By Henry Fielding

Edited by Jack Lynch

The text comes from the first edition of 1741. I’ve made very few changes: I’ve corrected a few obvious typos, and I’ve eliminated running quotation marks. I’ve added paragraph numbers in [brackets] to allow for easy classroom reference. The notes are my own.






Mrs. Shamela Andrews.

In which, the many notorious Falshoods and
Misrepresentations of a Book called
P A M E L A,
Are exposed and refuted; and all the matchless
Arts of that young Politician, set in a true and
just Light.

Together with
A full Account of all that passed between her
and Parson Arthur Williams; whose Character is
represented in a manner something different from
that which he bears in PAMELA. The
whole being exact Copies of authentick Papers
delivered to the Editor.

Necessary to be had in all Families.


Printed for A. Dodd, at the Peacock, without Temple-bar.

I am, Sir,
Your humble Servant,
John Puff.

To Miss Fanny, &c.


[1] It will be naturally expected, that when I write the Life of Shamela, I should dedicate it to some young Lady, whose Wit and Beauty might be the proper Subject of a Comparison with the Heroine of my Piece. This, those, who see I have done it in prefixing your Name to my Work, will much more confirmedly expect me to do; and, indeed, your Character° would enable me to run some Length into a Parallel, tho’ you, nor any one else, are at all like the matchless Shamela.

character = reputation

[2] You see, Madam, I have some Value for your Good-nature, when in a Dedication, which is properly a Panegyrick,° I speak against, not for you; but I remember it is a Life which I am presenting you, and why should I expose my Veracity° to any Hazard in the Front of the Work, considering what I have done in the Body.° Indeed, I wish it was possible to write a Dedication, and get any thing by it, without one Word of Flattery; but since it is not, come on, and I hope to shew° my Delicacy at least in the Compliments I intend to pay you.

panegyrick = celebration
veracity = reputation for truth
hazard = risk
body = main text
shew = show

[3] First, then, Madam, I must tell the World, that you have tickled up and brightned many Strokes in this Work by your Pencil.°

pencil = paintbrush

[4] Secondly, You have intimately conversed with me, one of the greatest Wits and Scholars of my Age.

[5] Thirdly, You keep very good Hours, and frequently spend an useful Day before others begin to enjoy it. This I will take my Oath on; for I am admitted to your Presence in a Morning before other People’s Servants are up; when I have constantly found you reading in good Books; and if ever I have drawn you upon me, I have always felt you very heavy.

[6] Fourthly, You have a Virtue which enables you to rise early and study hard, and that is, forbearing° to over-eat yourself, and this in spite of all the luscious Temptations of Puddings and Custards, exciting the Brute (as Dr. Woodward calls it) to rebel. This is a Virtue which I can greatly admire, though I much question whether I could imitate it.

forbearing = resisting

[7] Fifthly, A Circumstance greatly to your Honour, that by means of your extraordinary Merit and Beauty; you was carried into the Ball-Room at the Bath,° by the discerning Mr. Nash; before the Age that other young Ladies genenerally arrived at that Honour, and while your Mamma herself existed in her perfect Bloom. Here you was observed in Dancing to balance your Body exactly, and to weigh every Motion with the exact and equal Measure of Time and Tune; and though you sometimes made a false Step, by leaning too much to one Side; yet every body said you would one time or other, dance perfectly well, and uprightly.

Bath, fashionable spa town

[8] Sixthly, I cannot forbear mentioning those pretty little Sonnets,° and sprightly Compositions, which though they came from you with so much Ease, might be mentioned to the Praise of a great or grave Character.

sonnets = short poems

[9] And now, Madam, I have done with you; it only remains to pay my Acknowledgments to an Author, whose Stile I have exactly followed in this Life, it being the properest for Biography. The Reader, I believe, easily guesses, I mean Euclid’s Elements;° it was Euclid who taught me to write. It is you, Madam, who pay me for Writing. Therefore I am to both,

Euclid’s Elements, ancient geometry textbook

A most Obedient, and
obliged humble Servant,

Conny Keyber.

Letters to the Editor.

The Editor to Himself.

Dear Sir,

[10] However you came by the excellent Shamela, out with it, without Fear or Favour, Dedication and all; believe me, it will go through many Editions, be translated into all Languages, read in all Nations and Ages, and to say a bold Word, it will do more good than the C—y° have done harm in the World.

C—y = clergy

I am, Sir,
Sincerely your Well-wisher,

John Puff, Esq; to the Editor.


[11] I have read your Shamela through and through, and a most inimitable Performance it is. Who is he, what is he that could write so excellent a Book? he must be doubtless most agreeable to the Age, and to his Honour himself; for he is able to draw every thing to Perfection but Virtue. Whoever the Author be, he hath one of the worst and most fashionable Hearts in the World, and I would recommend to him, in his next Performance, to undertake the Life of his Honour. For he who drew the Character of Parson Williams, is equal to the Task; nay he seems to have little more to do than to pull off the Parson’s Gown, and that which makes him so agreeable to Shamela, and the Cap will fit.

[12] Note, Reader, several other commendatory Letters and Copies of Verses will be prepared against the next Edition.

For the LIFE of
Mrs. Shamela Andrews.

Parson Tickletext to Parson Oliver.

Rev. Sir,

[13] Herewith I transmit you a Copy of sweet, dear, pretty Pamela, a little Book which this Winter hath produced; of which, I make no doubt, you have already heard mention from some of your Neighbouring Clergy; for we have made it our common Business here, not only to cry it up,° but to preach it up likewise: The Pulpit, as well as the Coffee-house, hath resounded° with its Praise, and it is expected shortly, that his L——p will recommend it in a —— Letter to our whole Body.

cry it up = praise it
resounded = echoed

[14] And this Example, I am confident, will be imitated by all our Cloth in the Country: For besides speaking well of a Brother, in the Character of the Reverend Mr. Williams, the useful and truly religious Doctrine of Grace is every where inculcated.

cloth = clergy

[15] This Book is the “Soul of Religion, Good-Breeding, Discretion, Good-Nature, Wit, Fancy, Fine Thought, and Morality. There is an Ease, a natural Air, a dignified Simplicity, and measured Fullness in it, that resembling Life, out-glows it. The Author hath reconciled the pleasing to the proper; the Thought is every where exactly cloathed by the Expression; and becomes its Dress as roundly and as close as Pamela her Country Habit; or as she doth her no Habit,° when modest Beauty seeks to hide itself, by casting off the Pride of Ornament, and displays itself without any Covering”; which it frequently doth in this admirable Work, and presents Images to the Reader, which the coldest Zealot cannot read without Emotion.

habit = clothes

[16] For my own Part (and, I believe, I may say the same of all the Clergy of my Acquaintance) “I have done nothing but read it to others, and hear others again read it to me, ever since it came into my Hands; and I find I am like to do nothing else, for I know not how long yet to come: because if I lay the Book down it comes after me. When it has dwelt all Day long upon the Ear, it takes Possession all Night of the Fancy. It hath Witchcraft in every Page of it.” — Oh! I feel an Emotion even while I am relating this: Methinks° I see Pamela at this Instant, with all the Pride of Ornament cast off.

methinks = it seems to me

[17] “Little Book, charming Pamala, get thee gone; face the World, in which thou wilt find nothing like thyself.” Happy would it be for Mankind, if all other Books were burnt, that we might do nothing but read thee all Day, and dream of thee all Night. Thou alone art sufficient to teach us as much Morality as we want. Dost thou not teach us to pray, to sing Psalms, and to honour the Clergy? Are not these the whole Duty of Man? Forgive me, O Author of Pamela, mentioning the Name of a Book so unequal to thine: But, now I think of it, who is the Author, where is he, what is he, that hath hitherto been able to hide such an encircling, all-mastering Spirit, “he possesses every Quality that Art could have charm’d by: yet hath lent it to and concealed it in Nature. The Comprehensiveness of his Imagination must be truly prodigious! It has stretched out this diminutive mere Grain of Mustard seed (a poor Girl’s little, &c.)° into a Resemblance of that Heaven, which the best of good Books has compared it to.”

&c. = et cetera

[18] To be short, this Book will live to the Age of the Patriarchs, and like them will carry on the good Work many hundreds of Years hence, among our Posterity, who will not hesitate their Esteem with Restraint. If the Romans granted Exemptions to Men who begat a few Children for the Republick, what Distinction (if Policy and we should ever be reconciled) should we find to reward this Father of Millions, which are to owe Formation to the future Effect of his Influence. — I feel another Emotion.

[19] As soon as you have read this yourself five or six Times over (which may possibly happen within a Week) I desire you would give it to my little God-Daughter, as a Present from me. This being the only Education we intend henceforth to give our Daughters. And pray° let your Servant-Maids read it over, or read it to them. Both your self and the neighbouring Clergy, will supply yourselves for the Pulpit from the Booksellers, as soon as the fourth Edition is published. I am,

pray = please

Your most humble Servant,
Tho. Tickletext.

Parson Oliver to Parson Tickletext.

Rev. Sir,

[20] I received the Favour of yours° with the inclosed Book, and really must own° myself sorry, to see the Report I have heard of an epidemical Phrenzy now raging in Town, confirmed in the Person of my Friend.

yours = your letter
own = admit

[21] If I had not known your Hand, I should, from the Sentiments and Stile of the Letter, have imagined it to have come from the Author of the famous Apology, which was sent me last Summer; and on my reading the remarkable Paragraph of measured Fulness, that resembling Life out-glows it, to a young Baronet, he cry’d out, C——ly C—b—r by G—.° But I have since observed, that this, as well as many other Expressions in your Letter, was borrowed from those remarkable Epistles,° which the Author, or the Editor hath prefix’d to the second Edition which you send me of his Book.

C——ly C—b—r by G— = Colley Cibber by God
epistles = letters

[22] Is it possible that you or any of your Function can be in earnest, or think the Cause of Religion, or Morality, can want° such slender Support? God forbid they should. As for Honour to the Clergy, I am sorry to see them so solicitous° about it; for if worldly Honour be meant, it is what their Predecessors in the pure and primitive Age, never had or sought. Indeed the secure Satisfaction of a good Conscience, the Approbation of the Wise and Good, (which never were or will be the Generality of Mankind) and the extatick Pleasure of contemplating, that their Ways are acceptable to the Great Creator of the Universe, will always attend those, who really deserve these Blessings: But for worldly Honours, they are often the Purchase of Force and Fraud, we sometimes see them in an eminent Degree possessed by Men, who are notorious for Luxury, Pride, Cruelty, Treachery, and the most abandoned Prostitution; Wretches who are ready to invent and maintain Schemes repugnant to the Interest, the Liberty, and the Happiness of Mankind, not to supply their Necessities, or even Conveniencies, but to pamper their Avarice° and Ambition. And if this be the Road to worldly Honours, God forbid the Clergy should be even suspected of walking in it.

want = need
solicitous = concerned
avarice = greed

[23] The History° of Pamela I was acquainted with long before I received it from you, from my Neighbourhood to the Scene of Action. Indeed I was in hopes that young Woman would have contented herself with the Good-fortune she hath attained; and rather suffered° her little Arts° to have been forgotten than have revived their Remembrance, and endeavoured by perverting and misrepresenting Facts to be thought to deserve what she now enjoys: for though we do not imagine her the Author of the Narrative itself, yet we must suppose the Instructions were given by her, as well as the Reward, to the Composer. Who that is, though you so earnestly require of me, I shall leave you to guess from that Ciceronian Eloquence, with which the Work abounds; and that excellent Knack of making every Character amiable,° which he lays his hands on.

history = story
suffered = allowed
arts = skills
amiable = likable

[24] But before I send you some Papers relating to this Matter, which will set Pamela and some others in a very different Light, than that in which they appear in the printed Book, I must beg leave° to make some few Remarks on the Book itself, and its Tendency, (admitting it to be a true Relation,) towards improving Morality, or doing any good, either to the present Age, or Posterity: which when I have done, I shall, I flatter myself, stand excused from delivering it, either into the hands of my Daughter, or my Servant-Maid.

leave = permission

[25] The Instruction which it conveys to Servant-Maids, is, I think, very plainly this, To look out for their Masters as sharp as they can. The Consequences of which will be, besides Neglect of their Business, and the using all manner of Means to come at Ornaments° of their Persons, that if the Master is not a Fool, they will be debauched° by him; and if he is a Fool, they will marry him. Neither of which, I apprehend,° my good Friend, we desire should be the Case of our Sons.

ornaments = decorations
debauched = corrupted, led to lose their virginity
apprehend = fear

[26] And notwithstanding our Author’s Professions° of Modesty, which in my Youth I have heard at the Beginning of an Epilogue,° I cannot agree that my Daughter should entertain herself with some of his Pictures; which I do not expect to be contemplated without Emotion, unless by one of my Age and Temper, who can see the Girl lie on her Back, with one Arm round Mrs. Jewkes and the other round the Squire, naked in Bed, with his Hand on her Breasts, &c. with as much Indifference as I read any other Page in the whole Novel. But surely this, and some other Descriptions, will not be put into the hands of his Daughter by any wise Man, though I believe it will be difficult for him to keep them from her; especially if the Clergy in Town have cried and preached it up as you say.

professions = declarations
epilogue = speech at the end of a play

[27] But, my Friend, the whole Narrative is such a Misrepresentation of Facts, such a Perversion of Truth, as you will, I am perswaded, agree, as soon as you have perused the Papers I now inclose to you, that I hope you or some other well-disposed Person, will communicate these Papers to the Publick, that this little Jade° may not impose on the World, as she hath on her Master.

jade = slut

[28] The true name of this Wench was Shamela, and not Pamela, as she stiles° herself. Her Father had in his Youth the Misfortune to appear in no good Light at the Old-Bailey;° he afterwards served in the Capacity of a Drummer in one of the Scotch Regiments in the Dutch Service; where being drummed out,° he came over to England, and turned Informer against several Persons on the late Gin-Act; and becoming acquainted with an Hostler° at an Inn, where a Scotch Gentleman’s Horses stood, he hath at last by his Interest obtain’d a pretty snug Place in the Custom-house. Her Mother sold Oranges in the Play-House; and whether she was married to her Father or no, I never could learn.

stiles = calls
Old-Bailey, London’s largest prison
drummed out = dishonorably discharged
hostler = innkeeper

[29] After this short Introduction, the rest of her History will appear in the following Letters, which I assure you are authentick.

Letter I.

Shamela Andrews to
Henrietta Maria Honora Andrews
at her Lodgings at the
Fan and Pepper-Box in Drury-Lane.

Dear Mamma,

[30] This° comes to acquaint you, that I shall set out in the Waggon on Monday, desiring you to commodate me with a Ludgin, as near you as possible, in Coulstin’s-Court, or Wild-Street, or somewhere thereabouts; pray let it be handsome, and not above two Stories high: For Parson Williams hath promised to visit me when he comes to Town, and I have got a good many fine Cloaths of the Old Put my Mistress’s, who died a wil ago; and I beleve Mrs. Jervis will come along with me, for she says she would like to keep a House somewhere about Short’s-Gardens, or towards Queen-Street; and if there was convenience for a Bannio,° she should like it the better; but that she will settle herself when she comes to Town. — O! How I long to be in the Balconey at the Old House — so no more at present from

this = this letter
bannio = brothel

Your affectionate Daughter,

Letter II.

Shamela Andrews to Henrietta Maria Honora Andrews.

Dear Mamma,

[31] O what News, since I writ my last! the young Squire hath been here, and as sure as a Gun he hath taken a Fancy to me; Pamela, says he, (for so I am called here) you was a great Favourite of your late Mistress’s; yes, an’t please your Honour, says I; and I believe you deserved it, says he; thank your Honour for your good Opinion, says I; and then he took me by the Hand, and I pretended to be shy: Laud, says I, Sir, I hope you don’t intend to be rude; no, says he, my Dear, and then he kissed me, ’till he took away my Breath — and I pretended to be Angry, and to get away, and then he kissed me again, and breathed very short, and looked very silly; and by Ill-Luck Mrs. Jervis came in, and had like to have spoiled Sport. — How troublesome is such Interruption! You shall hear now soon, for I shall not come away yet, so I rest,

writ my last = wrote my last letter
an’t = if it should
Laud, mispronunciation of “Lord”
sport = the fun

Your affectionate Daughter,

Letter III.

Henrietta Maria Honora Andrews to Shamela Andrews.

Dear Sham,

[32] Your last Letter hath put me into a great hurry of Spirits, for you have a very difficult Part to act. I hope you will remember your Slip with Parson Williams, and not be guilty of any more such Folly. Truly, a Girl who hath once known what is what, is in the highest Degree inexcusable if she respects her Digressions; but a Hint of this is sufficient. When Mrs. Jervis thinks of coming to Town, I believe I can procure her a good House, and fit for the Business; so I am,

slip = mistake

Your affectionate Mother,
Henrietta Maria Honora Andrews.

Letter IV.

Shamela Andrews to Henrietta Maria Honora Andrews.

[33] Marry come up, good Madam, the Mother had never looked into the Oven for her Daughter, if she had not been there herself. I shall never have done if you upbraid me with having had a small One by Arthur Williams, when you yourself — but I say no more. O! What fine Times when the Kettle calls the Pot. Let me do what I will, I say my Prayers as often as another, and I read in good Books, as often as I have Leisure; and Parson William says, that will make amends. — So no more, but I rest

marry = please
upbraid = criticize
small one = baby
what I will = whatever I want

Your afflicted Daughter,

Letter V.

Henrietta Maria Honora Andrews to Shamela Andrews.

Dear Child,

[34] Why will you give such way to your Passion? How could you imagine I should be such a Simpleton, as to upbraid thee with being thy Mother’s own Daughter! When I advised you not to be guilty of Folly, I meant no more than that you should take care to be well paid before-hand, and not trust to Promises, which a Man seldom keeps, after he hath had his wicked Will. And seeing you have a rich Fool to deal with, your not making a good Market will be the more inexcusable; indeed, with such Gentlemen as Parson Williams, there is more to be said; for they have nothing to give, and are commonly otherwise the best Sort of Men. I am glad to hear you read good Books, pray continue so to do. I have inclosed you one of Mr. Whitefield’s Sermons, and also the Dealings with him, and am

passion = emotion
upbraid = criticize
market = bargain
pray = please

Your affectionate Mother,
Henrietta Maria, &c.

Letter VI.

Shamela Andrews to Henrietta Maria Honora Andrews.

[35] O madam, I have strange Things to tell you! As I was reading in that charming Book about the Dealings, in comes my Master — to be sure he is a precious One. Pamela, says he, what Book is that, I warrant you Rochester’s Poems. — No, forsooth,° says I, as pertly° as I could; why how now Saucy Chops, Boldface, says he — Mighty pretty Words, says I, pert again. — Yes (says he) you are are a d—d, impudent, stinking, cursed, confounded Jade,° and I have a great Mind to kick your A—. You, kiss — says I. A-gad,° says he, and so I will; with that he caught me in his Arms, and kissed me till he made my Face all over Fire. Now this served purely you know, to put upon the Fool for Anger. O! What precious Fools Men are! And so I flung from him in a mighty Rage, and pretended as how I would go out at the Door; but when I came to the End of the Room, I stood still, and my Master cryed out, Hussy, Slut, Sauce-box, Boldface, come hither° — Yes to be sure, says I; why don’t you come, says he; what should I come for says I; if you don’t come to me, I’ll come to you, says he; I shan’t come to you I assure you, says I. Upon which he run up, caught me in his Arms, and flung me upon a Chair, and began to offer to touch my Under-Petticoat.° Sir, says I, you had better not offer° to be rude; well, says he, no more I won’t then; and away he went out of the Room. I was so mad to be sure I could have cry’d.

forsooth = really
pertly = saucily
jade = slut
a-gad = by God
hither = here
under-petticoat = underwear
offer = try

[36] Oh what a prodigious Vexation° it is to a Woman to be made a Fool of.

prodigious exation = terrible frustration

[37] Mrs. Jervis who had been without, harkening,° now came to me. She burst into a violent Laugh the Moment she came in. Well, says she, as soon as she could speak, I have Reason to bless myself that I am an Old Woman. Ah Child! if you had known the Jolly Blades° of my Age, you would not have been left in the lurch in this manner. Dear Mrs. Jervis, says I, don’t laugh at one; and to be sure I was a little angry with her. — Come, says she, my dear Honey-suckle, I have one Game to play for you; he shall see you in Bed; he shall, my little Rose-bud, he shall see those pretty, little, white, round, panting — and offer’d to pull off my Handkerchief.° — Fie,° Mrs. Jervis, says I, you make me blush, and upon my Fackins,° I believe she did: She went on thus. I know the Squire likes you, and notwithstanding the Aukwardness of his Proceeding, I am convinced hath some hot Blood in his Veins, which will not let him rest, ’till he hath communicated some of his Warmth to thee my little Angel; I heard him last Night at our Door, trying if it was open, now to-night I will take care it shall be so; I warrant° that he makes the second Trial;° which if he doth, he shall find us ready to receive him. I will at first counterfeit° Sleep, and after a Swoon; so that he will have you naked in his Possession: and then if you are disappointed, a Plague of all young Squires, say I. — And so, Mrs. Jervis, says I, you would have me yield myself to him, would you; you would have me be a second Time a Fool for nothing. Thank you for that, Mrs. Jervis. For nothing! marry° forbid, says she, you know he hath large Sums of Money, besides abundance of fine Things; and do you think, when you have inflamed° him, by giving his Hand a Liberty with that charming Person;° and that you know he may easily think he obtains against your Will, he will not give any thing to come at all —. This will not do, Mrs. Jervis, answered I. I have heard my Mamma say, (and so you know, Madam, I have) that in her Youth, Fellows have often taken away in the Morning, what they gave over Night. No, Mrs. Jervis, nothing under a regular taking into Keeping,° a settled Settlement, for me, and all my Heirs, all my whole Lifetime, shall do the Business — or else cross-legged, is the Word, faith, with Sham; and then I snapt my Fingers.

harkening = hearing
jolly blades = fashionable men
handkerchief = cloth to cover the neck
fie, exclamation of disapproval
fackins, a mild oath
warrant = bet
trial = attempt
counterfeit = fake
swoon = faint
marry = dear me!
inflamed = aroused
person = body
taking into keeping = being set up as a lover in an apartment

Thursday Night, Twelve o’Clock.

[38] Mrs. Jervis and I are just in Bed, and the Door unlocked; if my Master should come — Odsbobs!° I hear him just coming in at the Door. You see I write in the present Tense, as Parson Williams says. Well, he is in Bed between us, we both shamming° a Sleep, he steals his Hand into my Bosom, which I, as if in my Sleep, press close to me with mine, and then pretend to awake. — I no sooner see him, but I scream out to Mrs. Jervis, she feigns° likewise but just to come to herself; we both begin, she to becall, and I to bescratch very liberally. After having made a pretty free Use of my Fingers, without any great Regard to the Parts I attack’d, I counterfeit° a Swoon.° Mrs. Jervis then cries out, O, Sir, what have you done, you have murthered° poor Pamela: she is gone, she is gone. —

odsbobs, a mild oath
shamming = faking
feigns = pretends
counterfeit = fake
swoon = faint
murthered = murdered

[39] O what a Difficulty it is to keep one’s Countenance,° when a violent Laugh desires to burst forth.

countenance = straight face

[40] The poor Booby° frightned out of his Wits, jumped out of Bed, and, in his Shirt,° sat down by my Bed-Side, pale and trembling, for the Moon shone, and I kept my Eyes wide open, and pretended to fix them in my Head. Mrs. Jervis apply’d Lavender Water, and Hartshorn,° and this, for a full half Hour; when thinking I had carried it on long enough, and being likewise unable to continue the Sport° any longer, I began by Degrees to come to my self.

Booby = idiot, and we learn this is Mr. B’s full name
shirt = underwear
hartshorn = smelling salts
sport = fun

[41] The Squire who had sat all this while speechless, and was almost really in that Condition, which I feigned,° the Moment he saw me give Symptoms of recovering my Senses, fell down on his Knees; and O Pamela, cryed he, can you forgive me, my injured Maid? by Heaven, I know not whether you are a Man or a Woman, unless by your swelling Breasts. Will you promise to forgive me: I forgive you! D—n you (says I) and d—n you says he, if you come to that. I wish I had never seen your bold Face, saucy° Sow,° and so went out of the Room.

feigned = pretended
saucy = smart-mouthed
sow = pig

[42] O what a silly Fellow is a bashful young Lover!

[43] He was no sooner out of hearing, as we thought, than we both burst into a violent Laugh. Well, says Mrs. Jervis, I never saw any thing better acted than your Part: But I wish you may not have discouraged him from any future Attempt; especially since his Passions° are so cool, that you could prevent his Hands going further than your Bosom. Hang him, answer’d I, he is not quite so cold as that I assure you; our Hands, on neither side, were idle in the Scuffle, nor have left us any Doubt of each other as to that matter.

passions = emotions

Friday Morning.

[44] My Master sent for Mrs. Jervis, as soon as he was up, and bid her give an Account of the Plate° and Linnen in her Care; and told her, he was resolved that both she and the little Gipsy (I’ll assure him) should set out together. Mrs. Jervis made him a saucy° Answer; which any Servant of Spirit, you know, would, tho’ it should be one’s Ruin; and came immediately in Tears to me, crying, she had lost her Place° on my Account, and that she should be forced to take to a House, as I mentioned before; and that she hoped I would, at least, make her all the amends in my power, for her Loss on my Account, and come to her House whenever I was sent for. Never fear, says I, I’ll warrant° we are not so near being turned away, as you imagine; and, i’cod,° now it comes into my Head, I have a Fetch for him, and you shall assist me in it. But it being now late, and my Letter pretty long, no more at present from

plate = silver dishes
saucy = smart-mouthed
place = job
warrant = bet
i’cod, a mild oath

Your Dutiful Daughter,

Letter VII.

Mrs. Lucretia Jervis to Henrietta Maria Honora Andrews.


[45] Miss Sham being set out in a Hurry for my Master’s House in Lincolnshire, desired me to acquaint you with the Success of her Stratagem,° which was to dress herself in the plain Neatness of a Farmer’s Daughter, for she before wore the Cloaths of my late Mistress, and to be introduced by me as a Stranger to her Master. To say the Truth, she became° the Dress extremely, and if I was to keep a House a thousand Years, I would never desire a prettier Wench in it.

stratagem = scheme
became = suited

[46] As soon as my Master saw her, he immediately threw his Arms round her Neck, and smothered her with Kisses (for indeed he hath but very little to say for himself to a Woman.) He swore that Pamela was an ugly Slut, (pardon, dear Madam, the Coarseness of the Expression) compared to such divine Excellence. He added, he would turn Pamela away immediately, and take this new Girl, whom he thought to be one of his Tenant’s Daughters, in her Room.

[47] Miss Sham smiled at these Words, and so did your humble Servant, which he perceiving, looked very earnestly at your fair Daughter, and discovered the Cheat.

[48] How, Pamela, says he, is it you? I thought, Sir, said Miss, after what had happened, you would have known me in any Dress. No, Hussy, says he, but after what hath happened, I should know thee out of any Dress from all thy Sex. He then was what we Women call rude, when done in the Presence of others; but it seems it is not the first time, and Miss defended herself with great Strength and Spirit.

[49] The Squire, who thinks her a pure Virgin, and who knows nothing of my Character, resolved to send her into Lincolnshire, on Pretence of conveying her home; where our old Friend Nanny Jewkes is Housekeeper, and where Miss had her small one by Parson Williams about a Year ago. This is a Piece of News communicated to us by Robin Coachman, who is intrusted by his Master to carry on this Affair privately for him: But we hang together, I believe, as well as any Family of Servants in the Nation.

[50] You will, I believe, Madam, wonder that the Squire, who doth not want° Generosity, should never have mentioned a Settlement° all this while, I believe it slips his Memory: But it will not be long first, no doubt: For, as I am convinced the young Lady will do nothing unbecoming° your Daughter, nor ever admit him to taste her Charms, without something sure and handsome before-hand; so, I am certain, the Squire will never rest till they have danced Adam and Eve’s kissing Dance together. Your Daughter set out Yesterday Morning, and told me, as soon as she arrived, you might depend on hearing from her.

want = lack
settlement = financial support for a lover
unbecoming = not suitable for

[51] Be pleased to make my Compliments acceptable to Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Silvester, and Mrs. Jolly, and all Friends, and permit me the Honour, Madam, to be with the utmost Sincerity,

Your most Obedient,
Humble Servant,
Lucretia Jervis.

[52] If the Squire should continue his Displeasure against me, so as to insist on the Warning he hath given me, you will see me soon, and I will lodge in the same House with you, if you have room, till I can provide for my self to my Liking.

Letter VIII.

Henrietta Maria Honora Andrews to Lucretia Jervis.


[53] I received the Favour of your Letter, and I find you have not forgot your usual Poluteness,° which you learned when you was in keeping with a Lord.

poluteness, clearly “politeness,” but “pollution” had moral and sexual meanings

[54] I am very much obliged to you for your Care of my Daughter, am glad to hear she hath taken such good Resolutions, and hope she will have sufficient Grace to maintain them.

[55] All Friends are well, and remember to you. You will excuse the Shortness of this Scroll; for I have sprained my right Hand, with boxing three new made Officers. — Tho’ to my Comfort, I beat them all. I rest,

Your Friend and Servant,
Henrietta, &c.

Letter IX.

Shamela Andrews to Henrietta Maria Honora Andrews.

Dear Mamma,

[56] I suppose Mrs. Jervis acquainted you with what past ’till I left Bedfordshire; whence I am after a very pleasant Journey arrived in Lincolnshire, with your old Acquaintance Mrs. Jewkes, who formerly helped Parson Williams to me; and now designs° I see, to sell me to my Master; thank her for that; she will find two Words go to that Bargain.

designs = plans

[57] The Day after my Arrival here, I received a Letter from Mr. Williams, and as you have often desired to see one from him, I have inclosed it to you; it is, I think, the finest I ever received from that charming Man, and full of a great deal of Learning.

[58] O! What a brave Thing it is to be a Schollard, and to be able to talk Latin.

Parson Williams to Pamela Andrews

Mrs. Pamela,

Mrs., not limited to married women

[59] Having learnt by means of my Clerk, who Yesternight visited the Revd. Mr. Peters with my Commands, that you are returned into this County, I purposed to have saluted° your fair Hands this Day towards Even: But am obliged to sojourn° this Night at a neighbouring Clergyman’s; where we are to pierce a Virgin Barrel of Ale, in a Cup of which I shall not be unmindful to celebrate your Health°

saluted = kissd
sojourn = travel
celebrate your health = propose a toast to you

[60] I hope you have remembered your Promise, to bring me a leaden Canister of Tobacco (the Saffron Cut) for in Troth,° this Country at present affords nothing worthy the replenishing a Tube° with. — Some I tasted the other Day at an Alehouse, gave me the Heart-Burn, tho’ I filled no oftner than five times.

troth = truth
tube = pipe

[61] I was greatly concerned to learn, that your late Lady left you nothing, tho’ I cannot say the Tidings° much surprized me: For I am too intimately acquainted with the Family; (myself, Father, and Grandfather having been successive Incumbents° on the same Cure,° which you know is in their Gift) I say, I am too well acquainted with them to expect much from their Generosity. They are in Verity,° as worthless a Family as any other whatever. The young Gentleman I am informed, is a perfect Reprobate;° that he hath an Ingenium Versatile° to every Species of Vice, which, indeed, no one can much wonder at, who animadverts° on that want° of Respect to the Clergy, which was observable in him when a Child, I remember when he was at the Age of Eleven only, he met my Father without either pulling off his Hat, or riding out of the way. Indeed, a Contempt of the Clergy is the fashionable Vice of the Times; but let such Wretches know, they cannot hate, detest, and despise us, half so much as we do them.

tidings = news
incumbents = holders
cure = leadership of a church
verity = reality
reprobate = immoral person
ingenium versatile = character suited
animadverts = complains
want = lack

[62] However, I have prevailed on myself to write a civil Letter to your Master, as there is a Probability of his being shortly in a Capacity of rendring° me a Piece of Service; my good Friend and Neighbour the Revd. Mr. Squeeze-Tithe° being, as I am informed by one whom I have employed to attend for that Purpose, very near his Dissolution.

rendring = doing
tithe = church tax

[63] You see, sweet Mrs. Pamela, the Confidence with which I dictate these Things to you; whom after those Endearments° which have passed between us, I must in some Respects estimate as my Wife: For tho’ the Omission of the Service was a Sin; yet, as I have told you, it was a venial° One, of which I have truly repented, as I hope you have; and also that you have continued the wholsome Office° of reading good Books, and are improved in your Psalmody,° of which I shall have a speedy Trial: For I purpose to give you a Sermon next Sunday, and shall spend the Evening with you, in Pleasures, which tho’ not strictly innocent, are however to be purged away by frequent and sincere Repentance. I am,

endearments = declarations of love
venial = minor
office = duty
psalmody = understanding psalms

Sweet Mrs. Pamela,
Your faithful Servant,
Arthur Williams.

[64] You find, Mamma, what a charming way he hath of Writing, and yet I assure you, that is not the most charming thing belonging to him: For, tho’ he doth not put any Dears, and Sweets, and Loves into his Letters, yet he says a thousand of them: For he can be as fond of a Woman, as any Man living.

[65] Sure Women are great Fools, when they prefer a laced° Coat to the Clergy, whom it is our Duty to honour and respect.

laced = fancy

[66] Well, on Sunday Parson Williams came, according to his Promise, and an excellent Sermon he preached; his Text was, Be not Righteous over-much; and, indeed, he handled it in a very fine way; he shewed° us that the Bible doth not require too much Goodness of us, and that People very often call things Goodness that are not so. That to go to Church, and to pray, and to sing Psalms, and to honour the Clergy, and to repent, is true Religion; and ’tis not doing good to one another, for that is one of the greatest Sins we can commit, when we don’t do it for the sake of Religion. That those People who talk of Vartue and Morality, are the wickedest of all Persons. That ’tis not what we do, but what we believe, that must save us, and a great many other good Things; I wish I could remember them all.

shewed = showed

[67] As soon as Church was over, he came to the Squire’s House, and drank Tea with Mrs. Jewkes and me; after which Mrs. Jewkes went out and left us together for an Hour and half — Oh! he is a charming Man.

[68] After Supper he went Home, and then Mrs. Jewkes began to catechize° me, about my Familiarity with him. I see she wants him herself. Then she proceeded to tell me what an Honour my Master did me in liking me, and that it was both an inexcusable Folly and Pride in me, to pretend to refuse him any Favour. Pray, Madam, says I, consider I am a poor Girl, and have nothing but my Modesty to trust to. If I part with that, what will become of me. Methinks,° says she, you are not so mighty modest when you are with Parson Williams; I have observed you gloat at one another, in a Manner that hath made me blush. I assure you, I shall let the Squire know what sort of Man he is; you may do your Will, says I, as long as he hath a Vote for Pallamant-Men, the Squire dares do nothing to offend him; and you will only shew that you are jealous of him, and that’s all. How now, Mynx,° says she; Mynx! No more Mynx than yourself, says I; with that she hit me a Slap on the Shoulder; and I flew at her and scratched her Face, i’cod,° ’till she went crying out of the Room; so no more at present, from

catechize = quiz
methinks = it seems to me
shew = show
mynx = tease, flirty woman
i’cod, mild oath

Your Dutiful Daughter,

Letter X.

Shamela Andrews to Henrietta Maria Honora Andrews.

[69] O Mamma! Rare° News! As soon as I was up this Morning, a Letter was brought me from the Squire, of which I send you a Copy.

rare = excellent

Squire Booby to Pamela.

Dear Creature,

[70] I hope you are not angry with me for the Deceit put upon you, in conveying you to Lincolnshire, when you imagined yourself going to London. Indeed, my dear Pamela, I cannot live without you; and will very shortly come down and convince you, that my Designs° are better than you imagine, and such as you may with Honour comply with. I am,

designs = intentions

My Dear Creature,
Your doating Lover,

[71] Now, Mamma, what think you? — For my own Part, I am convinced he will marry me, and faith so he shall. O! Bless me! I shall be Mrs. Booby, and be Mistress of a great Estate, and have a dozen Coaches and Six,° and a fine House at London, and another at Bath, and Servants, and Jewels, and Plate, and go to Plays, and Opera’s, and Court; and do what I will,° and spend what I will. But, poor Parson Williams! Well; and can’t I see Parson Williams, as well after Marriage as before: For I shall never care a Farthing° for my Husband. No, I hate and despise him of all Things.

coaches and six = expensive coaches drawn by six horses
what I will = whatever I want
farthing = tiny amount

[72] Well, as soon as I had read my Letter, in came Mrs. Jewkes. You see, Madam, says she, I carry the Marks of your Passion about me; but I have received order from my Master to be civil to you, and I must obey him: For he is the best Man in the World, notwithstanding° your Treatment of him. My Treatment of him; Madam, says I? Yes, says she, your Insensibility° to the Honour he intends you, of making you his Mistress. I would have you to know, Madam, I would not be Mistress to the greatest King, no nor Lord in the Universe. I value my Vartue more than I do any thing my Master can give me; and so we talked a full Hour and a half, about my Vartue; and I was afraid at first, she had heard something about the Bantling,° but I find she hath not; tho’ she is as jealous, and suspicious, as old Scratch.°

notwithstanding = in spite of
insensibility = unawareness
bantling = brat
old Scratch, nickname for the devil

[73] In the Afternoon, I stole° into the Garden to meet Mr. Williams; I found him at the Place of his Appointment, and we staid° in a kind of Arbour,° till it was quite dark. He was very angry when I told him what Mrs. Jewkes had threatned — Let him refuse me the Living,° says he, if he dares, I will vote for the other Party; and not only so, but will expose him all over the Country. I owe him 150l. indeed, but I don’t care for that; by that time the Election is past, I shall be able to plead the the Statue of Lamentations.

stole = sneaked
staid = stayed
arbour = tree-lined area
living = job in the church

[74] I could have stayed with the dear Man forever, but when it grew dark, he told me, he was to meet the neighbouring Clergy, to finish the Barrel of Ale they had tapped the other Day, and believed they should not part till three or four in the Morning — So he left me, and I promised to be penitent, and go on with my reading in good Books.

[75] As soon as he was gone, I bethought° myself, what Excuse I should make to Mrs. Jewkes, and it came into my Head to pretend as how I intended to drown myself; so I stript off one of my Petticoats,° and threw it into the Canal; and then I went and hid myself in the Coal-hole, where I lay all Night; and comforted myself with repeating over some Psalms, and other good things, which I had got by heart.

bethought = thought to
petticoats = underwear

[76] In the Morning Mrs. Jewkes and all the Servants were frighted out of their Wits, thinking I had run away; and not devising how they should answer it to their Master. They searched all the likeliest Places they could think of for me, and at last saw my Petticoat floating in the Pond. Then they got a Drag-Net, imagining I was drowned, and intending to drag me out; but at last Moll Cook coming for same Coals, discovered me lying all along in no very good Pickle. Bless me! Mrs. Pamela, says she, what can be the Meaning of this? I don’t know, says I, help me up, and I will go in to Breakfast, for indeed I am very hungry. Mrs. Jewkes came in immediately, and was so rejoyced to find me alive, that she asked with great Good-Humour, where I had been? and how my Petticoat came into the Pond. I answered, I believed the Devil had put it into my Head to drown my self; but it was a Fib; for I never saw the Devil in my Life, nor I don’t believe he hath any thing to do with me.

[77] So much for this Matter. As soon as I had breakfasted, a Coach and Six came to the Door, and who should be in it but my Master.

coach and six = expensive carriage drawn by six horses

[78] I immediately run up into my Room, and stript, and washed, and drest my self as well as I could, and put on my prettiest round-ear’d Cap, and pulled down my Stays,° to shew° as much as I could of my Bosom, (for Parson Williams says, that is the most beautiful part of a Woman) and then I practised over all my Airs° before the Glass,° and then I sat down and read a Chapter in the Whole Duty of Man.

stays =corset
shew = show
airs = appearances
glass = mirror

[79] Then Mrs. Jewkes came to me and told me, my Master wanted me below, and says she, Don’t behave like a Fool; No, thinks I to my self, I believe I shall find Wit° enough for my Master and you too.

wit = intelligence

[80] So down goes me I into the Parlour to him. Pamela, says he, the Moment I came in, you see I cannot stay long from you, which I think is a sufficient Proof of the Violence° of my Passion. Yes, Sir, says I, I see your Honour intends to ruin me, that nothing but the Destruction of my Vartue will content you.

violence = force

[81] O what a charming Word that is, rest his Soul who first invented it.

[82] How can you say I would ruin you, answered the Squire, when you shall not ask any thing which I will not grant you. If that be true, says I, good your Honour let me go home to my poor but honest Parents; that is all I have to ask, and do not ruin a poor Maiden, who is resolved to carry her Vartue to the Grave with her.

[83] Hussy,° says he, don’t provoke me, don’t provoke me, I say. You are absolutely in my power, and if you won’t let me lie with you by fair Means, I will by Force. O la, Sir, says I, I don’t understand your paw° Words. — Very pretty Treatment indeed, says he, to say I use paw Words; Hussy, Gipsie, Hypocrite, Sauce-box, Boldface, get out of my Sight, or I will lend you such a Kick in the — I don’t care to repeat the Word, but he meant my hinder part. I was offering° to go away, for I was half afraid, when he called me back, and took me round the Neck and kissed me, and then bid me go about my Business.

hussy = slut
paw = obscene
offering = starting

[84] I went directly into my Room, where Mrs. Jewkes came to me soon afterwards. So Madam, says she, you have left my Master below in a fine Pet,° he hath threshed° two or three of his Men already: It is might pretty that all his Servants are to be punished for your Impertinence.°

pet = angry mood
threshed = beaten
impertinence = disrespect

[85] Harkee,° Madam, says I, don’t you affront° me, for if you do, d—n me (I am sure I have repented for using such a Word) if I am not revenged.

harkee = listen
affront = insult

[86] How sweet is Revenge: Sure the Sermon Book is in the Right, in calling it the sweetest Morsel the Devil ever dropped into the Mouth of a Sinner.

[87] Mrs. Jewkes remembered the Smart° of my Nails too well to go farther, and so we sat down and talked about my Vartue till Dinner-time, and then I was sent for to wait on my Master. I took care to be often caught looking at him, and then I always turn’d away my Eyes, and pretended to be ashamed. As soon as the Cloth was removed, he put a Bumper° of Champagne into my Hand, and bid me drink — O la I can’t name the Health.° Parson Williams may well say he is a wicked Man.

smart = pain
bumper = full cup
health = toast

[88] Mrs. Jewkes took a Glass and drank° the dear Monysyllable; I don’t understand that Word, but I believe it is baudy.° I then drank towards his Honour’s good Pleasure. Ay, Hussy, says he, you can give me Pleasure if you will; Sir, says I, I shall be always glad to do what is in my power, and so I pretended not to know what he meant. Then he took me into his Lap. — O Mamma, I could tell you something if I would — and he kissed me — and I said I won’t be slobber’d about so, so I won’t; and he bid me get out out of the Room for a saucy° Baggage,° and said he had a good mind to spit in my Face.

drank = proposed a toast to
baudy = obscene
saucy = rude
baggage = slut

[89] Sure no Man ever took such a Method to gain a Woman’s Heart.

[90] I had not been long in my Chamber before Mrs. Jewkes came to me, and told me, my Master would not see me any more that Evening, that is, if he can help it; for, added she, I easily perceive the great Ascendant° you have over him; and to confess the Truth, I don’t doubt but you will shortly be my Mistress.

ascendant = power

[91] What says I, dear Mrs. Jewkes, what do you say? Don’t flatter a poor Girl, it is impossible his Honour can have any honourable Design upon me. And so we talked of honourable Designs till Supper-time. And Mrs. Jewkes and I supped together upon a hot buttered Apple-Pie; and about ten o’ Clock we went to Bed.

[92] We had not been a Bed half an Hour, when my Master came pit a pat° into the Room in his Shirt° as before, I pretended not to hear him, and Mrs. Jewkes laid hold of one Arm, and he pulled down the Bed cloaths and came into Bed on the other Side, and took my other Arm and laid it under him, and fell a kissing one of my Breasts as if he would have devoured it; I was then forced to awake, and began to struggle with him, Mrs. Jewkes crying why don’t you do it? I have one Arm secure, if you can’t deal with the rest I am sorry for you. He was as rude as possible to me; but I remembered, Mamma, the Instructions you gave me to avoid being ravished,° and followed them, which soon brought him to Terms, and he promised me, on quitting° my hold, that he would leave the Bed.

pit a pat = quietly
shirt = underwear
ravished = raped
quitting = letting go

[93] O Parson Williams; how little are all the Men in the World compared to thee.

[94] My Master was as good as his Word; upon which Mrs. Jewkes said, O Sir, I see you know very little of our Sect, by parting so easily from the Blessing when you was so near it. No, Mrs. Jewkes, answered he, I am very glad no more hath happened, I would not have injured Pamela for the World. And to-morrow Morning perhaps she may hear of something to her Advantage. This she may be certain of, that I will never take her by Force, and then he left the Room.

[95] What think you now, Mrs. Pamela, says Mrs. Jewkes, are you not yet persuaded my Master hath honourable Designs? I think he hath given no great Proof of them to-night, said I. Your Experience I find is not great, says she, but I am convinced you will shortly be my Mistress, and then what will become of poor me.

[96] With such sort of Discourse we both fell asleep. Next Morning early my Master sent for me, and after kissing me, gave a Paper into my Hand which he bid me read; I did so, and found it to be a Proposal for settling 250l. a Year° on me, besides several other advantagious Offers, as Presents of Money and other things. Well, Pamela, said he, what Answer do you make me to this. Sir, said I, I value my Vartue more than all the World, and I had rather be the poorest Man’s Wife, than the richest Man’s Whore. You are a Simpleton, said he; That may be, and yet I may have as much Wit° as some Folks, cry’d I; meaning me, I suppose, said he; every Man knows himself best, says I. Hussy, says he, get out of the Room, and let me see your saucy° Face no more, for I find I am in more Danger than you are, and therefore it shall be my Business to avoid you as much as I can; and it shall be mine, thinks I, at every turn to throw my self in your way. So I went out, and as I parted, I heard him sigh and say he was bewitched.

£250 a year would make her very well off
wit = intelligence
saucy = disrespectful

[97] Mrs. Jewkes hath been with me since, and she assures me she is convinced I shall shortly be Mistress of the Family, and she really behaves to me, as if she already thought me so. I am resolved now to aim at it. I thought once of making a little Fortune by my Person.° I now intend to make a great one by my Vartue. So asking Pardon for this long Scroll, I am,

person = appearance

Your dutiful Daughter,

Letter XI.

Henrietta Maria Honora Andrews to Shamela Andrews.

Dear Sham,

[98] I received your last Letter with infinite Pleasure, and am convinced it will be your own Fault if you are not married to your Master, and I would advise you now to take no less Terms. But, my dear Child, I am afraid of one Rock only, That Parson Williams, I wish he was out of the Way. A Woman never commits Folly but with such Sort of Men, as by many Hints in the Letters I collect him to be: but, consider my dear Child, you will hereafter have Opportunities sufficient to indulge yourself with Parson Williams, or any other you like. My Advice therefore to you is, that you would avoid seeing him any more till the Knot is tied. Remember the first Lesson I taught you, that a married Woman injures only her Husband, but a single Woman herself. I am in hopes of seeing you a great Lady,

Your affectionate Mother,
Henrietta Maria, &c.

The following Letter seems to have been written before
Shamela received the last from her Mother.

Letter XII.

Shamela Andrews to Henrietta Maria Honora Andrews.

Dear Mamma,

[99] I little feared when I sent away my last that all my Hopes would be so soon frustrated; but I am certain you will blame Fortune and not me. To proceed then. About two Hours after I had left the Squire, he sent for me into the Parlour. Pamela, said he, and takes me gently by the hand, will you walk with me in the Garden; yes, Sir, says I, and pretended to tremble; but I hope your Honour will not be rude. Indeed, says he, you have nothing to fear from me, and I have something to tell you, which if it doth not please you, cannot offend. We walked out together, and he began thus, Pamela, will you tell me Truth? Doth the Resistance you make to my Attempts proceed from Vartue only, or have I not some Rival in thy dear Bosom who might be more successful? Sir, says I, I do assure you I never had a thought of any Man in the World. How says he, not of Parson Williams! Parson Williams, says I, is the last Man upon Earth; and if I was a Dutchess, and your Honour was to make your Addresses to me, you would have no reason to be jealous of any Rival, especially such a Fellow as Parson Williams. If ever I had a Liking, I am sure — but I am not worthy of you one Way, and no Riches should ever bribe me the other. My Dear, says he, you are worthy of every Thing, and suppose I should lay aside all Considerations of Fortune, and disregard the Censure° of the World, and marry you. O Sir, says I, I am sure you can have no such Thoughts, you cannot demean your self so low. Upon my Soul, I am in earnest, says he, — O Pardon me, Sir, says I, you can’t persuade me of this. How Mistress, says he, in a violent Rage, do you give me the Lie?° Hussy,° I have a great mind to box° your saucy Ears, but I am resolved I will never put it in your power to affront° me again, and therefore I desire you to prepare your self for your Journey this Instant. You deserve no better Vehicle than a Cart; however, for once you shall have a Chariot,° and it shall be ready for you within this half Hour; and so he flung from me in a Fury.

censure = criticism
give me the lie = accuse me of lying
hussy = slut
box = smack
affont = offend
chariot = fancy carriage

[100] What a foolish Thing it is for a Woman to dally too long with her Lover’s Desires; how many have owed their being old Maids to their holding out too long.

[101] Mrs. Jewkes came me to presently,° and told me, I must make ready with all the Expedition° imaginable, for that my Master had ordered the Chariot, and that if I was not prepared to go in in it, I should be turned out of Doors, and left to find my way Home on Foot. This startled me a little, yet I resolved, whether in the right or wrong, not to submit nor ask Pardon: For that know you, Mamma, you never could your self bring me to from my Childhood: Besides, I thought he would be no more able to master his Passion for me now, than he had been hitherto;° and if he sent two Horses away with me, I concluded he would send four to fetch me back. So, truly, I resolved to brazen it out, and with all the Spirit I could muster up, I told Mrs. Jewkes I was vastly pleased with the News she brought me; that no one ever went more readily than I should, from a Place where my Vartue had been in continual Danger. That as for my Master, he might easily get those who were fit for his Purpose; but, for my Part, I preferred my Vartue to all Rakes° whatever — And for his Promises, and his Offers to me, I don’t value them of a Fig — Not of a Fig, Mrs. Jewkes; and then I snapt my Fingers.

presently = soon
expedition = speed
master his passion = control his emotions
hitherto = before
rakes = immoral men

[102] Mrs. Jewkes went in with me, and helped me to pack up my little All, which was soon done; being no more than two Day-Caps, two Night-Caps, five Shifts,° one Sham, a Hoop, a Quilted-Petticoat, two Flannel-Petticoats, two pair of Stockings, one odd one, a pair of lac’d Shoes, a short flowered Apron, a lac’d Neck-Handkerchief, one Clog, and almost another, and some few Books: as, A full Answer to a plain and true Account, &c. The Whole Duty of Man, with only the Duty to one’s Neighbour, torn out. The Third Volume of the Atalantis. Venus in the Cloyster: Or, the Nun in her Smock. God’s Dealings with Mr. Whitefield. Orfus and Eurydice. Some Sermon-Books; and two or three Plays, with their Titles, and Part of the first Act torn off.

shifts = underwear

[103] So as soon as we had put all this into a Bundle, the Chariot was ready, and I took leave of all the Servants, and particularly Mrs. Jewkes, who pretended, I believe, to be more sorry to part with me than she was; and then crying out with an Air of Indifference, my Service to my Master, when he condescends to enquire after me, I flung my self into the Chariot, and bid Robin drive on.

bid = told

[104] We had not gone far, before a Man on Horseback, riding full Speed, overtook us, and coming up to the Side of the Chariot, threw a Letter into the Window, and then departed without uttering a single Syllable.

[105] I immediately knew the Hand° of my dear Williams, and was somewhat surprized, tho’ I did not apprehend° the Contents to be so terrible, as by the following exact Copy you will find them.

hand = handwriting
apprehend = fear

Parson Williams to Pamela

Dear Mrs. Pamela,

[106] That Disrespect for the Clergy, which I have formerly noted to you in that Villain your Master, hath now broke forth in a manifest Fact. I was proceeding to my Neighbour Spruce’s Church, where I purposed to preach a Funeral Sermon, on the Death of Mr. John Gage, the Exciseman; when I was met by two Persons who are, it seems, Sheriffs Officers, and arrested for the 150l. which your Master had lent me; and unless I can find Bail within these few Days, of which I see no likelihood, I shall be carried to Goal. This accounts for my not having visited you these two Days; which you might assure yourself, I should not have fail’d, if the Potestas had not been wanting. If you can by any means prevail on your Master to release me, I beseech you so to do, not scrupling any thing for Righteousness sake. I hear he is just arrived in this Country, I have herewith sent him a Letter, of which I transmit you a Copy. So with Prayers for your Success, I subscribe myself

manifest = clear
exciseman = tax collector
goal = jail
potestas = ability
wanting = lacking
herewith = with this

Your affectionate Friend,
Arthur Williams.

Parson Williams to Squire Booby

Honoured Sir,

[107] I am justly surprized to feel so heavy a Weight of your Displeasure, without being conscious of the least Demerit towards so good and generous a Patron, as I have ever found you: For my own Part, I can truly say,

demerit = blame

Nil conscire sibi nullæ pallescere culpæ.

nil ... culpæ = To be conscious of no guilt, to turn pale at no charge

[108] And therefore, as this Proceeding is so contrary to your usual Goodness, which I have often experienced, and more especially in the Loan of this Money for which I am now arrested; I cannot avoid thinking some malicious Persons have insinuated false Suggestions against me; intending thereby, to eradicate those Seeds of Affection which I have hardly travailed to sowe in your Heart, and which promised to produce such excellent Fruit. If I have any ways offended you, Sir, be graciously pleased to let me know it, and likewise to point out to me, the Means whereby I may reinstate myself in your Favour: For next to him, whom the Great themselves must bow down before, I know none to whom I shall bend with more Lowliness than your Honour. Permit me to subscribe myself,

subscribe = sign

Honoured Sir,
Your most obedient, and most obliged,
And most dutiful humble Servant,
Arthur Williams.

[109] The Fate of poor Mr. Williams shocked me more than my own: For, as the Beggar’s Opera says, Nothing moves one so much as a great Man in Distress. And to see a Man of his Learning forced to submit so low, to one whom I have often heard him say, he despises, is, I think, a most affecting Circumstance. I write all this to you, Dear Mamma, at the Inn where I lie this first Night, and as I shall send it immediately, by the Post, it will be in Town a little before me. — Don’t let my coming away vex you: For, as my Master will be in Town in a few Days, I shall have an Opportunity of seeing him; and let the worst come to the worst, I shall be sure of my Settlement at last. Which is all, from

affecting = producing emotions
post = mail
vex = bother

Your dutiful Daughter,

[110] P. S. Just as I was going to send this away a Letter is come from my Master, desiring me to return, with a large Number of Promises. — I have him now as sure as a Gun, as you will perceive by the Letter itself, which I have inclosed to you.

[111] This Letter is unhappily lost, as well as the next which Shamela wrote, and which contained an Account of all the Proceedings previous to her Marriage. The only remaining one which I could preserve, seems to have been written about a Week after the Ceremony was perform’d, and is as follows:

unhappily = unfortunately

Shamela Booby to Henrietta Maria Honora Andrews


[112] In my last I left off at our sitting down to Supper on our Wedding Night,* where I behaved with as much Bashfulness as the purest Virgin in the World could have done. The most difficult Task for me was to blush; however, by holding my Breath, and squeezing my Cheeks with my Handkerchief, I did pretty well. My Husband was extreamly eager and impatient to have Supper removed, after which he gave me leave to retire into my Closet for a Quarter of an Hour, which was very agreeable to me; for I employed that time in writing to Mr. Williams, who, as I informed you in my last, is released, and presented to the Living, upon the Death of the last Parson. Well, at last I went to Bed, and my Husband soon leap’d in after me; where I shall only assure you, I acted my Part in such a manner, that no Bridegroom was ever better satisfied with his Bride’s Virginity. And to confess the Truth, I might have been well enough satisfied too, if I had never been acquainted with Parson Williams.

agreeable = pleasant
living = job running a church

* This was the Letter which is lost.

[113] O what regard Men who marry Widows should have to the Qualifications of their former Husbands.

[114] We did not rise the next Morning till eleven, and then we sat down to Breakfast; I eat two Slices of Bread and Butter, and drank three Dishes of Tea, with a good deal of Sugar, and we both look’d very silly. After Breakfast we drest our selves, he in a blue Camblet Coat, very richly lac’d, and Breeches of the same; with a Paduasoy Waistcoat, laced with Silver; and I, in one of my Mistress’s Gowns. I will have finer when I come to Town. We then took a Walk in the Garden, and he kissed me several times, and made me a Present of 100 Guineas, which I gave away before Night to the Servants, twenty to one, and ten to another, and so on.

eat = ate
camblet, fancy fabric
paduasoy = another fancy fabric
waistcoat = vest
100 guineas = £105, enough to live on for years

[115] We eat a very hearty Dinner, and about eight in the Evening went to Bed again. He is prodigiously fond of me; but I don’t like him half so well as my dear Williams. The next Morning we rose earlier, and I asked him for another hundred Guineas, and he gave them me. I sent fifty to Parson Williams, and the rest I gave away, two Guineas to a Beggar, and three to a Man riding along the Road, and the rest to other People. I long to be in London that I may have an Opportunity of laying some out, as well as giving away. I believe I shall buy every thing I see. What signifies having Money if one doth not spend it.

eat = ate
signifies = matters

[116] The next Day, as soon as I was up, I asked him for another Hundred. Why, my Dear, says he, I don’t grudge you any thing, but how was it possible for you to lay out the other two Hundred here. La! Sir, says I, I hope I am not obliged to give you an Account of every Shilling; Troth, that will be being your Servant still. I assure you, I married you with no such view, besides did not you tell me I should be Mistress of your Estate? And I will be too. For tho’ I brought no Fortune, I am as much your Wife as if I had brought a Million — yes, but, my Dear, says he, if you had brought a Million, you would spend it all at this rate; besides, what will your Expences be in London, if they are so great here. Truly, says I, Sir, I shall live like other Ladies of my Fashion; and if you think, because I was a Servant, that I shall be contented to be governed as you please, I will shew you, you are mistaken. If you had not cared to marry me, you might have let it alone. I did not ask you, nor I did not court you. Madam, says he, I don’t value a hundred Guineas to oblige you; but this is a Spirit which I did not expect in you, nor did I ever see any Symptoms of it before. O but Times are altered now, I am your Lady, Sir; yes to my Sorrow, says he, I am afraid — and I am afraid to my Sorrow too: For if you begin to use me in this manner already, I reckon you will beat me before a Month’s at an end. I am sure if you did, it would injure me less than this barbarous Treatment; upon which I burst into Tears, and pretended to fall into a Fit. This frighted him out of his wits, and he called up the Servants. Mrs. Jewkes immediately came in, and she and another of the Maids fell heartily to rubbing my Temples, and holding Smelling-Bottles to my Nose. Mrs. Jewkes told him she fear’d I should never recover, upon which he began to beat his Breasts, and cried out, O my dearest Angel, curse on my passionate Temper, I have destroy’d her, I have destroy’d her! — would she had spent my whole Estate rather than this had happened. Speak to me, my Love, I will melt myself into Gold for thy Pleasure. At last having pretty well tired my self with counterfeiting, and imagining I had continu’d long enough for my purpose in the sham Fit, I began to move my Eyes, to loosen my Teeth, and to open my Hands, which Mr. Booby no sooner perceived than he embraced and kissed me with the eagerest Extacy, asked my Pardon on his Knees for what I had suffered through his Folly and Perverseness, and without more Questions fetched me the Money. I fancy I have effectually prevented any farther Refusals or Inquiry into my Expences. It would be hard indeed, that a Woman who marries a Man only for his Money, should be debarred from spending it.

shew = show
oblige = make happy

[117] Well, after all things were quiet, we sat down to Breakfast, yet I resolved not to smile once, nor to say one good-natured, or good-humoured Word on any Account.

[118] Nothing can be more prudent in a Wife, than a sullen Backwardness to Reconciliation; it makes a Husband fearful of offending by the Length of his Punishment.

prudent = wise, well thought out
backwardness = resistance

[119] When we were drest, the Coach was by my Desire ordered for an Airing, which we took in it. A long Silence prevailed on both Sides, tho’ he constantly squeezed my Hand, and kissed me, and used other Familiarities, which I peevishly permitted. At last, I opened my Mouth first. — And so, says I, you are sorry you are married; — Pray, my Dear, says he, forget what I said in a Passion. Passion, says I, is apter to discover our Thoughts than to teach us to counterfeit. Well, says he, whether you will believe me or no, I solemnly vow, I would not change thee for the richest Woman in the Universe. No, I warrant you, says I; and yet you could refuse me a nasty hundred Pound. At these very Words, I saw Mr. Williams riding as fast as he could across a Field; and I looked out, and saw a Lease of Greyhounds coursing a Hare, which they presently killed, and I saw him alight, and take it from them.

pray = please
passion = emotion
lease = set of three
coursing = hunting

[120] My Husband ordered Robin to drive towards him, and looked horribly out of humour, which I presently imputed to Jealousy. So I began with him first; for that is the wisest way. La, Sir, says I; what makes you look so Angry and Grim? Doth the Sight of Mr. Williams give you all this Uneasiness? I am sure, I would never have married a Woman of whom I had so bad an Opinion, that I must be uneasy at every Fellow she looks at. My Dear, answer’d he, you injure me extremely, you was not in my Thoughts, nor, indeed, could be, while they were covered by so morose a Countenance; I am justly angry with that Parson, whole Family hath been raised from the Dunghill by ours; and who hath received from me twenty Kindnesses, and yet is not contented to destroy the Game in all other Places, which I freely give him leave to do; but hath the Impudence to pursue a few Hares, which I am desirous to preserve, round about this little Coppice. Look, my Dear, pray look, says he; I believe he is going to turn Higler. To confess the Truth, he had no less than three ty’d up behind his Horse, and a fourth he held in his Hand.

out of humor = in a bad mood
morose = glum
countenance = appearance
impudence = nerve
coppice = low woods
higler = retailer

[121] Pshaw, says I, I wish all the Hares in the Country were d—d (the Parson himself chid me afterwards for using the Word, tho’ it was in his Service.) Here’s a Fuss, indeed, about a nasty little pitiful Creature, that is not half so useful as a Cat. You shall not persuade me, that a Man of your Understanding, would quarrel with a Clergyman for such a Trifle. No, no, I am the Hare, for whom poor Parson Williams is persecuted; and Jealousy is the Motive. If you had married one of your Quality Ladies, she would have had Lovers by dozens, she would so; but because you have taken a Servant-Maid, forsooth! you are jealous if she but looks (and then I began to Water) at a poor P—a—a—rson in his Pu—u—u—lpit, and then out burst a Flood of Tears.

chid = scolded

[122] My Dear, said he, for Heaven’s sake dry your Eyes, and don’t let him be a Witness of your Tears, which I should be sorry to think might be imputed to my Unkindness; I have already given you some Proofs that I am not jealous of this Parson; I will now give you a very strong one: For I will mount my Horse, and you shall take Williams into the Coach. You may be sure, this Motion pleased me, yet I pretended to make as light of it as possible, and told him, I was sorry his Behaviour had made some such glaring Instance, necessary to the perfect clearing my Character.

[123] He soon came up to Mr. Williams, who had attempted to ride off, but was prevented by one of our Horsemen, whom my Husband sent to stop him. When we met, my Husband asked him how he did with a very good-humoured Air, and told him he perceived he had found good Sport that Morning. He answered pretty moderate, Sir; for that he had found the three Hares tied on to the Saddle dead in a Ditch (winking on me at the same time) and added he was sorry there was such a Rot among them.

[124] Well, says Mr. Booby, if you please, Mr. Williams, you shall come in and ride with my Wife. For my own part, I will mount on Horseback; for it is fine Weather, and besides, it doth not become me to loll in a Chariot, whilst a Clergyman rides on Horseback.

loll = lounge

[125] At which Words, Mr. Booby leap’d out, and Mr. Williams leap’d in, in an Instant, telling my Husband as he mounted, he was glad to see such a Reformation, and that if he continued his Respect to the Clergy, he might assure himself of Blessings from above.

[126] It was now that the Airing began to grow pleasant to me. Mr. Williams, who never had but one Fault, viz. that he generally smells of Tobacco, was now perfectly sweet; for he had for two Days together enjoined himself as a Penance, not to smoke till he had kissed my Lips. I will loosen you from that Obligation, says I, and observing my Husband looking another way, I gave him a charming Kiss, and then he asked me Questions concerning my Wedding-night; this actually made me blush: I vow I did not think it had been in him.

[127] As he went along, he began to discourse very learnedly, and told me the Flesh and the Spirit were too distinct Matters, which had not the least relation to each other. That all immaterial Substances (those were his very Words) such as Love, Desire, and so forth, were guided by the Spirit: But fine Houses, large Estates, Coaches, and dainty Entertainments were the Product of the Flesh. Therefore, says he, my Dear, you have two Husbands, one the Object of your Love, and to satisfy your Desire; the other the Object of your Necessity, and to furnish you with those other Conveniencies. (I am sure I remember every Word, for he repeated it three Times; O he is very good whenever I desire him to repeat a thing to me three times he always doth it!) as then the Spirit is preferable to the Flesh, so am I preferable to your other Husband, to whom I am antecedent in Time likewise. I say these things, my Dear, (said he) to satisfie your Conscience. A Fig for my Conscience, said I, when shall I meet you again in the Garden?

discourse = lecture
antecedent = coming before

[128] My Husband now rode up to the Chariot, and asked us how we did — I hate the Sight of him. Mr. Williams answered very well, at your Service. They then talked of the Weather, and other things, I wished him gone again, every Minute; but all in vain I had no more Opportunity of conversing with Mr. Williams.

[129] Well; at Dinner Mr. Booby was very civil to Mr. Williams, and told him he was sorry for what had happened, and would make him sufficient Amends, if in his power, and desired him to accept of a Note for fifty Pounds; which he was so good to receive, notwithstanding all that had past; and told Mr. Booby, he hop’d he would be forgiven, and that he would pray for him.

civil = polite

[130] We make a charming Fool of him, i’fackins; Times are finely altered, I have entirely got the better of him, and am resolved never to give him his Humour.

i’fackins, a mild oath

[131] O how foolish it is in a Woman, who hath once got the Reins into her own Hand, ever to quit them again.

quit = let go of

[132] After Dinner Mr. Williams drank the Church et cætera; and smiled on me; when my Husband’s Turn came, he drank et cætera and the Church; for which he was very severely rebuked by Mr. Williams; it being a high Crime, it seems, to name any thing before the Church. I do not know what Et cetera is, but I believe it is something concerning chusing Pallament Men; for I asked if it was not a Health to Mr. Booby’s Borough, and Mr. Williams with a hearty Laugh answered, Yes, Yes, it is his Borough we mean.

drank = proposed a toast to

[133] I slipt out as soon as I could, hoping Mr. Williams would finish the Squire, as I have heard him say he could easily do, and come to me; but it happened quite otherwise, for in about half an Hour, Booby came to me, and told me he had left Mr. Williams, the Mayor of his Borough, and two or three Aldermen heartily at it, and asked me if I would go hear Williams sing a Catch, which, added he, he doth to a Miracle.

catch = song for several voices

[134] Every Opportunity of seeing my dear Williams, was agreeable to me, which indeed I scarce had at this time; for when we returned, the whole Corporation were got together, and the Room was in a Cloud of Tobacco; Parson Williams was at the upper End of the Table, and he hath pure round cherry Cheeks, and his Face look’d all the World to nothing like the Sun in a Fog. If the Sun had a Pipe in his Mouth, there would be no Difference.

agreeable to = pleasant for
corporation = town leaders

[135] I began now to grow uneasy, apprehending I should have no more of Mr. Williams’s Company that Evening, and not at all caring for my Husband, I advised him to sit down and drink for his Country with the rest of the Company; but he refused, and desired me to give him some Tea; swearing nothing made him so sick, as to hear a Parcel of Scoundrels, roaring forth the Principles of honest Men over their Cups, when, says he, I know most of them are such empty Blockheads, that they don’t know their right Hand from their left; and that Fellow there, who hath talked so much of Shipping, at the left Side of the Parson, in whom they all place a Confidence, if I don’t take care, will sell them to my Adversary.

apprehending = fearing

[136] I don’t know why I mention this Stuff to you; for I am sure I know nothing about Pollitricks, more than Parson Williams tells me; who says that the Court-side are in the right on’t, and that every Christian ought to be on the same with the Bishops.

[137] When we had finished our Tea, we walked in the Garden till it was dark, and then my Husband proposed, instead of returning to the Company, (which I desired, that I might see Parson Williams again,) to sup in another Room by our selves, which, for fear of making him jealous, and considering too, that Parson Williams would be pretty far gone, I was obliged to consent to.

[138] O! what a devilish thing it is, for a Woman to be obliged to go to bed to a spindle-shanked young Squire, she doth not like, when there is a jolly Parson in the same House she is fond of.

spindle-shanked = long-legged

[139] In the Morning I grew very peevish, and in the Dumps, notwithstanding all he could say or do to please me. I exclaimed against the Priviledge of Husbands, and vowed I would not be pulled and tumbled about. At last he hit on the only Method, which could have brought me into Humour, and proposed to me a Journey to London, within a few Days. This you may easily guess pleased me; for besides the Desire which I have of shewing my self forth, of buying fine Cloaths, Jewels, Coaches, Houses, and ten thousand other fine things, Parson Williams is, it seems, going thither too, to be instuted.

peevish = irritable
shewing = showing
thither = to there
instuted, i.e., given his new church position

[140] O! what a charming journey I shall have; for I hope to keep the dear Man in the Chariot with me all the way; and that foolish Booby (for that is the Name Mr. Williams hath set him) will ride on Horseback.

[141] So as I shall have an Opportunity of seeing you so shortly, I think I will mention no more Matters to you now. O I had like to have forgot one very material thing; which is that it will look horribly, for a Lady of my Quality and Fashion, to own such a Woman as you for my Mother. Therefore we must meet in private only, and if you will never claim me, nor mention me to any one, I will always allow you what is very handsome. Parson Williams hath greatly advised me in this; and says, he thinks I should do very well to lay out twenty Pounds, and set you up in a little Chandler’s Shop: but you must remember all my Favours to you will depend on your Secrecy; for I am positively resolved, I will not be known to be your Daughter; and if you tell any one so, I shall deny it with all my Might, which Parson Williams says, I may do with a safe Conscience, being now a married Woman. So I rest

quality = social rank
chandler = candle maker
resolved = determined

Your humble Servant,

[142] P. S. The strangest Fancy hath enter’d into my Booby’s Head, that can be imagined. He is resolved to have a Book made about him and me; he proposed it to Mr. Williams, and offered him a Reward for his Pains; but he says he never writ any thing of that kind, but will recommend my Husband, when he comes to Town, to a Parson who does that Sort of Business for Folks, one who can make my Husband, and me, and Parson Williams, to be all great People; for he can make black white, it seems. Well, but they say my Name is to be altered, Mr. Williams, says the first Syllabub hath too comical a Sound, so it is to be changed into Pamela; I own I can’t imagine what can be said; for to be sure I shan’t confess any of my Secrets to them, and so I whispered Parson Williams about that, who answered me, I need not give my self any Trouble; for the Gentleman who writes Lives, never asked more than a few Names of his Customers, and that he made all the rest out of his own Head; you mistake, Child, said he, if you apprehend any Truths are to be delivered. So far on the contrary, if you had not been acquainted with the Name, you would not have known it to be your own History. I have seen a Piece of his Performance, where the Person, whose Life was written, could he have risen from the Dead again, would not have even suspected he had been aimed at, unless by the Title of the Book, which was superscribed with his Name. Well, all these Matters are strange to me, yet I can’t help laughing, to think I shall see my self in a printed Book.

fancy = imagined thought
pains = trouble
apprehend = think
superscribed = signed

[143] So much for Mrs. Shamela, or Pamela, which I have taken Pains to transcribe from the Originals, sent down by her Mother in a Rage, at the Proposal in her last Letter. The Originals themselves are in my hands, and shall be communicated to you, if you think proper to make them publick; and certainly they will have their Use. The Character of Shamela, will make young Gentlemen wary how they take the most fatal Step both to themselves and Families, by youthful, hasty and improper Matches; indeed, they may assure themselves, that all such Prospects of Happiness are vain and delusive, and that they sacrifice all the solid Comforts of their Lives, to a very transient Satisfaction of a Passion, which how hot so ever it be, will be soon cooled; and when cooled, will afford them nothing but Repentance.

[144] Can any thing be more miserable, than to be despised by the whole World, and that must certainly be the Consequence; to be despised by the Person obliged, which it is more than probable will be the Consequence, and of which, we see an Instance in Shamela; and lastly to (despise one’s self, which must be the Result of any Reflection on so weak and unworthy a Choice.

[145] As to the Character of Parson Williams, I am sorry it is a true one. Indeed those who do not know him, will hardly believe it so; but what Scandal doth it throw on the Order to have one bad Member, unless they endeavour to screen and protect him? In him you see a Picture of almost every Vice exposed in nauseous and odious Colours; and if a Clergyman would ask me by what Pattern he should form himself, I would say, Be the reverse of Williams: So far therefore he may be of use to the Clergy themselves, and though God forbid there should be many Williams’s amongst them, you and I are too honest to pretend, that the Body wants no Reformation.

wants = needs

[146] To say the Truth, I think no greater Instance of the contrary can be given than that which appears in your Letter. The confederating to cry up a nonsensical ridiculous Book, (I believe the most extensively so of any ever yet published,) and to be so weak and so wicked as to pretend to make it a Matter of Religion; whereas so far from having any moral Tendency, the Book is by no means innocent: For,

confederating = coming together

[147] First, There are many lascivious Images in it, very improper to be laid before the Youth of either Sex.

lascivious = provoking lust

[148] 2dly, Young Gentlemen are here taught, that to marry their Mother’s Chambermaids, and to indulge the Passion of Lust, at the Expence of Reason and Common Sense, is an Act of Religion, Virtue, and Honour; and, indeed the surest Road to Happiness.

[149] 3dly, All Chambermaids are strictly enjoyned to look out after their Masters; they are taught to use little Arts to that purpose: And lastly, are countenanced in Impertinence to their Superiors, and in betraying the Secrets of Families.

enjoyned = ordered
arts = tricks
countenanced = trained
impertinence = rudeness

[150] 4thly, In the Character of Mrs. Jewkes Vice is rewarded; whence every Housekeeper may learn the Usefulness of pimping and bawding for her Master.

whence = from which

[151] 5thly, In Parson Williams, who is represented as a faultless Character, we see a busy Fellow, intermeddling with the private Affairs of his Patron, whom he is very ungratefully forward to expose and condemn on every Occasion.

[152] Many more Objections might, if I had Time or Inclination, be made to this Book; but I apprehend, what hath been said is sufficient to persuade you of the use which may arise from publishing an Antidote to this Poison. I have therefore sent you the Copies of these Papers, and if you have Leisure to communicate them to the Press, I will transmit you the Originals, tho’ I assure you, the Copies are exact.

[153] I shall only add, that there is not the least Foundation for any thing which is said of Lady Davers, or any of the other Ladies; all that is merely to be imputed to the Invention of the Biographer. I have particularly enquired after Lady Davers, and dont hear Mr. Booby hath such a Relation, or that there is indeed any such Person existing. I am,

imputed = credited
invention = imagination

Dear Sir,
Most faithfully and respectfully,
Your humble Servant,
J. Oliver.

Parson Tickletext to Parson Oliver.

Dear Sir,

[154] I have read over the History of Shamela, as it appears in those authentick Copies you favour’d me with, and am very much ashamed of the Character, which I was hastily prevailed on to give that Book. I am equally angry with the pert Jade herself, and with the Author of her Life: For I scarce know yet to whom I chiefly owe an Imposition, which hath been so general, that if Numbers could defend me from Shame, I should have no Reason to apprehend it.

prevailed on = persuaded
pert jade = impolite slut
imposition = deceit
general = widespread
apprehend = fear

[155] As I have your implied Leave to publish, what you so kindly sent me, I shall not wait for the Originals, as you assure me the Copies are exact, and as I am really impatient to do what I think a serviceable Act of Justice to the World.

[156] Finding by the End of her last Letter, that the little Hussy was in Town, I made it pretty much my Business to enquire after her, but with no effect hitherto: As soon as I succeed in this Enquiry, you shall hear what Discoveries I can learn. You will pardon the Shortness of this Letter, as you shall be troubled with a much longer very soon: And believe me,

hitherto = so far

Dear Sir,
Your most faithful Servant,
Tho. Tickletext.

[157] P. S. Since I writ, I have a certain Account, that Mr. Booby hath caught his Wife in bed with Williams; hath turned her off, and is prosecuting him in the spiritual Court.

spiritual court = ecclesiastical court, set up to judge church matters



Pope used the malicious nickname “Fanny” for John, Lord Hervey. Fielding picks up on this, and remembers that Conyers Middleton dedicated his Life of Cicero to Hervey.
Mr. Nash
Richard “Beau” Nash (1674–1761), a social host and master of ceremonies at the fashionable spas at Bath.
Conny Keyber
The fictitious name alludes to the actor, playwright, and theatre-manager Colley Cibber (1671–1757), whose autobiography, An Apology for the Life of Mr. Colley Cibber, appeared the year before Shamela. It also hints at Conyers Middleton (1683–1750), whose Life of Cicero was very popular, though it was later shown to be largely plagiarized.
“Undue or inflated praise or commendation, uttered or written in order to influence public estimation; an extravagantly laudatory advertisement or review of a book, a performer or performance, a tradesman’s goods, or the like” (OED).
His Honour
An ironic reference to Prime Minister Robert Walpole (1676–1745), one of Fielding’s favorite satirical targets.
His L——p
“Lordship,” referring to Edmund Gibson (1669–1748), Bishop of London, and a supporter of Walpole. The “—— letter” is a pastoral letter, ostensibly meant for his parishioners but often published for a larger audience.
Doctrine of Grace
The notion that salvation depends not on good works, but on the state of one’s soul.
The Author of the famous Apology
A reference to Colley Cibber and his Apology for the Life of Mr. Colley Cibber.
Ciceronian Eloquence
Cicero was the most famous Roman orator, and offered the eighteenth-century a model of eloquence.
Gin was regarded as a dangerous drug in the eighteenth century, and the government passed a series of laws to curtail it. When Fielding wrote, the most recent was Sir Joseph Jekyll’s act of 1736, which imposed a tax of £1 on each gallon of gin and raised the cost of a retailer’s license to £50.
Sold Oranges
Oranges were sold as refreshment at London’s theatres. The women who sold them — “orange girls” or “orange wenches,” as they were called — were proverbially lower-class and often supposed to be immoral.
Fan and Pepper-Box in Drury-Lane
An allusion to the vulgar peppered, “infected with the venereal disease” (Francis Grose, A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue). Drury Lane was famous for its brothels.
Mr. Whitefield’s Sermons
George Whitefield (1714–70) was an evangelistic preacher, and one of the leading voices in the Methodist movement.
Rochester’s Poems
John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester (1647–80), was a poet known for his bawdy, even pornographic, poetry.
"Hartshorn is a drug [made from] the whole horns of the common male deer, which fall off every year. . . . It is used to bring people out of faintings by its pungency, holding it under the nose, and pouring down some drops of it in water" (Johnson).
Be not Righteous over-much
From the Bible, Ecclesiastes 7:16. It was the text of one of George Whitefield’s sermons. It should be obvious that “Be not righteous overmuch” does not mean “Don’t be too good; it’s okay to sin.”
The Whole Duty of Man
The Whole Duty of Man, probably by Richard Allestree (1619–81), a very popular work of Christian devotion first published in 1658. It went through dozens of editions. The Methodists often attacked it for giving inadequate attention to justification by faith.
The sweetest Morsel
Robert South, a popular Christian preacher, referred in a sermon to “that luscious Morsel of Revenge!” South, naturally, went on to condemn revenge.
The dear Monysyllable
The “dear Monysyllable” — that is, monosyllable — was a fashionable euphemism for, erm, a one-syllable word for female genitals.
Shamela’s reading list is strangely eclectic. A Full Answer is Thomas Bowyer’s True Account of the Nature, End, and Efficacy of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper: Being a Full Answer to the Plain Account. The Whole Duty of Man is mentioned above. Atalantis is Delarivier Manley’s Secret Memoirs and Manners of Several Persons of Quality, of Both Sexes: From the New Atalantis, an Island in the Mediteranean (1713), a scandalous novel. Venus in the Cloister; or, The Nun in Her Smock was the English translation of a French work of erotica (and clerical satire). God’s Dealings is A Short Account of God’s Dealings with the Reverend Mr. George Whitefield, from his Infancy, to the Time of his Entring into Holy Orders: Written by Himself (1740). Orfus and Eurydice probably refers to Lewis Theobald’s Orpheus and Eurydice: An Opera (1740).
The Beggar’s Opera
The Beggar’s Opera, by John Gay, a comic “ballad opera.”
Obviously a malapropism for syllable, but syllabub is “A drink or dish made of milk (freq. as drawn from the cow) or cream, curdled by the admixture of wine, cider, or other acid, and often sweetened and flavoured” (OED).