of having been ungrateful, I must ac- 
quaint you, that before the bishop left col- 
lege, he told him he had not yet done with 
him, by any means, and let him know he 
should expect to hear from him now and 
then. This obliged him to acquaint his 
lordship with his success on his trial for his 
degree ; to which his lordship wrote him a 
very friendly answer : and about the same 
time I received a letter myself from his 
lordship, acquainting me as to the satisfac- 
tion he had had as to his parts, acquire- 
ments, and behaviour. 

I am^ &c. 



London^ Nov. 10, 1756. 

W HY did my dear and reverend friend 
so severely and so repeatedly chide his son 
for not calling upon me in his way to the 

Devizes ? 


Devizes ? You say you repeated your 
chidings oftener than he cared you should. 
Do we not know that love, were that, in 
the present case, wanting (the contrary of 
which I hope and believe), is not to be 
forced ? And, did I not know my young 
friend better, I should have been afraid he 
would have loved me less for your chidings. 
Is it not natural for young people to abate 
of their esteem for those by whom they 
suffer in that of their first friends ? But I 
know what your chidings were. — Do not I 
see you in the very act, with tears of joy 
in your honest eyes — " Billy, my love ! 
you might have called — you should have 
called, methinks — should you not, on our 

friend R ?" As if, as an abatement 

prudential of your sobbing joy, his merit 
at the university, hjs duty to you in pre- 
sence, after a considerable absence, were 
necessary to give expression to your over- 
flowing love. 

^Vell, .l)ut all has been made up on his 



return from you. He called upon me here, 
with your very kind letters. He dined with 
me and my family at Parson's Green, and 
again called upon me here before he set out 
for Cambridge .; but I was not so lucky as 
to be within : and if he writes to me from 
college, as he has leisure, I shall think my- 
self much obliged to him. We elders love 
to be taken notice of by our ingenious and 
worthy juniors. How much more, then, 
to be defended by them when attacked, as 
in the extrcict in your son's letter, in an- 
swer to Mr. Greville's cavils ? 

I am much obliged to the young gentle- 
man for his defence of my writings, and 
for his acknowledged friendship to me 
but be pleased to know, that if he had not 
rated me so high, I would not have been 
mortally displeased with him for his not 
calling upon me, though I am always very 
glad to see him. 

As to Mr. GrevUle, I know not the gen- 
;tleman by person j by character, I «im told 



he is a lively, gay man, one who knows 
what they call high life. I contented my- 
self to say to a friend, in perusing his cen- 
sure on me, that possibly the gentleman 
might be right in one half of what he said 
against me ; and, as to the other half, if he 
valued hi'mself on the superior opportuni- 
ties he has had to be polite and well-edu- 
cated, and the writings of both were to be 
the test of our merits, it would, by compe- 
tent judges, perhaps be as much matter of 
wonder that I did no worse, than that he 
did not perform better. 

I am, dear Sir, your faithful servant, 
S. Richardson. 


LEWIS and RODtN, ttiantt, PaternoMtr-ronv 



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