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This contrast between absolute monarchy and an unlimited parliament appears in Archibald Hutcheson's speech in the House of Commons against repealing the Triennial Parliamentary system: A Speech Made in the House of Commons, April the 24th 1716 (London, 1722), p. 4.


The word “bluster” occurs repeatedly in Richardson's last two novels. In the Chadwyck-Healey database, out of a total of forty-three matches, we find one occurrence in Pamela, eighteen in the third edition of Clarissa and thirteen in Sir Charles Grandison. Out of the more than seventy novels covered in this database, Richardson's works have thirty-two of the total forty-three matches in the database. See the web version of Eighteenth-Century Fiction (Cambridge, England: Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1996). The original CD version issued by this publisher has a different interface engine and thus produces sometimes fewer occurrences than actually exist but on other occasions give slightly more matches than the on-line version. Unless otherwise noted, all further references, including quotations from the novels, are to this on-line database identified as “C-H.” While using this electronic resource, I should acknowledge the fact that since Richardson's three novels are considerably longer than those of any other author included, the chances are much greater that peculiar word usage will be found in his works rather than, say, in the one and only novel by Goldsmith. I am also aware that until we have Richardson's voluminous correspondence on-line, any generalization about word frequency in his writings remains tentative. I take into account, furthermore, that a writer's vocabulary will depend on his subject matter. For instance, the phrase “working class” never appears in Richardson's novels or in any of the other novels included in C-H. Yet, it does occur in a pamphlet attributed to Richardson written against erecting playhouses in the City. See my “`The Working Class of People': An Early Eighteenth-Century Source,” Notes and Queries, n.s. 43.3 (September 1996), 299-302. That said, if only to obviate commonplace usage in our word analysis the C-H database is invaluable for comparing Richardson's diction vis-à-vis that of other writers of fiction in the period. Since C-H includes both the first and sixth editions of Pamela and the first and third editions of Clarissa, I have used only one of each novel when counting the instances in Richardson to avoid inflating the number of occurrences. When citing the total of matches, furthermore, I have deducted the duplicates recorded in the two editions of Richardson's Pamela and Clarissa included in the database, the only author with multiple editions here. While numbering the matches in each case, I do not usually include plurals, conjugations, or other forms of the root word, and the tally may combine parts of speech. (The number of occurrences of bribe, for instance, does not include appearances of bribes or bribed, nor does it distinguish uses as nouns and verbs.) In a few cases, however, I do examine the different forms of the keywords and their specific contexts within the particular narrative in question.


The phrase “stick to” in the context of abiding by a maxim or rule appears twice in Pamela and only three other times out of the twenty matches in the other novels in C-H.


The basic assault on the Treaty of Utrecht that “had proved Great-Britain's Funeral” is similar to Richardson's view in his letter to Thomas Edwards, 27 January 1755: “We have had Rumors here of a French War, They have affected our Stocks. What a Nation of mischievous Monkeys is that of France. How I grudge them their Country, their Climate!—How often am I ready to execrate our Utrecht Negotiators.” (FM XII, 1, ff. 130-131; B, III, 112-115; Selected Letters of Samuel Richardson, ed. John Carroll [Oxford: Clarendon, 1964], pp. 307-308.)


Hutcheson uses this phrase repeatedly in his writings:

My present Opinion, Sir, according to the best Judgment I am able to form, is, That if we should give our Consent to the passing of the Bill before us into a Law, we should be guilty of a most notorious Breach of the Trust reposed in us, by those who sent up hither, and shou'd make a very dangerous Step towards the Undermining of that Constitution, which our Ancestors have been so careful to preserve. ... These are my Reasons against the Bill, That our Consent to it wou'd be a Breach of Trust, and a dangerous Breach upon our Constitution....

(A Speech Made in the House of Commons, April the 24th 1716 [1722], pp. 1-2)

Nor would I gain the Empire of the World, at the Price of so Infamous a Breach of Trust.

(A Collection of Advertisements, Letters and Papers, and Some Other Facts, Relating to the Last Elections at Westminster and Hasting [1722], pp. xiv-xv. Printed by R [Sale, p. 180])


Even the term “Independency” may be significant: Of the six novelists in C-H to use this term, Richardson invoked it four times in Pamela, seven times in Clarissa (3rd edn.), and six times in Grandison. By contrast, the only other novelist to use it frequently was Smollett, with eight instances. Archibald Hutcheson favored this term in his political writings that Richardson was printing in the early 1720s. See, for instance, A Collection of Advertisements, p. 13: “to maintain and support the Dignity and Independency of the House of Commons.” This essay is quoted at length below for TB No. 9.


The criticism of the bills against Atterbury, Kelly, and Plunket also probably reflects Richardson's early printing activities. As Sale has shown, Richardson printed Atterbury's Maxims just after the latter was forced into exile and also five editions during May and June 1723 of The Speech of George Kelly after Kelly appeared before the House of Lords to defend himself. Without being a Jacobite himself, Richardson was probably sympathetic with Atterbury and Kelly as victims of the hysteria promoted by the Walpole ministry (Sale, p. 39).