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His father had nourished some ambitious views of dedicating young Richardson to the ministry, but, as his circumstances denied him the means of giving him necessary education, Samuel was destined to that profession most nearly connected with literature, and was bound apprentice to Mr John Wilde, of Stationers' Hall, in the year 1706. Industrious as well as intelligent, regulated in his habits, and diverted by no headstrong passion from the strictest course of duty, Richardson made rapid progress in his employment as a printer.

" I served,” he says, a diligent seven years to it; to a master who grudged every hour to me that tended not to his profit, even of those times of leisure and diversion, which the refractoriness of my fellow-servants obliged him to allow them, and were usually allowed by other masters to their apprentices. I stole from the hours of rest and relaxation my reading times for improvement of my mind; and, being engaged in a correspondence with a gentleman, greatly my superior in degree, and of ample fortune, who, had he lived, intended high things for me, those were all the opportunities I had in my apprenticeship to carry it on. But this little incident I may mention; I took care that even my candle was of my own purchasing, that I might not, in the most trifling instance, make my master a sufferer, (and who used to call me the

lively manner, when sitting in his grotto, with a circle of the best-informed women in England about him, who, in after times, courted his society, than in reading to these girls in, it may be, a little back shop, or a mantuamaker's parlour, with a brick floor.”Ib., p. 40, 41.]

pillar of his house,) and not to disable myself by watching or sitting up, to perform my duty to him in the day-time." I

The correspondence betwixt Richardson and the gentleman who had so well selected an object of patronage, was voluminous ; but at the untimely death of his friend, it was, by his particular desire, consigned to the flames.

Several years more were spent in the obscure drudgery of the printing-house ere Richardson took out his freedom, and set up as a master printer. His talents for literature were soon discovered ; and, in addition to his proper business, he used to oblige the booksellers, by furnishing them with prefaces, dedications, and such like garnishing of the works submitted to his

press. He printed several of the popular periodical papers of the day, and at length, through the interest of Mr Onslow, the Speaker, obtained the lucrative employment of printing the Journals of the House of Commons, by which he must have reaped considerable advantages, although he occasionally had to complain of delay of payment on the part of government.

Punctual in his engagements, and careful in the superintendence of his business—fortune, and respect, its sure accompaniment, began to flow in upon Richardson. In 1754, he was chosen Master of the Stationers' Company; and, in 1760, he purchased a moiety of the patent of Printer to the King, which seems to have added considerably to his revenue.

He was now a man in very easy circumstances; and, besides his premises in Salis

i Life of Richardson, vol. i., p. 41, 42.

bury Court, he enjoyed the luxury of a villa, first at North-End, near. Hammersmith, afterwards at Parsons-Green.

Richardson was twice married ; first to Allington Wilde, his master's daughter, and after her death, in 1731, to the sister of James Leake, bookseller, who survived her distinguished husband. He has made a feeling commemoration of the family misfortunes which he sustained, in a letter to Lady Bradshaigh. “ I told you, madam, that I have been married twice; both times happily: you will guess so, as to my first, when I tell you that I cherish the memory of my lost wife to this hour ; and, as to the second, when I assure you that I can do so without derogating from the merits of, or being disallowed by, my present, who speaks of her, on all occasions, as respectfully and affectionately as I do myself.

By my first wife I had five sons and one daughter; some of them living, to be delightful prattlers, with all the appearances of sound health, lively in their features, and promising as to their minds ; and the death of one of them, I doubt, accelerating, from grief, that of the otherwise laudably afflicted mother. I have had, by my present wife, five girls and one boy; I have buried of these the promising boy, and one girl : four girls I have living, all at present very good; their mother, a true and instructing mother to them.

“ Thus have I lost six sons (all my sons) and two daughters, every one of which, to answer your question, I parted with with the utmost regret. Other heavy deprivations of friends, very near, and very dear, have I also suffered. I am very susceptible, I will venture to say, of impressions of this nature. A father, an honest, worthy father, I lost by the accident of a broken thigh, snapped by a sudden jirk, endeavouring to recover a slip passing through his own yard. My father, whom I attended in every stage of his last illness, I long mourned for. Two brothers, very dear to me, I lost abroad. A friend, more valuable than most brothers, was taken from me. No less than eleven affecting deaths in two years ! My nerves were so affected with these repeated blows, that I have been forced, after trying the whole materia medica, and consulting many physicians, as the only palliative, (not a remedy to be expected,) to go into a regimen ; and, for seven years past, have I forborne wine, and flesh, and fish ; and, at this time, I and all my family are in mourning for a good-sister, with whom neither I would have parted, could I have had my choice. From these affecting dispensations, will you not allow me, madam, to remind an unthinking world, immersed in pleasures, what a life this is that they are so fond of, and to arm them against the affecting changes of it?"

But this amiable and excellent man was not deprived of the most pleasing exercise of his affections, notwithstanding the breaches which had been made among his offspring. Four daughters survived to discharge those duties which the affectionate temper of their father rendered peculiarly precious to him. Mary was married during her Anne,

i Life of Richardson, vol. i., p. 48, 49, 50.

father's lifetime to Mr Ditcher, a respectable surgeon at Bath. Martha, who had been his principal amanuensis, became, after his decease, the wife of Edward Bridgen, Esq.; and Sarah married Mr Crowther, surgeon, in Boswell's Court. a woman of a most amiable disposition, but whose weak health had often alarmed the affections of her parents, survived, nevertheless, her sisters, as well as her parents. A nephew of Richardson's paid him, in his declining years, the duties of a son, and assisted him in the conducting of his business ; which concludes all it is necessary to say concerning the descendants and connexions of this distinguished author.

The private life of Richardson has nothing to detain the biographer. We have mentioned the successive opportunities, which, cautiously yet ably improved, led him to eminence in his highly respectable profession, by that slow but secure progress, which has nothing in it to arrest attention, or to gratify curiosity. He was unceasingly industrious ; led astray by no idle views of speculation, and seduced by no temptations to premature expenditure. Industry brought independence, and, finally, wealth in its train; and that well-won fortune was husbanded with prudence, and expended with liberality. A kind and generous master, he was eager to encourage his servants to persevere in the same course of patient labour by which he had himself attained fortune; and it is said to have been his common practice to hide half-a-crown among the types, that it might reward the diligence of the workman who should first be in the office in the

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