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Suretiship [sic) hath undone many of good estate, and shaken them as a wave of the sea: and he that undertaketh and followeth other men's business for gain shall fall into suits.
In a 1741 letter to Aaron Hill, Richardson claimed that this aspect of the novel was based on the true story of a daughter whose parents were "ruined by suretiship,"(19) a contractual obligation that makes one legally responsible for another individual's debt.
Also, in The Apprentice's Vade Mecum (1734), in a section that "cautions against suretiship," Richardson warns of the "pernicious consequence, suretiship, and other engagements flowing often from" early and ill-advised friendships (p.