AUTHOR’S ORIGINAL PREFACE TO VOLUME II
The First part of Pamela met with a success greatly exceeding the most sanguine expectations: and the Editor hopes, that the Letters which compose this Part will be found equally written to nature, avoiding all romantic nights, improbable surprises, and irrational machinery; and the passions are touched, where requisite; and rules, equally new and practicable, inculcated throughout the whole, for the general conduct of life; and, therefore, he flatters himself, that they may expect the good fortune, which few continuations have met with, to be judged not unworthy the First Part; nor disproportioned to the more exalted condition in which Pamela was destined to shine as an affectionate wife, a faithful friend, a polite and kind neighbour, an indulgent mother, and a beneficent mistress; after having in the former Part supported the character of a dutiful child, a spotless virgin, and a modest and amiable bride.
The reader will easily see, that in so great a choice of materials, as must arise from a multitude of important subjects, in a married life, to such geniuses and friendships as those of Mr. and Mrs. B. the Editor’s greatest difficulty was how to bring them within the compass which he was determined not to exceed. And it having been left to his own choice, in what manner to digest and publish the letters, and where to close the work, he had intended, at first, in regard to his other avocations, to have carried the piece no farther than the First Part.
It may be expected, therefore, that he should enter into an explanation of the reasons whereby he was provoked into a necessity of altering his intention. But he is willing to decline saying any thing upon so well-known a subject.
The Editor has been much pressed with importunities and conjectures, in relation to the person and family of the gentleman, who are the principal persons in the work; all he thinks himself at liberty to say, or is necessary to be said, is only to repeat what has already been hinted, that the story has its foundation in truth; and that there was a necessity, for obvious reasons, to vary and disguise some facts and circumstances, as also the names of persons, places, &c.
My dear father and mother,
We arrived here last night, highly pleased with our journey, and the occasion of it. May God bless you both with long life and health, to enjoy your sweet farm, and pretty dwelling, which is just what I wished it to be. And don’t make your grateful hearts too uneasy in the possession of it, by your modest diffidence of your own unworthiness: for, at the same time, that it is what will do honour to the best of men, it is not so very extraordinary, considering his condition, as to cause any one to censure it as the effect of a too partial and injudicious kindness for the parents of one whom he delighteth to honour.