Booby, or her frustrate amours. Indeed, the author does not even pretend to preserve congruity as regards his hero, for, in chapter v., he makes him tell his mistress that he has never been in love, while in chapter xi. we are informed that he had long been attached to the charming Fanny. Moreover, in the intervening letters which Joseph writes to his sister Pamela, he makes no reference to this long-existent attachment, with which, one would think, she must have been perfectly familiar. These discrepancies all point, not so much to negligence on the part of the author, as to an unconscious transformation of his plan. He no doubt speedily found that mere ridicule of Richardson was insufficient to sustain the interest of any serious effort, and, besides, must have been secretly conscious that the “Pamela” characteristics of his hero were artistically irreconcilable with the personal bravery and cudgel-playing attributes with which he had endowed him. Add to this that the immortal Mrs. Slipslop and Parson Adams—the latter especially—had begun to acquire an importance with their creator for which the initial scheme had by no means provided; and he finally seems to have disregarded his design, only returning to it in his last chapters in order to close his work with some appearance of consistency. The History of Joseph Andrews, it has been said, might well have dispensed with Lady Booby altogether, and yet, without her, not only this book, but Tom Jones and Amelia also, would probably have been lost to us. The accident which prompted three such masterpieces cannot be honestly regretted.
It was not without reason that Fielding added prominently to his title-page the name of Mr. Abraham Adams.