Part 4 out of 11
conversation charms me!--I charge you, when you get to town, let
me have your remarks on the diversions you will be carried to by
my brother. Now I know what to expect from _you_, and you know how
acceptable every thing from you will be _to me_, I promise great
pleasure, as well to myself as to my worthy friends, particularly to
Lady Betty, in your unrestrained free correspondence.--Indeed,
Pamela, I must bring you acquainted with Lady Betty: she is one of the
worthies of our sex, and has a fine understanding.--I'm sure you'll
like her.--But (for the world say it not to my brother, nor let Lady
Betty know I tell you so, if ever you should be acquainted) I had
carried the matter so far by my officious zeal to have my brother
married to so fine a lady, not doubting his joyful approbation, that
it was no small disappointment to _her_, when he married you: and this
is the best excuse I can make for my furious behaviour to you at the
Hall. For though I am naturally very hasty and passionate, yet then
I was almost mad.--Indeed my disappointment had given me so much
indignation both against you and him, that it is well I did not do
some violent thing by you. I believe you did feel the weight of my
hand: but what was that? 'Twas well I did not _kill you dead_."--These
were her ladyship's words--"For how could I think the wild libertine
capable of being engaged by such noble motives, or thee what thou
art!--So this will account to thee a little for my violence then."
"Your ladyship," said I, "all these things considered, had but too
much reason to be angry at your dear brother's proceedings, so well as
you always loved him, so high a concern as you always had to promote
his honour and interest, and so far as you had gone with Lady Betty."
"I tell thee, Pamela, that the old story of Eleanor and Rosamond run
in my head all the way of my journey, and I almost wished for a potion
to force down thy throat: when I found thy lewd paramour absent, (for
little did I think thou wast married to him, though I expected thou
wouldst try to persuade me to believe it) fearing that his intrigue
with thee would effectually frustrate my hopes as to Lady Betty and
him: 'Now,' thought I, 'all happens as I wish!--Now will I confront
this brazen girl!--Now will I try her innocence, as I please, by
offering to take her away with me; if she refuses, take that refusal
for a demonstration of her guilt; and then,' thought I, 'I will make
the creature provoke me, in the presence of my nephew and my woman,'
(and I hoped to have got that woman Jewkes to testify for me too), and
I cannot tell what I might have done, if thou hadst not escaped out of
the window, especially after telling me thou wast as much married as
I was, and hadst shewn me his tender letter to thee, which had a quite
different effect upon me than you expected. But if I had committed
any act of violence, what remorse should I have had on reflection, and
knowing what an excellence I had injured! Thank God thou didst escape
me!" And then her ladyship folded her arms about me, and kissed me.
This was a sad story, you'll say, my dear: and I wonder what her
ladyship's passion would have made her do! Surely she would not have
_killed me dead_! Surely she would not!--Let it not, however, Miss
Darnford--nor you, my dear parents--when you see it--go out of
your own hands, nor be read, for my Lady Davers's sake, to any body
else--No, not to your own mamma. It made me tremble a little, even at
this distance, to think what a sad thing passion is, when way is
given to its ungovernable tumults, and how it deforms and debases the
We returned from this agreeable airing just in time to dress before
dinner, and then my lady and I went together into the countess's
apartment, where I received abundance of compliments from both. As
this brief conversation will give you some notion of that management
and economy for which they heaped upon me their kind praises, I will
recite to you what passed in it, and hope you will not think me too
vain; and the less, because what I underwent formerly from my lady's
indignation, half entitles me to be proud of her present kindness and
Lady Davers said, "Your ladyship must excuse us, that we have lost so
much of your company; but here, this sweet girl has so entertained me,
that I could have staid out with her all day; and several times did I
bid the coachman prolong his circuit."--"My good Lady Davers, Madam,"
said I, "has given me inexpressible pleasure, and has been all
condescension and favour, and made me as proud as proud can
be."--"You, my dear Mrs. B.," said she, "may have given great pleasure
to Lady Davers, for it cannot be otherwise--But I have no great notion
of her ladyship's condescension, as you call it--(pardon me, Madam,"
said she to her, smiling) "when she cannot raise her style above the
word _girl_, coming off from a tour you have made so delightful to
her."--"I protest to you, my Lady C.," replied her ladyship, with
great goodness, "that word, which once I used through pride, as you'll
call it, I now use for a very different reason. I begin to doubt,
whether to call her _sister_, is not more honour to myself than to
her; and to this hour am not quite convinc'd. When I am, I will call
her so with pleasure." I was quite overcome with this fine compliment,
but could not answer a word: and the countess said, "I could have
spared you longer, had not the time of day compelled your return; for
I have been very agreeably entertained, as well as you, although but
with the talk of your woman and mine. For here they have been giving
me such an account of Mrs. B.'s economy, and family management, as
has highly delighted me. I never knew the like; and in so young a lady
too.--We shall have strange reformations to make in our families, Lady
Davers, when we go home, were we to follow so good an example.--Why,
my dear Mrs. B.," continued her ladyship, "you out-do all your
neighbours. And indeed I am glad I live so far from you:--for were I
to try to imitate you, it would still be _but_ imitation, and you'd
have the honour of it."--"Yet you hear, and you see by yesterday's
conversation," said Lady Davers, "how much her best neighbours,
of both sexes, admire her: they all yield to her the palm,
unenvying."--"Then, my good ladies," said I, "it is a sign I have most
excellent neighbours, full of generosity, and willing to encourage a
young person in doing right things: so it makes, considering what I
was, more for their honour than my own. For what censures should not
such a one as I deserve, who have not been educated to fill up my time
like ladies of condition, were I not to employ myself as I do? I,
who have so little other merit, and who brought no fortune at
all."--"Come, come, Pamela, none of your self-denying ordinances,"
that was Lady Davers's word; "you must know something of your own
excellence: if you do not, I'll tell it you, because there is no fear
you will be proud or vain upon it. I don't see, then, that there
is the lady in yours, or any neighbourhood, that behaves with more
decorum, or better keeps up the part of a lady, than you do. How you
manage it, I can't tell; but you do as much by a look, and a pleasant
one too, that's the rarity! as I do by high words, and passionate
exclamations: I have often nothing but blunder upon blunder, as if the
wretches were in a confederacy to try my patience."--"Perhaps,"
said I, "the awe they have of your ladyship, because of your high
qualities, makes them commit blunders; for I myself was always more
afraid of appearing before your ladyship, when you have visited
your honoured mother, than of any body else, and have been the more
sensibly awkward through that very awful respect."--"Psha, psha,
Pamela, that is not it: 'tis all in yourself. I used to think my
mamma, and my brother too, had as awkward servants as ever I saw any
where--except Mrs. Jervis--Well enough for a bachelor, indeed!--But,
here!--thou hast not parted with one servant--Hast thou?"--"No,
Madam."--"How!" said the countess; "what excellence is here!--All of
them, pardon me, Mrs. B., your fellow-servants, as one may say, and
all of them so respectful, so watchful of your eye; and you, at the
same time, so gentle to them, so easy, so cheerful."
Don't you think me, my dear, insufferably vain? But 'tis what they
were pleased to say. 'Twas their goodness to me, and shewed how much
they can excel in generous politeness. So I will proceed. "Why
this," continued the countess, "must be _born_ dignity--_born_
discretion--Education cannot give it:--if it could, why should not
_we_ have it?"
The ladies said many more kind things of me then; and after dinner
they mentioned all over again, with additions, before my best friend,
who was kindly delighted with the encomiums given me by two ladies of
such distinguishing judgment in all other cases. They told him, how
much they admired my family management: then they would have it that
my genius was universal, for the employments and accomplishments of
my sex, whether they considered it as employed in penmanship, in
needlework, in paying or receiving visits, in music, and I can't tell
how many other qualifications, which they were pleased to attribute
to me, over and above the family management: saying, that I had
an understanding which comprehended every thing, and an eye that
penetrated into the very bottom of matters in a moment, and never
was at a loss for the _should be_, the _why_ or _wherefore_, and the
_how_--these were their comprehensive words; that I did every
thing with celerity, clearing all as I went, and left nothing, they
observed, to come over again, that could be dispatched at once: by
which means, they said, every hand was clear to undertake a new
work, as well as my own head to direct it; and there was no hurry nor
confusion: but every coming hour was fresh and ready, and unincumbered
(so they said), for its new employment; and to this they attributed
that ease and pleasure with which every thing was performed, and that
I could _do_ and _cause_ to be done, so much business without hurry
either to myself or servants.
Judge how pleasing this was to my best beloved, who found, in their
kind approbation, such a justification of his own conduct as could not
fail of being pleasing to him, especially as Lady Davers was one of
the kind praisers. Lord Davers was so highly delighted, that he rose
once, begging his brother's excuse, to salute me, and stood over
my chair, with a pleasure in his looks that cannot be expressed,
now-and-then lifting up his hands, and his good-natured eye glistening
with joy, which a pier-glass gave me the opportunity of seeing, as
sometimes I stole a bashful glance towards it, not knowing how or
which way to look. Even Mr. H. seemed to be touched very sensibly; and
recollecting his behaviour to me at the Hall, he once cried out,
"What a sad whelp was _I_, to behave as I formerly did, to so much
excellence!--Not, Mr. B., that I was any thing uncivil neither;--but
in unworthy sneers, and nonsense.--You know me well enough.--You
called me, _tinsell'd boy_, though, Madam, don't you remember that?
and said, _twenty or thirty years hence, when I was at age, you'd give
me an answer._ Egad! I shall never forget your looks, nor your words
neither!--they were severe speeches, were they not, Sir?"--"O you see,
Mr. H.," replied my dear Mr. B., "Pamela is not quite perfect. We must
not provoke her; for she'll call us both so, perhaps; for I wear a
laced coat, sometimes, as well as you."
"Nay, I can't be angry," said he. "I deserved it richly, that I
did, had it been worse."--"Thy silly tongue," said my lady, "runs
on without fear or wit. What's past is past."--"Why, Madam, I was
plaguily wrong; and I said nothing of any body but _myself_:--and
have been ready to hang myself since, as often as I have thought of my
nonsense."--"My nephew," said my lord, "must bring in hanging, or
the gallows in every speech he makes, or it will not be he." Mr. B.,
smiling, said, with severity enough in his meaning, as I saw by the
turn of his countenance, "Mr. H. knows that his birth and family
entitle him more to the _block_, than the rope, or he would not make
so free with the latter."--"Good! very good, by Jupiter!" said Mr.
H. laughing. The countess smiled. Lady Davers shook her head at her
brother, and said to her nephew, "Thou'rt a good-natured foolish
fellow, that thou art."--"For what, Madam? Why the word _foolish_,
aunt? What have I said now?"
"Nothing to any purpose, indeed," said she; "when thou dost, I'll
write it down."--"Then, Madam," said he, "have your pen and ink always
about you, when I am present; and put that down to begin with!" This
made every one laugh. "What a happy thing is it," thought I, "that
good nature generally accompanies this character; else, how would some
people be supportable?"
But here I'll break off. 'Tis time, you'll say. But you know to whom
I write, as well as to yourself, and they'll be pleased with all
my silly scribble. So excuse one part for that, and another for
friendship's sake, and then I shall be wholly excusable to you.
Now the trifler again resumes her pen. I am in some pain, Miss, for
to-morrow, because of the rules we observe of late in our family on
Sundays, and of going through a crowd to church; which will afford new
scenes to our noble visitors, either for censure or otherwise: but I
will sooner be censured for doing what I think my duty, than for the
want of it; and so will omit nothing that we have been accustomed to
I hope I shall not be thought ridiculous, or as one who aims at works
of supererogation, for what I think is very short of my duty. Some
order, surely, becomes the heads of families; and besides, it would
be discrediting one's own practice, if one did not appear at one time
what one does at another. For that which is a reason for discontinuing
a practice for some company, would seem to be a reason for laying it
aside for ever, especially in a family visiting and visited as ours.
And I remember well a hint given me by my dearest friend once on
another subject, that it is in every one's power to prescribe rules to
himself, after a while, and persons to see what is one's way, and that
one is not to be put out of it. But my only doubt is, that to ladies,
who have not been accustomed perhaps to the _necessary_ strictness, I
should make myself censurable, as if I aimed at too much perfection:
for, however one's duty is one's duty, and ought not to be dispensed
with; yet, when a person, who uses to be remiss, sees so hard a task
before them, and so many great points to get over, all to be no more
than tolerably regular, it is rather apt to frighten and discourage,
than to allure; and one must proceed, as I have read soldiers do, in
a difficult siege, inch by inch, and be more studious to entrench
and fortify themselves, as they go on gaining upon the enemy, than
by rushing all at once upon an attack of the place, be repulsed, and
perhaps obliged with great loss to abandon a hopeful enterprise. And
permit me to add, that young as I am, I have often observed, that
over-great strictnesses all at once enjoined and insisted upon, are
not fit for a beginning reformation, but for stronger Christians only;
and therefore generally do more harm than good.
But shall I not be too grave, my dear friend?--Excuse me; for this is
Saturday night: and as it was a very good method which the ingenious
authors of the Spectator took, generally to treat their more serious
subjects on this day; so I think one should, when one can, consider it
as the preparative eve to a still better.
Now, my dear, by what I have already written, it is become in a manner
necessary to acquaint you briefly with the method my dear Mr. B. not
only permits, but encourages me to take, in the family he leaves to my
care, as to the Sunday _duty_.
The worthy dean, at my request, and my beloved's permission,
recommended to me, as a sort of family chaplain, for Sundays, a young
gentleman of great sobriety and piety, and sound principles, who
having but lately taken orders, has at present no other provision.
And this gentleman comes, and reads prayers to us about seven in the
morning, in the lesser hall, as we call it, a retired apartment, next
the little garden; for we have no chapel with us here, as in your
neighbourhood; and this generally, with some suitable exhortation,
or meditation out of some good book, which he is so kind as to let me
choose now-and-then, when I please, takes up little more than half an
hour. We have a great number of servants of both sexes: and myself,
Mrs. Jervis, and Polly Barlow, are generally in a little closet,
which, when we open the door, is but just a separation from the
hall.--Mr. Adams (for that is our young clergyman's name) has a desk
at which sometimes Mr. Jonathan makes up his running accounts to Mr.
Longman, who is very scrupulous of admitting any body to the use of
his office, because of the writing in his custody, and the order he
values himself upon having every thing in. About seven in the evening
he comes again, and I generally, let me have what company I will,
find time to retire for about another half hour; and my dear Mr. B.
connives at, and excuses my absence, if enquired after; though for so
short a time, I am seldom missed.
To the young gentleman I shall present, every quarter, five guineas,
and Mr. B. presses him to accept of a place at his table at his
pleasure: but, as we have generally much company, his modesty makes
him decline it, especially at those times.--Mr. Longman joins with us
very often in our Sunday office, and Mr. Colbrand seldom misses: and
they tell Mrs. Jervis that they cannot express the pleasure they have
to meet me there; and the edification they receive.
My best beloved dispenses as much as he can with the servants, for the
evening part, if he has company; or will be attended only by John or
Abraham, perhaps by turns; and sometimes looks upon his watch, and
says, "'Tis near seven;" and if he says so, they take it for a hint
that they may be dispensed with for half an hour; and this countenance
which he gives me, has contributed not a little to make the matter
easy and delightful to me, and to every one.--When I part from them,
on the breaking up of our assembly, they generally make a little row
on each side of the hall-door; and when I have made my compliments,
and paid my thanks to Mr. Adams, they whisper, as I go out, "God bless
you, Madam!" and bow and curtsey with such pleasure in their honest
countenances as greatly delights me: and I say, "So my good friends--I
am glad to see you--Not one absent!" or but one--(as it falls
out)--"This is very obliging," I cry: and thus I shew them, that I
take notice, if any body be not there. And back again I go to pay my
duty to my earthly benefactor: and he is pleased to say sometimes,
that I come to him with such a radiance in my countenance, as gives
him double pleasure to behold me; and often tells me, that but for
appearing too fond before company, he could meet me as I enter, with
embraces as pure as my own heart.
I hope in time, I shall prevail upon the dear man to give me his
company.--But, thank God, I am enabled to go thus far already!--I will
leave the rest to his providence. For I have a point very delicate to
touch upon in this particular; and I must take care not to lose the
ground I have gained, by too precipitately pushing at too much at
once. This is my comfort, that next to being uniform _himself_, is
that permission and encouragement he gives _me_ to be so, and his
pleasure in seeing me so delighted--and besides, he always gives me
his company to church. O how happy should I think myself, if he would
be pleased to accompany me to the divine office, which yet he has not
done, though I have urged him as much as I durst.--Mrs. Jervis asked
me on Saturday evening, if I would be concerned to see a larger
congregation in the lesser hall next morning than usual? I answered,
"No, by no means." She said, Mrs. Worden, and Mrs. Lesley (the two
ladies' women), and Mr. Sidney, my Lord Davers's gentleman, and Mr.
H.'s servant, and the coachmen and footmen belonging to our noble
visitors, who are, she says, all great admirers of our family
management and good order, having been told our method, begged to join
in it. I knew I should be a little dashed at so large a company; but
the men being orderly for lords' servants, and Mrs. Jervis assuring me
that they were very earnest in their request, I consented to it.
When, at the usual time, (with my Polly) I went down, I found Mr.
Adams here (to whom I made my first compliments), and every one of our
own people waiting for me, Mr. Colbrand excepted (whom Mr. H. had kept
up late the night before), together with Mrs. Worden and Mrs. Lesley,
and Mr. Sidney, with the servants of our guests, who, as also
worthy Mr. Longman, and Mrs. Jervis, and Mr. Jonathan, paid me their
respects: and I said, "This is early rising, Mrs. Lesley and Mrs.
Worden; you are very kind to countenance us with your companies in
this our family order. Mr. Sidney, I am glad to see you.--How do you
do, Mr. Longman?" and looked round with complacency on the servants of
our noble visitors. And then I led Mrs. Worden and Mrs. Lesley to
my little retiring place, and Mrs. Jervis and my Polly followed; and
throwing the door open, Mr. Adams began some select prayers; and as he
reads with great emphasis and propriety, as if his heart was in
what he read, all the good folks were exceedingly attentive.--After
prayers, Mr. Adams reads a meditation, from a collection made for
private use, which I shall more particularly mention by-and-by; and
ending with the usual benediction, I thanked the worthy gentleman,
and gently chid him in Mr. B.'s name, for his modesty in declining
our table; and thanking Mr. Longman, Mrs. Worden, and Mrs. Lesley,
received their kind wishes, and hastened, blushing through their
praises, to my chamber, where, being alone, I pursued the subject for
an hour, till breakfast was ready, when I attended the ladies, and my
best beloved, who had told them of the verses placed under my cushion
at church.--We set out, my Lord and Lady Davers, and myself, and
Mr. H. in our coach, and Mr. B. and the countess in the chariot; both
ladies and the gentlemen splendidly dressed; but I avoided a glitter
as much as I could, that I might not seem to vie with the two
peeresses.--Mr. B. said, "Why are you not full-dressed, my dear?" I
said, I hoped he would not be displeased; if he was, I would do as
he commanded. He kindly answered, "As you like best, my love. You are
charming in every dress."
The chariot first drawing up to the church door, Mr. B. led the
countess into church. My Lord Davers did me that honour; and Mr. H.
handed his aunt through a crowd of gazers, many of whom, as usual,
were strangers. The neighbouring gentlemen and their ladies paid
us their silent respects; but the thoughts of the wicked verses,
or rather, as Lady Davers will have me say, wicked action of the
transcriber of them, made me keep behind the pew; but my lady sat
down by me, and whisperingly talked between whiles, to me, with great
tenderness and freedom in her aspect; which I could not but take
kindly, because I knew she intended by it, to shew every one she was
pleased with me.
Afterwards she was pleased to add, taking my hand, and Mr. B. and
the countess heard her (for she raised her voice to a more audible
whisper), "I'm proud to be in thy company, and in this solemn place,
I take thy hand, and acknowledge with pride, my _sister_." I looked
down; and indeed, at church, I can hardly at any time look up; for who
can bear to be gazed at so?--and softly said, "Oh! my good lady! how
much you honour me; the place, and these surrounding eyes, can only
hinder me from acknowledging as I ought."
My best friend, with pleasure in his eyes, said, pressing his hand
upon both ours, as my lady had mine in hers--"You are two beloved
creatures: both excellent in your way. God bless you both."--"And you
too, my dear brother," said my lady.
The countess whispered, "You should spare a body a little! You give
one, ladies, and Mr. B., too much pleasure all at once. Such company,
and such behaviour adds still more charms to devotion; and were I to
be here a twelvemonth, I would never miss once accompanying you to
this good place."
Mr. H. thought he must say something, and addressing himself to his
noble uncle, who could not keep his good-natured eye off me--"I'll be
_hang'd_, my lord, if I know how to behave myself! Why this outdoes
the chapel!--I'm glad I put on my new suit!" And then he looked upon
himself, as if he would support, as well as he could, his part of the
But think you not, my dear Miss Darnford, and my dearest father and
mother, that I am now in the height of my happiness in this life, thus
favoured by Lady Davers? The dean preached an excellent sermon; but I
need not have said that; only to have mentioned, that _he_ preached,
was saying enough.
My lord led me out when divine service was over; and being a little
tender in his feet, from a gouty notice, walked very slowly. Lady
Towers and Mrs. Brooks joined us in the porch, and made us their
compliments, as did Mr. Martin. "Will you favour us with your company
home, my old acquaintance?" said Mr. B. to him.--"I can't, having a
gentleman, my relation, to dine with me; but if it will be agreeable
in the evening, I will bring him with me to taste of your Burgundy:
for we have not any such in the county."--"I shall be glad to see you,
or any friend of yours," replied Mr. B.
Mr. Martin whispered--"It is more, however, to admire your lady, I can
tell you that, than your wine.-Get into your coaches, ladies," said
he, with his usual freedom; "our maiden and widow ladies have a fine
time of it, wherever you come: by my faith they must every one of
them quit this neighbourhood, if you were to stay in it: but all their
hopes are, that while you are in London, they'll have the game in
their own hands."--"_Sister_," said Lady Davers, most kindly to me, in
presence of many, who (in a respectful manner) gathered near us, "Mr.
Martin is the same gentleman he used to be, I see."
"Mr. Martin, Madam," said I, smiling, "has but one fault: he is too
apt to praise whom he favours, at the expense of his absent friends."
"I am always proud of your reproofs, Mrs. B.," replied he.-"Ay," said
Lady Towers, "that I believe.--And, therefore, I wish, for all our
sakes, you'd take him oftener to task, Mrs. B."
Lady Towers, Lady Arthur, Mrs. Brooks, and Mr. Martin, all claimed
visits from us; and Mr. B. making excuses, that he must husband his
time, being obliged to go to town soon, proposed to breakfast with
Lady Towers the next morning, dine with Mrs. Arthur, and sup with
Mrs. Brooks; and as there cannot be a more social and agreeable
neighbourhood any where, his proposal, after some difficulty, was
accepted; and our usual visiting neighbours were all to have notice
accordingly, at each of the places.
I saw Sir Thomas Atkyns coming towards us, and fearing to be stifled
with compliments, I said--"Your servant, ladies and gentlemen;" and
giving my hand to Lord Davers, stept into the chariot, instead of the
coach; for people that would avoid bustle, sometimes make it. Finding
my mistake, I would have come out, but my lord said, "Indeed you
shan't: for I'll step in, and have you all to myself."
Lady Davers smiled--"Now," said she (while the coach drew up), "is my
Lord Davers pleased;--but I see, sister, you were tired with part of
your company in the coach."--"'Tis well contrived, my dear," said Mr.
B., "as long as you have not deprived me of this honour;" taking the
countess's hand, and leading her into the coach.
Will you excuse all this impertinence, my dear?--I know my father and
mother will be pleased with it; and you will therefore bear with me;
for their kind hearts will be delighted to hear every minute thing
in relation to Lady Davers and myself.--When Mr. Martin came in
the evening, with his friend (who is Sir William G., a polite young
gentleman of Lincolnshire), he told us of the praises lavished away
upon me by several genteel strangers; one saying to his friend, he had
travelled twenty miles to see me.--My Lady Davers was praised too for
her goodness to me, and the gracefulness of her person; the countess
for the noble serenity of her aspect, and that charming ease and
freedom, which distinguished her birth and quality. My dear Mr. B., he
said, was greatly admired too: but he would not make _him_ proud;
for he had superiorities enough already, that was his word, over his
neighbours: "But I can tell you," said he, "that for most of your
praises you are obliged to your lady, and for having rewarded her
excellence as you have done: for one gentleman," added he, "said, he
knew no one but _you_ could deserve her; and he believed _you_ did,
from that tenderness in your behaviour to her, and from that grandeur
of air, and majesty of person, that seemed to shew you formed for her
protector, as well as rewarder.--Get you gone to London, both of you,"
said he. "I did not intend to tell you, Mr. B., what was said of you."
The women of the two ladies had acquainted their ladyships with
the order I observed for the day, and the devout behaviour of the
servants. And about seven, I withdrawing as silently and as unobserved
as I could, was surprised, as I was going through the great hall, to
be joined by both.
"I shall come at all your secrets, Pamela," said my lady, "and be
able, in time, to cut you out in your own way. I know whither you are
"My good ladies," said I, "pardon me for leaving you. I will attend
you in half an hour."
"No, my dear," said Lady Davers, "the countess and I have resolved
to attend you for that half hour, and we will return to company
"Is it not descending too much, my ladies, as to the company?"--"If it
is for us, it is for you," said the countess; "so we will either act
up to you, or make you come down to us; and we will judge of all your
Every one, but Abraham (who attended the gentlemen), and all their
ladyships' servants, and their two women, were there; which pleased
me, however, because it shewed, that even the strangers, by this their
second voluntary attendance, had no ill opinion of the service.
But they were all startled, ours and theirs, to see the ladies
I stept up to Mr. Adams.--"I was in hopes. Sir," said I, "we should
have been favoured with your company at our table." He bowed.--"Well,
Sir," said I, "these ladies come to be obliged to you for your good
offices; and you'll have no better way of letting them return their
obligations, than to sup, though you would not dine with them."--"Mr.
Longman," said my lady, "how do you do?--We are come to be witnesses
of the family decorum."--"We have a blessed lady, Madam," said he:
"and your ladyship's presence augments our joys."
I should have said, we were not at church in the afternoon; and when I
do not go, we have the evening service read to us, as it is at
church; which Mr. Adams performed now, with his usual distinctness and
When all was concluded, I said, "Now, my dearest ladies, excuse me for
the sake of the delight I take in seeing all my good folks about me in
this decent and obliging manner.--Indeed, I have no ostentation in it,
if I know my own heart."
The countess and Lady Davers, delighted to see such good behaviour in
every one, sat a moment or two looking upon one another in silence;
and then my Lady Davers took my hand: "Beloved, deservedly beloved
of the kindest of husbands, what a blessing art thou to this
family!"--"And to every family," said the countess, "who have the
happiness to know, and the grace to follow, her example!"--"But
where," said Lady Davers, "collectedst thou all this good sense, and
fine spirit in thy devotion?"--"The Bible," said I, "is the foundation
of all."--Lady Davers then turning herself to Mrs. Jervis--"How do
you, good woman?" said she. "Why you are now made ample amends for the
love you bore to this dear creature formerly."
"You have an angel, and not a woman, for your lady, my good Mrs.
Jervis," said the countess.
Mrs. Jervis, folding her uplifted hands together--"O my good lady, you
know not our happiness; no, not one half of it. We were before blessed
with plenty, and a bountiful indulgence, by our good master; but our
plenty brought on wantonness and wranglings: but now we have peace as
well as plenty; and peace of mind, my dear lady, in doing all in our
respective powers, to shew ourselves thankful creatures to God, and to
the best of masters and mistresses."
"Good soul!" said I, and was forced to put my handkerchief to my eyes:
"your heart is always overflowing thus with gratitude and praises, for
what you so well merit from us."
"Mr. Longman," said my lady, assuming a sprightly air, although her
eye twinkled, to keep within its lids the precious water, that sprang
from a noble and well-affected heart, "I am glad to see you here,
attending your pious young lady.--Well might you love her, honest
man!--I did not know there was so excellent a creature in any rank."
"Madam," said the other worthy heart, unable to speak but in
broken sentences, "you don't know--indeed you don't, what a--what
a--hap--happy--family we are!--Truly, we are like unto Alexander's
soldiers, every one fit to be a general; so well do we all know our
duties, and _practise_ them too, let me say.--Nay, and please your
ladyship, we all of us long till morning comes, thus to attend my
lady; and after that is past, we long for evening, for the same
purpose: for she is so good to us--You cannot think how good she is!
But permit your honoured father's old servant to say one word more,
that though we are always pleased and joyful on these occasions; yet
we are in transports to see our master's noble sister thus favouring
us--with your ladyship too," (to the countess)--"and approving our
young lady's conduct and piety."
"Blessing on you all!" said my lady. "Let us go, my lady;--let us go,
sister, for I cannot stop any longer!"
As I slid by, following their ladyships--"How do you, Mr. Colbrand?"
said I softly: "I feared you were not well in the morning." He
bowed--"Pardon me, Madam--I was leetel indispose, dat ish true!"
Now, my dear friend, will you forgive me all this self-praise, as it
may seem?--Yet when you know I give it you, and my dear parents, as so
many instances of my Lady Davers's reconciliation and goodness to me,
and as it will shew what a noble heart she has at bottom, when her
pride of quality and her passion have subsided, and her native good
sense and excellence taken place, I flatter myself, I may be the
rather excused; and especially, as I hope to have your company and
countenance one day, in this my delightful Sunday employment.
I should have added, for I think a good clergyman cannot be too much
respected, that I repeated my request to Mr. Adams, to oblige us with
his company at supper; but he so very earnestly begged to be excused,
and with so much concern of countenance, that I thought it would be
wrong to insist upon it; though I was sorry for it, sure as I am that
modesty is always a sign of merit.
We returned to the gentlemen when supper was ready, as cheerful and
easy, Lady Davers observed, as if we had not been present at so solemn
a service. "And this," said she, after they were gone, "makes religion
so pleasant and delightful a thing, that I profess I shall have a much
higher opinion of those who make it a regular and constant part of
their employment, than ever I had."
"Then," said she, "I was once, I remember, when a girl, at the
house of a very devout man, for a week, with his granddaughter, my
school-fellow; and there were such preachments _against_ vanities,
and _for_ self-denials, that were we to have followed the good man's
precepts, (though indeed not his practice, for well did he love
his belly), half God Almighty's creatures and works would have been
useless, and industry would have been banished the earth.
"Then," added her ladyship, "have I heard the good man confess himself
guilty of such sins, as, if true (and by his hiding his face with his
broad-brimmed hat, it looked a little bad against him), he ought to
have been hanged on a gallows fifty feet high."
These reflections, as I said, fell from my lady, after the gentlemen
were gone, when she recounted to her brother, the entertainment, as
she was pleased to call it, I had given her. On which she made high
encomiums, as did the countess; and they praised also the natural
dignity which they imputed to me, saying, I had taught them a way they
never could have found out, to descend to the company of servants,
and yet to secure, and even augment, the respect and veneration of
inferiors at the same time. "And, Pamela," said my lady, "you are
certainly very right to pay so much regard to the young clergyman; for
that makes all he reads, and all he says, of greater efficacy with the
auditors, facilitates the work you have in view to bring about, and in
your own absence (for your monarch may not always dispense with you,
perhaps) strengthens his influence, and encourages him, beside."
I am to thank you, my dear Miss Damford, for your kind letter,
approving of my scribble. When you come to my Saturday's and Sunday's
accounts, I shall try your patience. But no more of that; for as you
can read them, or let them alone, I am the less concerned, especially
as they will be more indulgently received somewhere else, than they
may merit; so that my labour will not be wholly lost.
I congratulate you with all my heart on your dismissing Mr. Murray; I
could not help shewing your letter to Mr. B. And what do you think the
free gentleman said upon it? I am half afraid to tell you: but do,
now you are so happily disengaged, get leave to come, and let us two
contrive to be even with him for it. You are the only lady in the
world that I would join with against him.
He said, that your characters of Mr. Murray and Miss Nancy, which he
called severe (but I won't call them so, without your leave), looked
a little like petty spite, and as if you were sorry the gentleman took
you at your word. That was what he said--Pray let us punish him for
it. Yet, he called you charming lady, and said much in your praise,
and joined with me, that Mr. Murray, who was so easy to part with you,
could not possibly deserve you.
"But, Pamela," said he, "I know the sex well enough. Miss Polly
may not love Mr. Murray; yet, to see her sister addressed and
complimented, and preferred to herself, by one whom she so lately
thought she could choose or refuse, is a mortifying thing.--And young
ladies cannot bear to sit by neglected, while two lovers are playing
pug's tricks with each other.
"Then," said he, "all the preparations to matrimony, the clothes to
be bought, the visits to be paid and received, the compliments of
friends, the busy novelty of the thing, the day to be fixed, and
all the little foolish humours and nonsense attending a concluded
courtship, when _one sister_ is to engross all the attention and
regard, the new equipages, and so forth; these are all subjects of
mortification to the _other_, though she has no great value for the
"Well, but, Sir," said I, "a lady of Miss Darnford's good sense,
and good taste, is not to be affected by these parades, and has well
considered the matter, no doubt; and I dare say, rejoices, rather than
repines, at missing the gentleman."
I hope you will leave the happy pair (for they are so, if they think
themselves so) together, and Sir Simon to rejoice in his accomplished
son-in-law elect, and give us your company to London. For who would
stay to be vexed by that ill-natured Miss Nancy, as you own you were,
at your last writing?--But I will proceed, and the rather, as I have
something to tell you of a conversation, the result of which has done
me great honour, and given inexpressible delight; of which in its
We pursued Mr. B.'s proposal, returning several visits in one day;
for we have so polite and agreeable a neighbourhood, that all seem
desirous to accommodate each other.
We came not home till ten in the evening, and then found a letter from
Sir Jacob Swynford, uncle by the half blood to Mr. B., acquainting
him, that hearing his niece, Lady Davers, was with him, he would be
here in a day or two (being then upon his journey) to pay a visit to
both at the same time. This gentleman is very particularly odd and
humoursome: and his eldest son being next heir to the maternal estate,
if Mr. B. should have no children, was exceedingly dissatisfied
with his debasing himself in marrying me; and would have been better
pleased had he not married at all, perhaps.
There never was any cordial love between Mr. B.'s father and him,
nor between the uncle, and nephew and niece: for his positiveness,
roughness, and self-interestedness too, has made him, though very
rich, but little agreeable to the generous tempers of his nephew and
niece; yet when they meet, which is not above once in four or five
years, they are very civil and obliging to him. Lady Davers wondered
what could bring him hither now: for he lives in Herefordshire, and
seldom stirs ten miles from home. Mr. B. said, he was sure it was not
to compliment him and me on our nuptials. "No, rather," said my
lady, "to satisfy himself if you are in a way to cut out his own
cubs."--"Thank God, we are," said he. "Whenever I was strongest set
against matrimony, the only reason I had to weigh against my dislike
to it was, that I was unwilling to leave so large a part of my estate
to that family. My dear," said he to me, "don't be uneasy; but you'll
see a relation of mine much more disagreeable than you can imagine;
but no doubt you have heard his character."
"Ah, Pamela," said Lady Davers, "we are a family that value ourselves
upon our ancestry; but, upon my word, Sir Jacob, and all his line,
have nothing else to boast of. And I have been often ashamed of my
relation to them."--"No family, I believe, my lady, has every body
excellent in it," replied I: "but I doubt I shall stand but poorly
with Sir Jacob."
"He won't dare to affront you, my dear," said Mr. B., "although he'll
say to you, and to me, and to my sister too, blunt and rough things.
But he'll not stay above a day or two, and we shall not see him again
for some years to come; so we'll bear with him."
I am now, Miss, coming to the conversation I hinted at.
On Tuesday, Mr. Williams came to pay his respects to his kind patron.
I had been to visit a widow gentlewoman, and, on my return, went
directly to my closet, so knew not of his being here till I came to
dinner; for Mr. B. and he were near two hours in discourse in the
library. When I came down, Mr. B. presented him to me. "My friend Mr.
Williams, my dear," said he. "Mr. Williams, how do you do?" said I; "I
am glad to see you."
He rejoiced, he said, to see me look so well; and had longed for an
opportunity to pay his respects to his worthy patron and me before:
but had been prevented twice when upon the point of setting out. Mr.
B. said, "I have prevailed upon my old acquaintance to reside with us,
while he stays in these parts. Do you, my dear, see that every thing
is made agreeable to him."--"To be sure, Sir, I will."
Mr. Adams being in the house, Mr. B. sent to desire he would dine with
us: if it were but in respect to a gentleman of the same cloth, who
gave us his company.
Mr. B., when dinner was over, and the servants were withdrawn, said,
"My dear, Mr. Williams's business, in part, was to ask my advice as to
a living that is offered him by the Earl of ----, who is greatly taken
with his preaching and conversation." "And to quit yours, I presume,
Sir," said Lord Davers. "No, the earl's is not quite so good as mine,
and his lordship would procure him a dispensation to hold both. What
would _you_ advise, my dear?"
"It becomes not me, Sir, to meddle with such matters as these."--"Yes,
my dear, it does, when I ask your opinion."--"I beg pardon, Sir.--My
opinion then is, that Mr. Williams will not care to do any thing
that _requires_ a dispensation, and which would be unlawful without
it."--"Madam," said Mr. Williams, "you speak exceedingly well."
"I am glad, Mr. Williams, that you approve of my sentiments, required
of me by one who has a right to command me in every thing: otherwise
this matter is above my sphere; and I have so much good will to Mr.
Williams, that I wish him every thing that will contribute to make him
"Well, my dear," said Mr. B., "but what would you advise in this case?
The earl proposes, that Mr. Williams's present living be supplied by a
curate; to whom, no doubt, Mr. Williams will be very genteel; and,
as we are seldom or never there, his lordship thinks we shall not be
displeased with it, and insists upon proposing it to me; as he has
Lord Davers said, "I think this may do very well, brother. But what,
pray, Mr. Williams, do you propose to allow to your curate? Excuse
me, Sir, but I think the clergy do so hardly by one another generally,
that they are not to be surprised that some of the laity treat them as
Said Mr. B., "Tell us freely, Pamela, what you would advise your
friend Mr. Williams to do."
"And must I, Sir, speak my mind on such a point, before so many better
"Yes, _sister_," said her ladyship (a name she is now pleased to give
me freely before strangers, after her dear brother's example, who is
kindest, though always kind, at such times) "you _must_; if I may be
allowed to say _must_."--"Why then," proceeded I, "I beg leave to ask
Mr. Williams one question; that is, whether his present parishioners
do not respect and esteem him in that particular manner, which I think
every body must, who knows his worth?"
"I am very happy. Madam, in the good-will of all my parishioners, and
have great acknowledgments to make for their civilities to me."--"I
don't doubt," said I, "but it will be the same wherever you go; for
bad as the world is, a prudent and good clergyman will never fail of
respect. But, Sir, if you think your ministry among them is attended
with good effects; if they esteem your person with a preference, and
listen to your doctrines with attention; methinks, for _their_ sakes,
'tis pity to leave them, were the living of less value, as it is of
_more_, than the other. For, how many people are there who can benefit
by one gentleman's preaching, rather than by another's; although,
possibly, the one's abilities may be no way inferior to the other's?
There is much in a _delivery_, as it is called, in a manner, a
deportment, to engage people's attention and liking; and as you are
already in possession of their esteem, you are sure to do much of the
good you aim and wish to do. For where the flock loves the shepherd,
all the work is easy, and more than half done; and without that, let
him have the tongue of an angel, and let him live the life of a saint,
he will be heard with indifference, and, oftentimes, as his subject
may be, with disgust."
I paused here; but every one being silent--"As to the earl's
friendship, Sir," continued I, "you can best judge what force that
ought to have upon you; and what I have mentioned would be the only
difficulty with me, were I in Mr. Williams's case. To be sure, it will
be a high compliment to his lordship, and so he ought to think it,
that you quit a better living to oblige him. And he will be bound in
honour to make it up to you. For I am far from thinking that a
prudent regard to worldly interest misbecomes the character of a good
clergyman; and I wish all such were set above the world, for their own
sakes, as well as for the sakes of their hearers; since independency
gives a man respect, besides the power of doing good, which will
enhance that respect, and of consequence, give greater efficacy to his
"As to strengthening of a good man's influence, a point always to be
wished, I would not say so much as I have done, if I had not heard Mr.
Longman say, and I heard it with great pleasure, that the benefice Mr.
Williams so worthily enjoys is a clear two hundred pounds a year.
"But, after all, does happiness to a gentleman, a scholar, a
philosopher, rest in a greater or lesser income? On the contrary,
is it not oftener to be found in a happy competency or mediocrity?
Suppose my dear Mr. B. had five thousand pounds a year added to his
present large income, would that increase his happiness? That it would
add to his cares, is no question; but could it give him one single
comfort which he has not already? And if the dear gentleman had two
or three thousand less, might he be less happy on that account? No,
surely; for it would render a greater prudence on my humble part
necessary, and a nearer inspection, and greater frugality, on his own;
and he must be contented (if he did not, as now, perhaps, lay up every
year) so long as he lived within his income.--And who will say, that
the obligation to greater prudence and economy is a misfortune?
"The competency, therefore, the golden mean, is the thing; and I have
often considered the matter, and endeavoured to square my actions by
the result of that consideration. For a person who, being not born to
an estate, is not satisfied with a competency, will probably know no
limits to his desires. One whom an acquisition of one or two hundred
pounds a year will not satisfy, will hardly sit down contented with
any sum. For although he may propose to himself at a distance, that
such and such an acquisition will be the height of his ambition; yet
he will, as he approaches to that, advance upon himself farther and
farther, and know no bound, till the natural one is forced upon him,
and his life and his views end together.
"Now let me humbly beg pardon of you all, ladies and gentlemen,"
turning my eyes to each; "but most of you, my good lady."
"Indeed, Madam," said Mr. Williams, "after what I have heard from you,
I would not, for the world, have been of another mind."
"You are a good man," said I; "and I have such an opinion of your
worthiness, and the credit you do your function, that I can never
suspect either your judgment or your conduct. But pray, Sir, may I
ask, what have you determined to do?"--"Why, Madam," replied he, "I
am staggered in that too, by the observation you just now made, that
where a man has the love of his parishioners, he ought not to think of
leaving them."--"Else, Sir, I find you was rather inclined to oblige
the earl, though the living be of _less_ value! This is very noble,
Sir; it is more than generous."
"My dear," said Mr. B., "I'll tell you (for Mr. Williams's modesty
will not let him speak it before all the company) what _is_
his motive; and a worthy one you'll say it is. Excuse me, Mr.
Williams;"--for the reverend gentleman blushed.
"The earl has of late years--we all know his character--given himself
up to carousing, and he will suffer no man to go from his table sober.
Mr. Williams has taken the liberty to expostulate, as became his
function, with his lordship on this subject, and upon some other
irregularities, so agreeably, that the earl has taken a great liking
to him, and promises, that he will suffer his reasonings to have an
effect upon him, and that he shall reform his whole household, if
he will come and live near him, and regulate his table by his own
example. The countess is a very good lady, and privately presses Mr.
Williams to oblige the earl: and this is our worthy friend's main
inducement; with the hope, which I should mention, that he has, of
preserving untainted the morals of the two young gentlemen, the earl's
son, who, he fears, will be carried away by the force of such an
example: and he thinks, as the earl's living has fallen, mine may be
better supplied than the earl's, if he, as he kindly offers, gives it
me back again; otherwise the earl, as he apprehends, will find out
for his, some gentleman, if such an one can be found, as will rather
further, than obstruct his own irregularities, as was the unhappy case
of the last incumbent."
"Well," said Lady Davers, "I shall always have the highest respect for
Mr. Williams, for a conduct so genteel and so prudent. But, brother,
will you--and will you, Mr. Williams--put this whole affair into Mrs.
B.'s hands, since you have such testimonies, _both_ of you, of the
rectitude of her thinking and acting?"--"With all my heart,
Madam," replied Mr. Williams; "and I shall be proud of such a
direction,"--"What say _you_, brother? You are to suppose the living
in your own hands again; will you leave the whole matter to my
_sister_ here?"--"Come, my dear," said Mr. B., "let us hear how
you'd wish it to be ordered. I know you have not need of one moment's
consideration, when once you are mistress of a point."
"Nay," said Lady Davers, "that is not the thing. I repeat my demand:
shall it be as Mrs. B. lays it out, or not?"--"Conditionally," said
Mr. B., "provided I cannot give satisfactory reasons, why I _ought_
not to conform to her opinion; for this, as I said, is a point of
conscience with me; and I made it so, when I presented Mr. Williams to
the living: and have not been deceived in that presentation."--"To be
sure," said I, "that is very reasonable, Sir; and on that condition,
I shall the less hesitate to speak my mind, because I shall be in no
danger to commit an irreparable error."
"I know well, Lady Davers," added Mr. B., "the power your sex have
over ours, and their subtle tricks: and so will never, in my weakest
moments, be drawn in to make a blindfold promise. There have been
several instances, both in sacred and profane story, of mischiefs done
by such surprises: so you must allow me to suspect myself, when I know
the dear slut's power over me, and have been taught, by the inviolable
regard she pays to her own word, to value mine--And now, Pamela, speak
all that is in your heart to say." "With your _requisite_ condition
in my eye, I will, Sir. But let me see that I state the matter right.
And, preparative to it, pray, Mr. Williams, though you have not been
long in possession of this living, yet, may-be, you can compute what
it is likely, by what you know of it, to bring in clear?"
"Madam," said he, "by the best calculation I can make--I thank _you_
for it, good Sir--it may, one year with another, be reckoned at three
hundred pounds per annum; and is the best within twenty miles of it,
having been improved within these two last years."
"If it was five hundred pounds, and would make you happier--(for
_that_, Sir, is the thing) I should wish it you," said I, "and think
it short of your merits. But pray, Sir, what is the earl's living
"At about two hundred and twenty pounds, Madam."--"Well, then,"
replied I, very pertly, "I believe now I have it.
"Mr. Williams, for motives most excellently worthy of his function,
inclines to surrender up to Mr. B. his living of three hundred pounds
per annum, and to accept of the earl's living of two hundred and
twenty. Dear Sir, I am going to be very bold; but under _your_
condition nevertheless:--let the gentleman, to whom you shall present
the living of E. allow eighty pounds per annum out of it to Mr.
Williams, till the earl's favour shall make up the difference to him,
and no longer. And--but I dare not name the gentleman:--for
how, dear Sir, were I to be so bold, shall I part with my
chaplain?"--"Admirable! most admirable!" said Lord and Lady Davers, in
the same words. The countess praised the decision too; and Mr. H. with
his "Let me be hang'd," and his "Fore Gad's," and such exclamations
natural to him, made his plaudits. Mr. Williams said, he could wish
with all his heart it might be so; and Mr. Adams was so abashed and
surprised, that he could not hold up his head;--but joy danced in his
silent countenance, for all that.
Mr. B. having hesitated a few minutes. Lady Davers called out for his
objection, or consent, according to condition, and he said, "I cannot
so soon determine as that prompt slut did. I'll withdraw one minute."
He did so, as I found afterwards to advise, like the considerate and
genteel spirit he possesses, with Mr. Williams, whom he beckoned out,
and to examine whether he was in _earnest_ willing to give it up, or
very desirous for any one to succeed him; saying, that if he had, he
thought himself obliged, in return for his worthy behaviour to him, to
pay a particular regard to his recommendation. And so being answered
as he desired, in they came together again.
But I should say, that his withdrawing with a very serious aspect,
made me afraid I had gone too far: and I said, "What shall I do, if I
have incurred Mr. B.'s anger by my over-forwardness! Did he not look
displeased? Dear ladies, if he be so, plead for me, and I'll withdraw
when he comes in; for I cannot stand his anger: I have not been used
"Never fear, Pamela," said my lady; "he can't be angry at any thing
you say or do. But I wish, for the sake of what I have witnessed of
Mr. Adams's behaviour and modesty, that such a thing could be done
for him." Mr. Adams bowed, and said, "O my good ladies! 'tis too
considerable a thing: I cannot expect it--I do not--it would be
presumption if I did."
Just then re-entered Mr. B. and Mr. Williams: the first with a stately
air, the other with a more peace-portending smile on his countenance.
But Mr. B. sitting down, "Well, Pamela," said he, very gravely, "I see
that power is a dangerous thing in any hand."--"Sir, Sir!" said I--"My
dear lady," whispering to Lady Davers, "I will withdraw, as I said I
would." And I was getting away as fast as I could: but he arose and
took my hand, "Why is my charmer so soon frightened?" said he, most
kindly; and still more kindly, with a noble air, pressed it to his
lips. "I must not carry my jest too far upon a mind so apprehensive,
as I otherwise might be inclined to do." And leading me to Mr. Adams
and Mr. Williams, he said, taking Mr. Williams's hand with his left,
as he held mine in his right, "Your worthy brother clergyman, Mr.
Adams, gives me leave to confirm the decision of my dear wife, whom
you are to thank for the living of E. upon the condition she proposed;
and may you give but as much satisfaction _there_, as you have done
in _this_ family, and as Mr. Williams has given to his flock; and they
will then be pleased as much with your ministry as they have hitherto
been with his."
Mr. Adams trembled with joy, and said, he could not tell how to bear
this excess of goodness in us both: and his countenance and eyes gave
testimony of a gratitude too high for further expression.
As for myself, you, my honoured and dear friends, who know how much I
am always raised, when I am made the dispenser of acts of bounty and
generosity to the deserving; and who now instead of incurring blame,
as I had apprehended, found myself applauded by every one, and most by
the gentleman whose approbation I chiefly coveted to have: you, I say,
will judge how greatly I must be delighted.
But I was still more affected, when Mr. B. directing himself to me,
and to Mr. Williams at the same time, was pleased to say, "Here, my
dear, you must thank this good gentleman for enabling you to give such
a shining proof of your excellence: and whenever I put power into your
hands for the future, act but as you have now done, and it will be
impossible that I should have any choice or will but yours."
"O Sir," said I, pressing his hand with my lips, forgetting how many
witnesses I had of my grateful fondness, "how shall I, oppressed with
your goodness, in such a signal instance as this, find words equal to
the gratitude of my heart!--But here," patting my bosom, "just here,
they stick;--and I cannot--"
And, indeed, I could say no more; and Mr. B. in the delicacy of his
apprehensiveness for me, led me into the next parlour; and placing
himself by me on the settee, said, "Take care, my best beloved, that
the joy, which overflows your dear heart, for having done a beneficent
action to a deserving gentleman, does not affect you too much."
My Lady Davers followed us: "Where is my angelic sister?" said she. "I
have a share in her next to yourself, my noble brother." And clasping
me to her generous bosom, she ran over with expressions of favour to
me, in a style and words, which would suffer, were I to endeavour to
Coffee being ready, we returned to the company. My Lord Davers was
pleased to make me a great many compliments, and so did Mr. H. after
his manner. But the countess exceeded _herself_ in goodness.
Mr. B. was pleased to say, "It is a rule with me, not to leave till
to-morrow what can be done to-day:--and _when_, my dear, do you
propose to dispense with Mr. Adams's good offices in your family? Or
did you intend to induce him to go to town with us?"
"I had not proposed anything, Sir, as to that, for I had not asked
your kind direction: but the good dean will supply us, I doubt not,
and when we set out for London, Mr. Adams will be at full liberty,
with his worthy friend, Mr. Williams, to pursue the happy scheme your
goodness has permitted to take effect."
"Mr. Adams, my dear, who came so lately from the university, can,
perhaps, recommend such another young gentleman as himself, to perform
the functions he used to perform in your family."
I looked, it seems, a little grave; and Mr. B. said, "What have you to
offer, Pamela?--What have I said amiss?"
"Amiss! dear Sir!--"
"Ay, and dear Madam too! I see by your bashful seriousness, in place
of that smiling approbation which you always shew when I utter any
thing you _entirely_ approve, that I have said something which would
rather meet with your acquiescence, than choice. So, as I have often
told you, none of your reserves; and never _hesitate_ to me your
consent in any thing, while you are sure I will conform to your
wishes, or pursue my own liking, as _either_ shall appear reasonable
to me, when I have heard _your_ reasons."
"Why, then, dear Sir, what I had presumed to think, but I submit it to
your better judgment, was, whether, since the gentleman who is so kind
as to assist us in our family devotions, in some measure acts in
the province of the worthy dean, it were not right, that our own
parish-minister, whether here or in London, should name, or at least
approve _our_ naming, the gentleman?"
"Why could not I have thought of that, as well as you,
sauce-box?--Lady Davers, I am entirely on your side: I think she
deserves a slap now from us both."
"I'll forgive her," said my lady, "since I find her sentiments and
actions as much a reproof to others as to me."
"Mr. Williams, did you ever think," said Mr. B., "it would have come
to this?--Did you ever know such a saucy girl in your life?--Already
to give herself these reproaching airs?"--"No, never, if your honour
is pleased to call the most excellent lady in the world by such a
name, nor any body else."
"Pamela, I charge you," said the dear gentleman, "if you _study_
for it, be sometimes in the wrong, that one may not always be taking
lessons from such an assurance; but in our turns, have something to
"Then, dear Sir," said I, "must I not be a strange creature? For how,
when you, and my good ladies, are continually giving me such charming
examples, can I do a wrong thing?"
I hope you will forgive me, my dear, for being so tedious on the
foregoing subject, and its most agreeable conclusion. It is an
important one, because several persons, as conferers or receivers,
have found their pleasure and account in it; and it would be well, if
conversation were often attended with like happy consequences. I have
one merit to plead in behalf even of my prolixity; that in reciting
the delightful conferences I have the pleasure of holding with our
noble guests and Mr. B., I am careful not to write twice upon one
topic, although several which I omit, may be more worthy of your
notice than those I give; so that you have as much variety from me, as
the nature of the facts and cases will admit of.
But here I will conclude, having a very different subject, as a proof
of what I have advanced, to touch in my next. Till when, I am _your
most affectionate and faithful_,
My dear Miss Darnford,
I now proceed with my journal, which I brought down to Tuesday
evening; and of course I begin with
Towards evening came Sir Jacob Swynford, on horseback, attended by two
servants in liveries. I was abroad; for I had got leave for a whole
afternoon, attended by my Polly; which time I passed in visiting no
less than four poor sick families, whose hearts I made glad. But I
should be too tedious, were I to give you the particulars; besides,
I have a brief list of cases, which, when you'll favour me with your
company, I may shew you: for I oblige myself, though not desired, to
keep an account of what I do with no less than two hundred pounds
a year, that Mr. B. allows me to expend in acts of charity and
Lady Davers told me afterwards, that Sir Jacob carried it mighty stiff
and formal when he alighted. He strutted about the court-yard in his
boots, with his whip in his hand; and though her ladyship went to the
great door, in order to welcome him, he turned short, and, whistling,
followed the groom into the stable, as if he had been at an inn, only,
instead of taking off his hat, pulling its broad brim over his eyes,
for a compliment. In she went in a pet, as she says, saying to the
countess, "A surly brute he always was! _My_ uncle! He's more of an
ostler than a gentleman; I'm resolved I'll not stir to meet him
again. And yet the wretch loves respect from others, though he never
practises common civility himself."
The countess said, she was glad he was come, for she loved to divert
herself with such odd characters now-and-then.
And now let me give you a short description of him as I found him,
when I came in, that you may the better conceive what sort of a
gentleman he is.
He is about sixty-five years of age, a coarse, strong, big-boned man,
with large irregular features; he has a haughty supercilious look, a
swaggering gait, and a person not at all bespeaking one's favour in
behalf of his mind; and his mind, as you shall hear by and bye, not
clearing up those prepossessions in his disfavour, with which his
person and features at first strike one. His voice is big and surly;
his eyes little and fiery; his mouth large, with yellow and blackish
teeth, what are left of them being broken off to a tolerable regular
height, looked as if they were ground down to his gums, by constant
use. But with all these imperfections, he has an air that sets
him somewhat above the mere vulgar, and makes one think half his
disadvantages rather owing to his own haughty humour, than to nature;
for he seems to be a perfect tyrant at first sight, a man used to
prescribe, and not to be prescribed to; and has the advantage of a
shrewd penetrating look, but which seems rather acquired than natural.
After he had seen his horses well served, and put on an old-fashioned
gold-buttoned coat, which by its freshness shewed he had been very
chary of it, a better wig, but in stiff buckle, and a long sword,
stuck stiffly, as if through his coat lappets, in he came, and with
an imperious air entering the parlour, "What, nobody come to meet me!"
said he; and saluting her ladyship. "How do you do, niece?" and
looked about haughtily, she says, as if he expected to see me. My lady
presenting the countess, said, "The Countess of C., Sir Jacob!"--"Your
most obedient humble servant, Madam. I hope his lordship is
well."--"At your service, Sir Jacob."
"I wish he was," said he, bluntly; "he should not have voted as he did
last sessions, I can tell you that."
"Why, Sir Jacob," said she, "_servants_, in this free kingdom, don't
always do as their _masters_ would have 'em."--"_Mine_ do, I can tell
you that. Madam."
"Right or wrong, Sir Jacob?"--"It can't be wrong if I command
them."--"Why, truly, Sir Jacob, there's many a private gentleman
carries it higher to a servant, than he cares his _prince_ should to
him; but I thought, till now, it was the king only that could do no
"But I always take care to be right."--"A good reason--because, I dare
say, you never think you can be in the wrong."--"Your ladyship should
spare me: I'm but just come off a journey. Let me turn myself about,
and I'll be up with you, never fear. Madam.--But where's my nephew,
Lady Davers? And where's your lord? I was told you were all here, and
young H. too upon a very extraordinary occasion; so I was willing to
see how causes went among you. It will be long enough before you come
to see me."--"My brother, and Lord Davers, and Mr. H. have all rode
out."--"Well, niece," strutting with his hands behind him, and his
head held up--"Ha!--He has made a fine kettle on't--han't he?--that
ever such a rake should be so caught! They tell me, she's plaguy
cunning, and quite smart and handsome. But I wish his father
were living. Yet what could he have done? Your brother was always
unmanageable. I wish he'd been my son; by my faith, I do! What! I
hope, niece, he locks up his baby, while you're here? You don't keep
her company, do you?"
"Yes, Sir Jacob, I do: and you'll do so too, when you see her."--"Why,
thou countenancest him in his folly, child: I'd a better opinion of
thy spirit! Thou married to a lord, and thy brother to a--Can'st tell
me what, Barbara? If thou can'st, pr'ythee do."--"To an angel; and so
you'll say presently."
"What, dost think I shall look through _his_ foolish eyes? What
a disgrace to a family ancienter than the Conquest! _O Tempora! O
Mores!_ What will this world come to?" The countess was diverted with
this odd gentleman, but ran on in my praise, for fear he should say
some rude things to me when I came in; and Lady Davers seconded her.
But all signified nothing. He would tell us both his mind, let the
young whelp (that was his word) take it as he would--"And pray," said
he, "can't I see this fine body before he comes in? Let me but turn
her round two or three times, and ask her a question or two; and by
her answer I shall know what to think of her in a twinkling."--"She
is gone to take a little airing, Sir Jacob, and won't be back till
"Supper-time! Why, she is not to sit at table, is she? If she does,
I won't; that's positive. But now you talk of a supper, what have
you?--I must have a boiled chicken, and shall eat it all myself. Who's
housekeeper now? I suppose all's turned upside down."
"No, there is not one new servant, except a girl that waits upon her
own person: all the old ones remain."--"That's much! These creatures
generally take as great state upon them as a born lady; and they're in
the right. If they can make the man stoop to the great point, they'll
hold his nose to the grind-stone: and all the little ones come about
in course."--"Well, Sir Jacob, when you see her, you'll alter your
mind."--"Never, never; that's positive."
"Ay, Sir Jacob, I was as positive as you once; but I love her now as
well as if she were my own sister."
"O hideous, hideous! All the fools he has made wherever he has
travelled, will clap their hands at him, and at you too, if you talk
at this rate. But let me speak to Mrs. Jervis, if she be here: I'll
order my own supper."
So he went out, saying, he knew the house, though in a better
mistress's days. The countess said, if Mr. B. as she hoped, kept his
temper, there would be good diversion with the old gentleman. "O yes,"
said my lady, "my brother will, I dare say. He despises the surly
brute too much to be angry with him, say what he will." He talked a
great deal against me to Mrs. Jervis. You may guess, my dear, that
she launched out in my praises; and he was offended at her, and said,
"Woman! woman! forbear these ill-timed praises; her birth's a disgrace
to our family. What! my sister's waiting-maid, taken upon charity!
I cannot bear it." I mention all these things, as I afterwards heard
them, because it shall prepare you to judge what a fine time I was
likely to have of it. When Mr. B. and my Lord Davers, and Mr. H. came
home, which they did about half an hour after six, they were told who
was there, just as they entered the parlour; and Mr. B. smiled at Lord
Davers, and entering, "Sir Jacob," said he, "welcome to Bedfordshire;
and thrice welcome to this house; I rejoice to see you."
My lady says, never was so odd a figure as the old baronet made, when
thus accosted. He stood up indeed; but as Mr. B. offered to take his
hand, he put 'em both behind him. "Not that you know of. Sir!" And
then looking up at his face, and down at his feet, three or four times
successively, "Are you my brother's son? That very individual son,
that your good father used to boast of, and say, that for handsome
person, true courage, noble mind, was not to be matched in any three
counties in England?"
"The very same, dear Sir, that my honoured father's partiality used to
think he never praised enough."
"And what is all of it come to at last?--He paid well, did he not, to
teach you to know the world, nephew! hadst thou been born a fool, or a
raw greenhead, or a doating greyhead--"--"What then, Sir Jacob?"--"Why
then thou wouldst have done just as thou hast done!"--"Come, come, Sir
Jacob, you know not my inducement. You know not what an angel I have
in person and mind. Your eyes shall by and bye be blest with the sight
of her: your ears with hearing her speak: and then you'll call all you
have said, profanation."--"What is it I hear? You talk in the language
of romance; and from the housekeeper to the head of the house, you're
all stark staring mad. Nephew, I wish, for thy own credit, thou
wert--But what signifies wishing?--I hope you'll not bring your syren
into my company."
"Yes, I will, Sir, because I love to give you pleasure. And say not a
word more, for your own sake, till you see her. You'll have the less
to unsay, Sir Jacob, and the less to repent of."
"I'm in an enchanted castle, that's certain. What a plague has this
little witch done to you all? And how did she bring it about?"
The ladies and Lord Davers laughed, it seems; and Mr. B. begging him
to sit down, and answer him some family questions, he said, (for
it seems he is very captious at times), "What, am I to be
laughed at!--Lord Davers, I hope _you're_ not bewitched, too, are
you?"--"Indeed, Sir Jacob, I am. My sister B. is my doating-piece."
"Whew!" whistled he, with a wild stare: "and how is it with you,
youngster?"--"With me, Sir Jacob?" said Mr. H., "I'd give all I'm
worth in the world, and ever shall be worth, for such another wife."
He ran to the window, and throwing up the sash looking into the
court-yard, said, "Hollo--So-ho! Groom--Jack--Jonas--Get me my
horse!--I'll keep no such company!--I'll be gone! Why, Jonas!" calling
"You're not in earnest, Sir Jacob," said Mr. B.
"I am!--I'll away to the village this night! Why you're all upon the
high game! I'll--But who comes here?"--For just then, the chariot
brought me into the court-yard--"Who's this? who is she?"--"One
of _my_ daughters," started up the countess; "my youngest daughter
Jenny!--She's the pride of my family, Sir Jacob!"--"I was running; for
I thought it was the grand enchantress." Out steps Lady Davers to me;
"Dear Pamela," said she, "humour all that's said to you. Here's
Sir Jacob come. You're the Countess of C.'s youngest daughter
Jenny--That's your cue."--"Ah? but, Madam," said I, "Lady Jenny is not
married," looking (before I thought) on a circumstance that I think
too much of sometimes, though I carry it off as well as I can. She
laughed at my exception: "Come, Lady Jenny," said she, (for I just
entered the great door), "I hope you've had a fine airing."--"A very
pretty one, Madam," said I, as I entered the parlour. "This is a
pleasant country, Lady Davers." ("_Wink when I'm wrong," whispered
I_), "Where's Mrs. B.?" Then, as seeing a strange gentleman, I started
half back, into a more reserved air; and made him a low curt'sy. Sir
Jacob looked as if he did not know what to think of it, now at me, now
at Mr. B. who put him quite out of doubt, by taking my hand: "Well,
Lady Jenny, did you meet my fugitive in your tour?"
"No, Mr. B. Did she go my way? I told you I would keep the great
road."--"Lady Jenny C.," said Mr. B., presenting me to his uncle. "A
charming creature!" added he: "Have you not a son worthy of such
an alliance?"--"Ay, nephew, this is a lady indeed! Why the plague,"
whispered he, "could you not have pitched your tent here? Miss, by
your leave," and saluting me, turned to the countess. "Madam, you've
a charming daughter! Had my rash nephew seen this lovely creature,
and you condescended, he'd never have stooped to the cottage as he has
done."--"You're right, Sir Jacob," said Mr. B.; "but I always ran too
fast for my fortune: yet these ladies of family never bring out their
jewels into bachelors' company; and when, too late, we see what we've
missed, we are vexed at our precipitation."
"Well said, however, boy. I wish thee repentance, though 'tis out of
thy power to mend. Be that one of thy curses, when thou seest this
lady; as no doubt it is." Again surveying me from head to foot, and
turning me round, which, it seems, is a mighty practice with him to a
stranger lady, (and a modest one too, you'll say, Miss)--"Why, truly,
you're a charming creature, Miss--Lady Jenny I would say--By your
leave, once more!--My Lady Countess, she is a charmer! But--but--"
staring at me, "Are you married, Madam?" I looked a little silly; and
my new mamma came up to me, and took my hand: "Why, Jenny, you are
dressed oddly to-day!--What a hoop you wear; it makes you look I can't
"Madam, I thought so; what signifies lying?--But 'tis only the hoop, I
see--Really, Lady Jenny, your hoop is enough to make half a hundred
of our sex despair, lest you should be married. I thought it was
something! Few ladies escape my notice. I always kept a good look-out;
for I have two daughters of my own. But 'tis the hoop, I see plainly
enough. You are so slender every where but _here_," putting his
hand upon my hip which quite dashed me; and I retired behind my Lady
"Fie, Sir Jacob!" said Mr. B.; "before us young gentlemen, to take
such liberties with a maiden lady! You give a bad example."--"Hang
him that sets you a bad example, nephew. But I see you're right; I see
Lady Jenny's a maiden lady, or she would not have been so shamefaced.
I'll swear for her on occasion. Ha, ha, ha!--I'm sure," repeated he,
"she's a maiden--For our sex give the married ladies a freer air in a
trice."--"How, Sir Jacob!" said Lady Davers.
"O fie!" said the countess. "Can't you praise the maiden ladies, but
at the expense of the married ones! What do you see of freedom in
me?"--"Or in me?" said Lady Davers. "Nay, for that matter you are very
well, I must needs say. But will you pretend to blush with that virgin
rose?--Od's my life, Miss--Lady Jenny I would say, come from behind
your mamma's chair, and you two ladies stand up now together. There,
so you do--Why now, blush for blush, and Lady Jenny shall be three
to one, and a deeper crimson by half. Look you there else! An hundred
guineas to one against the field." Then stamping with one foot, and
lifting up his hands and eyes "Lady Jenny has it all to nothing--Ha,
ha, ha! You may well sit down both of you; but you're a blush too
late, I can tell you that. Well hast thou done. Lady Jenny," tapping
my shoulder with his rough paw.
I was hastening away, and he said, "But let's see you again, Miss; for
now will I stay, if they bring nobody else." And away I went; for I
was quite out of countenance, "What a strange creature," thought I,
"is this!" Supper being near ready, he called out for Lady Jenny, for
the sight of her, he said, did him good; but he was resolved not to
sit down to table with _somebody else_. The countess said, she would
fetch her daughter; and stepping out, returned saying, "Mrs. B.
understands that Sir Jacob is here, and does not choose to see her; so
she begs to be excused; and my Jenny and she desire to sup together."
"The very worst tidings I have heard this twelvemonth. Why, nephew,
let your girl sup with any body, so we may have Lady Jenny back with
us."--"I know," said the countess, (who was desirous to see how far he
could carry it), "Jenny won't leave Mrs. B.; so if you see _one_,
you must see _t'other_."--"Nay, then I must sit down contented. Yet I
should be glad to see Lady Jenny. But I will not sit at table with Mr.
B.'s girl--that's positive."
"Well, well, let 'em sup together, and there's an end of it," said
Mr. B. "I see my uncle has as good a judgment as any body of fine
ladies."--("_That I have, nephew._")--"But he can't forgo his humour,
in compliment to the finest lady in England."
"Consider, nephew, 'tis not thy doing a foolish thing, and calling
a girl wife, shall cram a niece down my throat, that's positive. The
moment she comes down to take place of these ladies, I am gone, that's
most certain."--"Well then, shall I go up, and oblige Pamela to sup
by herself, and persuade Lady Jenny to come down to us?"--"With all
my soul, nephew,--a good notion.--But, Pamela--did you say?--A _queer_
sort of name! I have heard of it somewhere!--Is it a Christian or
a Pagan name?--Linsey-woolsey--half one, half t'other--like thy
girl--Ha, ha, ha."--"Let me be _hang'd_," whispered Mr. H. to his
aunt, "if Sir Jacob has not a power of wit; though he is so whimsical
with it. I like him much."--"But hark ye, nephew," said Sir Jacob,
"one word with you. Don't fob upon us your girl with the Pagan name
for Lady Jenny. I have set a mark upon her, and should know her from
a thousand, although she had changed her hoop." Then he laughed again,
and said, he hoped Lady Jenny would come--and without any body with
her--"But I smell a plot," said he--"By my soul I won't stay, if
they both come together. I won't be put upon--But here is one or
both--Where's my whip?--I'll go."--"Indeed, Mr. B., I had rather have
staid with Mrs. B.," said I, as I entered, as he had bid me.
"'Tis she! 'tis she! You've nobody behind you!--No, she han't--Why
now, nephew, you are right; I was afraid you'd have put a trick
upon me.--You'd _rather_," repeated he to me, "have staid with Mrs.
B.!--Yes, I warrant--But you shall be placed in better company, my
dear child."--"Sister," said Mr. B., "will you take that chair; for
Pamela does not choose to give my uncle disgust, who so seldom comes
to see us." My lady took the upper end of the table, and I sat next
below my new mamma. "So, Jenny," said she, "how have you left Mrs.
B.?"--"A little concerned; but she was the easier, as Mr. B. himself
desired I'd come down."
My Lord Davers sat next me, and Sir Jacob said, "Shall I beg a favour
of you, my lord, to let me sit next to Lady Jenny?" Mr. B. said,
"Won't it be better to sit over-against her, uncle?"--"Ay, that's
right. I' faith, nephew, thou know'st what's right. Well, so I will."
He accordingly removed his seat, and I was very glad of it; for though
I was sure to be stared at by him, yet I feared if he sat next me, he
would not keep his hands off my hoop.
He ran on a deal in my praises, after his manner, but so rough at
times, that he gave me pain; and I was afraid too, lest he should
observe my ring; but he stared so much in my face, that it escaped his
notice. After supper, the gentlemen sat down to their bottle, and
the ladies and I withdrew, and about twelve they broke up; Sir Jacob
talking of nothing but Lady Jenny, and wished Mr. B. had happily
married such a charming creature, who carried tokens of her high birth
in her face, and whose every feature and look shewed her to be nobly
They let him go to bed with his mistake: but the countess said next
morning, she thought she never saw a greater instance of stupid pride
and churlishness; and should be sick of the advantage of birth or
ancestry, if this was the natural fruit of it. "For a man," said her
ladyship, "to come to his nephew's house, and to suffer the mistress
of it to be closetted up (as he thinks), in order to humour his absurd
and brutal insolence, and to behave as he has done, is such a ridicule
upon the pride of descent, that I shall ever think of it.--O Mrs. B.,"
said she, "what advantages have you over every one that sees you; but
most over those who pretend to treat you unworthily!" I expect to be
called to breakfast every minute, and shall then, perhaps, see how
this matter will end. I wish, when it is revealed, he may not be in a
fury, and think himself imposed on. I fear it won't go off so well as
I wish; for every body seems to be grave, and angry at Sir Jacob.
I now proceed with my tale. At breakfast-time, when every one was sat,
Sir Jacob began to call out for Lady Jenny. "But," said he, "I'll have
none of your girl, nephew: although the chair at the tea-table is left
for somebody."--"No," said Mr. B., "we'll get Lady Jenny to supply
Mrs. B.'s place, since you don't care to see her."--"With all my
heart," replied he.--"But, uncle," said Mr. B., "have you really no
desire, no curiosity to see the girl I have married?"--"No, none at
all, by my soul."
Just then I came in, and paying my compliments to the company, and to
Sir Jacob--"Shall I," said I, "supply Mrs. B.'s place in her
absence?" And down I sat. After breakfast, and the servants were
withdrawn--"Lady Jenny," said Lady Davers, "you are a young lady, with
all the advantages of birth and descent, and some of the best blood
in the kingdom runs in your veins; and here Sir Jacob Swynford is
your great admirer; cannot _you_, from whom it will come with a double
grace, convince him that he acts unkindly at my brother's house, to
keep the person he has thought worthy of making the mistress of it,
out of company? And let us know your opinion, whether my
brother himself does right, to comply with such an unreasonable
distaste?"--"Why, how now, Lady Davers! This from you! I did not
"My uncle," said Mr. B., "is the only person in the kingdom that I
would have humoured thus: and I made no doubt, when he saw how willing
I was to oblige him in such a point, he would have acted a more
generous part than he has yet done.--But, Lady Jenny, what say you to
my sister's questions?"
"If I must speak my mind," replied I, "I should take the liberty to
be very serious with Sir Jacob, and to say, that when a thing is done,
and cannot be helped, he should take care how he sows the seeds of
indifference and animosity between man and wife, and makes a gentleman
dissatisfied with his choice, and perhaps unhappy as long as he
lives."--"Nay, Miss," said he, "if all are against me, and you, whose
good opinion I value most, you may e'en let the girl come, and sit
down.--If she is but half as pretty, and half as wise, and modest, as
you, I shall, as it cannot be helped, as you say, be ready to think
better of the matter. For 'tis a little hard, I must needs say, if she
has hitherto appeared before all the good company, to keep her out of
the way on my account."--"Really, Sir Jacob," said the countess, "I
have blushed for you more than once on this occasion. But the mistress
of this house is more than half as wise, and modest, and lovely: and
in hopes you will return me back some of the blushes I have lent
you, see _there_, in my daughter Jenny, whom you have been so justly
admiring, the mistress of the house, and the lady with the Pagan
name." Sir Jacob sat aghast, looking at us all in turn, and then cast
his eyes on the floor. At last, up he got, and swore a sad oath: "And
am I thus tricked and bamboozled," that was his word; "am I? There's
no bearing this house, nor her presence, now, that's certain; and I'll
Mr. B. looking at me, and nodding his head towards Sir Jacob, as he
was in a flutter to begone, I rose from my chair, and went to him, and
took his hand. "I hope, Sir Jacob, you will be able to bear _both_,
when you shall see no other difference but that of descent, between
the supposed Lady Jenny you so kindly praised, and the girl your
dear nephew has so much exalted."--"Let me go," said he; "I am most
confoundedly bit. I cannot look you in the face! By my soul, I cannot!
For 'tis impossible you should forgive me."--"Indeed it is not, Sir;
you have done nothing but what I can forgive you for, if your dear
nephew can; for to him was the wrong, if any, and I am sure he
can overlook it. And for his sake, to the uncle of so honoured a
gentleman, to the brother of my late good lady, I can, with a bent
knee, _thus_, ask your blessing, and your excuse for joining to keep
you in this suspense."--"Bless you!" said he, and stamped--"Who can
choose but bless you?"-and he kneeled down, and wrapped his arms about
me.--"But, curse me," that was his strange word, "if ever I was so
touched before!" My dear Mr. B., for fear my spirits should be too
much affected (for the rough baronet, in his transport, had bent me
down lower than I kneeled), came and held my arm; but permitted Sir
Jacob to raise me; only saying, "How does my angel? Now she has made
this conquest, she has completed all her triumphs."--"Angel, did
you call her?--I'm confounded with her goodness, and her sweet
carriage!--Rise, and let me see if I can stand myself! And, believe
me, I am sorry I have acted thus so much like a bear; and the more I
think of it, the more I shall be ashamed of myself." And the tears, as
he spoke, ran down his rough cheeks; which moved me much; for to see a
man with so hard a countenance weep, was a touching sight.
Mr. H. putting his handkerchief to his eyes, his aunt said, "What's
the matter, Jackey?"--"I don't know how 'tis," answered he; "but
here's strange doings, as ever I knew--For, day after day, one's
ready to cry, without knowing whether it be for joy or sorrow!--What
a plague's the matter with me, I wonder!" And out he went, the two
ladies, whose charming eyes, too, glistened with pleasure, smiling
at the effect the scene had upon Mr. H. and at what he said.--"Well,
Madam," said Sir Jacob, approaching me; for I had sat down, but then
stood up--"You will forgive me; and from my heart I wish you joy. By
my soul I do,"--and saluted me.--"I could not have believed there had
been such a person breathing. I don't wonder at my nephew's loving
you!--And you call her sister, Lady Davers, don't you?--If you do,
I'll own her for my niece."
"Don't I!--Yes, I do," said she, coming to me, "and am proud so to
call her. And this I tell you, for _your_ comfort, though to _my own
shame_, that I used her worse than you have done, before I knew her
excellence; and have repented of it ever since."
I bowed to her ladyship, and kissed her hand--"My dearest lady," said
I, "you have made me such rich amends since, that I am sure I may say,
'_It was good for me that I was afflicted!_'"--"Why, nephew, she has
the fear of God, I perceive, before her eyes too! I'm sure I've heard
those words. They are somewhere in the Scripture, I believe!--Why, who
knows but she may be a means to save your soul!--Hey, you know!"--"Ay,
Sir Jacob, she'll be a means to save a hundred souls, and might go a
great way to save yours if you were to live with her but one month."
"Well, but, nephew, I hope you forgive me too; for now I think of
it, I never knew you take any matter so patiently in my life."--"I
knew," said Mr. B., "that every extravagance you insisted upon, was
heightening my charmer's triumph, and increasing your own contrition;
and, as I was not _indeed_ deprived of her company, I could bear with
every thing you said or did--Yet, don't you remember my caution, that
the less you said against her, the less you'd have to unsay, and the
less to repent of!"
"I do; and let me ride out, and call myself to account for all I have
said against her, in her own hearing; and when I can think of but one
half, and how she has taken it, by my soul, I believe 'twill make me
_more_ than half mad."
At dinner (when we had Mr. Williams's company), the baronet told
me, he admired me now, as much as when he thought me Lady Jenny; but
complained of the trick put upon him by us all, and seemed now and
then a little serious upon it.
He took great notice of the dexterity which he imputed to me, in
performing the honours of the table. And every now and then, he lifted
up his eyes--"Very clever.--Why, Madam, you seem to me to be born to
these things!--I will be helped by nobody but you--And you'll have a
task of it, I can tell you; for I have a whipping stomach, and were
there fifty dishes, I always taste of every one." And, indeed, John
was in a manner wholly employed in going to and fro between the
baronet and me, for half an hour together.--He went from us afterwards
to Mrs. Jervis, and made her answer many questions about me, and how
all these matters had _come about_, as he phrased it; and returning,
when we drank coffee, said, "I have been _confabbing_ with Mrs.
Jervis, about you, niece. I never heard the like! She says you can
play on the harpsichord, and sing too; will you let a body have a tune
or so? My Mab can play pretty well, and so can Dolly; I'm a judge of
music, and would fain hear you." I said, if he was a judge, I should
be afraid to play before him; but I would not be asked twice, after
our coffee. Accordingly he repeated his request. I gave him a tune,
and, at his desire, sung to it: "Od's my life," said he, "you do it
purely!--But I see where it is. My girls have got _my_ fingers!" Then
he held both hands out, and a fine pair of paws shewed he. "Plague
on't, they touch two keys at once; but those slender and nimble
fingers, how they sweep along! My eye can't follow 'em--Whew,"
whistled he, "they are here and there, and every where at once!--Why,
nephew, I believe you have put another trick upon me. My niece is
certainly of quality! And report has not done her justice.--One more
tune, one more song--By my faith, your voice goes sweetly to your
fingers. 'Slife--I'll thrash my jades," that was his polite phrase,
"when I get home.--Lady Davers, you know not the money they have cost
me to qualify them; and here's a mere baby to them outdoes 'em by a
bar's length, without any expense at all bestowed upon her. Go over
that again--Confound me for a puppy! I lost it by my prating.--Ay,
there you have it! Oh! that I could but dance as well as thou sing'st!
I'd give you a saraband, old as I am."
After supper, we fell into a conversation, of which I must give you
some account, being on a topic that Mr. B. has been blamed for in his
marrying me, and which has stuck by some of his friends, even after
they have, in kindness to me, acquitted him in every other respect;
and that is, _the example he has set to young gentlemen of family and
fortune to marry beneath them_.--It was begun by Sir Jacob, who said,
"I am in love with my new niece, that I am: but still one thing
sticks with me in this affair, which is, what will become of degree
or distinction, if this practice of gentlemen marrying their mothers'
waiting-maids--excuse me, Madam--should come into vogue? Already,
young ladies and young gentlemen are too apt to be drawn away thus,
and disgrace their families. We have too many instances of this.
You'll forgive me, both of you."
"That," said Lady Davers, "is the _only_ thing!--Sir Jacob has hit
upon the point that would make one wish this example had not been set
by a gentleman of such an ancient family, till one becomes acquainted
with this dear creature; and then every body thinks it should not be
otherwise than it is."
"Ay, Pamela," said Mr. B., "what can you say to this? Cannot you
defend me from this charge? This is a point that has been often
objected to me; try for one of your pretty arguments in my behalf."
"Indeed, Sir," replied I, looking down, "it becomes not me to say any
thing to this."--"But indeed it does, if you can: and I beg you'll
help me to some excuse, if you have any at hand."--"Won't you. Sir,
dispense with me on this occasion? I know, not what to say. Indeed
I should not, if I may judge for myself, speak one _word_ to this
subject.--For it is my absolute opinion, that degrees in general
should be kept up; although I must always deem the present case an
happy exception to the rule." Mr. B. looked as if he still expected I
should say something.--"Won't you, Sir, dispense with me?" repeated I.
"Indeed I should not speak to this point, if I may be my own judge."
"I always intend, my dear, you shall judge for yourself; and, you
know, I seldom urge you farther, when you use those words. But if
you have any thing upon your mind to say, let's have it; for your
arguments are always new and unborrowed."
"I would then, if I _must_, Sir, ask, if there be not a nation, or
if there has not been a law in some nation, which, whenever a young
gentleman, be _his_ degree what it would, has seduced a poor creature,
be _her_ degree what it would, obliges him to marry that unhappy
person?"--"I think there is such a law in some country, I can't tell
where," said Sir Jacob.
"And do you think, Sir, whether it be so or not, that it is equitable
it should be so?"
"Yes, by my troth. Though I must needs own, if it were so in England,
many men, that I know, would not have the wives they now have."--"You
speak to your knowledge, I doubt not, Sir Jacob?" said Mr. B.
"Why, truly--I don't know but I do."
"All then," said I, "that I would infer, is, whether another law would
not be a still more just and equitable one, that the gentleman who
is repulsed, from a principle of virtue and honour, should not be
censured for marrying a person he could _not_ seduce? And whether it
is not more for both their honours, if he does: since it is nobler
to reward a virtue, than to repair a shame, were that shame to be
repaired by matrimony, which I take the liberty to doubt. But I beg
pardon: you commanded me, Sir, else this subject should not have found
a speaker to it, in me."
"This is admirably said," cried Sir Jacob.--"But yet this comes not
up to the objection," said Mr. B. "The setting an example to
waiting-maids to aspire, and to young gentlemen to descend. And I will
enter into the subject myself; and the rather, because as I go along,
I will give Sir Jacob a faint sketch of the merit and character of my
Pamela, of which he cannot be so well informed as he has been of
the disgrace which he imagined I had brought upon myself by marrying
her.--I think it necessary, that as well those persons who are afraid
the example should be taken, as those who are inclined to follow it,
should consider _all_ the material parts of it; otherwise, I think the
precedent may be justly cleared; and the fears of the one be judged
groundless, and the plea of the other but a pretence, in order to
cover a folly into which they would have fallen, whether they had this
example or not. For instance, in order to lay claim to the excuses,
which my conduct, if I may suppose it of force enough to do either
good or hurt, will furnish, it is necessary, that the object of their
wish should be a girl of exquisite beauty (and that not only in their
own blinded and partial judgments, but in the opinion of _every one_
who sees her, friend or foe), in order to justify the force which the
_first_ attractions have upon him: that she be descended of honest and
conscientious, though poor and obscure parents; who having preserved
their integrity, through great trials and afflictions, have, by
their examples, as well as precepts, laid deep in the girl's mind the
foundations of piety and virtue.
"It is necessary that, to the charms of person, this waiting-maid,
should have an humble, teachable mind, fine natural parts, a
sprightly, yet inoffensive wit, a temper so excellent, and a judgment
so solid, as should promise (by the love and esteem these qualities
should attract to herself from her fellow-servants, superior and
inferior) that she would become a higher station, and be respected
in it.--And that, after so good a foundation laid by her parents, she
should have all the advantages of female education conferred upon
her; the example of an excellent lady, improving and building upon so
worthy a foundation: a capacity surprisingly ready to take in all that
is taught her: an attention, assiduity, and diligence almost peculiar
to herself, at her time of life; so as, at fifteen or sixteen years of
age, to be able to vie with any young ladies of rank, as well in the
natural genteelness of her person, as in her acquirements: and that
in nothing but her humility she should manifest any difference between
herself and the high-born.
"It will be necessary, moreover, that she should have a mind above
temptation; that she should resist the _offers_ and _menaces_ of one
upon whom all her worldly happiness seemed to depend; the son of a
lady to whom she owed the greatest obligations; a person whom she did
not _hate_, but greatly _feared_, and whom her grateful heart would
have been _glad_ to oblige; and who sought to prevail over her virtue,
by all the inducements that could be thought of, to _attract_ a young
unexperienced virgin at one time, or to _frighten_ her at another,
into his purposes; who offered her very high terms, her circumstances
considered, as well for herself, as for parents she loved better than
herself, whose circumstances were low and distressful; yet, to all
these _offers_ and _menaces_, that she should be able to answer in
such words as these, which will always dwell upon my memory--'I reject
your proposals with all my soul. May God desert me, whenever I make
worldly grandeur my chiefest good! I know I am in your power; I dread
your will to ruin me is as great as your power. Yet, will I dare to
tell you, I will make no free-will offering of my virtue. All that I
_can_ do, poor as it is, I _will_ do, to shew you, that my will
bore no part in the violation of me.' And when future marriage was
intimated to her, to induce her to yield, to be able to answer, 'The
moment I yield to your proposals, there is an end of all merit, if
now I have any. And I should be so far from _expecting_ such an honour
that I will pronounce I should be most _unworthy_ of it.'
"If, I say, such a girl can be found, thus beautifully attractive in
_every one's_ eye, and not partially so only in a young gentle man's
_own_; and after that (what good persons would infinitely prefer
to beauty), thus piously principled; thus genteely educated and
accomplished; thus brilliantly witty; thus prudent, modest, generous,
undesigning; and having been thus tempted, thus tried, by the man she
hated not, pursued (not intriguingly pursuing), be thus inflexibly
virtuous, and proof against temptation: let her reform her libertine,
and let him marry her; and were he of princely extraction, I dare
answer for it, that no _two_ princes in _one age_, take the world
through, would be in danger. For, although I am sensible it is not to
my credit, I will say, that I never met with a repulse, nor a conduct
like this; and yet I never sunk very low for the subjects of my
attempts, either at home or abroad. These are obvious inferences,"
added he, "not refinements upon my Pamela's story; and if the
gentlemen were capable of thought and comparison, would rather make
such an example, as is apprehended, _more_ than _less_ difficult than
"But if, indeed, the young fellow be such a booby, that he
cannot _reflect_ and _compare_, and take the case _with all its
circumstances_ together, I think his good papa or mamma should get him
a wife to their own liking, as soon as possible; and the poorest girl
in England, who is honest, should rather bless herself for escaping
such a husband, than glory in the catch she would have of him. For he
would hardly do honour to his family in any one instance."--"Indeed,"
said the countess, "it would be pity, after all, that such an one
should marry any lady of prudence and birth; for 'tis enough in
conscience, that he is a disgrace to _one_ worthy family; it would be
pity he should make _two_ unhappy."
"Why, really, nephew," said Sir Jacob, "I think you have said much
to the purpose. There is not so much danger, from the example, as
I apprehended, from _sensible_ and _reflecting_ minds. I did not
consider this matter thoroughly, I must needs say."
"And the business is," said Lady Davers--"You'll excuse me,
sister--There will be more people hear that Mr. B. has married his
mother's waiting-maid, than will know his inducements."--"Not many,
I believe, sister. For when 'tis known, I have some character in the
world, and am not quite an idiot (and my faults, in having not been
one of the most virtuous of men, will stand me in some stead in _this_
case, though hardly in _any other_) they will naturally enquire into
my inducements.--But see you not, when we go abroad, what numbers of
people her character draws to admire the dear creature? Does not this
shew, that her virtue has made her more conspicuous than my fortune
has made me? For I passed up and down quietly enough before (handsome
as my equipage always was) and attracted not any body's notice: and
indeed I had as lieve these honours were not so publicly paid _her_;
for even, were I fond to shew and parade, what are they, but a
reproach to me? And can I have any excellence, but a secondary one, in
having, after all my persecutions of her, done but common justice to
her merit?--This answers your objection, Lady Davers, and shews that
_my_ inducements and _her_ story must be equally known. And I really
think (every thing I have said considered, and that might still
farther be urged, and the conduct of the dear creature in the station
she adorns, so much exceeding all I hoped or could expect from the
most promising appearances), that she does _me_ more honour than I
have done _her_; and if I could put myself in a third person's place,
I think I should be of the same opinion, were I to determine upon such
another pair, exactly circumstanced as we are."
You may believe, my friend, how much this generous defence of the
step he had taken, attributing every thing to me, and deprecating
his worthy self, affected me. I played with a cork one while, with
my rings another; looking down, and every way but on the company; for
they gazed too much upon me all the time; so that I could only glance
a tearful eye now and then upon the dear man; and when it would
overflow, catch in my handkerchief the escaped fugitives that would
start unbidden beyond their proper limits, though I often tried, by
a twinkling motion, to disperse the gathering water, before it had
formed itself into drops too big to be restrained. All the company
praised the dear generous speaker; and he was pleased to say farther,
"Although, my good friends, I can truly say, that with all the pride
of family, and the insolence of fortune, which once made me doubt
whether I should not sink too low, if I made my Pamela my mistress
(for I should then have treated her not ungenerously, and should have
suffered her, perhaps, to call herself by my name), I have never once
repented of what I have done; on the contrary, always rejoiced in it,
and it has been, from the first day of our marriage, my pride and my
boast (and shall be, let others say what they will), that I can call
such an excellence, and such a purity, which I so little deserve,
mine; and I look down with contempt upon the rashness of all who
reflect upon me; for they can have no notion of my happiness or her
"O dear Sir, how do you overrate my poor merit!--Some persons are
happy in a life of _comforts_, but mine's a life of _joy!_--One
rapturous instance follows another so fast, that I know not how to
"Whew!" whistled Sir Jacob. "Whereabouts am I?--I hope by-and-by
you'll come down to our pitch, that one may put in a word or two with
"May you be long thus blest and happy together!" said Lady Davers. "I
know not which to admire most, the dear girl that never was bad, or
the dear man, who, having been bad, is now so good!"
Said Lord Davers, "There is hardly any bearing these moving scenes,
following one another so quick, as my sister says."
The countess was pleased to say, that till now she had been at a loss
to form any notion of the happiness of the first pair before the Fall;
but now, by so fine an instance as this, she comprehended it in all
its force. "God continue you to one another," added she, "for a credit
to the state, and to human nature."
Mr. H., having his elbows on the table, folded his hands, shaking
them, and looking down--"Egad, this is uncommon life, that it is! Your
two souls, I can see that, are like well-tuned instruments; but they
are too high set for me, a vast deal."
"The best thing," said Lady Davers (always severe upon her poor
nephew), "thou ever saidst. The music must be equal to that of
Orpheus, which can make such a savage as thee dance to it. I charge
thee, say not another word tonight."--"Why, indeed, aunt," returned
he, laughing, "I believe it _was_ pretty well said for your foolish
fellow: though it was by chance, I must confess; I did not think of
it."--"That I believe," replied my lady; "if thou hadst, thou'dst not
have spoken so well."
Sir Jacob and Mr. B. afterwards fell into a family discourse; and Sir
Jacob told us of two or three courtships by his three sons, and to
his two daughters, and his reasons for disallowing them: and I could
observe, he is an absolute tyrant in his family, though they are all
men and women grown, and he seemed to please himself how much they
stood in awe of him.
I would not have been so tediously trifling, but for the sake of my
dear parents; and there is so much self-praise, as it may seem, from a
person on repeating the fine things said of herself, that I am half
of opinion I should send them to Kent only, and to think you should be
obliged to me for saving you so much trouble and impertinence.
Do, dear Miss, be so free as to forbid me to send you any more long
journals, but common letters only, of how you do? and who and who's
together, and of respects to one another, and so forth--letters that
one might dispatch, as Sir Jacob says, in a _twinkling_, and perhaps
be more to the purpose than the tedious scrawl which kisses your
hands, from _yours most sincerely_, P.B.
Do, dear good Sir Simon, let Miss Polly add to our delights, by her
charming company. Mr. Murray, and the new affair will divert _you_, in
her absence.--So pray, since my good Lady Darnford has consented, and
she is willing, and her sister can spare her; don't be so cross as to
* * * * *
_From Miss Damford to Mrs. B._
MY DEAR MRS. B.,
You have given us great pleasure in your accounts of your
conversations, and of the verses put so wickedly under your seat; and
in your just observations on the lines, and occasions.
I am quite shocked, when I think of Lady Davers's passionate
intentions at the hall, but have let nobody into the worst of the
matter, in compliance with your desire. We are delighted with the
account of your family management, and your Sunday's service. What an
excellent lady you are! And how happy and good you make all who know
you, is seen by the ladies joining in your evening service, as well as
We go on here swimmingly with our courtship. Never was there a fonder
couple than Mr. Murray and Miss Nancy. The modest girl is quite alive,
easy, and pleased, except now-and-then with me. We had a sad falling
out t'other day. Thus it was:--She had the assurance, on my saying,
they were so fond and free before-hand, that they would leave nothing
for improvement afterwards, to tell me, she had long perceived, that
my envy was very disquieting to me. This she said before Mr. Murray,
who had the good manners to retire, seeing a storm rising between
us. "Poor foolish girl!" cried I, when he was gone, provoked to great
contempt by her expression before him, "thou wilt make me despise thee
in spite of my heart. But, pr'ythee, manage thy matters with common
decency, at least."--"Good lack! _Common decency_, did you say? When
my sister Polly is able to shew me what it is, I shall hope to be
better for her example."--"No, thou'lt never be better for any body's
example! Thy ill-nature and perverseness will continue to keep thee
from that."--"My ill-temper, you have often told me, is _natural_ to
me; so it must become _me:_ but upon such a sweet-tempered young lady
as Miss Polly, her late assumed petulance sits but ill!"
"I must have had no bad temper, and that every one says, to bear with
thy sullen and perverse one, as I have done all my life."
"But why can't you bear with it a little longer, sister? Does any
thing provoke you _now_" (with a sly leer and affected drawl) "that
did not _formerly?_"
"Provoke me!--What should provoke me? I gave thee but a hint of thy
fond folly, which makes thee behave so before company, that every one
smiles at thee; and I'd be glad to save thee from contempt for thy
_new_ good humour, as I used to try to do, for thy _old_ bad nature."