In addition to a couple of Anti-Pamelas which came out shortly after Richardson’s work, Shamela appeared, “in which, the many notorious Falshoods and Misreprsentations of a Book called Pamela, Are exposed and refuted; and all the matchless Arts of that young Politician, set in a true and just Light.” Henry Fielding, the generally accepted author, uses it not only as a poke at Richardson, but at some of his other rivals as well, and certainly there are too many jokes in here for a 21st century reader to understand without copious notes or research. But the jabs at Pamela alone are plenty good to appreciate.
Shamela is even more epistolary than the original, being an epistolary story framed in an epistolary story, with some laudatory letters at the beginning by the “author,” “editor,” and “John Puff” thrown in for good measure. After Parson Tickletext sends a copy of Pamela to Parson Oliver, recommending it, Oliver shoots back something to set him straight:
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. … 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.
And notwithstanding our Author’s Professions of Modesty, which in my Youth I have heard at
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