Samuel Richardson.

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 online

. (page 3 of 14)
Online LibrarySamuel RichardsonThe 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 → online text (page 3 of 14)
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unknown land at a very small expence of
time or trouble. - The very best place a
person can come on shore from the Isle
of Man, is ahnost at my door. I hope I
shall have the pleasure and honour of beg-
ging the favour of his Lordship to walk into
this house. I will only add my respects to
Mrs. Richardson and your daughters.
1 am, good Sir,

Your obliged, &c.

Eliza Echlin.

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London^ Judy 7> 1755.

Your Ladyship^s kind opinion of my
last book is an encouragement to me, which
was wanted ,• because some of my best
friends wished that I had bestowed the time
the collection cost me, in writing another
story ; and declared they would not read it :
yet regarded the three pieces I have pub-
lished more for the sake of instruction, than
the story.— So they said. However, I can
faithfully assure them, that this collection
was set about, and carried through (and a
very painful a-nd laborious task it was) more
with a view to do good, than to profit. I
could not expect a great sale of it, tliough
it is the pith and marrow of nineteen vo-
lumes, not unkindly received.

I was very far from imputing the dislike


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of city Visits, merely as such, to the amiable
young lady, I so much admired at her first vi-
sit. What I wrote on that subject respected
generally the fashion, and not that particular
lady, I owe the misfortune of -not being
abetter known (I dare say) to Mrs. Palmer,
rather to Lady B — •''s mucli regretted ilhiess
of so long duration, than to Mrs. Palmer^s
"want of condescension. How greatly do I
-admire your Ladyships sentiments on this
subject ! They are worthy of Lady Echlin,
and her daughter must have imbibed them.

I am affaid, if Lady B — writes short let-
ters to a sister she so dearJy loves, she will
tiot write long ones to any body. Soon after I
had your favour before me, I received a very
^ort one from her Ladyship ; but we have
worn out our subjects of disputation. Can-
not your Ladyship set us into an innocent
quarrei ? Write something to her against
me, that I may see if she is as good to me as
she used to be, and will offer any thing in
my vindication. What a strange request!

vox., v. B Excuse

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Excuse me^ Madam^ for making it. Me*
thinks it looks presumptuous ; as if I de-
pended too much on the favour of two sis-
ters so, excellent, when it would give me
real grief had I done any thing intentionally
to disoblige either,

I am very sorry thajt I had not the honour
once more to see Lady Lambard. lam much
obliged to your Ladyship, for your endea-
vours to obtain for me that favour. Lady
B — 's much lamented indisposition unhinged
us a\h

. I don't know whether the good Bishc^ is
gone to Patmos, as most significantly you
call the diocese to which he is banished, as
you, with- equal significance, phrase it ; if
he be not, I hope ta see him, before he
goes, and then I shall acquaint him with
your Ladyship's favour to him, and with
your hopes to see him, grounded on his vici-
nity to your VillaruSa. His friends in England
are very loth to part with him, I understand.
Ko wonder ! And now several of them, and
1 some

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some who had their sons with him, talk what
they would have done for him, had he not
accepted of this distant lure ; hut it is only
now that he has, that they so talk. His
Lordship assured me, that he has not changed
his situation to his profit ; so that his hopes,
by moving in a larger sphere, of doing more
good than in his former, must be his only
motive for it. A motive worthy of his cha-
racter ! For such a man must be above the
glare of title, and certainly is.

I am. Madam, with equal
gratitude and respect, &c.



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SusSf Sept* 2, 1755.

X HIS sister of mine seems determined not
only to write short letters^ but also to write
that little seldom. She says to me^ '^ I shall
avoid giving my good friend, Mr. Richard-
son, too much trouble for the future, by
shortening my letters, and not writing too
frequently.** If she resolves against pro-
lixity and frequency in writing to her most
agreeable, her darling correspondent, who
then can expect long letters, or to hear often
-from her ? assuredly she will not afford any-
body more pen-conversation than yourself.

Do you ask me to contrive an innocent
quarrel ? — ^Not I, indeed; I have not a
pregnant brain ; my little wit is not equal to
so delicate a piece of invention. Are not


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you intimately acquainted with an eminent
contriver of harmless mischief? Don't ex-
pect that I should attempt to abuse Mr.
Richardson^ unless he instruct, as well as
commission, me to do it. What a strange
request, say you ? So think I ; but not at
all presumptuous. Caa any body depend
too much upon real friends ? In short,
my dull head cannot contribute any thing
towards a plot ; and, besides, my heart is
not willing to say aay thing against you. I am
not surprizedat any body's wishing you would
oblige the world with a new piece of agreea.
ble entertainment; but, give me leave to
think that such persons as refuse to read your
kst excellent book, are over fond of reading
.amusing stories. Can any one of your best
friends so little regard (or slight) tlie pith'
and marrow of nineteen volumes, as not to
applaud you for bestowing time and pains
on that choice collection, with no other
view but to do good to your fellow crea-
tures. Profit you did not expect !. Surely
j> a then.

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then your laborious work may justly be
praised^ as a benevolent act of charity ; but
no thanks do you get^ except from old
fashioned matrons, like your humble servant,
who are better pleased with musty morals
than a pretty love-story. I am even ill-na-
tured enough to wish that whenever you are
disposed to write again, you would disap-
point your amorous readers, by not making^
the passion of love their entertainment. Al-
low me to say, the finest lessons you have
written, and the best instruction you can give,^
blended with love intrigues, will never an-
swer your good intention. I wish to see aa
exemplary widow drop from your pen; a
very wicked widow has appeared in print
lately. An amiable character would be an
agreeable contrast ; it would shine brightly
after that black she-monster, the abominable
Widow of the Wood.

My friend, Mrs. Green (I rank this good
woman in the first class among prudent
widows); mentioned you. Sir, and your


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family with due regard in her last letter.
She tells me Parson^s Green is a pleasant
country seat^ and that your improvements
Tiave made it a delightful place. I heartily
vnsli I may have the pleasure of paying my
respects to you and Mrs. Richardson there>
cr on die unfashionable side of Temple Ban
With great good nature you excuse a certain
young lady's faulty omission ; all I shall say
for her is^ that she has been indisposed some
time past. I am anxious again, but trust in
God for her perfect recovery in due time.

Lady Lambard assures me^ she was much
disappointed in not meeting Mr. Richardson
in Suffolk-street, and fully intended makings
you a morning visit, had not Lady B — dis-
couraged her, by saying you was seldom^ at
home in a morning, and her stay in London
was so short, she could not avoid being en-
gaged every evening. Soon after Lady Lam^
bard reached her own house she was confined
to her bed, with a fever ; but, thank God,
^e is now perfectly well in healthy much
D 4 grieved

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grieved to part with her dear friend^ our good?
Bishop. It was not her faulty I am sure^
that he is not more highly preferred ; hut I
will not say the same for those people who
now talk hig^ when he does not want their
jfevours. This worthy clergyman could not
have any selfish view in quitting n very agreed-
able situation, for that unprofitable remote-
spot, Patmos, a wild forlorn legion ! His
sole inducement must be, as you observe
real and laudable beneficence. I hope this
good man will discourage that contraband
trade, so notoriously practised in that lawless
island. Doubtless, he will endeavour to ex<-
tirpate all unfair dealing ;, and, perhaps, he
may do some good among our ignorant peo^- .
pie here, who make no scruple of this ille^
gal traffic. Our Russ fishers are too welJ
known in the Isle of Man, and I heartily wish
not one of their boats was to sail thither
again, unless it were t^ bring the good Bishop
from thence to Villarusa.
From this house we have an open sea*-


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prospect, and I think this ever ebbing, or
flowing piece of water, a delightful enter-
tainment. On a delicate, fine, smooth,
sand, is mjr favourite ramble ; close at the
side of this herring-pond, I walk, well
amused with artless variety ; and in this
pleasant bay, commodiously bounded with
rocks, I bathe. I am fond of sea bathing;
it is a pleasure and a benefit to me. No reme-
dy so useful, I think, for bracing the nerves.
Though the roaring sea is our near neighbour,
directly facing the front-door, yet we are not
bleakly exposed; We are sheltered by trees^
which are looked on almost as a wonderful
wood, because it is not a common advantage
so near the sea- side to have them. Our
gardens are large — more useful than fine ;
many pleasant walks; agreeable shade ; and
good fruit in a: favourable season. * The
whole is nothing more elegant, nor less
beautiful, than a delightful rural scene, sa>
Baturally pleasing, it less wants artificiaL

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As to my constant employ and amusement,
I am inclined to be silent on that head*
Shall I venture to tell you 1 never loved
needle-work, nor am I a good housewife ;
yet I can employ myself from five in a morn-
ing till ten at night. Call me, if you please>
a busy-do-Iittlc.

My sincere good wishes attend you and
your*6. I am, dear Sir,

Your obliged, faithful,

humble Servant,

Eliza Echlin.


London^ Sept. 2?, 175.5.

Y OUR Ladyship does me unmerited ho-
nour whenever you allow yourself time to
write to me.

I had the honour of a letter from our
dear Lady B — , dated at Knowsley. I am


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very sorry that her Ladyship has any reason
to complain with regard to her healthy and
ihzt the waters of Knowsley-park had not
the desired effect in restoring it perfectly.
What a pleasure would it have been to her,
as well as to the noble owners, had she re-
ceived the wished-for benefit from springs
arising in their domains !

I am not a little concerned at the passage
your Ladyship quotes from your beloved
sister's letter, - ^* that, for the future, she
should avoid giving me the trouble of long
and frequent letters.** Surely, I must have
offended lady B— . Did I ever give her L^
dyship reason for calling her favours oif the
writing kind a trouble .^

Your next paragraph is a very kind caie ;
I thank you, Madam, for it, and particu-
larly for the concluding part of it.

I much admire what you say upon ming-
ling love-subjects in my writings ; but am
afraid instruction without entertmnment
(were I capable of giving the best) would
n 6 have

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have but few readers. Instruction, Ma-
J dam,, is the prll ; amusement is the gilding.
Writings that do not touch the passions of
the light and airy, will hardly ever reach the
heart. Perhaps I have in mine been too ca-
pious OH that subject ; but it is a subject ior
which, at one time or other of their lives^
all men and all women are interested,^ and
more liable than in any other to make mis-
takes, not seldom fatal ones. Your Lady-
ship wishes a widow might drop from, nay-
pen ; but were not this widow to Rave been
a lover too, she, wenhT lose more than halt
her n^Pft;

I wish- it may be iathe power of our good'
Bishop to put a stop, or give a check, to the
fBicit trade carried on. in the Isle of Man^.
But nothing,. I fear, will do it,, while it is in^
the hands of a petty sovereign of its own*
Should not the Crown purchase the right to-
it,. wherever it lies \ Wherevep it lies, I say,.,
since I am very doubtful of that of the pre-
sent possessor. Yet your Russ fishermen, you^


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say — O! Madam, who is proof against
temptation, strengthened by situation } Are
not the inhabitants on the coasts throughout
Great Britain and Ireland the worst of plun-
derers — plunderers of wrecks ? And maite
they not often wrecks of ships^ that put in,
in distress, and which might otherwise, not
seldom, be got oft' ?

You delight me. Madam, by your cbarmt-
ing description of your Villarusa^ It is the
more delightful, as you seem not to know
how charmingly you have described it.
What a beautiful situation^ must that be,
that, simply to mention it as it is, will strike
one's imagination so much to its. advantage !

** You never foved needle-work," because*
you could find yourself more important em-
ployment :. I am sure that was the reasoa; or,,
perhaps, when very young, it was made toov
much your task. ^^ Are not a good house-
wife !" Pardon me. Madam.; and. let me-
say, that the lady who can employ herself
from five in the morning till ten at nighty


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cannot, I am sure, be neglectful of any one
needful concern.

^ A busy do-little," you call yourself;
and our dear and lively Lady B — allows you
to do so : but I will not either approve of
your Ladyship's too great humility, or Lady
B — *8 pleasantry.

We have it here, that all the unhappy
differences, which have for some time past
kept at distance one of the best of sove-
reigns, and his best subjects of your king-
dom, are happily made up. God grant they
may I

I am. Madam,

with very great and

affectionate respect, &cv




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London^ Dec. 15, 1755.

W ILL it be sufficient to plead for my
long silence to the last favour of my dear and
good Lady Echlin, that I have been wholly
engrossed by builders ? The house I live in,
m Salisbury Court, has been adjudged to
have stood near its time : and my very great
printing weights at the top of it, have made
it too hazardous for me to renew an expiring
lease. I have taken a building lease of a
court of houses, eight in number, which
were ready to fall ; have pulled them down,
and on new foundations, have built a most
commodious printing-office ; and fitted up
an adjoining house, which I before used as a
warehouse, for the dwelling-house. An im-
politic step at my advanced time of life, had
I a more advantageous view for my family,


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than that of having my business carried on
after my demise, for its benefit.

People say I have done wonders, as to ex-^
pedition. But it is at the expence of giving
lap a great part of my pleasure, in corre-
sponding duly with my chosen correspond-
ents. I did not think that any avocation or
employment, however important, could have
so much engrossed me ; yet it was necessary
that it should, in order to get into the
printing-office part before the bad weather
came on.

And now I have finished that part, and
my men are at work in it,, without being
themselves sensible of their remove, but by
their greater convenience. Will this, let
me repeat, be a sufficient excuse to good
Lady Echlin,, for my long silence to.hcrla&t
fiivour I I hope it wilL

I comprehend fully your Ladyship's meaa-
kig on your recommended subject, the good
and exemplary widow. My building, though
just completed, has not left my head so clear


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to writing subjects^ as to make me able to
resolve about entering into any more for
the public, I think the little spirit I once
ha^, of that kind^isdeparted from. me» But
I admire what you write oa that your
favourite subject ; and should the spirit, I
mean, offer again to irradiate my heavy
mind, it should obtain my particular at-

Do not say the amiable Mrs. Palmer is
blameable with regard to me. * We can no
more choose 'friends thaa lovers for other
persons^ I can admire without being en^
couraged by a return of esteem ; and* think
it rather my misfortune, than the fault of the
admiredj that I meet not with desirable fa-
vour. I have the vanity to hope, that did I
endeavour personally to cultivate the favour
of this fine young lady, as her good mamma
and aunt encouraged me to do, and as the
man in such a case should think it his duty
to do, i should not, so recommended and
favoured, have been repulsed. But in cases


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where the favour must be done me, from
condescension, on account of our different
stations in life, I cannot help being back-
ward ; and the more so, as I imagine that
the engagements of so cxcellait a young
lady in the upper life^ leave her as little lei-
sure to encourage new ones, as the busy em-
plo)nments of the lower leave a man so much
immersed in business, as I am ; and who
therefore wants, as I may say, a call, an in-
vitation from a superior in rank ; to which,
when so favoured, I never was insensible.
Thus, Madam, you see that the delicacy
of sex considered, it may be as much my
fault, nay more, that I have not been able
to tell your Ladyship, how her beloved
daughter looked in her present condition,
than her*s, that she has not condescended to
improve an acquaintance so lately begun. I
hope I may congratulate your Ladyship on
Mrs. Palmer's safety and good health,

I have some complaint to make against't)ur
good bishop* He tock not his leave of me


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before he set out for Patmos^ as your Lady*
ship fitly calls his diocese^ though he made
me hope he would : and has not written to
me since his arrival there. Shall I be allowed
to sayi that I expected other things from the
good vicar of Hitching ?

What dreadful news have we from Lisbon I
The only city in the world, out of the British
dominions, by which so tremendous a shock \
could have so much afiected us. When the
Almighty's judgments are abroad, may we
be warned !



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Feb. 1y 1756.

Though you mention your advanced
time of life, I hope. Sir, you may yet enjoy
many happy years, before you arrive at old
age in reality. And I heartily wish good
Mr. Kicbardson a long and comfortable en-
joyment of his wonderful expeditiotts build-
ing; the speedy finishing of it, you say,
makes people wonder. I cannot suppose it
is an impolitic step> because you could not
act imprudently.

I have a mind to tell you, that I have raised
a small building, in a short time, at Vil-
krussa, on my favourite spot, close at tha

Under a high rock, in the midst of a wild
rocky fence, stands my humble cell, which,
for shape and size may be called a bee-hive ;.


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it k a pleasant retirement, in a very romantic
situation, and, if you will allow of the ex-
pression, it is rudely elegant. This little
work afforded me both amusement and ex-
ercise. Busy was I in collecting curious
rocks, representing animals, and sea-mon-
sters, with which that shore abounds ; and
with those unhewed carvings I ornamented
my ragged, hanging shelves. I have no
shell-work, only whatnature affords, growing
on my rocks, which appears more beautiful .
in my eye, than the formal delicacy of la-
boured art. I admire shells in their native
dress, and I have a choice collection.

I wish you could see the simplicity and
rough connection that suits my uncouth taste,
you would then say, this rock-savage hive,
grot, or hermitage (what shall I call it ?) this
private place was chosen, and the whole
thing contrived, by an admirer of plain na-
ture, and a lover of solitude. 1 have ^ desire
to place as an inscription in the wall, over
a small round window, a serious moral sen-
tence :

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tence : but this requires a better head than
my own. Shall I apply to the judicious
author of Grandison : will he think me im-
pertinent^ if I ask his assistance ?

I have lately seen your great admirer^
Mr. Tickcll, in high health and spirits. We
had a long discourse concerning your good
intention in writing your entertaining his-
tories. Mr. Tickell "wished to see a thou-
sand volumes from Mr. Richardson's divine
pen, if he could live to read them," were
his words. I told him, you had often men-
tioned him in your letters: he said, you
honoured him : and desired me to return
^ his grateful thanks and best respects.

I have not told you that I have read that
good book. The Centaur not Fabulous.
Sorry am I to know it is a melancholy truth :
but I did not think there were so many
monsters in human shape, as I now believe
there are, from the bad reception that excel-
lent lesson meets with in the world. Can
they be rational creatures, who ridicule the


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author^ and impudently call the reverend

doctor a madman ? God Almighty grant

a speedy reformation. According to Isaiah^

the prophet, saith "when the Almighty's

judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants

of the world will learn righteousness.*' But

I almost tremble for this inconsiderate age,

when I read the two following verses in this

twenty-sixth chapter. One would hope the

dismal catastrophe at Lisbon, the universal

shock, will make some serious impression.

I^ presume to think the whole earth has

quaked, since the first day of last November.

How thankful ought we people of these

nations to be for God Almighty's great

mercy vouchsafed unto us.

I have often said your good ^nature and

humility is uncommonly great, which still I

shall say, on your confirming my opinion in

a paragraph concerning a certain young lady.

Her late ill health is all I have to plead for

her omission.

Dear Sir, your's, &c

Eliza Echlin.

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August Z^ 1756.

JVIy gratefiil heart thanks you. dear Sir,
though my pen can hardly express how
greatly I am obliged to you for your cordial
invitation. I do not despair of our meeting.
There is more than a probability of my re-
turning again to my native country, if God
Almighty permit. I shall not forget your
pious request. I do fervently beseech God
to prolong your days upon earth, and to
grant us a happier meeting in the kingdom
of Heaven. I shall take the first oppor-
tunity of .acquainting our good bishop, with
your desiring to be remembered in his
devout prayers. He is well in health, thank
God ! He does not seem to dislike his
change : and I hope he does not meet with
any ill-treatment. I read two short letters


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from him, lately written to a friend of ours,
on this side the water, with a kind message
from his Lordship, in each letter, to me :
and I daily expect an epistle from Patmos.
If the Mank's Bishop (so he calls himself)
can reform the clandestine traders among
his people, it will be a wonderful and a happy
reformation. Success in the fishery may
perhaps induce our fishermen to be more
diligent in that laudable employment: but
I am afraid some of them will not, be di-
verted from the commerce you mention
upon any consideration.

*' You have seen my daughter more than
once :" I am glad to hear it. You say it
is a mark of her judgment in cultivating
a friendly intimacy with good Mrs, Don-
nellan. I hope she will not wrong her
judgment in regard to Mr. Richardson :
she can hardly give a stronger proof of de-
serving your favourable opinion, than by va-
luing your kind esteem, and establishing a
reciprocal friendship.

VOL. V. E Ia«i

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I am not quite a stranger to Mrs. Don-

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Online LibrarySamuel RichardsonThe 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 → online text (page 3 of 14)