Part 7 out of 11
Indeed, he needed not to bid me; for I was sorry, on more accounts
than that of my timorousness, to have lost sight of him. "Out upon
these nasty masquerades!" thought I; "I can't abide them already!"
An egregious beauish appearance came up to Miss, and said, "You hang
out a very pretty _sign_, Widow."
"Not," replied she, "to invite such fops as you to my shop."
"Any customer would be welcome," returned he, "in my opinion. I
whisper this as a secret."
"And I whisper another," said she, but not whisperingly, "that no
place warrants ill manners."
"Are you angry, Widow?"
She affected a laugh: "No, indeed, it i'n't worth while."
He turned to me--and I was afraid of some such hit as he gave me. "I
hope, friend, thou art prepared with a father for the light within
"Is this wit?" said I, turning to Miss Darnford: "I have enough of
this diversion, where nothing but coarse jests appear _barefac'd_."
At last Mr. B. accosted us, as if he had not known us. "So lovely a
widow, and so sweet a friend! no wonder you do not separate: for I see
not in this various assembly a third person of your sex fit to join
"Not _one_, Sir!" said I. "Will not a penitent Nun make a good third
with a mournful Widow, and a prim Quaker?"
"Not for more than ten minutes at most."
Instantly the Nun, a fine person of a lady, with a noble air, though I
did not like her, joined us, and spoke in Italian something very free,
as it seemed by her manner, and Mr. B.'s smiling answer; but neither
Miss Darnford nor I understood that language, and Mr. B. would not
explain it to us.
But she gave him a signal to follow her, seeming to be much taken with
his person and air; for though there were three other Spanish habits
there, he was called _The stately Spaniard_ by one, _The handsome
Spaniard_ by another, in our hearing, as he passed with us to the
dessert, where we drank each of us a glass of Champaign, and eat a
few sweetmeats, with a crowd about us; but we appeared not to know
one another: while several odd appearances, as one Indian Prince, one
Chinese Mandarin, several Domino's, of both sexes, a Dutch Skipper,
a Jewish Rabbi, a Greek Monk, a Harlequin, a Turkish Bashaw, and
Capuchin Friar, glided by us, as we returned into company,
signifying that we were strangers to them by squeaking out--"_I know
you!_"--Which is half the wit of the place.
Two ladies, one in a very fantastic party-coloured habit, with a plume
of feathers, the other in a rustic one, with a garland of flowers
round her head, were much taken notice of for their freedom, and
having something to say to every body. They were as seldom separated
as Miss Darnford and I, and were followed by a crowd wherever they
The party-coloured one came up to me: "Friend," said she, "there is
something in thy person that attracts every one's notice: but if a
sack had not been a profane thing, it would have become thee almost as
well."--"I thank thee, friend," said I, "for thy counsel; but if thou
hadst been pleased to look at home, thou wouldst not have taken so
much pains to join such advice, and such an appearance, together, as
This made every one that heard it laugh.--One said, the butterfly hath
met with her match.
She returned, with an affected laugh, "Smartly said!--But art thou
come hither, friend, to make thy light shine before men or women?"
"Verily, friend, neither," replied I: "but out of mere curiosity, to
look into the _minds_ of both sexes; which I read in their _dresses_."
"A general satire on the assemblee, by the mass!" said a fat Monk.
The Nun whisked to us: "We're all concerned in my friend's remark."--
"And no disgrace to a fair Nun," returned I, "if her behaviour answer
her dress--Nor to a reverend Friar," turning to the Monk, "if his
mind be not a discredit to his appearance--Nor yet to a Country-girl,"
turning to the party-coloured lady's companion, "if she has not weeds
in her heart to disgrace the flowers on her head."
An odd figure, representing a _Merry Andrew_, took my hand, and said,
I had the most piquant wit he had met with that night: "And, friend,"
said he, "let us be better acquainted!"
"Forbear," said I, withdrawing my hand; "not a companion for a
A Roman Senator just then accosted Miss Darnford; and Mr. B. seeing me
so much engaged, "'Twere hard," said he, "if our nation, in spite
of Cervantes, produced not one cavalier to protect a fair lady thus
"Though surrounded, not distressed, my good knight-errant," said the
Nun: "the fair Quaker will be too hard for half-a-dozen antagonists,
and wants not your protection:--but your poor Nun bespeaks it,"
whispered she, "who has not a word to say for herself." Mr. B.
answered her in Italian (I wish I understood Italian!)--and she had
recourse to her beads.
You can't imagine, Madam, how this Nun haunted him!--I don't like
these masquerades at all. Many ladies, on these occasions, are so
very free, that the censorious will be apt to blame the whole sex for
_their_ conduct, and to say, their hearts are as faulty as those of
the most culpable men, since they scruple not to shew as much, when
they think they cannot be known by their faces. But it is my humble
opinion, that could a standard be fixed, by which one could determine
readily what _is_, and what is _not_ wit, decency would not be so
often wounded by attempts to be witty, as it is. For here every one,
who can say things that shock a modester person, not meeting with due
rebuke, but perhaps a smile, (without considering whether it be of
contempt or approbation) mistakes courage for wit; and every thing
sacred or civil becomes the subject of his frothy jest.
But what a moralizer am I! will your ladyship say: indeed I can't
help it:--and especially on such a subject as a _masquerade_, which I
dislike more than any thing I ever saw. I could say a great deal more
on this occasion; but, upon my word, I am quite out of humour with it:
for I liked my English Mr. B. better than my Spaniard: and the Nun I
approved not by any means; though there were some who observed, that
she was one of the gracefullest figures in the place. And, indeed, in
spite of my own heart, I could not help thinking so too.
Your ladyship knows so well what _masquerades_ are, that I may well be
excused saying any thing further on a subject I am so little pleased
with: for you only desire my notions of those diversions, because I am
a novice in them; and this, I doubt not, will doubly serve to answer
I shall only therefore add, that after an hundred other impertinences
spoken to Miss Darnford and me, and retorted with spirit by her, and
as well as I could by myself, quite sick of the place, I feigned to be
more indisposed than I was, and so got my beloved Spaniard to go off
with us, and reached home by three in the morning. And so much for
_masquerades_. I hope I shall never have occasion to mention them
again to your ladyship. I am, my dearest Madam, _your ever obliged
sister and servant_,
MY DEAREST LADY,
My mind is so wholly engrossed by thoughts of a very different nature
from those which the diversions of the town and theatres inspire, that
I beg to be excused, if, for the present, I say nothing further of
those lighter matters. But as you do not disapprove of my remarks,
I intend, if God spares my life, to make a little book, which I will
present to your ladyship, of my poor observations on all the dramatic
entertainments I have seen, and shall see, this winter: and for this
purpose I have made brief notes in the margin of the printed plays I
have bought, as I saw them, with a pencil; by referring to which, as
helps to my memory, I shall be able to state what my thoughts were at
the time of seeing them pretty nearly with the same advantage, as if I
had written them at my return from each.
I have obtained Sir Simon, and Lady Darnford's permission for Miss to
stay with me till it shall be seen how it will please God to deal with
me, and I owe this favour partly to a kind letter written in my
behalf to Sir Simon, by Mr. B., and partly to the young lady's
earnest request to her papa, to oblige me; Sir Simon having made some
difficulty to comply, as Mr. Murray and his bride have left them,
saying, he could not live long, if he had not the company of his
But what shall I say, when I find my frailty so much increased, that I
cannot, with the same intenseness of devotion I used to be blest with,
apply myself to the throne of Grace, nor, of consequence, find my
invocations answered by that delight and inward satisfaction, with
which I used when the present near prospect was more remote?
I hope I shall not be deserted in the hour of trial, and that this my
weakness of mind will not be punished with a spiritual dereliction,
for suffering myself to be too much attached to those worldly delights
and pleasures, which no mortal ever enjoyed in a more exalted degree
than myself. And I beseech you, my dearest lady, let me be always
remembered in your prayers--_only_ for a resignation to the Divine
will; a _cheerful_ resignation! I presume not to prescribe to his
gracious Providence; for if one has but _that_, one has every thing
that one need to have.
Forgive me, my dearest lady, for being so deeply serious. I have just
been contending with a severe pang, that is now gone off; what effect
its return may have, God only knows. And if this is the last line I
shall ever write, it will be the more satisfactory to me, as (with
my humble respects to my good Lord Davers, and my dear countess, and
praying for the continuance of all your healths and happiness,
both here and hereafter), I am permitted to subscribe myself _your
ladyship's obliged sister and humble servant_,
_From Lady Davers to Mr. B._
MY DEAREST BROTHER,
Although I believe it needless to put a man of your generous spirit in
mind of doing a worthy action; yet, as I do not know whether you have
thought of what I am going to hint to you, I cannot forbear a line or
two with regard to the good old couple in Kent.
I am sure, if, for our sins, God Almighty should take from us my
incomparable sister (forgive me, my dear brother, but to intimate what
_may_ be, although I hourly pray, as her trying minute approaches,
that it will not), you will, for her sake, take care that her honest
parents have not the loss of your favour, to deepen the inconsolable
one, they will have, in such a case, of the best of daughters.
I say, I am sure you will do as generously by them as ever: and I dare
say your sweet Pamela doubts it not: yet, as you know how sensible she
is of every favour done them, it is the countess's opinion and mine,
and Lady Betty's too, that you give _her_ this assurance, in some
_legal_ way: for, as she is naturally apprehensive, and thinks more of
her present circumstances, than, for your sake, she chooses to express
to you, it will be like a cordial to her dutiful and grateful heart;
and I do not know, if it will not contribute, more than any _one_
thing, to make her go through her task with ease and safety.
I know how much your heart is wrapped up in the dear creature: and you
are a worthy brother to let it be so! You will excuse me therefore, I
am sure, for this my officiousness.
I have no doubt but God will spare her to us, because, although we may
not be worthy of such excellence, yet we all now unite so gratefully
to thank him, for such a worthy relation, that I hope we shall not be
deprived of an example so necessary to us all.
I can have but one fear, and that is, that, young as she is, she seems
ripened for glory: she seems to have lived long enough for _herself_.
But for _you_, and for _us_, that God will _still_ spare her, shall be
the hourly prayer of, _my dear worthy brother, your ever affectionate
Have you got her mother with you? I hope you have. God give you a son
and heir, if it be his blessed will! But, however that be, preserve
your Pamela to you! for you never can have such _another_ wife.
_From Mrs. B. to Mr. B._
MY DEAR AND EVER-HONOURED MR. B.,
Since I know not how it may please God Almighty to dispose of me on
the approaching occasion, I should think myself inexcusable, not to
find one or two select hours to dedicate to you, out of the very many,
in the writing way, which your goodness has indulged me, because you
saw I took delight in it.
But yet, think not, O best beloved of my heart! that I have any boon
to beg, any favour to ask, either for myself or for my friends, or so
much as the _continuance_ of your favour, to the one or the other. As
to them, you have prevented and exceeded all my wishes: as to myself,
if it please God to spare me, I know I shall always be rewarded beyond
my desert, let my deservings be what they will. I have only therefore
to acknowledge with the deepest sense of your goodness to me, and with
the most heart-affecting gratitude, that from the happy, the thrice
happy hour, that you so generously made me yours, till _this_ moment,
you have not left one thing, on my own part, to wish for, but the
continuance and increase of your felicity, and that I might be still
worthier of the unexampled goodness, tenderness, and condescension,
wherewith you have always treated me.
No, my dearest, my best beloved master, friend, husband, my _first_,
my _last_, and _only_ love! believe me, I have nothing to wish for but
your honour and felicity, temporal and eternal; and I make no doubt,
that God, in his infinite goodness and mercy, will perfect his own
good work, begun in your dear heart; and, whatever may now happen,
give us a happy meeting, never more to part from one another.
Let me then beg of you, my dearest protector, to pardon all my
imperfections and defects; and if, ever since I have had the honour
to be yours, I have in _looks_, or in _word_, or in _deed_, given you
cause to wish me other than I was, that you will kindly put it to the
score of natural infirmity (for in _thought_ or _intention_, I can
truly boast, I have never wilfully erred). Your tenderness, and
generous politeness to me, always gave me apprehension, that I was not
what you wished me to be, because you would not find fault with me so
often as I fear I deserved: and this makes me beg of you to do, as
I hope God Almighty will, pardon all my involuntary errors and
But let me say one word for my dear worthy Mrs. Jervis. Her care and
fidelity will be very necessary for your affairs, dear Sir, while you
remain single, which I hope will not be long. But, whenever you make a
second choice, be pleased to allow her such an annuity as may make
her independent, and pass away the remainder of her life with ease and
comfort. And this I the rather presume to request, as my late honoured
lady once intimated the same thing to you. If I were to name what
that may be, it would not be with the thought of _heightening_, but of
_limiting_ rather, the natural bounty of your heart; and fifty pounds
a-year would be a rich provision, in her opinion, and will entail upon
you, dear Sir, the blessings of one of the faithfullest and worthiest
hearts in the kingdom.
Nor will Christian charity permit me to forget the once wicked, but
now penitent Jewkes. I understand by Miss Darnford, that she begs for
nothing but to have the pleasure of dying in your service, and by
that means to atone for some small slips and mistakes in her accounts,
which she had made formerly, and she accuses herself; for she will
have it, that Mr. Longman has been better to her than she deserved,
in passing one account particularly, to which he had, with too much
reason, objected; do, dear Sir, if your _future_ happy lady has no
great dislike to the poor woman, be pleased to grant her request,
except her own mind should alter, and she desire her dismission.
And now I have to beg of God to shower down his most precious
blessings upon you, my dearest, my _first_, my _last_, and my _only_
love! and to return to you an hundred fold, the benefits which you
have conferred upon me and mine, and upon so many poor souls, as you
have blessed through my hands! And that you may in your next choice be
happy with a lady, who may have every thing I want; and who may love
and honour you, with the same affectionate duty, which has been my
delight and my glory to pay you: for in this I am sure, no one _can_
exceed me!--And after having given you long life, prosperity, and
increase of honour, translate you into a blessed eternity, where,
through the merits of our common Redeemer, I hope I shall be allowed
a place, and be permitted (O let me indulge that pleasing, that
_consolatory_ thought!) to receive and rejoice in my restored spouse,
for ever and ever: are the prayers, the _last_ prayers, if it so
please God! of, my dearest dear Mr. B., _your dutiful and affectionate
wife, and faithful servant_,
_From Miss Darnford to Lady Darnford._
MY HONOURED MAMMA,
You cannot conceive how you and my dear papa have delighted my good
Mrs. B. and obliged her Mr. B. by the permission you have given me to
attend her till the important hour shall be over with her; for she is
exceedingly apprehensive, and one can hardly blame her; since there is
hardly such another happy couple in the world.
I am glad to hear that the ceremony is over, so much to both your
satisfactions: may this matrimony be but a _tenth part_ as happy as
that I am witness to here; and Mr. and Mrs. Murray will have that
to boast of, which few married people have, even among those we call
For my part, I believe I shall never care to marry at all; for though
I cannot be so deserving as Mrs. B. yet I shall not bear to think of
a husband much less excellent than hers. Nay, by what I see in _her_
apprehensions, and conceive of the condition she hourly expects to be
in, I don't think a lady can be requited with a _less_ worthy one, for
all she is likely to suffer on a husband's account, and for the sake
of _his_ family and name.
Mrs. Andrews, a discreet worthy soul as ever I knew, and who in her
aspect and behaviour is far from being a disgrace even to Mr. B.'s
lady, is with her dear daughter, to her no small satisfaction, as you
Mr. B. asked my advice yesterday, about having in the house a midwife,
to be at hand, at a moment's warning. I said I feared the sight
of such a person would terrify her: and so he instantly started an
expedient, of which her mother, Mrs. Jervis, and myself, approved, and
have put into practice; for this day, Mrs. Harris, a distant relation
of _mine_, though not of yours, Sir and Madam, is arrived from Essex
to make me a visit; and Mr. B. has prevailed upon her, in _compliment
to me_, as he pretended, to accept of her board in his house, while
she stays in town, which she says, will be about a week.
Mrs. Harris being a discreet, modest, matron-like person, Mrs. B. took
a liking to her at first sight, and is already very familiar with her;
and understanding that she was a doctor of physic's lady, and takes
as much delight in administering to the health of her own sex, as her
husband used to do to that of both, Mrs. B. says it is very fortunate,
that she has so experienced a lady to consult, as she is such a novice
in her own case.
Mr. B. however, to carry on the honest imposture the better, just
now, in presence of Mrs. Harris, and Mrs. Andrews, and me, asked the
former, if it was not necessary to have in the house the good woman?
This frighted Mrs. B. who turned pale, and said she could not bear the
thoughts of it. Mrs. Harris said it was highly necessary that Mrs. B.
if she would not permit the gentlewoman to be in the house, should see
her; and that then, she apprehended, there would be no necessity, as
she did not live far off, to have her in the house, since Mrs. B.
was so uneasy upon that account. This pleased Mrs. B. much, and Mrs.
Thomas was admitted to attend her.
Now, you must know, that this is the assistant of my new relation; and
she being apprised of the matter, came; but never did I see so much
shyness and apprehension as Mrs. B. shewed all the time Mrs. Thomas
was with her, holding sometimes her mother, sometimes Mrs. Harris, by
the hand, and being ready to sweat with terror.
Mrs. Harris scraped acquaintance with Mrs. Thomas, who, pretending to
recollect her, gave Mrs. Harris great praises; which increased Mrs.
B.'s confidence in her: and she undertakes to govern the whole so,
that the dreaded Mrs. Thomas need not come till the very moment: which
is no small pleasure to the over-nice lady. And she seems every hour
to be better pleased with Mrs. Harris, who, by her prudent talk, will
more and more familiarize her to the circumstance, unawares to herself
in a manner. But notwithstanding this precaution, of a midwife in
the house, Mr. B. intends to have a gentleman of the profession in
readiness, for fear of the worst.
Mrs. B. has written a letter, with this superscription: "To the
ever-honoured and ever-dear Mr. B., with prayers for his health,
honour, and prosperity in this world, and everlasting felicity in that
to come. P.B." It is sealed with black wax, and she gave it me this
moment, on her being taken ill, to give to Mr. B. if she dies. But
God, of his mercy, avert that! and preserve the dear lady, for
the honour of her sex, and the happiness of all who know her, and
particularly for that of your Polly Darnford; for I cannot have a
greater loss, I am sure, while my honoured papa and mamma are living:
and may that be for many, very many, happy years!
I will not close this letter till all is over: happily, as I hope!--
Mrs. B. is better again, and has, occasionally, made some fine
reflections, directing herself to me, but designed for the benefit of
her Polly, on the subject of the inconsideration of some of our sex,
with regard to the circumstances she is in.
I knew what her design was, and said, "Aye, Polly, let you and I, and
every single young body, bear these reflections in mind, pronounced by
so excellent a lady, in a moment so arduous as these!"
The girl wept, and very movingly fell down by the door, on her knees,
praying to God to preserve her dear lady, and she should be happy for
Mrs. B. is exceedingly pleased with my new relation Mrs. Harris, as
we call her, who behaves with so much prudence, that she suspects
nothing, and told Mrs. Jervis, she wished nobody else was to come near
her. And as she goes out (being a person of eminence in her way) two
or three times a day, and last night staid out late, Mrs. B. said,
she hoped she would not be abroad, when she should wish her to be at
I have the very great pleasure, my dear papa and mamma, to acquaint
you, and I know you will rejoice with me upon it, that just half an
hour ago, my dear Mrs. B. was brought to-bed of a fine boy.
We are all out of our wits for joy almost. I ran down to Mr. B.
myself, who received me with trembling impatience. "A boy! a fine boy!
dear Mr. B.," said I: "a son and heir, indeed!"
"But how does my Pamela? Is _she_ safe? Is _she_ like to do
well?"--"We hope so," said I: "or I had not come down to you, I'll
assure you." He folded me in his arms, in a joyful rapture: "How happy
you make me, dearest Miss Darnford! If my Pamela is safe, the boy is
welcome, welcome, indeed!--But when may I go up to thank my jewel?"
Mrs. Andrews is so overjoyed, and so thankful, that there is no
getting her from her knees.
A man and horse is dispatched already to Lady Davers, and another
ordered to Kent, to the good old man.
Mrs. Jervis, when I went up, said she must go down and release the
good folks from their knees; for, half an hour before, they declared
they would not stir from that posture till they heard how it went with
their lady; and when the happy news was brought them of her safety,
and of a young master, they were quite ecstatic, she says, in their
joy, and not a dry eye among them, shaking hands, and congratulating
one another, men and maids; which made it one of the most affecting
sights that can be imagined. And Mr. Longman, who had no power to
leave the house for three days past, hasted to congratulate his
worthy principal; and never was so much moving joy seen, as this
honest-hearted steward ran over with.
I did a foolish thing in my joy--I gave Mr. B. the letter designed for
him, had an unhappy event followed; and he won't return it: but says,
he will obtain Mrs. B.'s leave, when she is better, to open it; and
the happier turn will augment his thankfulness to God, and love
to her, when he shall, by this means, be blest with sentiments so
different from what the other case would have afforded.
Mrs. B. had a very sharp time. Never more, my dear papa, talk of a
husband to me. Place all your expectations on Nancy! Not one of these
men that I have yet seen, is worth running these risques for! But Mr.
B.'s endearments and tenderness to his lady, his thankful and manly
gratitude and politeness, when he was admitted to pay his respects to
her, and his behaviour to Mrs. Andrews, and to us all, though but for
a visit of ten minutes, was alone worthy of all her risque.
I would give you a description of it, had I Mrs. B.'s pen, and of
twenty agreeable scenes and conversations besides: but, for want of
that, must conclude, with my humble duty, as becomes, honoured Sir,
and Madam, _your ever grateful_
_From the Same._
MY HONOURED PAPA AND MAMMA,
We have nothing but joy and festivity in this house: and it would
be endless to tell you the congratulations the happy family receives
every day, from tenants and friends. Mr. B., you know, was always
deemed one of the kindest landlords in England; and his tenants are
overjoyed at the happy event which has given them a young landlord
of his name: for all those who live in that large part of the estate,
which came by Mrs. B. his mother, were much afraid of having any of
Sir Jacob Swynford's family for their landlord, who, they say, are
all made up of pride and cruelty, and would have racked them to death:
insomuch that they had a voluntary meeting of about twenty of the
principal of them, to rejoice on the occasion; and it was unanimously
agreed to make a present of a piece of gilt plate, to serve as basin
for the christening, to the value of one hundred guineas; on which is
to be engraven the following inscription:
_"In acknowledgment of the humanity and generosity of the best of
landlords, and as a token of his tenants' joy on the birth of a son
and heir, who will, it is hoped, inherit his father's generosity, and
his mother's virtues, this piece of plate is, with all due gratitude,
presented, as a christening basin to all the children that shall
proceed from such worthy parents, and their descendants, to the end of
_"By the obliged and joyful tenants of the maternal estate
in Bedfordshire and Gloucestershire, the initials of whose names are
under engraven, viz._"
Then are to follow the first letters of each person's Christian and
What an honour is this to a landlord! In my opinion very far
surpassing the _mis-nomer'd_ free gifts which we read of in some
kingdoms on extraordinary occasions, some of them like this! For here
it is all truly spontaneous--A free gift _indeed_! and Mr. B. took it
very kindly, and has put off the christening for a week, to give time
for its being completed and inscribed as above.
The Earl and Countess of C. and Lord and Lady Davers, are here,
to stand in person at the christening; and you cannot conceive how
greatly my Lady Davers is transported with joy, to have a son and heir
to the estate: she is every hour, almost, thanking her dear sister
for him; and reads in the child all the great qualities she forms to
herself in him. 'Tis indeed a charming boy, and has a great deal (if
one may judge of a child so very young) of his father's manly aspect.
The dear lady herself is still but weak; but the joy of all around
her, and her spouse's tenderness and politeness, give her cheerful and
free spirits; and she is all serenity, ease, and thankfulness.
Mrs. B., as soon as the danger was over, asked me for her letter with
the black seal. I had been very earnest to get it from Mr. B. but to
no purpose; so I was forced to tell who had it. She said, but very
composedly, she was sorry for it, and hoped he had not opened it.
He came into her chamber soon after, and I demanded it before her. He
said he had designed to ask her leave to break the seal, which he had
not yet done; nor would without her consent.
"Will you give me leave, my dear," said he, "to break the
seal?"--"If you do, Sir, let it not be in my presence; but it is too
serious."--"Not, my dear, now the apprehension is so happily over: it
may now add to my joy and my thankfulness on that account."--"Then, do
as you please, Sir; but I had rather you would not."
"Then here it is, Miss Darnford: it was put into your hands, and there
I place it again."--"That's something like," said I, "considering the
gentleman. Mrs. B., I hope we shall bring him into good order between
us in time." So I returned it to the dear writer; who put it into her
I related to Lady Davers, when she came, this circumstance; and she,
I believe, has leave to take it with her. She is very proud of all
opportunities now of justifying her brother's choice, and doing honour
to his wife, with Lady Betty C., who is her great favourite, and who
delights to read Mrs. B.'s letters.
You desire to know, my honoured papa, how Mr. B. passes his time, and
whether it be in his lady's chamber? No, indeed! Catch gentlemen, the
best of them, in too great a complaisance that way, if you can. "What
then, does he pass his time _with you_, Polly?" you are pleased to
ask. What a disadvantage a man lies under, who has been once a rake!
But I am so generally with Mrs. B. that when I tell you, Sir, his
visits to her are much of the polite form, I believe I answer all you
mean by your questions; and especially when I remind you, Sir,
that Lord and Lady Davers, and the Earl and Countess of C. and your
unworthy daughter, are at dinner and supper-time generally together;
for Mrs. Andrews, who is not yet gone back to Kent, breakfasts, dines,
and sups with her beloved daughter, and is hardly ever out of her
Then, Sir, Mr. B., the Earl, and Lord Davers, give pretty constant
attendance to the business of parliament; and, now and-then, sup
abroad--So, Sir, we are all upon honour; and I could wish (only that
your facetiousness always gives me pleasure, as it is a token that you
have your much-desired health and freedom of spirits), that even in
jest, my mamma's daughter might pass unquestioned.
But I know _why_ you do it: it is only to put me out of heart to
ask to stay longer. Yet I wish--But I know you won't permit me to
go through the whole winter here. Will my dear papa grant it, do you
think, if you were to lay the highest obligation upon your dutiful
daughter, and petition for me? And should you care to try? I dare not
hope it myself: but when one sees a gentleman here, who denies his
lady nothing, it makes one wish, methinks, that Lady Darnford, was as
happy in that particular as Mrs. B.
_Your_ indulgence for this _one_ winter, or, rather this small
_remainder_ of it, I make not so much doubt of, you see, Madam. I
know you'll call me a bold girl; but then you always, when you do,
condescend to grant my request: and I will be as good as ever I can be
afterwards. I will fetch up all the lost time; rise an hour sooner
in the morning, go to bed an hour later at night; flower my papa any
thing he pleases; read him to sleep when he pleases; put his gout into
good-humour, when it will be soothed--And Mrs. B., to crown all,
will come down with me, by permission of her sovereign lord, who will
attend her, you may be sure: and will not _all_ this do, to procure me
a month or two more?--If it won't, why then, I will thank you for your
past goodness to me, and with all duty and cheerfulness, bid adieu to
this dear London, this dearer family, and tend a _still_ dearer papa
and mamma; whose dutiful daughter I will ever be, whilst
_To the Same._
MY HONOURED PAPA AND MAMMA,
I have received your joint commands, and intend to set out on
Wednesday, next week. I hope to find my papa in better health than
at present, and in better humour too; for I am sorry he is displeased
with my petitioning for a little longer time in London. It is very
severe to impute to me want of duty and affection, which would, if
deserved, make me most unworthy of your favour.
Mr. B. and his lady are resolved to accompany me in their coach, till
your chariot meets me, if you will be pleased to permit it so to do;
and even set me down at your gate, if it did not; but he vows, that he
will neither alight at your house, nor let his lady. But I say, that
this is a misplaced resentment, because I ought to think it a favour,
that you have indulged me so much as you have done. And yet even this
is likewise a favour on _their_ side, to me, because it is an instance
of their fondness for your unworthy daughter's company.
Mrs. B. is, if possible, more lovely since her lying-in than before.
She has so much delight in her nursery, that I fear it will take her
off from her pen, which will be a great loss to all whom she used to
oblige with her correspondence. Indeed this new object of her care is
a charming child; and she is exceedingly pleased with her nurse;--for
she is not permitted, as she very much desired, to suckle it herself.
She makes a great proficiency in the French and Italian languages; and
well she may; for she has the best schoolmaster in the world, and one
whom she loves better than any lady ever loved a tutor. He is lofty,
and will not be disputed with; but I never saw a more polite and
tender husband, for all that.
We had a splendid christening, exceedingly well ordered, and every
body was delighted at it. The quality gossips went away but on
Tuesday; and my Lady Davers took leave of her charming sister with all
the blessings, and all the kindness, and affectionate fondness, that
could be expressed.
Mr. Andrews, that worthy old man, came up to see his grandson,
yesterday. You would never have forgotten the good man's behaviour
(had you seen it), to his daughter, and to the charming child; I wish
I could describe it to you; but I am apt to think Mrs. B. will notice
it to Lady Davers; and if she enters into the description of it while
I stay, I will beg a copy of it, to bring down with me; because I know
you were pleased with the sensible, plain, good man, and his ways,
when at the Hall in your neighbourhood.
The child is named William, and I should have told you; but I write
without any manner of connection, just as things come uppermost: but
don't, my dear papa, construe this, too, as an instance of disrespect.
I see but one thing that can possibly happen to disturb the felicity
of this charming couple; and that I will mention, in confidence. Mr.
B. and Mrs. B. and myself were at the masquerade, before she lay-in:
there was a lady greatly taken with Mr. B. She was in a nun's habit,
and followed him wherever he went; and Mr. Turner, a gentleman of one
of the inns of court, who visits Mr. B. and is an old acquaintance of
his, tells me, by-the bye, that the lady took an opportunity to unmask
to Mr. B. Mr. Turner has since found she is the young Countess Dowager
of----, a fine lady; but not the most reserved in her conduct of late,
since her widowhood. And he has since discovered, as he says, that a
letter or two, if not more, have passed between Mr. B. and that lady.
Now Mrs. B., with all her perfections, has, as she _owns_, a little
spice of jealousy; and should she be once alarmed, I tremble for the
consequence to both their happiness.
I conceive, that if ever anything makes a misunderstanding between
them, it will be from some such quarter as this. But 'tis a thousand
pities it should. And I hope, as to the actual correspondence begun,
Mr. Turner is mistaken.
But be it as it will, I would not for the world, that the first hints
of this matter should come from me.--Mr. B. is a very enterprising and
gallant man, a fine figure, and I don't wonder a lady may like him.
But he seems so pleased, so satisfied with his wife, and carries it to
her with so much tenderness and affection, that I hope her merit, and
his affection for her, will secure his conjugal fidelity.
If it prove otherwise, and she discovers it, I know not one that would
be more miserable than Mrs. B., as well from motives of piety and
virtue, as from the excessive love she bears him. But I hope for
better things, for both their sakes.
My humble thanks for all your indulgence to me, with hopes, that you
will not, my dear papa and mamma, hold your displeasure against me,
when I throw myself at your feet, as I now soon hope to do. Conclude
me _your dutiful daughter_,
_From Mrs. B. to Lady Davers_.
MY DEAR LADY,
We are just returned from accompanying the worthy Miss Darnford as far
as Bedford, in her way home, where her papa and mamma met her in their
coach. Sir Simon put on his pleasant airs, and schooled Mr. B. for
persuading his daughter to stay so long from him; _me_ for putting her
upon asking to stay longer; and _she_ for being persuaded by us.
We tarried two days together at Bedford; for we knew not how to part;
and then we took a most affectionate leave of each other.
We struck out of the road a little, to make a visit to the dear house,
where we tarried one night; and next morning before any body could
come to congratulate us (designing to be _incog_.), we proceeded on
our journey to London, and found my dearest, dear boy, in charming
What a new pleasure has God bestowed upon me; which, after every
little absence, rises upon me in a true maternal tenderness, every
step I move toward the dear little blessing! Yet sometimes, I think
your dear brother is not so fond of him as I wish him to be. He says,
"'tis time enough for him to mind him, when he can return his notice,
and be grateful!"--A negligent word isn't it, Madam--considering--
My dear father came to town, to accompany my good mother down to Kent,
and they set out soon after your ladyship left us. It is impossible
to describe the joy with which his worthy heart overflowed, when he
congratulated us on the happy event. And as he had been apprehensive
for his daughter's safety, judge, my lady, what his transports must
be, to see us all safe and well, and happy, and a son given to Mr. B.
by his greatly honoured daughter.
I was in the nursery when he came. So was my mother. Miss Darnford
also was there. And Mr. B., who was in his closet, at his arrival,
after having received his most respectful congratulations himself,
brought him up (though he has not been there since: indeed he ha'n't!)
"Pamela," said the dear gentleman, "see who's here!"
I sprang to him, and kneeled for his blessing: "O my father!" said
I, "see" (pointing to the dear baby at the nurse's breast), "how God
Almighty has answered all our prayers!"
He dropped down on his knees by me, clasping me in his indulgent arms:
"O my daughter!--My blessed daughter!--And do I once more see you! And
see you safe and well!--I do! I do!--Blessed be thy name, O gracious
God, for these thy mercies!"
While we were thus joined, happy father, and happy daughter, in one
thanksgiving, the sweet baby having fallen asleep, the nurse had put
it into the cradle; and when my father rose from me, he went to my
mother, "God bless my dear Betty," said he, "I longed to see you,
after this separation. Here's joy! here's pleasure! O how happy are
we!" And taking her hand, he kneeled down on one side the cradle,
and my mother on the other, both looking at the dear baby, with
eyes running over; and, hand in hand, he prayed, in the most fervent
manner, for a blessing upon the dear infant, and that God Almighty
would make him an honour to his father's family, and to his mother's
virtue; and that, in the words of Scripture, _"he might grow on, and
be in favour both with the Lord, and with man."_
Mr. B. has just put into my hands Mr. Locke's Treatise on Education,
and he commands me to give him my thoughts upon it in writing. He has
a very high regard for this author, and tells me, that my tenderness
for Billy will make me think some of the first advice given in it a
little harsh; but although he has not read it through, only having
dipped into it here and there, he believes from the name of the
author, I cannot have a better directory; and my opinion of it,
after I have well considered it, will inform him, he says, of my own
capacity and prudence, and how far he may rely upon both in the point
of a _first education_.
I asked, if I might not be excused writing, only making my
observations, here and there, to himself, as I found occasion? But he
said, "You will yourself, my dear, better consider the subject, and
be more a mistress of it, and I shall the better attend to your
reasonings, when put into writing: and surely, Pamela, you may, in
such an important point as this, as well oblige _me_ with a little of
your penmanship, as your other dear friends."
After this, your ladyship will judge I had not another word to say. He
cuts one to the heart, when he speaks so seriously.
I have looked a little into it. It is a book quite accommodated to
my case, being written to a gentleman, the author's friend, for the
regulation of his conduct towards his children. But how shall I do,
if in such a famed and renowned author, I see already some few things,
which I think want clearing up. Won't it look like intolerable vanity
in me, to find fault with such a genius as Mr. Locke?
I must, on this occasion, give your ladyship the particulars of
a short conversation between your brother and me; which, however,
perhaps, will not be to my advantage, because it will shew you what a
teazing body I can be, if I am indulged. But Mr. B. will not spoil me
neither in that way, I dare say!--Your ladyship will see this in the
very dialogue I shall give you.
Thus it was. I had been reading in Mr. Locke's book, and Mr. B. asked
me how I liked it?--"Exceedingly well, Sir. But I have a proposal to
make, which, if you will be pleased to comply with, will give me a
charming opportunity of understanding Mr. Locke."
"What is your proposal, my dear? I see it is some very particular one,
by that sweet earnestness in your look."
"Why, so it is, Sir: and I must know, whether you are in high good
humour, before I make it. I think you look grave upon me; and my
proposal will not then do, I'm sure."
"You have all the amusing ways of your sex, my dear Pamela. But tell
me what you would say? You know I don't love suspense."
"May-be you're busy. Sir. Perhaps I break in upon you. I believe you
were going into your closet."
"True woman!--How you love to put one upon the tenters! Yet, my life
for yours, by your parade, what I just now thought important, is some
pretty trifle!--Speak it at once, or I'll be angry with you;" and
tapped my cheek.
"Well, I wish I had not come just now!--I see you are not in a
good humour enough for my proposal.--So, pray, Sir, excuse me till
He took my hand, and led me to his closet, calling me his pretty
impertinent; and then urging me, I said, "You know, Sir, I have not
been used to the company of children. Your dear Billy will not make me
fit, for a long time, to judge of any part of education. I can learn
of the charming boy nothing but the baby conduct: but now, if I might
take into the house some little Master of three or four years old, or
Miss of five or six, I should watch over all their little ways; and
now reading a chapter in the _child_, and now one in the _book_, I can
look forward, and with advantage, into the subject; and go through all
the parts of education tolerably, for one of my capacity; for, Sir,
I can, by my own defects, and what I have wished to mend, know how
to judge of, and supply that part of life which carries a child up to
eleven or twelve years of age, which was mine, when my lady took me."
"A pretty thought, Pamela! but tell me, who will part with their
child, think you? Would _you_, if it were your case, although ever so
well assured of the advantages your little one would reap by it?--For
don't you consider, that the child ought to be wholly subjected to
your authority? That its father or mother ought seldom to see it;
because it should think itself absolutely dependent upon you?--And
where, my dear, will you meet with parents so resigned?--Besides, one
would have the child descended of genteel parents, and not such as
could do nothing for it; otherwise the turn of mind and education you
would give it, might do it more harm than good."
"All this, Sir, is very true. But have you no other objection, if one
could find a genteely-descended young Master? And would you join to
persuade his papa to give me up his power, only from three months
to three months, as I liked, and the child liked, and as the papa
approved of my proceedings?"
"This is so reasonable, with these last conditions, Pamela, that I
should be pleased with your notion, if it could be put in practice,
because the child would be benefited by your instruction, and you
would be improved in an art, which I could wish to see you an adept
"But, perhaps. Sir, you had rather it were a girl than a boy?"--"I
had, my dear, if a girl could be found, whose parents would give
her up to you; but I suppose you have some boy in your head, by your
putting it upon that sex at first."
"Let me see, Sir, you say you are in a good humour! Let me see if you
be;"--looking boldly in his face.
"What now," with some little impatience, "would the pretty fool be
"Only, Sir, that you have nothing to do, but to speak the word, and
there is a child, whose papa and mamma too, I am sure, would consent
to give up to me for my own instruction, as well as for her sake;
and if, to speak in the Scripture phrase, I have found _grace in your
sight_, kind Sir, speak this word to the dear child's papa."
"And have you thus come over me, Pamela!--Go, I am half angry with
you, for leading me on in this manner against myself. This looks so
artful, that I won't love you!"--"Dear Sir!"--"And dear Madam too!
Be gone, I say!--You have surprised me by art, when your talent is
nature, and you should keep to that!"
I was sadly baulked, and had neither power to go nor stay! At last,
seeing I had put him into a kind of flutter, as now he had put me, I
moved my unwilling feet towards the door.--He took a turn about the
closet meantime.--"Yet stay," said he, "there is something so generous
in your art, that, on recollection, I cannot part with you."
He took notice of the starting tear--"I am to blame!--You had
surprised me so, that my hasty temper got the better of my
consideration. Let me kiss away this pearly fugitive. Forgive me, my
dearest love! What an inconsiderate brute am I, when compared to such
an angel as my Pamela! I see at once now, all the force, and all the
merit, of your amiable generosity: and to make you amends for this
my hastiness, I will coolly consider of the matter, and will either
satisfy you by my compliance, or by the reasons, which I will give you
for the contrary.
"But, say, my Pamela, can you forgive my harshness?"--"Can I!--Yes,
indeed, Sir," pressing his hand to my lips; "and bid me Go, and Be
gone, twenty times a-day, if I am to be thus kindly called back to
you, thus nobly and condescendingly treated, in the same breath!-I
see, dear Sir," continued I, "that I must be in fault, if ever you are
lastingly displeased with me. For as soon as you turn yourself about,
your anger vanishes, and you make me rich amends for a few harsh
words. Only one thing, dear Sir, let me add; if I have dealt artfully
with you, impute it to my fear of offending you, through the nature
of my petition, and not to design; and that I took the example of the
prophet, to King David, in the parable of the _Ewe-Lamb._"
"I remember it, my dear--and you have well pointed your parable, and
had nothing to do, but to say--'_Thou art the man!'_"
I am called upon by my dear benefactor for a little airing, and he
suffers me only to conclude this long letter. So I am obliged, with
greater abruptness than I had designed, to mention thankfully your
ladyship's goodness to me; particularly in that kind, kind letter,
in behalf of my dear parents, had a certain event taken place. Mr. B.
shewed it to me _this morning_, and not before--I believe, for fear
I should have been so much oppressed by the sense of your unmerited
goodness to me, had he let me known of it before your departure
from us, that I should not have been able to look up at you; heaping
favours and blessings upon me, as you were hourly doing besides. What
a happy creature am I!--But my gratitude runs me into length; and
sorry I am, that I cannot have time just now to indulge it.
Is there nothing, my dear Lord and Lady Davers, my dear Lady Countess,
and my good Lord C., that I can do, to shew at least, that I have a
_will_, and am not an ungrateful, sordid creature?
And yet, if you give me power to do any thing that will have the
_appearance_ of a return, even that _power_ will be laying a fresh
obligation upon me--Which, however, I should be very proud of, because
I should thereby convince you, by more than words, how much I am
(most particularly, my dearest Lady Davers, my sister, my friend, my
patroness), _your most obliged and faithful servant,_ P.B.
Your dear brother joins in respectful thankfulness to his four noble
gossips. And my Billy, by his lips, subscribed his. I hope so to
direct his earliest notions, as to make him sensible of his dutiful
_From Lady Davers to Mrs. B._
MY DEAREST PAMELA,
Talk not to us of unreturnable obligations and all that. You do more
for us, in the entertainment you give us all, by your letters, than
we _have_ done, or even _can_ do, for you. And as to me, I know no
greater pleasure in the world than that which my brother's felicity
and yours gives me. God continue this felicity to you both. I am sure
it will be _his_ fault, and not yours, if it be at all diminished.
We have heard some idle rumours here, as if you were a little uneasy
of late; and having not had a letter from you for this fortnight past,
it makes me write, to ask you how you all do? and whether you expected
an answer from me to your last?
I hope you won't be punctilious with me. For we have nothing to write
about, except it be how much we all love and honour you; and that you
believe already, or else you don't do us justice.
I suppose you will be going out of town soon, now the parliament is
rising. My Lord is resolved to put his proxy into another hand, and
intends I believe, to take my brother's advice in it. Both the Earl
and his Lordship are highly pleased with my brother's moderate and
independent principles. He has got great credit among all unprejudiced
men, by the part he acted throughout the last session, in which he has
shown, that he would no more join to distress and clog the wheels of
government, by an unreasonable opposition, than he would do the dirty
work of any administration. As he has so noble a fortune and wants
nothing of any body, he would be doubly to blame, to take any other
part than that of his country, in which he has so great a stake.
May he act _out_ of the house, and _in_ the house with equal honour;
and he will be his country's pride, and your pride, and mine too!
which is the wish of _your affectionate sister_,
MY DEAREST LADY,
I have been a little in disorder, that I have. Some few rubs have
happened. I hope they will be happily removed, I am unwilling to
believe all that is said. But this is a wicked town. I wish we were
out of it. Yet I see not when that will be. I wish Mr. B. would permit
me and my Billy to go into Kent. But I don't care to leave him behind
me, neither; and he is not inclined to go. Excuse my brevity, my
dearest lady--But I must break off, with only assuring your ladyship,
that I am, and ever will be, _your obliged and grateful_, P.B.
MY DEAREST PAMELA,
I understand things are not so well as I wish. If you think my coming
up to town, and residing with you, while you stay, will be of service,
or help you to get out of it, I will set out directly. I will pretend
some indisposition, and a desire of consulting the London physicians;
or any thing you shall think fit to be done, by _your affectionate
sister, and faithful friend_, B. DAVERS
MY DEAREST LADY,
A thousand thanks for your goodness to me; but I hope all will be
well. I hope God will enable me to act so prudent a part, as will
touch his generous breast. Be pleased to tell me what your ladyship
has heard; but it becomes not me, I think, till I cannot help it, to
make any appeals; for I know those will not be excused; and I do all I
can to suppress my uneasiness before him. But I pay for it, when I
am alone. My nursery and my reliance on God (I should have said the
latter first), are all my consolation. God preserve and bless you, my
good lady, and my noble lord! (but I am apt to think your ladyship's
presence will not avail), prays _your affectionate and obliged,_ P.B.
Why does not my sweet girl subscribe _Sister_, as usual? I have done
nothing amiss to you! I love you dearly, and ever will. I can't help
my brother's faults. But I hope he treats you with politeness and
decency. He shall be none of my brother if he don't. I rest a great
deal upon your prudence: and it will be very meritorious, if you can
overcome yourself, so as to act unexceptionably, though it may not be
deserved on this occasion. For in doing so, you'll have a triumph over
nature itself; for, my dear girl, as you have formerly owned, you have
a little touch of jealousy in your composition.
What I have heard, is no secret to any body. The injured party is
generally the last who hears in these cases, and you shall not first
be told anything by me that must _afflict_ you, but cannot _you_, more
than it does _me_. God give you patience and comfort! The wicked lady
has a deal to answer for, to disturb such an uncommon happiness. But
no more, than that I am _your ever-affectionate sister_, B. DAVERS.
I am all impatience to hear how you conduct yourself upon this trying
occasion. Let me know what you have heard, and _how_ you came to hear
Why don't I subscribe Sister? asks my dearest Lady Davers.--I have
not had the courage to do it of late. For my title to that honour
arises from the dear, thrice dear Mr. B. And how long I may be
permitted to call him mine, I cannot say. But since you command it, I
will call your ladyship by that beloved name, let the rest happen as
God shall see fit.
Mr. B. cannot be unpolite, in the main; but he is cold, and a little
cross, and short in his speeches to me. I try to hide my grief
from everybody, and most from him: for neither my parents, nor Miss
Darnford know anything from me. Mrs. Jervis, from whom I seldom hide
any thing, as she is on the spot with me, hears not my complainings,
nor my uneasiness; for I would not lessen the dear man. He may _yet_
see the error of the way he is in. God grant it, for his own sake as
well as mine.--I am even sorry your ladyship is afflicted with the
knowledge of the matter.
The unhappy lady (God forgive her!) is to be pitied: she loves him,
and having strong passions, and being unused to be controlled, is
lost to a sense of honour and justice.--From these wicked masquerades
springs all the unhappiness; my Spaniard was too amiable, and met with
a lady who was no Nun, but in habit. Every one was taken with him in
that habit, so suited to the natural dignity of his person!--O these
I am all patience in appearance, all uneasiness in reality. I did not
think I could, especially in _this_ most _affecting_ point, be such an
hypocrite. Your ladyship knows not what it has cost me, to be able to
assume that character! Yet my eyes are swelled with crying, and look
red, although I am always breathing on my hand, and patting them
with it, and my warm breath, to hide the distress that will, from my
overcharged heart, appear in them.
Then he says, "What's the matter with the little fool! You are always
in this way of late! What ails you, Pamela?"
"Only a little vapourish, Sir!--Don't be angry at me!--Billy, I
thought, was not very well!"
"This boy will spoil your temper: at this rate, what should be your
joy, will become your misfortune. Don't receive me in this manner, I
"In what manner. Sir? I always receive you with a grateful heart! If
any thing troubles me, it is in your absence: but see, Sir" (then
I try to smile, and seem pleased), "I am all sunshine, now you are
come!--don't you see I am?"
"Yes, your sunshine of late is all through a cloud! I know not what's
the matter with you. Your temper will alter, and then--"
"It shan't alter, Sir--it shan't--if I can help it." And then I kissed
his hand; that dear hand, that, perhaps, was last about his more
beloved Countess's neck--Distracting reflection!
But come, may-be I think the worst! To be sure I do! For my
apprehensions were ever aforehand with events; and bad must be the
case, if it be worse than I think it.
You command me to let you know _what_ I have heard, and how I
_came_ to hear it. I told your ladyship in one of my former that two
gentlemen brought up to the law, but above the practice of it, though
I doubt, not above practices less honourable, had visited us on coming
They have been often here since, Mr. Turner particularly: and
sometimes by himself, when Mr. B. has happened to be out: and he it
was, as I guessed, that gave me, at the wicked masquerade, the advice
to look after my _Musidorus_.
I did not like their visits, and _his_ much less: for he seemed to be
a man of intriguing spirit. But about three weeks ago, Mr. B. setting
out upon a party of pleasure to Oxford, he came and pretended great
business with me. I was at breakfast in the parlour, only Polly
attending me, and admitted him, to drink a dish of chocolate with me.
When Polly had stept out, he told me, after many apologies, that he
had discovered who the nun was at the masquerade, that had engaged Mr.
I said it was very indifferent to me who the lady was.
He replied (making still more apologies, and pretending great
reluctance to speak out), that it was no less a lady than the young
Countess Dowager of----, a lady noted for her wit and beauty, but of a
gay disposition, though he believed not yet culpable.
I was alarmed; but would not let him see it; and told Mr. Turner,
that I was so well satisfied in Mr. B.'s affection for me, and his
well-known honour, that I could not think myself obliged to any
gentleman who should endeavour to give me a less opinion of either
than I ought to have.
He then bluntly told me, that the very party Mr. B. was upon, was with
the Countess for one, and Lord----, who had married her sister.
I said, I was glad he was in such good company, and wished him every
pleasure in it.
He hoped, he said, he might trust to my discretion, that I would not
let Mr. B. know from whom I had the information: that, indeed, his
motive in mentioning it was self-interest; having presumed to make
some overture of an honourable nature to the Countess, in his own
behalf; which had been rejected since that masquerade night: and he
hoped the prudent use I would make of the intimation, might somehow be
a means to break off that correspondence, before it was attended with
I told him coldly, though it stung me to the heart, that I was fully
assured of Mr. B.'s honour; and was sorry he, Mr. Turner, had so bad
an opinion of a lady to whom he professed so high a consideration. And
rising up--"Will you excuse me, Sir, that I cannot attend at all to
such a subject as this? I think I ought not: and so must withdraw."
"Only, Madam, one word." He offered to take my hand, but I would not
permit it. He then swore a great oath, that he had told me his true
and only motive; that letters had passed between the Countess and Mr.
B., adding, "But I beg you'll keep it within your own breast; else,
from two such hasty spirits as his and mine, it might be attended with
still worse consequences."
"I will never. Sir, enter into a subject that is not proper to be
communicated every tittle of it to Mr. B.; and this must be my excuse
for withdrawing." And away I went from him.
Your ladyship will judge with how uneasy a heart; which became more
so, when I sat down to reflect upon what he had told me. But I was
resolved to give it as little credit as I could, or that any thing
would come of it, till Mr. B.'s own behaviour should convince me, to
my affliction, that I had some reason to be alarmed: so I opened not
my lips about it, not even to Mrs. Jervis.
At Mr. B.'s return, I received him in my usual affectionate and
unreserved manner: and he behaved himself to me with his accustomed
goodness and kindness: or, at least, with so little difference, that
had not Mr. Turner's officiousness made me more watchful, I should not
have perceived it.
But next day a letter was brought by a footman for Mr. B. He was out:
so John gave it to me. The superscription was a lady's writing:
the seal, the Dowager Lady's, with a coronet. This gave me great
uneasiness; and when Mr. B. came in, I said, "Here is a letter for
you. Sir; and from a lady too!"
"What then," said he, with quickness.
I was baulked, and withdrew. For I saw him turn the seal about and
about, as if he would see whether I had endeavoured to look into it.
He needed not to have been so afraid; for I would not have done such a
thing had I known my life was to depend upon it. I went up, and could
not help weeping at his quick answer; yet I did my endeavour to hide
it, when he came up.
"Was not my girl a little inquisitive upon me just now?"
"I spoke pleasantly. Sir--But you were very quick on your girl."
"'Tis my temper, my dear--You know I mean nothing. You should not mind
"I should not, Sir, if I had been _used_ to it."
He looked at me with sternness, "Do you doubt my honour, Madam?"
"_Madam!_ I did you say. Sir?--I won't take that word!--Dear Sir,
call it back--I won't be called _Madam!_--Call me your girl, your
rustic, your Pamela--call me any thing but _Madam!_"
"My charmer, then, my life, my soul: will any of those do?" and
saluted me: "but whatever you do, let me not see that you have any
doubts of my honour to you."
"The very mention of the word, dear Sir, is a security to me; I want
no other; I cannot doubt: but if you speak short to me, how shall I
He withdrew, speaking nothing of the contents of his letter; as I dare
say he would, had the subject been such as he chose to mention to me.
We being alone, after supper, I took the liberty to ask him, who was
of his party to Oxford? He named the Viscountess---, and her lord,
Mr. Howard, and his daughter, Mr. Herbert and his lady: "And I had a
partner too, my dear, to represent you."
"I am much obliged to the lady, Sir, be she who she would."
"Why, my dear, you are so engaged in your nursery! Then this was a
sudden thing; as you know I told you."
"Nay, Sir, as long as it was agreeable to you, I had nothing to do,
but to be pleased with it."
He watched my eyes, and the turn of my countenance--"You look, Pamela,
as if you'd be glad to return the lady thanks in person. Shall I
engage her to visit you? She longs to see you."
"Sir--Sir," hesitated I, "as you please--I can't--I can't be
"_Displeased?_" interrupted he: "why that word? and why that
hesitation in your answer? You speak very volubly, my dear, when
you're not moved."
"Dear Sir," said I, almost as quick as he was, "why should I be moved?
What occasion is there for it? I hope you have a better opinion of me
"Than what, Pamela?--What would you say? I know you are a little
jealous rogue, I know you are."
"But, dear Sir, why do you impute jealousy to me on _this_
score?--What a creature must I be, if you could not be abroad with a
lady, but I must be jealous of you?--No, Sir, I have reason to rely
upon your honour; and I _do_ rely upon it; and----"
"And what? Why, my dear, you are giving me assurances, as if you
thought the case required it!"
"Ah!" thought I, "so it does, I see too plainly, or apprehend I do;
but I durst not say so, nor give him any hint about my informant;
though now confirmed of the truth of what Mr. Turner had said."
Yet I resolved, if possible, not to alter my conduct. But my frequent
weepings, when by myself, could not be hid as I wished; my eyes not
keeping my heart's counsel.
And this gives occasion to some of the stern words which I have
All that he further said at this time was, with a negligent, yet a
determined air--"Well, Pamela, don't be doubtful of my honour. You
know how much I love you. But, one day or other I shall gratify this
lady's curiosity, and bring her to pay you a visit, and you shall see
you need not be ashamed of her acquaintance."--"Whenever you please,
Sir," was all I cared to say farther; for I saw he was upon the catch,
and looked steadfastly upon me whenever I moved my lips; and I am not
a finished hypocrite, and he can read the lines of one's face, and the
motions of one's heart, I think.
I am sure mine is a very uneasy one. But till I reflected, and weighed
well the matter, it was worse; and my natural imperfection of this
sort made me see a necessity to be more watchful over myself, and to
doubt my own prudence. And thus I reasoned when he withdrew:
"Here," thought I, "I have had a greater proportion of happiness
without alloy, fallen to my share, than any of my sex; and I ought to
be prepared for some trials.
"'Tis true, this is of the sorest kind: 'tis worse than death itself
to me, who had an opinion of the dear man's reformation, and prided
myself not a little on that account. So that the blow is full upon my
sore place. 'Tis on the side I could be the most easily penetrated.
But Achilles could be touched only in his heel; and if he was to die
by an enemy's hands, must not the arrow find out that only vulnerable
place? My jealousy is that place with me, as your ladyship observes;
but it is seated deeper than the heel: it is in my heart. The barbed
dart has found that out, and there it sticks up to the very feathers.
"Yet," thought I, "I will take care, that I do not exasperate him
by upbraidings, when I should try to move him by patience and
forbearance. For the breach of his duty cannot warrant the neglect of
_mine_. My business is to reclaim, and not to provoke. And when, if it
please God, this storm shall be over-blown, let me not, by my present
behaviour, leave any room for heart-burnings; but, like a skilful
surgeon, so heal the wound to the bottom, though the operation be
painful, that it may not fester, and break out again with fresh
violence, on future misunderstandings, if any shall happen.
"Well, but," thought I, "let the worst come to the worst, he perhaps
may be so good as to permit me to pass the remainder of my days with
my dear Billy, in Kent, with my father and mother; and so, when
I cannot rejoice in possession of a virtuous husband, I shall be
employed in praying for him, and enjoy a two-fold happiness, that of
doing my own duty to my dear baby--a pleasing entertainment this! and
that of comforting my worthy parents, and being comforted by them--a
no small consolation! And who knows, but I may be permitted to steal
a visit now-and-then to dear Lady Davers, and be called Sister, and be
deemed a _faultless_ sister too?" But remember, my dear lady, that if
ever it comes to this, I will not bear, that, for my sake, you shall,
with too much asperity, blame your brother; for I will be ingenious to
find excuses or extenuations for him; and I will now-and-then, in
some disguised habit, steal the pleasure of seeing him and his happier
Countess; and give him, with a silent tear, my blessing for the good I
and mine have reaped at his hands.
But oh! if he takes from me my Billy, who must, after all, be his
heir, and gives him to the cruel Countess, he will at once burst
asunder the strings of my heart! For, oh, my happy rivaless! if you
tear from me my husband, he is in his own disposal, and I cannot help
it: nor can I indeed, if he will give you my Billy. But this I am sure
of, that my child and my life must go together!
Your ladyship will think I rave. Indeed I am almost crazed at times.
For the dear man is so negligent, so cold, so haughty, that I cannot
bear it. He says, just now, "You are quite altered, Pamela." I believe
I am. Madam. But what can I do? He knows not that I know so much. I
dare not tell him. For he will have me then reveal my intelligencer:
and what may be the case between them?
I weep in the night, when he is asleep; and in the day when he is
absent: and I am happy when I can, unobserved, steal this poor relief.
I believe already I have shed as many tears as would drown my baby.
How many more I may have to shed, God only knows! For, O Madam, after
all my fortitude, and my recollection, to fall from so much happiness,
and so soon, is a trying thing!
But I will still hope the best, and should this matter blow over, I
shall be ashamed of my weakness, and the trouble I must give to your
generous heart, for one so undeservedly favoured by you, as _your
obliged sister, and most humble servant,_ P.B.
Dear Madam, let no soul see any part of this our present
correspondence, for your brother's sake, and your sake, and my sake.
MY DEAREST PAMELA,
You need not be afraid of any body's knowing what passes between us
on this cutting subject. Though I hear of it from every mouth, yet
I pretend 'tis all falsehood and malice. Yet Lady Betty will have it
that there is more in it than I will own; and that I know my brother's
wickedness by my pensive looks. She will make a vow, she says, never
to marry any man living.
I am greatly moved by your affecting periods. Charming Pamela! what a
tempest do you raise in one's mind, when you please, and lay it
too, at your own will! Your colourings are strong; but, I hope, your
imagination carries you much farther than it is possible he should go.
I am pleased with your prudent reasonings, and your wise resolutions.
I see nobody can advise or help you. God only can! And his direction
you beg _so_ hourly, that I make no doubt you will have it.
What vexes me is, that when the noble uncle of this vile lady--(why
don't you call her so as well as I?)--expostulated with her on the
scandals she brought upon her character and family, she pretended to
argue (foolish creature!) to polygamy: and said, she had rather be a
certain gentleman's second wife, than the first to the greatest man in
I leave you to your own workings; but if I find your prudence
unrewarded by the wretch, the storm you saw raised at the Hall, shall
be nothing to the hurricane I will excite, to tear up by the roots all
the happiness the two wretches propose to themselves.
Don't let my intelligence, which is undoubted, grieve you over-much.
Try some way to move the wretch. It must be done by touching his
generosity: he has that in some perfection. But how in _this_ case to
move it, is beyond my power or skill to prescribe. God bless you, my
dearest Pamela! You shall be my _only_ sister. And I will never own my
brother, if he be so base to your superlative merit. Adieu once more,
_from your sister and friend,_ B. DAVERS.
MY DEAREST LADY,
A thousand thanks for your kind, your truly sisterly letter and
advice. Mr. B. is just returned from a tour to Portsmouth, with the
Countess, I believe, but am not sure.
Here I am forced to leave off.
Let me scratch through this last surmise. It seems she was not with
him. This is some comfort.
He is very kind: and Billy not being well when he came in, my grief
passed off without blame. He had said many tender things to me; but
added, that if I gave myself so much uneasiness every time the child
ailed any thing, he would hire the nurse to overlay him. Bless me.
Madam! what hard-hearted shocking things are these men capable of
saying!--The farthest from their hearts, indeed; so they had need--For
he was as glad of the child's being better as I could be.
In the morning he went out in the chariot for about an hour, and
returned in a good humour, saying twenty agreeable things to me, which
makes me _so_ proud, and _so_ pleased!
He is gone out again.
Could I but find this matter happily conquered, for his own soul's
sake!--But he seems, by what your ladyship mentions, to have carried
this polygamy point with the lady.
Can I live with him. Madam--_ought_ I--if this be the case? I have it
under his hand, that the laws of his country were sufficient to deter
him from that practice. But alas! he knew not this countess then!
But here I must break off.
He is returned, and coming up. "Go into my bosom for the present,
O letter dedicated to dear Lady Davers--Come to my hand the play
employment, so unsuited to my present afflicted mind!"--Here he comes!
O, Madam! my heart is almost broken!--Just now Mr. B. tells me, that
the Countess Dowager and the Viscountess, her sister, are to be here
to see my Billy, and to drink tea with me, this very afternoon!
I was all confusion when he told me this. I looked around and around,
and upon every thing but him.
"Will not my friends be welcome, Pamela?" said he sternly.
"O yes, very welcome! But I have these wretched vapours so, that I
wish I might be excused--I wish I might be allowed to take an airing
in the chariot for two or three hours; for I shall not be fit to be
seen by such--ladies," said I, half out of breath.
"You'll be fit to be seen by nobody, my dear, if you go on thus. But,
do as you please."
He was going, and I took his hand: "Stay, dear Sir, let me know what
you would have me do. If you would have me stay, I will."
"To be sure I would."
"Well, Sir, then I will. For it is hard," thought I, "if an innocent
person cannot look up in her own house too, as it now is, as I may
say, to a guilty one! Guilty in her heart, at least!--Though, poor
lady, I hope she is not so in fact; and, if God hears my prayers,
never will, for all three of our sakes."
But, Madam, think of me, what a task I have!--How my heart throbs in
my bosom! How I tremble! how I struggle with myself! What rules I form
for my behaviour to this naughty lady! How they are dashed in pieces
as soon as formed, and new ones taken up! And yet I doubt myself when
I come to the test.
But one thing will help me. I _pity_ the poor lady; and as she comes
with the heart of a robber, to invade me in my lawful right, I pride
myself in a superiority over this countess; and will endeavour to shew
her the country girl in a light which would better become _her_ to
I must be forced to leave off here; for Mr. B. is just come in
to receive his guests; and I am in a sad flutter upon it. All my
resolution fails me; what shall I do? O that this countess was come
I have one comfort, however, in the midst of all my griefs; and that
is in your ladyship's goodness, which gives me leave to assume the
honoured title, that let what may happen, will always give me equal
pride and pleasure, in subscribing myself, _your ladyship's most
obliged sister, and humble servant_,
MY DEAR LADY,
I will now pursue my last affecting subject; for the visit is over;
but a sad situation I am in with Mr. B. for all that: but, bad as it
is, I'll try to forget it, till I come to it in course.
At four in the afternoon Mr. B. came in to receive his guests, whom he
expected at five. He came up to me. I had just closed my last letter;
but put it up, and set before me your ladyship's play subjects.
"So, Pamela!--How do you do now?"
Your ladyship may guess, by what I wrote before, that I could not
give any extraordinary account of myself--"As well--as well, Sir, as
possible;" half out of breath.
"You give yourself strange melancholy airs of late, my dear. All that
cheerfulness, which used to delight me whenever I saw you, I am
sorry for it, is quite vanished. You and I must shortly have a little
serious talk together."
"When you please. Sir. I believe it is only being used to this smoky
thick air of London!--I shall be better when you carry me into the
country. I dare say I shall. But I never was in London so long before,
you know, Sir."
"All in good time, Pamela!--But is this the best appearance you choose
to make, to receive such guests?"
"If it displeases you. Sir, I will dress otherwise in a minute."
"You look well in any thing. But I thought you'd have been better
dressed. Yet it would never have less become you; for of late your
eyes have lost that brilliancy that used to strike me with a lustre,
much surpassing that of the finest diamonds."
"I am sorry for it, Sir. But as I never could pride myself in
deserving such a kind of compliment, I should be too happy, forgive
me, my dearest Mr. B., if the failure be not rather in your eyes, than
He looked at me steadfastly. "I fear, Pamela--But don't be a fool."
"You are angry with me. Sir?"
"No, not I."
"Would you have me dress better?"
"No, not I. If your eyes looked a little more brilliant, you want no
addition." Down he went.
Strange short speeches, these, my lady, to what you have heard from
his dear mouth!--"Yet they shall not rob me of the merit of a patient
sufferer, I am resolved," thought I.
Now, my lady, as I doubted not my rival would come adorned with every
outward ornament, I put on only a white damask gown, having no desire
to vie with her in appearance; for a virtuous and honest heart is my
glory, I bless God! I wish the countess had the same to boast of!
About five, their ladyships came in the countess's new chariot: for
she has not been long out of her transitory mourning, and dressed as
rich as jewels, and a profusion of expense, could make her.
I saw them from the window alight. O how my heart throbbed!--"Lie
still," said I, "busy thing! why all this emotion?--Those shining
ornaments cover not such a guileless flatterer as thou. Why then all
Polly Barlow came up instantly from Mr. B.
I hastened down; tremble, tremble, tremble, went my feet, in spite
of all the resolution I had been endeavouring so long to collect
Mr. B. presented the countess to me, both of us covered with blushes;
but from very different motives, as I imagine.
"The Countess of---, my dear."
She saluted me, and looked, as I thought, half with envy, half with
shame: but one is apt to form people's countenances by what one judges
of their hearts.
"O too lovely, too charming rival!" thought I--"Would to heaven I saw
less attraction in you!"--For indeed she is a charming lady; yet she
could not help calling me Mrs. B., that was some pride to me: every
little distinction is a pride to me now--and said, she hoped I would
excuse the liberty she had taken: but the character given of me by Mr.
B. made her desirous of paying her respects to me.
"O these villainous masquerades," thought I!--"You would never have
wanted to see me, but for them, poor naughty Nun, that was!"
Mr. B. presented also the Viscountess to me; I saluted her ladyship;
her _sister_ saluted _me_.
She is a graceful lady; better, as I hope, in heart, but not equal in
person to her sister.
"You have a charming boy, I am told, Madam; but no wonder from such a
"O dear heart," thought I, "i'n't it so!" Your ladyship may guess what
I thought farther.
"Will your ladyship see him now?" said Mr. B.
He did not look down; no, not one bit!--though the Countess played
with her fan, and looked at him, and at me, and then down by turns,
a little consciously: while I wrapped up myself in my innocence, my
first flutters being over, and thought I was superior, by reason of
that, even to a Countess.
With all her heart, she said.
I rang. "Polly, bid nurse bring _my_ Billy down."--_My_, said I, with
I met the nurse at the stairs' foot, and brought in my dear baby in my
arms: "Such a child, and such a mamma!" said the Viscountess.
"Will you give Master to my arms, one moment, Madam?" said the
"Yes," thought I, "much rather than my dear naughty gentleman should
I _yielded_, it to her: I thought she would have stifled it with her
warm kisses. "Sweet boy I charming creature," and pressed it to her
too lovely bosom, with such emotion, looking on the child, and on Mr.
B., that I liked it not by any means.
"Go, you naughty lady," thought I: But I durst not say so. "And go,
naughty man, too!" thought I: "for you seem to look too much gratified
in your pride, by her fondness for your boy. I wish I did not love you
so well as I do!" But neither, your ladyship may believe, did I say
Mr. B. looked at me, but with a bravery, I thought, too like what I
had been witness to, in some former scenes, in as bad a cause. "But,"
thought I, "God delivered me _then_; I will confide in him. He will
now, I doubt not, restore thy heart to my prayers; untainted, I hope,
for thy own dear sake as well as mine."
The Viscountess took the child from her sister, and kissed him with
great pleasure. She is a married lady. Would to God, the Countess was
so too! for Mr. B. never corresponded, as I told your ladyship once,
with married ladies: so I was not afraid of _her_ love to my Billy.
"But let me," said she, "have the pleasure of restoring Master to his
charming mamma. I thought," added she, "I never saw a lovelier sight
in my life, than when in his mamma's arms."
"Why, I _can't_ say," said the Countess, "but Master and his mamma do
credit to one another. Dear Madam, let us have the pleasure of seeing
him still on your lap, while he is so good."
I wondered the dear baby was so quiet; though, indeed, he is generally
so: but _he_ might surely, if but by sympathy, have complained for his
poor mamma, though she durst not for herself.
How apt one is to engage every thing in one's distress, when it is
deep! and one wonders too, that things animate and inanimate look
with the same face, when we are greatly moved by any extraordinary and
I sat down with my baby on my lap, looking, I believe, with a
righteous boldness (I will call it so; for well says the text, _"The
righteous is as bold as a lion_,") now on my Billy, now on his papa,
and now on the Countess, with such a _triumph_ in my heart; for I saw
her blush, and look down, and the dear gentleman seemed to eye me with
a kind of conscious tenderness, as I thought.
A silence of five minutes, I believe, succeeded, we all four looking
upon one another; and the little dear was awake, and stared full upon
me, with such innocent smiles, as if he promised to love me, and make
me amends for all.
I kissed him, and took his pretty little hand in mine--"You are very
good, my charmer, in this company!" said I.
I remembered a scene, which made greatly for me in the papers you have
seen, when, instead of recriminating, as I might have done, before Mr.
Longman for harsh usage (for, O my lady, your dear brother has a hard
heart indeed when he pleases), I only prayed for him on my knees.
And I hope I was not now too mean; for I had dignity and a proud
superiority in my vain heart, over them all. Then it was not my part
to be upon defiances, where I loved, and where I hoped to reclaim.
Besides, what had I done by that, but justified, seemingly, by after
acts in a passionate resentment, to their minds, at least, their too
wicked treatment of me?--Moreover, your ladyship will remember, that
Mr. B. knew not that I was acquainted with his intrigue: for I must
call it so. If he had, he is too noble to insult me by such a visit;
and he had told me, I should see the lady he was at Oxford with.
And this, breaking silence, he mentioned; saying, "I gave you hope, my
dear, that I should procure you the honour of a visit from a lady who
put herself under my care at Oxford."
I bowed my head to the Countess; but my tears being ready to start,
I kissed my Billy: "Dearest baby," said I, "you are not going to cry,
are you?"--I would have had him just then to cry, instead of me.
The tea equipage was brought in. "Polly, carry the child to nurse." I
gave it another kiss, and the Countess desired another. I grudged it,
to think her naughty lips should so closely follow mine. Her sister
kissed it also, and carried him to Mr. B. "Take him away," said he, "I
owe him my blessing."
"O these young gentlemen papas!" said the Countess--"They are like
young unbroken horses, just put into the traces!"
--"Are they so?" thought I. "Matrimony must not expect your good word,
Mr. B. after tea, at which I was far from being talkative (for I could
not tell what to say, though I tried, as much as I could not to
appear sullen), desired the Countess to play one tune upon the
harpsichord.--She did, and sung, at his request, an Italian song to it
very prettily; too prettily, I thought. I wanted to find some faults,
some great faults in her: but, O Madam, she has too many outward
excellencies!--pity she wants a good heart.
He could ask nothing, that she was not ready to oblige him; indeed he
She desired me to touch the keys. I would have been excused; but could
not. And the ladies commended my performance; but neither my heart
to play, nor my fingers in playing, deserved their praises. Mr. B.
_said_, indeed--"You play better sometimes, my dear."--"Do I, Sir?"
was all the answer I made.
The Countess hoped, she said, I would return her visit; and so said
I replied, Mr. B. would command me whenever he pleased.
She said, she hoped to be better acquainted--("I hope not," thought
I)--and that I would give her my company, for a week or so, upon the
Forest: it seems she has a seat upon Windsor Forest.
"Mr. B. says," added she, "you can't ride a single horse; but we'll
teach you there. 'Tis a sweet place for that purpose."
"How came Mr. B.," thought I, "to tell _you_ that, Madam? I suppose
you know more of me than I do myself." Indeed, my lady, this may be
too true; for she may know what is to become of me!
I told her, I was very much obliged to her ladyship; and that Mr. B.
directed all my motions.
"What say _you_, Sir?" said the Countess.
"I can't promise that. Madam: for Mrs. B. wants to go down to Kent,
before we go to Bedfordshire, and I am afraid I can't give her my
"Then, Sir, I shan't choose to go without you."
"I suppose not, my dear. But if you are disposed to oblige the
Countess for a week, as you never were at Windsor--"
"I believe, Sir," interrupted I, "what with my little nursery, and
_one_ thing or _another_, I must deny myself that honour, for this
"Well, Madam, then I'll expect you in Pall Mall."
I bowed my head, and said, Mr. B. would command me.
They took leave with a politeness natural to them. Mr. B., as he
handed them to the chariot, said something in Italian to the Countess:
the word Pamela was in what he said: she answered him with a downcast
look, in the same language, half-pleased, half-serious, and the
chariot drove away.
"I would give," said I, "a good deal, Sir, to know what her ladyship
said to you; she looked with so particular a meaning, if I may say
"I'll tell you, truly, Pamela: I said to her, 'Well, now your ladyship
has seen my Pamela--Is she not the charmingest girl in the world?'
"She answered--'Mrs. B. is very grave, for so young a lady; but I must
needs say she is a lovely creature.'"
"And did you say so. Sir? And did her ladyship so answer?" And my
heart was ready to leap out of my bosom for joy.
But my folly spoiled all again; for, to my own surprise, and
great regret, I burst out into tears; though I even sobbed to have
suppressed them, but could not; and so I lost a fine opportunity to
have talked to him while he was so kind; for he was more angry with me
What made me such a fool, I wonder? But I had so long struggled with
myself; and not expecting so kind a question from the dear gentleman,
or such a favourable answer from the Countess, I had no longer any
command of myself.
"What ails the little fool?" said he, with a wrathful countenance.
This made me worse, and he added, "Take care, take care,
Pamela!--You'll drive me from you, in spite of my own heart."
So he went into the best parlour, and put on his sword, and took his
hat. I followed him--"Sir, Sir!" with my arms expanded, was all I
could say; but he avoided me, putting on his hat with an air; and out
he went, bidding Abraham follow him.
This is the dilemma into which, as I hinted at the beginning of this
letter, I have brought myself with Mr. B. How strong, how prevalent is
the passion of jealousy; and thus it will shew itself uppermost, when
it _is_ uppermost, in spite of one's most watchful regards!
My mind is so perplexed, that I must lay down my pen: and, indeed,
your ladyship will wonder, all things considered, that I could write
the above account as I have done, in this cruel suspense, and with
such apprehensions. But writing is all the diversion I have, when my
mind is oppressed.
PAST TEN O'CLOCK AT NIGHT.
I have only time to tell your ladyship (for the postman waits) that
Mr. B. is just come in. He is gone into his closet, and has shut the
door, and taken the key on the inside; so I dare not go to him there.
In this uncertainty and suspense, pity and pray for _your ladyship's
afflicted sister and servant_,
MY DEAR LADY,
I will now proceed with my melancholy account. Not knowing what to
do, and Mr. B. not coming near me, and the clock striking twelve, I
ventured to send this billet to him, by Polly.
"I know you choose not to be invaded, when retired to your closet;
yet, being very uneasy, on account of your abrupt departure, and heavy
displeasure, I take the liberty to write these few lines.
"I own, Sir, that the sudden flow of tears which involuntarily burst
from me, at your kind expressions to the Countess in my favour, when
I had thought for more than a month past, you were angry with me,
and which had distressed my weak mind beyond expression, might appear
unaccountable to you. But had you kindly waited but one moment till
this fit, which was rather owing to my gratitude than to perverseness,
had been over (and I knew the time when you would have generously
soothed it), I should have had the happiness of a more serene and
"Will you suffer me, Sir, to attend you? (Polly shall wait your
answer). I dare not come _without_ your permission; for should you be
as angry as you were, I know not how I shall bear it. But if you say I
may come down, I hope to satisfy you, that I intended not any offence.
Do, dear Sir, permit me to attend you, I can say no more, than that I
am _your ever dutiful_,
Polly returned with the following. "So," thought I, "a letter!--I
could have spared that, I am sure." I expected no favour from it. So
tremblingly, opened it.
"I would not have you sit up for me. We are getting apace into
the matrimonial recriminations. _You knew the time!_--So did I, my
dear!--But it seems that the time is over with both; and I have
had the mortification, for some past weeks, to come home to a very
different Pamela, than I used to leave all company and all pleasure
for.--I hope we shall better understand one another. But you cannot
see me at present with any advantage to yourself; and I would not,
that any thing farther should pass, to add to the regrets of both. I
wish you good rest. I will give your cause a fair hearing, when I
am more fit to hear all your pleas, and your excuses. I cannot be
insensible, that the reason for the concern you have lately shewn,
must lie deeper than, perhaps, you'll now own. As soon as you are
prepared to speak all that is upon your mind, and I to hear it with
temper, then we may come to an eclaircissement. Till when I am _your
My busy apprehension immediately suggested to me, that I was to be
terrified, with a high hand, into a compliance with some new scheme or
other that was projecting; and it being near one, and hearing nothing
from Mr. B., I bid Polly go to bed, thinking she would wonder at our
intercourse by letter, if I should send again.
So down I ventured, my feet, however, trembling all the way, and
tapped at the door of his closet.
"I, Sir: one word, if you please. Don't be more angry, however, Sir."
He opened the door: "Thus poor Hester, to her royal husband, ventured
her life, to break in upon him unbidden. But that eastern monarch,
great as he was, extended to the fainting suppliant the golden
He took my hand: "I hope, my dear, by this tragedy speech, we are not
to expect any sad catastrophe to our present misunderstanding."