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Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded

By Samuel Richardson

  • Transcription, correction, editorial commentary, and markup:

    VIRTUE Rewarded.
    In a SERIES of
    FROM A
    Beautiful Young DAMSEL,
    To her PARENTS.
    Now first Published
    In order to cultivate the Principles of VIRTUE
    and RELIGION in the Minds of the YOUTH
    of BOTH SEXES.
    A Narrative which has its Foundation in TRUTH and
    NATURE; and at the same time that it agreeably entertains,
    by a Variety of curious and affecting INCIDENTS, is intirely divested
    of all those Images, which, in too many Pieces calculated for
    Amusement only, tend to inflame the Minds they should instruct.
    To which are prefixed, EXTRACTS from several curious
    LETTERS written to the Editor on the Subject.
    VOL. I.
    Printed for C. RIVINGTON, in St. Paul's Church-
    ; and J. OSBORN, in Pater-noster Row.
    M DCC XLI.
    [end page Titlepage]

    IF to Divert and Entertain, and at the same time to Instruct, and Improve the Minds of the Youth of both Sexes:

    IF to inculcate Religion and Morality in so easy and agreeable a manner, as shall render them equally delightful and profitable to the younger Class of Readers, as well as worthy of the Attention of Persons of maturer Years and Understandings: [end page iii]

    IF to set forth in the most exemplary Lights, the Parental, the Filial, and the Social Duties, and that from low to high Life:

    IF to paint Vice in its proper Colours, to make it deservedly Odious; and to set Virtue in its own amiable Light, to make it truly Lovely:

    IF to draw Characters justly, and to support them equally:

    IF to raise a Distress from natural Causes, and to excite Compassion from proper Motives:

    IF to teach the Man of Fortune how to use it; the Man of Passion how to subdue it; and the Man of Intrigue, how, gracefully, and with Honour to himself, to reclaim: [end page iv]

    IF to give practical Examples, worthy to be followed in the most critical and affecting Cases, by the modest Virgin, the chaste Bride, and the obliging Wife:

    IF to effect all these good Ends, in so probable, so natural, so lively a manner, as shall engage the Passions of every sensible Reader, and strongly interest them in the edifying Story:

    AND all without raising a single Idea throughout the Whole, that shall shock the exactest Purity, even in those tender Instances where the exactest Purity would be most apprehensive:

    IF these, (embellished with a great Variety of entertaining Incidents) be laudable or worthy Recommendations of any Work, the Editor of the following Letters, which have their Foundation inTruth and Nature, ventures to assert, [end page v] that all these desirable Ends are obtained in these Sheets: And as he is therefore confident of the favourable Reception which he boldly bespeaks for this little Work; he thinks any further Preface or Apology for it, unnecessary: And the rather for two Reasons, 1st. Because he can Appeal from his own Passions, (which have been uncommonly moved in perusing these engaging Scenes) to the Passions of Every one who shall read them with the least Attention: And, in the next place, because an Editor may reasonably be supposed to judge with an Impartiality which is rarely to be met with in an Author towards his own Works.

    The Editor.[end page vi]


  • London: Printed for C. Rivington, in St. Paul’s Church-Yard; and J. Osborn, in Pater-noster Row. 1741. 2v. 12° . This is the first edition.
  • Public domain electronic fulltext copy: University of Michigan ECCO-TCP. . Link . This is the third edition, also published in 1741. Page images have been temporarily drawn from the 3rd edition available on Google Books
  • More information on available editions is available through the English Short Title Catalog and Eighteenth-Century Book Tracker.

    Editorial Statements

  • This text is prepared as part of the Literature in Context project, which provides an accessible, curated, and marked-up selection of primary sources relevant to the study and the teaching of British and American literature of the 18th century. This project is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and developed by faculty at The University of Virginia and Marymount University.
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