I’m reading Pamela for the first time in about 10 years. As some of you know, I read Clarissa about once every two-three years. Pamela is the Gateway Drug; once you try it and like it, you get curious, you want to try the harder stuff, Clarissa is the next choice and before you know it you are venturing into Sir Charles Grandison.
I confess to having read Sir Charles Grandison all the way to the end. I don’t know if I will ever do that again; life is short, and that book is very very long. Clarissa is only very long and it has more soul in it: Sir Charles G. is a bit of a wet noodle if you ask me. But I love Clarissa, and I love Richardson’s handling of the character of Lovelace, how he really takes him apart. Sometimes I think I read that book just to get to those amazing scenes after Lovelace has raped Clarissa, when she is so powerful in her indignation, he thinks he’s going to be able to bully her at last but no, nothing frightens her, she’s just magnificent.
I’m feeling the old craving just beginning to warm up.
Meanwhile I picked up a copy of Pamela, just for a taste of that buzz of days past. I started reading it and
in the midst of our poverty and misfortunes, we have trusted in God's goodness, and been honest, and doubt not to be happy hereafter, if we continue to be good, though our lot is hard here; but the loss of our dear child's virtue would be a grief that we could not bear, and would bring our grey hairs to the grave at once.