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Title: Samuel Richardson's Introduction to Pamela

Author: Samuel Richardson

Editor: Sheridan W. Baker, Jr.

Release Date: March 17, 2008 [EBook #24860]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


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Editor’s Introduction
List of Changes
Introduction to Pamela
First Letter
Second Letter
Introduction to Second Edition
Third Letter
Fourth Letter
Augustan Reprints

A few typographical errors have been corrected. They have been marked in the text with mouse-hover popups.

The Augustan Reprint Society


Introduction to Pamela


Edited, with an Introduction by

Sheridan W. Baker, Jr.


Publication Number 48


Los Angeles
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
University of California


Richard C. Boys, University of Michigan

Ralph Cohen, University of California, Los Angeles

Vinton A. Dearing, University of California, Los Angeles

Lawrence Clark Powell, Clark Memorial Library


W. Earl Britton, University of Michigan


Emmett L. Avery, State College of Washington

Benjamin Boyce, Duke University

Louis Bredvold, University of Michigan

John Butt, King’s College, University of Durham

James L. Clifford, Columbia University

Arthur Friedman, University of Chicago

Edward Niles Hooker, University of California, Los Angeles

Louis A. Landa, Princeton University

Samuel H. Monk, University of Minnesota

Ernest C. Mossner, University of Texas

James Sutherland, University College, London

H. T. Swedenberg, Jr., University of California, Los Angeles


Edna C. Davis, Clark Memorial Library



Since most publishers of Pamela have preferred to print Richardson’s table of contents from the sixth edition, his complete introduction (his preface, together with letters to the editor and comments) is missing even from some of our best collections. Occasionally one finds the preface and the first two letters, but only four publishers since Richardson have attempted to reprint the full introduction. Harrison (London, 1785) -- who omits the first letter -- and Cooke (London, 1802-3) both follow Richardson’s eighth edition; Ballantyne (Edinburgh, 1824) uses the fourth; the Shakespeare Head (Oxford, 1929), the third. And even these printings leave one dissatisfied. The Shakespeare Head gives the fullest text, but naturally omits Richardson’s revisions; Cooke gives the introduction in its final form, but one misses the full text which accompanied the book in its heyday; and rarely are both Cooke and Shakespeare Head to be found in the same library.

Richardson’s complete introduction gains importance when we note that he retained and revised it through seven of his eight editions of Pamela. To see the text and follow Richardson’s changes is to get an unusually intimate view of his attitude toward his book, of his concessions and tenacities, of Richardson the anonymous “editor” who could not keep the author’s laurels completely under his hat.

This present reprint, therefore, intends to give the fullest text of Richardson’s introduction, and to indicate his changes. The text is that of the second edition, reproduced with permission of the Huntington Library. Brackets, added to this 2 lithoprint, show Richardson’s principal corrections: “4th” means that the bracketed lines were deleted in the fourth and all subsequent editions; “4th, change 6” means that in the fourth and subsequent editions the bracketed lines were changed to the reading listed here as number six. Several changes within deleted passages are discussed but not marked on the text.

Richardson’s own editions of Pamela appeared as follows: (1) November 6, 1740, (2) February 14, 1741, (3) March 12, 1741, (4) May 5, 1741, (5) September 22, 1741, (6) May 10, 1742, (7) 1754, (8) October 28, 17611 (three months after Richardson’s death). The first edition prints Richardson’s preface and two complimentary letters. To these the “Introduction to this Second Edition” adds twenty-four pages of letters and comment and the third edition makes no changes in the introduction whatsoever, even retaining “this Second Edition,”2 The fourth makes some changes, and the fifth, considerably more. The sixth, a handsome quarto in a row of duodecimos, abandons the introductory letters; the seventh follows the fifth, and the eight makes some major cuts.

Notwithstanding Richardson’s freedom in editing these letters -- and Fielding’s insinuation in Shamela that they were Richardson’s own copy -- he wrote none of them. Jean Baptiste de Freval, a Frenchman living in London, for whom Richardson was 3 printing a book,3 wrote the first. The second probably came from William Webster, clergyman and editor of The Weekly Miscellany, wherein the letter had appeared as an advertisement, the first public reference to Pamela, on October 11, 1740.4 Webster owed (an obligation eventually forgiven) “a debt of 140 l. to my most worthy Friend, Mr. Richardson, the Printer,”5 and Richardson reprints the letter using Webster’s phrase: “To my worthy Friend, the Editor of Pamela.” These first two letters, de Freval’s and Webster’s, respond to an author’s request for criticism. The rest, new with the second edition, are unsolicited.

All of these are the work of Aaron Hill, excepting only the anonymous letter which Richardson summarizes, beginning on page xxi6 -- sent to Richardson in care of Charles Rivington, co-publisher of Pamela, on November 15, 1740, the first gratuitous response to Richardson’s book. To advertisements in The Daily Gazeteer (November 20) and The London Evening-Post (December 11-13), Richardson added a note:

An anonymous Letter relating to this Piece is come to the Editor’s Hand, who takes this Opportunity (having no better) most heartily to thank the Gentleman for his candid and judicious Observations; and to beg Favour of a further Correspondence with him, under what Restrictions he pleases. Instruction, and not Curiosity, being sincerely the Motive for this request.7

If the gentleman had answered, the introduction to Pamela would perhaps have been shorter. Some of Hill’s acerbity may have been absorbed from Richardson, hurt by the writer’s silence.

The double-entendres mentioned on page xxii are given in the gentleman’s unpublished letter in the Forster collection, in the Victoria and Albert Museum:

Jokes are often more Severe, and do more Mischief, than more Solid Objects -- to obviate some, why not omit P 175 -- betwixt Fear and Delight -- and P 181 -- I made shift to eat a bit of etc. but I had no Appetite to any thing else.8

In the light of this letter, the second edition of Pamela attests a curious fact: while Hill pontificates in the introduction about ignoring such vulgarity of mind, Richardson has tiptoed back to Volume Two and changed the questioned passages. From the second edition forward, Pamela trembles during her wedding not “betwixt Fear and Delight” but “betwixt Fear and Joy”; and although Richardson leaves Pamela her shift on page 181, he changes her remark about appetite: “I made shift to get down a 5 bit of Apple-pie, and a little Custard; but that was all.” By omitting the specific objections from his summary, Richardson managed at one stroke to save his righteousness in the introduction and his face in the text.

Hill’s authorship of the introductory letters is easily established. Anna Laetitia Barbauld includes Hill’s signature with a reduced version of the one which here begins on page xvi (December 17, 1740).9 Thereafter, Richardson’s italicized remarks, two of them added in later editions, provide the links: “Abstract of a second Letter from the same Gentleman,” etc.

With wonderful indirection, Richardson had sent a copy of Pamela to Hill’s daughters, along with some other books, and, as Hill writes Mallet, “without the smallest hint, that it was his, and with a grave apology, as for a trifle, of too light a species.”10 Hill thanked Richardson in the letter of December 17, 1740. Hill asks who on earth the author might be, hinting, the while, by returning Richardson’s own phrase, that he understands that it is Richardson himself: “this Trifle (for such, I dare answer for the Author, His Modesty misguides him to think it).” Though Hill tells Mallet that Richardson was “very loth ... a long time, to confess it,” Richardson did not dally long. By December 29, 1740, he has confirmed Hill’s guess. On that date Hill writes:

Acquainted with the amiable goodness of your heart, I can foresee the pleasure it will give you, to have given 6 another pleasure: and you heap it on me in the noblest manner, by the joy you make me feel, at finding Pamela’s incomparable author is the person I not only hop’d to hear was so, but whom I should have been quite griev’d, disturb’d, and mortified, not to have really found so.
Yet, I confess, till I began to read, I had not the least notion of it. But I presently took notice, that whatever Pamela thought, said, or did, was all transfusion of your own fine spirit. And as I know not if there lives another writer, who could furnish her with such a sapid sweetness as she fills the table with, I could not therefor chuse but name you to my hope, as moulder of this maiden model.11

Mrs. Barbauld omits this letter but prints another from Hill to Richardson, not to be found now in the Forster collection, bearing the same date -- December 29, 1740 (I, 56ff.). This letter furnishes the “delightful Story, so admirably related” beginning on page xxxi. From the second paragraph on (“We have a lively little Boy in the Family”), the Pamela text is substantially the same as Barbauld’s. But the first paragraph Richardson has contrived to suit his editorial fiction.

The delightful story so gratified Mr. Richardson that he sent lively little Harry Campbell (“the dear amiable boy”) two books, an event almost enough to finish him:

Out burst a hundred O Lords! in a torrent of voice rendered hoarse and half choaked by his passions. He clasped his trembling fingers together; and his hands were strained hard, and held writhing. His elbows were extended 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 triumphant 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 gratitude.12

The only other part of the introduction to Pamela elsewhere in print is the concluding poem. This, too, is Hill’s, printed in The Weekly Miscellany, February 28, 1741, along with his December 17 letter, and collected with Hill’s Works (III, 348-350). This is the poem, it would seem, of which Hill boasts that he has given “Pamela” a short “e” as Richardson intended, asserting that “Mr. Pope has taught half the women in England to pronounce it wrong.”13 Pope in his Epistle to Miss Blount (line 49), had made the “e” long:

The gods, to curse Pamela with her prayers,

Gave the gilt coach and dappled Flanders mares,

The shining robes, rich jewels, beds of state,

And, to complete her bliss, a fool for mate.

Hill’s lines are somewhat less successful. He dedicated them to “the Unknown Author of Pamela” two months after Richardson had confessed his authorship.

Richardson changes one line in the poem. In Hill’s Works it reads: “Whence public wealth derives its vital course.” Richardson, a more modern man perhaps, reads “public Health.” His emendation, however, improves Hill’s metaphor concerning a blaze which is a pilot pointing out the source of public wealth, which is drunk to prevent gangrene from blackening to the bone. Further reflection led Richardson a year later to change “vital” to “moral.”

Throughout the letters in his introduction, Richardson made changes, all largely stylistic. That Richardson removed the letters from the front of his book in response to criticism -- as Cross14 8 and others have asserted -- is not quite accurate. He removed them from the sixth edition, but put them back in the seventh and eighth; and his alterations show him giving in to criticism only by inches, if indeed his changes to his introduction are not more simply those of any author trimming (and with Richardson, ever so little) his early extravagances.

Richardson’s stubbornness here suggests other reasons for his substituting a table of contents for his introduction in the sixth edition. To print both would have been too prolix, even for Richardson; and it seems that the table of contents, detailing the entire action, together with the change to big quarto volumes, are Richardson’s efforts to authenticate Pamela in the face of Chandler’s and Kelly’s unauthorized sequel, Pamela’s Conduct in High Life, printed to complete the two duodecimo volumes of Richardson’s original story. Richardson’s sixth edition is the first in which his own additional two volumes, written to forestall Chandler and Kelly, are included with the first two as a complete four-volume unit. Twelve years later, in 1754, his true Pamela established, he reverted to his introductory letters. Hill’s death in 1750 may also have moved Richardson to restore the introduction which was chiefly Hill’s work, recalling both his friend and Pamela’s greener days. In the eighth edition, at the end of his life, Richardson still kept the introductory letters, though with some final constrictions.

Richardson makes the first changes to his introduction in the fourth edition. Excepting minor clarifications, all deal with Hill’s answer to the anonymous gentleman. The attitude toward this gentleman has softened. The “rashest of All his Advices” 9 becomes merely the “least weigh’d” of his judgments, and his blindness becomes oversight. He is no longer pedantic; he no longer makes vulgar allusions, but only fears that they might be made.

In the fifth edition, Richardson seems chiefly concerned with redundancy, but he also diminishes some of the praise. In deference to the gentleman, it would seem, Richardson deletes his flattery of Hill on pages xxix and xxxi, and “some of the most beautiful Letters that have been written in any Language” become simply “Letters.” Perhaps Richardson’s conscience was bothering him. Perhaps he had heard from his anonymous correspondent after all: he now identifies the gentleman’s remarks as coming “in a Letter from the Country.” Unless pure fancy, this is new information, for the letter, now in the Forster collection, in no way indicates its place of origin. Richardson’s seeking of the gentleman through advertisement in London newspapers suggests that he thought of his correspondent as a city man.

In the fifth edition one detects a certain discomfort with the false editorship and the praise Richardson permits himself with it. His direct response to criticism is slight. He deletes “from low to high Life,” since Pamela’s Conduct in High Life had appeared four months previous. From the passages which Fielding ridicules in Shamela, he drops no more than “wonderful” from before “AUTHOR of Pamela.” In the passage introducing the new letters (page xv) Richardson now apologizes. The Author, he implies, wanted the praises omitted, but much to his sorrow the Editor could not disentangle them from the “critical remarks.” The author’s modesty, however, remains in the realm of possibility only.


Where self-praise is strong a vague uneasiness sets Richardson to work on the style, unable to locate the center of his trouble. On page v “strongly interest them in the edifying Story” becomes “attach their regard to the Story,” but this is barely to nibble at his phrase “so probable, so natural, so lively” just preceding, which perished in the eighth edition.

Similarly, he attempts to cure the last paragraph of his preface through minor incisions. He drops the parenthesis about the “great Variety of entertaining Incidents”, and he diminishes “these engaging Scenes” to “it”. But the paragraph is still too much for him. In the eighth edition he cuts all but the outlines of his editor-author pretext.

The seventh edition does no more than sharpen punctuation. The eighth in general continues to trim little excesses, though the loss is scarcely noticeable. Richardson further reduces Hill’s praise of the book and his own praise of Hill, feeling his way toward a detached view of his book, looking to posterity. Since Pamela has fulfilled the prediction of foreign renown made by his French friend, de Freval, Richardson now omits de Freval’s obliging treachery to the literature of France (page ix). Since the “delightful story” is anecdotal and not critical, it too disappears. Other changes simply testify an author’s attention to his style, uninhibited by the fact that the style is indeed not his. He deletes a senseless remark about masculine flexibility. He removes “Nature” from the foundation of the narrative (title page and page v, though left on page viii) probably to avoid implying that Nature is in the foundation only.


From the first, Richardson’s disguise as editor is little more than half-hearted. Its purpose was at first partly commercial, permitting advertising in the preface. Four ladies urged him on, so, Richardson confesses, he “struck a bold stroke in the preface... having the umbrage of the editor’s character to screen [him] self behind.”15 But the author nevertheless threw rather distinct shadows on the screen. His preface speaks of the book altogether as a work of fiction: the editor has “set forth” social duties; he has “painted” vice and virtue, “drawn” characters, “raised,” “taught,” “effected,” and “embellished with a great variety of entertaining incidents.” Yet, suddenly, the editor also seems to have done nothing more than to have “perused these engaging scenes,” written a preface, and gotten them into print.

Richardson cannot quite give the imaginary author substance. “These sheets” have accomplished all the wonders claimed for them, not “the author of these sheets.” Richardson speaks not of the author, but of an author, of authors in general. The implication hangs over the preface, and is strengthened by de Freval’s letter, that the editor himself has worked up the story from the barest details of real life (which is, of course, what Richardson did). De Freval continues to speak of the work entirely as of creative writing. The epistolary style is aptly devised; the book will become a pattern for this kind of fiction; it is contrived for readers of all tastes. But, quite in contradiction, de Freval also implies that the editor has shown him the author’s original work, together with certain editorial changes necessary to protect the real Pamela and Mr. B.


The second letter, presumably Webster’s, toys with the suggestion that a young woman actually wrote the letters which Richardson edits: “let us have Pamela as Pamela wrote it.” But this is only in play. Although the writer disparages “Novels,” the note which heads his letter when it first appeared in The Weekly Miscellany speaks of the “Author of Pamela” who has “written an English Novel,”16 and his opening remarks are clearly those of a critic speaking of fiction.

Hill’s first letter goes solidly for the conclusion that an author, a man of genius, wrote the book. The heading, “To the Editor of Pamela”, is Richardson’s only attempt to bring Hill’s letter into his already wavering line. In the fifth edition, however, he introduces this letter with his only straight statement that an author, distinct from the editor, is involved, an author who begged the editor not to include flattery.

To the end of his days Richardson continued to sit under the editorial shade -- Sir Charles Grandison was “published” by the “editor of Pamela and Clarissa” -- enjoying the sunshine of his authorship. His introduction to Pamela and the care he took with it suggest more succinctly than anything else Richardson’s flirtation with his adorers, which is not at all unlike that of his so modest heroine.

Sheridan W. Baker, Jr.

University of Michigan

1. William M. Sale, Samuel Richardson, a Bibliographical Record (New Haven, 1936), p. 13.

2. The fourth carries “the Second Edition” before the new introductory letters; the fifth changes to “the Present Edition.”

3. A translation of Abbé Noel Antoine Pluche: The History of the Heavens, 2 vols. (1740). (William M. Sale, Samuel Richardson: Master Printer [Cornell, 1950], p. 193.)

4. William M. Sale, Samuel Richardson, a Bibliographical Record, p. 15; William M. and Alan D. McKillop, Samuel Richardson (Chapel Hill, 1936), p. 42.

5. McKillop, pp. 301-2. Richardson had printed the Miscellany between 1733 and 1736.

6. Richardson mentions other letters but does not print them. Hill’s reference to “The Gentleman’s Advice” on page xxii is to a letter from Benjamin Slocock, who commended Pamela from his pulpit in St. Saviour’s, and thus helped provoke Henry Fielding. (Sale, ibid., p. 17.)

7. McKillop, p. 49.

8. For this and other information concerning the Forster collection of Richardson’s correspondence, I am indebted to Mr. Arthur Wheen, Keeper of the Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

9. The Correspondence of Samuel Richardson (London, 1804), I, 53-55.

10. The Works of the Late Aaron Hill, Esq. (London, 1753), II, 221. Letter dated January 23, 1741.

11. Hill, Works II, 292.

12. Barbauld, I, 63-64.

13. Barbauld, I, lxxviii.

14. The History of Henry Fielding, I, 313.

15. Barbauld, I, lxxvi.

16. McKillop, p. 42.



1. ... here; and writes with the more Assurance of Success, as an Editor may be allowed to judge with more Impartiality than is often to be found in an Author.

2. But Difficulties having arisen from different Opinions, some applauding the very Things that others found Fault with, we have found it necessary to insert the Praises in the following Letters, with the critical Remarks; because the Writer has so kindly mix’d them, that they cannot be disjoin’d (however earnestly the Author of the Piece desire’d it) without obscuring, and indeed defacing, all the Spirit of the Reasoning.

3. The following Objections to some Passages in Pamela were made by an anonymous Gentleman, in a Letter from the Country.

4. The ingenious Writer of the two preceding Letters, answers these good natured Objections, as follows:

5. Fourth: “least weigh’d”; fifth: “least considered.”

6. seems plain to me, that this Gentleman, however laudable his Intention may be on the whole, discerns not an Elegance,...

7. In the Occasions this Gentleman, in his Postscript, is pleas’d to discover for Jokes, I either find not, that he has any Signification at all, or, causelessly, as I think, apprehends that such coarse-tasted Allusions to loose low-life Idioms, may be made, that not to understand what is meant by 14 them, is both the cleanliest, and prudentest Way of confuting them.

8. the Mind of the Reader, an Honesty so sincere and unguarded.

9. Deleted, fifth edition; replaced in eighth with: “In a Third Letter the same benevolent Gentleman writes, as follows:”.


O R,

Virtue Rewarded.

In a SERIES of

Familiar Letters


Beautiful Young Damsel,


Now first Published

In order to cultivate the Principles of Virtue and Religion in the Minds of the YOUTH of BOTH SEXES.

A Narrative which has its Foundation in TRUTH and NATURE; and at the same time that it agreeably entertains, by a Variety of curious and affecting Incidents, is intirely divested of all those Images, which, in too many Pieces calculated for Amusement only, tend to inflame the Minds they should instruct.

In Two Volumes.

The Second Edition.
To which are prefixed, Extracts from several curious Letters written to the Editor on the Subject.


Printed for C. Rivington, in St. Paul’s Church-Yard; and J. Osborn, in Pater-noster Row.
iii A3





IF to Divert and Entertain, and at the same time to Instruct, and Improve the Minds of the Youth of both Sexes:

IF to inculcate Religion and Morality in so easy and agreeable a manner, as shall render them equally delightful and profitable to the younger Class of Readers, as well as worthy of the Attention of Persons of maturer Years and Understandings:


IF to set forth in the most exemplary Lights, the Parental, the Filial, and the Social Duties, and that from low to high Life:

IF to paint Vice in its proper Colours, to make it deservedly Odious; and to set Virtue in its own amiable Light, to make it truly Lovely:

IF to draw Characters justly, and to support them equally:

IF to raise a Distress from natural Causes, and to excite Compassion from proper Motives:

IF to teach the Man of Fortune how to use it; the Man of Passion how to subdue it; and the Man of Intrigue, how, gracefully, and with Honour to himself, to reclaim:

v A4

IF to give practical Examples, worthy to be followed in the most critical and affecting Cases, by the modest Virgin, the chaste Bride, and the obliging Wife:

IF to effect all these good Ends, in so probable, so natural, so lively a manner, as shall engage the Passions of every sensible Reader, and strongly interest them in the edifying Story:

AND all without raising a single Idea throughout the Whole, that shall shock the exactest Purity, even in those tender Instances where the exactest Purity would be most apprehensive:

IF these, (embellished with a great Variety of entertaining Incidents) be laudable or worthy Recommendations of any Work, the Editor of the following Letters, which have their Foundation in Truth and Nature, ventures to assert, vi that all these desirable Ends are obtained in these Sheets: And as he is therefore confident of the favourable Reception which he boldly bespeaks for this little Work; he thinks any further Preface or Apology for it, unnecessary: And the rather for two Reasons, 1st. Because he can Appeal from his own Passions, (which have been uncommonly moved in perusing these engaging Scenes) to the Passions of Every one who shall read them with the least Attention: And, in the next place, because an Editor may reasonably be supposed to judge with an Impartiality which is rarely to be met with in an Author towards his own Works.

The Editor.



To the Editor of the Piece intitled, Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded.

Dear SIR,

I have had inexpressible Pleasure in the Perusal of your Pamela. It intirely answers the Character you give of it in your Preface; nor have you said one Word too much in Commendation of a Piece that has Advantages and Excellencies peculiar to itself. For, besides the beautiful Simplicity of the Style, and a happy Propriety and Clearness of Expression (the Letters being written under the immediate Impression of every Circumstance which occasioned them, and that to those who had a Right to know the fair Writer’s most secret Thoughts) the several Passions of the Mind must, of course, be more affectingly described, and Nature may be traced in her undisguised Inclinations with much more Propriety and Exactness, than can possibly be found in a Detail of Actions long past, which are never recollected with the same Affections, Hopes, and Dreads, with which they were felt when they occurred.

This little Book will infallibly be looked upon as the hitherto much-wanted Standard or Pattern for this Kind of Writing. For it abounds with lively Images and Pictures; with Incidents natural, surprising, and perfectly adapted to the Story; with Circumstances interesting to Persons in common viii Life, as well as to those in exalted Stations. The greatest Regard is every where paid in it to Decency, and to every Duty of Life: There is a constant Fitness of the Style to the Persons and Characters described; Pleasure and Instruction here always go hand in hand: Vice and Virtue are set in constant Opposition, and Religion every-where inculcated in its native Beauty and chearful Amiableness; not dressed up in stiff, melancholy, or gloomy Forms, on one hand, nor yet, on the other, debased below its due Dignity and noble Requisites, in Compliment to a too fashionable but depraved Taste. And this I will boldly say, that if its numerous Beauties are added to its excellent Tendency, it will be found worthy a Place, not only in all Families (especially such as have in them young Persons of either Sex) but in the Collections of the most curious and polite Readers. For, as it borrows none of its Excellencies from the romantic Flights of unnatural Fancy, its being founded in Truth and Nature, and built upon Experience, will be a lasting Recommendation to the Discerning and Judicious; while the agreeable Variety of Occurrences and Characters, in which it abounds, will not fail to engage the Attention of the gay and more sprightly Readers.

The moral Reflections and Uses to be drawn from the several Parts of this admirable History, are so happily deduced from a Croud of different Events and Characters, in the Conclusion of the Work, that I shall say the less on that Head. But I think, the Hints you have given me, should also prefatorily be given to the Publick; viz. That it will appear from several Things mentioned in the Letters, that the Story must have happened within these Thirty Years past: That you have been obliged to vary some of the Names of Persons, Places, &c. and to disguise a few of the Circumstances, in order to avoid giving Offence ix to some Persons, who would not chuse to be pointed out too plainly in it; tho’ they would be glad it may do the Good so laudably intended by the Publication. And as you have in Confidence submitted to my Opinion some of those Variations, I am much pleased that you have so managed the Matter, as to make no Alteration in the Facts; and, at the same time, have avoided the digressive Prolixity too frequently used on such Occasions.

Little Book, charming Pamela! face the World, and never doubt of finding Friends and Admirers, not only in thine own Country, but far from Home; where thou mayst give an Example of Purity to the Writers of a neighbouring Nation; which now shall have an Opportunity to receive English Bullion in Exchange for its own Dross, which has so long passed current among us in Pieces abounding with all the Levities of its volatile Inhabitants. The reigning Depravity of the Times has yet left Virtue many Votaries. Of their Protection you need not despair. May every head-strong Libertine whose Hands you reach, be reclaimed; and every tempted Virgin who reads you, imitate the Virtue, and meet the Reward of the high-meriting, tho’ low-descended, Pamela. I am, Sir,

Your most Obedient,

and Faithful Servant,

J. B. D. F.



To my worthy Friend, the Editor of Pamela.


I return the Manuscript of Pamela by the Bearer, which I have read with a great deal of Pleasure. It is written with that Spirit of Truth and agreeable Simplicity, which, tho’ much wanted, is seldom found in those Pieces which are calculated for the Entertainment and Instruction of the Publick. It carries Conviction in every Part of it; and the Incidents are so natural and interesting, that I have gone hand-in-hand, and sympathiz’d with the pretty Heroine in all her Sufferings, and been extremely anxious for her Safety, under the Apprehensions of the bad Consequences which I expected, every Page, would ensue from the laudable Resistance she made. I have interested myself in all her Schemes of Escape; been alternately pleas’d and angry with her in her Restraint; pleas’d with the little Machinations and Contrivances she set on foot for her Release, and angry for suffering her Fears to defeat them; always lamenting, with a most sensible Concern, the Miscarriages of her Hopes and Projects. In short, the whole is so affecting, that there is no reading it without uncommon Concern and Emotion. Thus far only as to the Entertainment it gives.

As to Instruction and Morality, the Piece is full of both. It shews Virtue in the strongest Light, and renders the Practice of it amiable and lovely. xi The beautiful Sufferer keeps it ever in her View, without the least Ostentation, or Pride; she has it so strongly implanted in her, that thro’ the whole Course of her Sufferings, she does not so much as hesitate once, whether she shall sacrifice it to Liberty and Ambition, or not; but, as if there were no other way to free and save herself, carries on a determin’d Purpose to persevere in her Innocence, and wade with it throughout all Difficulties and Temptations, or perish under them. It is an astonishing Matter, and well worth our most serious Consideration, that a young beautiful Girl, in the low Scene of Life and Circumstance in which Fortune placed her, without the Advantage of a Friend capable to relieve and protect her, or any other Education than what occurr’d to her from her own Observation and little Reading, in the Course of her Attendance on her excellent Mistress and Benefactress, could, after having a Taste of Ease and Plenty in a higher Sphere of Life than what she was born and first brought up in, resolve to return to her primitive Poverty, rather than give up her Innocence. I say, it is surprising, that a young Person, so circumstanced, could, in Contempt of proffer’d Grandeur on the one side, and in Defiance of Penury on the other, so happily and prudently conduct herself thro’ such a Series of Perplexities and Troubles, and withstand the alluring Baits, and almost irresistible Offers of a fine Gentleman, so universally admired and esteemed, for the Agreeableness of his Person and good Qualities, among all his Acquaintance; defeat all his Measures with so much Address, and oblige him, at last, to give over his vain Pursuit, and sacrifice his Pride and Ambition to Virtue, and become the Protector of that Innocence which he so long and so indefatigably labour’d to supplant: And all this without ever having entertain’d the least previous xii Design or Thought for that Purpose: No Art used to inflame him, no Coquetry practised to tempt or intice him, and no Prudery or Affectation to tamper with his Passions; but, on the contrary, artless and unpractised in the Wiles of the World, all her Endeavours, and even all her Wishes, tended only to render herself as un-amiable as she could in his Eyes: Tho’ at the same time she is so far from having any Aversion to his Person, that she seems rather prepossess’d in his Favour, and admires his Excellencies, whilst she condemns his Passion for her. A glorious Instance of Self-denial! Thus her very Repulses became Attractions: The more she resisted, the more she charm’d; and the very Means she used to guard her Virtue, the more endanger’d it, by inflaming his Passions: Till, at last, by Perseverance, and a brave and resolute Defence, the Besieged not only obtain’d a glorious Victory over the Besieger, but took him Prisoner too.

I am charmed with the beautiful Reflections she makes in the Course of her Distresses; her Soliloquies and little Reasonings with herself, are exceeding pretty and entertaining: She pours out all her Soul in them before her Parents without Disguise; so that one may judge of, nay, almost see, the inmost Recesses of her Mind. A pure clear Fountain of Truth and Innocence; a Magazine of Virtue and unblemish’d Thoughts!

I can’t conceive why you should hesitate a Moment as to the Publication of this very natural and uncommon Piece. I could wish to see it out in its own native Simplicity, which will affect and please the Reader beyond all the Strokes of Oratory in the World; for those will but spoil it: and, should you permit such a murdering Hand to be laid upon it, to gloss and tinge it over with superfluous and needless Decorations, which, like too xiii much Drapery in Sculpture and Statuary, will but encumber it; it may disguise the Facts, mar the Reflections, and unnaturalize the Incidents, so as to be lost in a Multiplicity of fine idle Words and Phrases, and reduce our Sterling Substance into an empty Shadow, or rather frenchify our English Solidity into Froth and Whip-syllabub. No; let us have Pamela as Pamela wrote it; in her own Words, without Amputation, or Addition. Produce her to us in her neat Country Apparel, such as she appear’d in, on her intended Departure to her Parents; for such best becomes her Innocence, and beautiful Simplicity. Such a Dress will best edify and entertain. The flowing Robes of Oratory may indeed amuse and amaze, but will never strike the Mind with solid Attention.

In short, Sir, a Piece of this Kind is much wanted in the World, which is but too much, as well as too early, debauched by pernicious Novels. I know nothing Entertaining of that Kind that one might venture to recommend to the Perusal (much less the Imitation) of the Youth of either Sex: All that I have hitherto read, tends only to corrupt their Principles, mislead their Judgments, and initiate them into Gallantry, and loose Pleasures.

Publish then, this good, this edifying and instructive little Piece for their sakes. The Honour of Pamela’s Sex demands Pamela at your Hands, to shew the World an Heroine, almost beyond Example, in an unusual Scene of Life, whom no Temptations, or Sufferings, could subdue. It is a fine, and glorious Original, for the Fair to copy out and imitate. Our own Sex, too, require it of you, to free us, in some measure, from the Imputation of being incapable of the Impressions of Virtue and Honour; and to shew the Ladies, that we are not inflexible while they are so.


In short, the Cause of Virtue calls for the Publication of such a Piece as this. Oblige then, Sir, the concurrent Voices of both Sexes, and give us Pamela for the Benefit of Mankind: And as I believe its Excellencies cannot be long unknown to the World, and that there will not be a Family without it; so I make no Doubt but every Family that has it, will be much improv’d and better’d by it. ’Twill form the tender Minds of Youth for the Reception and Practice of Virtue and Honour; confirm and establish those of maturer Years on good and steady Principles; reclaim the Vicious, and mend the Age in general; insomuch that as I doubt not Pamela will become the bright Example and Imitation of all the fashionable young Ladies of Great Britain; so the truly generous Benefactor and Rewarder of her exemplary Virtue, will be no less admired and imitated among the Beau Monde of our own Sex. I am

Your affectionate Friend, &c.


xv a




Second Edition.

The kind Reception which this Piece has met with from the Publick, (a large Impression having been carried off in less than Three Months) deserves not only Acknowlegdment, but that some Notice should be taken of the Objections that have hitherto come to hand against a few Passages in it, that so the Work may be rendered as unexceptionable as possible, and, of consequence, the fitter to answer the general Design of it; which is to promote Virtue, and cultivate the Minds of the Youth of both Sexes.

But Difficulties having arisen from the different Opinions of Gentlemen, some of whom applauded the very Things that others found Fault with, it was thought proper to submit the Whole to the Judgment of a Gentleman of the most distinguish’d Taste and Abilities; the Result of which will be seen in the subsequent Pages.


We begin with the following Letter, at the Desire of several Gentlemen, to whom, on a very particular Occasion, it was communicated, and who wish’d to see it prefixed to the New Edition. It was directed,

To the Editor of Pamela.

Dear Sir,

You have agreeably deceiv’d me into a Surprize, which it will be as hard to express, as the Beauties of Pamela. Though I open’d this powerful little Piece with more Expectation than from common Designs, of like Promise, because it came from your Hands, for my Daughters, yet, who could have dreamt, he should find, under the modest Disguise of a Novel, all the Soul of Religion, Good-breeding, Discretion, Good-nature, Wit, Fancy, Fine Thought, and Morality?---I have done nothing but read it to others, and hear others again read it, to me, ever since it came into my Hands; and I find I am likely to do nothing else, for I know not how long yet to come: because, if I lay the Book down, it comes after 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 Passion and Meaning. Who is there that will not despise the false, empty Pomp of the Poets, when he observes in this little, unpretending, mild Triumph of Nature, the whole Force of Invention and Genius, creating new Powers of Emotion, and transplanting Ideas of Pleasure into that unweeded low Garden the xvii a2 Heart, from the dry and sharp Summit of Reason?

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 wonderful 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? He possesses every Quality that Art could have charm’d by: yet, has lent it to, and conceal’d it in, Nature.—The Comprehensiveness of his Imagination must be truly prodigious!—It has stretch’d out this diminutive mere Grain of Mustard-seed, (a poor Girl’s little, innocent, Story) into a Resemblance of That Heaven, which the Best of Good Books has compar’d it to.—All the Passions are His, in their most close and abstracted Recesses: and by selecting the most delicate, and yet, at the same time, most powerful, of their Springs, thereby to act, wind, and manage, the Heart, He moves us, every where, with the Force of a Tragedy.

What is there, throughout the Whole, that I do not sincerely admire!—I admire, in it, the strong distinguish’d Variety, and picturesque glowing Likeness to Life, of the Characters. I know, hear, see, and live among ’em All: and, if I cou’d paint, cou’d return you their Faces. I admire, in it, the noble Simplicity, Force, Aptness, and Truth, of so many modest, œconomical, moral, prudential, religious, satirical, and cautionary, Lessons; which are introduc’d with such seasonable Dexterity, and with so polish’d and exquisite a Delicacy, of Expression and Sentiment, that I am only apprehensive, for the Interests of Virtue, lest some of the finest, and most touching, of those xviii elegant Strokes of Good-breeding, Generosity, and Reflection, shou’d be lost, under the too gross Discernment of an unfeeling Majority of Readers; for whose Coarseness, however, they were kindly design’d, as the most useful and charitable Correctives.

One of the best-judg’d Peculiars, of the Plan, is, that These Instructions being convey’d, as in a Kind of Dramatical Representation, by those beautiful Scenes, Her own Letters and Journals, who acts the most moving and suffering Part, we feel the Force in a threefold Effect,—from the Motive, the Act, and the Consequence.

But what, above All, I am charm’d with, is the amiable Good-nature of the Author; who, I am convinc’d, has one of the best, and most generous Hearts, of Mankind: because, mis-measuring other Minds, by His Own, he can draw Every thing, to Perfection, but Wickedness.—I became inextricably in Love with this delightful Defect of his Malice;—for, I found it owing to an Excess in his Honesty. Only observe, Sir, with what virtuous Reluctance he complies with the Demands of his Story, when he stands in need of some blameable Characters. Tho’ his Judgment compels him to mark ’em with disagreeable Colourings, so that they make an odious Appearance at first, He can’t forbear, by an unexpected and gradual Decline from Themselves, to soften and transmute all the Horror conceiv’d for their Baseness, till we are arriv’d, through insensible Stages, at an Inclination to forgive it intirely.

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 Consequences, that xix a3 Twenty Ages to come may be the Better and Wiser, for its Influence. It will steal first, imperceptibly, into the Hearts of the Young and the Tender: where It will afterwards guide and moderate their Reflections and Resolves, when grown Older. And so, a gradual moral Sunshine, of un-austere and compassionate Virtue, shall break out upon the World, from this Trifle (for such, I dare answer for the Author, His Modesty misguides him to think it).—No Applause therefore can be too high, for such Merit. And, let me abominate the contemptible Reserves of mean-spirited Men, who while they but hesitate their Esteem, with Restraint, can be fluent and uncheck’d in their Envy.—In an Age so deficient in Goodness, Every such Virtue, as That of this Author, is a salutary Angel, in Sodom. And One who cou’d stoop to conceal, a Delight he receives from the Worthy, wou’d be equally capable of submitting to an Approbation of the Praise of the Wicked.

I was thinking, just now, as I return’d from a Walk in the Snow, on that Old Roman Policy, of Exemptions in Favour of Men, who had given a few, bodily, Children to the Republick.—What superior Distinction ought our Country, to find (but that Policy and We are at Variance) for Reward of this Father, of Millions of Minds, which are to owe new Formation to the future Effect of his Influence!

Upon the whole, as I never met with so pleasing, so honest, and so truly deserving a Book, I shou’d never have done, if I explain’d All my Reasons for admiring its Author.—If it is not a Secret, oblige me so far as to tell me his Name: for since I feel him the Friend of my Soul, it would be a xx Kind of Violation to retain him a Stranger.—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 Acknowledgment due from their Gratitude. I am,

Dear Sir,

Your, &c.

Dec. 17, 1740.

Abstract of a second Letter from the same Gentleman.

---No Sentiments which I have here, or in my last, express’d, of the sweet Pamela, being more than the bare Truth, which every Man must feel, who lends his Ear to the inchanting Prattler, why does the Author’s Modesty mislead his Judgment, to suspect the Style wants Polishing?---No, Sir, there is an Ease, a natural Air, a dignify’d Simplicity, and measured Fullness, in it, that, resembling Life, outglows it! He has reconciled the Pleasing to the Proper. The Thought is every-where exactly cloath’d by the Expression: And becomes its Dress as roundly, and as close, as Pamela her Country-habit. Remember, tho’ she put it on with humble Prospect, of descending to the Level of her Purpose, it adorn’d her, with such unpresum’d Increase of Loveliness; sat with such neat Propriety of Elegant Neglect about her, that it threw out All her Charms, with tenfold, and resistless Influence.---And so, dear Sir, it will be always found.---When modest Beauty seeks to hide itself by casting off the Pride of Ornament, it but displays itself without a Covering: And so, becoming more distinguished, by its Want of xxi a4 Drapery, grows stronger, from its purpos’d Weakness.

There were formed by an anonymous Gentleman, the following Objections to some Passages in the Work.

1. That the Style ought to be a little raised, at least so soon as Pamela knows the Gentleman’s Love is honourable, and when his Diffidence is changed to Ease: And from about the fourth Day after Marriage, it should be equal to the Rank she is rais’d to, and charged to fill becomingly.

2. That to avoid the Idea apt to be join’d with the Word ’Squire, the Gentleman should be styled Sir James; or Sir John, &c. and Lady Davers in a new Edition might procure for him the Title of a Baronet.

3. That if the sacred Name were seldomer repeated, it would be better; for that the Wise Man’s Advice is, Be not righteous over-much.

4. That the Penance which Pamela suffers from Lady Davers might be shorten’d: That she is too timorous after owning her Marriage to that Lady, and ought to have a little more Spirit, and get away sooner out at the Window, or call her own Servants to protect, and carry her to her Husband’s Appointment.

5. That Females are too apt to be struck with Images of Beauty; and that the Passage where the Gentleman is said to span the Waist of Pamela with his Hand, is enough to ruin a Nation of Women by Tight-lacing.

6. That the Word naughty had better be changed to some other, as Bad, Faulty, Wicked, Vile, Abominable, Scandalous: Which in most Places would xxii give an Emphasis, for which recourse must otherwise be had to the innocent Simplicity of the Writer; an Idea not necessary to the Moral of the Story, nor of Advantage to the Character of the Heroine.

7. That the Words, p. 305. Foolish Thing that I am, had better be Foolish that I am. The same Gentleman observes by way of Postscript, that Jokes are often more severe, and do more Mischief, than more solid Objections; and would have one or two Passages alter’d, to avoid giving Occasion for the Supposition of a double Entendre, particularly in two Places which he mentions, viz. p. 175. and 181.

He is pleased to take notice of several other Things of less Moment, some of which are merely typographical; and very kindly expresses, on the Whole, a high Opinion of the Performance, and thinks it may do a great deal of Good: For all which, as well as for his Objections, the Editor gives him very sincere Thanks.

Others are of Opinion, That the Scenes in many Places, in the Beginning especially, are too low; and that the Passions of Lady Davers, in particular, are carried too high, and above Nature.

And others have intimated, That Pamela ought, for Example sake, to have discharg’d Mrs. Jewkes from her Service.

These are the most material Objections that have come to hand, all which are considered in the following Extracts from some of the most beautiful Letters that have been written in any Language:


The Gentleman’s Advice, not to alter Pamela at all, was both friendly, and solidly just. I run in, with full Sail, to his Anchorage, that the low Scenes are no more out of Nature, than the xxiii a5 high Passions of proud Lady Davers. Out of Nature, do they say? ’Tis my Astonishment how Men of Letters can read with such absent Attention! They are so far from Out of Nature, They are absolute Nature herself! or, if they must be confess’d her Resemblance; they are such a Resemblance, at least, as our true Face gives our Face in the Looking-glass.
I wonder indeed, what it is, that the Gentlemen, who talk of Low Scenes, wou’d desire should be understood by the Epithet?---Nothing, properly speaking, is low, that suits well with the Place it is rais’d to.----The Passions of Nature are the same, in the Lord, and his Coach-man. All, that makes them seem different consists in the Degrees, in the Means, and the Air, whereto or wherewith they indulge ’em. If, in painting Distinctions like these, (which arise but from the Forms of Men’s Manners, drawn from Birth, Education, and Custom) a Writer falls short of his Characters, there his Scene is a low one, indeed, whatever high Fortune it flatter’d. But, to imagine that Persons of Rank are above a Concern for what is thought, felt, or acted, by others, of their Species, between whom and themselves is no Difference, except such as was owing to Accident, is to reduce Human Nature to a Lowness,--too low for the Truth of her Frailty.--
In Pamela, in particular, we owe All to her Lowness. It is to the docile Effects of this Lowness of that amiable Girl, in her Birth, her Condition, her Hopes, and her Vanities, in every thing, in short, but her Virtue,---that her Readers are indebted, for the moral Reward, of that Virtue. And if we are to look for the Low among the Rest of the Servants, less lovely tho’ xxiv they are, than a Pamela, there is something however, so glowingly painted, in the Lines whereby the Author has mark’d their Distinctions----Something, so movingly forceful, in the Grief at their Parting, and Joy at the happy Return,---Something so finely, at once, and so strongly and feelingly, varied, even in the smallest and least promising, little Family Incidents! that I need only appeal from the Heads, to the Hearts of the Objectors themselves, whether these are low Scenes to be censur’d?
And as for the opposite Extreme they wou’d quarrel with, the high-passion’d, and un-tam’d Lady Davers,---I cou’d direct ’em to a Dozen or two of Quality Originals, from whom (with Exception perhaps of her Wit) one wou’d swear the Author had taken her Copy.---What a Sum might these Objectors ensure, to be paid, by the Husbands and Sons, of such termagant, hermaphrodite Minds, upon their making due Proof, that they were no longer to be found, in the Kingdom!
I know, you are too just to imagine me capable of giving any other Opinion than my best-weigh’d and true one. But, because it is fit you should have Reasons, in Support of a Judgment that can neither deserve nor expect an implicit Reception, I will run over the Anonymous Letter I herewith return you; and note with what Lightness even Men of good-natur’d Intention fall into Mistakes, by Neglect in too hasty Perusals, which their Benevolence wou’d take Pleasure in blushing at, when they discover their Weakness, in a cooler Revisal.
The Writer of this Letter is for having the Style rais’d, after Pamela’s Advance in her Fortune. But surely, This was hasty Advice: xxv a6 because, as the Letters are writ to her Parents, it wou’d have look’d like forgetting, and, in some sort, insulting, the Lowliness of their inferior Condition, to have assum’d a new Air in her Language, in Place of retaining a steady Humility. But, here, it must not be pass’d unobserv’d, that in her Reports of Conversations that follow’d her Marriage, she does, aptly and beautifully, heighten her Style, and her Phrases: still returning however to her decent Simplicity, in her Addresses to her Father and Mother.
I am against giving a Gentleman (who has ennobled himself, by reforming his Vices, and rewarding the Worth of the Friendless) the unnecessary new Toy of a Title. It is all strong in Nature, as it stands in the Letters: and I don’t see how Greatness, from Titles, can add Likeness or Power, to the Passions. So complete a Resemblance of Truth stands in need of no borrow’d Pretensions.
The Only of this Writer’s Objections, which, I think, carries Weight, is That, which advises some little Contraction of the Prayers, and Appeals to the Deity. I say little Contraction: for they are nobly and sincerely pathetic. And I say it only in Fear, lest, if fansied too long, by the fashionably Averse to the Subject, Minds, which most want the purpos’d Impression, might hazard the Loss of its Benefit, by passing over those pious Reflections, which, if shorter, would catch their Attention.
Certainly, the Gentleman’s Objection against the Persecution that Pamela suffers from lady Davers, in respect to the Relation this Madwoman bears to the Brother, is the rashest of All his Advices! And when he thinks she ought rather xxvi to have assum’d the Protection of her Servants, he seems unaware of the probable Consequence; where there was a Puppy, of Quality, in the Case, who had, even without Provocation, drawn his Sword on the poor passive Pamela. Far from bearing a Thought of exciting an abler Resentment, to the Danger of a Quarrel with so worthless a Coxcomb, how charmingly natural, apprehensive, and generous, is her Silence (during the Recital she makes of her Sufferings) with regard to this masculine Part of the Insult! as also her Prevention of Mrs. Jewkes’s less delicate Bluntness, when she was beginning to complain of the whelp Lord’s Impertinence!
If I were not afraid of a Pun, I shou’d tell the anonymous Letter-writer, that he made a too tight-laced Objection, where he quarrels with the spann’d Waist of Pamela. What, in the Name of Unshapeliness! cou’d he find, to complain of, in a beautiful Girl of Sixteen, who was born out of Germany, and had not, yet, reach’d ungraspable Roundness!—These are wonderful Sinkings from Purpose, where a Man is considering such mental, and passionate Beauties, as this Gentleman profess’d to be touch’d by!
But, when he goes on, to object against the Word naughty, (as apply’d in the Phrase naughty Master) I grow mortified, in Fear for our human Sufficiency, compar’d with our Aptness to blunder! For, here, ’tis plain, this Director of Another’s Discernment is quite blind, Himself, to an Elegance, one wou’d have thought it impossible not to be struck by?---Faulty, wicked, abominable, scandalous, (which are the angry Adjectives, he prefers to that sweet one) wou’d have carried Marks of her Rage, not Affliction—whereas xxvii naughty contains, in One single significant Petulance, twenty thousand inexpressible Delicacies!---It insinuates, at once, all the beautiful Struggle, between her Contempt of his Purpose, and tender Regard for his Person; her Gratitude to Himself and his Family; her Recollection of his superior Condition.—There is in the elegant Choice of this half-kind, half-peevish, Word, a never-enough to be prais’d speaking Picture of the Conflict betwixt her Disdain, and her Reverence! See, Sir, the Reason I had, for apprehending some Danger that the refin’d Generosity in many of the most charming of the Sentiments wou’d be lost, upon the too coarse Conception of some, for whose Use the Author intended them.
It is the same Case again, in foolish Thing that I am! which this nice, un-nice, Gentleman wou’d advise you to change, into foolish that I am! He does not seem to have tasted the pretty Contempt of Herself, the submissive Diminutive, so distant from Vanity, yet allayed by the gentle Reluctance in Self-condemnation ;---and the other fine Touches of Nature: which wou’d All have been lost, in the grave, sober Sound of his Dutch Emendation.
As to his Paragraph in Postscript, I shall say the less of it, because the Gentleman’s own good Sense seems to confess, by the Place he has chosen to rank it in, that it ought to be turn’d out of Doors, as too dirty for the rest of his Letter. In the Occasions he is pleas’d to discover for Jokes, I either find not, that he has any Signification at all, or such vulgar, coarse-tasted Allusions to loose low-life Idioms, that not to understand what he means, is both the cleanliest, and prudentest Way of confuting him.
And now, Sir, you will easily gather how far I am from thinking it needful to change any thing in Pamela. I would not scratch such a beautiful Face, for the Indies!
You can hardly imagine how it charms me to hear of a Second Edition already! but the News of still new upon new ones, will be found no Subject of Wonder. As ’tis sure, that no Family is without Sisters, or Brothers, or Daughters, or Sons, who can read; or wants Fathers, or Mothers, or Friends, who can think; so equally certain it is, that the Train to a Parcel of Powder does not run on with more natural Tendency, till it sets the whole Heap in a Blaze, than that Pamela, inchanting from Family to Family, will overspread all the Hearts of the Kingdom.
As to the Objection of those warm Friends to Honesty, who are for having Pamela dismiss Mrs. Jewkes; there is not One, among All these benevolent Complainers, who wou’d not discern himself to have been, laudably, in the wrong, were he only to be ask’d this plain Question---Whether a Step, both ill-judg’d, and undutiful, had not been the Reverse of a Pamela’s Character?---Two or three times over, Mr. B had inform’d her, that Mrs. Jewkes and Himself having been equally involv’d in One Guilt, she must forgive, or condemn, Both together. After this, it grew manifest Duty not to treat her with Marks of Resentment.---And, as here was a visible Necessity to appear not desirous of turning her away, so, in point of mere Moral Regard to the bad Woman Herself, it was nobler, to retain her, with a Prospect of correcting, in Time, her loose Habit of thinking, than, by casting her off, to the licentious Results of her Temper, abandon xxix her to Temptations and Danger, which a Virtue like Pamela’s cou’d not wish her expos’d to.

The Manner in which this admirable Gentleman gives his Opinion of the Piece, and runs thro’ the principal Characters, is so masterly, that the Readers of Pamela will be charm’d by it, tho’ they should suppose, that his inimitable Benevolence has over-valu’d the Piece itself.

Inspir’d, without doubt, by some Skill, more than human, and comprehending in an humble, and seemingly artless, Narration, a Force that can tear up the Heart-strings, this Author has prepar’d an enamouring Philtre for the Mind, which will excite such a Passion for Virtue, as scarce to leave it in the Power of the Will to neglect her.
Longinus, I remember, distinguishing by what Marks we may know the Sublime, says, it is chiefly from an Effect that will follow the Reading it: a delightfully-adhering Idea, that clings fast to the Memory; and from which it is difficult for a Man to disengage his Attention.---If this is a Proof of the Sublime, there was never Sublimity so lastingly felt, as in Pamela!
Not the Charmer’s own prattling Idea stuck so close to the Heart of her Master, as the Incidents of her Story to the Thoughts of a Reader.---The Author transports, and transforms, with a Power more extensive than Horace requires, in his Poet!---
Mr. B, and the Turns of his Passions---and the Softness, yet Strength, of their amiable Object---after having given us the most masterly Image of Nature, that ever was painted! xxx take Possession of, and dwell in, the Memory.
And there, too, broods the kind and the credulous Parson Williams’s Dove, (without serpentine Mixture) hatching Pity and Affection, for an Honesty so sincere, and so silly!
There too, take their Places All the lower Supports of this beautiful Fabrick.---
I am sometimes transform’d into plain Goodman Andrews, and sometimes the good Woman, his Wife.
As for old Mr. Longman, and Jonathan, the Butler, they are sure of me both, in their Turns.
Now and-then, I am Colbrand the Swiss: but, as broad as I stride, in that Character, I can never escape Mrs. Jewkes: who often keeps me awake in the Night---
Till the Ghost of Lady Davers, drawing open the Curtains, scares the Scarer, of me, and of Pamela!---
And, then, I take Shelter with poor penitent John, and the rest of the Men and the Maids, of all whom I may say, with compassionate Marcia,
———The YouthsDIVIDE their Reader.

And this fine Writer adds:

I am glad I made War, in my last, upon the Notion of altering the Style: for, having read it twice over since then, (and to Audiences, where the Tears were applausively eloquent) I could hardly, here and there, find a Place, where one Word can be chang’d for a better. There are some indeed, where ’twere possible to leave out, a few, without making a Breach in the Building. But, xxxi in short, the Author has put so bewitching a Mixture together, of the Rais’d with the Natural, and the Soft with the Strong and the Eloquent---thatnever Sentiments were finer, and fuller of Life! never any were utter’d so sweetly!---Even in what relates to the pious and frequent Addresses to God, I now retract (on these two last Revisals) the Consent I half gave, on a former, to the anonymous Writer’s Proposal, who advis’d the Author to shorten those Beauties.—Whoever considers his 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 or Wit, with Intent to accuse her, and quarrel---He came to her with Pique in his Purpose; but his Heart is too hard for his Malice---and he goes away more enslav’d, for complaining.

The following delightful Story, so admirably related, will give great Pleasure to the Reader; and we take the Liberty of inserting it, for that very Reason.

What a never-to-be satisfied Length has this Subject always the Power of attracting me into! And yet, before I have done, I must by your means tell the Author a Story, which a Judge not so skilful in Nature as he is, might be in Danger perhaps of mistaking, for a trifling and silly one. I expect it shou’d give him the clearest Conviction, in a Case he is subject to question.
We have a lively little Boy in the Family, about seven Years old---but, alas for him, poor Child! quite unfriended; 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) xxxii is so pretty, so genteel, and gay-spirited, that we have made him, and design’d him, our own, ever since he could totter, and waddle. The wanton Rogue is half Air: and every Motion he acts by has a Spring, like Pamela’s when she threw down the Card-table. All this Quickness, however, is temper’d by a good-natur’d Modesty: so that the wildest of his Flights are thought rather diverting than troublesome. He is an hourly Foundation for Laughter, from the Top of the House to the Parlours: and, to borrow an Attribute from the Reverend Mr. Peters, (tho’ without any Note of his Musick) plays a very good Fiddle in the Family. I have told you the History 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; and, having got half her Sayings by heart, talks in no other Language but hers: and, what really surprises, and has charm’d me into a certain Fore-taste of her Influence, he is, at once, become fond of his Book; which (before) he cou’d 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 unfix’d an Attention, was, one Evening, when I was reading her Reflections at the Pond to some Company. The little rampant Intruder, being kept out by the Extent of the Circle, had crept under my Chair, and was sitting before me, on the Carpet, with his Head almost touching the Book, and his Face bowing down toward 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 xxxiii conceal from our Notice, his little Sides swell’d, as if they wou’d burst, with the throbbing Restraint of his Sorrow. I turn’d his innocent Face, to look toward me; but his Eyes were quite lost, in his Tears: which running down from his Cheeks in free Currents, had form’d two sincere little Fountains, 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.

The same incomparable Writer has favour’d us with an Objection, that is more material than any we have mention’d; which cannot be better stated nor answer’d, than in his own beautiful Words; viz.

An Objection is come into my Thoughts, which I should be glad the Author would think proper to obviate in the Front of the Second Edition.
There are Mothers, or Grandmothers, in all Families of affluent Fortune, who, tho’ they may have none of Lady Davers’s Insolence, will be apt to feel one of her Fears,---that the Example of a Gentleman so amiable as Mr. B--- may be follow’d, by the Jackies, their Sons, with too blind and unreflecting a Readiness. Nor does the Answer of that Gentleman to his Sister’s Reproach come quite up to the Point they will rest on. For, tho’ indeed it is true, all the World wou’d acquit the best Gentleman in it, if he married such a Waiting-maid as Pamela, yet, there is an ill-discerning Partiality, in Passion, that will overthrow all the Force of that Argument: because every belov’d Maid will be Pamela, in a Judgment obscur’d by her Influence.
And, since the Ground of this Fear will seem solid, I don’t know how to be easy, till it is shewn (nor ought it to be left to the Author’s Modesty) that they who consider his Design in that Light will be found but short-sighted Observers.
Request it of him then to suffer it to be told them, that not a limited, but general, Excitement to Virtue was the first and great End to his Story: And that this Excitement must have been deficient, and very imperfectly offer’d, if he had not look’d quite as low as he cou’d for his Example: because if there had been any Degree or Condition, more remote from the Prospect than that which he had chosen to work on, that Degree might have seem’d out of Reach of the Hope, which it was his generous Purpose to encourage.---And, so, he was under an evident Necessity to find such a Jewel in a Cottage: and expos’d, too, as she was, to the severest Distresses of Fortune, with Parents unable to support their own Lives, but from the daily hard Product of Labour.
Nor wou’d it have been sufficient to have plac’d her thus low and distressful, if he had not also suppos’d her a Servant: and that too in some elegant Family; for if she had always remain’d a Fellow-cottager with her Father, it must have carried an Air of Romantick Improbability to account for her polite Education.
If she had wanted those Improvements, which she found means to acquire in her Service, it wou’d have been very unlikely, that she shou’d have succeeded so well; and had destroy’d one great Use of the Story, to have allow’d such uncommon Felicity to the Effect of mere personal Beauty.---And xxxv it had not been judicious to have represented her as educated in a superior Condition of Life with the proper Accomplishments, before she became reduc’d by Misfortunes, and so not a Servant, but rather an Orphan under hopeless Distresses---because Opportunities which had made it no Wonder how she came to be so winningly qualified, wou’d have lessen’d her Merit in being so. And besides, where had then been the purpos’d Excitement of Persons in Pamela’s Condition of Life, by an Emulation of her Sweetness, Humility, Modesty, Patience, and Industry, to attain some faint Hope of arriving, in time, within View of her Happiness?—And what a delightful Reformation shou’d we see, in all Families, where the Vanity of their Maids took no Turn toward Ambition to please, but by such innocent Measures, as Pamela’s!
As it is clear, then, the Author was under a Necessity to suppose her a Servant, he is not to be accountable for mistaken Impressions, which the Charms he has given her may happen to make, on wrong Heads, or weak Hearts, tho’ in Favour of Maids the Reverse of her Likeness.
What is it then (they may say) that the Lowness, and Distance of Pamela’s Condition from the Gentleman’s who married her, proposes to teach the Gay World, and the Fortunate?---It is this---By Comparison with that infinite Remoteness of her Condition from the Reward which her Virtue procur’d her, one great Proof is deriv’d, (which is Part of the Moral of Pamela) that Advantages from Birth, and Distinction of Fortune, have no Power at all, when consider’d against those from Behaviour, and Temper of Mind: because where the Last are not added, all xxxvi the First will be boasted in vain. Whereas she who possesses the Last finds no Want of the First, in her Influence.
In that Light alone let the Ladies of Rank look at Pamela.---Such an alarming Reflection as that will, at the same time that it raises the Hope and Ambition of the Humble, correct and mortify the Disdain of the Proud. For it will compel them to observe, and acknowledge, that ’tis the Turn of their Mind, not the Claims of their Quality, by which (and which only) Womens Charms can be lasting: And that, while the haughty Expectations, inseparable from an elevated Rank, serve but to multiply its Complaints and Afflictions, the Condescensions of accomplish’d Humility, attracting Pity, Affection, and Reverence, secure an hourly Increase of Felicity.---So that the moral Meaning of Pamela’s Good-fortune, far from tempting young Gentlemen to marry such Maids as are found in their Families, is, by teaching Maids to deserve to be Mistresses, to stir up Mistresses to support their Distinction.

We shall only add, That it was intended to prefix two neat Frontispieces to this Edition, (and to present them to the Purchasers of the first) and one was actually finished for that Purpose; but there not being Time for the other, from the Demand for the new Impression; and the Engraving Part of that which was done (tho’ no Expence was spared) having fallen very short of the Spirit of the Passages they were intended to represent, the Proprietors were advised to lay them aside. And were the rather induced to do so, from the following Observation of a most ingenious Gentleman, in a Letter to the Editor. “I am so jealous, says he, in Behalf of our inward Idea xxxvii of Pamela’s Person, that I dread any figur’d Pretence to Resemblance. For it will be pity to look at an Air, and imagine it Hers, that does not carry some such elegant Perfection of Amiableness, as will be sure to find place in the Fancy.”


VERSES, sent to the Bookseller, for the Unknown Author of the beautiful new Piece call’d PAMELA.


Lest be thy pow’rful Pen, whoe’er thou art,

Thou skill’d, great Moulder of the master’d Heart!

Where hast thou lain conceal’d!---or why thought fit,

At this dire Period, to unveil thy Wit?

O! late befriended Isle! had this broad Blaze,

With earlier Beamings, bless’d our Fathers Days,

The Pilot Radiance, pointing out the Source,

Whence public Health derives its vital Course,

Each timely Draught some healing Power had shown,

Ere gen’ral Gangrene blacken’d, to the Bone.

But, fest’ring now, beyond all Sense of Pain,

’Tis hopeless: and the Helper’s Hand is vain.

Sweet Pamela! forever-blooming Maid!

Thou dear, unliving, yet immortal, Shade!

Why are thy Virtues scatter’d to the Wind?

Why are thy Beauties flash’d upon the Blind?

What, tho’ thy flutt’ring Sex might learn, from thee,

That Merit forms a Rank, above Degree?

That Pride, too conscious, falls, from ev’ry Claim,

While humble Sweetness climbs, beyond its Aim?

What, tho’ Religion, smiling from thy Eyes,

Shews her plain Power, and charms without Disguise?

What, tho’ thy warmly-pleasing moral Scheme

Gives livelier Rapture, than the Loose can dream?

What, tho’ thou build’st, by thy persuasive Life,

Maid, Child, Friend, Mistress, Mother, Neighbour, Wife?

Tho’ Taste like thine each Void of Time, can fill,

Unsunk by Spleen, unquicken’d by Quadrille!

What, tho’ ’tis thine to bless the lengthen’d Hour!

Give Permanence to Joy, and Use to Pow’r?

Lend late-felt Blushes to the Vain and Smart?

And squeeze cramp’d Pity from the Miser’s Heart?

What, tho’ ’tis thine to hush the Marriage Breeze,

Teach Liberty to tire, and Chains to please?

Thine tho’, from Stiffness to divest Restraint,

And, to the Charmer, reconcile the Saint?

Tho’ Smiles and Tears obey thy moving Skill,

And Passion’s ruffled Empire waits thy Will?

Tho’ thine the fansy’d Fields of flow’ry Wit,

Thine, Art’s whole Pow’r, in Nature’s Language writ!

Thine, to convey strong Thought, with modest Ease,

And, copying Converse, teach its Style to please?

Tho’ thine each Virtue, that a God cou’d lend?

Thine, ev’ry Help, that ev’ry Heart, can mend?

’Tis Thine in vain!—Thou wak’st a dying Land;

And lift’st departed Hope, with fruitless Hand:

Death has no Cure. Thou hast mis-tim’d thy Aim;

Rome had her Goths: and all, beyond, was Shame.

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library:
University of California

The Augustan Reprint Society

General Editors

R. C. Boys
University of Michigan

Vinton A. Dearing
University of California, Los Angeles

Ralph Cohen
University of California, Los Angeles

Lawrence Clark Powell
Wm. Andrews Clark Memorial Library

Corresponding Secretary: Mrs. Edna C. Davis, Wm. Andrews Clark Memorial Library

The Society exists to make available inexpensive reprints (usually facsimile reproductions) of rare seventeenth and eighteenth century works. The editorial policy of the Society remains unchanged. As in the past, the editors welcome suggestions concerning publications. All income of the Society is devoted to defraying cost of publication and mailing.

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Publications for the eighth year [1953-1954]

The notation [*] means that the title was apparently never published. The Sarbiewski collection is currently in preparation for Project Gutenberg. The song collection was published with the title “...Songbooks”.

(At least six items, most of them from the following list, will be reprinted.)

John Baillie: An Essay on the Sublime (1747). Introduction by Samuel H. Monk.

Contemporaries of the Tatler and Spectator. Introduction by Richmond P. Bond.

John Dart and George Ogle on Chaucer. Introduction by William L. Alderson. [*]

John T. Desaguliers: The Newtonian System of the World the Best Model of Government (1728). Introduction by Marjorie H. Nicolson. [*]

Sale Catalogue of Mrs. Piozzi’s Effects (1816). Introduction by John Butt. [*]

M. C. Sarbiewski: The Odes of Casimire (1646). Introduction by Maren-Sofie Rœstvig.

Selections from Seventeenth-Century Songs. Introduction by Jennifer W. Angel.

A Sermon Preached at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (1745). [Probably by Samuel Johnson]. Introduction by James L. Clifford. [*]

Publications for the first seven years (with the exception of Nos. 1-6, which are out of print) are available at the rate of $3.00 a year. Prices for individual numbers may be obtained by writing to the Society.


2205 West Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles 18, California

Make check or money order payable to The Regents of the University of California.



Many of the listed titles are available from Project Gutenberg. Where possible, links are included.

First Year (1946-1947)

Numbers 1-6 out of print.


1. Richard Blackmore’s Essay upon Wit (1716), and Addison’s Freeholder No. 45 (1716).

2. Anon., Essay on Wit (1748), together with Characters by Flecknoe, and Joseph Warton’s Adventurer Nos. 127 and 133.

3. Anon., Letter to A. H. Esq.; concerning the Stage (1698), and Richard Willis’ Occasional Paper No. IX (1698).

4. Samuel Cobb’s Of Poetry and Discourse on Criticism (1707).

5. Samuel Wesley’s Epistle to a Friend Concerning Poetry (1700) and Essay on Heroic Poetry (1693).

6. Anon., Representation of the Impiety and Immorality of the Stage (1704) and anon., Some Thoughts Concerning the Stage (1704).

Second Year (1947-1948)

  7. John Gay’s The Present State of Wit (1711); and a section on Wit from The English Theophrastus (1702).

  8. Rapin’s De Carmine Pastorali, translated by Creech (1684).

  9. T. Hanmer’s (?) Some Remarks on the Tragedy of Hamlet (1736).

10. Corbyn Morris’ Essay towards Fixing the True Standards of Wit, etc. (1744).

11. Thomas Purney’s Discourse on the Pastoral (1717).

12. Essays on the Stage, selected, with an Introduction by Joseph Wood Krutch.

Third Year (1948-1949)

13. Sir John Falstaff (pseud.), The Theatre (1720).

14. Edward Moore’s The Gamester(1753).

15. John Oldmixon’s Reflections on Dr. Swift’s Letter to Harley (1712); and Arthur Mainwaring’s The British Academy (1712).

16. Nevil Payne’s Fatal Jealousy (1673).

17. Nicholas Rowe’s Some Account of the Life of Mr. William Shakespeare (1709).

18. “Of Genius,” in The Occasional Paper, Vol. III, No. 10 (1719); and Aaron Hill’s Preface to The Creation (1720).

Fourth Year (1949-1950)

19. Susanna Centlivre’s The Busie Body (1709).

20. Lewis Theobold’s Preface to The Works of Shakespeare (1734).

21. Critical Remarks on Sir Charles Grandison, Clarissa, and Pamela (1754).

22. Samuel Johnson’s The Vanity of Human Wishes (1749) and Two Rambler papers (1750).

23. John Dryden’s His Majesties Declaration Defended (1681).

24. Pierre Nicole’s An Essay on True and Apparent Beauty in Which from Settled Principles is Rendered the Grounds for Choosing and Rejecting Epigrams, translated by J. V. Cunningham.

Fifth Year (1950-1951)

25. Thomas Baker’s The Fine Lady’s Airs (1709).

26. Charles Macklin’s The Man of the World (1792).

27. Frances Reynolds’ An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Taste, and of the Origin of Our Ideas of Beauty, etc. (1785).

28. John Evelyn’s An Apologie for the Royal Party (1659); and A Panegyric to Charles the Second (1661).

29. Daniel Defoe’s A Vindication of the Press (1718).

30. Essays on Taste from John Gilbert Cooper’s Letters Concerning Taste, 3rd edition (1757), & John Armstrong’s Miscellanies (1770).

Sixth Year (1951-1952)

31. Thomas Gray’s An Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard (1751); and The Eton College Manuscript.

32. Prefaces to Fiction; Georges de Scudéry’s Preface to Ibrahim (1674), etc.

33. Henry Gally’s A Critical Essay on Characteristic-Writings (1725).

34. Thomas Tyers’ A Biographical Sketch of Dr. Samuel Johnson (1785).

35. James Boswell, Andrew Erskine, and George Dempster. Critical Strictures on the New Tragedy of Elvira, Written by Mr. David Malloch (1763).

36. Joseph Harris’s The City Bride (1696).

Seventh Year (1952-1953)

37. Thomas Morrison’s A Pindarick Ode on Painting (1767).

38. John Phillips’ A Satyr Against Hypocrites (1655).

39. Thomas Warton’s A History of English Poetry.

40. Edward Bysshe’s The Art of English Poetry (1708).

41. Bernard Mandeville’s “A Letter to Dion” (1732).

42. Prefaces to Four Seventeenth-Century Romances.

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