Samuel Richardson, Clarissa (1747-8), p. 1020 (L 318)

Clarissa to Anna Howe, after escaping to London and discovering that Lovelace had forged letters to her from Anna:

Let me repeat that I am quite sick of life; and of an earth in which innocent and benevolent spirits are sure to be considered as aliens, and to be made sufferers by the genuine sons and daughters of that earth.

Clarissa expresses a belief that some critics say is crucial to sentimental novels: that in a corrupt world, virtue is indeed in constant distress and benevolent feelings are rare. (See Mullan, Brissenden.)

Related terms:

dictionary of sensibility
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critical bibliography