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Particular To Mr. Millar. Aug. 8. 1750

May I, dear Sir, May I, dear Mrs. Millar, and Miss Johnson,[1] obtrude a few Lines upon you (they shall not be many) to deplore with you your truly affecting Loss?[2] And yet I should have forborn for fear of heightening instead of lessening your great Concern, had I not been myself deeply and often thus exercised, and so know how to pity others;[3] and had I not written in such a manner in my last, tho’ not I hope woundingly, as I would not have written, had I known what had happened, or thought there was Danger: I hope (I repeat) that I wrote nothing that could wound, or even discompose.

I wonder not, dear Sir, that your Resolution is staggered. There is a vast Difference between the Apprehension and the actual Event.[4] Hope will mingle and alleviate in the one Case. Certainty in the other has swallowed up that Hope. —But yet, dear Sir, and dear Ladies, not All Hope. The future, the great Hope, even (thro’ God’s Mercy) to an undoubted Certainty, still remains, in his eternal Happiness.

Time alone can alleviate this great Affliction. And I will only transcribe a pretty Piece of Mr. Norris’s, which he intitles, The Resignation[5] (You are Christian)[6] and inclose 8 Pages of the Familiar Letters;[7] which, when Reflection takes place, will not, perhaps, be quite impertinent. The Poem was written upon the Author’s losing a young Lady his Niece, whom for her Perfections of Mind and Person (pious a Man as he was) he loved almost to Adoration, as we see by a Poem in his Miscellanies, written in very high Strains of Grief, to do Honour to her Memory: After which he thus consoles himself:

The Resignation. I. Long have I view’d, long have I thought, And held with trembling Hand this bitter Draught. ’Twas now just to my Lips apply’d: Nature shrunk in, and all my Courage dy’d. But now resolv’d and firm I’ll be, Since, Lord, ’tis mingled and reach’d out by Thee! II. I’ll trust my great Physician’s Skill: I know what he prescribes, can ne’er be Ill: To each Disease he knows what’s fit: I own him Wise and Good, and do submit: I’ll now no longer grieve or pine: Since ’tis Thy Pleasure, Lord, it shall be mine. page: 2 III. Thy Med’cine puts me to great Smart: Thou’st wounded me in my most tender Part. But ’tis with a Design to cure. I must, and will, thy Sov’reign Touch endure.[8] All that I priz’d Below,[9] is gone: But yet I still will pray, Thy Will be done.[10] IV. Since ’tis thy Sentence I should part With the most precious Treasure of my Heart, I freely That, and more, resign:[11] My Heart itself (as its Delight) is Thine:[12] My little All I give to Thee: Thou gav’st a greater Gift—Thy SON—to me. V. He left true Bliss, and Joys above: Himself he empty’d of all Good, but LOVE: For me he freely did forsake More Good than he from me can ever take. A mortal Life for a Divine He took; and did at last ev’n That resign. VI. Take All, Great God! I will not grieve;[13] But still will wish, that I had still to give.[14] I hear Thy Voice—Thou bidst me quit My Paradise—I bless, and do submit. I will not murmur at Thy Word, Nor beg Thy Angel to sheath up his Sword.

The 8 Pages contain 3 Letters. The first only is immediately applicable to the present deploreable Case. It was drawn up with a View to a like Case. But as your Calamity might have been still heavier, had the dear Child been taken from you at Man’s Estate;[15] and as it might have been heaviest of all, had Providence deprived Mrs. Millar of You; and as there are Hints in both these page: 3that will bear reflecting on in your Case; I take the Liberty to send them all three. I have scratched out some Lines in the third, as too general for the Case in hand.

Forgive, my dear Mr. Millar, my dear Mrs. Millar, and Miss Johnson, this well-meant Officiousness. I once determined against writing on the Subject; as too heavy a one to be touched at present, and till Time had mellowed the Affliction to you. But then I thought, that the Terms we had so frankly for some Years past lived in, would excuse, if not call for some Notice from a friendly Pen, on so affecting an Occasion.

I am, dear Sir, and dear Ladies,
Your Affectionate and
Faithful Humble Servant,
S. Richardson.

Aug. 8. 1750.

You refer, on a certain Occasion, to Dr. Young or me. In the Night-Thoughts there are these Words —

Past Ills, Narcissa, Are sunk in Thee, Thou recent Wound of Heart![16]

Suppose this final Alteration:

Past Ills, *Sweet Babe! Are sunk in Thee, Thou recent Wound of Heart!

*Alluding to former Deprivations.[17]

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See the 3 last Letters of Familiar Letters. Plus the Alteration
P. 271. l.14. leave out from the word Pleasure, Four Lines, down to the word Consider
P. 272. conclude the last 5 Lines, thus.
[dispen]Sation; and with assuring youǀof my Service to the utmost of my Ability: For, I am, Madam, as well for your own Sake, as for his Memory’s Sake,
Your faithful Friend and humble Servant.
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