Short summary - Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded - Samuel Richardson

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Short summary - Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded
Samuel Richardson

Pamela, who had barely reached the age of fifteen, the daughter of a poor but virtuous married couple, Andrews, said in a letter to her parents that the noble lady, in whose service she had spent the last few years of her life, had died from a serious illness. Her nobility and good attitude towards Pamela was expressed not only in the fact that she taught the girl to read and count, but also did not forget about her future on her deathbed, entrusting the care of Pamela to her son. The young gentleman was so sympathetic to the girl that he endowed her with a significant sum for the peasant daughter - four golden guineas and silver - which she now gives to her parents so that they can pay off at least part of the debts. In addition, he deigned to read her letter to make sure that there were no errors (in the future, the owner began to «hunt» for letters, because he didn’t want to, to enlighten a naive girl by interpreting the true meaning of his signs of attention). And since at the same time the young Esquire held Pamela by the hand and offered to use the library of her deceased mother in the future, the naive girl was assured of his infinite kindness. It followed from the parents' response that the kindness and generosity of the young master was extremely alarming, and they urged Pamela to follow only the path of virtue. The spouses Andrews, having consulted with one very worthy lady about the behavior of the young owner, ask the daughter to remember that the doors of their house are always open for her if she considers that her honor is in the slightest danger. In subsequent letters, the girl talks about the good attitude of herself to everyone living in the house. So, the host’s sister who came to visit - Lady Devers, noting the beauty of Pamela, gives her good advice - to keep men at a distance. The kind lady, in addition, promised to take the young beauty to her house. The same thoughts, at the instigation of his master, inspired Pamela and other inhabitants of the house. Only later did it become clear that, allegedly caring for the girl’s well-being, Mr. B. thinks only about his interests, far from preserving the girl’s honor. The girl does not miss a single detail from her relationship with the master and other servants in the house. Parents learn about Mr. B.'s gifts - dresses, underwear, handkerchiefs (a rarity in the life of even wealthy people of those times) and even aprons from the Dutch canvas. The admiration of the young maid by his master was replaced by wariness, and then fear, after Mr. B. ceased to hide his intentions. Pamela remembered Lady Devers' offer and wanted to move to her house, but the master, whose admiration finally passed, categorically opposed, while the falsehood of his arguments was obvious. The most bitter fears of the parents were confirmed. For a long time, even during the life of his mother, the young master drew attention to the charming maid and decided to make her his mistress. Pamela’s letters began to disappear, and the owner and his servants tried to convince Pamela that she should not correspond with her parents, on the ridiculous pretext that she was harming Mr. B.’s family, informing her relatives about what was happening. Therefore, many details of what happened to her are captured not in letters, but in the diary. drew attention to a lovely servant and decided to make her his mistress. Pamela’s letters began to disappear, and the owner and his servants tried to convince Pamela that she should not correspond with her parents, on the ridiculous pretext that she was harming Mr. B.’s family, informing her relatives about what was happening. Therefore, many details of what happened to her are captured not in letters, but in the diary. drew attention to a lovely servant and decided to make her his mistress. Pamela’s letters began to disappear, and the owner and his servants tried to convince Pamela that she should not correspond with her parents, on the ridiculous pretext that she was harming Mr. B.’s family, informing her relatives about what was happening. Therefore, many details of what happened to her are captured not in letters, but in the diary.


Pamela was ready to leave immediately. Mrs. Jarvis, the housekeeper, unable to persuade the girl to stay, volunteered to accompany her as soon as she could find the time. The girl put off her departure. Over time, it began to seem to her that her piety and bashfulness softened the cruel heart of Mr. B., as he not only agreed to let her go, but also placed at her disposal a traveling carriage and coachman to accompany him to the place where Pamela was to meet his father. The girl collected all the things ever given to her by the late mistress and the young master, so that the housekeeper checked the contents of her nodules. She herself changed into that simple peasant dress in which she had once arrived in Bedfordshire. Mr. B., overheard the conversation of both women, took advantage of the situation, later accusing the girl of theft, hoping thereby to keep Pamela to himself. Later, the girl finds out about the other dishonest acts of the Esquire, for example, about the fate of Miss Sally Godfrey, seduced by Mr. B.


Pamela's diary allows you to find out all the details of how she ended up in the hands of a former innkeeper - Mrs. Juks, Mr. B.'s housekeeper at his Lincolnshire estate. On the way from Bedfordshire (where Pamela's story began) to the place of meeting with her father, the girl was forced to stop in a tavern, where an angry woman was already waiting for her arrival. She did not hide that she was following the instructions of her master, Mr. B. In vain did Pamela seek protection from her neighbors and all those who seemed to appreciate her piety and modesty. No one wanted to defend her, fearing the revenge of a rich and therefore omnipotent Esquire. Those who dared to support her, such as the young pastor, Mr. Williams, were persecuted and persecuted. He kept correspondence with Pamela and was ready to help the girl at all costs. Jux informed the owner of all the plans of Pamela and the pastor. The priest was first subjected to brutal attack, and then was arrested on false charges for non-payment of a debt. To prevent the possible escape of Pamela, the cruel Jux took all the money from the girl, robbed her shoes for a day, and put her to bed at night between herself and the maid. One can only imagine the grief of the father who did not find his daughter in the appointed place. Later, Mr. B. wrote to the girl’s parents and, not hiding his intentions, offered his father and mother money for his daughter. One can only imagine the grief of the father who did not find his daughter in the appointed place. Later, Mr. B. wrote to the girl’s parents and, not hiding his intentions, offered his father and mother money for his daughter. One can only imagine the grief of the father who did not find his daughter in the appointed place. Later, Mr. B. wrote to the girl’s parents and, not hiding his intentions, offered his father and mother money for his daughter.

About the mental state of John Andrews, the father of Pamela, we learn from the author's reasoning, preceding the girl’s diary. Being locked up, Pamela can only rely on God's help, and she does not stop praying. But a new misfortune awaits her - returning from a trip to Switzerland, a young master appears in Lincolnshire and directly invites the girl to become his mistress, believing that the money and material well-being of her family will make the young creature yield to his harassment. Pamela. remains adamant, and no temptations can divert her from the true path and her inherent piety. An insidious seducer, struck by her nobility, offers Pamela to become her husband. Even the threats of his sister (Lady Devers) to break off all relations with him if he marries a commoner, do not frighten the young nobleman who has embarked on a worthy path. He tries to correct the harm done to him, and instructs priest Williams, the only one who dared to protect the innocent girl, to conduct the marriage ceremony. The first part of the novel is another author’s discourse on the benefits of piety and fidelity to moral duty.


In the second, third and fourth parts of the novel, Pamela still has extensive correspondence, but already as Mrs. B. to the Father, the heroine tells in detail about all, even minor events of her life, engagements and reconciliations with her husband, joys, visits. She describes in detail the characters, habits and toilets of all those who have to meet. Most of all, she wants to share her observations about how her husband is changing for the better. Parents give her instructions regarding the duty and duties of a married woman. The husband’s sister is delighted with Pamela’s syllable and reasoning, constantly asking the young woman to describe in more detail the various episodes of her life in her mother’s house. She cannot hide her surprise and admiration for the fact that Pamela was able to forgive her offenders, first of all, Mrs. Juks (who even attended the girl’s wedding and now also writes to her). Mrs. B. told her sister-in-law that Christian duty does not allow her to refuse to help anyone who has embarked on a path of correction. The duty forces her to do everything to prevent the lost soul from being discouraged and to prevent it from returning to its former vicious life. Later, they exchange opinions on the upbringing of children, gifts sent to each other, and are advised in various daily affairs.

The novel ends with the author's (in all derogations, Richardson calls himself a publisher) conclusion on those circumstances of the life of the heroes that were not included in the correspondence or diary. The couple Andrews (the heroine's parents) lived twelve years on their farm in contentment and peace and died almost simultaneously.

Lady Devers, after the death of her husband, settled in Lincolnshire, next to her brother’s happy family, and lived for a very long time.

Mr. B. became one of the most respected people in the country, spent some time in public service, then retired, settling with his family, and met old age, surrounded by universal respect for his continued kindness and compassion.

Pamela became the mother of seven children who grew up, surrounded by the love and tenderness of their parents.