[Richardon] makes Pamela tell her own story in a series of letters and diaries. But to tell the story effectively in this way, it is necessary to introduce into the letters and journals a good deal of information which naturally ought not to appear in them. The heroine, for example, is to appear lovely, and to have her praises sung. She is therefore forced to recite her own praises, and we find her making entries like this: “Mr. Peters whispered Lady Jones, as my master told me afterwards, “Did you ever see such excellence, such prudence and discretion?’ ‘Never in my life,’ said the other good lady. ‘ She will adorn,’ she was pleased to say, ‘her distinction.’ ‘Ay,’ says Mr. Peters, ‘she would adorn any station in life.’ ”Again, Lady Danvers says to her waiting-maid, of Pamela, who is present, and who is her 6ister-in-law: “‘Did you ever hear anything prettier, more unaffected, sincere, free, easy?’ ‘No, madam,’ says the waiting-maid, ‘never in my life.’” Pamela is represented as a person of good sense and modesty, yet she repeats all this fulsome praise with the utmost simplicity. It was to some extent necessitated by the form of narrative which the author adopted.

[II, 163-64]


Dallas, Eneas Sweetland . The Gay Science. 2 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1866. A HathiTrust online version of a copy in the Harvard University Library. Web. 30 April 2022.

Created 3 May 2022

ast modified 23 January 2024