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MR. SAMUEL RICHARDSON

With a Prefatory Note by AUSTIN DOBSON, and
Life and Introductions by Prof. WM. LYON PHELPS

PAMELA/l

OR

VIRTUE REWARDED

Illustrated with reproductions of rare contemporary drawings
and with plates for the text,

by Burney, Stothard, Gravelot and others

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HARVARD UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

FEB. 1.54

PREFATORY NOTE.

The first readers of Richardson had privileges which are unknown to their successors. They were more leisured, more tolerant of tedium, less easily wearied. Moreover, when Pamela made her bow to them in 1740, her story came as a new thing, entirely different from the mouthy old romances to which they were accustomed,-romances filled with impossible heroes and heroines, engaged in unintelligible enterprises, and entangled in interminable discussions. She, on the contrary, delivered herself like a person of this world, thought the thoughts of those about her, endured the hardships which might fall to the lot of any one, and achieved the successes which were supposed to be open to all. If her chronicler was over-prolix, if he was over-didactic, his didacticism only widened his audience by attracting readers other than readers of fiction, while his prolixity, if it was felt, was not seriously resented. His public were not too surfeited with similar work to be fastidious; they could bear to read him over and over, and they had ample time to do so. What is true of Pamela is equally true of Clarissa and Sir Charles Grandison, with the addition that, whereas the story of Pamela had practically been completed in the two volumes first published, the stories of Clarissa Harlowe and Sir Charles Grandison were spread over volumes issued at intervals of

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