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

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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 4 of 14)
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nellan ; she has ah amiable character : and
I rejoice that there is a friendship subsisting
between this worthy woman and my child.

A blessed change in weather at Villarusa.
I leave it to your lively imagination to fancy
you see me at Rock-savage, on a bright
summer-day, admiring a variety of beautiful
prospects, or busily employed in placing
my curious trifles, climbing rocks, perhaps,
or seated on a wooden stool in my humble
cell, at breakfast, after bathing in the herring
pond. I do now enjoy this pleasant and
convenient romantic place, although the
thing is not completely finished 4 the in-
tended inscription is not fixed : your four
excellent lines are what I should chuse;
iiothing can be more proper than the two
first. But, be it known to you. Sir, I cannot
devote this grotto to serious meditation,
I have retired thither quite alone — locked
the door with intention to read intently :
but there is a tempting window, which di-
1 verts



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WITH MH* RICHARDSOJN. 75

verts the eye from a book — this peep-hole
presents so many amusing objects full in
jsight, the temptation is irresistible.

Mrs. Sheridan is, I know, a sensible, and
an agreeable woman : she is, I think, a fit
companion for that ingenious man, who is
(you justly observe) equally learned and
worthy. His good sense, learning, and
sound principles, need not now be a secret
to any body that can read, I am charmed
with his excellent book : never* read any
piece so completely judicious. He has
made me quite sick of rhyme : so. Sir, you
must (I think) excuse me from sending you
the ill-digested heap of stuff which I inad-
vertently mentioned,

I am

Your grateful, humble Servant,

Eliza Echlin.



E a T«



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76 LADY ECHLIN



TO MR RICHARDSON.

July S\, 1757.

DEAR SlRf

1 KNOW you are inclined to judge fa- -
vourably, and naturally disposed to pity the
afflicted : I therefore doubt not your mak-
ing a reasonable allowance, nor your having
tender compassion for me, when I assure
you my long silence hath been occasioned
"by a woeful misfortune, which sorely afflicts
my heart. I cannot describe what my
anxious mind suffered between slender hope
and tormenting fear, before a melancholy
event made me a sorrowful widow. Indeed^
Sir, I have lost a tender husband ; a very
worthy valuable man. No wonder I am
bitterly afflicted for such a lamentable loss i
but I endeavour to moderate my grief, by

consi-



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WITH MR. RICHARDSON. 77

considering it is my duty to submit patiently
to the will of God. Almighty Wisdom,
seeing what was best, and good for us, has
punished me deservedly; and under this
trial let me be thankful that I have not the
least doubt of my dear husband being hap-
pily released from a miserable state of health,
A blessed change it was for him, who endured
a long and painful illness, with exemplary
patience and Christian resignation ; con-
tented to live or die, as it pleased God Al-
mighty. No mortal ever quitted thi^ life
with more apparent tranquillity. The last
sad scene, so distressing to me, was not un«
happy to him, I am sure : and that is my
consolation. Excuse me, dear Sir, trou-
bling you with my groans. I shall add a
few lines more concerning my present con-
dition ; for I cannot help telling you, my
dear departed hath testified his respect and
dependance on a faithful wife, by appointing
me sole executrix : and I am also guardian
to his only nephew, who inherits hh good
E 3 uncle's



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78 LADY BCHLIN

uncle's estate and title. I am as anxions*
for this young man's welfare, as if he
were my own child: and his uncle and I
have been parents to him from the hour
he was born. This boy's father died se-
veral months before the child came into
the world ; and his mournful mother, over-
whelmed with grief, expired immediately
after the birth of her son. An infant, thus
deprived of both father and mother, is a
most pitiable case : but he has not been an
unhappy orphan; and I heartily wish my
great loss may not prove a greater misfortune
to him. At his early time of life, in such
circumstances,, and in such a libertine age>
a boy under seventeen is in a dangerous si-
tuation. God give him grace to make a
right use of an uncommon good under*
standing. He is a fine hopeful youth at
present ; has had a private education, not
to his disadvantage in any respect ; and I
hope to see him a sober and serious student
at Oxford, please God we live. Some

people



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WITK^ MR. RICHARDSON. 79

people would be apt to think me impertinent,
and perhaps would say — What is all this to
me ? — but Mr. Richardson, I know, is not
such a man.

I have seen Mr. Sheridan here lately ; he
appeared to be in pretty good spirits ; but I
think he cannot be tolerably happy, unless
he quits the slavish management, which does
Hot better either his health or fortune. The
Kttle wonder was qiate a new scene to him r.
he admires the romantic situation greatly :
but, alas ! it does not afford me pleasure
as usual ; Villariisa is not what it was : alt
appears dull and gloomy, in my tearful eye,,
though I do labour to recover my spirits.

I shall rejoice to hear you enjoy such a

state of health, as is sincerely wished and

prayed for by.

Dear Sir,

Your unalterable Well-wisher,

and faithful, humble Servant,

E. ECHLIN..
£ 4 TO



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BQ MR. KJ CHARD SOK



TO LADY ECHLIN.



August 12, 1757.

Lost heartily do I. condole with your
Ladyship on your very great loss; and
should have presumed to do it before, had
I not been myself so ill in the nervcnis
way^ that for some time I was unable to
write ; and had I not at other times consi-
dered that any thing I could offer by way of
consolation for so heavy a deprivation, to so
good a Christian, end so pious a heart, would
be needless; and ^ that time, the pacifier of
every woe, could only, by God's grace, alle-
viate your 8. Nor did I doubt, that your
good sister, and your favoured bishop, would
be ready to, pour the balm of Christian
comfort into the wounds of your mind,

I con-



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WITH LADY BCHLIK. 81

I congratulate you, Madam, on the re*
signation and pious departure of the gentle-
man you so tenderly loved. What pleasure
must this give, on reflection, to such a mind
as.your's ! How much ought this reflection
to alleviate the pangs that will accompany it
on the loss you have so recently sustained !

Your Villarusa will be again your Villa-
rusa to you : but time must have first mel-
lowed your affliction. A journey to Eng-
land will perhaps be of use to you : to
Oxford, so much in the way of your new
duty; to Lancashire, receiving from, and
giving comfort to, beloved relations there;
to London, perhaps in company of those
dear relations, and to a beloved daughter
and her young family, and other friends.
[May I have the honour ta be one in the
list ?J Then, after all these duties paid,
and inclinations gratified, will your Villarusa
appear to you with new charms ; nor will a
tender sigh and silent tear to the memory
of the dear departed, in that little wonder,
B 5 dimi-



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82. LABY BCHLIK

diminish, but rather exalt, the joys of your
meditation.

God Almighty sanctify to your Ladyship
your present affliction, is a prayer put up
by all mine, as well as by.

Madam, your most faithful
and obliged humble Servant,

S. Richardson..



TO MB. BICHARDSON.



Hock Hermitage^ Nov. 10, 175T.

BEAR SIR,

Accept my gratefiil thanks for your
last obliging favour. "Time (as you ob-
serve) is the pacifier of every woe," with
God's assistance ; and " time may mellow
my affliction.** But very sure I am, deep
wounding grief is incurable on this side the



grave



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WITH MR. RICHARDSON. 83

grave. "Villanisa will again be Villarusa
to me," you say. No, Sir ! that is impos-
sible ! This house, these admired improve-
ments, this country, never more can be
agreeable to me. If God Almighty per-
mits me to see my native country it is pro-
bable I shall not return again to*Ireland.
And yet I am so attached to my hermitage,
I feel unwilling to quit that bewitching little
cell. When my sorrowful days came, the
little wonder was, and is, a wonderful re-*
creation to me ; and thankful I am^ that
this innocent, retired amusement, serves
to unbend my mind. I wish Mr. Richard-
son could see me in that romantic situation, [
seated on the mid-rock, the briny flood
flowing within a few yards of my feet.
Don't be alarmed, good Sir, you may venture
to sit by me ; it is not Shakespeare's dan*
gerous mid-rock.

I am glad you. call my freedom kind : but

cannot allow that it is in the least conde^

scending to acquaint Mr. Richardson with

R 6 iny



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84 LADY ECHLIN

my affairs : nor should be, who so justly
TTierits esteem, doubt his "being one'* in the
short ^Misf^'of my most valuable friends;
one on whom I could rely, and repose a
fearless confidence. Although we are not
personally acquainted, surely there is friend-
ship . subsisting between us ; and if I do
ever reach Old England, I trust my ho-
noured friend ^^may live to see the day."

I hope my young man will not disappoint
my expectation of his settling at the uni-
versity ; but I dare not be over-sure of any
thing in this uncertain world.

I must tell, you, Sir^ our good bishop gives
me hopes of seeing him in Great Britain ;
and I hope you may see that agVeeable day.
This excellent prelate has been particularly
kind to his unseen admirer, under affliction.
Not been sparing " to pour the balm of
Christian comfort ;" nothing is wanting but
a wished-for visit from Patmos. But why
should I expect such a compliment. His
Lordship, in every letter to me, mentions Mr.

Richard-



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WITH MB. BICHARDSON. 85

Richardson with great regard. I told him
you had been so much indisposed in the ner-
vous way, that for some time you were not
able to write. He answered " not able to
write ! alas ! that great genius ! then I must
not trouble the good man with a temptation
to write to me"

I beg my respects to Mrs. Richardson, and
to your daughters, with grateful thanks to
you and them, for that kind concern, and
pious remembrance, which will always be
duly acknowledged by, dear Sir,

Your most obliged, thankful,

and unalterable faithful Friend,

E. ECHLIN,



TO



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8ff K^ BICHARBSON



TO LADY ECHLIN.



Dec. 3, 1757.

JL OU charm me. Madam, with your de-
scription of your rock hermitage. What a
sweet retirement must it be, as you have im-
proved it ! ** The little wonder you tell me,
iiT your more thoughtful hours, was, and still
is, a wonderful recreation to you ; and that
you are thankful (I am sure you are for every
relief) that this innocent, retired amusement
serves to unbend your mind. And does your
Ladyship wish that I could see you in that
romantic situation, seated on the mid rock,
the briny flood flowing within a few yards of
your feet? Don't be alarmed. Sir (add you
most condescendingly) you may venture to
sit by me — it is not Shakespeare's dangerous
mid-rock."

What would I give for a sketch of this

sweet



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WITH LADY BCHLIN^,. ftT

sweet hermitage, and of the wonders round
it, and in prospect from it ? With what de*-
light should I place it near the picture of the
house at Haigh, which I was allowed upon
my own terms (as this must be) ta take a
copy of; your beloved sister's and Sir Roger's
figures in it, meditating the beauties of the
situation ! May I not hope, dear Madam, to
be so indulged H Is there not in your know-
ledge some young artist^ that on my account
could be SQ employed ? Let me have in con-
stant view, the sweet, the " bewitching little
cell which so attaches to it, the heart of good
Lady Echlin, which she. feels so unwilling to
quit ; which is, in her deeper meditation, a
wonderful recreation to her, and serves to
unbend her mind, and in which she conde-
scends to wish I could see her."

Your Ladyship bids me hope for the plea-
sure of seeing you in England ; I should have
the more joy on such a wished-for occasion^
as I think the change of scene must be of
consolation and diversion to you ; and as

you



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88 MR. BICHARBSON^ &C.

you must give and receive so much delight
to and from such near and dear relations, as
you have here ; and the rather as you are
of opinion that Villarusa, consolatory as it is
at times to you, can never be all that it once
was to you.

If the land and sea views I am a petitioner
for, with your sweet hermitage, cannot be
conveniently granted, a sketch in Indian-ink
or black lead on vellum, would delight me,
hanging before me in view of your dear sister
and Sir Roger's Haigh. Still, my dear Lady,
either way, on my own terms.

God bless your young gentleman, your
ward ! may he answer all your pious cares
and wishes !

Your Ladyship's obliged, &c.

S. RiCHARDSOlT.



TO



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C 89 3



TO MR. RICHARDSON.



Jan. 5, 1758.

J5e it known to you, dear Sir, I long since
intended to send you a sketch of my bumble
cell, which you are pleased to wish for, and
desire to have, upon your own terms ; pray,
dear Sir, don't name that word again ; if you
mention any thing like it, you quite spoil the
compliment. I have a young artist, a fair
lady. She was drawing with her Indian-ink,
prettily employed in that romantic situation ;
but, alas ! unhappy days came — ^you know how
it has been with me, and I will not again
trouble you with my groans, if I can help
it.

*^ What would you give for a sketch of
that hermitage, &c.'' Why you have given all
I could wish ; you have honoured my favourite

by



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QO LADY BCHLIlf

by your most pleasing request ; and its pic^
tureyou shall have, please God we live. But
this piece of plain nature, is by no means fit
to be placed near that palatium mansion
house, Haigh. I wish I may see it fixed in
your pleasant, rural retreat. Indeed, Sir, I
do hope to place it with my own hands, at
Parson's Green — if I live to reach the south
of England, I trust we shall meet*

I received a letter from Patmos this week;,
our right reverend friend is in good health,
thank God, and talks of his intended trip to
Great Britain. If there is such another
divine under the sun,, what would I give, to>
have him my young gentleman's preceptor^
at Oxford. I am anxious about this material'
point ; a discreet, good clergyman 1 want for
that purpose ; wouklmuch rather chobsea real
good Christian, than what the world calls a
clever learned man. I have applied to the
good Bishop of Oxford, for his advice and
assistance on the important occasion. My
friend Ashurst consulted his Lordship, and!

depend



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WITH MR.RICHARDSOiT. Ql

depend greatly upon his recommendation.
He IS my second best bishop in the world —
no modern,, card-playing prehte,

" It would do you good, to be employed
in any way that would do me service, or give
me pleasure.** I gratefully thank you, dear
Sir. If you are not the man justly entitled
" to the sacred name of friend," I know not
who can deserve it ; and if I should not
highly value such uncommon friendship,
most unworthy must I be of Mr. Richard-
son's friendly regard.

Your nK)uming wax and paper, alarmed
me. Rejoiced I am, all is well at home.
Many happy years may you and your family
enjoy together, sincerely prays your less
happy

Much obliged, tec

Eliza Echlin*.



Ta



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ffl I.ADT £CHLIN



TO MR. RICHABDSOIf.



Sluecii'itretU Jpril 6, 1T58.

JL WiLir not take up too much of your
precious time with accounting particularly
for my unmannerly silence. Let it suffice
to tell you^ my infirm head has been so much
disturbed by agitation of mind, I have been
hardly able to write to any body; not one
line^ even to Lady B — y for the space of
three months at least.

My pen has been sometimes employed on
my young gentleman's account ; I have
done all within my power towards placing
him in* tlie best manner at Oxford ; but that
is so much labour lost, for I believe he will
not go to the university ; so his guardian aunt

can



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WITH MR. RICHARDSON. Q3

can only pray for him ; and may a good
guardian angel carefully attend him, under
the direction of Divine Providence.

I am thankful that he is safely arrived in
England, and if you have seen any one of
my friends lately, perhaps you know that
this youth is now in London. I have only
this satisfaction in his present situation, he
is strongly attached to some of the most
worthy and good people in Great Britain.
You are perhaps acquainted with my Lady
H — ; don't you think she is an excellent
woman, a most exemplary, pious, good Chris-
tian. I have not the honour to be personally
known to her Ladyship, but (fortunately I
hope) my nephew is on. the list of her
intimate acquaintance ; and this. Sir, is a
whisper in your ear between ourselves. I
shall not say more on this subject at present
writing ; probably, you may hear something
of it from another quarter.

I cannot help wishing yOu . may see my
nephew ; but I will not introduce him,

because



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"WITH MR. RICHARDSON^ p5



TO MR. RICHARDSON.

December J 3, 1759.

IjrOOD Mr. Richardson, it is not in my
power to say how highly I esteem and value
your cordial friendship, nor enough to ad-
mire your good and generous heart. Your
unseen friend would ill deserve such an in-
vitation, attended with all imaginable kind-
ness, could she allow that so bountiful a
scheme for her accommodation *^ is only a
mere offer of friendly civility " Dear Sir, I
think it affectionately kind and obliging ;
" and think you," Sir, I can imagine ** pri-
vacy or retirement would be broken in up-
on ?" No, surely ; in Mr. Richardson's house,
who could have any such apprehension?
"A family without secrets; lovers of pri-
vacy," and not frequent visitors; such always

find



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96 LADY ECHLISr

find comfort at a home agreeable to them-
selves, and render it so to others of the same
rational turn and taste. Don't talk of a
genteel neighbourhood to Dame Echlin ; she
has nothing to say to such fine people, for
you are to know, and I hope you will see,
that she is not at all genteel, m the fashion-
able sense of that expression.

Please God we live, I trust we shall meet
at Parson's Green : to pay my respects to
you, good Sir, and your agreeable family,
is my sole inducement, and will afford me
sufficient pleasure, without additional com-
pany. It is very ungenteel not to be always
young, but it is past noon with me, and too
late in the evening to he much gratified with
novelty. You are pleased to call your Villa
a little place ; but I am sure it is a palace
compared to the small habitation Lady Echlin
makes her real home at present. I only de-
sire to live quiet in this pleasure-mad world.

Lady B — informed you, I suppose, that
I tarried several weeks at Haigh. Thankful

lam



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WITH MR* BICHARDSOK. 97

lam for the satisfaction of seeing my two
Asters and many valuable friends in good
health. It was a pleasing surprise to meet
my friend Greene at my first arrival in Lan-
cashire, and we spent several days together
at Haigh. In Lady B — ^'s dressing-room, I
was introduced to Mr. Richardson in effigy ;
and J rejoiced to see that agreeable portrait,
which 'has such a, pleasant countenance ; it
looks pleased with notice from a friendly
eye, and seems to return a sensible obliging
smile. I am assured .the resemblailce is
so strong I could not mistake the ori-
ginal in "the Mall," or the "Bird-cage
Walk."

Lady B — gave me a particular account
of that most humane and pious act of cha-
rity — the Magdalen-hpuse ; and truly glad I
am, that so religious an asylum is provided
for the most miserable creatures upon earth,
I thank you^ good Sir, for presenting me
with two volumes on this subject. Cases so
shockingly unhappy are pitiable, and none

VOL. v# p are



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98 LABT BCHLIN

are more worthy of compassion tfean real peni-
tent sinners. Your preface is a most excel-
lent fine discourse ; one need not be a con-
jurer to discover the writer. Who but the
author of Clarissa could so sensibly affect
and touch a reader with the penitent's la-
mentable story, and with a benevolent Gran-
dison spirit, help forward a charitable work,
to succour and promote the future "welfare of
so many wretched and forlorn. And it is to
be hoped a bountiful subscription will be
continually supporting this laudable institu-
tion.

With repeated tlianks for all your favours,
I subscribe with pleasure, dear Sir,

Your obliged Friend, and
grateful; humble Servant,

Eliza Echlin.



TO



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WITH MR. RICHARDSON. 90



TO MR. RICHARDSON*

March 28, 1760.
DEAR SIR^

1 Have a grateful remembrance of your
fevours, and a just sense of my great obliga-
tion to good Mr. Richardson, who often
kindly invited an unseen friend to Parson's
Green ; and now I hope to have the plea-
sure of seeing him there very soon. It is
my intention to pay my respects to you and
Mrs. Richardson, about the middle of April,
in case my visit at that time be not inconve-
nient to you ; and I must insist upon hav-
ing no ceremonious treatment in any shape,
nothing is so agreeable to me as frank and
friendly freedom ; and if I did not expect it
from you and Mrs. Richardson, I would not
tarry one night under your roof; therefore,
F 2 good



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100 XADT BCHLIK .

good Sir, allow me to take my own way, else
I must drop my intended visit at Parson's
Green ; but, m- case everything coincides with
^my wishes, it must be a secret expedition. I
beg you will conceal my name; I have a
-substantial reason for desiring this privacy,
which you will excuse my not explaining
at present ; when we meet, you shall know
why and wherefore. So, Sir, I am Mrs.
Roberts, if you please, a particular frien4
ofyour*s, and so forth.

Dear Sir, you will shortly see, I hope,
what sort of a body your humble servant is ;
the most unfashionable plain country body
you can imagine — uncouth at least. ** Fe-
male attendant !" All her servants, let me
tell you, are just in the very same style;
they never eat the bread of idleness, and
must be employed even in your house ; give
me leave to tell you that.

My igood little kinswoman tells me she
saw you this winter in pretty good health ; I
rejoiced to hear it. If you should see her

shortly.



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WITH MR. mCHARDSON. TOt

shortly, not a word of my intention to ber^
nor to Lady B — .

Now, Mr ^Richardson,. yoiL see the pri-
vate gentlewoman (who hopes to spend a;
fortnight with her obliging friends) makes
as free with yonr house as your hospitable.-
heart can wish.

Don't expect Dame Roberts until you find^
her at your villa ; for^ good Sir, in case nei*-
Iher yourself, nor Mrs. Richardson, &c. should^
happen to be there j I' shall walk in ; and, as
my refreshment after traveHing is only tea ok*
eoflfee, I bring that:

Dear Sir,

Your obliged,&c;-



S^^ TO^



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}02 MR. BICHi^RDSON



TO MBS* BOBBRTS.

London, April 1, 1760;.

MT BKAK^ MT GOOD MRS. ROSERTS^

AjJL your commands^ as far a& our awL*
wardness will allow^ shall be most cheerfully
complied with. My wife, my girls, myself (aa
far ^ I can answer for myself, considering my
troublesome affairs in town> which will be
obeyed) will be devoted to you, dear Madam.
I was willing to try to write myself, to tell
you how thankfully I receive the notice
of your kind acceptance of my pressing^
invitation, which obliged me to lose one post
since I had the honour of your's. When-
ever you please to favour us, you will find
a most cordial welcome from us all.

Your attendant female, your servants, I
hope you would not wish to avoid bringing

with



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WITH MRS. ROBERTS. 103

with you. Your Ladyship, I hope^ will not
want that frankness with us, which you
are pleased to require from us to your good
self. Can you procure a companion in the
most worthy Mrs. Ashurst ? who knows ?

Your faithful and most obliged


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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 4 of 14)