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 9 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 9 of 14)
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*every tnortal I have to do with, fret and
«hock met and the melancholy reflection,
that I deserve ten thousand times more at
the hand of God, bids me fear the further
.effects of God's displeasure.

Thes6 things so harass me, that I can
no longer think coolly of controversies on
Teligious subjects. I j-ead Lord Boling-
broke's third letter in iselation to the autho-
d-ity of the Old Testament history. It is so
full of wilful lies, and so weak every way,
that it needs not an answer. Our bishop,
however, says, it is the shrewdest attack yet
made on Christianity.

I have not in my work taken tlie least no-
rtice of him, or his essay ; but I hope I have
given full proof qf the principles contrary
to his. What I intend to publish, is so
many sermons as will make two volumes in

VOL. V. li . octavo :

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octavo.: the first, controversial ; and the se-
cond, practical. The first volume is nearly
ready for the press ; but my present chagrin
will not suffer me to go on as I hoped to do.
If I live to finish this work to my mind, I
trust it will .do good ; few I have taken in-
finite pains to secure the fundamentals, and
hope I have done it hoth satisfactorily and
agreeably. As my bishop is not to be con-
sulted about this work, nor leave to be ask-
ed for a trip to London, I intend to send
you the MS. that you, and my good friend
Mr. Porter, may dispose of it for me' in such
a manner, if possible, as to procure me a
little help in my difficulties.

Do not, however, imagine I am about to
send a crude performance, merely because
I am in want of money ; for I am mistaken,
if this work will not better deserve the pub-
lic approbation than the former. However,
I shall not take it on myself to judge ; but
you and your ftiends shall sit on the Dis-
courses, and pronounce their sentence. —

Alas !

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, Alas i I fear no man's judgment so aiuch as
that of the Bishop of London, yet I could
wish he would be at the pains of a review,
that I might be in no doubt about the fate
of my work.

As to the design of a weekly paper, my
thoughts are too much oppressed and dissi-
pated to give any help in it, though I have
thought much in that way, and had for a
Jong time a scheme for such a work in my
head, with a resolution some time or other
to execute it, if ever it should be my fortune
to settle in London or Dublin. If against
next winter I can recover my spirits, and
return to myself again, I shall gladly lend
an helping hand to so good a tlesign, pro-
vided I find I am the meanest hand concern-
ed. Let it not be attempted, if the very
best pens are not engaged.

As to the Moravians, they are a sect de-
cended, as I take it, from the visionary pro-
phets of Mgravia and Bohemia, that made so
great a noise in the world from 1616 to 1 660.
L 2 They

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290 JtBV. Iffa* SKELTOW

They are here called Swadlers^ and do xuA
much abound^ excepting im^Xiblin. I know
nothing particular of their tenets. They
are^ in appearance^ great enthusiasts; bu^
in reality, great x^heats.

They pretaid io see every thing ; such as
the soul of one man^ still alive^ in heaven^
and the soul of another^ still alive^ in hell^ by
the eye of faith.

I hope in your next I shall have a good
account of your health. I wish it heartily,
as it is all you want 'to make you as useful as
you are good. God bless and preserve you,
and your family.

I am, dear Sir,

Tour most affectionate Friend
and Brother,

Phil. Skelton.


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^M«* RlCITARIIBair*'

PeikgOynenT Enniskittifh
Dec. 28^1102.

1 irr BEAR miBKir^

^ HEARTIX.T thank you and Dr. Wilson^
^ whom xny beat respects^ for the informa*
tAon contained in your last. IthaUi enabled
me to oblige a family I greatly regard, and '
will prevent theii^ involving tHemselves in
fruitless exp^nces.

I am^glad to hear yourworfc i&^what'you
^Iliong. Lam espessively impatient to see
k. And shall certainly think it too short, a$
I did Clarissa, although it should run out
into sev^n foliosa The world will thiiA so
too, if it is sufficiently larded with facts, in-
cidents, adventures, &c. The generality of
readers are more taken with the driest nar*
i..3^ - rative

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rative of facts, if they arc fiicts of any in>-
portance^ than with the purest sentiments^
and the noblest lessons of morality. Now,
though you write above the taste of the
many, yet ought it not to be, nay, is it not,,
your chief design, to benefit the many ? But
how can you cure their mental maladies, if
you do not so wrap up your physic as to
make it pass their palates ? I know of no-
thing more unpalatable to most men than*
morality and religion* They will not go
down, if they are not either well peppered
and salted with wit, or all alive from end to
end with action. Therefore stuff your works
with adventures, and wedge m events by
way of primings, especially when wit and
humour happen ta be scarce, as sometime^
they will be ; for a man cannot have them
for caHing. They come like the rivers, with-
out calling, or come not at aih But it is nc^
bard matter to invent a story when you
please. I am glad you have a bad woman,
but sorry she does not shew herself; Is thia

natural ^

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natural ? Did you ever know a bad woman
that did not make a figure in her way ? No,
no ; the devil always takes care that his coa-
fessors of that sex canonize thenrselves.

As to my work, sickness hath retarded its
birth ; but when it does come to Ughl, f
fear I shall not be my own midwife ; that is,.
that I shall not be so happy as to attend it
to London^

My dear little Clarissa ! I am glad she
promises to live, because L know not whether
there lives so exquisite a creature.

My best respects attend good Mrs. Rich-
ardson, and my^ young friends, particularly^'
your Nancy^ and my Clarissa, as also our
good friends in the Strand. I am^

With the greatest affection'
and sincerity.


Phil. Skelton^

1 4 t^

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224 KEY. MR^ S1CEX.T0N


Pedego^ Aug. 1, U^..

Y OU conclude your last letter with sayiug^.
*' F^orgivc me my shameful silence/* Set
mine over against it, and we are even ; for
I believe oiine hatb been* as )ong^ though not.
io shamefttf; The sumtner hath brought
me worse health tba^ the winter, and forced
me to ride almost ever since the bi^inning^
of May so constantly,, that unless I cpuld
have written on the back of a trotting horse,.
I could scarcely have found means to make
out a letter ; besides, my spirits were always
so low, that two lines were as much as they
would yield in the twenty-four hours. I am
heartily glad you had not so melanchply an


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u^aimmmm^f^mmmmmm^^^^:^ ^ w v


csstuse, amt do both pray and hope you
never will. I am really impatient on two
Meads.. First, I earnestly desire ta know htow
my dear little friend of North End does*
You told me ii> your last, that her state.- of
health afforded hopes. Is-dBe now quite
well ? In the next place, I desire to know
how soon your new performance is likely to
entertain me in my miserable solitude. Jt is
impossible for me. to telliyou^how^ much I
long tp see it^.

As to my^ Discourses, I have done almost
all Lean to^jxerfect: them, and do intend,
God -willing, to carry them to Dublin about
the latter end of next month, ihat they may
be I'evis^d by Dr. Leltod^. and some othei
men of judgni^nt, and that I may be d^ter^
mined how to dispose of them;. Probably
I shall send them over to. you, in order, to
have them printed for myself, on the
strength of such enoouragemieDts^asI have
reason to expect on both sides of the wafter«
Alderman Porter, my very good friend, will
I.: 5 I be-

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I beHere^ give* me all' the assktance he catfe
There ar6 others also whom I diepend onv.
As to Dr. Wilson-, he grew tired of my cor-
respondence, and hath not wrkten to me
during something more than a year. How-
ever I have written to him, as well as to Mr.
Porter, and you will be so good as to forward
. the letters, and to favour lae with your ad-
vice as to the management of the publica-
tion. My Discourses are of such a nature,,
that I verily believe, little as sewnons are
now read, they will be inquired after. How^
ever, as soon as a great man or two near,
you have seen them, it will be the easier to
foresee their fate. I intend the Bishop o€
London, or the Bishop of Oxford^ perhaps
both, shall see at least the controversial parfe
of them in manuscript, If they approve^,
they cannot fail to please others..
• For God's sake, let us not dwindle into
annual correspondents ; and' the rather, as I
cannot hope ever to be happy in a personal
coHversation with my dear friend. To Lon-


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WITH lira. RrCHARDSQN. 227

A)n I cannot go ; but you and yours shall
never be forgotten in the best wishes and
warmest prayers of.

Dear Friend,.
Your ever grateful and affectionate'

Phil. Sreltoik.

P. S.. My best respects to good Mra..
Kichardson and my young friends.


March 17, 1754.^

1 Am very much grieved* my reverend and^
dear friend, that you should impute to me
either indifference or delay in your service.
The distance between us^ is the only cause
©f the unhappy appearance as to me j I
writing to you, you to rte, on the subject,
and neither receiving in time the proper
x*& answers

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answers to his letters. Then yoa were for
som^ tinie whpHy in Dr. Wilson's handsi*.
I really believe the Dr. did his best to serve
you, for som^ time at least ;: and he was
not a little concerned for your interest, as^
he said, that you gave him no time to con-^
suit and engage his friends in your cause.

O my dear and reverend friend ! how am:
I grieved for that deplorable lowness, which
most unkindly subjects me to your cen-
sure, and makes you think such vehement
conjurings of me necessary. I have not met
with any t|iing^ (the whole Irish invasion was
nothing to it !) that has so much disturbed
me, as that my friend, Mr^ Skelton, should
suspect me guilty of ingratitude or indif-
ference to him and his affairs^ even had he
not so warmly and kindly as he ha3 done,
Engaged himself in mine.

God preserve your Kfe, aad restore yoin
to health and spirits ! and this for my sake^
s& well as your own ; and for the world's
sake. What a misfortune is the distance we


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THB'ITET. MR..SK^ErtTOIr. 22g>

are at fVom- each other ! You could ttot,.
when you wrote the truljr ipejancholy lettw
before me, have received soipe of mine*
Every thing, in such>$m s^air as this^ can-
not be managed as we wis^h. Itshould not
Ibave been two months before Dr. WiKon
and I had met, Hadnot the whole at that":
time depended, by. your desire, on him to^
whom> thQ MSS. were consigned, and nott
on me. lam sorry yoa two have so much*
misqnderstbod each other. People referred',
to will proceed, in theirown way. He may/
have his faults; but he co«/d-have served'
you. Mr.. Millar^ and' Mr. Johnston de-*
clined concern, except the former, i^>on the
terms I mentioned to you. Thank God,>
my own heart reproaches me not of being
either ungrateful or negligent in your afr
fair. By this time, you will have before yoia
letters of mine, which I presupae you had
not received on the 18th of February. On
the 8th of February I had the MSS. sent me
by Dr. WHsoHi and not btfore*

i You

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Toil can easily conceive and expect ; but^
my dear Sir, no press can keep pace with
your expectations. Difficulties will arise-.
There have been some, from your greafc
quantity of matter. Lrttle did I know or
hnagine, that my dear friend had such a
weight of despondency on his mind. I hope
HI God, you have not been, that you are not,
in so unhappy a way as the friend you write

By the beginning of May you expect co*
pies of perfect books. Upwards of sixty close
printed sheets to be done in so few weeks !
Dear Sir, what an expectation t Do not,
by your impatience (and may I not almost
say, despondency ?) suspect the zeal for your
service of a heart devoted to it.

All that is possible to be done for it, I will,
do. I will, if you think fit,, make for you new
proposals to Mr. Millar ; but not till your
next commands. For he gave me the former^
mentioned terms, as his ultimatum^

I repent not that I took not Faulkner's


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seventy guineas. I am surprized that yoir
wish I bad as he acted. But^ let the affair
take its courscv My principal grief will be^
and is, that I have given seeming cause tot
iBy good Mr. Skelton, tasuspect the friend-
ship, yea, the gratitude, of a man who will
ever think himself under obligation to hiSt
iriendship, and who will ever be his

affectionate and faithful, Sec.



March IQ, 1754;.

JL OUR last which, was no- date but that
of the 7th instant, put on it in the Londo^b
post-office, came to me on Friday last, and
xnade me very uneasy^ What shall Isay ?.


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aST HKT. int. SKELTOir

The unfortuiuite accidents attending my aft
ftirs and" the untoward management of it in^
the hands of one friend (O 1 why should I call
him so ?)" hath given mc occasion^to charge^
another with neglect, who is really my
fHend* This charge grieves him and re*-
bounds upon myself with double bitterness^-
Igave Dr. Wilson and you. full power to do'
with my work what you thoughtv fit, only,
still insisting that all possible dispatch should
be made use of in the publication, whether,
fbr a bookseller or myself. This only resent
vation L made out of the fidl ^authority give»*.
Had Dr. Wilson when he found no book-
seller willing to be concerned, plainly told,
me my work was good for nothing ; or,
thinking otherwise of it, Ikd he revised some-
part of it, and put it to the press on my^
earnest and repeated intreaties, and so gone
on with the rest ; or had you, thy dear friend, ,
on the like intreaties, and on the like indif-
ference of the booksellers, prooeeded in timet*
to print I I should have bad no cause of un«

easiness %.

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ta^siaess.^ for in that case I sbouldhave been
now employed in^ disposing of my copies^
while bpth cities are crowded, and privilege
H in» on each side of th^ watar. What is
n^ore, my work might havebeen sold ofFin the
Ulb'-time of its author, whicbv as things have
been carried it is now not highly probabfe
that it will ; and if U hath not my assistance
what think you is Ukely to eome of it ? My
^te of liealth is at all times so indifferent
and so uncertain, that I seldom form hope^
of living half a year.

Under these: uncectaintiea I prest inf^e^^^
fetter^ during the whole winter, for speedy
publicatioq, and in every answer am asked
what I will have done ? and at length amad-
vised nothing till next year, as if I hada
lease of my own life. This hatbteazed me^out
of all patience, distracted me, andiwas, indeed^
the sole cause of alt that lowness, and those
fears, both about my work and my life, ex-
pressed, in my last letters* Meke my C£»e
your own^ my dear Iriaad, consider it, and


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blame my anxieties, if you please. I had »
most honest intention in writing the Dis»-
courses now in your bands. I took infinite
pains to finish them ; all my friends approved
of them, pressed for the publication of them,
and do still press. Yet how unfortunate have
I been in every step ! Johnston kept them a
month on the way ; Wilson kept them threes
and does nothing, only hints a sort of con-
temptuous censure of them to you, and huffs^
them out of his hands. The booksellers de-
spise them, and I am forced to print them,
when the season for sale is over, or bura
*them.. GodV wUl be done. If I had wrote:
against my Saviour, orhis religbn, my work,
would, long ago have been bought, and re^
printed, and bought again. MtUar would/
have now been far advanced, in his third edi-
tion of it.. But why dp Lmake these weak
complaints. I know my work is calculated
to serve the cause of God and truth, and by
IM) means contemptibly executed. I am con*
fident also, I shall, if God spares me life to^


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give it the necessary introduction, sell it to
advantage, and receive the thanks of every
good man for it. I will therefore he in the
hands of God^ and not of Mr. Millar, whose
indifference to my performances invite me
not to any overtures.

I beg, my dear friend, that nothing I say
may give you disturbance.

I speak too plainly, but it is my way to
say the worst 1 think. I love you, and aU
ways have done, since I knew you ; and^
were I to be tried, would prove it better thaa
heretofore. But you will pardon the cries
of a friend in misery, and will comfort him,
if you can, with assuring bim^^ that you are

I am your's as much as my own,

Phil. Skeltok.

P./S. I care not how my work looks. Ex-
pedition and correctness are all I desire^ and
I now depend on you for both, with an im-
plicit resignation, as to manner, time, &c..


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. Zpndan, April S^ 175**^

1 Am amazed^ my dear and reverend fntn^^
that you should be so solicitous about fr?Lxfi%\
So very poor a consideration in the friend-
diip between us !

Fam,- 1 will be, comforted; but, mydeafr
fKendj I, who also am accustomed to spea£
my whole mind, think nothing but your pre-
sence in England could have prevented balF
the delays your work, has met with;: and,
that you are too impatient. Jbhnston*s de-
Iky, who* could help ? He came not over,,
r believe, so soon as he intended. Dr. Wil-
son was your hearty friend, I really think,
and "intended you service, by submitting
some of your discoursea^ to the perusal of


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^otne^ of whose judgmeift ke had a liigh
opinion, and whom he hoped to engage iti
promoting the sale of thSn. He was diso-
bliged at yonr impatience ; and^ praising
^ome of them^ hinted that others wanted
some softenings ; but really said not this in
a contemptuous manner. I could not do
any thing in the affair^ till Dr. Wilsotl
Jiad done trying Johnston and oth^ persons^
and till you ordered th^ii from his han^
into mine, with plenary power. I tried book^
sellers ; Millar among the rest. 1 wrote to
you the result. All this took up time. It
was at lastconcluded, that^ou should print
them at your own ndi. it is impossible that
any London ^printer can be at leisure the
43ioment an author wishes him to begin his
work ; in the winter-time especially, which
is our time of hurry. I was not willing ta
iput your's out of my own hands, if one
could have been found less enga^d than
myself. I was deeply engaged in getting
ir^dy to deliver six additional volumes of


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Journals of the House of Commons here,
before the Parliament broke up ; the mem-
bers, whose seats in the next Parliament
will be precarious, being very pressing, as
(they would have had no claim to them,
had they been delayed till, the new Parlia-
ment, and they not in it. But what did I
not do to serve you to the utmost of my
power ? I parted with three pieces of work ;
J put out to several printers the new edition
of my Xjrrandison ; took in help to the first
edition of the seventh volume ; I refused
Dr. Leland's last piece. But, yet with all
this, let me tell you, my dear friend, that
two such large volumes as your's could not
possibly be finished so soon as you expected^
^rom the time they can>e into my hands, by
any ene printer. Indeed,. indeed. Sir, you
have suffered your impatience to carry you
too far ; you have given way to your appre-
hensions, and have sat brooding over your
anxieties ; and your head has out-run the
fingers of the swiftest printers in London.


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I'orgive me, Sir, I love you ; you love me, I
am sure. But is there not a warmth in your
•temper that adds to your malady, and gives
a distrust, where you (so good a man !)
should place a trust ? That God whom you
so zealously serve, will protect and preserve
your life for the sake of his own cause, of
which you are so warm an advocate.

The crossness of the posts ! I writing to
you in answer to one of your's; before
jou receive that, you writing another ; that
interfered with what I had written ; and so
we wrote on, only to add to the suspense
we were both in ! This vexatious situation
ought to be taken into the account.

. Don't let the enumeration of the works I

Slave declined and parted with, or put out,

make you fhirik yourself under obligation to

me; I never can repay those you have heaped

upon me ; nor would I have mentioned them,

but to convince you, that I cannot be slack

in whatever it is possible for me to do to serve



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340 uu. ittCHARi>80ir^ Uc4

Crbd preserve your Kfe, andgive^ withtbe
coming season^ to botb^ if it be his blessed
will, better health. Believe me ever

UTour most cordial Friend,



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The Rev. Mr. J. STINSTRA




Y OUR Clarissa even here is highly admir-
ed by all, who are remarkable for extent of
genius, and are governed by the love of re-
ligion. Neither does she seem to have lost
all her elegance by the labour which I have
bestowed upon her. Multitudes of people
earnestly beg the printing of the remaining
jparts may be expedited. Among .them, a
vaL. v^ M certain

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certain minister of the Gospel, who, when
be had finidied the first volume, complained
that it was flat and tiresome ; after he had,
at my in treaty, read the volumes through,
confessed, *' That he doubted not, but that
if very many parts of these letters wereto
be found in the Bible, they would bepoint-
ed out as manifest proofs of divine inspira-

But now it is fit that J give some account
of those things, which you have collected
from the letter of your finend, so favourable
to me ; and since you profess yourself desi-
rous of knowing me, that I should mysetf
^briefly state the principal events of my life :
for, although it is indecent and trifling to
talk of a man's self without just cause, I
imagine that your favour to me demand*
this now, so tjiat you may see what sort of
a man you have deemed worthy of it.

I am indeed that same person, who pub*-
lished an Epistle ^^inst the Reveries of the
Fanatics (who strangely disturbed these coun»-


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tries) in the year If 50. The learned De
Boissy^ of Bertie, in Switzerland, but living
at Leyden, gave a French translation.

My Five Discourses, concerning the Na-
ture of the Khigdom of Jesus Christ, &c. of
which also your friend makes mention, in
which I vindicate churcli liberty from every
yoke of human authority, are extant only in
Dutch. I have added a copy of them, as
also of the Apology for tlie Civil Liberty of
Religion, to the States of our Province, of
which I am the author ; likewise, my Peti-
tion to the same States ; that from them all,
of which the French translator enumerates
in the Preface to the before-mentioned
Epistle, you and bthers may be apprised, by
means of men skilful in the language, for
what kind of doctrine, and by what sort of
judgment, I was condemned. For, having
learnt the principles of a purer kind of di-
vinity, and of a more noble sort of liberty,
from the writings of Clarke, Hoadl^, Locke,
ice. I thought it my duty not only to prepa-
id 2 gate

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gate them with my utmost strength, but

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 11 12 13 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 9 of 14)