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The sarcastic comparison of these oppressive measures to “Paternal Care and Tenderness” invokes an apparently rare phrase for the time. Curiously, the on-line version of C-H does not register any matches from Richardson's novels but does cite eight instances from other novels. Yet, the CD-ROM version indicates the single occurrence of the phrase in Clarissa, where the heroine is thanking Dr. H. and Mr. Goddard for their “paternal care and concern” for her (3rd edn., 7:204). By contrast, the other eight examples cited in this version of the database lack the pairing of the phrase with either “care” or “tenderness.” Haywood is the only other author to connect the phrase with another term: “paternal care, and soft commiseration” in The Fatal Secret and “wisdom and paternal care” in Idalia.


The adjective “Lawless” at first may seem too commonplace to be noteworthy. Yet in C-H, of the thirty-two instances altogether eleven are to Richardson's novels; and only a few of the other works in this database use the term more than twice. By contrast, Pamela has four matches and Sir Charles Grandison, five.


This second reason given for the present Bill twists the term “Idolatry” to implicate the government in worshipping false gods. Of the seventy occurrences of this term in the database, only two are in Richardson. In Pamela (1st edn., Letter 32, 3:230), the term appears in a line quoted from Abraham Cowley. “Idolaters,” however, appears meaningfully in a letter by Clementina della Porretta to Sir Charles Grandison: “Perhaps, we Catholics are looked upon at Heretics here. Idolaters I know we are said to be—I grant that I had like to have been an idolater once—But let that pass. I believe we Catholics think worse of you Protestants, and you Protestants think worse of us Catholics, than either deserve: It may be so. But, to me, you seem to be a strange people, for all that” (Sir Charles Grandison, 1st edn., Letter 20, p. 110).


Of the total sixteen instances for “great wrath” in C-H, eight are in Richardson's novels.


In TB No. 15, Wharton introduces a political allegory of the Atterbury affair by pretending to translate a manuscript found in the library of the Franciscans at Madrid. Don Ferdinando, “who was at this Time Comptroller of the Finances, and Prime Minister of Spain,” is obviously Robert Walpole. The Bishop of Tortosa is Atterbury. In TB No. 22, Wharton mentions a mysterious clergyman: “The little EBONY DOCTOR is in Wrath at being sometimes nam'd by me; and therefore I must beg of him to be assur'd, I never should have thought of him, had he not appear'd pretty much in Publick of late, and frightned some few Ladies whose Families had a certain Prospect of being increas'd.”

I venture to identify this person as White Kennett, D.D. (1660-1728), the partisan Whig Bishop of Peterborough, who together with William Wake, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Edmund Gibson, Bishop of London, entered into a well-known controversy with Atterbury over the rights of convocation. His being “pretty much in Publick of late” might refer to the new edition of his Compleat History of England (1719), which was vehemently against Jacobitism. Aside from the play on his unusual first name, White, “Ebony Doctor” may also be an allusion to the fact that Kennett “was obliged to wear a large patch of velvet on his forehead” after an accident that fractured his skull in 1689 (DNB). Presumably his grotesque appearance with this black patch was enough to frighten pregnant women to suffer miscarriage. As an opponent of the Walpolite persecution of Roman Catholics, A.B. understandably singles out White Kennett as the court favorite among Whig clergymen influencing this government policy.


Of the only four matches for “casuistry” in C-H, one is in Clarissa.