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2 occurrences of "roots of mechanical collation"
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Page 195

John A. Dussinger [*]

In contrast to the unwieldy canon of Daniel Defoe that was begun by George Chalmers toward the end of the eighteenth century and greatly augmented by John Robert Moore in the 1960s, the historical record of Samuel Richardson's writings has been remarkably unproblematic. Except for the attribution in the early twentieth century of two pamphlets, the Richardson canon has been intact from the beginning. Even though he never signed his novels and pretended to be only the editor rather than the author, the wealth of Richardson's correspondence that has survived during the years after the publication of Pamela in 1740 and throughout the rest of his writing career alone makes his authorship a certainty. But what about those nearly twenty years before his first and extremely popular novel made him a celebrity, especially while he was printing as many as seven journals? Richardson's biographers have been strangely remiss about the importance of his early career in newspapers for his later development as novelist. I argue here for the probability that almost as soon as he began printing journals he was also contributing occasional, anonymous letters and articles to them. In particular, I focus on the authorship of the True Briton No. 6, since it is the only anonymous piece attributed to Richardson by a contemporary—John Nichols. Although I am aware of the caveat about author-attribution set forth by P. N. Furbank and W. R. Owens, namely the caveat against “forging chains” of attribution by basing my argument on other tentative attributions, some features of the essays under discussion here explicitly connect them with each other.[1] Moreover, even if basing attributions on other tentative attributions is risky, it does not necessarily follow that they are wrong. While wary of the permissive methods in John Robert Moore's attributions for Defoe, I wish nevertheless to point out some of the anonymous writings that are most likely the work of Richardson during his many years as one of the major London newspaper printers.

During the 1720s and 1730s, at the beginning of his career, Samuel Rich-


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ardson was engaged in printing seven journals—The True Briton (1723-24), The Plain Dealer (1724-25), The Daily Journal (1721-37), The Prompter (1734- 36), The Daily Gazetteer (1735-46), The Weekly Miscellany (1733-36), and The Citizen (1739). Despite the uncertainty about his role in the lastmentioned periodical and the lack of identifiable ornaments linking the Gazetteer to his press, Richardson was definitely the printer of the other papers.[2] At this time, well before the appearance of his first novel, Richardson had a reputation among his fellow printers for being a writer. In the January 1736 number of the Gentleman's Magazine, Edward Cave, the editor, remarked that Richardson had “often agreeably entertain'd with Elegant Disquisitions in Prose.” Among these anonymous works were doubtless the pamphlets The Apprentice's Vade Mecum (1734) and the Seasonable Examination of the Pleas and Pretensions of the Proprietors of, and Subscribers to, Play-Houses, Erected in Defiance of the Royal License (1735), both of which concerned the well-being of the City working men and the evil influence from the theater and other cultural diversions enjoyed by the upper-classes in the West End. Originally written in the form of a personal letter to his nephew Thomas Verren Richardson (Imperial Review, 2 [1804]: 609-616), who was to have begun as his apprentice in the printing trade before his untimely death in November 1732, the Vade Mecum, though only a modest success in the author's lifetime, eventually became a standard reprint by the Stationers' Company down to the twentieth century.[3] Worth emphasis, too, is that after praising Richardson's reputation among printers at least at this time as an author of “Elegant Disquisitions in Prose,” Cave makes a point of printing the only known poem by Richardson, written to decline the invitation to attend a festive gathering of printers.[4]


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In a letter to Aaron Hill (1 February 1741), Richardson recounts how he had long been urged by two business associates, John Osborne, Senior, and Charles Rivington, to “give them a little book (which, they said, they were often asked after) of familiar letters on the useful concerns in common life.”[5] Letters Written to and for Particular Friends, on the Most Important Occa-


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sions was published on 23 January 1741. In his most valuable autobiographical letter, to his Dutch translator Johannes Stinstra (2 June 1753), Richardson mentions the fact that “Two Booksellers, my particular Friends, entreated me to write for them a little Volume of Letters, in a common Style, on such Subjects as might be of Use to those Country Readers who were unable to indite for themselves.”[6] The obvious question that needs to be asked here is exactly why these two booksellers thought that Richardson was the person to do a manual of letters in the first place. Perhaps, like Cave, they had known perfectly well that he had been printing letters of his own for years before this time.

How far back, one may ask, does his reputation among printers as a letter-writer probably originate? The only recorded effort by early commentators to identify Richardson's possibly anonymous contributions is found in John Nichols's Literary Anecdotes, where in a footnote he observes that “it seems highly probable that the sixth [True Briton No. 6] (June 21, 1723) was written by himself as it is much in his manner.”[7] Modern scholars have tended to dismiss this attribution. Alan McKillop thought that the question “cannot be proved or disproved.” By contrast, William Sale asserted flatly that No. 6 “is clearly not in Richardson's style.” Following suit, Duncan Eaves and Ben Kimpel stated that No. 6 “does not resemble anything Richardson later wrote.”[8]

Apparently none of these scholars examined carefully the whole run of the True Briton, which was edited and published by the flamboyant Philip, Duke of Wharton, who initially represented himself as an “Old Whig” in opposition to the Court Whigs under Walpole's ministry but later went over to the Pretender. Sale remarked that the signature “A.B.” was “probably only one of the several pseudonyms used by Wharton himself” (Sale, p. 43). Similarly, Eaves and Kimpel observed: “It is a `letter' (such letters were often written by the editors) warning against party spirit when it is exercised for persons and not for principles” (Eaves and Kimpel, p. 26). Although they do not say so, Eaves and Kimpel seem to be basing their judgment on Johnson's observation to Richardson that most of the letters to the Spectator were written by the authors themselves and that he followed the same practice in the Rambler. [9] But, of course, there was also a considerable correspondence


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between editors and readers. Furthermore, not all of the letters sent to the editor were accepted for publication. In two numbers of the Prompter (27 January and 2 March 1736), for instance, the editors tersely acknowledge receipt of letters signed “A.B.” that would not be printed. As James Tierney remarked privately to me, newspapers were usually all too willing to include letters if only to fill up space when news was short. But, by contrast, literary periodicals like the Spectator and the Rambler were much more rigorously controlled by the particular thematic concerns of the editors.[10]

While introducing the letter for No. 6 of the True Briton, the editor might, indeed, be creating a little fiction about its origins: “The following Letter came to my Hand on Monday last, and seems to be wrote by a Well- wisher to his Country. It claims a Place in this Paper, where I hope to have Opportunities of communicating more of this Correspondent's Letters to the World.” Even the postscript may be part of the fiction: “If you don't approve of the publication of this Letter in your Briton, be pleased to advertise in your next. I Have some farther Thoughts to communicate, which, I promise my self, will be found agreeable to the Honest Intention of your Paper.”

But when the editor next adds a paragraph disputing A.B.'s judgment of the Atterbury case, it seems unlikely that he could be the author of this letter: “My Worthy Friend seems unacquainted with the Methods that were used to pass the Bills against the Bishop of Rochester and Mr. Kelly”; and he regrets that space did not permit a full explanation of these methods. At the end of this number is an acknowledgement of another anonymous correspondent: “The Letter from Lincolns-Inn, dated June the 17th, came safe to Hand; and the Author [Wharton] returns his Thanks for the kind Advice given him in it: But assures his Friend, That he don't fear the Power of the Persons he mentions, any more than he doubts their Malice.” At this point, it seems likely that the editor is no more the author of the letter by “A.B.” printed here than he is of the one received from Lincoln's Inn.

Oddly enough, neither Nichols nor the modern scholars noticed that in No. 23 (19 August 1723) Wharton makes an explicit connection: “The following Letter, written by the Gentleman who subscribes himself A. B. in the TRUE BRITON N° VI. having been unhappily mislaid, came but now to my Hands. I hope the Ingenious Author will excuse this late inserting of it, and favour me with his farther Correspondence.” This letter is an ironic attack on the bills recently passed concerning places and pensions. It again invokes the South Sea Directors Act, the subject of No. 6, as a precedent to the new Roman Catholic bill in retribution for the Jacobite conspiracy. In the next two numbers, No. 24 (23 August 1723) and No. 25 (26 August 1723), the writer signing himself “A.B.” is evidently the same. In No. 24, the editor again refers to him as “my worthy Friend,” and the author closes his letter thus: “I HOPE, Sir, that you will think this as fit for your Paper as my former


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Letters.” Although No. 25 lacks the editor's head note and any deferential remark by the author about possible acceptance of the letter, there is evidence, nevertheless, for connecting this number with the previous three letters signed “A.B.” The only other letters with this signature in the entire run of the True Briton are found in No. 9 (1 July 1723) and No. 22 (16 August 1723). Although the editor in No. 23 does not mention the anonymous letter in No. 9 but rather the one in No. 6, I believe that this brief letter may also be included with the other four as having been written by the same author. Because the head note for No. 22 mentions the fact that the letter came from “the Mayor of a Corporation,” I have excluded it from our consideration. Even if countless other anonymous letters in periodicals of the day adopt “A.B.” as a signature, it may be significant that Richardson also used “A.B.” to indicate the hypothetical employer of an apprentice whose signature is “N.N.” in the sample of a legal contract in The Apprentice's Vade Mecum (1734), p. 2.

In sum, it is surely plausible that Richardson was the author of these five letters in the True Briton. Of course, there may be other instances where he contributed items to papers that were not from his press. But for the sake of focusing on what seemed to me to be the most likely instances of his anonymous writings, I confined this search to the journals that are known to be associated with his press. I also resisted the temptation to claim Richardson as the author of at least one or two of those deeply ironic letters to the True Briton signed by female pseudonyms. My main premise here was to assume for once that John Nichols may have been correct in attributing No. 6 to Richardson and then try to account for this and the four related letters signed by A.B. for this journal.

The transcriptions of the True Briton produced here are based on Richardson's 1723 reprints of all the numbers of this paper in two volumes, with continuous pagination, which includes His Grace the Duke of Wharton's Speech in the House of Lords, on behalf of Bishop Atterbury. Since I have in my possession No. 25, in its original state, among other sheets from this semiweekly periodical, I have quietly corrected the error in the reprint signature to No. 25, which should be “A.B.” rather than “B.A.” I have also used the microfilm copies of the Burney papers available from Research Publications. In reproducing the texts of the relevant number of the True Briton, I have enumerated each paragraph in the quoted essay for ease of reference.

1. The True Briton No. 6 (21 June 1723) Introduction

William Sale's categorical rejection of Nichols's hunch about No. 6 of the True Briton is difficult to understand. Unlike the non-committal McKillop, who wrote his opinion in 1936, Sale had completed his pioneering work on Richardson's printing business and had identified more than five hundred books from his press. Perhaps it was because Nichols had erred so grossly in


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stating that Richardson had printed no more than the first six numbers of the True Briton that Sale distrusted his judgment altogether. Yet, the political views expressed in this number seem to echo those of Archibald Hutcheson, who was Richardson's first main employer. Sale himself discovered that at this time Richardson printed some thirteen pamphlets by Hutcheson about the South Sea crisis and concluded: “That the opinions expressed in Hutcheson's pamphlets represented Richardson's own political sentiments is amply corroborated by other evidence.”[1] Lest we suspect Hutcheson as the author of this letter, it helps to know that he openly declared that he either signed his tracts with his real name or used the pseudonym “Philo Britannicus.”[2]

The early paragraphs' condemnation of party politics is surely in agreement with the view of Richardson, who voted for both Tory and Independent Whig candidates, and emphasized the central importance of the constitutional issues at stake.[3] In the fourth paragraph, the contrast between the old mon-


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archical authority and the post-1688-89 parliamentary court power is also typically Hutchesonian.

After the passing attack on the previous Tory administration's flawed monetary policies, coupled with ironic praise of the great wealth demonstrated by the present government's spending schemes, the writer compares the South Sea Directors' Bill, which deprived the former directors of their estates, to the bills against Francis Atterbury, the Bishop of Rochester, his secretary, George Kelly, and John Plunket during the Jacobite conspiracy of the spring of 1722.

The acerbic tone toward the South Sea Directors' Bill here seems to derive from Hutcheson's general opposition to Walpole's scheme of resolving the South Sea Company's financial difficulties.[4] During 1720-22, the newspapers were full of stories about the hardships the disgraced South Sea Directors endured. Petitions by individuals forced to surrender their estates appeared, and the Daily Journal (6 June 1722) reported “that two of the late South-Sea Directors since the disposing of their Effects for the Use of the Publick in this manner [auction], are gone distracted.” Besides expressing compassion for these bankrupt businessmen, the author of the True Briton No. 6 is outraged that they were arbitrarily condemned by the government without due legal process. Thus, the overall thematic content and stylistic idiosyncrasies of this essay seem to point to Richardson as the author.


THE following Letter came to my Hand on Monday last, and seems to be wrote by a Well-wisher to his Country. It claims a Place in this Paper, where I hope to have Opportunities of communicating more of this Correspondent's Letters to the World.


[1] YOU have very justly made Impartiality the First Qualification of your TRUE BRITON; and I promise myself, you will secure your Title to that Part of your Character.

[2] TO call that Liberty to Day, which we call'd Liberty some Time ago; to esteem that to be Persecution against one, which we should esteem to be Persecution against another; to impute the same Effects to the same Causes; to call the same Things the same Things; though this may seem but a Low and Ordinary Degree of Understanding and Honesty, is yet that Greatness of Mind, that Impartiality of Judgment which very few People arrive at.

[3] NOTHING is more common, than for a Party of Men, in a small


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Course of Time, to forget themselves, and act contrary to those very Principles which made them a Party. Parties will generally have so much of Madness, Violence, and Contradiction in their Conduct, as happens to be in the Private Temper of their Leaders. And are seldom any longer true to the Principles and Reasons of their Party, than those at the Head of them, prove to be moderate, equitable and undesigning Men.

[4] AS Absolute Monarchy, in the Hands of a Wise and Virtuous Prince, may make a Nation for his Time, more Happy than any Legal Government; so the Cause of Liberty, when committed to the Hands of Violence, Avarice and Revenge, may more inslave a People, and destroy a Nation, than the heaviest Strokes of Monarchical Power. [5] The True Briton is, therefore, to look to the Preservation of the Peinciples [sic] of his Party, and not to the Men who make a Bluster[6] in it; for it will often happen, that he must lose his Party, if he will follow those whom Fortune has placed at the Head of it. An Evil Minister may have so acted, that he can be no longer safe, than whilst he is in Power: He may have more to fear, than an Evil Monarch, and to be


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forced upon more desperate Methods to secure himself from an abused, injured People.

[5] THE True Briton is therefore to stick to[7] the Reasons and Principles of his Party. He is to follow the Old Patrons of his Cause; to adhere to Equity, Liberty, and Moderation; and to reckon none to be of his Party, who, on any Pretence whatsoever, swerve from them. The Good of Party, is, In supporting Principles; The Evil of Party, In following Persons.

[6] WHEN I give this Advice, I can only be supposed to speak to the Tories; for the Whigs have been so Happy in their Governors, that they cannot follow them too blindly. Their Conduct, at least since His Majesty's Accession to the Throne, has been but One continued Act of Uniformity; One perpetual Endeavour to strengthen and finish the Glorious Fabrick of Liberty.

[7] IN a Late Reign, Power was some Time in Other Hands; Liberty, for a while, hung down its Head; Property grew precarious, and Magna Charta as little valued as the Original Contract; Corruption increased; Bribery was established; Religion declined; and the Church was ashamed to see herself committed to the Care of an Illiterate, Weak, Worldly, Prostitute Clergy.

[8] THOSE Days brought forth the Occasional and Schism Bills; which are such violent Attempts upon the Liberty of the Subject, as at once made the Kingdom but a Den of Slaves. The Peace with France had proved Great-Britain's Funeral, had not His Majesty's Accession to the Throne, committed the Administration to the True Patrons of Liberty. These little Intervals of Tory Persecution and Slavery, have always created more Work for the better Party. [8]

[9] BUT their Happy Continuance in Power since the Late Reign, and Freedom from any Fear of ever losing it, has made them able to compleat every Part of the Scheme of Liberty, and carry some Blessings of the Revolution higher than even the most Sanguine amongst us could expect.

[10] THE Tories, when in Power, shewed themselves mere Bunglers: They knew nothing of Money Matters; Their Exchequer was Low; They feared Expences; State Officers were in Arear of their Salaries; and the Lord Treasurer came out of his Office, as Poor as he entered upon it. But now! Money is so Plentiful; the Exchequer is so Rich; that the Government has lately remitted above Seven Millions of Money to a Single Company. It is Happy for the Gentlemen in the Administration, that such a Sum of Money, so generously given, has also so much Justice to support the Gift. Or otherwise, since the Breach of Trust [9] is now made liable to be punished by Forfeiture


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of Estate, as appears by the South-Sea Directors Bill; the Nation, to whom that Money was due, might, some time or other, inquire after it. But the great Justice, the Extraordinary Charity, and the Wise Ends of giving the Nation's Money to the South-Sea Company, are so plain and obvious an Instance of National Care, that those who are chiefly intitled to the Merit of it, may safely repose themselves upon the Nation's Favour.

[11] WHEN Her Late Majesty was so Unhappy as to employ the Tories, the Church of England began to make broad her Philactery, and to talk of Independency [10] of the State; and Bishops were chosen to support such Claims. His Majesty's Happy Reign has filled that Reverend Bench with such Primitive, Learned and Apostolical Men, as even gain the Esteem and Favour of all the Sworn Enemies to Episcopacy.

[12] THE Bishop of Rochester (as mere a Slave to Church Principles as Arch-Bishop Laud was) has had the Voices of Nineteen out of Twenty Bishops to Banish him the Kingdom. And to their Eternal Honour be it said, That neither the Sacredness of the Episcopal Character; nor the Extraordinariness of the Case; nor the Unusual Method of the Proceeding; nor their Concern for a Brother; nor their Affection for the Church; nor the Example of above Forty Temporal Lords, could abate their Christian Zeal for the Banishment of so Great and Eminent a Brother. The History of JOSEPH is a very entertaining Story.[11]

[13] IT is endless to enumerate the various Circumstances of our present Happiness. The Number of Good Laws which have been lately made, as they must mightily Endear the Present Ministers to all Lovers of Liberty, so they reflect the highest Reproach upon those Days, when Power was in other Hands.

[14] YOU have made Just Observations upon several Laws. I wonder


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how the South-Sea Directors Bill, by which they forfeit their Estates, escap'd your Observation. It is a Statute of as much Importance as that against Plunket, and as worthy the Thoughts of the True Briton.

[15] THE several Bills against the Bishop of Rochester, Mr. Kelly, and Plunket, cannot be said to be form'd upon the Directors Bill, because the Bishop, Mr. Kelly, and Plunket, were allow'd to speak for Themselves, nor by their Council. These Gentlemen had also their Crimes specify'd; so that by Defences and Speeches, they have been able to let the World see the Nature of their Guilt, and the Strength of the Evidence against them. But the Directors had no Specification of their Crimes; nor was their Guilt fix'd to any Particulars; so that the World is left to judge of their Guilt only by the Nature of their Punishment.

[16] NOW, altho' these Moderate, Gentle, Merciful Acts, cannot be said to be copy'd from the Directors Bill, because the Directors Bill has several severe Circumstances which these Bills have not; yet if, in any future Time, an Ill Ministry should procure a corrupt Parliament, to make People to forfeit their Estates for General Charges, without Trying them, without Hearing them; might not such Unmerciful Proceedings plead some Colour of Justice from the Bill against the late Directors?

[17] GO on, SIR, to instruct and Reform a Corrupt Age; and teach Britons to be Good Men and True.

Your Sincere Admirer, and Unworthy Correspondent,
A. B.
P. S. IF you don't approve of the Publication of this Letter in your Briton, be pleased to advertise in your next.


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).

I have some farther Thoughts to communicate, which, I promise my self, will be found agreeable to the Honest Intention of your Paper.

MY Worthy Friend seems unacquainted with the Methods that were used to pass the Bills against the Bishop of Rochester and Mr. Kelly; The Zeal which appears in most Parts of his Letter, would make it necessary for me, in Gratitude, to lay the Whole of the Evidence for and against the Bishop of Rochester before him, were that at present Convenient, as well for his Satisfaction, as for the Justification of the Nineteen Bishops, who, I presume, would neither be afraid or ashamed to see that publish'd: Such an Opinion I entertain of their Steadiness and Firm Adherence to what they profess!

THE Letter from Lincolns-Inn, dated June the 17th, came safe to Hand; and the Author returns his Thanks for the kind Advice given him in it: But assures his Friend, That he don't fear the Power of the Persons he mentions, any more than he doubts their Malice.

2. The True Briton No. 9 (1 July 1723) Introduction

The True Briton No. 9 addresses the controversy surrounding the recent election for sheriffs in the City. As the Daily Journal (25 June 1723) announced: “Notwithstanding the great Appearance for Sir Richard Hopkins and Mr. Feast, the others were declared.... The D--- of W------ appear'd Yesterday at Guildhall, holding up his Hat with some Livery-Men for Sir


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John Williams and Richard Lockwood, Esq;.” Despite the efforts of the Walpole government on behalf of Hopkins and Feast, the Liverymen prevailed with their candidates; and the author of TB No. 9 defends the winners from the aspersions printed in various advertisements during the election campaign. Since the sheriffs have the responsibility for selecting jurymen, Wharton quotes the dire warning from the Daily Post (26 June 1723): “you cannot but desire, that Juries, who have, in some Degree, the Disposal of your Lives, your Liberties, and your Properties, should be impanelled fairly and indifferently, and free from Byass and Prejudice.” He points out that Williams and Lockwood, being “Eminent Turkey-Merchants, and great Proprietors in the Publick Funds,” are not likely to be enemies of constitutional government as their libellers had claimed. “But this Calumny proceeds from the Old Method, that has been the Constant Maxim of One Party, to brand every Subject with Jacobitism, who opposes their Measures in the least Instance.” Wharton ends by reminding his readers that the majority of the jury that found the Jacobite conspirator Christopher Layer guilty of treason were Tories.

For his part, the author of the letter signed “A.B.” and appended to this article on the election stresses the illegal and violent methods used by the supporters of Hopkins and Feast. Basically, it protests against the barely disguised attempt by the Walpole government to curb the freedom of the City to elect its own representatives. Only a year later that attempt finally succeeded when Wharton over-reached himself politically after the death of Felix Feast and Walpole moved in for the kill. By December 1724 Walpole succeeded in persuading some prominent aldermen to cut back on their historically democratic election process; and a bill passed early the next year gave the aldermen veto power and stripped three thousand poorer liverymen of their right to vote (Plumb, 2:109).

Other than generally attacking Walpole's infringement on the historical rights of the City, this letter may be connected to Richardson in more particular ways. The printer's first employer, the Tory Archibald Hutcheson, was the staunchest defender of free elections; and one item that issued from the Salisbury Court shop (Sale, p. 180) only two years before the appearance of this letter was even in the same rhetorical form of questions while attacking his opponent in the House of Commons: Some Queries proposed to Sir Thomas Crosse to be Answer'd, for the Satisfaction of the Electors of the City and Liberties of Westminster. [1] Just as Hutcheson was attacking the


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corruptions of a national election, so A.B. in TB No. 9 is protesting the government's interference with the City's election of its representatives. Wharton's vigorous defense of the City's ancient rights and privileges, to the extent of his becoming a member of the Wax Chandlers' Company, goes far in explaining Richardson's interest in this mercurial Tory aristocrat.


AS I was concluding this Paper, I receiv'd the following Letter.


Some Queries:

Quere. 1. WHETHER at the last Election, he did not Compromise the Matter with the Court, to secure himself, contrary to the Sentiments of those by whose Interest he had been formerly chosen?

Q. II. WHETHER he did not, about the Time he was chosen a Director of the South-Sea Company, and at what Time particularly, engage not to oppose the Court, and was then assured, That the Court would not oppose him?

Q. III. WHETHER he did not constantly declare, That he had gone no further Length than the aforesaid Engagement, 'till his actual Joining with Mr. Lowndes, appeared in Print?

Q. IV. HOW many of the Twenty good Reasons (as his merry Friend is pleased to ridicule them) published for Choosing Mr. Hutcheson, are applicable to himself?

Q. V. WHAT are the particular Services which he has done, or endeavour'd to do, for his Country, during his long Continuance in Parliament? —And, in particular, Whether he Voted for or against allowing the Proprietors of the Long Annuities 17 Years Purchase in Stock? And if that had been done, Whether the Great Rise of South-Sea Stock, and the Ruin brought upon the Nation by that fatal Scheme, would not have been, in a great measure thereby prevented?

Q. VI. WHETHER a Director of the South-Sea Company, may not be presumed to have a greater Byass, (if the National and the Interest of that Company should at any Time interfere) than One who has no Concern therein?

Q. VII. WHETHER He or Mr. Hutcheson hath been most remarkable in Parliament for the Opposition given to the Measures of the Ministry? And which of the Two he thinks They are most inclinable to exclude from sitting there again?

Q. VIII. WHERE several Candidates are proposed to the Electors of any Place, Whether those who obtain their Election without the Favour and Countenance of the Court, or those who do obtain it by such Assistance, are the most likely to maintain and support the Dignity and Independency of the House of Commons, whenever the National Interest and the Views of a Ministry, shall happen to differ, as they have frequently done?

(A Collection of Advertisements and Papers Relating to the Westminster Election. Published From the 20th of February, to the 24th of March, 1721, pp. 12- 13)


I Desire you will insert these Queries in your next Paper, if you have Room for them, which will oblige,

Your Humble Servant,

Query I. WHETHER the Clerks of the Post- Office intermedling[2] [sic] in the Elections of this City, and forming a Mob to obstruct the Livery-Men as they were coming to Poll, is not an open Violation of the Freedom of Election?

II. WHETHER Men of the First Quality[3] sending to threaten their Tenants and Tradesmen, if they would not Vote for Sir Richard Hopkins and Mr. Feast, be not pretending to Govern the City of London in an Arbitrary Manner?

III. WHETHER the bringing down a Number of Informing Constables to Abuse, and Knock down,[4] and Commit the Friends of Sir John Williams


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and Mr. Lockwood, is keeping the Peace, or preserving the Quiet[5] of the City?

IV. WHETHER any Persons have a Right of Voting for Sheriffs of London, but the Livery-men of London? And whether some Hundreds of Persons were not polled for Hopkins and Feast, who never were called on the Livery, nor were ever so much as made Free of any Company?

V. WHETHER a certain Duke's[6] Appearing at the Feathers in Cheapside, and Dining there with some of his Friends, can be construed to Influence the City against the Freedom of Elections, or to encourage them to preserve it?

3. The True Briton No. 23 (19 August 1723) Introduction

Since the editor's head note specifically mentions that No. 23 was written by the “Gentleman who subscribes himself A. B. in the TRUE BRITON N° VI,” then if Richardson wrote the earlier number, he also wrote the anonymous letter in this one. While trying to establish stylistic evidence for Richardson's anonymous publications, a major problem arises in cases that amount to mainly extracts from other writers. As in Nos. 6 and 9, this letter seems to be influenced by Hutcheson's anti-Walpolean stance on the economy. But instead of protracted argument, it comprises bits and pieces as if taken from a commonplace book. In the second paragraph, the mention of “the Mediterranean and Baltick Squadrons” refers to the article in the True Briton No. 4 (14 June 1723). Wharton's point there about the unnecessary debt caused by these fleets corresponds with Hutcheson's attack on the costs of maintaining “the Mediterranean and Baltick Squadrons” in a tract that Richardson had printed.[1]

Another connection occurs in the use of the same English translation of Montaigne[2] in this letter that appears to be invoked in the third edition of Clarissa. Lovelace alludes to Montaigne: “Such a one as I, Jack, needed only, till now, to shake the stateliest tree, and the mellowed fruit dropt into my mouth: Always of Montaigne's taste, thou knowest: —Thought it a glory to subdue a girl of family.”[3] This specific reference to the great French essayist


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in the expanded edition of Clarissa makes it probable that Richardson would have known the anecdote about Dionysius derived from this same source.

Some of the short paragraphs so curiously yoked together without clear transitions seem actually to be notes taken from newspaper items, as if gathered from a scrap book. In the eighth paragraph, the allusion to Neyno, for instance, parallels an item in the Daily Journal, which Richardson printed.[4] In the tenth paragraph, the reference to the “Lady who was depriv'd of her Liberty on Suspicion of aiding and abetting a Nurse of the Pretender's Child” refers to another story that appeared in the Daily Journal. [5]

In paragraph twenty-one, “the Pretender's late Secretary” refers ironically to Bolingbroke who had just returned from exile at the same time as Atterbury was banished. The Daily Journal (9 July 1723) announced: “Lodgings are hired near the Coca Tree in the Pall-Mall for the late Lord Viscount Bolingbroke.” In Clarissa, Richardson situates Lovelace and his rakes at this politically tainted coffee house.[6] In later life, Richardson never made a secret of his loathing for Bolingbroke.[7]

Paragraph twenty-four repeats the complaint in TB No. 6 concerning the Roman Catholic Bill and resembles the announcements in the Daily Journal numbers for 26 November and 28 November 1722 about the raising of 100,000l. from the estates of Roman Catholics. The arbitrary lumping together of innocent and guilty members of a class for collective punishment in this instance again parallels the summary injustice towards the South Sea Directors. It may well have been his memory of this persecution of the Roman


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Catholics after the Jacobite conspirace of 1722 that influenced his theme of religious toleration thirty years later in Sir Charles Grandison.


THE following Letter, written by the Gentleman who subscribes himself A. B. in the TRUE BRITON No. VI. having been unhappily mislaid, came but now to my Hands. I hope the ingenious Author will excuse this late inserting of it, and favour me with his farther Correspondence.


According to C-H, out of the eight uses of the term “intermeddling” in the novels included in this database, two instances are in Clarissa (3rd edn.)


Although the C-H registers twenty-three instances of “first quality,” with seven going to Richardson's novels, the only actual phrase “men of the first quality” appears in Grandison, 1:9.


Apparently the phrase “knock down” is very rare among the early novelists. Except for one instance in Thomas Amory's John Buncle, the only other reference is to Clarissa (3rd edn., but not the 1st), 7:396.


If the author of this letter is Richardson, he may have been recalling the language used by Hutcheson while urging Sunderland to get the King to limit the present parliament to one year and to promote a bill for either triennial or annual parliaments: “On this Foundation, the British Liberties would be firmly Established, and innumerable good Consequence would flow therefrom. An Assurance of this kind, must tend to the immediate Quieting the Minds of a disturbed People,” Copies of Some Letters from Mr. Hutcheson, to the late Earl of Sunderland (1722), p. 22.


The Duke of Wharton openly patronized the City and participated in its political gatherings.


[Archibald Hutcheson], A Collection of Advertisements, p. 36.


Essays of Michael Seigneur de Montaigne.... Made English by Charles Cotton, Esq. Three Volumes. Fourth Edition (London, 1711).


Cf. Clarissa, 3rd edn. (1751), 4:139; and Montaigne's Essays, Book Two, Chapter Fifteen, p. 434: “That our Desires are augmented by Difficulty”: “For there is not only Pleasure, but moreover, Glory, to conquer and debauch that soft Sweetness, and that childish Modesty, and to reduce a cold and Matronlike Gravity to the Mercy of our ardent Desires: 'Tis a Glory, say they, to triumph over Modesty, Chastity, and Temperance.'”


Cf. The Daily Journal, 3 January 1723/24: “It may not be improper to acquaint our Readers, that Phillip Neyno, so often mention'd in the Proceedings against Mr. Kelly and the late Bishop of Rochester, was on the 31st of July, 1720, ordained in the Cathedral Church of Chester, by the present Bishop of that See; and in the Instrumental or Testimonial of his Ordination under the Episcopal Seal, and sign'd by the Bishop, (after the usual Preamble) are the following Words: Dilectum nobis in Christo Phillippum Neyno &c Moribus nobis commendatum, ac in Doctrina &c Scientia per nos &c examinatores Nostros, approbatum nec non sufficienter Intitulatum, &c. He was drowned in making his Escape from the Custody of a Messenger, soon after the Discovery of the late Conspiracy.”


(18 March 1722/23): “Mrs. Spinkes, Wife to a Nonjuring Clergyman, being traced out, and found to be capable of giving some Light into the Conspiracy, is put under Restraint, in order to her Examination. She is Aunt to Mrs. Hughes in the Hands of the Government, lately Nurse to the young Pretender.”


Cf. Clarissa, 3rd edn., 2:17; 4:274; and 5:20.


“St. John, as you most properly call him, has raised against his Works many Writers. I almost wish, that they had been left to the noble Discourses of Sherlock, so seasonably publish'd... and to Leland; for the Sale is far from answering the sanguine Expectations of Boutefeu Editor [David Mallett]; and I am afraid that so many Tracts on them will add to his Profits, by carrying into Notice Works that would have `probably' otherwise sink under the Weight of their dogmatical Abuse & Virulence. I imagine, that these Works of the quondam Peer, so far as they favour the Cause of Infidelity, rather abound with Objections against the Christian System, that he thought New, than were really so. He seems to have been willing to frame a Religion to his Practices. Poor Man! He is not a Doubter now!” R to Thomas Edwards: 30 December 1754, FM XII, 1, ff. 123-124; B, 3:106-107; C, p. 317.


[1] THE obliging Manner in which you received my former Letter, has encouraged me to trouble you again. A Correspondence with a Gentleman so heartily engag'd in his Country's Interest, is highly agreeable to me.

[2] YOU have touch'd upon the great Increase of our National Debts, and have observ'd, that Two visible Causes of it, have been the Mediterranean and Baltick Squadrons.

[3] BUT after all, Sir, what a glorious and happy Way of spending our Money is this, if compar'd with what I have just read in an admir'd Author?

[4] “A STRANGER having publickly said, that he could teach Dionysius the Tyrant of Syracuse, an infallible Way to find out and discover all the Conspiracies which his Subjects should contrive against him; Dionysius hearing of it, caus'd the Man to be brought to him, that he might learn an Art so necessary to his Preservation; and having ask'd him, By what Art he might make such Discoveries? the Fellow made Answer, That he should give him a Talent, and afterwards boast that he had obtain'd some mighty Secret from him.”[8]

[5] TO what a miserable Condition were the Syracusian Subjects reduc'd, to have their Treasure lavish'd out in Sham-Contrivances against themselves?

[6] BUT this generally used to be the last Contrivance of such Powers, as were too tyrannical and hated to support themselves by any other means.

[7] NO one can be so Malicious or Weak as to imagine, here is any Reflection intended upon any Gentleman who has the Honour to be intrusted with the Care of the National Revenue. It would be injurious to suppose,


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that a Censure upon Astrologers, would reflect upon Sir Isaac Newton; or a Jest upon Quacks, affront a Mead or a Friend.

[8] AS to the 300 l. indeed, which is said to have been given to Neyno, with a Promise of 2000 more, if it was true, that may serve for a Warning to all others, How they receive any Money of that Kind, since Neyno lost his Life so soon after it.

[9] AS to the Proposal which Mr. Kelly declared to the Lords, was made to him by an Under-Secretary, by Order of his Superior, that casts no Reflection upon the Exchequer, it not appearing that he was to have any Present of the Nation's Money; for the Proposal being general, no one can say, but that it might be some Place, and not any Money, that was intended to be the Reward of his telling Truth.

[10] THE Lady who was depriv'd of her Liberty on Suspicion of aiding and abetting a Nurse of the Pretender's Child, was not loaded with Irons, nor committed to Newgate: She was only deliver'd over to Buggs in a Messenger's House, and was allow'd to speak to her Children thro' a Window, for some Months together. She has since been admitted to Bail, and her Friends hope she will not be try'd for Milk-Treason.

[11] IF any one should be so Fantastical[9] as to suspect that the 200,000 l. which the Bishop of Rochester is said to have receiv'd, and the 50,000 l. which an Alderman is reported to have carry'd Abroad, must, by the Greatness of the Sums, have had Assistance from the Exchequer, I shall only reply to such imaginary Heads, That such conjectural Circumstances cannot be allow'd as any Evidence of the Thing, unless they had been declared so, by a Vote of Parliament.

[12] EVERY one's General Character is his best Defence.[10] A Gentleman who has been known to be too honourable to take a Bribe, [11] at a Time when it was very convenient, may very well be suppos'd to be neither subject to the Power of Money himself, nor inclin'd to corrupt other People with it.

[13] BUT after all, the highest and even undeniable Evidence of the Integrity of all our Ministers, is, The Exemplary Punishments they have lately set on foot.—Every Bill of Pains and Penalties is to me a plain Proof, that there is neither Bribery, nor Corruption, nor Abuse of Power, nor Breach of Trust,[12] nor any Ill-Conduct, that can ever be charg'd upon any of our Ministers. These are a Sort of Death's Head, that must appear at all


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their Entertainments, and be a constant Memento Mori [13] to them in every Step they take.

[14] NAY, by the Bills that have lately passed, it seems not sufficient for any Minister to be innocent himself, unless all those who are employed with him be so likewise.—For if the Corruption and Villainy of any Minister, should raise an Odium [14] against them all, and put them all in one Bill, without suffering any one to excuse or defend himself, such a Bill need go no farther back for an exact Precedent for such Justice in the Lump, than to the South-Sea Directors Act.

[15] EVERY Vote in either House of Parliament to make any Hear- say [15] Accusation, or other Circumstance, be received as Evidence, is a sufficient Declaration to the Kingdom, that those at the Helm, never intend to be subject to any Hear-say Crime, or to come near the smallest Circumstances of Guilt.

[16] THESE Bills, as they declare the Innocency of the Ministry, so do they give a convincing Proof of the happy Union between the Court and Parliament, there having never been seen a more general Concurrence in full Parliament, than on that Occasion.

[17] THE Persons that opposed these Bills, being only such as have neither Places nor Pensions, may be easily supposed to be out of Temper, and through such Resentment not be able to see so clearly as those who, by their favourable Situation, have their Minds more at Ease.

[18] IT is a ridiculous Thing, to suppose, that Justice and Honour are less regarded by those who have Places or Pensions, than those that have them not. On the contrary, we ought to believe those most Just and Honourable, who have receiv'd such Marks of Royal Favour; and that it is their Justice and Integrity that have intitled them to such Rewards. As Gentlemen in the Army, have Commissions given, and are made Generals, not to teach them Courage and Bravery, but because they are known to be Brave and Courageous; so Pensions are conferr'd, not to Bribe Men to be Just and Honourable, but because they are so of themselves.

[19] THAT this is true, not only appears from the Persons who have Pensions, but also from this, That as soon as they seem but to swerve from the smallest Instances of Truth and Integrity, their Pensions are withdrawn.

[20] SO that though it may have some Appearance of Hardship for a


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Nation very much in Debt, to tax their Victuals to support Pensions, yet it has this Satisfaction attends it, that we may reckon a Number of Pensioners only another Name for a Number of fast Friends to Truth and Honour.

[21] THE Pretender's late Secretary is just arrived in England, where he has both his Estate and Honour to seek; and if, in such a Case, He should be allowed a small Pension for the Encouragement of Integrity, what True Briton would think much of the Expence? Or, suppose his Falseness should intitle him to a Reward, we may be sure, it is such a Falseness, as is as useful as Truth, or else it will not be rewarded.

[22] THAT Gentleman has nothing but an Attainder by Parliament to get off, in Order to be in Statu Quo; [16] and I suppose there is one who can prove it to be the Blackest [17] of Crimes, for any Gentleman to vote against it. —I long to hear some Court-Orators set forth this Gentleman's Merit!

[23] I HAVE but one Argument against the Necessity of Pensions even for the Reward of Virtue, and that is taken from the Behaviour of the Scotch M—bers, and the English B—ps: The Unanimity of these Gentlemen in all the late Bills, is to me a convincing Argument, That Truth is the same in all Nations, and that People of different Northern Latitude may be equally Lovers of it.

[24] THE Roman Catholick Bill for raising 100,000l. upon their Estates, is another Instance of the Equity and Moderation of some Gentlemen: That Bill put the Statesman upon all his Methods, and was carry'd with much Difficulty: If it was any way expensive; if any Part of our National Trade was barter'd away for it; the Money which is to be raised by it, will be some Recompence.

[25] THE Gentleman to whose Care the Passing of that Bill is owing, being too modest to receive Honour himself at present, the Thanks will not be returned for it, 'till it can be done without any Appearance of Flattery.

Your most Obedient Servant,
A. B.


Although the anecdote about Dionysius the Elder resembles the one derived from Roger L'Estrange's Fables, used in TB No. 25, discussed below, it is, in fact, taken from the Cotton translation of Montaigne's Essays. Vol. 1, No. 8, “Sayings of Kings,” p. 168: “A Stranger having publickly said, that he could teach Dionysus the Tyrant of Syracusa an infallible way to find out [p. 169] and discover all the Conspiracies his Subjects should contrive against him, if he would give him a good Sum of Money for his Pains: Dionysus, hearing of it, caus'd the Man to be brought to him, that he might learn an Art so necessary to his Preservation; and having ask'd him by what Art he might make such Discoveries, the Fellow made Answer, That all the Art he knew, was That he should give him a Talent, and afterwards boast that he had obtained a singular Secret from him.” It is worth noting that besides omitting some phrases for greater concision, the writer of the True Briton substitutes “mighty” for “singular.” In C-H, of the 594 instances of “mighty,” 110 are in Richardson's novels. I am grateful to Bruce Swann, of the Classics Library at the University of Illinois Library, for pointing out to me the source of this anecdote from Plutarch's Moralia, 175f-176a, Loeb, trans. Frank Cole Babbitt (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1968; first printed 1931), 3:33.


This term may point to Richardson. Of the thirty matches altogether in C-H, three are in Pamela and two are in Clarissa (1st edn.).


Of the twenty-five occurrences of “general character” found in C-H, eighteen are in Richardson's novels, with thirteen in the third edition of Clarissa. Early in Clarissa, for example, Mr. Harlowe sides with his son, James, against Lovelace: “he was the more inclined to make his Son this compliment, as Mr. Lovelace's general character gave but too much ground for his Son's dislike of him” (Clarissa, 3rd edn., 1:14). Towards the end of the story, Clarissa depends on a good report to trust Belford: “Mrs. Lovick has taken pains to enquire after his general character; and hears a very good one of him, for justice and generosity in all his concerns of Meum and Tuum, as they are called” (Clarissa, 3rd edn., 7:48).


Although the word “bribe” in this same paragraph is much more commonplace, with 234 matches altogether in C-H, it is perhaps significant that Richardson's novels have a much higher concentration of uses, with fifty instances.


See note 9 to TB No. 6.


The terms “Death's Head” and “Memento Mori” at first glance may seem too commonplace to need investigation. But in C-H, whether spelled as “death's head” with five instances or as “death's-head” with only two matches, at least one of the former spelling appears in the third edition of Clarissa. Surprisingly enough, only five uses of Memento Mori occur in C-H, one of these in Richardson's Familiar Letters warning against the dangers to one's health from the abuse of alcohol among men.


Even this word may be indicative: of the only thirty instances in C-H, four are in Richardson.


“Hear-say” turns out to be relatively less frequent in C-H than one might expect, even taking into account the three basic forms of orthography. As “hear say,” we find only twelve instances altogether, with one instance in Pamela. As “hear-say,” we find ten altogether, with one in the first edition of Pamela. As “hearsay,” we find fourteen matches altogether, with four in the third edition of Clarissa and three in Grandison.


Again a term like “ Statu Quo ” may seem too commonplace to be useful. Yet, in C-H we find only eight occurrences altogether, with one in Clarissa.


Probably the least suspect term in this same paragraph, “Blackest,” turns out to be problematical. With only fifty-one instances altogether, eleven are in Richardson's novels.

4. The True Briton No. 24 (23 August 1723) Introduction

The editor's head note implies at least some prior familiarity with the writer, and the closing remark by “A.B.” makes clear that he has had letters previously accepted for publication; it seems probable that this person was the same as the one who wrote Nos. 6, 9, and 23. Like Nos. 6 and 23, this letter once again addresses the oppression of the Roman Catholics under the recent governmental decrees in revenge for the Jacobite conspiracy. But the special emphasis on the plight of women who have to take oaths of allegiance to avoid the penalties imposed on their religious beliefs may bring us closer to Richardson's life-long interest in ameliorating the woman's situation in general. The topic concerning the solemn taking of oaths is a frequent occurrence in his novels, especially by way of discrediting the libertines whose


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word is worthless to women. But in contrast to the previous two letters by “A.B.,” this one is mainly an extracting of a long debate that “Dr. Wake (now Archbishop of Canterbury) published” as a “Practical Discourse concerning Swearing, in the Year 1696.”

Although Sale does not provide evidence that Richardson printed anything by Wake, nevertheless the extensive extracting of this churchman's pronouncements on the issue of swearing has at least the format of what Richardson performed, say, in his culling of authorities in the third part of the Vade Mecum. In any case, this is more obviously the “cut-and-paste” technique of sifting other texts for one's own essay that Richardson is known to have used repeatedly and that is also very difficult to identify with any particular writer/editor in the process. It may be more than a coincidence that the Daily Journal (13 May 1723) ran The conduct of Dr. Wake, relating to the Controversy between him and Dr. Atterbury. This letter by “A.B.” appears after the editor's essay on the problem of the goverment's demanding oaths denying any allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church and thus supplements the previous number on religious persecution.

A telltale sign of Richardson's hand in this number is difficult to prove because of its method of borrowing words at length from another author—Dr. William Wake, the Archbishop of Canterbury (1657-1737), on the matter of swearing. When McKillop noted Richardson's “rather perfunctory compilation of extracts from contemporary authors against `skepticism and infidelity,'” for the third part of the Vade Mecum, he need not have stopped there (Introduction to Vade Mecum, p. i). Much of the anonymous material in the newspapers printed and perhaps composed by Richardson is also in the form of perfunctory compilations. Richardson was an expert at the “cut-and-paste” technique in the printerly world of his time, and it is this very technique that lends him the aura of a man of learning. It may be the same writer, for instance, who, in the Daily Journal (13 May 1723), also extracted extensively Dr. Wake's opinions “relating to the controversy between him and Dr. Atterbury,” which according to the DNB is one of the most important among his voluminous writings. As a printer with more than a casual interest in the Atterbury case during the Jacobite scare of 1723, Richardson could well have had on hand Wake's tract in their controversy.

Furthermore, in the True Briton No. 47 (11 November 1723), an advertisement for A Compleat History of Public and Solemn State Oaths, Containing, The Forms of all such as have been taken, either by the Kings of England at their Coronation, or administered to the Subjects upon every Occasion may indicate a source of this letter-writer's authority on the matter of oaths. In the domestic conflicts of his novels, Richardson continually emphasizes the need to distrust the libertine's word and his whole untrustworthiness while making promises. In the moral extracts from Clarissa, included in an appendix at the end of the third edition, Richardson observes: “The man who binds his Promises by Oaths, indirectly confesses that his word is not to be taken” (Clarissa, 3rd edn., 8:393).


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THE following Letter is just come to my Hands from my worthy Friend, whose Honesty, I hope, every TRUE BRITON, who reads this Paper, will acknowledge.


[1] THE Roman Catholick Bill, having some small Appearance of Severity, has made many Old Whigs to wish, That it had rather pass'd under some Tory Administration, than at a Time, when we see no Men in Power, but the undoubted Friends of Liberty and Moderation. But these are whimsical People, who don't think it sufficient to have their Friends in Power.

[2] THESE Gentlemen don't consider, that Things take their Qualities from those that do them. If an Enemy strikes, we know he intended Mischief; but if a Parent makes us feel his Blows, and breaks a Limb or two with the Weight of 'em, we know that he designed our Good, and so should rejoice under his Paternal Care and Tenderness.[1]

[3] THIS is the Light in which Dutiful Subjects, and True Members of a Party, should behold their Friends in Power.

[4] THE Roman Catholick Non-conformity may be justly said to be purely Religious, there being not an Instance, that I remember, since the Revolution, of any one who has changed his Religion, who has not immediately conformed to the Government. Nay, most of the late Converts have happened to give such Proof of their Affection to our Constitution, as to receive very distinguishing Marks of Royal Favour.

[5] NOW weak Minds may imagine, that therefore there is some Degree of Religious Persecution in this Bill; but with me it is sufficient to consider, that there are no Gentlemen in Power, but what are Friends to Religion, and Enemies to Persecution.

[6] HAD this Bill pass'd at any Time, when the chief Power was in one Head strong, Lawless[2] Minister, who thought himself superiour to all Rules; who had no Regard either how he divided his Friends, or increased his Enemies; that hated every thing that was Legal and Regular, and scarce delighted in Gain, except it was Plunder; had this Bill passed in such Times, there would have been some Reason to have disliked it: But as we know the Reverse of all this to be true at present, there is as much Reason for all good Subjects to be free from all Uneasiness under it.

[7] THE more obvious Reasons for this Bill seem to me to be as follow:


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I. TO curb and restrain the restless Endeavours of the Papists, to disturb the Peace of the Kingdom.

FOR John Plunket, whose whole Estate is taken from him, and who was a principal Agent in the late most horrid and dreadful Plot, appears, upon the strictest Examination, to be a Papist.

II. THE Papists being charged as Idolaters, such a Mark as this set upon them, must satisfy all good People, that the Ministry are no way inclined to Idolatry, which must be a great Benefit to the Kingdom.[3]

III. THAT the Papists may not lie under any worldly Temptation to continue in a Religion so destructive of their Souls.

THIS Reason, indeed, seems a little to contradict a late Favour granted to the Quakers, which is such an Encouragement to continue in their Delusion, that if they were to turn Christians, they would forfeit their Title to it.

IV. TO enable us to procure better Terms for the Foreign Protestants in Popish Dominions.

V. TO induce all Roman Catholick Princes to be steady and sincere in their Alliances to support the Protestant Succession in England.

VI. TO prevent any more Religious Wars; for the Papists being stript of their Money, will not be able to contribute any Thing towards them.

VII. THAT it may henceforward be a Rule, that all Plots be paid for by a Tax upon some Party, or Body of the People, that the Nation in general may be frighted at the Return of them.

[8] IT is something particular, that our Protestant Women are to clear themselves from a Share in this Catholick Bill, by taking all the Oaths that relate to the Government. The Clemency and Wisdom of the Legislature has taken such Care of our Female Children, that they shall not have these Oaths forc'd upon them, 'till they are arrived at the Maturity of Eighteen. Whether they are to be Confirmed first by the Bishop, or to stay for Confirmation 'till they have seasoned their Minds with these Oaths, is not mentioned in the Bill.

[9] I DON'T know of any Provision that is made for very Old or Infirm Women. It is a Convenience for such to live where the Parson is a Justice of the Peace, that when he brings the Sacrament to their Beds, he may tender the Oaths along with it.

[10] I HAVE heard some People very large in their Exclamations against Creeds and Forms of Faith, as too great Restraints upon the Minds of Protestants.

[11] BUT, perhaps, to be obliged to Swear, is not so great a Restraint, as to be obliged to Believe.

[12] I SUPPOSE these Oaths must be something more than barely Law-


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ful, and that the taking of them must be something like keeping the Commandments, or else it would hardly suit with the Temper of our Religion to set whole Families a Swearing all over the Kingdom.—I have heard of General Fasts to implore the Blessings of God upon a Kingdom; Whether this general Swearing be intended to avert any Judgments of Heaven, I can't presume to say.

[13] Dr. WAKE (now Archbishop of Canterbury) published a Practical Discourse concerning Swearing, in the Year 1696. P. 141. This learned Divine says, It were much to be wished, that the Necessities of Government would permit, that an Oath should never be imposed upon, nor required of, any, but upon some greater Exigence, to be sure, more seldom than now it is.

[14] THIS great Divine condemns the too much Swearing at that Time, though it is to be observed, that there was then no Oath of Abjuration, nor were any Persons oblig'd to take the others, except they were in some Post or Office.

[15] WERE his Grace to write upon the same Subject in some future Time, when Oaths shall be multiplied, he must either alter his Divinity, or carry his Charge much higher, and affirm, as he does in another Place, that because of Swearing, not only Mens Souls suffer, but our very Land itself mourneth.

THIS Learned Divine goes on thus:

[16] AND when it is required, such Care should be taken in the administring of it, as to raise in Mens Minds a serious Consideration of what they are about, &c. I don't know of any Provision of this kind in the Act, or that there is any Methods prescribed in it to raise Mens Minds to a Religious Reverence of an Oath: Nor have I heard that the Bishops, in their several Diocesses, are taking Pains to instruct their Young and Antient Females, in the Sacred Solemn Nature of an Oath, or to prevent their taking these in Rashness.

[17] THE Penalty that attends Recusancy is no great Motive to Consideration and Seriousness; and if Dr. Hoadly, the late Bishop of Bangor, will shew, how People who Swear to save their Estates, can be said to swear in Sincerity, He will do an acceptable Piece of Service to the Female World.

[18] HIS Grace of Canterbury tells us, p. 67. As for those Oaths which are impos'd by the Publick Authority, the Subject's Rule must be, to yield to them, in all Honest and Lawful Matters, and to take such as he can, with a good Conscience, take.

[19] THIS shews us the Error of some People, who disregard what it is to which they Swear, and throw all upon the Legislature, and think that they may swear to any thing that is required by Authority; or, as a Lady said, in great Wrath,[4] and great Principle, That she would Swear any thing, rather than any Government should get Six pence by her.—But if Oaths, as this great Divine observes, tho' impos'd by Authority, are only to be taken, because they contain Lawful and Honest Matters, and such as are consistent with a good Conscience, as they are at present; How is it, that this Doctrine is not press'd and recomended at this Juncture?

[20] THE Arch-Bishop, speaking of Assertory Oaths, saith, p. 15. He


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forswears himself, who swears to the Truth of any Fact, which he either certainly knows to be false, or does not know to be true.—It matters not whether a Man certainly knows what he swears to be false, it is enough that he does not know it to be true. Nay, should it happen to be true, yet if he thought otherwise, and yet swore to the Truth of it, he forswore himself.

[21] THIS Learned Arch-Bishop farther says, “That he who would swear with a good Conscience, must duly consider what he is about to say, and proceed according to the strictest Measures of Truth and Fidelity; and that he forswears himself, if he swears to a Matter as certain, of which he has only a probable Assurance.” Now, if some certain Oaths were to be try'd by this Standard, altho' they might be demonstrable Truths, yet this may not be so clear to all Old Women and Girls, as to need no Explication; and therefore whoever shall swear to those Truths, without as full Assurance of their being so, as I have, must, according to this Doctrine, forswear themselves.

[22] HOW necessary is it therefore, that all who have any Land in the Kingdom, should now be inform'd of the Nature of Certainty and Probability; and the Degrees of Knowledge which every one must have of those Matters to which he Swears?

[23] WERE the Laity, Male and Female, Young and Old, to swear, That Episcopacy is of Divine Right, and that the Presbyters have no Authority to Ordain in the Church, I question not but Nineteen in Twenty of a certain Order, would warn the People committed to their Care, of the Danger of such Oaths, and tell their tender Females Ten thousand Horrors of Perjury.

[24] The little Ebony Doctor [5] would have his Conscience awaken'd upon such an Occasion, and exert his Casuistry[6] for the good of Souls. He would plainly prove, That such Oaths would curse the Island, and bring us into the Condition of Sodom and Gomorrha.

[25] IT is not long since I saw the Hands of many of our Reverend Bishops subscrib'd to an Abhorrence of the late Unnatural Rebellion; and that Abhorrence was publish'd thro' the Kingdom.


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[26] COULD I see as many Reverend Hands to this Case of Conscience, to instruct the Young and Old that are to swear all over the Kingdom, demonstrating, that it is as safe to abjure the Pretender, as to trust in God, their very Enemies would be forced to own, That they fear'd God, as much as they honour'd the King.

[27] BUT if all Orders of People are to be left to themselves, and neither inform'd how to swear with full Assurance of the Truth of what they are to affirm, nor exhorted to refuse, till they can swear with such Safety, I shall only recommend to that Reverend Bench these Words of Scripture:—Son of Man! I have made thee a Watchman unto the House of Israel; therefore hear the Word at my Mouth, and give them Warning from me; When I say unto the Wicked, Thou shalt surely die, and thou givest him not Warning, nor speakest to warn the Wicked from his wicked Way, to save his Life; the same wicked Man shall die in his Iniquity; but his Blood will I require at thy Hand!

[28] I HOPE, Sir, that you will think this as fit your Paper as my former Letters, and believe me to be

Your most Sincere Admirer,
A. B.


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.

5. The True Briton No. 25 (26 August 1723) Introduction

The fifth and final letter by “A.B.” in the True Briton that may be by Richardson, No. 25 (26 August 1723), lacks any head note by the editor or reference to the possible problem of acceptance for publication. Given his later edition of Roger L'Estrange's Aesop's Fables and his use of these fables in his novels, Richardson is likely to be the author of this letter, which quotes from L'Estrange's Fables and Stories Moralized a central lesson on worldly ambition, contrasting the “heroic” feats of Alexander the Great to the similar feats that are simply regarded as criminal by lowly individuals like pirates.[1] The basic parallel between the “hero” and the ordinary criminal here occurs in Richardson's fiction as well, notably in Clarissa. While justifying his role as libertine, for instance, Lovelace mitigates his violence toward women by contrasting it to the feats of the ancient heroes: “Are not you and I, Jack, innocent men, and babes in swadling-cloths, compared to Cæsar, and to his predecessor in heroism Alexander, dubbed for murders and depredation Magnus?” (Clarissa, 3rd edn., 4:260). Although it was a commonplace in this period to cite Alexander and Caesar as murderers, given Richardson's edition


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of Aesop, it seems reasonable to connect Lovelace's allusion to the anecdote here.



Richardson edited L'Estrange's Aesop's Fables, with Instructive Morals and Reflections, Abstracted from all Party Considerations, Adapted to all Capacities; and Design'd to promote Religion, Morality, and Universal Benevolence, 1739 (Sale gives the date as 1740, p. 147). See Jayne Elizabeth Lewis, The English Fable: Aesop and Literary Culture, 1651-1740 (Cambridge, England: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996), pp. 28-31. See also Thomas Keymer, “Pamela's Fables: Æsopian Writing and Political Implication in Samuel Richardson and Sir Roger L'Estrange,” XVII-XVIII: Bulletin de la société d'études anglo-américaines des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles, 41 (November 1995), 81-101. The quotation in this number is from Fables and Storyes Moraliz'd. Being a Second Part of the Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists, etc. By Sir Roger L'Estrange (London, 1699), No. XXIII, pp. 20-21.


[1] IT is generally agreed, that we ought to regulate our Opinions of Men by the Conformity of their Behaviour to the Rules of Moral Virtue; Rules sufficiently obvious to all Pers[o]ns, who will consider them with Attention; and especially in all those Cases which relate to the common Duties of Social Life.

[2] THERE have been Persons in the World who have been highly caressed, and, to outward Appearance at least, esteemed, who yet, whether considered in their Private or their more Publick Capacity, have not acted conformably to the Moral Obligations they are under, on either Account; but, as it seems, in a direct and determined Opposition to them.[2]

[3] OTHER Reasons may be assigned for the irregular and corrupt Judgment of the World in Favour of such Persons; but I shall specify one, which at present occurs to my Thoughts, and is, perhaps, among other causes of Popular Error, the most general and prevalent. I mean, The Influence of ill Example, when wicked Men have found means to establish themselves in Power, and to create numerous Dependencies. [3]

[4] THE Pomp and Splendor of their Condition; the visible Homage that is every where paid to them, the Obsequiousness wherewith Persons both of Superior Understanding and Quality are often observed to approach them, do so dazle [sic] and confound People of weak Minds, that they can see nothing, during such Prepossessions, in a true Light. Even they who are more capable of distinguishing Real from Counterfeit Merit, yet, to favour their own Indolence, and to avoid the Pain and Trouble of Attention, chuse rather implicitely [sic] to follow the Multitude, and to take up with common Appearances of Things, than to examine them by the Test and Evidence of Reason. [4]


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[5] AND even where the Wickedness of Great Men is too notorious to be denied or dissembled, Reasons of Interest and Dependance, will, notwithstanding, so far blind the Eyes, and corrupt the Hearts of Men, as to furnish a thousand Pretences, such as they are, if not to justify their Misconduct, at least to palliate [5] and excuse it; by attributing their Measures to extraordinary Exigencies of State; sometimes to Causes which never subsisted; at other times, to remote Prospects of future Dangers.

[6] UPON these Grounds we discover why it so frequently happens, that neither Persons nor Things are called by their right Names; why in High and Low Life, we appropriate very different Characters to Men, and treat them after a very different Manner who yet act upon the same vicious and dishonest Motives; why in some Parts of the World, one Man charged for a single Robbery on the Highway, committed, perhaps, for a Trifle, or the mere Relief of his Necessities, shall be executed; whilst another, who has inriched himself by continual Depredations, for a Course of some Years, at the Expence of his Country, shall not only escape with Impunity, but, by a servile Herd of Flatterers and Sycophants, have all his Actions crowned with Applause. [6]

[7] THIS puts me in Mind of an Excellent Saying of a Pyrate to Alexander the Great, as mentioned by Sir Roger L'Estrange, in his Fables and Stories Moralized.

[8] THAT great Prince `demanding of a Corsaire, that he had taken Prisoner (to use that celebrated Writer's own Words) How he durst presume to scour the Seas at that insolent Rate? Why, truly, says he, I scour the Seas for my Profit and my Pleasure, just as you scour the World: Only I am to be a Rogue for doing it with One Galley; and You must be a mighty Prince, forsooth, for doing the same Thing with an Army. Alexander was so pleas'd with the Bravery of the Man, that he immediately gave him his Liberty.'

[9] THIS Story that excellent Mythologist Moralizes as follows. `Power, says he, is no Privilege for Violence: It may create some Sort of Security in the Execution; but it gives no Manner of Right to the Committing of it: For Oppression and Injustice are the very same Thing in an Emperor, that they are in a Pirate. This, continues Sir Roger, was bravely said of the Corsaire, and it was as bravely done of Alexander; but whether it wrought upon his Conscience or his Honour, may be a Question; that is to say, Whether he was more moved with the Reason of the Thing, or with the Courage of the Man. But it looks well, however, either way; for Alexander not only forgave the Affront of being made the greater Thief of the Two, but gave the poor Fellow his Freedom over and above. And we have likewise this Document


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left us for our Instruction; That in all Fortunes and Extremes, a Great Soul will never want Matter to work upon.'

I am, SIR, Your most Humble Servant,


The phrase “highly caressed” has only four matches in C- H, one of which is in Richardson. Again, the phrase “private capacity” has only three occurrences in C-H, with one instance in Pamela. The adverb “conformably” has only six instances in C-H, and two are in Clarissa. The phrase “moral obligations” occurs only six times in C-H, and all instances are in Richardson.


The phrase “Ill Example” is suspicious: of the only three instances in C-H, two are in Pamela and another in Grandison. Curiously, “wicked Men” is not a commonplace among the seventy-seven novels in C-H: of the sixteen matches altogether, nine are in Richardson. Similarly, of the sixty-three matches for “wicked man,” forty-seven are in Richardson. Even “Dependencies” is a significant term: out of the six total instances, three are in the first edition of Clarissa.


“Obsequiousness” finds twenty-one occurrences in C-H, with eleven instances in the third edition of Clarissa and two in Grandison. The image of how the splendor of those in power “do so dazle [sic] and confound People of weak Minds, that they can see nothing, during such Prepossessions, in a true Light” occurs in all three of Richardson's novels. But perhaps the closest parallel is found in the sequel to Pamela, where Mr. B. expresses his admiration of his wife's power: “No Wonder, when one looks back to thy first promising Dawn of Excellence, that thy fuller Day should thus irresistibly dazzle such weak Eyes as mine” (Pamela, 1st edn., 4:213). The term “Prepossessions” is also a favorite with Richardson, with twelve instances out of a total of twenty-eight in C-H. The phrase “common appearances” occurs only once in C-H, that instance is in Pamela.


The verb “palliate” also seems to bear the Richardsonian stamp. Although there are as many as sixty-five occurrences in C-H, thirty are in Richardson's novels.


The phrase “a servile Herd” may have been more unusual than we think for the 1720s. The notion of the “herd” as mere cattle following a leader has fifty-four instances in the CD version C-H, of which twelve are in Richardson's novels. Although less unusual than “palliate,” still the proportion of occurrences in Richardson is significant. Even the term “Flatterers” is not all that commonplace for the novelists in C-H, where only thirty examples appear, of which eight are in Richardson's novels. The word “sycophant” has only nineteen instances in C-H, with five matches in Richardson.

APPENDIX Other Probable Attributions Signed “A.B.”

To limit the scope of my investigations for this essay, I have deliberately focused on the five letters in the True Briton signed “A.B.” that seem to have been written by Richardson. Other letters whose authors are suspiciously identified as women with such names as “Athalia Dormant” in Nos. 28 and 34, “Conscientia” in No. 45, “Misericordia” in No. 47, and “Violette” in No. 71 could well be Richardsonian impersonations. When reading through all the available numbers of other journals known to have come from Richardson's press, I have also resisted speculating idly about a number of letters and articles that might conceivably have derived from his pen, whether signed “A.B.” or otherwise. After careful sifting through these journals, therefore, I submit the following six examples as very likely to have been written by Richardson. Four of the letters signed “A.B.” amount to advertisements for books that Richardson was printing at the time each extract appeared in the papers, and the other two are commentaries on subjects close to Richardson's life-long moral interest. I have used the Research Publications microfilm of the Burney papers for these journals.

1. The Plain Dealer No. 56 (2 October 1724). Letter from “Your most Obedient Servant, A.B.,” expanding on an earlier article on “Detraction.”

In the second paragraph of this letter, the writer seems to intend to substitute another term for “detraction” by offering “slander” or “calumny” as alternatives. Of the twenty-three instances in C-H for “detraction,” one occurs in the third edition of Clarissa. Of the ninety instances in C-H for “slander,” eight are in Richardson. Of the forty-two examples in C-H for “calumny,” five are in Richardson. The word “fools” is too commonplace to be significant, but “knaves” occurs only twenty-nine times in C-H, twice in Richardson.

In the third paragraph, the verb “blacken” appears four times in Clarissa out of a total of twenty-two occurrences. The verb “eclipses” is quite rare among the novelists in C-H, with only five matches altogether, one is in Grandison. In the fifth paragraph, the adjective “musty” occurs only seventeen times in C-H, with four instances in Richardson.

The reverence for Socrates in paragraph six is emphasized in Richardson's greatest novel: Belford declares: “O Lovelace! Lovelace! had I doubted it before, I should now be convinced, that there must be a World after this, to do justice to injured merit, and to punish such a barbarous perfidy! Could the divine Socrates, and the divine Clarissa, otherwise have suffered?” (Clarissa, 1st edn., 5:224).

In paragraph seven, the phrase “worthless fellow” is surprisingly rare among the novels included in C-H, with only eleven instances altogether, with one in the first edition of Clarissa and another in Sir Charles Grandison. Besides Aaron Hill's own interest in writing a life of the Duke of Marlborough, the high praise of this great general fits Richardson's attitude in his later years and his deploring the Tories who denigrated him in the reign of Queen Anne, as in his letter (4 June 1750) to Susannah


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Highmore. See Barbauld, 2:230. Of the twenty-eight instances for Marlborough in C-H, eight are in Richardson, all very positive on his behalf. Most surprisingly, the phrase “Country's Glory” is very rare: only two instances in C-H, with the one in Grandison, 2:284.

2. The Daily Journal No. 1047 (29 May 1724). Letter from “A.B.” with excerpt from Defoe's Tour. Advertisement for Defoe's Tour on second page.

According to Sale, Richardson printed A Tour thro' the whole Island of Great-Britain, 3 vols. 1724-25-27. “Richardson printed the indexes for Vols. I and II, with his ornament No. 29 in Vol. I, and Nos. 35 and 57 in Vol. II. He also printed the first and second letters in Vol. II (pp. 1-192), with ornaments No. 27, 35, and 96. The third volume is the work of another press” (p. 163). The quotation above is taken from A Tour (1724), Letter One, 1:63-64. In this very short head note, the word “perusing” is surprisingly significant, with only thirty-six instances in C-H. Twelve are in Richardson, who used it far more frequently than any other novelist in the database.

3. The Daily Journal No. 3609 (28 July 1732). Letter signed A.B. on the engine at Venice used to dredge the channels and recommendation that same be used for the Thames.

The long quotation and illustration are excerpted from Awnsham Churchill's A Collection of Voyages and Travels (London, 1732): Voyages and Travels lately publish'd in Folio, which was written by the celebrated Sir Philip Skippon, 6:504. Richardson had printed only the sixth volume of this travel book, in 1732 (Sale, p. 233). A machine collation with the Lindstrand Comparator indicates that the image in the Daily Journal is identical with the woodcut illustration in the Churchill Collection volume that Richardson printed. Since illustrations in early newspapers are rare and mostly found in advertisements for quack remedies, this drawing of the engine at Venice prominently displayed on the front page must have stood out for readers at the time. The expression “choaked up” is unusual among the early novelists, with only nine instances on C-H, five of which are in Richardson. None of the other four authors used it more than once in their respective works. Furthermore, there are no instances at all for the modern spelling “choked up.”

4. The Weekly Miscellany No. 56 (5 January 1734). Letter from “Yours, &c., A.B.,” advocating sumptuary laws against extravagant dress, followed by a long quotation from Vade Mecum, p. 33.

In the first paragraph, the verb “bemoan'd” or “bemoaned” has only eight instances altogether in C-H, one in Grandison. In the second paragraph, the phrase “fatal Mischiefs” is very rare: only five instances altogether in C-H and all from Richardson. The verb “propagated” has only forty- eight instances in C-H, with thirteen in Richardson. In the fourth paragraph, the phrase “reasonable Hope” has only eight instances in C-H, with two in Clarissa. Even “peacocks” is quite rare in these novels, with only seven instances altogether, two appearing in Richardson, one in the Familiar Letters and another in the third edition of Clarissa. The phrase “ridiculous Light” in paragraph six is also a rarity, with only six instances altogether, one in Clarissa.

5. The Weekly Miscellany No. 245 (3 September 1737). Letter from “Your constant Reader, A.B.” concerning a pamphlet. George Berkeley's The Querist on Ireland.

Despite its being such a short note, the term “improvements” may be significant. Of the one hundred and fourteen instances in C-H, thirty-one are from Richardson's


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three novels and Familiar Letters. The rhetorical strategy of queries in Berkeley's piece is a reminder of A.B.'s letter in TB No. 9.

6. The Daily Gazetteer No. 1419 (9 January 1740). Letter from “Your's &c. A. B.” concerning the multitude of prostitutes in the streets of London.

From his earliest known writing, namely the Vade Mecum (1734), Richardson was concerned about the evils of prostitution. On religious and legal grounds, he warns against the evils of “the Company of lewd Women” (p. 4). One of his objections to apprentices' attending play-houses is “The great Resort of lewd Women to these Places where the Temptation is made the stronger, by the Impressions which the Musick and the Entertainment are liable to make on young and unguarded Minds” (p. 10). But Richardson does recommend Lillo's The London Merchant because it represents “the Artifices of a lewd Woman, and the seduction of an unwary young Man” (p. 16). Young women of upright citizens are also warned against attending the play- houses, where they would meet “an infamous Troop of wretched Strollers, who by our very Laws are deemed Vagabonds, and a collected String, of abandon'd Harlots” (p. 17). Towards the end of the final paragraph of this letter to the Daily Gazetteer, the writer mentions a recent charitable institution: “The Preserving the Lives of the Poor Infant Fruits of Shame, Sin, and Extreme Poverty, has lately taken up the Attention of many Noble and Honourable Personages.” This is an allusion to the Foundling Hospital, whose governors included friends William Hogarth, Francis Child, John Barnard, and Archibald Hutcheson. In 1739, Richardson printed the Foundling Hospital. A Copy of the Royal Charter, Establishing an Hospital for the Maintenance and Education of Exposed and Deserted Young Children (Sale, p. 171).

When the Magdalen House, an institution for reformed prostitutes, was established in 1758, Richardson took an interest in it mmediately, having himself proposed the idea through his exemplary gentleman:

I have another scheme, my Lord, proceeded Sir Charles—An Hospital for Female Penitents; for such unhappy women, as having been once drawn in, and betrayed by the perfidy of men, find themselves, by the cruelty of the world, and principally by that of their own Sex, unable to recover the path of virtue, when perhaps (convinced of the wickedness of the men in whose honour they confided) they would willingly make their first departure from it the last.

These, continued he, are the poor creatures who are eminently intitled to our pity, tho' they seldom meet with it.

(Sir Charles Grandison, 4:142)

Richardson donated to this institution, and in 1760, he was one of the annual governors (Eaves and Kimpel, p. 465). Although the letter-writer in the Daily Gazetteer may seem less charitable than Richardson, it needs to be emphasized that the Magdalen House was intended primarily to aid women who had been seduced by promises of marriage and that they could be discharged for poor behavior. Near the end of his life Richardson also assisted Lady Barbara Montagu in getting a novel by an unknown protégée published—The Histories of Some of the Penitents in the Magdalen House, which he himself printed in 1760.

Besides Richardson's life-long interest in the problems of prostitution, the language of this letter to the Daily Gazetteer shows traces of his style. In the first paragraph, the phrase “generous Protection” is quite rare in C-H, with only three instances altogether, two in Grandison and one in Burney's Evelina. In the second paragraph the word “stripling” occurs only eighteen times in C-H, with one instance in Grandison. The word “Remissness” occurs only twenty times in the database, with twelve in Richardson, seven alone in the Familiar Letters. The phrase “little


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Restraint” is surprisingly rare among the early novelists; but of the five instances, two are in Richardson. Of the total of fifty-eight instances for “allowances,” thirty- three are in Richardson. In C-H the term “free-livers” or “free livers” appears only in Richardson's novels. In the singular form, the term “free-liver” or “free liver” is also exclusive to this author.

In the third paragraph, of the twenty-seven matches for “Informations,” eleven are in Richardson. The phrase “Private Capacity” has only three instances in C-H, with one in Pamela. The phrase “Bad Women” is apparently unique in C-H: just one instance altogether—in Clarissa (1st edn., 6:150; 3rd edn., 6:265). Even the singular form is infrequent, and of the twenty-two instances in C-H for “bad woman,” ten are in Richardson. By contrast, “bad men” occurs nineteen times in C-H, with six instances in Richardson. Yet, “bad man” has thirty-seven matches in C-H, with twenty-five in Richardson.


I should like to acknowledge the helpful advice given me by Keith Maslen after reading an early draft of my argument and especially to thank Professor Martin Battestin and the other readers of this article for their invaluable criticism.


The Canonisation of Daniel Defoe (New Haven and London: Yale Univ. Press, 1988), pp. 14-15.


Keith Maslen, “Samuel Richardson as Printer: Expanding the Canon,” Order and Connexion: Studies in Bibliography and Book History, ed. R. C. Alston (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1997), pp. 1-16. Maslen has completed a book identifying more than five hundred printer's ornaments from Richardson's press and has greatly expanded the number of books printed by Richardson that Sale had found.


Alan Dugald McKillop, Introduction to [Samuel Richardson] The Apprentice's Vade Mecum, Augustan Reprint Society, nos. 169-170 (Los Angeles: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 1975), p. i.


The full column of the Gentleman's Magazine, 6 (January 1736), 51, is worth quoting in its entirety to allow us to contemplate Richardson's congenial relationship with his fellow printers and also to leave open the possibility that some of the anonymous poetry found in the newspapers printed by Richardson, not to mention in his novels, might have been his:

It being our Printer's turn to invite his Brethren to a Society Feast, for want of Opportunity he delegated that Office to a Facetious Brother, who, either to banter our December CHRONICLE, or for some other innocent Amusement, printed the Summons in Rhime. viz.

SIR, Jan. 17, 1735-36.
You're desir'd on Monday next to meet
At Salutation tavern, Newgate-Street.
Supper will be on table just at eight.


One of St John's, [William Bowyer, Junior] the other St John's-Gate [Edward Cave]....

Our Readers we hope will excuse our taking the foregoing into our Repository for the sake of the Humourous Answer it produced from one of the Members, as follows:

Jan. 17, 1735-6.
To steward St John, steward St John's Gate,
Who meet to sup on monday night at eight.
Dear sons of Phœbus, darlings of the nine,
Henceforth, thro' you, how will the printers shine,
Who ne'er, without the muse, shall meet to sup or dine!
Blessings, say I, attend your rhyming pen,
No king John's, sure, e'er equal'd saint John's men!
But, tell me, friends, nor blush, nor be afraid
To own the truth—had you no third man's aid?
Speak out, like men—to make the verse run sweeter,
Did not some mild-beer Bellman tag the metre?
If so, I pray, invite the honest fellow,
Let him partake the praise, and make him mellow.
Perpetual stewards, may you voted be;
No less such verse deserves—perpetual poet he!
For me, I'm much concern'd I cannot meet
“At salutation-tavern, Newgate-street.
Your notice, like your verse (so sweet and short!)
If longer, I'd sincerely thank'd you for't.
Howe'er, receive my wishes, sons of verse!
May every man who meets, your praise rehearse!
May mirth, as plenty, crown your chearful board,
And ev'ry one part happy—as a lord!
That when at home, (by such sweet verses fir'd)
Your families may think you all inspir'd!
So wishes he, who, pre-ingag'd, can't know
The pleasures that wou'd from your meeting flow.

S. R.

Concerning this Gentleman, the Company observ'd, that tho' the Publick is often agreeably entertain'd with Elegant Disquisitions in Prose, not one imagin'd that his extensive Business would allow him the least Leisure to invoke the Muses....

It needs to be emphasized here, I believe, that Cave attests to the frequency of these “Elegant Disquisitions in Prose.” It is also worth noting that Richardson actually signed this poem for once with his proper initials, “S.R.” Obviously Richardson had written more than the two pamphlets first identified by McKillop concerning apprentices and the rise of illegal theaters in the City. As Peter Sabor observed to me privately, to judge by this instance, it may well be that Richardson wrote one or two of the poems included in his novels.


The Correspondence of Samuel Richardson, ed. Anna Lætitia Barbauld, 6 vols. (London, 1804), 6:lxxiii-lxxiv.


The Richardson-Stinstra Correspondence and Stinstra's Prefaces to Clarissa, ed. William C. Slattery (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois Univ. Press, 1969), p. 28.


John Nichols, Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century, 6 vols. (London, 1812), 4:580.


Alan Dugald McKillop, Samuel Richardson, Printer and Novelist (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1936, reprinted, Shoe String Press, 1960), p. 286; William Merrett Sale, Jr., Samuel Richardson: Master Printer (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1950), p. 43; and T. C. Duncan Eaves and Ben D. Kimpel, Samuel Richardson, A Biography (Oxford: Clarendon, 1971), p. 26. What Richardson “later wrote,” of course, begs the question. We need to find what Richardson probably wrote before 1740 before making such a judgment.


Richardson's letters to Lady Bradshaigh of 5 October 1753, and of 8 December 1753, regarding Johnson's rejection of her letter for the Rambler. R agrees with Lady B that J should not advertise for letters to the editor if he as a rule writes his own for the journal. Cf. Richardson's unpublished correspondence in the Forster Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum, FM XI, (5 October 1753), ff. 29-32; FM XI, (8 December 1753), ff. 49-53.


Electronic mail, 2/1/00, University of Missouri-St. Louis.


Sale, p. 121. Sale also points out Richardson's tribute to Hutcheson in Clarissa, some twenty-six years later: Lovelace's uncle Lord M. offered him political counsel:

I remember (for I have it down) why my old friend Archibald Hutcheson said; and it was a very good Saying—(to Mr. Secretary Craggs, I think, itwas [sic]—`I look upon an Administration, as entitled to every Vote I can with good conscience give it; for a [p. 242] House of Commons should not needlessly put Drags upon the Wheels of Government: And, when I have not given it my Vote, it was with regret: And, for my Country's sake, I wished with all my heart, the measure had been such as I could have approved.'

And another Saying he had, which was this; `Neither can an Opposition, neither can a Ministry, be always wrong. To be a plumb man therefore with either, is an infallible mark, that that man must mean more and worse than he will own he does mean.'

Are these Sayings bad, Sir? Are they to be despised?—Well then, why should I be despised for remembering them, and quoting them, as I love to do?

(Clarissa, 3rd edn. [1751], 4:241-242)

It is worth pointing out that the non-partisan position adopted here from Hutcheson's sage advice is also evident in the symbolic game of whist in Pamela, where Mr. B sounds very much like this powerful critic of Walpole. See my article, “`Ciceronian Eloquence': The Politics of Virtue in Richardson's Pamela,Eighteenth-Century Fiction, 12 (October 1999), 39-60, esp. 58- 60.


“I have always freely own'd such Papers as come from my Pen, as I did that sign'd Philo-Britannicus, published in the Freeholder of Wednesday the 7th of March, 1721. the very Day it first appear'd,” A Collection of Advertisements, Letters and Papers, and Some Other Facts, Relating to the Last Elections at Westminster and Hastings (1722), p. vii. See also p. 36. Cf. letter from Philo-Britannicus in The Daily Journal (14 March 1721/22) reporting the meeting of London Citizens, when the Aldermen Hoysham, Brocas, Child, and Richard Lockwood were chosen. The speech by Mr. Deputy Robinson concerned issues above partisan interests and stressed the advantage of frequent parliaments for trade, and other Huchesonian principles.


For instance, during the scrutiny after the Oxfordshire election of 1754, Richardson wrote to Thomas Edwards, objecting to the partisan labels of “Old Interest” [Tory] vs. “New Interest” [Whig]: “This abominable Oxford election! What time does it take up! Have you heard of the applause Mr. Pratt has met with from both sides, for his speech for summing up the particulars of the objections to voters for the new interest as it is called, absurdly enough; since it is surely the interest of the country?” (FM XII, l. f. 130; also, Barbauld 3:113).


J. H. Plumb, Sir Robert Walpole (London: Allen Lane, The Penguin Press), 1956, 1:372-374. Among the more than dozen bills and pamphlets by Hutcheson that Richardson printed are A Collection of Calculations and Remarks relating the the South-Sea Scheme and Stock (1720); A Collection of Treatises relating to the Publick Debts, and the Discharge of the Same. Publish'd at several times [i.e., from 1714 to 1720] for the Service of the Members of the House of Commons (1720); and Four Treatises relating to the South-Sea Scheme and Stock (1721). Cf. Sale, pp. 180-181.