Part 2 out of 11
time, _your ladyship's most obliged and faithful servant_,
MY DEAR LADY,
I will now acquaint you with the good effects my behaviour to Mrs.
Jewkes has had upon her, as a farther justification of my conduct
towards the poor woman.
That she began to be affected as I wished, appeared to me before I
left the Hall, not only in the conversations I had with her after
my happiness was completed; but in her general demeanour also to the
servants, to the neighbours, and in her devout behaviour at church:
and this still further appears by a letter I have received from Miss
Darnford. I dare say your ladyship will be pleased with the perusal
of the whole letter, although a part of it would answer my present
design; and in confidence, that you will excuse, for the sake of its
other beauties, the high and undeserved praises which she so lavishly
bestows upon me, I will transcribe it all.
_From Miss Darnford to Mrs. B._
"MY DEAR NEIGHBOUR THAT WAS,
"I must depend upon your known goodness to excuse me for not writing
before now, in answer to your letter of compliment to us, for the
civilities and favours, as you call them, which you received from us
in Lincolnshire, where we were infinitely more obliged to you than you
"The truth is, my papa has been much disordered with a kind of
rambling rheumatism, to which the physicians, learnedly speaking, give
the name of _arthritici vaga_, or the flying gout; and when he ails
ever so little (it signifies nothing concealing his infirmities, where
they are so well known, and when he cares not who knows them), he is
so peevish, and wants so much attendance, that my mamma, and her two
girls (one of which is as waspish as her papa; you may be sure I don't
mean myself) have much ado to make his worship keep the peace; and I
being his favourite, when he is indisposed, having most patience, if I
may give myself a good word, he calls upon me continually, to read to
him when he is grave, which is not often, and to tell him stories,
and sing to him when he is merry; and so I have been employed as a
principal person about him, till I have frequently become sad to make
him cheerful, and happy when I could do it at any rate. For once, in
a pet, he flung a book at my head, because I had not attended him for
two hours, and he could not bear to be slighted by little bastards,
that was his word, that were fathered upon him for his vexation! O
these men! Fathers or husbands, much alike! the one tyrannical, the
other insolent: so that, between one and t'other, a poor girl has
nothing for it, but a few weeks' courtship, and perhaps a first
month's bridalry, if that: and then she is as much a slave to her
husband, as she was a vassal to her father--I mean if the father be a
Sir Simon Darnford, and the spouse a Mr. B.
"But I will be a little more grave; for a graver occasion calls for
it, yet such as will give you real pleasure. It is the very great
change that your example has had upon your housekeeper.
"You desired her to keep up as much regularity as she could among the
servants there; and she is next to exemplary in it, so that she has
every one's good word. She speaks of her lady not only with respect,
but reverence; and calls it a blessed day for all the family, and
particularly for herself, that you came into Lincolnshire. She reads
prayers, or makes one of the servants read them, every Sunday night;
and never misses being at church, morning and afternoon; and is
preparing herself, by Mr. Peters's advice and direction, for receiving
the sacrament; which she earnestly longs to receive, and says it will
be the seal of her reformation.
"Mr. Peters gives us this account of her, and says she is full of
contrition for her past mis-spent life, and is often asking him, if
such and such sins can be forgiven? and among them, names her vile
behaviour to her angel lady, as she calls you.
"It seems she has written a letter to you, which passed Mr. Peters's
revisal, before she had the courage to send it; and prides herself
that you have favoured her with an answer to it, which, she says, when
she is dead, will be found in a cover of black silk next her heart;
for any thing from your hand, she is sure, will contribute to make her
keep her good purposes: and for that reason she places it there; and
when she has had any bad thoughts, or is guilty of any faulty word,
or passionate expression, she recollects her lady's letter, which
recovers her to a calm, and puts her again into a better frame.
"As she has written to you 'tis possible I might have spared you
the trouble of reading this account of her; but yet you will not
be displeased, that so free a liver and speaker should have some
testimonial besides her own assurances, to vouch for the sincerity of
"What a happy lady are you, that persuasion dwells upon your tongue,
and reformation follows your example!"
Your ladyship will forgive me what may appear like vanity in this
communication. Miss Darnford is a charming young lady. I always
admired her; but her letters are the sweetest, kindest!--Yet I am too
much the subject of her encomiums, and so will say no more; but add
here a copy of the poor woman's letter to me; and your ladyship will
see what an ample correspondence you have opened to yourself, if you
go on to countenance it.
"I have been long labouring under two difficulties; the desire I had
to write to you, and the fear of being thought presumptuous if I did.
But I will depend on your goodness, so often tried; and put pen to
paper, in that very closet, and on that desk, which once were so much
used by yourself, when I was acting a part that now cuts me to the
heart to think of. But you forgave me. Madam, and shewed me you
had too much goodness to revoke your forgiveness; and could I have
silenced the reproaches of my heart, I should have had no cause to
think I had offended.
"But, Oh I Madam, how has your goodness to me, which once filled me
with so much gladness, now, on reflection, made me sorrowful, and at
times, miserable.--To think I should act so barbarously as I did,
by so much sweetness, and so much forgiveness. Every place that I
remember to have used you hardly in, how does it now fill me with
sadness, and makes me often smite my breast, and sit down with tears
and groans, bemoaning my vile actions, and my hard heart!--How many
places are there in this melancholy fine house, that call one thing or
other to my remembrance, that give me remorse! But the pond, and the
woodhouse, whence I dragged you so mercilously, after I had driven you
to despair almost, what thoughts do they bring to my remembrance! Then
my wicked instigations.--What an odious wretch was I!
"Had his honour been as abandoned as myself, what virtue had been
destroyed between _his_ orders and _my_ too rigorous execution of
them; nay, stretching them to shew my wicked zeal, to serve a master,
whom, though I honoured, I should not (as you more than once hinted to
me, but with no effect at all, so resolutely wicked was my heart) have
so well obeyed in his unlawful commands!
"His honour has made you amends, has done justice to your merits, and
so atoned for _his_ fault. But as for _me_, it is out of my power ever
to make reparation.--All that is left me, is, to let your ladyship
see, that your pious example has made such an impression upon me, that
I am miserable now in the reflection upon my past guilt.
"_You_ have forgiven me, and _GOD_ will, I hope; for the creature
cannot be more merciful than the Creator; that is all my hope!--Yet,
sometimes, I dread that I am forgiven here, at least not punished, in
order to be punished the more hereafter!--What then will become of
the unhappy wretch, that has thus lived in a state of sin, and so
qualified herself by a course of wickedness, as to be thought a proper
instrument for the worst of purposes!
"Pray your ladyship, let not my honoured master see this letter. He
will think I have the boldness to reflect upon him: when, God knows my
heart, I only write to condemn myself, and my _unwomanly_ actions, as
you were pleased often most justly to call them.
"But I might go on thus for ever accusing myself, not considering whom
I am writing to, and whose precious time I am taking up. But what I
chiefly write for is, to beg your ladyship's prayers for me. For, oh!
Madam, I fear I shall else be ever miserable! We every week hear
of the good you do, and the charity you extend to the bodies of the
miserable. Extend, I beseech you, good Madam, to the unhappy Jewkes,
the mercy of your prayers, and tell me if you think I have not sinned
beyond hope of pardon; for there is a woe denounced against the
"Your ladyship assured me, at your departure, on the confession of my
remorse for my misdoings, and my promise of amendment, that you would
take it for proof of my being in earnest, if I would endeavour to keep
up a regularity among the servants here; if I would subdue them with
kindness, as I had owned myself subdued; and if I would endeavour to
make every one think, that the best security they could give of doing
their duty to their master in his _absence_, was by doing it to
God Almighty, from whose all-seeing eye nothing can be hid. This, I
remember, your ladyship told me, was the best test of fidelity and
duty, that any servants could shew; since it was impossible, without
religion, but that worldly convenience, or self-interest, must be the
main tie; and so the worst actions might succeed, if servants thought
they should find their sordid advantage in sacrificing their duty.
"So well am I convinced of this truth, that I hope I have begun the
example to good effect: and as no one in the family was so wicked as
I, it was therefore less difficult to reform them; and you will have
the pleasure to know, that you have now servants here, whom you need
not be ashamed to call yours.
"'Tis true, I found it a little difficult at first to keep them within
sight of their duty, after your ladyship departed: but when they saw I
was in earnest, and used them courteously, as you advised, and as your
usage of me convinced me was the rightest usage; when they were told
I had your commands to acquaint you how they conformed to your
injunctions; the task became easy: and I hope we shall all be still
more and more worthy of the favour of so good a lady and so bountiful
"I dare not presume upon the honour of a line to your unworthy
servant. Yet it would pride me much, if I could have it. But I shall
ever pray for your ladyship's and his honour's felicity, as becomes
_your undeserving servant_,
I have already, with these transcribed letters of Miss Darnford and
Mrs. Jewkes, written a great deal: but nevertheless, as there yet
remains one passage in your ladyship's letter, relating to Mrs.
Jewkes, that seems to require an answer, I will take notice of it, if
I shall not quite tire your patience.
That passage is this; Lady Betty rightly observes, says your ladyship,
that he knew what a vile woman she [Mrs. Jewkes] was, when he put you
into her power; and no doubt, employed her, because he was sure she
would answer all his purposes: and therefore she should have had very
little opinion of the sincerity of his reformation, while he was so
solicitous in keeping her there.
She would, she says, had she been in your case, have had one struggle
for her dismission, let it have been taken as it would; and he that
was so well pleased with your virtue, must have thought this a natural
consequence of it, if in earnest to become virtuous himself.
But, alas! Madam, he was not so well pleased with my virtue for
virtue's sake, as Lady Betty thinks he was.--He would have been glad,
even then, to have found me less resolved on that score. He did not so
much as _pretend_ to any disposition to virtue. No, not he!
He had entertained, as it proved, a strong passion for me, which had
been heightened by my _resisting_ it. His pride, and his advantages
both of person and fortune, would not let him brook control; and when
he could not have me upon his own terms, God turned his evil purposes
to good ones; and he resolved to submit to mine, or rather to such as
he found I would not yield to him without.
But Lady Betty thinks, I was to blame to put Mrs. Jewkes upon a foot,
in the present I made on my nuptials, with Mrs. Jervis. But I rather
put Mrs. Jervis on a foot with Mrs. Jewkes; for the dear gentleman had
_named_ the sum for me to give Mrs. Jewkes, and I would not give Mrs.
Jervis _less_, because I loved her better; nor _more_ could I give
her, on that occasion, without making such a difference between two
persons equal in station, on a solemnity too where one was present and
assisting, the other not, as would have shewn such a partiality, as
might have induced their master to conclude, I was not so sincere in
my forgiveness, as he hoped from me, and as I really was.
But a stronger reason still was behind; that I could, much more
agreeably, both to Mrs. Jervis and myself, shew my love and gratitude
to the dear good woman: and this I have taken care to do, in the
manner I will submit to your ladyship; at the tribunal of whose
judgment I am willing all my actions, respecting your dear brother,
shall be tried. And I hope you will not have reason to think me a
too profuse or lavish creature; yet, if you have, pray, my dear lady,
don't spare me; for if you shall judge me profuse in one article, I
will endeavour to save it in another.
But I will make what I have to say on this head the subject of a
letter by itself: and am, mean time, _your ladyship's most obliged and
MY DEAR LADY,
It is needful, in order to let you more intelligibly into the subject
where I left off in my last, for your ladyship to know that your
generous brother has made me his almoner, as I was my late dear
lady's; and ordered Mr. Longman to pay me fifty pounds quarterly, for
purposes of which he requires no account, though I have one always
ready to produce.
Now, Madam, as I knew Mrs. Jervis was far from being easy in her
circumstances, thinking herself obliged to pay old debts for two
extravagant children, who are both dead, and maintaining in schooling
and clothes three of their children, which always keeps her bare, I
said to her one day, as she and I sat together, at our needles (for
we are always running over old stories, when alone)--"My good Mrs.
Jervis, will you allow me to ask you after your own private affairs,
and if you are tolerably, easy in them?"
"You are very good, Madam," said she, "to concern yourself about my
poor matters, so much as your thoughts are employed, and every moment
of your time is taken up, from the hour you rise, to the time of your
rest. But I can with great pleasure attribute it to your bounty, and
that of my honoured master, that I am easier and easier every day."
"But tell me, my dear Mrs. Jervis," said I, "how your matters
_particularly_ stand. I love to mingle concerns with my friends,
and as I hide nothing from _you_, I hope you'll treat me with equal
freedom; for I always loved you, and always will; and nothing but
death shall divide our friendship."
She had tears of gratitude in her eyes, and taking off her spectacles,
"I cannot bear," she said, "so much goodness!--Oh! my lady!"
"Oh! my Pamela, say," replied I. "How often must I chide you for
calling me any thing but your Pamela, when we are alone together?"
"My heart," said she, "will burst with your goodness! I cannot bear
"But you _must_ bear it, and bear still greater exercises to your
grateful heart, I can tell you that. A pretty thing, truly! Here I, a
poor helpless girl, raised from poverty and distress by the generosity
of the best of men, only because I was young and sightly, shall put
on lady-airs to a gentlewoman born, the wisdom of whose years, her
faithful services, and good management, make her a much greater merit
in this family, than I can pretend to have! And shall I return, in
the day of my power, insult and haughtiness for the kindness and
benevolence I received from her in that of my indigence!--Indeed,
I won't forgive you, my dear Mrs. Jervis, if I think you capable of
looking upon me in any other light than as your daughter; for you have
been a mother to me, when the absence of my own could not afford me
the comfort and good counsel I received every day from you."
Then moving my chair nearer, and taking her hand, and wiping, with my
handkerchief in my other, her reverend cheek, "Come, my dear second
mother," said I, "call me your daughter, your Pamela: I have passed
many sweet hours with you under that name; and as I have but too
seldom such an opportunity as this, open to me your worthy heart, and
let me know, if I cannot make my _second_ mother as easy and happy as
our dear master has made my _first_."
She hung her head, and I waited till the discharge of her tears gave
time for utterance to her words; provoking only her speech, by saying,
"You used to have three grand-children to provide for in clothes and
schooling. They are all living, I hope?"
"Yes, Madam, they are living: and your last bounty (twenty guineas was
a great sum, and all at once!) made me very easy and very happy!"
"How easy and how happy, Mrs. Jervis?"
"Why, my dear lady, I paid five to one old creditor of my unhappy
sons; five to a second; and two and a half to two others, in
proportion to their respective demands; and with the other five I paid
off all arrears of the poor children's schooling and maintenance;
and all are satisfied and easy, and declare they will never do harsh
things by me, if they are paid no more."
"But tell me, Mrs. Jervis, the whole you owe in the world; and you and
I will contrive, with justice to our best friend, to do all we can to
make you quite easy; for, at your time of life, I cannot bear that you
shall have any thing to disturb you, which I can remove, and so, my
dear Mrs. Jervis, let me know all. I know your debts (dear, just,
good woman, as you are!) like David's sins, are ever before you:
so come," putting my hand in her pocket, "let me be a friendly
pick-pocket; let me take out your memorandum-book, and we will see how
all matters stand, and what can be done. Come, I see you are too much
moved; your worthy heart is too much affected" (pulling out her book,
which she always had about her); "I will go to my closet, and return
So I left her, to recover her spirits, and retired with the good
woman's book to my closet.
Your dear brother stepping into the parlour just after I had gone out,
"Where's your lady, Mrs. Jervis?" said he. And being told, came up to
me:--"What ails the good woman below, my dear?" said he: "I hope you
and she have had no words?"
"No, indeed, Sir," answered I. "If we had, I am sure it would have
been my fault: but I have picked her pocket of her memorandum-book,
in order to look into her private affairs, to see if I cannot, with
justice to our common benefactor, make her as easy as you. Sir, have
made my other dear parents."
"A blessing," said he, "upon my charmer's benevolent heart!--I will
leave every thing to your discretion, my dear.--Do all the good you
prudently can to your Mrs. Jervis."
I clasped my bold arms about him, the starting tear testifying my
gratitude.--"Dearest Sir," said I, "you affect me as much as I did
Mrs. Jervis; and if any one but you had a right to ask, what ails your
Pamela? as you do, what ails Mrs. Jervis? I must say, I am hourly
so much oppressed by your goodness, that there is hardly any bearing
one's own joy."
He saluted me, and said, I was a dear obliging creature. "But," said
he, "I came to tell you, that after dinner we'll take a turn, if you
please, to Lady Arthur's: she has a family of London friends for her
guests, and begs I will prevail upon you to give her your company, and
attend you myself, only to drink tea with her; for I have told her we
are to have friends to sup with us."
"I will attend you, Sir," replied I, "most willingly; although I doubt
I am to be made a shew of."
"Something like it," said he, "for she has promised them this favour."
"I need not dress otherwise than I am?"
"No," he was pleased to say, I was always what he wished me to be.
So he left me to my _good works_ (those were his kind words) and I
ran over Mrs. Jervis's accounts, and found a balance drawn of all her
matters in one leaf, and a thankful acknowledgment to God, for her
master's last bounty, which had enabled her to give satisfaction to
others, and to do herself great pleasure, written underneath.
The balance of all was thirty-five pounds eleven shillings and odd
pence; and I went to my escritoir, and took out forty pounds, and down
I hasted to my good Mrs. Jervis, and I said to her, "Here, my dear
good friend, is your pocket-book; but are thirty-five or thirty-six
pounds all you owe, or are bound for in the world?"
"It is, Madam," said she, "and enough too. It is a great sum; but 'tis
in four hands, and they are all in pretty good circumstances, and so
convinced of my honesty, that they will never trouble me for it; for
I have reduced the debt every year something, since I have been in my
"Nor shall it ever be in any body's _power_," said I, "to trouble you:
I'll tell you how we'll order it."
So I sat down, and made her sit by me. "Here, my dear Mrs. Jervis, is
forty pounds. It is not so much to me now, as the two guineas were to
you, that you would have given me at my going away from this house to
my father's, as I thought. I will not _give_ it you neither, at least
at _present_, as you shall hear: indeed I won't make you so uneasy as
that comes to. But take this, and pay the thirty-five pounds odd money
to the utmost farthing; and the remaining four pounds odd will be a
little fund in advance towards the children's schooling. And thus
you shall repay it; I always designed, as our dear master added five
guineas per annum to your salary, in acknowledgement of the pleasure
he took in your services, when I was Pamela Andrews, to add five
pounds per annum to it from the time I became Mrs. B. But from that
time, for so many years to come, you shall receive no more than you
did, till the whole forty pounds be repaid. So, my dear Mrs. Jervis,
you won't have any obligation to me, you know, but for the advance;
and that is a poor matter, not to be spoken of: and I will have leave
for it, for fear I should die."
Had your ladyship seen the dear good woman's behaviour, on this
occasion, you would never have forgotten it. She could not speak;
tears ran down her cheeks in plentiful currents: her modest hand put
gently from her my offering hand, her bosom heav'd, and she sobb'd
with the painful tumult that seemed to struggle within her, and which,
for some few moments, made her incapable of speaking.
At last, I rising, and putting my arm round her neck, wiping her eyes,
and kissing her cheek, she cried, "My excellent lady! 'tis too much!
I cannot bear all this."--She then threw herself at my feet; for I
was not strong enough to hinder it; and with uplifted hands--"May God
Almighty," said she--I kneeled by her, and clasping her hands in mine,
both uplifted together--"May God Almighty," said I, drowning her voice
with my louder voice, "bless us both together, for many happy years!
And bless and reward the dear gentleman, who has thus enabled me to
make _the widow's heart to sing for joy!_"
And thus, my lady, did I force upon the good woman's acceptance the
Permit me, Madam, to close this letter here, and to resume the subject
in my next: till when I have the honour to be _your ladyship's most
obliged and faithful servant_,
MY DEAR LADY,
I now resume my last subject where I left off, that your ladyship may
have the whole before you at one view.
I went after dinner, with my dear benefactor, to Lady Arthur's; and
met with fresh calls upon me for humility, having the two natural
effects of the praises and professed admiration of that lady's guests,
as well as my dear Mr. B.'s, and those of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur, to
guard myself against: and your good brother was pleased to entertain
me in the chariot, going and coming, with an account of the orders he
had given in relation to the London house, which is actually
taken, and the furniture he should direct for it; so that I had no
opportunity to tell him what I had done in relation to Mrs. Jervis.
But after supper, retiring from company to my closet, when his friends
were gone, he came up to me about our usual bedtime: he enquired
kindly after my employment, which was trying to read in the French
Telemachus: for, my lady, I'm learning French, I'll assure you! And
who, do you think, is my master?--Why, the best I _could_ have in the
world, your dearest brother, who is pleased to say, I am no dunce: how
inexcusable should I be, if I was, with such a master, who teaches me
on his knee, and rewards me with a kiss whenever I do well, and says,
I have already nearly mastered the accent and pronunciation, which he
tells me is a great difficulty got over.
I requested him to render for me into English two or three places that
were beyond my reach; and when he had done it, he asked me, in French,
what I had done for Mrs. Jervis.
I said, "Permit me, Sir (for I am not proficient enough to answer
you in my new tongue), in English, to say, I have made the good woman
quite happy; and if I have your approbation, I shall be as much so
myself in this instance, as I am in all others."
"I dare answer for your prudence, my dear," he was pleased to say:
"but this is your favourite: let me know, when you have so bountiful a
heart to strangers, what you do for your favourites?"
I then said, "Permit my bold eye, Sir, to watch yours, as I obey you;
and you know you must not look full upon me then; for if you do, how
shall I look at you again; how see, as I proceed, whether you are
displeased? for you will not chide me in words, so partial have you
the goodness to be to all I do."
He put his arm round me, and looked down now and then, as I desired!
for O! Madam, he is all condescension and goodness to his unworthy,
yet grateful Pamela! I told him all I have written to you about the
forty pounds.--"And now, dear Sir," said I, half hiding my face on his
shoulder, "you have heard what I have done, chide or beat your Pamela,
if you please: it shall be all kind from you, and matter of future
direction and caution."
He raised my head, and kissed me two or three times, saying, "Thus
then I chide, I beat, my angel!--And yet I have one fault to find with
you, and let Mrs. Jervis, if not in bed, come up to us, and hear what
it is; for I will _expose_ you, as you deserve before her."--My Polly
being in hearing, attending to know if I wanted her assistance to
undress, I bade her call Mrs. Jervis. And though I thought from his
kind looks, and kind words, as well as tender behaviour, that I had
not much to fear, yet I was impatient to know what my fault was, for
which I was to be exposed.
The good woman came; and as she entered with all that modesty which
is so graceful in her, he moved his chair further from me, and, with
a set aspect, but not unpleasant, said, "Step in, Mrs. Jervis: your
lady" (for so, Madam, he will always call me to Mrs. Jervis, and to
the servants) "has incurred my censure, and I would not tell her in
what, till I had you face to face."
She looked surprised--now on me, now on her dear master; and I, not
knowing what he would say, looked a little attentive. "I am sorry--I
am very sorry for it, Sir," said she, curtseying low:--"but should be
more sorry, if _I_ were the unhappy occasion."
"Why, Mrs. Jervis, I can't say but it is on your account that I must
This gave us both confusion, but especially the good woman; for still
I hoped much from his kind behaviour to me just before--and she said,
"Indeed, Sir, I could never deserve----"
He interrupted her--"My charge against you, Pamela," said he, "is that
of niggardliness, and no other; for I will put you both out of your
pain: you ought not to have found out the method of repayment.
"The dear creature," said he, to Mrs. Jervis, "seldom does any thing
that can be mended; but, I think, when your good conduct deserved an
annual acknowledgment from me, in addition to your salary, the lady
should have shewed herself no less pleased with your service than the
gentleman. Had it been for old acquaintance-sake, for sex-sake, she
should not have given me cause to upbraid her on this head. But I will
tell you, that you must look upon the forty pounds you have, as the
effect of just distinction on many accounts: and your salary from last
quarter-day shall be advanced, as the dear niggard intended it some
years hence; and let me only add, that when my Pamela first begins
to shew a coldness to her Mrs. Jervis, I shall then suspect she is
beginning to decline in that humble virtue, which is now peculiar to
herself and makes her the delight of all who converse with her."
He was thus pleased to say: thus, with the most graceful generosity,
and a nobleness of mind _truly_ peculiar to himself, was he pleased
to _act_: and what could Mrs. Jervis or I say to him?--Why, indeed,
nothing at all!--We could only look upon one another, with our eyes
and our hearts full of a gratitude that would not permit either of
us to speak, but which expressed itself at last in a manner he was
pleased to call more elegant than words--with uplifted folded hands,
and tears of joy.
O my dear lady! how many opportunities have the beneficent _rich_ to
make _themselves_, as well as their _fellow-creatures_, happy! All
that I could think, or say, or act, was but my duty before; what a
sense of obligation then must I lie under to this most generous of
But here let me put an end to this tedious subject; the principal
part of which can have no excuse, if it may not serve as a proof of
my cheerful compliance with your ladyship's commands, that I recite
_every_ thing of concern to me, and with the same freedom as I used to
do to my dear parents.
I have done it, and at the same time offered what I had to plead in
behalf of my conduct to the two housekeepers, which you expected from
me; and I shall therefore close this my humble defence, if I may so
call it, with the assurance that I am, _my dearest lady, your obliged
and faithful servant_,
_From Lady Davers to Mrs. B. in answer to the six last Letters._
"_Where she had it, I can't tell I but I think I never met with
the fellow of her in my life, at any age_;" are, as I remember, my
brother's words, speaking of his Pamela in the early part of your
papers. In truth, thou art a surprising creature; and every letter we
have from you, we have new subjects to admire you for.--"Do you think,
Lady Betty," said I, when I had read to the end of the subject about
Mrs. Jervis, "I will not soon set out to hit this charming girl a box
of the ear or two?"--"For what, Lady Davers?" said she.
"For what!" replied I.--"Why, don't you see how many slaps of the face
the bold slut hits me! _I'll_ LADY-AIRS her! I will. _I'll_ teach
her to reproach me, and so many of her betters, with her cottage
excellencies, and improvements, that shame our education."
Why, you dear charming Pamela, did you only excel me in _words_, I
could forgive you: for there may be a knack, and a volubility, as to
_words_, that a natural talent may supply; but to be thus out-done in
_thought_ and in _deed_, who can bear it? And in so young an insulter
Well, Pamela, look to it, when I see you: you shall feel the weight
of my hand, or--the pressure of my lip, one or t'other, depend on it,
very quickly; for here, instead of my stooping, as I thought I would
be, to call _you_ sister, I shall be forced to think, in a little
while, that you ought not to own _me as yours_, till I am nearer your
But to come to business, I will summarily take notice of the following
particulars in all your obliging letters, in order to convince you of
my friendship, by the freedom of my observations on the subjects you
First, then, I am highly pleased with what you write of the advantages
you received from the favour of my dear mother; and as you know many
things of her by your attendance upon her the last three or four years
of her life, I must desire you will give me, as opportunity shall
offer, all you can recollect in relation to the honoured lady, and of
her behaviour and kindness to you, and with a retrospect to your own
early beginnings, the dawnings of this your bright day of excellence:
and this not only I, but the countess, and Lady Betty, with whom I am
going over your papers again, and her sister, Lady Jenny, request of
2. I am much pleased with your Kentish account; though we wished you
had been more particular in some parts of it; for we are greatly taken
with your descriptions: and your conversation pieces: yet I own, your
honest father's letters, and yours, a good deal supply that _defect_.
3. I am highly delighted with your account of my brother's breaking
to you the affair of Sally Godfrey, and your conduct upon it. 'Tis a
sweet story as he brought it in, and as you relate it. The wretch
has been very just in his account of it. We are in love with your
charitable reflections in favour of the poor lady; and the more, as
she certainly deserved them, and a better mother too than she had, and
a faithfuller lover than she met with.
4. You have exactly hit his temper in your declared love of Miss
Goodwill. I see, child, you know your man; and never fear but you'll
hold him, if you can go on thus to act, and outdo your sex. But I
should think you might as well not insist upon having her with you;
you'd better see her now and then at the dairy-house, or at school,
than have her with you. But this I leave to your own discretion.
5. You have satisfactorily answered our objections to your behaviour
to Mrs. Jewkes. We had not considered your circumstances quite so
thoroughly as we ought to have done. You are a charming girl, and all
your motives are so just, that we shall be a little more cautious for
the future how we censure you.
In short, I say with the countess, "This good girl is not without
her pride; but it is the pride that becomes, and can only attend the
innocent heart; and I'll warrant," said her ladyship, "nobody will
become her station so well, as one who is capable of so worthy a pride
But what a curtain-lecture hadst thou, Pamela! A noble one, dost thou
call it?--Why, what a wretch hast thou got, to expect thou shouldst
never expostulate against his lordly will, even when in the wrong,
till thou hast obeyed it, and of consequence, joined in the evil he
Much good may such a husband do you, says Lady Betty!--Every body will
_admire_ you, but no one will have reason to _envy_ you upon those
6. I am pleased with your promise of sending what you think I
shall like to see, out of those papers you choose not to shew me
collectively: this is very obliging. You're a good girl; and I love
7. We have all smiled at your paradox, Pamela, that his marrying you
was an instance of his pride.--The thought, though, is pretty enough,
and ingenious; but whether it will hold or not, I won't just now
8. Your observation on the _forget_ and _forgive_ we are much pleased
9. You are very good in sending me a copy of Miss Darnford's letter.
She is a charming young lady. I always had a great opinion of
her merit; her letter abundantly confirms me in it. I hope you'll
communicate to me every letter that passes between you, and pray send
in your next a copy of your answer to her letter: I must insist upon
it, I think.
10. I am glad, with all my heart, to hear of poor Jewkes's
reformation: Your example carries all before it. But pray oblige me
with your answer to her letter, don't think me unreasonable: 'tis all
for your sake.
Pray--have you shewn Jewkes's letter to your good friend?--Lady Betty
wants to know (if you _have_) what he could say to it? For, she says,
it cuts him to the quick. And I think so too, if he takes it as he
ought: but, as you say, he's above loving virtue for _virtue's sake_.
11. Your manner of acting by Mrs. Jervis, with so handsome a regard to
my brother's interest, her behaviour upon it, and your relation of
the whole, and of his generous spirit in approving, reproving, and
improving, your prudent generosity, make no inconsiderable figure in
your papers. And Lady Betty says, "Hang him, he has some excellent
qualities too.--It is impossible not to think well of him; and his
good actions go a great way towards atoning for his bad." But you,
Pamela, have the glory of all.
12. I am glad you are learning French: thou art a happy girl in thy
teacher, and he is a happy man in his scholar. We are pleased with
your pretty account of his method of instructing and rewarding.
'Twould be strange, if you did not thus learn any language quickly,
with such encouragements, from the man you love, were your genius less
apt than it is. But we wished you had enlarged on that subject: for
such fondness of men to their wives, who have been any time married,
is so rare, and so unexpected from _my_ brother, that we thought you
should have written a side upon that subject at least.
What a bewitching girl art thou! What an exemplar to wives now, as
well as thou wast before to maidens! Thou canst tame lions, I
dare say, if thoud'st try.--Reclaim a rake in the meridian of his
libertinism, and make such an one as my brother, not only marry thee,
but love thee better at several months' end, than he did the first
day, if possible!
Now, my dear Pamela, I think I have taken notice of the most material
articles in your letters, and have no more to say to you; but write
on, and oblige us; and mind to send me the copy of your letter to Miss
Darnford, of that you wrote to poor penitent Jewkes, and every article
I have written about, and all that comes into your head, or that
passes, and you'll oblige _yours, &c,_
MY DEAR LADY,
I read with pleasure your commands, in your last kind and obliging
letter: and you may be sure of a ready obedience in every one of them,
that is in my power.
That which I can most easily do, I will first do; and that is, to
transcribe the answer I sent to Miss Darnford, and that to Mrs.
Jewkes, the former of which, (and a long one it is) is as follows:
"DEAR MISS DARNFORD,
"I begin now to be afraid I shall not have the pleasure and benefit I
promised myself of passing a fortnight or three weeks at the Hall, in
your sweet conversation, and that of your worthy family, as well
as those others in your agreeable neighbourhood, whom I must always
remember with equal honour and delight.
"The occasion will be principally, that we expect, very soon, Lord and
Lady Davers, who propose to tarry here a fortnight at least; and after
that, the advanced season will carry us to London, where Mr. B.
has taken a house for his winter residence, and in order to attend
parliament: a service he says, which he has been more deficient in
hitherto, than he can either answer to his constituents, or to his own
conscience; for though he is but one, yet if any good motion should be
lost by one, every absent member, who is independent, has to reproach
himself with the consequence of the loss of that good which might
otherwise redound to the commonwealth. And besides, he says, such
excuses as he could make, _every one_ might plead; and then public
affairs might as well be left to the administration, and no parliament
"See you, my dear Miss Darnford, from the humble cottager, what a
public person your favourite friend is grown! How easy is it for a
bold mind to look forward, and, perhaps, forgetting what she was, now
she imagines she has a stake in the country, takes upon herself to be
as important, as significant, as if, like my dear Miss Darnford, she
had been born to it!
"Well; but may I not ask, whether, if the mountain cannot come to
Mahomet, Mahomet will not come to the mountain? Since Lady Davers's
visit is so uncertain as to its beginning and duration, and so great
a favour as I am to look upon it, and really shall, it being her first
visit to _me_:--and since we must go and take possession of our London
residence, why can't Sir Simon spare to us the dear lady whom he could
use hardly, and whose attendance (though he is indeed entitled to all
her duty) he did not, just in that instance, quite so much deserve?
"'Well, but after all, Sir Simon,' would I say, if I had been in
presence at his peevish hour, 'you are a fine gentleman, are you not?
to take such a method to shew your good daughter, that because she did
not come _soon enough_ to you, she came _too soon_! And did ever papa
before you put a _good book_ (for such I doubt not it was, _because_
you were in affliction, though so little affected by its precepts) to
such a _bad use_? As parents' examples are so prevalent, suppose your
daughter had taken it, and flung it at her sister; Miss Nancy at her
waiting-maid; and so it had gone through the family; would it not have
been an excuse for every one to say, that the father, and head of the
family had set the example?
"'You almost wish, my dear Miss tells me, that I would undertake
_you_!--This is very good of you. Sir Simon,' I might (would his
patience have suffered me to run on thus) have added; 'but I hope,
since you are so sensible that you _want_ to be undertaken, (and
since this peevish rashness convinces me that you _do_) that you
will undertake _yourself_; that you will not, when your indisposition
requires the attendance and duty of your dear lady and daughter,
make it more uncomfortable to them, by _adding_ a difficulty of being
pleased, and an impatience of spirit, to the concern their duty and
affection make them have for you; and, _at least_, resolve never to
take a book into your hand again, if you cannot make a better use of
it, than you did then.'
"But Sir Simon will say, I have _already undertaken_ him, were he to
see this. Yet my Lady Darnford once begged I would give him a hint or
two on this subject, which, she was pleased to say, would be better
received from me than from any body: and if it be a little too severe,
it is but a just reprisal made by one whose ears, he knows, he has
cruelly wounded more than once, twice, or thrice, besides, by what
he calls his _innocent_ double entendres, and who, if she had not
resented it, when an opportunity offered, must have been believed, by
him, to be neither more nor less than a hypocrite. There's for you,
Sir Simon: and so here ends all my malice; for now I have spoken my
"Yet I hope your dear papa will not be so angry as to deny me, for
this my freedom, the request I make to _him_, to your _mamma_, and
to your _dear self_, for your beloved company, for a month or two in
Bedfordshire, and at London: and if you might be permitted to winter
with us at the latter, how happy should I be! It will be half done the
moment you desire it. Sir Simon loves you too well to refuse you, if
you are earnest in it. Your honoured mamma is always indulgent to
your requests: and Mr. B. as well in kindness to me, as for the great
respect he bears you, joins with me to beg this favour of you, and of
Sir Simon and my lady.
"If it can be obtained, what pleasure and improvement may I not
propose to myself, with so polite a companion, when we are carried by
Mr. B. to the play, the opera, and other of the town diversions! We
will work, visit, read, and sing together, and improve one another;
you _me_, in every word you shall speak, in every thing you shall do;
I _you_, by my questions, and desire of information, which will make
you open all your breast to me: and so unlocking that dear storehouse
of virtuous knowledge, improve your own notions the more for
communicating them. O my dear Miss Damford I how happy is it in your
power to make me!
"I am much affected with your account of Mrs. Jewkes's reformation,
I could have wished, had I not _other_ and _stronger_ inducements
(in the pleasure of so agreeable a neighbourhood, and so sweet a
companion), I could have been down at the Hall, in hopes to have
confirmed the poor woman in her newly assumed penitence. God give her
grace to persevere in it!--To be an humble means of saving a soul from
perdition! O my dear Miss Darnford, let me enjoy that heart-ravishing
hope!--To pluck such a brand as this out of the fire, and to assist to
quench its flaming susceptibility for mischief, and make it useful to
edifying purposes, what a pleasure does this afford one! How does it
encourage one to proceed in the way one has been guided to pursue!
How does it make me hope, that I am raised to my present condition,
in order to be an humble instrument in the hand of Providence to
communicate great good to others, and so extend to many those benefits
I have received, which, were they to go no further than myself, what a
vile, what an ungrateful creature should I be!
"I see, my dearest Miss Darnford, how useful in every condition of
life a virtuous and a serious turn of mind may be!
"In hopes of seeing you with us, I will not enlarge on several
agreeable subjects, which I could touch upon with pleasure, besides
what I gave you in my former (of my reception here, and of the
kindness of our genteel neighbours): such, particularly, as the
arrival here of my dear parents, and the kind, generous entertainment
they met with from my best friend; his condescension in not only
permitting me to attend them to Kent, but accompanying us thither, and
settling them in a most happy manner, beyond their wishes and my
own; but yet so much in character, as I may say, that every one must
approve his judicious benevolence; the favours of my good Lady Davers
to me, who, pleased with my letters, has vouchsafed to become my
correspondent; and a thousand things, which I want personally to
communicate to my dear Miss Darnford.
"Be pleased to present my humble respects to Lady Darnford, and to
Miss Nancy; to good Madam Jones, and to your kind friends at Stamford;
also to Mr. and Mrs. Peters, and their kins-woman: and beg of that
good gentleman from me to encourage his new proselyte all he can; and
I doubt not, she will do credit, poor woman! to the pains he shall
take with her. In hopes of your kind compliance with my wishes for
your company, I remain, _dearest Miss Darnford, your faithful and
obliged friend and servant,_
This, my good lady, is the long letter I sent to Miss Darnford, who,
at parting, engaged me to keep up a correspondence with her, and put
me in hopes of passing a month or two at the Hall, if we came down,
and if she could persuade Sir Simon and her mamma to spare her to my
wishes. Your ladyship will excuse me for so faintly mentioning the
honours you confer upon me: but I would not either add or diminish in
the communications I make to you.
The following is the copy of what I wrote to Mrs. Jewkes:
"You give me, Mrs. Jewkes, very great pleasure, to find, that, at
length, God Almighty has touched your heart, and let you see, while
health and strength lasted, the error of your ways. Many an unhappy
one has not been so graciously touched, till they have smarted under
some heavy afflictions, or been confined to the bed of sickness, when,
perhaps, they have made vows and resolutions, that have held them no
longer than the discipline lasted; but you give me much better hopes
of the sincerity of your conversion; as you are so well convinced,
before some sore evil has overtaken you: and it ought to be an earnest
to you of the Divine favour, and should keep you from despondency.
"As to me, it became me to forgive you, as I most cordially did; since
your usage of me, as it proved, was but a necessary means in the hand
of Providence, to exalt me to that state of happiness, in which I have
every day more and more cause given me to rejoice, by the kindest and
most generous of gentlemen.
"As I have often prayed for you, even when you used me the most
unkindly, I now praise God for having heard my prayers, and with high
delight look upon you as a reclaimed soul given to my supplication.
May the Divine goodness enable you to persevere in the course you have
begun! And when you can taste the all-surpassing pleasure that fills
the worthy breast, on being placed in a station where your example
may be of advantage to the souls of others, as well as to your own--a
pleasure that every good mind glories in, and none else can truly
relish; then may you be assured, that nothing but your perseverance,
and the consequential improvement resulting from it, is wanted to
convince you, that you are in a right way, and that the woe that is
pronounced against the presumptuous sinner, belongs not to you.
"Let me, therefore, dear Mrs. Jewkes (for now _indeed_ you are dear to
me), caution you against two things; the one, that you return not
to your former ways, and wilfully err after this repentance; for the
Divine goodness will then look upon itself as mocked by you, and will
withdraw itself from you; and more dreadful will your state then be,
than if you had never repented: the other, that you don't despair of
the Divine mercy, which has so evidently manifested itself in your
favour, and has awakened you out of your deplorable lethargy, without
those sharp medicines and operations, which others, and perhaps _not
more faulty_ persons, have suffered. But go on cheerfully in the same
happy path. Depend upon it, you are now in the right way, and turn not
either to the right hand or to the left; for the reward is before you,
in reputation and a good fame in this life, and everlasting felicity
"Your letter is that of a sensible woman, as I always thought you; and
of a truly contrite one, as I hope you will prove yourself to be: and
I the rather hope it, as I shall be always desirous, then of taking
every opportunity that offers of doing you real service, as well with
regard to your present as future life: for I am, _good_ Mrs. Jewkes,
as I now hope I may call you, _your loving friend to serve you_,
"Whatever good books the worthy Mr. Peters will be so kind as to
recommend to you, and to those under your direction, send for them
either to Lincoln, Stamford, or Grantham, and place them to my
account: and may they be the effectual means of confirming you and
them in the good way you are in! I have done as much for all here:
and, I hope, to no bad effect: for I shall now tell them, by Mrs.
Jervis, if there be occasion, that I hope they will not let me be
out-done in Bedfordshire, by Mrs. Jewkes in Lincolnshire; but that the
servants of both houses may do credit to the best of masters. Adieu,
_good_ woman; as once more I take pleasure to style you."
* * * * *
Thus, my good lady, have I obeyed you, in transcribing these two
letters. I will now proceed to your ladyship's twelve articles. As to
1. I will oblige your ladyship, as I have opportunity, in my future
letters, with such accounts of my dear lady's favour and goodness to
me, as I think will be acceptable to you, and to the noble ladies you
2. I am extremely delighted, that your ladyship thinks so well of my
dear honest parents: they are good people, and ever had minds that set
them above low and sordid actions: and God and your good brother has
rewarded them most amply in this world, which is more than they ever
expected, after a series of unprosperousness in all they undertook.
Your ladyship is pleased to say, that people in upper life love to see
how plain nature operates in honest minds, who have hardly any thing
else for their guide: and if I might not be thought to descend too
low for your ladyship's attention (for, as to myself, I shall, I hope,
always look back with pleasure to what I _was_, in order to increase
my thankfulness for what I _am_), I would give you a scene of
resignation, and contented poverty, of which otherwise you can hardly
have a notion. I _will_ give it, because it will be a scene of nature,
however low, which your ladyship loves, and it shall not tire you by
It was upon occasion of a great loss and disappointment which happened
to my dear parents; for though they were never high in life, yet they
were not always so low as my honoured lady found them, when she took
me. My poor father came home; and as the loss was of such a nature, as
that he could not keep it from my mother, he took her hand, and said,
after he had acquainted her with it, "Come, my dear, let us take
comfort, that we did for the best. We left the issue to Providence,
as we ought, and that has turned it as it pleased; and we must be
content, though not favoured as we wished.--All the business is, our
lot is not cast for this life. Let us resign ourselves to the Divine
will, and continue to do our duty, and this short life will soon be
past. Our troubles will be quickly overblown; and we shall be happy in
a better, I make no doubt."
Then my dear mother threw her arms about his neck, and said, with
tears, "God's will be done, my dear love! All cannot be rich and
happy. I am contented, and had rather say, I have a poor honest
husband, than a guilty rich one. What signifies repining: let the
world go as it will, we shall have our length and our breadth at last.
And Providence, I doubt not, will be a better friend to our good
girl here, because she is good, than we could be, if this had not
happened," pointing to me, who, then about eleven years old (for it
was before my lady took me), sat weeping in the chimney corner, over a
few dying embers of a fire, at their moving expressions.
I arose, and kissing both their hands, and blessing them, said, "And
this length and breadth, my dear parents, will be, one day, all that
the rich and the great can possess; and, it may be, their ungracious
heirs will trample upon their ashes, and rejoice they are gone: while
such a poor girl as I, am honouring the memories of mine, who, in
their good names, and good lessons, will have left me the best of
And then they both hugged me to their fond bosoms, by turns; and all
three were filled with comfort in one another.
For a farther proof that _honest poverty_ is not such a deplorable
thing as some people imagine, let me ask, what pleasure can those
over-happy persons know, who, from the luxury of their tastes, and
their affluent circumstances, always eat before they are hungry, and
drink before they are thirsty? This may be illustrated by the instance
of a certain eastern monarch, who, as I have read, marching at the
head of a vast army, through a wide extended desert, which afforded
neither river nor spring, for the first time, found himself (in common
with his soldiers) overtaken by a craving thirst, which made him pant
after a cup of water. And when, after diligent search, one of his
soldiers found a little dirty puddle, and carried him some of the
filthy water in his nasty helmet, the monarch greedily swallowing it,
cried out, that in all his life he never tasted so sweet a draught!
But when I talk or write of my worthy parents, how I run on!--Excuse
me, my good lady, and don't think me, in this respect, too much like
the cat in the fable, turned into a fine lady; for though I would
never forget what I was, yet I would be thought to know _how_
gratefully to enjoy my present happiness, as well with regard to my
obligations to God, as to your dear brother. But let me proceed to
your ladyship's third particular.
3. And you cannot imagine. Madam, how much you have set my heart at
rest, when you say, that my dear Mr. B. gave me a just narrative of
this affair with Miss Godfrey: for when your ladyship desired to
know how he had recounted that story, lest you should make a
misunderstanding between us unawares, I knew not what to think. I was
afraid some blood had been shed on the occasion by him: for the lady
was ruined, and as to her, nothing could have happened worse. The
regard I have for Mr. B.'s future happiness, which, in my constant
supplication for him in private, costs me many a tear, gave me great
apprehensions, and not a little uneasiness. But as your ladyship tells
me that he gave me a just account, I am happy again.
I now come to your ladyship's fourth particular.
And highly delighted I am for having obtained your approbation of
my conduct to the child, as well as of my behaviour towards the
dear gentleman, on the unhappy lady's score. Your ladyship's wise
intimations about having the child with me, make due impressions upon
me; and I see in them, with grateful pleasure, your unmerited regard
for me. Yet, I don't know how it is, but I have conceived a strange
passion for this dear baby; I cannot but look upon her poor mamma as
my sister in point of trial; and shall not the prosperous sister
pity and love the poor dear sister that, in so slippery a path, has
_fallen_, while _she_ had the happiness to keep her feet?
The rest of your ladyship's articles give me the greatest pleasure and
satisfaction; and if I can but continue myself in the favour of your
dear brother, and improve in that of his noble sister, how happy shall
I be! I will do all I can to deserve both. And I hope you will take as
an instance of it, my cheerful obedience to your commands, in writing
to so fine a judge, such crude and indigested stuff, as, otherwise I
ought to be ashamed to lay before you.
I am impatient for the honour of your presence here; and yet I perplex
myself with the fear of appearing so unworthy in your eye when near
you, as to suffer in your opinion; but I promise myself, that however
this may be the case on your first visit, I shall be so much improved
by the benefits I shall reap from your lessons and good example, that
whenever I shall be favoured with a _second_ you shall have fewer
faults to find with me; till, as I shall be more and more favoured, I
shall in time be just what your ladyship will wish me to be, and, of
consequence, more worthy than I am of the honour of stiling myself
_your ladyship's most humble and obedient servant_, P.B.
_From Miss Darnford, in answer to Mrs. B.'s, p_. 60.
MY DEAR MRS. B.,
You are highly obliging in expressing so warmly your wishes to have me
with you. I know not any body in this world, out of our own family, in
whose company I should be happier; but my papa won't part with me, I
think; though I have secured my mamma in my interest; and I know Nancy
would be glad of my absence, because the dear, perversely envious,
thinks _me_ more valued than _she_ is; and yet, foolish girl, she
don't consider, that if her envy be well grounded, I should return
with more than double advantages to what I now have, improved by your
My papa affects to be in a fearful pet, at your lecturing of him So
justly; for my mamma would show him the letter; and he says he will
positively demand satisfaction of Mr. B. for your treating him so
freely. And yet he shall hardly think him, he says, on a rank with
him, unless Mr. B. will, on occasion of the new commission, take out
his Dedimus: and then if he will bring you down to Lincolnshire, and
join with him to commit you prisoner for a month at the Hall, all
shall be well.
It is very obliging in Mr. B. to join in your kind invitation:
but--yet I am loth to say it to you--the character of your worthy
gentleman, I doubt, stands a little in the way with my papa.
My mamma pleaded his being married. "Ads-dines, Madam," said he, "what
of all that!"
"But, Sir," said I, "I hope, if I may not go to Bedfordshire, you'll
permit me to go to London, when Mrs. B. goes?"
"No," said he, "positively no!"
"Well, Sir, I have done. I could hope, however, you would enable me to
give a better reason to good Mrs. B. why I am not permitted to accept
of the kind invitation, than that which I understand you have been
pleased to assign."
He stuck his hands in his sides, with his usual humourous
positiveness. "Why, then tell her she is a very saucy lady, for her
last letter to you, and her lord and master is not to be trusted; and
it is my absolute will and pleasure that you ask me no more questions
"I will very faithfully make this report, Sir."--"Do so." And so
I have. And your poor Polly Darnford is disappointed of one of the
greatest pleasures she could have had.
I can't help it--if you truly pity me you can make me easier under
the disappointment, than otherwise possible, by favouring me with
an epistolary conversation, since I am denied a personal one; and my
mamma joins in the request; particularly let us know how Lady Davers's
first visit passes; which Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Jones, who know my lady
so well, likewise long to hear. And this will make us the best amends
in your power for the loss of your good neighbourhood, which we had
all promised to ourselves.
This denial of my papa comes out, since I wrote the above, to be
principally owing to a proposal made him of an humble servant to
one of his daughters: he won't say which, he tells us, in his usual
humourous way, lest we should fall out about it.
"I suppose," I tell him, "the young gentleman is to pick and choose
which of the two he likes best." But be he a duke, 'tis all one to
Polly, if he is not something above our common Lincolnshire class of
I have shewn Mr. and Mrs. Peters your letter. They admire you beyond
expression; and Mr. Peters says, he does not know, that ever he did
any thing in his life, that gave him so much inward reproach, as his
denying you the protection of his family, which Mr. Williams sought to
move him to afford you, when you were confined at the Hall, before
Mr. B. came down to you, with his heart bent on mischief; and all
he comforts himself with is, that very denial, as well as the other
hardships you have met with, were necessary to bring about that work
of Providence which was to reward your unexampled virtue.
Yet, he says, he doubts he shall not be thought excusable by you, who
are so exact in _your_ own duty, since he had the unhappiness to lose
such an opportunity to have done honour to his function, had he had
the fortitude to have done _his;_ and he has begged of me to hint his
concern to you on this head; and to express his hopes, that neither
religion nor his cloth may suffer in your opinion, for the fault
of one of its professors, who never was wanting in his duty so much
He had it often upon his mind, he says, to write to you on this very
subject; but he had not the courage; and besides, did not know _how_
Mr. B. might take it, if he should see that letter, as the case had
such delicate circumstances in it, that in blaming himself, as he
should very freely have done, he must, by implication, have cast still
greater blame upon him.
Mr. Peters is certainly a very good man, and my favourite for that
reason; and I hope _you,_ who could so easily forgive the late wicked,
but now penitent Jewkes, will overlook with kindness a fault in a good
man, which proceeded more from pusillanimity and constitution, than
from want of principle: for once, talking of it to my mamma, before
me, he accused himself on this score, to her, with tears in his eyes.
She, good lady, would have given you this protection at Mr. Williams's
desire; but wanted the power to do it.
So you see, my dear Mrs. B., how your virtue has shamed every one
into such a sense of what they ought to have done, that good, bad, and
indifferent, are seeking to make excuses for past misbehaviour, and
to promise future amendment, like penitent subjects returning to their
duty to their conquering sovereign, after some unworthy defection.
Happy, happy lady! May you ever be so! May you always convert your
enemies, invigorate the lukewarm, and every day multiply your friends,
wishes _your most affectionate,_
P.S. How I rejoice in the joy of your honest parents! God bless 'em!
I am glad Lady Davers is so wise. Every one I have named desire their
best respects. Write oftener, and omit not the minutest thing: for
every line of yours carries instruction with it.
From Sir Simon Darnford to Mr. B.
Little did I think I should ever have occasion to make a formal
complaint against a person very dear to you, and who I believe
deserves to be so; but don't let her be so proud and so vain of
obliging and pleasing you, as to make her not care how she affronts
every body else.
The person is no other than the wife of your bosom, who has taken such
liberties with me as ought not to be taken, and sought to turn my own
child against me, and make a dutiful girl a rebel.
If people will set up for virtue, and all that, let 'em be uniformly
virtuous, or I would not give a farthing for their pretences.
Here I have been plagued with gouts, rheumatisms, and nameless
disorders, ever since you left us, which have made me call for a
little more attendance than ordinary; and I had reason to think myself
slighted, where an indulgent father can least bear to be so, that is,
where he most loves; and that by young upstarts, who are growing up to
the enjoyment of those pleasures which have run away from me, fleeting
rascals as they are! before I was willing to part with them. And I
rung and rung, and "Where's Polly?" (for I honour the slut with too
much of my notice), "Where's Polly?" was all my cry, to every one
who came up to ask what I rung for. And, at last, in burst the pert
baggage, with an air of assurance, as if she thought all must be well
the moment she appeared, with "Do you want me, papa?"
"Do I want you, Confidence? Yes, I do. Where have you been these two
hours, that you never came near me, when you knew 'twas my time
to have my foot rubbed, which gives me mortal pain?" For you must
understand, Mr. B., that nobody's hand's so soft as Polly's.
She gave me a saucy answer, as I was disposed to think it, because I
had just then a twinge, that I could scarce bear; for pain is a plaguy
thing to a man of my lively spirits.
She gave me, I say, a careless answer, and turning upon her heel; and
not coming to me at my first word, I flung a book which I had in my
hand, at her head. And, this fine lady of your's, this paragon of
meekness and humility, in so many words, bids me, or, which is worse,
tells my own daughter to bid me, never to take a book into my hands
again, if I won't make a better use of it:--and yet, what better
use can an offended father make of the best books, than to correct a
rebellious child with them, and oblige a saucy daughter to jump into
her duty all at once?
Mrs. B. reflects upon me for making her blush formerly, and saying
things before my daughters, that, truly, I ought to be ashamed of?
then avows malice and revenge. Why neighbour, are these things to be
borne?--Do you allow your lady to set up for a general corrector of
every body's morals but your own?--Do you allow her to condemn the
only instances of wit that remain to this generation; that dear polite
_double entendre_, which keeps alive the attention, and quickens the
apprehension, of the best companies in the world, and is the salt, the
sauce, which gives a poignancy to all our genteeler entertainments!
Very fine, truly! that more than half the world shall be shut out of
society, shall be precluded their share of conversation amongst the
gay and polite of both sexes, were your lady to have her will! Let
her first find people who can support a conversation with wit and good
sense like her own, and then something may be said: but till then,
I positively say, and will swear upon occasion, that double entendre
shall not be banished from our tables; and where this won't raise a
blush, or create a laugh, we will, if we please, for all Mrs. B. and
her new-fangled notions, force the one and the other by still plainer
hints; and let her help herself how she can.
Thus, Sir, you find my complaints are of a high nature, regarding the
quiet of a family, the duty of a child to a parent, and the freedom
and politeness of conversation; in all which your lady has greatly
offended; and I insist upon satisfaction from you, or such a
correction of the fair transgressor, as is in your power to inflict,
and which may prevent worse consequences from _your offended friend
_From Mr. B. in Answer to the preceding one._
DEAR SIR SIMON,
You cannot but believe that I was much surprised at your letter,
complaining of the behaviour of my wife. I could no more have expected
such a complaint from such a gentleman, than I could, that she would
have deserved it: and I am very sorry on _both_ accounts. I have
talked to her in such a manner, that, I dare say, she will never give
you like cause to appeal to me.
It happened, that the criminal herself received it from her servant,
and brought it to me in my closet; and, making her honours (for I
can't say but she is very obliging to me, though she takes such saucy
freedoms with my friends) away she tript; and I, inquiring for her,
when, with surprise, as you may believe, I had read your charge, found
she was gone to visit a poor sick neighbour; of which indeed I knew
before because she took the chariot; but I had forgot it in my wrath.
At last, in she came, with that sweet composure in her face which
results from a consciousness of doing _generally_ just and generous
things. I resumed, therefore, that sternness and displeasure which her
entrance had almost dissipated. I took her hand; her charming eye
(you know what an eye she has, Sir Simon) quivered at my overclouded
aspect; and her lips, half drawn to a smile, trembling with
apprehension of a countenance so changed from what she left it.
And then, all stiff and stately as I could look, did I accost
her--"Come along with me, Pamela, to my closet. I want to talk with
"What have I done? Let me know, good Sir!" looking round, with her
half-affrighted eyes, this way and that, on the books, and pictures,
and on me, by turns.
"You shall know soon," said I, "the _crime_ you have been guilty
of."--"_Crime_, Sir! Pray let me--This closet, I hoped, would not be a
_second_ time witness to the flutter you put me in."
_There_ hangs a tale, Sir Simon, which I am not very fond of relating,
since it gave beginning to the triumphs of this little sorceress. I
still held one hand, and she stood before me, as criminals ought to
do before their judge, but said, "I see, Sir, sure I do,--or what will
else become of me!--less severity in your eyes, than you affect to
put on in your countenance. Dear Sir, let me but know my fault: I will
repent, acknowledge, and amend."
"You must have great presence of mind, Pamela, such is the nature of
your fault, if you can look me in the face, when I tell it you."
"Then let me," said the irresistible charmer, hiding her face in my
bosom, and putting her other arm about my neck, "let me thus, my dear
Mr. B., hide this guilty face, while I hear my fault told; and I will
not seek to extenuate it, by my tears, and my penitence."
I could hardly hold out. What infatuating creatures are these women,
when they thus soothe and calm the tumults of an angry heart! When,
instead of _scornful_ looks darted in return for _angry_ ones, words
of _defiance_ for words of _peevishness,_ persisting to defend
_one_ error by _another_, and returning _vehement wrath_ for _slight
indignation,_ and all the hostile provocations of the marriage
warfare; they can thus hide their dear faces in our bosoms, and wish
but to _know_ their faults, to _amend_ them!
I could hardly, I say, resist the sweet girl's behaviour; nay, I
believe, I did, and in defiance to my resolved displeasure, press her
forehead with my lips, as the rest of her face was hid on my breast;
but, considering it was the cause of my _friend,_ I was to assert, my
_injured_ friend, wounded and insulted, in so various a manner by the
fair offender, thus haughtily spoke I to the trembling mischief, in a
pomp of style theatrically tragic:
"I will not, too inadvertent, and undistinguishing Pamela, keep
you long in suspense, for the sake of a circumstance, that, on this
occasion, ought to give you as much joy, as it has, till now, given
me--since it becomes an advocate in your favour, when otherwise you
might expect very severe treatment. Know then, that the letter you
gave me before you went out, is a letter from a friend, a neighbour, a
worthy neighbour, complaining of your behaviour to him;--no other than
Sir Simon Darnford" (for I would not amuse her too much), "a gentleman
I must always respect, and whom, as my friend, I expected _you_
should: since, by the value a wife expresses for one esteemed by her
husband, whether she thinks so well of him herself, or not, a man
ought always to judge of the sincerity of her regards to himself."
She raised her head at once on this:--"Thank Heaven," said she, "it is
no worse!--I was at my wit's end almost, in apprehension: but I know
how this must be. Dear Sir, how could you frighten me so?--I know how
all this is!--I can now look you in the face, and hear all that Sir
Simon can charge me with! For I am sure, I have not so affronted him
as to make him angry indeed. And truly" (ran she on, secure of pardon
as she seemed to think), "I should respect Sir Simon not only as your
friend, but on his own account, if he was not so sad a rake at a time
Then I interrupted her, you must needs think. Sir Simon; for how could
I bear to hear my worthy friend so freely treated! "How now, Pamela!"
said I; "and is it thus, by _repeating_ your fault, that you _atone_
for it? Do you think I can bear to hear my friend so freely treated?"
"Indeed," said she, "I do respect Sir Simon very much as your
_friend_, permit me to repeat; but cannot for his wilful failings.
Would it not be, in some measure, to approve of faulty conversation,
if one can hear it, and not discourage it, when the occasion comes in
so pat?--And, indeed, I was glad of an opportunity," continued she,
"to give him a little rub; I must needs own it: but if it displeases
you, or has made him angry in earnest, I am sorry for it, and will be
less bold for the future."
"Read then," said I, "the heavy charge, and I'll return instantly to
hear your answer to it." So I went from her, for a few minutes. But,
would you believe it, Sir Simon? she seemed, on my return, very little
concerned at your just complaints. What self-justifying minds have the
meekest of these women!--Instead of finding her in repentant tears, as
one would expect, she took your angry letter for a jocular one; and
I had great difficulty to convince her of the heinousness of _her_
fault, or the reality of your resentment. Upon which, being determined
to have justice done to my friend, and a due sense of her own great
error impressed upon her, I began thus:
"Pamela, take heed that you do not suffer the purity of your own mind,
in breach of your charity, to make you too rigorous a censurer
of other people's actions: don't be so puffed up with your own
perfections, as to imagine, that, because other persons allow
themselves liberties you cannot take, _therefore_ they must be wicked.
Sir Simon is a gentleman who indulges himself in a pleasant vein, and,
I believe, as well as you, _has been_ a great rake and libertine:"
(You'll excuse me, Sir Simon, because I am taking your part), "but
what then? You see it is all over with him now. He says, that he
_must_, and therefore he _will_ be virtuous: and is a man for ever to
hear the faults of his youth, when so willing to forget them?"
"Ah! but, Sir, Sir," said the bold slut, "can you say he is _willing_
to forget them?--Does he not repine in this very letter, that
he _must_ forsake them; and does he not plainly cherish the
_inclination_, when he owns--" She hesitated--"Owns what?"--"You know
what I mean. Sir, and I need not speak it: and can there well be a
more censurable character?--Then before his maiden daughters! his
virtuous lady! _before_ any body!--What a sad thing is this, at a time
of life, which should afford a better example!
"But, dear Sir," continued the bold prattler, (taking advantage of
a silence more owing to displeasure than approbation) "let me, for
I would not be too _censorious_" (No, not she! in the very act of
censoriousness to say this!), "let me offer but one thing: don't
you think Sir Simon himself would be loth to be thought a reformed
gentleman? Don't you see his delight, when speaking of his former
pranks, as if sorry he could not play them over again? See but how he
simpers, and _enjoys_, as one may say, the relations of his own rakish
actions, when he tells a bad story!"
"But," said I, "were this the case" (for I profess, Sir Simon, I was
at a grievous loss to defend you), "for you to write all these free
things against a father to his daughter, is that right, Pamela?"
"O, Sir! the good gentleman himself has taken care, that such a
character as I presumed to draw to Miss of her papa, was no strange
one to her. You have seen yourself, Mr. B., whenever his arch leers,
and his humourous attitude on those occasions, have taught us to
expect some shocking story, how his lady and daughters (used to him as
they are), have suffered in their apprehensions of what he would say,
before he spoke it: how, particularly, dear Miss Darnford has looked
at me with concern, desirous, as it were, if possible, to save her
papa from the censure, which his faulty expressions must naturally
bring upon him. And, dear Sir, is it not a sad thing for a young lady,
who loves and honours her papa, to observe, that he is discrediting
himself, and _wants_ the example he ought to _give?_ And pardon me,
Sir, for smiling on so serious an occasion; but is it not a fine
sight to see a gentleman, as we have often seen Sir Simon, when he has
thought proper to read a passage in some bad book, pulling off _his
spectacles_, to talk filthily upon it? Methinks I see him now," added
the bold slut, "splitting his arch face with a broad laugh, shewing a
mouth, with hardly a tooth in it, and making obscene remarks upon what
he has read."
And then the dear saucy-face laughed out, to bear _me_ company; for I
could not, for the soul of me, avoid laughing heartily at the figure
she brought to my mind, which I have seen my old friend more than once
make, with his dismounted spectacles, arch mouth, and gums of shining
jet, succeeding those of polished ivory, of which he often boasts, as
one ornament of his youthful days.--And I the rather in my heart, Sir
Simon, gave you up, because, when I was a sad fellow, it was always my
maxim to endeavour to touch a lady's heart without wounding her
ears. And, indeed, I found my account sometimes in observing it. But,
resuming my gravity--"Hussy, said I, do you think I will have my old
friend thus made the object of your ridicule?--Suppose a challenge
should have ensued between us on your account--what might have been
the issue of it? To see an old gentleman, stumping, as he says, on
crutches, to fight a duel in defence of his wounded honour!"--"Very
bad, Sir, to be sure: I see that, and am sorry for it: for had you
carried off Sir Simon's crutch, as a trophy, he must have lain sighing
and groaning like a wounded soldier in the field of battle, till
another had been brought him, to have stumped home with."
But, dear Sir Simon, I have brought this matter to an issue, that
will, I hope, make all easy;--Miss Polly, and my Pamela, shall both be
punished as they deserve, if it be not your own fault. I am told, that
the sins of your youth don't sit so heavily upon your limbs, as in
your imagination; and I believe change of air, and the gratification
of your revenge, a fine help to such lively spirits as yours, will set
you up. You shall then take coach, and bring your pretty criminal to
mine; and when we have them together, they shall humble themselves
before us, and you can absolve or punish them, as you shall see
proper. For I cannot bear to have my worthy friend insulted in so
heinous a manner, by a couple of saucy girls, who, if not taken down
in time, may proceed from fault to fault, till there will be no living
If (to be still more serious) your lady and you will lend Miss
Darnford to my Pamela's wishes, whose heart is set upon the hope of
her wintering with us in town, you will lay an obligation upon us
both; which will be acknowledged with great gratitude by, dear Sir,
_your affectionate and humble servant_.
_From Sir Simon Darnford in reply._
Hark ye, Mr. B.--A word in your ear:--to be plain: I like neither you
nor your wife well enough to trust my Polly with you.
But here's war declared against my poor gums, it seems. Well, I will
never open my mouth before your lady as long as I live, if I can help
it. I have for these ten years avoided to put on my cravat; and for
what reason, do you think?--Why, because I could not bear to see what
ruins a few years have made in a visage, that used to inspire love and
terror as it pleased. And here your--what-shall-I-call-her of a wife,
with all the insolence of youth and beauty on her side, follows me
with a glass, and would make me look in it, whether I will or not. I'm
a plaguy good-humoured old fellow--if I am an old fellow--or I should
not bear the insults contained in your letter. Between you and your
lady, you make a wretched figure of me, that's certain.--And yet 'tis
_taking my part_.
But what must I do?--I'd be glad at any rate to stand in your
lady's graces, that I would; nor would I be the last rake libertine
unreformed by her example, which I suppose will make virtue the
fashion, if she goes on as she does. But here I have been used to cut
a joke and toss the squib about; and, as far as I know, it has
helped to keep me alive in the midst of pains and aches, and with two
women-grown girls, and the rest of the mortifications that will attend
on _advanced years_; for I won't (hang me if I will) give it up as
absolute _old age!_
But now, it seems, I must leave all this off, or I must be mortified
with a looking glass held before me, and every wrinkle must be made
as conspicuous as a furrow--And what, pray, is to succeed to this
reformation?--I can neither fast nor pray, I doubt.--And besides, if
my stomach and my jest depart from me, farewell, Sir Simon Darnford!
But cannot I pass as one necessary character, do you think: as a foil
(as, by-the-bye, some of your own actions have been to your lady's
virtue) to set off some more edifying example, where variety of
characters make up a feast in conversation?
Well, I believe I might have trusted you with my daughter, under your
lady's eye, rake as you have been yourself; and fame says wrong, if
you have not been, for your time a bolder sinner than ever I was, with
your maxim of touching ladies' hearts, without wounding their ears,
which made surer work with them, that was all; though 'tis to be hoped
you are now reformed; and if you are, the whole country round you,
east, west, north, and south, owe great obligations to your fair
reclaimer. But here is a fine prim young fellow, coming out of
Norfolk, with one estate in one county, another in another, and
jointures and settlements in his hand, and more wit in his head, as
well as more money in his pocket, than he can tell what to do with, to
visit our Polly; though I tell her I much question the former quality,
his wit, if he is for marrying.
Here then is the reason I cannot comply with your kind Mrs. B.'s
request. But if this matter should go off; if he should not like
_her_, or she _him_; or if I should not like _his_ terms, or he
_mine_;--or still another _or_, if he should like Nancy better why,
then perhaps, if Polly be a good girl, I may trust to her virtue, and
to your honour, and let her go for a month or two.
Now, when I have said this, and when I say, further, that I can
forgive your severe lady, and yourself too, (who, however, are less to
be excused in the airs you assume, which looks like one chimney-sweeper
calling another a sooty rascal) I gave a proof of my charity, which
I hope with Mrs. B. will cover a multitude of faults; and the rather,
since, though I cannot be a _follower_ of her virtue in the strictest
sense, I can be an _admirer_ of it; and that is some little merit: and
indeed all that can be at present pleaded by _yourself_, I doubt, any
more than _your humble servant_,
MY HONOURED AND DEAR PARENTS,
I hope you will excuse my long silence, which has been owing to
several causes, and having had nothing new to entertain you with: and
yet this last is but a poor excuse to you, who think every trifling
subject agreeable from your daughter.
I daily expect here my Lord and Lady Davers. This gives me no small
pleasure, and yet it is mingled with some uneasiness at times; lest I
should not, when viewed so intimately near, behave myself answerably
to her ladyship's expectations. But I resolve not to endeavour to
move out of the sphere of my own capacity, in order to emulate her
ladyship. She must have advantages, by conversation, as well as
education, which it would be arrogance in me to assume, or to think of
All that I will attempt to do, therefore, shall be, to shew such a
respectful obligingness to my lady, as shall be consistent with the
condition to which I am raised; so that she may not have reason to
reproach me of pride in my exaltation, nor her dear brother to rebuke
me for meanness in condescending: and, as to my family arrangement, I
am the less afraid of inspection, because, by the natural bias of
my own mind, I bless God, I am above dark reserves, and have not one
selfish or sordid view, to make me wish to avoid the most scrutinising
I have begun a correspondence with Miss Darnford, a young lady
of uncommon merit. But yet you know her character from my former
writings. She is very solicitous to hear of all that concerns me, and
particularly how Lady Davers and I agree together. I loved her from
the moment I saw her first; for she has the least pride, and the most
benevolence and solid thought, I ever knew in a young lady, and does
not envy any one. I shall write to her often: and as I shall have so
many avocations besides to fill up my time, I know you will excuse me,
if I procure from this lady the return of my letters to her, for your
perusal, and for the entertainment of your leisure hours. This will
give you, from time to time, the accounts you desire of all that
happens here. But as to what relates to our own particulars, I beg you
will never spare writing, as I shall not answering; for it is one of
my greatest delights, that I have such worthy parents (as I hope in
God, I long shall) to bless me and to correspond with me.
The papers I send herewith will afford you some diversion,
particularly those relating to Sir Simon Darnford; and I must desire,
that when you have perused them (as well as what I shall send for the
future), you will return them to me.
Mr. Longman greatly pleased me, on his last return, in his account of
your health, and the satisfaction you take in your happy lot; and I
must recite to you a brief conversation on this occasion, which, I
dare say, will please you as much as it did me.
After having adjusted some affairs with his dear principal, which took
up two hours, my best beloved sent for me. "My dear," said he, seating
me by him, and making the good old gentleman sit down, (for he will
always rise at my approach) "Mr. Longman and I have settled, in two
hours, some accounts, which would have taken up as many months with
some persons: for never was there an exacter or more methodical
accomptant. He gives me (greatly to my satisfaction, because I know
it will delight you) an account of the Kentish concern, and of the
pleasure your father and mother take in it.--Now, my charmer," said
he, "I see your eyes begin to glisten: O how this subject raises your
whole soul to the windows of it!--Never was so dutiful a daughter, Mr.
Longman; and never did parents better deserve a daughter's duty."
I endeavoured before Mr. Longman to rein in a gratitude, that my
throbbing heart confessed through my handkerchief, as I perceived: but
the good old gentleman could not hinder his from shewing itself at
his worthy eyes, to see how much I was favoured--_oppressed_, I should
say--with the tenderest goodness to me, and kind expressions.--"Excuse
me," said he, wiping his cheeks: "my delight to see such merit so
justly rewarded will not be contained, I think." And so he arose and
walked to the window.
"Well, good Mr. Longman," said I, as he returned towards us, "you give
me the pleasure to know that my father and mother are well; and happy
then they _must_ be, in a goodness and bounty, that I, and many more,
"Well and happy, Madam;--ay, that they are, indeed! A worthier couple
never lived. Most nobly do they go on in the farm. Your honour is one
of the happiest gentlemen in the world. All the good you do, returns
upon you in a trice. It may well be said _you cast your bread upon the
waters_; for it presently comes to you again, richer and heavier
than when you threw it in. All the Kentish tenants, Madam, are hugely
delighted with their good steward: every thing prospers under his
management: the gentry love both him and my dame; and the poor people
Thus ran Mr. Longman on, to my inexpressible delight, you may believe;
and when he withdrew--"'Tis an honest soul," said my dear Mr. B. "I
love him for his respectful love to my angel, and his value for the
worthy pair. Very glad I am, that every thing answers _their_ wishes.
May they long live, and be happy!"
The dear man makes me spring to his arms, whenever be touches this
string: for he speaks always thus kindly of you; and is glad to hear,
he says, that you don't live only to yourselves; and now and then
adds, that he is as much satisfied with your prudence, as he is with
mine; that parents and daughter do credit to one another: and that
the praises he hears of you from every mouth, make him take as great
pleasure in you, as if you were his own relations. How delighting, how
transporting rather, my dear parents, must this goodness be to your
happy daughter! And how could I forbear repeating these kind things to
you, that you may see how well every thing is taken that you do?
When the expected visit from Lord and Lady Davers is over, the
approaching winter will call us to London; and as I shall then be
nearer to you, we may oftener hear from one another, which will be a
great heightening to my pleasures.
But I hear such an account of the immoralities which persons may
observe there, along with the public diversions, that it takes off a
little from the satisfaction I should otherwise have in the thought of
going thither. For, they say, quarrels, and duels, and gallantries, as
they are called, so often happen in London, that those enormities are
heard of without the least wonder or surprise.
This makes me very thoughtful at times. But God, I hope, will preserve
our dearest benefactor, and continue to me his affection, and then
I shall be always happy; especially while your healths and felicity
confirm and crown the delights of _your ever dutiful daughter,_ P.B.
MY DEAREST CHILD,
It may not be improper to mention ourselves, what the nature of
the kindnesses is, which we confer on our poor neighbours, and the
labouring people, lest it should be surmised, by any body, that we
are lavishing away wealth that is not our own. Not that we fear either
your honoured husband or you will suspect so, or that the worthy
Mr. Longman would insinuate as much; for he saw what we did, and was
highly pleased with it, and said he would make such a report of it as
you write he did. What we do is in small things, though the good we
hope from them is not small perhaps: and if a very distressful
case should happen among our poor neighbours, requiring any thing
considerable, and the objects be deserving, we would acquaint you with
it, and leave it to you to do as God should direct you.
My dear child, you are very happy, and if it _can_ be, may you be
happier still! Yet I verily think you cannot be more happy than your
father and mother, except in this one thing, that all our happiness,
under God, proceeds from you; and, as other parents bless their
children with plenty and benefits, you have blessed your parents (or
your honoured husband rather for your sake) with all the good things
this world can afford.
Your papers are the joy of our leisure hours; and you are kind beyond
all expression, in taking care to oblige us with them. We know how
your time is taken up, and ought to be very well contented, if but
now and then you let us hear of your health and welfare. But it is
not enough with such a good daughter, that you have made our lives
_comfortable_, but you will make them _joyful_ too, by communicating
to us, all that befals you: and then you write so piously, and
with such a sense of God's goodness to you, and intermix such good
reflections in your writings, that whether it be our partial love or
not, I cannot tell, but, truly, we think nobody comes up to you: and
you make our hearts and eyes so often overflow, as we read, that we
join hand in hand, and say to each other, in the same breath--"Blessed
be God, and blessed be you, my love,"--"For such a daughter," says the
one--"For such a daughter," says the other--"And she has your own sweet
temper," cry I.--"And she has your own honest heart," cries she: and
so we go on, blessing God, and you, and blessing your spouse, and
ourselves!--Is any happiness like ours, my dear daughter?
We are really so enraptured with your writings, that when our spirits
flag, through the infirmity of years, which hath begun to take hold of
us, we have recourse to some of your papers:--"Come, my dear," cry I,
"what say you to a banquet now?"--She knows what I mean. "With all my
heart," says she. So I read although it be on a Sunday, so good are
your letters; and you must know, I have copies of many, and after a
little while we are as much alive and brisk, as if we had no nagging
at all, and return to the duties of the day with double delight.
Consider then, my dear child, what joy your writings give us: and
yet we are afraid of oppressing you, who have so much to do of other
kinds; and we are heartily glad you have found out a way to save
trouble to yourself, and rejoice us, and oblige so worthy a young
lady as Miss Darnford, all at one time. I never shall forget her dear
goodness, and notice of me at the Hall, kindly pressing my rough hands
with her fine hands, and looking in my face with _so_ much kindness
in her eyes!--What good people, as well as bad, there are in high
stations!--Thank God there are; else our poor child would have had
a sad time of it too often, when she was obliged to _step out of
herself_, as once I heard you phrase it, into company you could not
Well, but what shall I say more? and yet how shall I end?--Only, with
my prayers, that God will continue to you the blessing and comforts
you are in possession of!--And pray now, be not over-thoughtful about
London; for why should you let the dread of future evils lessen your
present joys?--There is no absolute perfection in this life, that's
true; but one would make one's self as easy as one could. 'Tis time
enough to be troubled when troubles come--"_Sufficient unto the day is
the evil thereof_."
Rejoice, then, as you have often said you would, in your present
blessings, and leave the event of things to the Supreme Disposer
of all events. And what have _you_ to do but to rejoice? _You_, who
cannot see a sun rise, but it is to bless you, and to raise up from
their beds numbers to join in the blessing! _You_ who can bless your
high-born friends, and your low-born parents, and obscure relations!
the rich by your example, and the poor by your bounty; and bless
besides so good and so brave a husband;--O my dear child, what, let
me repeat it, have _you_ to do but rejoice?--_For many daughters have
done wisely, but you have excelled them all_.
I will only add, that every thing the 'squire ordered is just upon the
point of being finished. And when the good time comes, that we shall
be again favoured with his presence and yours, what a still greater
joy will this afford to the already overflowing hearts of _your ever
loving father and mother_,
JOHN _and_ ELIZ. ANDREWS.
MY DEAREST MISS DARNFORD,
The interest I take in everything that concerns you, makes me very
importunate to know how you approve the gentleman, whom some of your
best friends and well-wishers have recommended to your favour. I hope
he will deserve your good opinion, and then he must excel most of the
unmarried gentlemen in England.
Your papa, in his humourous manner, mentions his large possessions and
riches; but were he as rich as Croesus, he should not have my consent,
if he has no greater merit; though that is what the generality of
parents look out for first; and indeed an easy fortune is so far from
being to be disregarded, that, when attended with equal merit, I think
it ought to have a _preference_ given to it, supposing affections
disengaged. For 'tis certain, that a man or woman may stand as good a
chance for happiness in marriage with a person of fortune, as with one
who has not that advantage; and notwithstanding I had neither riches
nor descent to boast of, I must be of opinion with those who say, that
they never knew any body despise either, that had them. But to permit
riches to be the _principal_ inducement, to the neglect of superior
merit, that is the fault which many a one smarts for, whether the
choice be their own, or imposed upon them by those who have a title to
Here is a saucy body, might some who have not Miss Darnford's kind
consideration for her friend, be apt to say, who being thus meanly
descended, nevertheless presumes to give her opinion, in these high
cases, unasked.--But I have this to say; that I think myself so
entirely divested of partiality to my own case, that, as far as my
judgment shall permit, I will never have that in view, when I am
presuming to hint my opinion of general rules. For, most surely, the
honours I have received, and the debasement to which my best friend
had subjected himself, have, for their principal excuse, that the
gentleman was entirely independent, had no questions to ask, and had
a fortune sufficient to make himself, as well as the person he
chose, happy, though she brought him nothing at all; and that he had,
moreover, such a character for good sense, and knowledge of the world,
that nobody could impute to him any other inducement, but that of a
noble resolution to reward a virtue he had so frequently, and, I will
say, so wickedly, tried, and could not subdue.
My dear Miss, let me, as a subject very pleasing to me, touch upon
your kind mention of the worthy Mr. Peters's sentiments to that
part of his conduct to me, which (oppressed by the terrors and
apprehensions to which I was subjected) once I censured; and the
readier, as I had so great an honour for his cloth, that I thought,
to be a clergyman, and all that was compassionate, good, and virtuous,
was the same thing.
But when I came to know Mr. Peters, I had a high opinion of his
worthiness, and as no one can be perfect in this life, thus I thought
to myself: How hard was then my lot, to be the cause of stumbling
to so worthy a heart. To be sure, a gentleman, one who knows, and
practises so well, his duty, in every other instance, and preaches it
so efficaciously to others, must have been _one day_ sensible, that it
would not have mis-become his function and character to have afforded
that protection to oppressed innocence, which was requested of him:
and how would it have grieved his considerate mind, had my ruin been
completed, that he did not!
But as he had once a namesake, as one may say, that failed in a much
greater instance, let not _my_ want of charity exceed _his_ fault;
but let me look upon it as an infirmity, to which the most perfect
are liable; I was a stranger to him; a servant girl carried off by
her master, a young gentleman of violent and lawless passions, who,
in this very instance, shewed how much in earnest he was set upon
effecting all his vile purposes; and whose heart, although _God_ might
touch, it was not probable any lesser influence could. Then he was not
sure, that, though he might assist my escape, I might not afterwards
fall again into the hands of so determined a violator: and that
difficulty would not, with such an one, enhance his resolution to
overcome all obstacles.
Moreover, he might think, that the person, who was moving him to this
worthy measure, possibly sought to gratify a view of his own, and that
while endeavouring to save, to outward appearance, a virtue in danger,
he was, in reality, only helping another to a wife, at the hazard of
exposing himself to the vindictiveness of a violent temper, and a rich
neighbour, who had power as well as will to resent; for such was his
apprehension, entirely groundless as it was, though not improbable, as
it might seem to him.
For all these considerations, I must pity, rather than too rigorously
censure, the worthy gentleman, and I will always respect him. And
thank him a thousand times, my dear, in my name, for his goodness in
condescending to acknowledge, by your hand, his infirmity, as such;
for this gives an excellent proof of the natural worthiness of his
heart; and that it is beneath him to seek to extenuate a fault, when
he thinks he has committed one.
Indeed, my dear friend, I have so much honour for the clergy of all
degrees, that I never forget in my prayers one article, that God will
make them shining lights to the world; since so much depends on their
ministry and examples, as well with respect to our public as private
duties. Nor shall the faults of a few make impression upon me to the
disadvantage of the order; for I am afraid a very censorious temper,
in this respect, is too generally the indication of an uncharitable
and perhaps a profligate heart, levelling characters, in order to
cover some inward pride, or secret enormities, which they are ashamed
to avow, and will not be instructed to amend.
Forgive, my dear, this tedious scribble; I cannot for my life write
short letters to those I love. And let me hope that you will favour
me with an account of your new affair, and how you proceed in it;
and with such of your conversations, as may give me some notion of a
polite courtship. For, alas! your poor friend knows nothing of this.
All her courtship was sometimes a hasty snatch of the hand, a black
and blue gripe of the arm, and--"Whither now?"--"Come to me when I bid
you!" And Saucy-face, and Creature, and such like, on his part--with
fear and trembling on mine; and--"I will, I will!--Good Sir, have
mercy!" At other times a scream, and nobody to hear or mind me; and
with uplift hands, bent knees, and tearful eyes--"For God's sake, pity
your poor servant."
This, my dear Miss Darnford, was the hard treatment that attended my
courtship--pray, then, let me know, how gentlemen court their equals
in degree; how they look when they address you, with their knees bent,
sighing, supplicating, and _all that_, as Sir Simon says, with the
words Slave, Servant, Admirer, continually at their tongue's end.
But after all, it will be found, I believe, that be the language and
behaviour ever so obsequious, it is all designed to end alike--The
English, the plain English, of the politest address, is,--"I am now,
dear Madam, your humble servant: pray be so good as to let me be your
master,"--"Yes, and thank you too," says the lady's heart, though not
her lips, if she likes him. And so they go to church together; and,
in conclusion, it will be happy, if these obsequious courtships end no
worse than my frightful one.
But I am convinced, that with a man of sense, a woman of tolerable
prudence _must_ be happy.
That whenever you marry, it may be to such a man, who then must value
you as you deserve, and make you happy as I now am, notwithstanding
all that's past, wishes and prays _your obliged friend and servant,_