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Title: Pamela, Volume II
Author: Richardson, Samuel, 1689-1761
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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PAMELA

Volume II


By Samuel Richardson


AUTHOR'S ORIGINAL PREFACE TO VOLUME II

The First part of PAMELA met with a success greatly exceeding the most
sanguine expectations: and the Editor hopes, that the Letters which
compose this Part will be found equally written to NATURE, avoiding
all romantic nights, improbable surprises, and irrational machinery;
and the passions are touched, where requisite; and rules, equally
_new_ and _practicable_, inculcated throughout the whole, for the
_general conduct of life_; and, therefore, he flatters himself, that
they may expect the good fortune, which _few continuations_ have met
with, to be judged not unworthy the _First_ Part; nor disproportioned
to the more exalted condition in which PAMELA was destined to shine
as an affectionate _wife_, a faithful _friend_, a polite and kind
_neighbour_, an indulgent _mother_, and a beneficent _mistress_;
after having in the former Part supported the character of a dutiful
_child_, a spotless _virgin_, and a modest and amiable _bride_.

The reader will easily see, that in so great a choice of materials, as
must arise from a multitude of important subjects, in a married life,
to such geniuses and friendships as those of Mr. and Mrs. B. the
Editor's greatest difficulty was how to bring them within the compass
which he was determined not to exceed. And it having been left to
his own choice, in what manner to digest and publish the letters, and
where to close the work, he had intended, at first, in regard to his
other avocations, to have carried the piece no farther than the First
Part.

It may be expected, therefore, that he should enter into an
explanation of the reasons whereby he was provoked into a necessity of
altering his intention. But he is willing to decline saying any thing
upon so well-known a subject.

The Editor has been much pressed with importunities and conjectures,
in relation to the person and family of the gentleman, who are the
principal persons in the work; all he thinks himself at liberty to
say, or is necessary to be said, is only to repeat what has already
been hinted, that the story has its foundation in truth; and that
there was a necessity, for obvious reasons, to vary and disguise some
facts and circumstances, as also the names of persons, places, &c.



LETTER I

My dear father and mother,

We arrived here last night, highly pleased with our journey, and the
occasion of it. May God bless you both with long life and health,
to enjoy your sweet farm, and pretty dwelling, which is just what I
wished it to be. And don't make your grateful hearts too uneasy in the
possession of it, by your modest diffidence of your own unworthiness:
for, at the same time, that it is what will do honour to the best of
men, it is not so _very_ extraordinary, considering his condition,
as to cause any one to censure it as the effect of a too partial and
injudicious kindness for the parents of one whom he _delighteth to
honour_.

My dear master (why should I not still call him so, bound to reverence
him as I am, in every light he can shine in to the most obliging and
sensible heart?) still proposes to fit up the large parlour, and
three apartments in the commodious dwelling he calls yours, for his
entertainment and mine, when I pay my duty to you both, for a few
happy days; and he has actually given orders to that effect; and that
the three apartments be _so_ fitted up, as to be rather suitable
to _your_ condition, than his own; for, he says, the plain simple
elegance, which he will have observed in the rooms, as well as the
furniture, will be a variety in his retirement to this place, that
will make him return to his own with the greater pleasure; and, at the
same time, when we are not there, will be of use for the reception of
any of your friends; and so he shall not, as he kindly says, rob the
good couple of any of their accommodations.

The old bow-windows he will have preserved, but will not have them
sashed, nor the woodbines, jessamines, and vines, that run up against
them, destroyed: only he will have larger panes of glass, and more
convenient casements to let in the sweet air and light, and make
amends for that obstructed by the shades of those fragrant climbers.
For he has mentioned, three or four times, how gratefully they
dispensed their intermingled odours to us, when, the last evening
we stood at the window, to hear the responsive songs of two warbling
nightingales, one at a distance, the other near, which delighted us
for above two hours, and the more, as we thought their season had been
over. And when they had done, he made _me_ sing him one, for which
he rewarded me with a kiss, saying, "How greatly do the innocent
pleasures I now hourly taste, exceed the guilty tumults that used
formerly to agitate my unequal mind!--Never talk, my Pamela, as you
frequently do, of obligation to me: one such hour as I now enjoy is an
ample reward for all the benefits I can confer on you and yours in my
whole life!"

The parlour will indeed be more elegant; though that is to be rather
plain than rich, as well in its wainscot as furniture, and to be
new-floored. The dear gentleman has already given orders, and you will
soon have workmen to put them in execution. The parlour-doors are to
have brass-hinges and locks, and to shut as close, he tells them, as
a watch-case: "For who knows," said he, "my dear, but we shall have
still added blessings, in two or three charming boys and girls,
to place there in their infancy, before they can be of age to be
benefited by your lessons and example? And besides, I shall no doubt
entertain there some of my chosen friends, in their excursions for a
day or two."

How am I, every hour of my life, overwhelmed with instances of God
Almighty's goodness and his! O spare, blessed Father of Mercies, the
precious life of this excellent man; increase my thankfulness, and
my worthiness;--and then--But what shall I say?--Only that I may
_continue_ to be what I am; for more blessed and happy, in my own
mind, I cannot be.

The beds he will have of cloth, as he thinks the situation a little
cold, especially when the wind is easterly, and purposes to be down
in the early spring season, now and then, as well as in the latter
autumn; and the window curtains of the same, in one room red, in
the other green; but plain, lest you should be afraid to use them
occasionally. The carpets for them will be sent with the other
furniture; for he will not alter the old oaken floors of the
bed-chamber, nor the little room he intends for my use, when I choose
not to join in such company as may happen to fall in: "Which, my
dear," says he, "shall be as little as is possible, only particular
friends, who may be disposed, once in a year or two, to see when I am
there, how I live with my Pamela and her parents, and how I pass my
time in my retirement, as I shall call this: or, perhaps, they will be
apt to think me ashamed of company I shall always be pleased with.
Nor are you, my dear, to take this as a compliment to yourself, but
a piece of requisite policy in me: for who will offer to reproach me
with marrying, as the world thinks, below me, when they shall see that
I not only pride myself in my Pamela, but take pleasure in owning her
relations as mine, and visiting them, and receiving visits from them:
and yet offer not to set them up in such a glaring light, as if I
would have the world forget (who in that case would always take
the more pleasure in remembering) what they were! And how will it
anticipate low reflection, when they shall see, I can bend my mind to
partake with them the pleasure of their humble but decent life?--Ay,"
continued he, "and be rewarded for it too, with better health, better
spirits, and a better mind; so that, my dear," added he, "I shall reap
more benefit by what I propose to do, than I shall confer."

In this generous manner does this best of men endeavour to disclaim
(though I must be very ungrateful, if, with me, it did not enhance)
the proper merit of a beneficence natural to him; and which, indeed,
as I tell him, may be in one respect deprecated, inasmuch as (so
excellent is his nature) he cannot help it if he would. O that it was
in my power to recompense him for it! But I am poor, as I have often
said, in every thing but will--and that is wholly his: and what a
happiness is it to me, a happiness I could not so early have hoped
for, that I can say so without reserve; since the dear object of it
requires nothing of me but what is consistent with my duty to
the Supreme Benefactor, the first mover and cause of all his own
happiness, of my happiness, and that of my dear, my ever dear parents.

_Your dutiful and happy daughter._



LETTER II

MY DEAREST DAUGHTER,

I need not repeat to you the sense your good mother and I have of our
happiness, and of our obligations to your honoured spouse; you both
were pleased witnesses of it every hour of the happy fortnight you
passed with us. Yet, my dear, we hardly know how to address ourselves
even to _you_, much less to the _'squire_, with the freedom he so
often invited us to take: for I don't know how it is, but though
you are our daughter, and so far from being lifted up by your high
condition, that we see no difference in your behaviour to us, your
poor parents, yet, viewing you as the lady of so fine a gentleman,
we cannot forbear having a kind of respect, and--I don't know what to
call it--that lays a little restraint upon us. And yet, we should not,
methinks, let our minds be run away with the admiration of worldly
grandeur, so as to set too much by it. But your merit and prudence are
so much above all we could ever have any notion of: and to have gentry
come only to behold and admire you, not so much for your gentleness,
and amiableness, or for your behaviour, and affability to poor as well
as rich, and to hear every one calling you an angel, and saying, you
deserve to be what you are, make us hardly know how to look upon you,
but as an angel indeed! I am sure you have been a good angel to us;
since, for your sake, God Almighty has put it into your honoured
husband's heart to make us the happiest couple in the world. But
little less we should have been, had we only in some far distant land
heard of our dear child's happiness and never partaken of the benefits
of it ourselves. But thus to be provided for! thus kindly to be owned,
and called Father and Mother by such a brave gentleman! and so placed
as to have nothing to do but to bless God, him, and you, and hourly
pray for you _both_, is a providence too mighty to be borne by us,
with equalness of temper: we kneel together every morning, noon, and
night, and weep and rejoice, and rejoice and weep, to think how our
unworthiness is distinguished, and how God has provided for us in our
latter days; when all our fear was, that, as we grew older and more
infirm, and worn out by hard labour, we should be troublesome where,
not our pride, but our industrious wills, would have made us wish not
to be so;--but to be entitled to a happier lot: for this would have
grieved us the more, for the sake of you, my dear child, and your
unhappy brother's children: for it is well known, that, though we
pretend not to boast of our family, and indeed have no reason, yet
none of us were ever sunk so low as I was: to be sure, partly by my
own fault; for, had it been for your poor aged mother's sake only, I
ought not to have done what I did for John and William; for so unhappy
were they, poor lads! that what I could do, was but as a drop of water
to a bucket.

You command me--Let me, as writing to Mr. B.'s lady, say _command_,
though, as to my dear _daughter_, I will only say _desire_: and,
indeed, I will not, as you wish me not to do, let the one condition,
which was accidental, put the other, which was natural, out of my
thought: you spoke it in better words, but this was the sense. But you
have the gift of utterance; and education is a fine thing, where it
meets with such talents to improve upon, as God has given you. Yet
let me not forget what I was going to say--You _command_--or, if you
please--you _desire_ me to write long letters, and often--And how can
I help it, if I would? For when here, in this happy dwelling, and this
well-stocked farm, in these rich meadows, and well-cropt acres, we
look around us, and which way soever we turn our head, see blessings
upon blessings, and plenty upon plenty, see barns well stored, poultry
increasing, the kine lowing and crowding about us: and are bid to
call them our own. Then think, that all is the reward of our child's
virtue!--O my dear daughter, who can bear these things!--Excuse me!
I must break off a little! For my eyes are as full as my heart: and I
will retire to bless God, and your honoured husband.

So, my dear child, I now again take up my pen: but reading what I had
written, in order to carry on the thread, I can hardly forbear again
being in one sort affected. But do you think I will call all these
things my own?--Do you think I would live rent-free? Can the honoured
'squire believe, that having such a generous example before me, if I
had no gratitude in my temper before, I could help being touched by
such an one as he sets me? If this goodness makes him know no mean in
giving, shall I be so greedy as to know none in receiving? Come, come,
my dear child, your poor father is not so sordid a wretch, neither. He
will shew the world that all these benefits are not thrown away upon
one, who will disgrace you as much by his temper, as by his condition.
What though I cannot be as worthy of all these favours as I wish, I
will be as worthy as I can. And let me tell you, my dear child, if the
king and his royal family (God bless 'em!) be not ashamed to receive
taxes and duties from his subjects; if dukes and earls, and all the
top gentry, cannot support their bravery, without having their rents
paid; I hope I shall not affront the 'squire, to pay to his steward,
what any other person would pay for his noble stock, and improving
farm: and I will do it, if it please God to bless me with life and
health. I should not be worthy to crawl upon the earth, if I did not.
And what did I say to Mr. Longman, the faithful Mr. Longman! Sure no
gentleman had ever a more worthy steward than he: it was as we were
walking over the grounds together, and observing in what good order
every thing was, he was praising some little contrivances of my own,
for the improvement of the farm, and saying, how comfortably he hoped
we might live upon it. "Ay, Mr. Longman," said I, "comfortably indeed:
but do you think I could be properly said to _live_, if I was not to
pay as much rent for it as another?"

--"I can tell you," said he, "the 'squire will not receive any thing
from you, Goodman Andrews. Why, man, he has no occasion for it: he's
worth a power of money, besides a noble and clear estate in land.
Ad's-heartlikens, you must not affront him, I can tell you that: he's
as generous as a prince, where he takes; but he is hasty, and will
have his own way."--"Why, for that reason, Mr. Longman," said I, "I
was thinking to make _you_ my friend!"--"Make _me_ your friend! You
have not a better in the world, to my power, I can tell you that,
nor your dame neither; for I love such honest hearts: I wish my own
brother would let me love him as well; but let that pass. What I can
do for you, I will, and here's my hand upon it."

"Well, then," said I, "it is this: let me account to you at the rent
Farmer Dickens offered, and let me know what the stock cost, and
what the crops are valued at; and pay the one as I can, and the other
quarterly; and not let the 'squire know it till you can't choose; and
I shall be as happy as a prince; for I doubt not, by God's blessing,
to make a comfortable livelihood of it besides."--"Why, dost believe,
Goodman Andrews," said he, "that I would do such a thing? Would not
his honour think if I hid one thing from him, I might hide another? Go
to, honest heart, I love thee dearly; but can Mr. B. do too much for
his lady, think'st thou? Come, come" (and he jeered me so, I knew not
what to say), "I wish at bottom there is not some pride in this. What,
I warrant, you would not be too much beholden to his honour, would
you?"--"No," said I, "it is not that, I'm sure. If I have any pride,
it is only in my dear child--to whom, under God, all this is owing.
But some how or other it shall be so."

And so, my dear daughter, I resolve it shall; and it will be, over
and above, one of the greatest pleasures to me, to do the good 'squire
service, as well as to be so much benefited and obliged by him.

Our eldest grandson Thomas desires to come and live with us: the boy
is honest, and, I hear, industrious. And cousin Borroughs wants me
to employ his son Roger, who understands the business of a farm very
well. It is no wonder, that all one's relations should wish to partake
of our happy lot; and if they _can_ and _will_ do their business as
well as others, I see not why relationship should be an objection:
but, yet, I think, one should not _beleaguer_, as one may say, your
honoured husband with one's relations. You, my best child, will give
me always your advice, as to my carriage in this my new lot; for I
would not for the world be thought an encroacher. And you have so
followed than yours.

Our blessing (I am sure you have blessed us!) attend you, my dearest
child; and may you be as happy as you have made us (I cannot wish you
to be happier, because I have no notion how it can be in this life).
Conclude us, _your ever-loving father and mother_,

JOHN _and_ ELIZ. ANDREWS.

May we hope to be favoured now and then with a letter from you, my
dear child, like some of your former, to let us know how you go on? It
would be a great joy to us; indeed it would. But we know you'll have
enough to do without obliging us in this way. So must acquiesce.



LETTER III

MY DEAR FATHER AND MOTHER,

I have shewed your letter to my beloved. Don't be uneasy that I have;
for you need not be ashamed of it, since it is my pride to have such
honest and grateful parents: and I'll tell you what he said to it, as
the best argument I can use, why you should not be uneasy, but enjoy
without pain or anxiety all the benefits of your happy lot.

"Dear good souls!" said he, "now every thing they say and write
manifests the worthiness of their hearts! No wonder, Pamela, you love
and revere such honest minds; for that you would do, were they not
your parents: and tell them, that I am so far from having them believe
what I have done for them were only from my affection for their
daughter, that let 'em find out another couple as worthy as they are,
and I will do as much for them. I would not place them," he continued,
"in the _same_ county, because I would wish _two_ counties to be
blessed for their sakes. Tell them, my dear, that they have a right
to what they enjoy on the foot of their own _proper_ merit; and _bid_
them enjoy it as their patrimony; and if any thing arise that is more
than they themselves can wish for, in their way of life, let them look
among their own relations, where it may be acceptable, and communicate
to them the like solid reasons for rejoicing in the situation they are
pleased with: and do you, my dear, still farther enable them, as you
shall judge proper, to gratify their enlarged hearts, for fear they
should deny any comfort to themselves, in order to do good to others."

I could only fly to his generous bosom (for this is a subject which
most affects me), and, with my eyes swimming in tears of grateful joy,
and which overflowed as soon as my bold lips touched his dear face,
bless God, and bless him, with my whole heart; for speak I could
not! But, almost chok'd with my joy, sobb'd to him my grateful
acknowledgments. He clasped me in his arms, and said, "How, my
dearest, do you overpay me for the little I have done for your
parents! If it be thus to be bless'd for conferring benefits so
insignificant to a man of my fortune, what joys is it not in the power
of rich men to give themselves, whenever they please!--Foretastes,
indeed, of those we are bid to hope for: which can surely only exceed
these, as _then_ we shall be all intellect, and better fitted to
receive them."--"'Tis too much!--too much," said I, in broken accents:
"how am I oppressed with the pleasure you give me!--O, Sir, bless
me more gradually, and more cautiously--for I cannot bear it!" And,
indeed, my heart went flutter, flutter, flutter, at his dear breast,
as if it wanted to break its too narrow prison, to mingle still more
intimately with his own.

Surely, my beloved parents, nobody's happiness is so great as
mine!--If it proceeds thus from degree to degree, and is to be
augmented by the charming hope, that the dear second author of our
blessings, be the uniformly good as well as the partially kind man to
us, what a felicity will this be! and if our prayers shall be heard,
and we shall have the pleasure to think, that his advances in piety
are owing not a little to them, and to the example God shall give us
grace to set; then, indeed, may we take the pride to think, we have
repaid his goodness to us, and that we have satisfied the debt, which
nothing less can discharge.

Forgive me, my worthy parents, if my style on this subject be raised
above the natural simplicity, more suited to my humble talents. But
how can I help it! For when the mind is elevated, ought not the sense
we have of our happiness to make our expressions soar equally? Can the
affections be so highly raised as mine are on these occasions, and the
thoughts creep grovelling like one's ordinary self? No, indeed!--Call
not this, therefore, the gift of utterance, if it should appear to
you in a better light than it deserves. It is the gift of gratitude; a
gift which makes you and me to _speak_ and _write_, as I hope it
will make us _act_, above ourselves. Thus will our gratitude be the
inspirer of joy to our common benefactor; and his joy will heighten
our gratitude; and so we shall proceed, as cause and effect to each
other's happiness, to bless the dear man who blesses us. And will it
be right then to say, you are uneasy under such (at least as to your
wills) returned and discharged obligations? God Almighty requires only
a thankful heart for all the mercies he heaps upon the children of
men; my dear Mr. B., who in these particulars imitates Divinity,
desires no more. You _have_ this thankful heart; and that to such a
high degree of gratitude, that nobody can exceed you.

But yet, when your worthy minds would be too much affected with your
gratitude, so as to lay under the restraints you mention, to the dear
gentleman, and for his sake, to your dependent daughter; let me humbly
advise you, with more particular, more abstracted aspirations, than
at other times, to raise your thoughts upwards, and consider who it
is that gives _him_ the opportunity; and pray for him and for me; for
_him_, that all his future actions may be of a piece with this
noble disposition of mind; for _me_, that I may continue humble, and
consider myself blest for your sakes, and in order that I may be, in
some sort, a rewarder, in the hands of Providence, of this its dear
excellent agent; and then we shall look forward, all of us, with
pleasure, _indeed_, to that state, where there is no distinction of
degree, and where the humble cottager shall be upon a par with the
proudest monarch.

O my dear parents, how can you, as in your _postscript_, say, "May
we not be _favoured_ now-and-then with a letter?" Call _me_ your
daughter, your Pamela--I am no lady to you. I have more pleasure to be
called your comfort, and thought to act worthy of the sentiments with
which your example and instructions have inspired me, than in any
other thing in this life; my determined duty to our common benefactor,
the best of gentlemen and husbands, excepted. God has blessed me for
your sakes, and has thus answered for me all your prayers; nay, _more_
than answered all you or I could have wished or hoped for. We only
prayed, only hoped, that God would preserve _you_ honest, and _me_
virtuous: and, O see, my excellent parents, how we are crowned with
blessings upon blessings, till we are the talk of all that know us.

Hence, my dear parents (I mean, from the delight I have in writing to
you, which transports me far above my own sphere), you'll see, that I
_must_ write, and cannot help it, if I would. And _will_ it be a great
joy to you?--And is there any thing that can add to your joy, think
you, in the power of your Pamela, that she would not _do_? O that the
lives and healths of my dearest Mr. B. and you, my parents, may be
continued to me! And who can then be so blest as your Pamela?

I _will_ write, _depend_ upon it, on every occasion--and you augment
my joys to think it is in my power to add to your comforts. Nor can
you conceive my pleasure in hoping that this your new happy lot may,
by relieving you from corroding care, and the too wearying effects
of hard labour, add, in these your advanced years, to both your days.
For, so happy am I, I can have no grief, no pain, in looking forward,
but from reflecting, that one day we must be separated.

But it is fit that we so comport ourselves as not to embitter our
present happiness with prospects too gloomy--but bring our minds to be
cheerfully thankful for the present, wisely to enjoy that _present_
as we go along--and at last, when all is to be wound up--lie down, and
say, "_Not mine_, but _Thy will be done_."

I have written much; yet have still more to say relating to other
parts of your kind acceptable letter; and so will soon write again:
for I must think every opportunity happy, whereby I can assure you,
how much I am, and will ever be, without any addition to my name, if
it will make you easier, _your dutiful_

PAMELA.



LETTER IV

MY DEAREST FATHER AND MOTHER,

I now write again, as I told you I should in my last; but I am half
afraid to look at the copy of it; for your worthy hearts, so visible
in your letter and my beloved's kind deportment upon shewing it to
him, raised me into a frame of mind, bordering on ecstasy: yet I wrote
my heart. But you must not, my dear father, write to your Pamela so
affectingly. Your _steadier_ mind could hardly bear your own moving
strain, and you were forced to lay down your pen, and retire: how then
could I, who love you so dearly, if you had not _increased_ that love
by fresh and stronger instances of your worthiness, forbear being
affected, and raised above myself! But I will not again touch upon
this subject.

You must know then, that my dearest spouse commands me, with his kind
respects, to tell you, he has thought of a method to make your _worthy
hearts_ easy; those were his words: "And this is," said he, "by
putting that whole estate, with the new purchase, under your father's
care, as I at first intended: he shall receive and pay, and order
every thing as he pleases: and Longman, who grows in years, shall be
eased of that burden. Your father writes a very legible hand,
and shall take what assistants he pleases; and do you, Pamela,
see that this new task be made as easy and pleasant to him as
possible. He shall make up his accounts only to you, my dear.
And there will be several pleasures arise to me upon it: first,
that it will be a relief to honest Longman, who has business
enough on his hands. Next, it will make the good couple easy, to have
an opportunity of enjoying that as their due, which now their too
grateful hearts give them so many causeless scruples about. Thirdly,
it will employ your father's time, more suitably to _your_ liking and
mine, because with more ease to himself; for you see his industrious
will cannot be satisfied without doing something. In the fourth place,
the management of this estate will gain him more respect and reverence
among the tenants and his neighbours: and yet be all in his own way.
For," added he, "you'll see, that it is always one point in view with
me, to endeavour to convince every one, that I esteem and value them
for their own intrinsic merit, and want not any body to distinguish
them in any other light than that in which they have been accustomed
to appear."

So, my dear father, the instrument will be drawn, and brought you by
honest Mr. Longman, who will be with you in a few days to put the
last hand to the new purchase, and to give you possession of your new
commission, if you accept it, as I hope you will; and the rather, for
my dear Mr. B.'s third reason; and knowing that this trust will be
discharged as worthily and as sufficiently, after you are used to
it, as if Mr. Longman himself was in it--and better it cannot be. Mr.
Longman is very fond of this relief, and longs to be down to settle
every thing with you, as to the proper powers, the method, &c. And
he says, in his usual phrase, that he'll make it as easy to you as a
glove.

If you do accept it, my dear Mr. B. will leave every thing to you,
as to rent, where not already fixed, and, likewise, as to acts of
kindness and favour to be done where you think proper; and he says,
that, with his bad qualities, he was ever deemed a kind landlord; and
that I can confirm in fifty instances to his honour: "So that the old
gentleman," said he, "need not be afraid of being put upon severe or
harsh methods of proceeding, where things will do without; and he can
always befriend an honest man; by which means the province will
be entirely such a one as suits with his inclination. If any thing
difficult or perplexing arises," continued he, "or where a little
knowledge in law-matters is necessary, Longman shall do all that: and
your father will see that he will not have in those points a coadjutor
too hard-hearted for his wish; for it was a rule my father set me,
and I have strictly followed, that although I have a lawyer for
my steward, it was rather to know how to do _right_ things, than
oppressive ones; and Longman has so well answered this intention, that
he was always more noted for composing differences, than promoting
lawsuits."

I dare say, my dear father, this will be acceptable to you, on the
several accounts my dearest Mr. B. was pleased to mention: and what a
charming contrivance is here! God for ever bless his considerate heart
for it! To make you useful to him, and easy to yourself: as well as
respected by, and even a benefactor to all around you! What can one
say to all things? But what signifies exulting on one's gratitude for
_one_ benefit;--every hour the dear man heaps new ones upon us, and we
can hardly thank him for one, but a second, and a third, and so on
to countless degrees, confound one, and throw back our words upon our
hearts before they are well formed, and oblige us to sit down under
all with profound silence and admiration.

As to the desire of cousin Thomas, and Roger, to live with you, I
endeavoured to sound what our dear benefactor's opinion was. He was
pleased to say, "I have no choice in this case, my dear. Your father
is his own master: he may employ whom he pleases; and, if they shew
respect to him and your mother, I think, as he rightly observes,
relationship should rather have the preference; and as he can remedy
inconveniences, if he finds any, by all means to let every branch of
your family have reason to rejoice with him."

But I have thought of this matter a good deal, since I had the favour
of your letter; and I hope, since you condescend to ask my advice, you
will excuse me, if I give it freely; yet entirely submitting all to
your liking.

First, then, I think it better to have _any body_ than relations; and
for these reasons:

One is apt to expect more regard from them, and they more indulgence
than strangers can hope for.

That where there is such a difference in the expectations of both,
uneasiness cannot but arise.

That this will subject you to bear it, or to resent it, and to part
with them. If you bear it, you will know no end of impositions: if you
dismiss them, it will occasion ill-will. They will call you unkind;
and you them ungrateful: and as your prosperous lot may raise you
enviers, such will be apt to believe _them_ rather than _you_.

Then the world will be inclined to think that we are crowding upon a
generous gentleman a numerous family of indigent people; and it will
be said, "The girl is filling every place with her relations,
and _beleaguering_," as you significantly express it, "a worthy
gentleman;" should one's kindred behave ever so worthily. So, in the
next place, one would not, for _their_ sakes, that this should be
done; who may live with _less_ reproach, and _equal_ benefit, any
where else; for I would not wish any one of them to be lifted out
of his station, and made independent, at Mr. B.'s expense, if their
industry will not do it; although I would never scruple to do any
thing reasonable to promote or assist that industry, in the way of
their callings.

Then, my dear father, I apprehend, that our honoured benefactor would
be under some difficulty, from his natural politeness, and regard for
you and me. You see how kindly, on all occasions, he treats you both,
not only as the parents of his Pamela, but as if you were his own; and
if you had any body as your servants there, who called you cousin, or
grandfather, or uncle, he would not care, when he came down, to
treat them on the foot of common servants, though they might think
themselves honoured (as they would be, and as I shall always think
_myself_) with his commands. And would it not, if they are modest
and worthy, be as great a difficulty upon _them_, to be thus
distinguished, as it would be to _him_ and to _me_, for _his_ sake?
For otherwise (believe me, I hope you will, my dear father and
mother), I could sit down and rejoice with the meanest and remotest
relation I have. But in the world's eye, to every body but my best of
parents, I must, if ever so reluctant to it, appear in a light that
may not give discredit to his choice.

Then again, as I hinted, you will be able, without the least injury
to our common benefactor, to do kinder things by any of our relations,
when _not_ with you, than you can do, if they _live_ with you.

You may lend them a little money to put them in a way, if any thing
offers that you think will be to their advantage. You can fit out
my she-cousins to good reputable places. The younger you can put to
school, or, when fit, to trades, according to their talents; and
so they will be of course in a way to get an honest and creditable
livelihood.

But, above all things, one would discourage such a proud and ambitious
spirit in any of them, as should want to raise itself by favour
instead of merit; and this the rather, for, undoubtedly, there are
many more happy persons in low than in high life, take number for
number all the world over. I am sure, although four or five years of
different life had passed with me, I had so much pride and pleasure
in the thought of working for my living with you, if I could but get
honest to you, that it made my confinement the more grievous, and, if
possible, aggravated the apprehensions attending it.

But I beg of you, not to think these my reasons proceed from the bad
motives of a heart tainted with pride on its high condition.
Indeed there can be no reason for it, to one who thinks after this
manner--the greatest families on earth have some among them who are
unhappy and low in life; and shall such a one reproach me with having
twenty low relations, because they have, peradventure, not above five?

Let us then, my dear parents, endeavour to judge of one another,
as God, at the last day, will judge of us all: and then the honest
peasant will stand fairer in our esteem than the guilty peer.

In short, this shall be my own rule--Every one who acts justly and
honestly, I will look upon as my relation, whether so or not; and the
more he wants my assistance, the more entitled to it he shall be, as
well as to my esteem; while those who deserve it not, must expect only
compassion from me, and my prayers were they my brothers or sisters.
'Tis true had I not been poor and lowly, I might not have thought
thus; but if it be a right way of thinking, it is a blessing that I
was so; and that shall never be matter of reproach to me, which one
day will be matter of justification.

Upon the whole, I should think it advisable, my dear father and
mother, to make such kind excuses to the offered service of my
cousins, as your better reason shall suggest to you; and to do any
thing else for them of _more_ value, as their circumstances may
require, or occasions offer to serve them.

But if the employing and having them about you, will add comfort to
your lives, I give up entirely my own opinion, and doubt not every
thing will be thought well of, that you shall think fit to do.

And so I conclude with assuring you, that I am, my ever-dear parents,
_your dutiful and happy daughter_.

The copy of this letter I will keep to myself, till I have your
answer, that you may be under no difficulty how to act in either of
the cases mentioned in it.



LETTER V

MY DEAREST DAUGHTER,

How shall I do to answer, as they deserve, your two last letters? Sure
no happy couple ever had such a child as we have! But it is in vain
to aim at words like yours: and equally in vain for us to offer to set
forth the thankfulness of our hearts, on the kind office your honoured
husband has given us; for no reason but to favour us still more, and
to quiet our minds in the notion of being useful to him. God grant
I may be able to be so!--Happy shall I be, if I can! But I see the
generous drift of his proposal; it is only to make me more easy from
the nature of my employment, and, in my mind too, over-loaded as I may
say, with benefits; and at the same time to make me more respected in
my new neighbourhood.

I can only say, I most gratefully accept of the kind offer; and since
it will ease the worthy Mr. Longman, shall with still greater pleasure
do all I can in it. But I doubt I shall want ability; but I will be
just and honest, however. That, by God's grace, will be within my own
capacity; and that, I hope, I may answer for.

It is kind, indeed, to put it in my power to do good to those who
shall deserve it; and I will take _double_ pains to find out the
true merit of such as I shall recommend to favour, and that their
circumstances be really such as I shall represent them.

But one thing let me desire, that I make up my accounts to Mr.
Longman, or to his honour himself, when he shall be here with us.
I don't know how-but it will make me uneasy, if I am to make up my
accounts to you: for so well known is your love to us, that though
you would no more do an unjust thing, than, by God's grace, we should
desire you; yet this same ill-willing world might think it was like
making up accounts to one's self.

Do, my dearest child, get me off this difficulty, and I can have no
other; for already I am in hopes I have hit upon a contrivance to
improve the estate, and to better the condition of the tenants, at
least not to worst them, and which, I hope, will please every body;
but I will acquaint Mr. Longman with this, and take his advice; for I
will not be too troublesome either to you, my dear child, or to your
spouse.--If I could act so for his interest, as not to be a burden,
what happy creatures should we both be in our own minds!--We find
ourselves more and more respected by every one; and so far as shall be
consistent with our new trust, we will endeavour to deserve it, that
we may interest as many as know us in our own good wishes and prayers
for the happiness of you both.

But let me say, how much convinced I am by your reasons for not taking
to us any of our relations. Every one of those reasons has its force
with us. How happy are we to have so prudent a daughter to advise
with! And I think myself obliged to promise this, that whatever I do
for any of them above the amount of--forty shillings at one time, I
will take your direction in it, that your wise hints, of making every
one continue their industry, and not to rely upon favour instead
of merit, may be followed. I am sure this is the way to make them
_happier_ as well as _better_ men and women; for, as I have often
thought, if one were to have a hundred pounds a year, it would not do
without industry; and with it, one may do with a quarter of it, and
less.

In short, my dear child, your reasons are so good, that I wonder they
came not into my head before, and then I needed not to have troubled
you about the matter: but yet it ran in my own thought, that I could
not like to be an encroacher:--for I hate a dirty thing; and, in the
midst of my distresses, never could be guilty of one. Thank God for
it.

You rejoice our hearts beyond expression at the hope you give us of
receiving letters from you now-and-then: it will be the chief comfort
of our lives, next to seeing you, as we expect we sometimes shall.
But yet, my dear child, don't let us inconvenience you neither. Pray
don't; you'll have enough upon your hands without--to be sure you
will.

The workmen have made a good progress, and wish for Mr. Longman to
come down; as we also do.

You need not be afraid we should think you proud, or lifted up with
your condition. You have weathered the first dangers, and but for your
fine clothes and jewels, we should not see any difference between our
dear Pamela and the much respected Mrs. B. But God has given you
too much sense to be proud or lifted up. I remember, in your former
writings, a saying of your 'squire's, speaking of you, that it was for
persons not used to praise, and who did not deserve it, to be proud of
it.

Every day brings us instances of the good name his honour and you, my
dear child, have left behind you in this country. Here comes one, and
then another, and a third, and a fourth;

"Goodman Andrews," cries one, and, "Goody Andrews," cries
another--(and some call us Mr. and Mrs., but we like the other full as
well) "when heard you from his honour? How does his lady do?--What a
charming couple are they!--How lovingly do they live!--What an example
do they give to all about them!" Then one cries, "God bless them
both," and another cries, "Amen;" and so says a third and a fourth;
and all say, "But when do you expect them down again?--Such-a-one
longs to see 'em--and will ride a day's journey, to have but a sight
of 'em at church." And then they say, "How this gentleman praises
them, and that lady admires them."--O what a happiness is this! How
do your poor mother and I stand fixed to the earth to hear both your
praises, our tears trickling down our cheeks, and our hearts heaving
as if they would burst with joy, till we are forced to take leave in
half words, and hand-in-hand go in together to bless God, and bless
you both. O my daughter, what a happy couple have God and you made us!

Your poor mother is very anxious about her dear child. I will not
touch upon a matter so very irksome to you to hear of. But, though the
time may be some months off, she every hour prays for your safety and
happiness, and all the increase of felicity that his honour's generous
heart can wish for.--That is all we will say at present; only, that
we are, with continued prayers and blessings, my dearest child, _your
loving father and mother_,

J. _and_ E. ANDREWS.



LETTER VI

_From Lady Davers to Mrs. B._

MY DEAR PAMELA,

I intended to have been with you before this: but my lord has been a
little indisposed with the gout, and Jackey has had an intermitting
fever: but they are pretty well recovered, and it shall not be long
before I see you, now I understand you are returned from your Kentish
expedition.

We have been exceedingly diverted with your papers. You have given us,
by their means, many a delightful hour, that otherwise would have hung
heavy upon us; and we are all charmed with you. Lady Betty, and
her noble mamma, has been of our party, whenever we have read your
accounts. She is a dear generous lady, and has shed with us many a
tear over them; and my lord has not been unmoved, nor Jackey neither,
at some of your distresses and reflections. Indeed, Pamela, you are a
charming creature, and an ornament to your sex. We wanted to have had
you among us a hundred times, as we read, that we might have loved,
and kissed, and thanked you.

But after all, my brother, generous and noble as he seemed, when your
trials were over, was a strange wicked young fellow; and happy it was
for you both, that he was so cleverly caught in the trap he had laid
for your virtue.

I can assure you, my lord longs to see you, and will accompany me;
for, he says, he has but a faint idea of your person. I tell him,
and them all, that you are the finest girl, and the most improved
in person and mind, I ever beheld; and I am not afraid although they
should imagine all they can in your favour, from my account, that
they will be disappointed when they see and converse with you. But one
thing more you must do, and then we will love you still more; and that
is, send us the rest of your papers, down to your marriage at least;
and farther, it you have written farther; for we all long to see the
rest, as you relate it, though we know in general what has passed.

You leave off with an account of an angry letter I wrote to my
brother, to persuade him to give you your liberty, and a sum of money;
not doubting but his designs would end in your ruin, and, I own, not
wishing he would marry you; for little did I know of your merit and
excellence, nor could I, but for your letters so lately sent me, have
had any notion of either. I don't question, but if you have recited
my passionate behaviour to you, when at the hall, I shall make a
ridiculous figure enough; but I will forgive all that, for the sake of
the pleasure you _have_ given me, and will still farther give me, if
you comply with my request.

Lady Betty says, it is the best story she has heard, and the most
instructive; and she longs to have the conclusion of it in your own
words. She says now and then, "What a hopeful brother you have, Lady
Davers! O these intriguing gentlemen!--What rogueries do they not
commit! I should have had a fine husband of him, had I received your
proposal! The _dear_ Pamela would have run in his head, and had I been
the first lady in the kingdom, I should have stood but a poor chance
in his esteem; for, you see, his designs upon her began early."

She says, you had a good heart to go back again to him, when the
violent wretch had driven you from him on such a slight occasion: but
yet, she thinks the reasons you give in your relation, and your love
for him (which then you began to discover was your case), as well as
the event, shewed you did right.

But we'll tell you all our judgments, when we have read the rest of
your accounts. So pray send them as soon as you can, to (I won't write
myself _sister_ till then) _your affectionate_, &c.

B. DAVERS.



LETTER VII

My good dear Lady,

You have done me great honour in the letter your ladyship has been
pleased to send me; and it is a high pleasure to me, now all is so
happily over, that my poor papers in the least diverted you, and such
honourable and worthy persons as your ladyship mentions. I could wish
I might be favoured with such remarks on my conduct, so nakedly set
forth (without any imagination that they would ever appear in such an
assembly), as may be of use to me in my future life, and thus make me
more worthy than it is otherwise possible I can be, of the honour to
which I am raised. Do, dearest lady, favour me so far. I am prepared
to receive blame, and to benefit by it, and cannot expect praise so
much from my _actions_ as from my _intentions_; for indeed, these
were always just and honourable: but why, even for these do I talk of
praise, since, being prompted by impulses I could not resist, it can
be no merit in me to have been governed by them?

As to the papers following those in your hands, when I say, that they
must needs appear impertinent to such judges, after what you know,
I dare say, your ladyship will not insist upon them: yet I will not
scruple briefly to mention what they contain.

All my dangers and trials were happily at an end: so that they only
contain the conversations that passed between your ladyship's generous
brother and me; his kind assurances of honourable love to me; my
acknowledgments of unworthiness to him; Mrs. Jewkes's respectful
change of behaviour towards me; Mr. B.'s reconciliation to
Mr. Williams; his introducing me to the good families in the
neighbourhood, and avowing before them his honourable intentions. A
visit from my honest father, who (not knowing what to conclude from my
letter to him before I returned to your honoured brother, desiring
my papers from him) came in great anxiety of heart to know the worst,
doubting I had at last been caught by a stratagem, ending in my ruin.
His joyful surprise to find how happy I was likely to be. All
the hopes given me, answered by the private celebration of our
nuptials--an honour so much above all that my utmost ambition could
make me aspire to, and which I never can deserve! Your ladyship's
arrival, and anger, not knowing I was actually married, but supposing
me a vile wicked creature; in which case I should have deserved the
worst of usage. Mr. B.'s angry lessons to me, for daring to interfere;
though I thought in the tenderest and most dutiful manner, between
your ladyship and himself. The most acceptable goodness and favour of
your ladyship afterwards to me, of which, as becomes me, I shall ever
retain the most grateful sense. My return to this sweet mansion in a
manner so different from my quitting it, where I had been so happy
for four years, in paying my duty to the best of mistresses, your
ladyship's excellent mother, to whose goodness, in taking me from my
poor honest parents, and giving me what education I have, I owe, under
God, my happiness. The joy of good Mrs. Jervis, Mr. Longman, and all
the servants, on this occasion. Mr. B.'s acquainting me with Miss
Godfrey's affair, and presenting to me the pretty Miss Goodwin, at the
dairy-house. Our appearance at church; the favour of the gentry in the
neighbourhood, who, knowing your ladyship had not disdained to look
upon me, and to be favourable to me, came the more readily into a
neighbourly intimacy with me, and still so much the more readily, as
the continued kindness of my dear benefactor, and his condescending
deportment to me before them (as if I had been worthy of the honour
done me), did credit to his own generous act.

These, my lady, down to my good parents setting out to this place,
in order to be settled, by my honoured benefactor's bounty, in the
Kentish farm, are the most material contents of my remaining papers:
and though they might be the most agreeable to those for whom only
they were written, yet, _as_ they were principally matters of course,
after what your ladyship has with you; _as_ the joy of my fond heart
can be better judged of by your ladyship than described by me; and as
you are acquainted with all the particulars that can be worthy of any
other person's notice but my dear parents: I am sure your ladyship
will dispense with your commands; and I make it my humble request that
you will.

For, Madam, you must needs think, that _when_ my doubts were
dispelled; _when_ confident all my trials were over; _when_ I had a
prospect of being so abundantly rewarded for what I suffered: _when
every_ hour rose upon me with new delight, and fraught with fresh
instances of generous kindness from such a dear gentleman, my master,
my benefactor, the son of my honoured lady: your ladyship must needs
think, I say, that I must be _too_ much affected, my heart _too_ much
opened; and especially as it then (relieved from its past anxieties
and fears, which had kept down and damped the latent flame)
first discovered impressions of which before I hardly thought it
susceptible.--So that it is scarce possible, that my _joy_ and my
_prudence_, if I were to be tried by such judges of delicacy and
decorum as Lord and Lady Davers, the honoured countess, and Lady
Betty, could be so _intimately_, so _laudably_ coupled, as were to
be wished: although the continued sense of my unworthiness, and the
disgrace the dear gentleman would bring upon himself by his generous
goodness to me, always went hand in hand with my _joy_ and my
_prudence_; and what these considerations took from the _former_,
being added to the _latter_, kept me steadier and more equal to
myself, than otherwise it was possible such a young creature as I
could have been.

Wherefore my good lady, I hope I stand excused, and shall not bring
upon myself the censure of being disobedient to your commands.

Besides, Madam, since you inform me that my good Lord Davers will
attend you hither, I should never dare to look his lordship in the
face, if all the emotions of my heart, on such affecting occasions,
stood confessed to his lordship; and if I am ashamed they should to
your ladyship, to the countess, and Lady Betty, whose goodness must
induce you all three to think favourably, in such circumstances, of
one who is of your own sex, how would it concern me, for the same
to appear before such gentlemen as my lord and his nephew?--Indeed I
could not look up to either of them in the sense of this.--And give me
leave to hope, that some of the scenes, in the letters your ladyship
had, were not read to gentlemen; your ladyship must needs know which
I mean, and will think of my two grand trials of all. For though I was
the innocent subject of wicked attempts, and so cannot, I hope, suffer
in any one's opinion for what I could not help; yet, for your dear
brother's sake, as well as for the decency of the matter, one would
not, when having the honour to appear before my lord and his nephew,
he looked upon, methinks, with that levity of eye and thought, which,
perhaps, hard-hearted gentlemen may pass upon one, by reason of
those very scenes, which would move pity and concern in a good lady's
breast, for a poor creature so attempted.

So, my dear lady, be pleased to tell me, if the gentlemen _have_ heard
all--I hope not--and also to point out to me such parts of my conduct
as deserve blame: indeed, I will try to make a good use of your
censure, and am sure I shall be thankful for it; for it will make me
hope to be more and more worthy of the honour I have, of being exalted
into such a distinguished family, and the right the best of gentlemen
has given me to style myself _your ladyship's most humble, and most
obliged servant_,

P.B.



LETTER VIII

_From Lady Davers, in reply._

MY DEAR PAMELA,

You have given us all a great disappointment in declining to oblige me
with the sequel of your papers. I was a little out of humour with you
at first;--I must own I was:--for I cannot bear denial, when my heart
is set upon any thing. But Lady Betty became your advocate, and said,
she thought you very excusable: since, no doubt, there might be many
tender things, circumstanced as you were, well enough for your parents
to see, but for nobody else; and relations of our side, the least of
all, whose future intimacy, and frequent visits, might give occasions
for raillery and remarks, not otherwise agreeable. I regard her
apology for you the more, because I knew it was a great baulk to her,
that you did not comply with my request. But now, child, when you know
me more, you'll find, that if I am obliged to give up one point, I
always insist on another, as near it as I can, in order to see if it
be only _one_ thing I am to be refused, or _every_ thing; in which
last case, I know how to take my measures, and resent.

Now this is what I insist upon; that you correspond with me the same
as you did with your parents, and acquaint me with every passage that
is of concern to you; beginning with your account how both of you
spent your time when in Kent; for you must know we are all taken with
your duty to your parents, and the discretion of the good couple, and
think you have given a very edifying example of filial piety to all
who shall hear your story; for if so much duty is owing to parents,
where nothing can be done for one, how much more is it to be expected,
where there is power to add to the natural obligation, all the
comforts and conveniences of life? We people in upper life love to
hear how gratitude and unexpected benefits operate upon honest minds,
who have little more than plain artless nature for their guide; and
we flatter ourselves with the hopes of many a delightful hour, by your
means, in this our solitary situation, if obliged to pass the next
winter in it, as my lord and the earl threaten me, and the countess,
and Lady Betty, that we shall. Then let us hear of every thing that
gives you joy or trouble: and if my brother carries you to town, for
the winter, while he attends parliament, the advices you can give
us of what passes in London, and of the public entertainments and
diversions he will take you to, related in your own artless and
natural observations, will be as diverting to us, as if at them
ourselves. For a young creature of your good understanding, to whom
all these things will be quite new, will give us, perhaps, a better
taste of them, their beauties and defects, than we might have before;
for we people of quality go to those places, dressed out and adorned
in such a manner, outvying one another, as if we considered ourselves
as so many parts of the public entertainment, and are too much pleased
with ourselves to be able so to attend to what we see, as to form a
right judgment of it; but some of us behave with so much indifference
to the entertainment, as if we thought ourselves above being diverted
by what we come to see, and as if our view was rather to trifle away
our time, than improve ourselves by attending to the story of the
action.

See, Pamela, I shall not make an unworthy correspondent altogether,
for I can get into thy grave way, and moralize a little now and then:
and if you'll promise to oblige me by your constant correspondence in
this way, and divest yourself of all restraint, as if you were writing
to your parents (and I can tell you, you'll write to one who will be
as candid and as favourable to you as they can be), then I am sure we
shall have truth and nature from you; and these are things which we
are generally so much lifted above, by our conditions, that we hardly
know what they are.

But I have written enough for one letter; and yet, having more to say,
I will, after this, send another, without waiting for your answer,
which you may give to both together; and am, _yours_, &c. B. DAVERS.



LETTER IX

DEAR PAMELA,

I am very glad thy honest man has let thee into the affair of Sally
Godfrey. But pr'ythee, Pamela, tell us how he did it, and thy thoughts
upon it, for that is a critical case, and as he has represented it,
so shall I know what to say of it before you and him: for I would not
make mischief between you for the world.

This, let me tell you, will be a trying part of your conduct. For he
loves the child, and will judge of you by your conduct towards it.
He dearly loved her mother; and notwithstanding her fault, she well
deserved it: for she was a sensible, ay, and a modest lady, and of an
ancient and genteel family. But he was heir to a noble estate, was
of a bold and enterprising spirit, fond of intrigue--Don't let this
concern you--You'll have the greater happiness, and merit too, if you
can hold him; and, 'tis my opinion, if any body can, you will. Then
he did not like the young lady's mother, who sought artfully to entrap
him. So that the poor girl, divided between her inclination for him,
and her duty to her designing mother, gave into the plot upon him: and
he thought himself--vile wretch as he was for all that!--at liberty
to set up plot against plot, and the poor lady's honour was the
sacrifice.

I hope you spoke well of her to him--I hope you received the child
kindly--I hope you had presence of mind to do this--For it is a nice
part to act; and all his observations were up, I dare say, on the
occasion--Do let me hear how it was. And write without restraint; for
although I am not your mother, yet am I _his_ eldest sister, you know,
and as such--Come, I will say so, in hopes you'll oblige me--_your_
sister, and so entitled to expect a compliance with my request: for is
there not a duty, in degree, to elder sisters from younger?

As to our remarks upon your behaviour, they have been much to your
credit: but nevertheless, I will, to encourage you to enter into this
requested correspondence with me, consult Lady Betty, and will go over
your papers again, and try to find fault with your conduct, and if we
see any thing censurable, will freely let you know our minds.

But, before-hand, I can tell you, we shall be agreed in one opinion;
and that is, that we know not who would have acted as you have done,
upon the whole. So, Pamela, you see I put myself upon the same foot
of correspondence with you. Not that I will promise to answer every
latter: no, you must not expect that. Your part will be a kind of
narrative, purposely designed to entertain us here; and I hope to
receive six, seven, eight, or ten letters, as it may happen, before I
return one: but such a part I will bear in it, as shall let you know
our opinion of your proceedings, and relations of things. And as you
wish to be found fault with, you shall freely have it (though not in
a splenetic or ill-natured way), as often as you give occasion.
Now, Pamela, I have two views in this. One is to see how a man of my
brother's spirit, who has not denied himself any genteel liberties
(for it must be owned he never was a common town rake, and had always
a dignity in his roguery), will behave himself to you, and in wedlock,
which used to be freely sneered at by him; the next, that I may
love you more and more as by your letters, I shall be more and more
acquainted with you, as well as by conversation; so that you can't be
off, if you would.

'I know, however, you will have one objection to this; and that is,
that your family affairs will require your attention, and not give the
time you used to have for this employment. But consider, child, the
station you are raised to does not require you to be quite a domestic
animal. You are lifted up to the rank of a lady, and you must act up
to it, and not think of setting such an example, as will draw upon
you the ill-will and censure of other ladies. For will any of our sex
visit one who is continually employing herself in such works as either
must be a reproach to herself, or to them?--You'll have nothing to do
but to give orders. You will consider yourself as the task-mistress,
and the common herd of female servants as so many negroes directing
themselves by your nod; or yourself as the master-wheel, in some
beautiful pieces of mechanism, whose dignified grave motions is to
set a-going all the under-wheels, with a velocity suitable to their
respective parts. Let your servants, under your direction, do all that
relates to household management; they cannot write to entertain and
instruct as you can: so what will you have to do?--I'll answer my own
question: In the first place, endeavour to please your sovereign lord
and master; and let me tell you, any other woman in England, be her
quality ever so high, would have found enough to do to succeed in
that. Secondly, to receive and pay visits, in order, for his credit
as well as your own, to make your fashionable neighbours fond of you.
Then, thirdly, you will have time upon your hands (as your monarch
himself rises early, and is tolerably regular for such a brazen face
as he has been) to write to me in the manner I have mentioned, and
expect; and I see plainly, by your style, nothing can be easier for
you than to do this.

Thus, and with reading, may your time be filled up with reputations to
yourself, and delight to others, till a fourth employment puts itself
upon you: and that is (shall I tell you boys, [Transcriber's note:
text missing in original] to perpetuate a family, for many hundred
years esteemed worthy and eminent, which, being now reduced,
in the direct line, to him and me, _expects_ it from you; or
else let me tell you (nor will I baulk it), my brother, by descending
to the wholesome cot--excuse me, Pamela--will want one apology for his
conduct, be as excellent as you may.

I say this, child, not to reflect upon you, since the thing is done;
for I love you dearly, and will love you more and more--but to let
you know what is expected from you, and encourage you in the prospect
already opening to you both, and to me, who have the welfare of the
family I sprung from so much at heart, although I know this will be
attended with some anxieties to a mind so thoughtful and apprehensive
as yours seems to be.

O but this puts me in mind of your solicitude, lest the gentlemen
should have seen every thing contained in your letters-But this I will
particularly speak to in a third letter, having filled my paper on all
sides: and am, till then,_ yours_, &c.

B. DAVERS.

You see, and I hope will take it as a favour, that I break the ice,
and begin first in the indispensably expected correspondence between
us.



LETTER X

_From the same._

And so, Pamela, you are solicitous to know, if the gentlemen have seen
every part of your papers? I can't say but they have: nor, except in
regard to the reputation of your saucy man, do I see why the part you
hint at might not be read by those to whom the rest might be shewn.

I can tell you, Lady Betty, who is a very nice and delicate lady, had
no objection to any part, though read before men: only now and then
crying out, "O the vile man!--See, Lord Davers, what wretches you men
are!" And, commiserating you, "Ah! the poor Pamela!" And expressing
her impatience to hear how you escaped at this time, and at that, and
rejoicing in your escape. And now-and-then, "O, Lady Davers, what a
vile brother you have!--I hate him perfectly. The poor girl cannot be
made amends for all this, though he has married her. Who, that
knows these things of him, would wish him to be hers, with all his
advantages of person, mind, and fortune?" and his wicked attempts.

But I can tell you this, that except one had heard every tittle of
your danger, how near you were to ruin, and how little he stood
upon taking any measures to effect his vile purposes, even daring to
attempt you in the presence of a _good_ woman, which was a wickedness
that every _wicked_ man could not be guilty of; I say, except one had
known these things, one could not have judged of the merit of your
resistance, and how shocking those attempts were to your virtue, for
that life itself was endangered by them: nor, let me tell you, could
I, in particular, have so well justified him for marrying you (I mean
with respect to his own proud and haughty temper of mind), if there
had been room to think he could have had you upon easier terms.

It was necessary, child, on twenty accounts, that we, your and his
well-wishers and his relations, should know that he had tried every
stratagem to subdue you to his purpose, before he married you: and how
would it have answered to his intrepid character, and pride of heart,
had we not been particularly led into the nature of those attempts,
which you so nobly resisted, as to convince us all, that you have
deserved the good fortune you have met with, as well as all the kind
and respectful treatment he can possibly shew you?

Nor ought you to be concerned who sees any the most tender parts of
your story, except, as I said, for his sake; for it must be a very
unvirtuous mind that can form any other ideas from what you relate
than those of terror and pity for you. Your expressions are too
delicate to give the nicest ear offence, except at him. You paint no
scenes but such as make his wickedness odious: and that gentleman,
much more lady, must have a very corrupt heart, who could from such
circumstances of distress, make any reflections, but what should be to
your honour, and in abhorrence of such actions. I am so convinced of
this, that by this rule I would judge of any man's heart in the world,
better than by a thousand declarations and protestations. I do assure
you, rakish as Jackey is, and freely as I doubt not that Lord Davers
has formerly lived (for he has been a man of pleasure), they gave me,
by their behaviour on these tender occasions, reason to think they had
more virtue than not to be very apprehensive for your safety; and my
lord often exclaimed, that he could not have thought his brother such
a libertine, neither.

Besides, child, were not these things written in confidence had not
recited all you could recite, would there not have been room for any
one, who saw what you wrote, to imagine they had been still worse? And
how could the terror be supposed to have had such effects upon you, as
to endanger your life, without imagining you had undergone the worst a
vile man _could_ offer, unless you had told us what that was which he
_did_ offer, and so put a bound, as it were, to one's fears of what
you suffered, which otherwise must have been injurious to your purity,
though you could not help it?

Moreover, Pamela, it was but doing justice to the libertine himself
to tell your mother the whole truth, that she might know he was not so
very abandoned, but he could stop short of the execution of his wicked
purposes, which he apprehended, if pursued, would destroy the life,
that, of all lives, he would choose to preserve; and you owed also
thus much to your parents' peace of mind, that, after all their
distracting fears for you, they might see they had reason to rejoice
in an uncontaminated daughter. And one cannot but reflect, now he has
made you his wife, that it must be satisfaction to the wicked man, as
well as to yourself, that he was not more guilty than he _was_, nor
took more liberties than he _did_.

For my own part, I must say, that I could not have accounted for your
fits, by any descriptions short of those you give; and had you been
less particular in the circumstances, I should have judged he had been
still _worse_, and your person, though not your mind, less pure, than
his pride would expect from the woman he should marry; for this is
the case of all rakes, that though they indulge in all manner of
libertinism themselves, there is no class of men who exact greater
delicacy from the persons they marry, though they care not how bad
they make the wives, the sisters, and daughters of others.

I will only add (and send all my three letters together), that we all
blame you in some degree for bearing the wicked Jewkes in your sight,
after her most impudent assistance in his lewd attempt; much less, we
think, ought you to have left her in her place, and rewarded her; for
her vileness could hardly be equalled by the worst actions of the most
abandoned procuress.

I know the difficulties you labour under, in his arbitrary will, and
intercession for her: but Lady Betty rightly observes, that he knew
what a vile woman she was, when he put you into her power, and no
doubt employed her, being sure she would answer all his purposes:
and that therefore she should have had very little opinion of the sincerity
of his reformation, while he was so solicitous in keeping her, and having
her put upon a foot, in the present on your nuptials, with honest Jervis.

She would, she says, had she been in your case, have had _one_
struggle for her dismission, let it have been taken as it would; and
he that was so well pleased with your virtues, must have thought this
a natural consequence of it, if he was in earnest to reclaim.

I know not whether you shew him all I write: but I have written this
last part in the cover, as well for want of room, as that you may keep
it from him, if you please. Though if you think it will serve any
good end, I am not against shewing to him all I write. For I must ever
speak my mind, though I were to smart for it; and that nobody can or
has the heart to make me do, but my bold brother. So, Pamela, for this
time, _Adieu_.



LETTER XI

MY GOOD LADY,

I am honoured with your ladyship's three letters, the contents of
which are highly obliging to me: and I should be inexcusable if I did
not comply with your injunctions, and be very proud and thankful for
your ladyship's condescension in accepting of my poor scribble, and
promising such a rich and valuable return; of which you have already
given such ample and delightful instances. I will not plead my
defects, to excuse my obedience. I only fear that the awe which will
be always upon me, when I write to your ladyship, will lay me under so
great a restraint, that I shall fall short even of the merit my
papers have already made for me, through your kind indulgence.--Yet,
sheltering myself under your goodness, I will cheerfully comply with
every thing your ladyship expects from me, that it is in my power to
do.

You will give me leave, Madam, to put into some little method, the
particulars of what you desire of me, that I may speak to them all:
for, since you are so good as to excuse me from sending the rest of
my papers (which indeed would not bear in many places), I will omit
nothing that shall tend to convince you of my readiness to obey you in
every thing else.

First, then, your ladyship would have the particulars of the happy
fortnight we passed in Kent, on one of the most agreeable occasions
that could befall me.

Secondly, an account of the manner in which your dear brother
acquainted me with the affecting story of Miss Godfrey, and my
behaviour upon it.

And, thirdly, I presume your ladyship, and Lady Betty, expect me to
say something upon your welcome remarks on my conduct towards Mrs.
Jewkes.

The other particulars your ladyship mentions, will naturally fall
under one or other of these three heads--But expect not, my lady,
though I begin in method thus, that I shall keep up to it. If you will
not allow for me, and keep in view the poor Pamela Andrews in all I
write, but have Mrs. B. in your eye, what will become of me?--But I
promise myself so much improvement from this correspondence, that
I enter upon it with a greater delight than I can express,
notwithstanding the mingled awe and diffidence that will accompany me,
in every part of the agreeable task. To begin with the first article:

Your dear brother and my honest parents (I know your ladyship will
expect from me, that on all occasions I should speak of them with the
duty that becomes a good child) with myself, set out on the Monday
morning for Kent, passing through St. Albans to London, at both which
places we stopped a night; for our dear benefactor would make us take
easy journeys: and on Wednesday evening we arrived at the sweet place
allotted for the good couple. We were attended only by Abraham and
John, on horseback: for Mr. Colbrand, having sprained his foot, was in
the travelling-coach, with the cook, the housemaid, and Polly Barlow,
a genteel new servant, whom Mrs. Brooks recommended to wait on me.

Mr. Longman had been there a fortnight, employed in settling the terms
of an additional purchase of this pretty well-wooded and well-watered
estate: and his account of his proceedings was very satisfactory to
his honoured principal. He told us, he had much ado to dissuade the
tenants from pursuing a formed resolution of meeting their landlord
on horseback, at some miles distance; for he had informed them when he
expected us; but knowing how desirous Mr. B. was of being retired, he
had ventured to assure them, that when every thing was settled, and
the new purchase actually entered upon, they would have his presence
among them often; and that he would introduce them all at different
times to their worthy landlord, before we left the country.

The house is large, and very commodious; and we found every thing
about it, and in it, exceeding neat and convenient; owing to the
worthy Mr. Longman's care and direction. The ground is well-stocked,
the barns and outhouses in excellent repair; and my poor parents have
only to wish, that they and I may be deserving of half the goodness we
experience from your bountiful brother.

But, indeed. Madam, I have the pleasure of discovering every day more
and more, that there is not a better disposed and more generous man in
the world than himself, for I verily think he has not been so
careful to conceal his _bad_ actions as his _good_ ones. His heart is
naturally beneficent, and his beneficence is the gift of God for the
most excellent purposes, as I have often freely told him. Pardon me,
my dear lady; I wish I may not be impertinently grave: but I find a
great many instances of his considerate charity, which few knew of,
and which, since I have been his almoner, could not avoid coming to my
knowledge. But this, possibly, is no news to your ladyship. Every body
knows the generous goodness of your _own_ heart: every one wanting
relief tasted the bounty of your excellent _mother_ my late honoured
lady: so that 'tis a _family grace_, and I have no need to speak of it
to you. Madam.

This cannot, I hope, be construed as if I would hereby suppose
ourselves less obliged. I know nothing so godlike in human nature as
this disposition to do good to our fellow-creatures: for is it not
following immediately the example of that generous Providence which
every minute is conferring blessings upon us all, and by giving power
to the rich, makes them but the dispensers of its benefits to those
that want them? Yet, as there are but too many objects of compassion,
and as the most beneficent cannot, like Omnipotence, do good to all,
how much are they obliged who are distinguished from others!-And
this being kept in mind, will always contribute to make the benefited
receive, as thankfully as they _ought_, the favours of the obliger.

I know not if I write to be understood, in all I mean; but my grateful
heart is so over-filled when on this subject, that methinks I want to
say a great deal more at the same time that I am apprehensive I say
too much. Yet, perhaps, the copies of the letters I here inclose (that
marked [I.] written by me to my parents, on our return to Kent; that
marked [II.] from my dear father in answer to it; and that marked
[III.] mine in reply to his) will (at the same time that they may
convince your ladyship that I will conceal nothing from you in the
course of this correspondence, which may in the least amuse and divert
you, or better explain our grateful sentiments), in a great measure,
answer what your ladyship expects from me, as to the happy fortnight
we passed in Kent.

I will now conclude, choosing to suspend the correspondence, till I
know from your ladyship, whether it will not be too low, too idle for
your attention; whether you will not dispense with your own commands
when you see I am so little likely to answer what you may possibly
expect from me: or whether, if you insist upon my scribbling, you
would have me write in any other way, be less tedious, less serious-in
short, less or more any thing. For all that is in my power, your
ladyship may command from, _Madam, your obliged and faithful servant_.

P.B.

Your dearest brother, from whose knowledge I would not keep any thing
that shall take up any considerable portion of my time, gives me leave
to proceed in this correspondence, if you command it; and is pleased
to say, he will content himself to see such parts of it, and _only_
such parts, as I shall shew him, or read to him.--Is not this very
good, Madam?--O, my lady, you don't know how happy I am!



LETTER XII

_From Lady Davers to Mrs. B._

My dear Pamela,

You very much oblige me by your cheerful compliance with my request: I
leave it entirely to you to write as you shall be in the humour,
when you take up your pen; and then I shall have you write with less
restraint: for, you must know, that what we admire in _you_, are truth
and nature, not studied or elaborate epistles. We can hear at church,
or read in our closets, fifty good things that we expect not from you:
but we cannot receive from any body else the pleasure of sentiments
flowing with that artless ease, which so much affects us when we read
your letters. Then, my sweet girl, your gratitude, prudence, integrity
of heart, your humility, shine so much in all your letters and
thoughts, that no wonder my brother loves you as he does.

But I shall make you proud, I doubt, and so by praise ruin those
graces which we admire, and, but for that, cannot praise you too much.
In my conscience, if thou canst hold as thou hast begun, I believe
thou wilt have him _all to thyself_; and that was more than I once
thought any woman on this side the seventieth year of his age would
ever be able to say. The letters to and from your parents, we are
charmed with, and the communicating of them to me, I take to be as
great an instance of your confidence in me, as it is of your judgment
and prudence; for you cannot but think, that we, his relations, are
a little watchful over your conduct, and have our eyes upon you, to
observe what use you are likely to make of your power over your man,
with respect to your own relations.

Hitherto all is unexampled prudence, and you take the right method to
reconcile even the proudest of us to your marriage, and make us not
only love you, but respect your parents: for their honesty will, I
perceive, be their distinguishing character, and they will not forget
themselves, nor their former condition.

I can tell you, you are exactly right; for if you were to be an
_encroacher_, as the good old man calls it, my brother would be the
first to see it, and would gradually think less and less of you, till
possibly he might come to despise you, and to repent of his choice:
for the least shadow of an imposition, or low cunning, or mere
selfishness, he cannot bear.

In short, you are a charming girl; and Lady Betty says so too; and
moreover adds, that if he makes you not the best and _faithfullest_ of
husbands, he cannot deserve you, for all his fortune and birth. And in
my heart, I begin to think so too.

But won't you oblige me with the sequel of your letter to your father?
For, you promise, my dear charming scribbler, in that you sent me, to
write again to his letter; and I long to see how you answer the latter
part of it, about your relations desiring already to come and live
with him. I know what I _expect_ from you. But let it be what it will,
send it to me exactly as you wrote it; and I shall see whether I have
reason to praise or reprove you. For surely, Pamela, you must leave
one room to blame you for something. Indeed I can hardly bear the
thought, that you should so much excel as you do, and have more
prudence, by nature, as it were, than the best of us get in a course
of the genteelest educations and with fifty advantages, at least,
in conversation, that _you_ could not have, by reason of my mother's
retired life, while you were with her, and your close attendance on
her person.

But I'll tell you what has been a great improvement to you; it is your
own writings. This itch of scribbling has been a charming help. For
here, having a natural fund of good sense, and prudence above your
years, you have, with the observations these have enabled you to make,
been flint and steel too, as I may say, to yourself: so that you have
struck _fire_ when you pleased, wanting nothing but a few dry leaves,
like the first pair in old Du Bartas, to serve as tinder to catch your
animating sparks. So that reading constantly, and thus using yourself
to write, and enjoying besides a good memory, every thing you heard
and read became your own; and not only so, but was improved by passing
through more salubrious ducts and vehicles; like some fine fruit
grafted upon a common free-stock, whose more exuberant juices serve to
bring to quicker and greater perfection the downy peach, or the smooth
nectarine, with its crimson blush.

Really, Pamela, I believe, I, too, shall improve by writing to
you-Why, you dear saucy-face, at this rate, you'll make every one that
converses with you, better, and wiser, and _wittier_ too, as far as I
know, than they ever before thought there was _room_ for 'em to be.

As to my own part, I begin to like what I have written myself, I
think; and your correspondence may revive the poetical ideas that used
to fire my mind, before I entered into the drowsy married life; for my
good Lord Davers's turn happens not to be to books; and so by degrees
my imagination was in a manner quenched, and I, as a dutiful wife
should, endeavoured to form my taste by that of the man I
chose.--But, after all, Pamela, you are not to be a little proud of my
correspondence; and I could not have thought it ever would have come
to this; but you will observe, that I am the more free and unreserved,
to encourage _you_ to write without restraint: for already you have
made us a family of writers and readers; so that Lord Davers himself
is become enamoured of your letters, and desires of all things he
may hear read every one that passes between us. Nay, Jackey, for that
matter, who was the most thoughtless, whistling, sauntering fellow you
ever knew, and whose delight in a book ran no higher than a song or a
catch, now comes in with an enquiring face, and vows he'll set pen
to paper, and turn letter-writer himself; and intends (if my brother
won't take it amiss, he says) to begin to _you_, provided he could be
sure of an answer.

I have twenty things still to say; for you have unlocked all our
bosoms. And yet I intended not to write above ten or a dozen lines
when I began; only to tell you, that I would have you take your own
way, in your subjects, and in your style. And if you will but give me
hope, that you are in the way I so much wish to have you in, I will
then call myself your affectionate sister; but till then, it shall
only barely be _your correspondent_,

B. DAVERS. You'll proceed with the account of your Kentish affair, I
doubt not.



LETTER XIII

MY DEAR GOOD LADY,

What kind, what generous things are you pleased to say of your happy
correspondent! And what reason have I to value myself on such an
advantage as is now before me, if I am capable of improving it as I
ought, from a correspondence with so noble and so admired a lady!
To be praised by such a genius, and my honoured benefactor's worthy
sister, whose favour, next to his, it was always my chief ambition to
obtain, is what would be enough to fill with vanity a steadier and a
more equal mind than mine.

I have heard from my late honoured lady, what a fine pen her beloved
daughter was mistress of, when she pleased to take it up. But I never
could have presumed, but from your ladyship's own motion, to hope
to be in any manner the subject of it, much less to be called your
correspondent.

Indeed, Madam, I _am_ very proud of this honour, and consider it as
such a heightening to my pleasures, as only _that_ could give; and I
will set about obeying your ladyship without reserve.

But, first, permit me to disclaim any merit, from my own poor
writings, to that improvement which your goodness imputes to me. What
I have to boast, of that sort, is owing principally, if it deserves
commendation, to my late excellent lady.

It is hard to be imagined what pains her ladyship took with her poor
servant. Besides making me keep a book of her charities dispensed by
me, I always set down, in my way, the cases of the distressed, their
griefs from misfortunes, and their joys of her bountiful relief; and
so I entered early into the various turns that affected worthy hearts,
and was taught the better to regulate my own, especially by the help
of her fine observations, when I read what I wrote. For many a time
has her generous heart overflowed with pleasure at my remarks, and
with praises; and I was her good girl, her dear Pamela, her hopeful
maiden; and she would sometimes snatch my hand with transport, and
draw me to her, and vouchsafe to kiss me; and always was saying,
what she would do for me, if God spared her, and I continued to be
deserving.

O my dear lady! you cannot think what an encouragement this
condescending behaviour and goodness was to me. Madam, you
_cannot_ think it.

I used to throw myself at her feet, and embrace her knees; and, my
eyes streaming with tears of joy, would often cry, "O continue to me,
my dearest lady, the blessing of your favour, and kind instructions,
and it is all your happy Pamela can wish for."

But I will proceed to obey your ladyship, and write with as much
freedom as I possibly _can_: for you must not expect, that I can
entirely divest myself of that awe which will necessarily lay me under
a greater restraint, than if writing to my parents, whose partiality
for their daughter made me, in a manner, secure of their good
opinions.

To shorten the work before me, in the account I am to give of the
sweet fortnight that we passed in Kent, I enclose not only the copy of
the letter your ladyship requested, but my father's answer to it.

The letters I sent before, and those I now send, will afford several
particulars; such as a brief description of the house and farm, and
your honoured brother's intentions of retiring thither now-and-then;
of the happiness and gratitude of my dear parents, and their wishes to
be able to deserve the comfort his goodness has heaped upon them; and
that in stronger lights than I am able to set them; I will only, in a
summary manner, mention the rest; and, particularly, the behaviour of
my dear benefactor to me, and my parents. He seemed always to delight
in being particularly kind to them before strangers, and before the
tenants, and before Mr. Sorby, Mr. Bennet, and Mr. Shepherd, three of
the principal gentlemen in the neighbourhood, who, with their ladies,
came to visit us, and whose visits we _all_ returned; for your
dear brother would not permit my father and mother to decline the
invitation of those worthy families.

Every day we rode out, or walked a little about the grounds; and while
we were there, he employed hands to cut a vista through a coppice,
as they call it, or rather a little wood, to a rising ground, which,
fronting an old-fashioned balcony, in the middle of the house, he
ordered it to be planted like a grove, and a pretty alcove to be
erected on its summit, of which he has sent them a draught, drawn by
his own hand. This and a few other alterations, mentioned in my letter
to my father, are to be finished against we go down next.

The dear gentleman was every hour pressing me, while there, to take
one diversion or other, frequently upbraiding me, that I seemed not to
_choose_ any thing, urging me to propose sometimes what I could _wish_
he should oblige me in, and not always to leave it to him to choose
for me: saying, he was half afraid that my constant compliance with
every thing he proposed, laid me sometimes under a restraint: and he
would have me have a will of my own, since it was impossible, that it
could be such as he should not take a delight in conforming to it.

I will not trouble your ladyship with any further particulars relating
to this happy fortnight, which was made up all of white and unclouded
days, to the very last; and your ladyship will judge better than I can
describe, of the parting between my dear parents, and their honoured
benefactor and me.

We set out, attended with the good wishes of crowds of persons of all
degrees; for your dear brother left behind him noble instances of his
bounty; it being the _first_ time, as he bid Mr. Longman say, that he
had been down among them since that estate had been in his hands.

But permit me to observe, that I could not forbear often, very often,
in this happy period, to thank God in private, for the blessed terms
upon which I was there, to what I should have been, had I gracelessly
accepted of those which formerly were tendered to me; for your
ladyship will remember, that the Kentish estate was to be part of the
purchase of my infamy.

We returned through London, by the like easy journeys, but tarried
not to see any thing of that vast metropolis, any more than we did
in going through it before; your beloved brother only stopping at his
banker's, and desiring him to look out for a handsome house, which he
proposes to take for his winter residence. He chooses it to be about
the new buildings called Hanover Square; and he left Mr. Longman there
to see one, which his banker believed would be fit for him.

And thus, my dear lady, I have answered your first commands, by the
help of the letters which passed between my dear parents and me; and
conclude this with the assurance that I am, with high respect, _your
ladyship's most obliged and faithful servant_,

P.B.



LETTER XIV

MY DEAREST LADY,

I now set myself to obey your ladyship's second command, which is,
to give an account in what manner your dear brother broke to me the
affair of the unfortunate Miss Godfrey, with my behaviour upon it; and
this I cannot do better, than by transcribing scribing the relation I
gave at that time, in letters to my dear parents, which your ladyship
has not seen, in these very words.

[See Vol. I, p. 431, beginning "My dear Mr. B.," down to p. 441.]

Thus far, my dear lady, the relation I gave to my parents, at the time
of my being first acquainted with this melancholy affair.

It is a great pleasure to me, that I can already flatter myself, from
the hints you kindly gave me, that I behaved as you wished I should
behave. Indeed, Madam, I could not help it, for I pitied most
sincerely the unhappy lady; and though I could not but rejoice, that
I had had the grace to escape the dangerous attempts of the dear
intriguer, yet never did the story of any unfortunate lady make such
an impression upon me as hers did: she loved _him_, and believed, no
doubt, he loved _her_ too well to take ungenerous advantages of her
soft passion for him: and so, by degrees, put herself into his power;
and too seldom, alas I have the noblest-minded of the seducing sex the
mercy or the goodness to spare the poor creatures that do!

Then 'tis another misfortune of people in love; they always think
highly of the beloved object, and lowly of themselves, such a dismal
mortifier is love!

I say not this, Madam, to excuse the poor lady's fall; nothing can
do that; because virtue is, and ought to be, preferable to all
considerations, and to life itself. But, methinks, I love this dear
lady so well for the sake of her edifying penitence, that I would
fain extenuate her crime, if I could; and the rather, as in all
probability, it was a _first love_ on _both_ sides; and so he could
not appear to her as a _practised_ deceiver.

Your ladyship will see, by what I have transcribed, how I behaved
myself to the dear Miss Goodwin; and I am so fond of the little
charmer, as well for the sake of her unhappy mother, though personally
unknown to me, as for the relation she bears to the dear gentleman
whom I am bound to love and honour, that I must beg your ladyship's
interest to procure her to be given up to my care, when it shall be
thought proper. I am sure I shall act by her as tenderly as if I
was her own mother. And glad I am, that the poor unfaulty baby is so
justly beloved by Mr. B.

But I will here conclude this letter, with assuring your ladyship, and
I am _your obliged and humble servant,_

P.B.



LETTER XV

MY GOOD LADY,

I now come to your ladyship's remarks on my conduct to Mrs. Jewkes:
which you are pleased to think too kind and forgiving considering the
poor woman's baseness.

Your ladyship says, that I ought not to have borne her in my sight,
after the impudent assistance she gave to his lewd attempts; much less
to have left her in her place, and rewarded her. Alas! my dear lady,
what could I do? a poor prisoner as I was made, for weeks together, in
breach of all the laws of civil society; without a soul who durst be
my friend; and every day expecting to be ruined and undone, by one of
the haughtiest and most determined spirits in the world!--and when it
pleased God to turn his heart, and incline him to abandon his wicked
attempts, and to profess honourable love to me, his poor servant, can
it be thought I was to insist upon conditions with such a gentleman,
who had me in his power; and who, if I had provoked him, might have
resumed all his wicked purposes against me?

Indeed, I was too much overjoyed, after all my dangers past (which
were so great, that I could not go to rest, nor rise, but with such
apprehensions, that I wished for death rather than life), to think of
refusing any terms that I could yield to, and keep my honour.

And though such noble ladies, as your ladyship and Lady Betty, who are
born to independency, and are hereditarily, as I may say, on a foot
with the highest-descended gentleman in the land, might have exerted
a spirit, and would have a right to choose your own servants, and to
distribute rewards and punishments to the deserving and undeserving,
at your own good pleasure; yet what had I, a poor girl, who owed even
my title to common notice, to the bounty of my late good lady, and had
only a kind of imputed sightliness of person, though enough to make
me the subject of vile attempts; who, from a situation of terror and
apprehension, was lifted up to an hope, beyond my highest ambition,
and was bid to pardon the bad woman, as an instance, that I could
forgive his own hard usage of me; who had experienced so often the
violence and impetuosity of his temper, which even his beloved mother
never ventured to oppose till it began to subside, and then, indeed,
he was all goodness and acknowledgment; of which I could give your
ladyship more than one instance.

What, I say, had I to do, to take upon me lady-airs, and to resent?
But, my dear ladies (let me, in this instance, bespeak the attention
of you both), I should be inexcusable, if I did not tell you all the
truth; and that is, that I not only forgave the poor wretch, in regard
to _his commands_, but from _my own inclination_ also. If I am wrong
in saying this, I must submit it to your ladyships; and, as I pretend
not to perfection, am ready to take the blame I deserve in your
ladyships' judgments: but indeed, were it to be again, I verily think,
I could not help forgiving her.--And were I not able to say this, I
should be thought to have made a mean court to my master's passions,
and to have done a wrong thing with my eyes open: which I humbly
conceive, no one should do.

When full power was given me over this poor creature (seemingly at
least, though it might possibly have been resumed, and I might have
been re-committed to hers, had I given him reason to think I made an
arrogant use of it), you cannot imagine what a triumph I had in my
mind over the mortified guilt, which (from the highest degree of
insolence and imperiousness, that before had hardened her masculine
features) appeared in her countenance, when she found the tables
likely to be soon turned upon her.

This change of behaviour, which at first discovered itself in a sullen
awe, and afterwards in a kind of silent respect, shewed me, what an
influence power had over her: and that when she could treat her late
prisoner, when taken into favour, so obsequiously, it was the less
wonder the bad woman could think it her duty to obey commands so
unjust, when her obedience to them was required from her master.

To be sure, if a look could have killed her, after some of her bad
treatment, she had been slain over and over, as I may say: but to
me, who was always taught to distinguish between the person and
the action, I could not hold my resentment against the poor passive
machine of mischief one day together, though her actions were so
odious to me.

I should indeed except that time of my grand trial when she appeared
so much a wretch to me, that I saw her not (even after two days that
she was kept from me) without great flutter and emotion of heart: and
I had represented to your brother before, how hard a condition it was
for me to forgive so much unwomanly wickedness.

But, my dear ladies, when I considered the latter in _one_ particular
light, I could the more easily forgive her; and _having_ forgiven
her, _bear her in my sight_, and act by her (as a consequence of that
forgiveness) as if she had not so horridly offended. Else how would it
have been forgiveness? especially as she was ashamed of her crime, and
there was no fear of her repeating it.

Thus then I thought on the occasion: "Poor wretched agent, for
purposes little less than infernal! I _will_ forgive thee, since _thy_
master and _my_ master will have it so. And indeed thou art beneath
the resentment even of such a poor girl as I. I will _pity_ thee,
base and abject as thou art. And she who is the object of my _pity_ is
surely beneath my _anger_."

Such were then my thoughts, my proud thoughts, so far was I from
being guilty of _intentional_ meanness in forgiving, at Mr. B.'s
interposition, the poor, low, creeping, abject _self_-mortified, and
_master_-mortified, Mrs. Jewkes.

And do you think, ladies, when you revolve in your thoughts, _who_ I
was, and _what_ I was, and what I had been _designed_ for; when you
revolve the amazing turn in my favour, and the prospects before me (so
much above my hopes, that I left them entirely to Providence to direct
for me, as it pleased, without daring to look forward to what those
prospects seemed naturally to tend); when I could see my haughty
persecutor become my repentant protector; the lofty spirit that used
to make me tremble, and to which I never could look up without awe,
except in those animating cases, where his guilty attempts, and the
concern I had to preserve my innocence, gave a courage more than
natural to my otherwise dastardly heart: when this impetuous spirit
could stoop to request one whom he had sunk beneath even her usual low
character of his servant, who was his prisoner, under sentence of a
ruin worse than death, as he had intended it, and had seized her for
that very purpose, could stoop to acknowledge the vileness of that
purpose; could say, at one time, that my forgiveness of Mrs. Jewkes
should stand me in greater stead than I was aware of: could tell her,
before me, that she must for the future shew me all the respect due
to one he must love; at another, acknowledged before her, that he
had been stark naught, and that I was very forgiving; again, to Mrs.
Jewkes, putting himself on a level with her, as to guilt, "We are
both in generous hands: and, indeed, if Pamela did not pardon _you_,
I should think she but half forgave _me_, because you acted by my
instructions:" another time to the same, "We have been both sinners,
and must be both included in one act of grace:"--when I was thus
lifted up to the state of a sovereign forgiver, and my lordly master
became a petitioner for himself, and the guilty creature, whom he put
under my feet; what a triumph was here for the poor Pamela? and could
I have been guilty of so mean a pride, as to trample upon the poor
abject creature, when I found her thus lowly, thus mortified, and
wholly in my power?

Then, my dear ladies, while I was enjoying the soul-charming fruits of
that innocence which the Divine Grace had enabled me to preserve, in
spite of so many plots and contrivances on my master's side, and such
wicked instigations and assistances on hers, and all my prospects were
improving upon me beyond my wishes; when all was unclouded sunshine,
and I possessed my mind in peace, and had only to be thankful to
Providence, which had been so gracious to my unworthiness; when I saw
my persecutor become my protector, my active enemy no longer my enemy,
but creeping with slow, doubtful feet, and speaking to me with awful
hesitating doubt of my acceptance; a stamp of an insolent foot
now turned into curtseying half-bent knees; threatening hands into
supplicating folds; and the eye unpitying to innocence, running
over with the sense of her own guilt; a faltering accent on her late
menacing tongue, and uplifted handkerchief, "I see she will be my
lady: and then I know how it will go with me!"--Was not this, my
ladies, a triumph of triumphs to the late miserable, now exalted,
Pamela!--could I do less than pardon her? And having declared that I
did so, was I not to shew the sincerity of my declaration?

Would it not have shewn my master, that the low-born Pamela was
incapable of a generous action, had she refused the only request her
humble condition had given her the opportunity of granting, at that
time, with innocence? Would he not have thought the humble cottager
as capable of insolence, and vengeance too, in her turn, as the better
born? and that she wanted but the power, to shew the like unrelenting
temper, by which she had so grievously suffered? And might not this
have given him room to think me (and to have resumed and prosecuted
his purposes accordingly) fitter for an arrogant kept mistress, than
an humble and obliged wife!

"I see" (might he not have said?), "the girl has strong passions and
resentments; and she that has, will be sometimes _governed_ by them.
I will improve upon the hint she herself has now given me, by her
inexorable temper: I will gratify her revenge, till I turn it upon
herself: I will indulge her pride, till I make it administer to
her fall; for a wife I cannot think of in the low-born cottager,
especially when she has lurking in her all the pride and arrogance"
(you know, my ladies, his haughty way of speaking of our sex) "of
the better descended. And by a little perseverance, and watching her
unguarded hours, and applying temptations to her passions, I shall
first discover them, and then make my advantage of them."

Might not this have been the language, and this the resolution, of
such a dear wicked intriguer?--For, my lady, you can hardly conceive
the struggles he apparently had to bring down his high spirit to so
humble a level. And though, I hope, all would have been, even in this
_worst_ case, ineffectual, through Divine Grace, yet how do I know
what lurking vileness might have appeared by degrees in this frail
heart, to encourage his designs, and to augment my trials and my
dangers? And perhaps downright violence might have been used, if he
could not, on one hand, have subdued his passions, nor, on the other,
have overcome his pride--a pride, that every one, reflecting upon the
disparity of birth and condition between us, would have dignified with
the name of _decency_; a pride that was become such an essential part
of the dear gentleman's character, in this instance of a wife, that
although he knew he could not keep it up, if he made _me_ happy, yet
it was no small motive of his choosing me, in one respect, because he
expected from me more humility, more submission, than he thought would
be paid him by a lady equally born and educated; and of this I will
send you an instance, in a transcription from that part of my
journal you have not seen, of his lessons to me, on my incurring
his displeasure by interposing between yourself and him in your
misunderstanding at the Hall: for, Madam, I intend to send, at times,
any thing I think worthy of your ladyship's attention, out of those
papers you were so kind as to excuse me from sending you in a lump,
and many of which must needs have appeared very impertinent to such
judges.

Thus (could your ladyship have thought it?) have I ventured upon a
strange paradox, that even this strongest instance of his debasing
himself, is not the weakest of his pride: and he ventured once at Sir
Simon Darnford's to say, in your hearing, as you may remember, that,
in his conscience, he thought he should hardly have made a tolerable
husband to any body but Pamela: and why? For the reasons you will
see in the inclosed papers, which give an account of the noblest and
earliest curtain-lecture that ever girl had: one of which is, that he
expects to be _borne_ with (_complied_ with, he meant) even when in
the wrong: another, that a wife should never so much as expostulate
with him, though he was in the wrong, till, by complying with all
he insisted upon, she should have shewn him, she designed rather to
convince him, for his _own_ sake, than for _contradiction's_ sake; and
then, another time, perhaps he might take better resolutions.

I hope, from what I have said, it will appear to your lady-ship,
and to Lady Betty too, that I am justified, or at least excused, in
pardoning Mrs. Jewkes.

But your dear brother has just sent me word, that supper waits for me:
and the post being ready to go off, I defer till the next opportunity
which I have to say as to these good effects: and am, in the mean
time, _your ladyship's most obliged and faithful servant_,

P.B.



LETTER XVI

MY DEAR LADY,

I will now acquaint you with the good effects my behaviour to Mrs.
Jewkes has had upon her, as a farther justification of my conduct
towards the poor woman.

That she began to be affected as I wished, appeared to me before I
left the Hall, not only in the conversations I had with her after
my happiness was completed; but in her general demeanour also to the
servants, to the neighbours, and in her devout behaviour at church:
and this still further appears by a letter I have received from Miss
Darnford. I dare say your ladyship will be pleased with the perusal
of the whole letter, although a part of it would answer my present
design; and in confidence, that you will excuse, for the sake of its
other beauties, the high and undeserved praises which she so lavishly
bestows upon me, I will transcribe it all.

_From Miss Darnford to Mrs. B._

"MY DEAR NEIGHBOUR THAT WAS,

"I must depend upon your known goodness to excuse me for not writing
before now, in answer to your letter of compliment to us, for the
civilities and favours, as you call them, which you received from us
in Lincolnshire, where we were infinitely more obliged to you than you
to us.

"The truth is, my papa has been much disordered with a kind of
rambling rheumatism, to which the physicians, learnedly speaking, give
the name of _arthritici vaga_, or the flying gout; and when he ails
ever so little (it signifies nothing concealing his infirmities, where
they are so well known, and when he cares not who knows them), he is
so peevish, and wants so much attendance, that my mamma, and her two
girls (one of which is as waspish as her papa; you may be sure I don't
mean myself) have much ado to make his worship keep the peace; and I
being his favourite, when he is indisposed, having most patience, if I
may give myself a good word, he calls upon me continually, to read to
him when he is grave, which is not often, and to tell him stories,
and sing to him when he is merry; and so I have been employed as a
principal person about him, till I have frequently become sad to make
him cheerful, and happy when I could do it at any rate. For once, in
a pet, he flung a book at my head, because I had not attended him for
two hours, and he could not bear to be slighted by little bastards,
that was his word, that were fathered upon him for his vexation! O
these men! Fathers or husbands, much alike! the one tyrannical, the
other insolent: so that, between one and t'other, a poor girl has
nothing for it, but a few weeks' courtship, and perhaps a first
month's bridalry, if that: and then she is as much a slave to her
husband, as she was a vassal to her father--I mean if the father be a
Sir Simon Darnford, and the spouse a Mr. B.

"But I will be a little more grave; for a graver occasion calls for
it, yet such as will give you real pleasure. It is the very great
change that your example has had upon your housekeeper.

"You desired her to keep up as much regularity as she could among the
servants there; and she is next to exemplary in it, so that she has
every one's good word. She speaks of her lady not only with respect,
but reverence; and calls it a blessed day for all the family, and
particularly for herself, that you came into Lincolnshire. She reads
prayers, or makes one of the servants read them, every Sunday night;
and never misses being at church, morning and afternoon; and is
preparing herself, by Mr. Peters's advice and direction, for receiving
the sacrament; which she earnestly longs to receive, and says it will
be the seal of her reformation.

"Mr. Peters gives us this account of her, and says she is full of
contrition for her past mis-spent life, and is often asking him, if
such and such sins can be forgiven? and among them, names her vile
behaviour to her angel lady, as she calls you.

"It seems she has written a letter to you, which passed Mr. Peters's
revisal, before she had the courage to send it; and prides herself
that you have favoured her with an answer to it, which, she says, when
she is dead, will be found in a cover of black silk next her heart;
for any thing from your hand, she is sure, will contribute to make her
keep her good purposes: and for that reason she places it there; and
when she has had any bad thoughts, or is guilty of any faulty word,
or passionate expression, she recollects her lady's letter, which
recovers her to a calm, and puts her again into a better frame.

"As she has written to you 'tis possible I might have spared you
the trouble of reading this account of her; but yet you will not
be displeased, that so free a liver and speaker should have some
testimonial besides her own assurances, to vouch for the sincerity of
her reformation.

"What a happy lady are you, that persuasion dwells upon your tongue,
and reformation follows your example!"

Your ladyship will forgive me what may appear like vanity in this
communication. Miss Darnford is a charming young lady. I always
admired her; but her letters are the sweetest, kindest!--Yet I am too
much the subject of her encomiums, and so will say no more; but add
here a copy of the poor woman's letter to me; and your ladyship will
see what an ample correspondence you have opened to yourself, if you
go on to countenance it.

"HONOURED MADAM,

"I have been long labouring under two difficulties; the desire I had
to write to you, and the fear of being thought presumptuous if I did.
But I will depend on your goodness, so often tried; and put pen to
paper, in that very closet, and on that desk, which once were so much
used by yourself, when I was acting a part that now cuts me to the
heart to think of. But you forgave me. Madam, and shewed me you
had too much goodness to revoke your forgiveness; and could I have
silenced the reproaches of my heart, I should have had no cause to
think I had offended.

"But, Oh I Madam, how has your goodness to me, which once filled me
with so much gladness, now, on reflection, made me sorrowful, and at
times, miserable.--To think I should act so barbarously as I did,
by so much sweetness, and so much forgiveness. Every place that I
remember to have used you hardly in, how does it now fill me with
sadness, and makes me often smite my breast, and sit down with tears
and groans, bemoaning my vile actions, and my hard heart!--How many
places are there in this melancholy fine house, that call one thing or
other to my remembrance, that give me remorse! But the pond, and the
woodhouse, whence I dragged you so mercilously, after I had driven you
to despair almost, what thoughts do they bring to my remembrance! Then
my wicked instigations.--What an odious wretch was I!

"Had his honour been as abandoned as myself, what virtue had been
destroyed between _his_ orders and _my_ too rigorous execution of
them; nay, stretching them to shew my wicked zeal, to serve a master,
whom, though I honoured, I should not (as you more than once hinted to
me, but with no effect at all, so resolutely wicked was my heart) have
so well obeyed in his unlawful commands!

"His honour has made you amends, has done justice to your merits, and
so atoned for _his_ fault. But as for _me_, it is out of my power ever
to make reparation.--All that is left me, is, to let your ladyship
see, that your pious example has made such an impression upon me, that
I am miserable now in the reflection upon my past guilt.

"_You_ have forgiven me, and _GOD_ will, I hope; for the creature
cannot be more merciful than the Creator; that is all my hope!--Yet,
sometimes, I dread that I am forgiven here, at least not punished, in
order to be punished the more hereafter!--What then will become of
the unhappy wretch, that has thus lived in a state of sin, and so
qualified herself by a course of wickedness, as to be thought a proper
instrument for the worst of purposes!

"Pray your ladyship, let not my honoured master see this letter. He
will think I have the boldness to reflect upon him: when, God knows my
heart, I only write to condemn myself, and my _unwomanly_ actions, as
you were pleased often most justly to call them.

"But I might go on thus for ever accusing myself, not considering whom
I am writing to, and whose precious time I am taking up. But what I
chiefly write for is, to beg your ladyship's prayers for me. For, oh!
Madam, I fear I shall else be ever miserable! We every week hear
of the good you do, and the charity you extend to the bodies of the
miserable. Extend, I beseech you, good Madam, to the unhappy Jewkes,
the mercy of your prayers, and tell me if you think I have not sinned
beyond hope of pardon; for there is a woe denounced against the
presumptuous sinner.

"Your ladyship assured me, at your departure, on the confession of my
remorse for my misdoings, and my promise of amendment, that you would
take it for proof of my being in earnest, if I would endeavour to keep
up a regularity among the servants here; if I would subdue them with
kindness, as I had owned myself subdued; and if I would endeavour to
make every one think, that the best security they could give of doing
their duty to their master in his _absence_, was by doing it to
God Almighty, from whose all-seeing eye nothing can be hid. This, I
remember, your ladyship told me, was the best test of fidelity and
duty, that any servants could shew; since it was impossible, without
religion, but that worldly convenience, or self-interest, must be the
main tie; and so the worst actions might succeed, if servants thought
they should find their sordid advantage in sacrificing their duty.

"So well am I convinced of this truth, that I hope I have begun the
example to good effect: and as no one in the family was so wicked as
I, it was therefore less difficult to reform them; and you will have
the pleasure to know, that you have now servants here, whom you need
not be ashamed to call yours.

"'Tis true, I found it a little difficult at first to keep them within
sight of their duty, after your ladyship departed: but when they saw I
was in earnest, and used them courteously, as you advised, and as your
usage of me convinced me was the rightest usage; when they were told
I had your commands to acquaint you how they conformed to your
injunctions; the task became easy: and I hope we shall all be still
more and more worthy of the favour of so good a lady and so bountiful
a master.

"I dare not presume upon the honour of a line to your unworthy
servant. Yet it would pride me much, if I could have it. But I shall
ever pray for your ladyship's and his honour's felicity, as becomes
_your undeserving servant_,

"K. JEWKES."

I have already, with these transcribed letters of Miss Darnford and
Mrs. Jewkes, written a great deal: but nevertheless, as there yet
remains one passage in your ladyship's letter, relating to Mrs.
Jewkes, that seems to require an answer, I will take notice of it, if
I shall not quite tire your patience.

That passage is this; Lady Betty rightly observes, says your ladyship,
that he knew what a vile woman she [Mrs. Jewkes] was, when he put you
into her power; and no doubt, employed her, because he was sure she
would answer all his purposes: and therefore she should have had very
little opinion of the sincerity of his reformation, while he was so
solicitous in keeping her there.

She would, she says, had she been in your case, have had one struggle
for her dismission, let it have been taken as it would; and he that
was so well pleased with your virtue, must have thought this a natural
consequence of it, if in earnest to become virtuous himself.

But, alas! Madam, he was not so well pleased with my virtue for
virtue's sake, as Lady Betty thinks he was.--He would have been glad,
even then, to have found me less resolved on that score. He did not so
much as _pretend_ to any disposition to virtue. No, not he!

He had entertained, as it proved, a strong passion for me, which had
been heightened by my _resisting_ it. His pride, and his advantages
both of person and fortune, would not let him brook control; and when
he could not have me upon his own terms, God turned his evil purposes
to good ones; and he resolved to submit to mine, or rather to such as
he found I would not yield to him without.

But Lady Betty thinks, I was to blame to put Mrs. Jewkes upon a foot,
in the present I made on my nuptials, with Mrs. Jervis. But I rather
put Mrs. Jervis on a foot with Mrs. Jewkes; for the dear gentleman had
_named_ the sum for me to give Mrs. Jewkes, and I would not give Mrs.
Jervis _less_, because I loved her better; nor _more_ could I give
her, on that occasion, without making such a difference between two
persons equal in station, on a solemnity too where one was present and
assisting, the other not, as would have shewn such a partiality, as
might have induced their master to conclude, I was not so sincere in
my forgiveness, as he hoped from me, and as I really was.

But a stronger reason still was behind; that I could, much more
agreeably, both to Mrs. Jervis and myself, shew my love and gratitude
to the dear good woman: and this I have taken care to do, in the
manner I will submit to your ladyship; at the tribunal of whose
judgment I am willing all my actions, respecting your dear brother,
shall be tried. And I hope you will not have reason to think me a
too profuse or lavish creature; yet, if you have, pray, my dear lady,
don't spare me; for if you shall judge me profuse in one article, I
will endeavour to save it in another.

But I will make what I have to say on this head the subject of a
letter by itself: and am, mean time, _your ladyship's most obliged and
obedient servant_,

P.B.



LETTER XVII

MY DEAR LADY,

It is needful, in order to let you more intelligibly into the subject
where I left off in my last, for your ladyship to know that your
generous brother has made me his almoner, as I was my late dear
lady's; and ordered Mr. Longman to pay me fifty pounds quarterly, for
purposes of which he requires no account, though I have one always
ready to produce.

Now, Madam, as I knew Mrs. Jervis was far from being easy in her
circumstances, thinking herself obliged to pay old debts for two
extravagant children, who are both dead, and maintaining in schooling
and clothes three of their children, which always keeps her bare, I
said to her one day, as she and I sat together, at our needles (for
we are always running over old stories, when alone)--"My good Mrs.
Jervis, will you allow me to ask you after your own private affairs,
and if you are tolerably, easy in them?"

"You are very good, Madam," said she, "to concern yourself about my
poor matters, so much as your thoughts are employed, and every moment
of your time is taken up, from the hour you rise, to the time of your
rest. But I can with great pleasure attribute it to your bounty, and
that of my honoured master, that I am easier and easier every day."

"But tell me, my dear Mrs. Jervis," said I, "how your matters
_particularly_ stand. I love to mingle concerns with my friends,
and as I hide nothing from _you_, I hope you'll treat me with equal
freedom; for I always loved you, and always will; and nothing but
death shall divide our friendship."

She had tears of gratitude in her eyes, and taking off her spectacles,
"I cannot bear," she said, "so much goodness!--Oh! my lady!"

"Oh! my Pamela, say," replied I. "How often must I chide you for
calling me any thing but your Pamela, when we are alone together?"

"My heart," said she, "will burst with your goodness! I cannot bear
it!"

"But you _must_ bear it, and bear still greater exercises to your
grateful heart, I can tell you that. A pretty thing, truly! Here I, a
poor helpless girl, raised from poverty and distress by the generosity
of the best of men, only because I was young and sightly, shall put
on lady-airs to a gentlewoman born, the wisdom of whose years, her
faithful services, and good management, make her a much greater merit
in this family, than I can pretend to have! And shall I return, in
the day of my power, insult and haughtiness for the kindness and
benevolence I received from her in that of my indigence!--Indeed,
I won't forgive you, my dear Mrs. Jervis, if I think you capable of
looking upon me in any other light than as your daughter; for you have
been a mother to me, when the absence of my own could not afford me
the comfort and good counsel I received every day from you."

Then moving my chair nearer, and taking her hand, and wiping, with my
handkerchief in my other, her reverend cheek, "Come, my dear second
mother," said I, "call me your daughter, your Pamela: I have passed
many sweet hours with you under that name; and as I have but too
seldom such an opportunity as this, open to me your worthy heart, and
let me know, if I cannot make my _second_ mother as easy and happy as
our dear master has made my _first_."

She hung her head, and I waited till the discharge of her tears gave
time for utterance to her words; provoking only her speech, by saying,
"You used to have three grand-children to provide for in clothes and
schooling. They are all living, I hope?"

"Yes, Madam, they are living: and your last bounty (twenty guineas was
a great sum, and all at once!) made me very easy and very happy!"

"How easy and how happy, Mrs. Jervis?"

"Why, my dear lady, I paid five to one old creditor of my unhappy
sons; five to a second; and two and a half to two others, in
proportion to their respective demands; and with the other five I paid
off all arrears of the poor children's schooling and maintenance;
and all are satisfied and easy, and declare they will never do harsh
things by me, if they are paid no more."

"But tell me, Mrs. Jervis, the whole you owe in the world; and you and
I will contrive, with justice to our best friend, to do all we can to
make you quite easy; for, at your time of life, I cannot bear that you
shall have any thing to disturb you, which I can remove, and so, my
dear Mrs. Jervis, let me know all. I know your debts (dear, just,
good woman, as you are!) like David's sins, are ever before you:
so come," putting my hand in her pocket, "let me be a friendly
pick-pocket; let me take out your memorandum-book, and we will see how
all matters stand, and what can be done. Come, I see you are too much
moved; your worthy heart is too much affected" (pulling out her book,
which she always had about her); "I will go to my closet, and return
presently."

So I left her, to recover her spirits, and retired with the good
woman's book to my closet.

Your dear brother stepping into the parlour just after I had gone out,
"Where's your lady, Mrs. Jervis?" said he. And being told, came up to
me:--"What ails the good woman below, my dear?" said he: "I hope you
and she have had no words?"

"No, indeed, Sir," answered I. "If we had, I am sure it would have
been my fault: but I have picked her pocket of her memorandum-book,
in order to look into her private affairs, to see if I cannot, with
justice to our common benefactor, make her as easy as you. Sir, have
made my other dear parents."

"A blessing," said he, "upon my charmer's benevolent heart!--I will
leave every thing to your discretion, my dear.--Do all the good you
prudently can to your Mrs. Jervis."

I clasped my bold arms about him, the starting tear testifying my
gratitude.--"Dearest Sir," said I, "you affect me as much as I did
Mrs. Jervis; and if any one but you had a right to ask, what ails your
Pamela? as you do, what ails Mrs. Jervis? I must say, I am hourly
so much oppressed by your goodness, that there is hardly any bearing
one's own joy."

He saluted me, and said, I was a dear obliging creature. "But," said
he, "I came to tell you, that after dinner we'll take a turn, if you
please, to Lady Arthur's: she has a family of London friends for her
guests, and begs I will prevail upon you to give her your company, and
attend you myself, only to drink tea with her; for I have told her we
are to have friends to sup with us."

"I will attend you, Sir," replied I, "most willingly; although I doubt
I am to be made a shew of."

"Something like it," said he, "for she has promised them this favour."

"I need not dress otherwise than I am?"

"No," he was pleased to say, I was always what he wished me to be.

So he left me to my _good works_ (those were his kind words) and I
ran over Mrs. Jervis's accounts, and found a balance drawn of all her
matters in one leaf, and a thankful acknowledgment to God, for her
master's last bounty, which had enabled her to give satisfaction to
others, and to do herself great pleasure, written underneath.

The balance of all was thirty-five pounds eleven shillings and odd
pence; and I went to my escritoir, and took out forty pounds, and down
I hasted to my good Mrs. Jervis, and I said to her, "Here, my dear
good friend, is your pocket-book; but are thirty-five or thirty-six
pounds all you owe, or are bound for in the world?"

"It is, Madam," said she, "and enough too. It is a great sum; but 'tis
in four hands, and they are all in pretty good circumstances, and so
convinced of my honesty, that they will never trouble me for it; for
I have reduced the debt every year something, since I have been in my
master's service."

"Nor shall it ever be in any body's _power_," said I, "to trouble you:
I'll tell you how we'll order it."

So I sat down, and made her sit by me. "Here, my dear Mrs. Jervis, is
forty pounds. It is not so much to me now, as the two guineas were to
you, that you would have given me at my going away from this house to
my father's, as I thought. I will not _give_ it you neither, at least
at _present_, as you shall hear: indeed I won't make you so uneasy as
that comes to. But take this, and pay the thirty-five pounds odd money
to the utmost farthing; and the remaining four pounds odd will be a
little fund in advance towards the children's schooling. And thus
you shall repay it; I always designed, as our dear master added five
guineas per annum to your salary, in acknowledgement of the pleasure
he took in your services, when I was Pamela Andrews, to add five
pounds per annum to it from the time I became Mrs. B. But from that
time, for so many years to come, you shall receive no more than you
did, till the whole forty pounds be repaid. So, my dear Mrs. Jervis,
you won't have any obligation to me, you know, but for the advance;
and that is a poor matter, not to be spoken of: and I will have leave
for it, for fear I should die."

Had your ladyship seen the dear good woman's behaviour, on this
occasion, you would never have forgotten it. She could not speak;
tears ran down her cheeks in plentiful currents: her modest hand put
gently from her my offering hand, her bosom heav'd, and she sobb'd
with the painful tumult that seemed to struggle within her, and which,
for some few moments, made her incapable of speaking.

At last, I rising, and putting my arm round her neck, wiping her eyes,
and kissing her cheek, she cried, "My excellent lady! 'tis too much!
I cannot bear all this."--She then threw herself at my feet; for I
was not strong enough to hinder it; and with uplifted hands--"May God
Almighty," said she--I kneeled by her, and clasping her hands in mine,
both uplifted together--"May God Almighty," said I, drowning her voice
with my louder voice, "bless us both together, for many happy years!
And bless and reward the dear gentleman, who has thus enabled me to
make _the widow's heart to sing for joy!_"

And thus, my lady, did I force upon the good woman's acceptance the
forty pounds.

Permit me, Madam, to close this letter here, and to resume the subject
in my next: till when I have the honour to be _your ladyship's most
obliged and faithful servant_,

P.B.



LETTER XVIII

MY DEAR LADY,

I now resume my last subject where I left off, that your ladyship may
have the whole before you at one view.

I went after dinner, with my dear benefactor, to Lady Arthur's; and
met with fresh calls upon me for humility, having the two natural
effects of the praises and professed admiration of that lady's guests,
as well as my dear Mr. B.'s, and those of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur, to
guard myself against: and your good brother was pleased to entertain
me in the chariot, going and coming, with an account of the orders he
had given in relation to the London house, which is actually
taken, and the furniture he should direct for it; so that I had no
opportunity to tell him what I had done in relation to Mrs. Jervis.

But after supper, retiring from company to my closet, when his friends
were gone, he came up to me about our usual bedtime: he enquired
kindly after my employment, which was trying to read in the French
Telemachus: for, my lady, I'm learning French, I'll assure you! And
who, do you think, is my master?--Why, the best I _could_ have in the
world, your dearest brother, who is pleased to say, I am no dunce: how
inexcusable should I be, if I was, with such a master, who teaches me
on his knee, and rewards me with a kiss whenever I do well, and says,
I have already nearly mastered the accent and pronunciation, which he
tells me is a great difficulty got over.

I requested him to render for me into English two or three places that
were beyond my reach; and when he had done it, he asked me, in French,
what I had done for Mrs. Jervis.

I said, "Permit me, Sir (for I am not proficient enough to answer
you in my new tongue), in English, to say, I have made the good woman
quite happy; and if I have your approbation, I shall be as much so
myself in this instance, as I am in all others."

"I dare answer for your prudence, my dear," he was pleased to say:
"but this is your favourite: let me know, when you have so bountiful a
heart to strangers, what you do for your favourites?"

I then said, "Permit my bold eye, Sir, to watch yours, as I obey you;
and you know you must not look full upon me then; for if you do, how
shall I look at you again; how see, as I proceed, whether you are
displeased? for you will not chide me in words, so partial have you
the goodness to be to all I do."

He put his arm round me, and looked down now and then, as I desired!
for O! Madam, he is all condescension and goodness to his unworthy,
yet grateful Pamela! I told him all I have written to you about the
forty pounds.--"And now, dear Sir," said I, half hiding my face on his
shoulder, "you have heard what I have done, chide or beat your Pamela,
if you please: it shall be all kind from you, and matter of future
direction and caution."

He raised my head, and kissed me two or three times, saying, "Thus
then I chide, I beat, my angel!--And yet I have one fault to find with
you, and let Mrs. Jervis, if not in bed, come up to us, and hear what
it is; for I will _expose_ you, as you deserve before her."--My Polly
being in hearing, attending to know if I wanted her assistance to
undress, I bade her call Mrs. Jervis. And though I thought from his
kind looks, and kind words, as well as tender behaviour, that I had
not much to fear, yet I was impatient to know what my fault was, for
which I was to be exposed.

The good woman came; and as she entered with all that modesty which
is so graceful in her, he moved his chair further from me, and, with
a set aspect, but not unpleasant, said, "Step in, Mrs. Jervis: your
lady" (for so, Madam, he will always call me to Mrs. Jervis, and to
the servants) "has incurred my censure, and I would not tell her in
what, till I had you face to face."

She looked surprised--now on me, now on her dear master; and I, not
knowing what he would say, looked a little attentive. "I am sorry--I
am very sorry for it, Sir," said she, curtseying low:--"but should be
more sorry, if _I_ were the unhappy occasion."

"Why, Mrs. Jervis, I can't say but it is on your account that I must
blame her."

This gave us both confusion, but especially the good woman; for still
I hoped much from his kind behaviour to me just before--and she said,
"Indeed, Sir, I could never deserve----"

He interrupted her--"My charge against you, Pamela," said he, "is that
of niggardliness, and no other; for I will put you both out of your
pain: you ought not to have found out the method of repayment.

"The dear creature," said he, to Mrs. Jervis, "seldom does any thing
that can be mended; but, I think, when your good conduct deserved an
annual acknowledgment from me, in addition to your salary, the lady
should have shewed herself no less pleased with your service than the
gentleman. Had it been for old acquaintance-sake, for sex-sake, she
should not have given me cause to upbraid her on this head. But I will
tell you, that you must look upon the forty pounds you have, as the
effect of just distinction on many accounts: and your salary from last
quarter-day shall be advanced, as the dear niggard intended it some
years hence; and let me only add, that when my Pamela first begins
to shew a coldness to her Mrs. Jervis, I shall then suspect she is
beginning to decline in that humble virtue, which is now peculiar to
herself and makes her the delight of all who converse with her."

He was thus pleased to say: thus, with the most graceful generosity,
and a nobleness of mind _truly_ peculiar to himself, was he pleased
to _act_: and what could Mrs. Jervis or I say to him?--Why, indeed,
nothing at all!--We could only look upon one another, with our eyes
and our hearts full of a gratitude that would not permit either of
us to speak, but which expressed itself at last in a manner he was
pleased to call more elegant than words--with uplifted folded hands,
and tears of joy.

O my dear lady! how many opportunities have the beneficent _rich_ to
make _themselves_, as well as their _fellow-creatures_, happy! All
that I could think, or say, or act, was but my duty before; what a
sense of obligation then must I lie under to this most generous of
men!

But here let me put an end to this tedious subject; the principal
part of which can have no excuse, if it may not serve as a proof of
my cheerful compliance with your ladyship's commands, that I recite
_every_ thing of concern to me, and with the same freedom as I used to
do to my dear parents.

I have done it, and at the same time offered what I had to plead in
behalf of my conduct to the two housekeepers, which you expected from
me; and I shall therefore close this my humble defence, if I may so
call it, with the assurance that I am, _my dearest lady, your obliged
and faithful servant_,

P.B.



LETTER XIX

_From Lady Davers to Mrs. B. in answer to the six last Letters._

"_Where she had it, I can't tell I but I think I never met with
the fellow of her in my life, at any age_;" are, as I remember, my
brother's words, speaking of his Pamela in the early part of your
papers. In truth, thou art a surprising creature; and every letter we
have from you, we have new subjects to admire you for.--"Do you think,
Lady Betty," said I, when I had read to the end of the subject about
Mrs. Jervis, "I will not soon set out to hit this charming girl a box
of the ear or two?"--"For what, Lady Davers?" said she.

"For what!" replied I.--"Why, don't you see how many slaps of the face
the bold slut hits me! _I'll_ LADY-AIRS her! I will. _I'll_ teach
her to reproach me, and so many of her betters, with her cottage
excellencies, and improvements, that shame our education."

Why, you dear charming Pamela, did you only excel me in _words_, I
could forgive you: for there may be a knack, and a volubility, as to
_words_, that a natural talent may supply; but to be thus out-done in
_thought_ and in _deed_, who can bear it? And in so young an insulter
too!

Well, Pamela, look to it, when I see you: you shall feel the weight
of my hand, or--the pressure of my lip, one or t'other, depend on it,
very quickly; for here, instead of my stooping, as I thought I would
be, to call _you_ sister, I shall be forced to think, in a little
while, that you ought not to own _me as yours_, till I am nearer your
standard.

But to come to business, I will summarily take notice of the following
particulars in all your obliging letters, in order to convince you of
my friendship, by the freedom of my observations on the subjects you
touch upon.

First, then, I am highly pleased with what you write of the advantages
you received from the favour of my dear mother; and as you know many
things of her by your attendance upon her the last three or four years
of her life, I must desire you will give me, as opportunity shall
offer, all you can recollect in relation to the honoured lady, and of
her behaviour and kindness to you, and with a retrospect to your own
early beginnings, the dawnings of this your bright day of excellence:
and this not only I, but the countess, and Lady Betty, with whom I am
going over your papers again, and her sister, Lady Jenny, request of
you.

2. I am much pleased with your Kentish account; though we wished you
had been more particular in some parts of it; for we are greatly taken
with your descriptions: and your conversation pieces: yet I own, your
honest father's letters, and yours, a good deal supply that _defect_.

3. I am highly delighted with your account of my brother's breaking
to you the affair of Sally Godfrey, and your conduct upon it. 'Tis a
sweet story as he brought it in, and as you relate it. The wretch
has been very just in his account of it. We are in love with your
charitable reflections in favour of the poor lady; and the more, as
she certainly deserved them, and a better mother too than she had, and
a faithfuller lover than she met with.

4. You have exactly hit his temper in your declared love of Miss
Goodwill. I see, child, you know your man; and never fear but you'll
hold him, if you can go on thus to act, and outdo your sex. But I
should think you might as well not insist upon having her with you;
you'd better see her now and then at the dairy-house, or at school,
than have her with you. But this I leave to your own discretion.

5. You have satisfactorily answered our objections to your behaviour
to Mrs. Jewkes. We had not considered your circumstances quite so
thoroughly as we ought to have done. You are a charming girl, and all
your motives are so just, that we shall be a little more cautious for
the future how we censure you.

In short, I say with the countess, "This good girl is not without
her pride; but it is the pride that becomes, and can only attend the
innocent heart; and I'll warrant," said her ladyship, "nobody will
become her station so well, as one who is capable of so worthy a pride
as this."

But what a curtain-lecture hadst thou, Pamela! A noble one, dost thou
call it?--Why, what a wretch hast thou got, to expect thou shouldst
never expostulate against his lordly will, even when in the wrong,
till thou hast obeyed it, and of consequence, joined in the evil he
imposes!

Much good may such a husband do you, says Lady Betty!--Every body will
_admire_ you, but no one will have reason to _envy_ you upon those
principles.

6. I am pleased with your promise of sending what you think I
shall like to see, out of those papers you choose not to shew me
collectively: this is very obliging. You're a good girl; and I love
you dearly.

7. We have all smiled at your paradox, Pamela, that his marrying you
was an instance of his pride.--The thought, though, is pretty enough,
and ingenious; but whether it will hold or not, I won't just now
examine.

8. Your observation on the _forget_ and _forgive_ we are much pleased
with.

9. You are very good in sending me a copy of Miss Darnford's letter.
She is a charming young lady. I always had a great opinion of
her merit; her letter abundantly confirms me in it. I hope you'll
communicate to me every letter that passes between you, and pray send
in your next a copy of your answer to her letter: I must insist upon
it, I think.

10. I am glad, with all my heart, to hear of poor Jewkes's
reformation: Your example carries all before it. But pray oblige me
with your answer to her letter, don't think me unreasonable: 'tis all
for your sake.

Pray--have you shewn Jewkes's letter to your good friend?--Lady Betty
wants to know (if you _have_) what he could say to it? For, she says,
it cuts him to the quick. And I think so too, if he takes it as he
ought: but, as you say, he's above loving virtue for _virtue's sake_.

11. Your manner of acting by Mrs. Jervis, with so handsome a regard to
my brother's interest, her behaviour upon it, and your relation of
the whole, and of his generous spirit in approving, reproving, and
improving, your prudent generosity, make no inconsiderable figure in
your papers. And Lady Betty says, "Hang him, he has some excellent
qualities too.--It is impossible not to think well of him; and his
good actions go a great way towards atoning for his bad." But you,
Pamela, have the glory of all.

12. I am glad you are learning French: thou art a happy girl in thy
teacher, and he is a happy man in his scholar. We are pleased with
your pretty account of his method of instructing and rewarding.
'Twould be strange, if you did not thus learn any language quickly,
with such encouragements, from the man you love, were your genius less
apt than it is. But we wished you had enlarged on that subject: for
such fondness of men to their wives, who have been any time married,
is so rare, and so unexpected from _my_ brother, that we thought you
should have written a side upon that subject at least.

What a bewitching girl art thou! What an exemplar to wives now, as
well as thou wast before to maidens! Thou canst tame lions, I
dare say, if thoud'st try.--Reclaim a rake in the meridian of his
libertinism, and make such an one as my brother, not only marry thee,
but love thee better at several months' end, than he did the first
day, if possible!

Now, my dear Pamela, I think I have taken notice of the most material
articles in your letters, and have no more to say to you; but write
on, and oblige us; and mind to send me the copy of your letter to Miss
Darnford, of that you wrote to poor penitent Jewkes, and every article
I have written about, and all that comes into your head, or that
passes, and you'll oblige _yours, &c,_

B. DAVERS.



LETTER XX

MY DEAR LADY,

I read with pleasure your commands, in your last kind and obliging
letter: and you may be sure of a ready obedience in every one of them,
that is in my power.

That which I can most easily do, I will first do; and that is, to
transcribe the answer I sent to Miss Darnford, and that to Mrs.
Jewkes, the former of which, (and a long one it is) is as follows:

"DEAR MISS DARNFORD,

"I begin now to be afraid I shall not have the pleasure and benefit I
promised myself of passing a fortnight or three weeks at the Hall, in
your sweet conversation, and that of your worthy family, as well
as those others in your agreeable neighbourhood, whom I must always
remember with equal honour and delight.

"The occasion will be principally, that we expect, very soon, Lord and
Lady Davers, who propose to tarry here a fortnight at least; and after
that, the advanced season will carry us to London, where Mr. B.
has taken a house for his winter residence, and in order to attend
parliament: a service he says, which he has been more deficient in
hitherto, than he can either answer to his constituents, or to his own
conscience; for though he is but one, yet if any good motion should be
lost by one, every absent member, who is independent, has to reproach
himself with the consequence of the loss of that good which might
otherwise redound to the commonwealth. And besides, he says, such
excuses as he could make, _every one_ might plead; and then public
affairs might as well be left to the administration, and no parliament
be chosen.

"See you, my dear Miss Darnford, from the humble cottager, what a
public person your favourite friend is grown! How easy is it for a
bold mind to look forward, and, perhaps, forgetting what she was, now
she imagines she has a stake in the country, takes upon herself to be
as important, as significant, as if, like my dear Miss Darnford, she
had been born to it!

"Well; but may I not ask, whether, if the mountain cannot come to
Mahomet, Mahomet will not come to the mountain? Since Lady Davers's
visit is so uncertain as to its beginning and duration, and so great
a favour as I am to look upon it, and really shall, it being her first
visit to _me_:--and since we must go and take possession of our London
residence, why can't Sir Simon spare to us the dear lady whom he could
use hardly, and whose attendance (though he is indeed entitled to all
her duty) he did not, just in that instance, quite so much deserve?

"'Well, but after all, Sir Simon,' would I say, if I had been in
presence at his peevish hour, 'you are a fine gentleman, are you not?
to take such a method to shew your good daughter, that because she did
not come _soon enough_ to you, she came _too soon_! And did ever papa
before you put a _good book_ (for such I doubt not it was, _because_
you were in affliction, though so little affected by its precepts) to
such a _bad use_? As parents' examples are so prevalent, suppose your
daughter had taken it, and flung it at her sister; Miss Nancy at her
waiting-maid; and so it had gone through the family; would it not have
been an excuse for every one to say, that the father, and head of the
family had set the example?

"'You almost wish, my dear Miss tells me, that I would undertake
_you_!--This is very good of you. Sir Simon,' I might (would his
patience have suffered me to run on thus) have added; 'but I hope,
since you are so sensible that you _want_ to be undertaken, (and
since this peevish rashness convinces me that you _do_) that you
will undertake _yourself_; that you will not, when your indisposition
requires the attendance and duty of your dear lady and daughter,
make it more uncomfortable to them, by _adding_ a difficulty of being
pleased, and an impatience of spirit, to the concern their duty and
affection make them have for you; and, _at least_, resolve never to
take a book into your hand again, if you cannot make a better use of
it, than you did then.'

"But Sir Simon will say, I have _already undertaken_ him, were he to
see this. Yet my Lady Darnford once begged I would give him a hint or
two on this subject, which, she was pleased to say, would be better
received from me than from any body: and if it be a little too severe,
it is but a just reprisal made by one whose ears, he knows, he has
cruelly wounded more than once, twice, or thrice, besides, by what
he calls his _innocent_ double entendres, and who, if she had not
resented it, when an opportunity offered, must have been believed, by
him, to be neither more nor less than a hypocrite. There's for you,
Sir Simon: and so here ends all my malice; for now I have spoken my
mind.

"Yet I hope your dear papa will not be so angry as to deny me, for
this my freedom, the request I make to _him_, to your _mamma_, and
to your _dear self_, for your beloved company, for a month or two in
Bedfordshire, and at London: and if you might be permitted to winter
with us at the latter, how happy should I be! It will be half done the
moment you desire it. Sir Simon loves you too well to refuse you, if
you are earnest in it. Your honoured mamma is always indulgent to
your requests: and Mr. B. as well in kindness to me, as for the great
respect he bears you, joins with me to beg this favour of you, and of
Sir Simon and my lady.

"If it can be obtained, what pleasure and improvement may I not
propose to myself, with so polite a companion, when we are carried by
Mr. B. to the play, the opera, and other of the town diversions! We
will work, visit, read, and sing together, and improve one another;
you _me_, in every word you shall speak, in every thing you shall do;
I _you_, by my questions, and desire of information, which will make
you open all your breast to me: and so unlocking that dear storehouse
of virtuous knowledge, improve your own notions the more for
communicating them. O my dear Miss Damford I how happy is it in your
power to make me!

"I am much affected with your account of Mrs. Jewkes's reformation,
I could have wished, had I not _other_ and _stronger_ inducements
(in the pleasure of so agreeable a neighbourhood, and so sweet a
companion), I could have been down at the Hall, in hopes to have
confirmed the poor woman in her newly assumed penitence. God give her
grace to persevere in it!--To be an humble means of saving a soul from
perdition! O my dear Miss Darnford, let me enjoy that heart-ravishing
hope!--To pluck such a brand as this out of the fire, and to assist to
quench its flaming susceptibility for mischief, and make it useful to
edifying purposes, what a pleasure does this afford one! How does it
encourage one to proceed in the way one has been guided to pursue!
How does it make me hope, that I am raised to my present condition,
in order to be an humble instrument in the hand of Providence to
communicate great good to others, and so extend to many those benefits
I have received, which, were they to go no further than myself, what a
vile, what an ungrateful creature should I be!

"I see, my dearest Miss Darnford, how useful in every condition of
life a virtuous and a serious turn of mind may be!

"In hopes of seeing you with us, I will not enlarge on several
agreeable subjects, which I could touch upon with pleasure, besides
what I gave you in my former (of my reception here, and of the
kindness of our genteel neighbours): such, particularly, as the
arrival here of my dear parents, and the kind, generous entertainment
they met with from my best friend; his condescension in not only
permitting me to attend them to Kent, but accompanying us thither, and
settling them in a most happy manner, beyond their wishes and my
own; but yet so much in character, as I may say, that every one must
approve his judicious benevolence; the favours of my good Lady Davers
to me, who, pleased with my letters, has vouchsafed to become my
correspondent; and a thousand things, which I want personally to
communicate to my dear Miss Darnford.

"Be pleased to present my humble respects to Lady Darnford, and to
Miss Nancy; to good Madam Jones, and to your kind friends at Stamford;
also to Mr. and Mrs. Peters, and their kins-woman: and beg of that
good gentleman from me to encourage his new proselyte all he can; and
I doubt not, she will do credit, poor woman! to the pains he shall
take with her. In hopes of your kind compliance with my wishes for
your company, I remain, _dearest Miss Darnford, your faithful and
obliged friend and servant,_

"P.B."

This, my good lady, is the long letter I sent to Miss Darnford, who,
at parting, engaged me to keep up a correspondence with her, and put
me in hopes of passing a month or two at the Hall, if we came down,
and if she could persuade Sir Simon and her mamma to spare her to my
wishes. Your ladyship will excuse me for so faintly mentioning the
honours you confer upon me: but I would not either add or diminish in
the communications I make to you.

The following is the copy of what I wrote to Mrs. Jewkes:

"You give me, Mrs. Jewkes, very great pleasure, to find, that, at
length, God Almighty has touched your heart, and let you see, while
health and strength lasted, the error of your ways. Many an unhappy
one has not been so graciously touched, till they have smarted under
some heavy afflictions, or been confined to the bed of sickness, when,
perhaps, they have made vows and resolutions, that have held them no
longer than the discipline lasted; but you give me much better hopes
of the sincerity of your conversion; as you are so well convinced,
before some sore evil has overtaken you: and it ought to be an earnest
to you of the Divine favour, and should keep you from despondency.

"As to me, it became me to forgive you, as I most cordially did; since
your usage of me, as it proved, was but a necessary means in the hand
of Providence, to exalt me to that state of happiness, in which I have
every day more and more cause given me to rejoice, by the kindest and
most generous of gentlemen.

"As I have often prayed for you, even when you used me the most
unkindly, I now praise God for having heard my prayers, and with high
delight look upon you as a reclaimed soul given to my supplication.
May the Divine goodness enable you to persevere in the course you have
begun! And when you can taste the all-surpassing pleasure that fills
the worthy breast, on being placed in a station where your example
may be of advantage to the souls of others, as well as to your own--a
pleasure that every good mind glories in, and none else can truly
relish; then may you be assured, that nothing but your perseverance,
and the consequential improvement resulting from it, is wanted to
convince you, that you are in a right way, and that the woe that is
pronounced against the presumptuous sinner, belongs not to you.

"Let me, therefore, dear Mrs. Jewkes (for now _indeed_ you are dear to
me), caution you against two things; the one, that you return not
to your former ways, and wilfully err after this repentance; for the
Divine goodness will then look upon itself as mocked by you, and will
withdraw itself from you; and more dreadful will your state then be,
than if you had never repented: the other, that you don't despair of
the Divine mercy, which has so evidently manifested itself in your
favour, and has awakened you out of your deplorable lethargy, without
those sharp medicines and operations, which others, and perhaps _not
more faulty_ persons, have suffered. But go on cheerfully in the same
happy path. Depend upon it, you are now in the right way, and turn not
either to the right hand or to the left; for the reward is before you,
in reputation and a good fame in this life, and everlasting felicity
beyond it.

"Your letter is that of a sensible woman, as I always thought you; and
of a truly contrite one, as I hope you will prove yourself to be: and
I the rather hope it, as I shall be always desirous, then of taking
every opportunity that offers of doing you real service, as well with
regard to your present as future life: for I am, _good_ Mrs. Jewkes,
as I now hope I may call you, _your loving friend to serve you_,

P.B.

"Whatever good books the worthy Mr. Peters will be so kind as to
recommend to you, and to those under your direction, send for them
either to Lincoln, Stamford, or Grantham, and place them to my
account: and may they be the effectual means of confirming you and
them in the good way you are in! I have done as much for all here:
and, I hope, to no bad effect: for I shall now tell them, by Mrs.
Jervis, if there be occasion, that I hope they will not let me be
out-done in Bedfordshire, by Mrs. Jewkes in Lincolnshire; but that the
servants of both houses may do credit to the best of masters. Adieu,
_good_ woman; as once more I take pleasure to style you."

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus, my good lady, have I obeyed you, in transcribing these two
letters. I will now proceed to your ladyship's twelve articles. As to
the

1. I will oblige your ladyship, as I have opportunity, in my future
letters, with such accounts of my dear lady's favour and goodness to
me, as I think will be acceptable to you, and to the noble ladies you
mention.

2. I am extremely delighted, that your ladyship thinks so well of my
dear honest parents: they are good people, and ever had minds that set
them above low and sordid actions: and God and your good brother has
rewarded them most amply in this world, which is more than they ever
expected, after a series of unprosperousness in all they undertook.

Your ladyship is pleased to say, that people in upper life love to see
how plain nature operates in honest minds, who have hardly any thing
else for their guide: and if I might not be thought to descend too
low for your ladyship's attention (for, as to myself, I shall, I hope,
always look back with pleasure to what I _was_, in order to increase
my thankfulness for what I _am_), I would give you a scene of
resignation, and contented poverty, of which otherwise you can hardly
have a notion. I _will_ give it, because it will be a scene of nature,
however low, which your ladyship loves, and it shall not tire you by
its length.

It was upon occasion of a great loss and disappointment which happened
to my dear parents; for though they were never high in life, yet they
were not always so low as my honoured lady found them, when she took
me. My poor father came home; and as the loss was of such a nature, as
that he could not keep it from my mother, he took her hand, and said,
after he had acquainted her with it, "Come, my dear, let us take
comfort, that we did for the best. We left the issue to Providence,
as we ought, and that has turned it as it pleased; and we must be
content, though not favoured as we wished.--All the business is, our
lot is not cast for this life. Let us resign ourselves to the Divine
will, and continue to do our duty, and this short life will soon be
past. Our troubles will be quickly overblown; and we shall be happy in
a better, I make no doubt."

Then my dear mother threw her arms about his neck, and said, with
tears, "God's will be done, my dear love! All cannot be rich and
happy. I am contented, and had rather say, I have a poor honest
husband, than a guilty rich one. What signifies repining: let the
world go as it will, we shall have our length and our breadth at last.
And Providence, I doubt not, will be a better friend to our good
girl here, because she is good, than we could be, if this had not
happened," pointing to me, who, then about eleven years old (for it
was before my lady took me), sat weeping in the chimney corner, over a
few dying embers of a fire, at their moving expressions.

I arose, and kissing both their hands, and blessing them, said, "And
this length and breadth, my dear parents, will be, one day, all that
the rich and the great can possess; and, it may be, their ungracious
heirs will trample upon their ashes, and rejoice they are gone: while
such a poor girl as I, am honouring the memories of mine, who, in
their good names, and good lessons, will have left me the best of
portions."

And then they both hugged me to their fond bosoms, by turns; and all
three were filled with comfort in one another.

For a farther proof that _honest poverty_ is not such a deplorable
thing as some people imagine, let me ask, what pleasure can those
over-happy persons know, who, from the luxury of their tastes, and
their affluent circumstances, always eat before they are hungry, and
drink before they are thirsty? This may be illustrated by the instance
of a certain eastern monarch, who, as I have read, marching at the
head of a vast army, through a wide extended desert, which afforded
neither river nor spring, for the first time, found himself (in common
with his soldiers) overtaken by a craving thirst, which made him pant
after a cup of water. And when, after diligent search, one of his
soldiers found a little dirty puddle, and carried him some of the
filthy water in his nasty helmet, the monarch greedily swallowing it,
cried out, that in all his life he never tasted so sweet a draught!

But when I talk or write of my worthy parents, how I run on!--Excuse
me, my good lady, and don't think me, in this respect, too much like
the cat in the fable, turned into a fine lady; for though I would
never forget what I was, yet I would be thought to know _how_
gratefully to enjoy my present happiness, as well with regard to my
obligations to God, as to your dear brother. But let me proceed to
your ladyship's third particular.

3. And you cannot imagine. Madam, how much you have set my heart at
rest, when you say, that my dear Mr. B. gave me a just narrative of
this affair with Miss Godfrey: for when your ladyship desired to
know how he had recounted that story, lest you should make a
misunderstanding between us unawares, I knew not what to think. I was
afraid some blood had been shed on the occasion by him: for the lady
was ruined, and as to her, nothing could have happened worse. The
regard I have for Mr. B.'s future happiness, which, in my constant
supplication for him in private, costs me many a tear, gave me great
apprehensions, and not a little uneasiness. But as your ladyship tells
me that he gave me a just account, I am happy again.

I now come to your ladyship's fourth particular.

And highly delighted I am for having obtained your approbation of
my conduct to the child, as well as of my behaviour towards the
dear gentleman, on the unhappy lady's score. Your ladyship's wise
intimations about having the child with me, make due impressions upon
me; and I see in them, with grateful pleasure, your unmerited regard
for me. Yet, I don't know how it is, but I have conceived a strange
passion for this dear baby; I cannot but look upon her poor mamma as
my sister in point of trial; and shall not the prosperous sister
pity and love the poor dear sister that, in so slippery a path, has
_fallen_, while _she_ had the happiness to keep her feet?

The rest of your ladyship's articles give me the greatest pleasure and
satisfaction; and if I can but continue myself in the favour of your
dear brother, and improve in that of his noble sister, how happy shall
I be! I will do all I can to deserve both. And I hope you will take as
an instance of it, my cheerful obedience to your commands, in writing
to so fine a judge, such crude and indigested stuff, as, otherwise I
ought to be ashamed to lay before you.

I am impatient for the honour of your presence here; and yet I perplex
myself with the fear of appearing so unworthy in your eye when near
you, as to suffer in your opinion; but I promise myself, that however
this may be the case on your first visit, I shall be so much improved
by the benefits I shall reap from your lessons and good example, that
whenever I shall be favoured with a _second_ you shall have fewer
faults to find with me; till, as I shall be more and more favoured, I
shall in time be just what your ladyship will wish me to be, and, of
consequence, more worthy than I am of the honour of stiling myself
_your ladyship's most humble and obedient servant_, P.B.



LETTER XXI

_From Miss Darnford, in answer to Mrs. B.'s, p_. 60.

MY DEAR MRS. B.,

You are highly obliging in expressing so warmly your wishes to have me
with you. I know not any body in this world, out of our own family, in
whose company I should be happier; but my papa won't part with me, I
think; though I have secured my mamma in my interest; and I know Nancy
would be glad of my absence, because the dear, perversely envious,
thinks _me_ more valued than _she_ is; and yet, foolish girl, she
don't consider, that if her envy be well grounded, I should return
with more than double advantages to what I now have, improved by your
charming conversation.

My papa affects to be in a fearful pet, at your lecturing of him So
justly; for my mamma would show him the letter; and he says he will
positively demand satisfaction of Mr. B. for your treating him so
freely. And yet he shall hardly think him, he says, on a rank with
him, unless Mr. B. will, on occasion of the new commission, take out
his Dedimus: and then if he will bring you down to Lincolnshire, and
join with him to commit you prisoner for a month at the Hall, all
shall be well.

It is very obliging in Mr. B. to join in your kind invitation:
but--yet I am loth to say it to you--the character of your worthy
gentleman, I doubt, stands a little in the way with my papa.

My mamma pleaded his being married. "Ads-dines, Madam," said he, "what
of all that!"

"But, Sir," said I, "I hope, if I may not go to Bedfordshire, you'll
permit me to go to London, when Mrs. B. goes?"

"No," said he, "positively no!"

"Well, Sir, I have done. I could hope, however, you would enable me to
give a better reason to good Mrs. B. why I am not permitted to accept
of the kind invitation, than that which I understand you have been
pleased to assign."

He stuck his hands in his sides, with his usual humourous
positiveness. "Why, then tell her she is a very saucy lady, for her
last letter to you, and her lord and master is not to be trusted; and
it is my absolute will and pleasure that you ask me no more questions
about it."

"I will very faithfully make this report, Sir."--"Do so." And so
I have. And your poor Polly Darnford is disappointed of one of the
greatest pleasures she could have had.

I can't help it--if you truly pity me you can make me easier under
the disappointment, than otherwise possible, by favouring me with
an epistolary conversation, since I am denied a personal one; and my
mamma joins in the request; particularly let us know how Lady Davers's
first visit passes; which Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Jones, who know my lady
so well, likewise long to hear. And this will make us the best amends
in your power for the loss of your good neighbourhood, which we had
all promised to ourselves.

This denial of my papa comes out, since I wrote the above, to be
principally owing to a proposal made him of an humble servant to
one of his daughters: he won't say which, he tells us, in his usual
humourous way, lest we should fall out about it.

"I suppose," I tell him, "the young gentleman is to pick and choose
which of the two he likes best." But be he a duke, 'tis all one to
Polly, if he is not something above our common Lincolnshire class of
fox-hunters.

I have shewn Mr. and Mrs. Peters your letter. They admire you beyond
expression; and Mr. Peters says, he does not know, that ever he did
any thing in his life, that gave him so much inward reproach, as his
denying you the protection of his family, which Mr. Williams sought to
move him to afford you, when you were confined at the Hall, before
Mr. B. came down to you, with his heart bent on mischief; and all
he comforts himself with is, that very denial, as well as the other
hardships you have met with, were necessary to bring about that work
of Providence which was to reward your unexampled virtue.

Yet, he says, he doubts he shall not be thought excusable by you, who
are so exact in _your_ own duty, since he had the unhappiness to lose
such an opportunity to have done honour to his function, had he had
the fortitude to have done _his;_ and he has begged of me to hint his
concern to you on this head; and to express his hopes, that neither
religion nor his cloth may suffer in your opinion, for the fault
of one of its professors, who never was wanting in his duty so much
before.

He had it often upon his mind, he says, to write to you on this very
subject; but he had not the courage; and besides, did not know _how_
Mr. B. might take it, if he should see that letter, as the case had
such delicate circumstances in it, that in blaming himself, as he
should very freely have done, he must, by implication, have cast still
greater blame upon him.

Mr. Peters is certainly a very good man, and my favourite for that
reason; and I hope _you,_ who could so easily forgive the late wicked,
but now penitent Jewkes, will overlook with kindness a fault in a good
man, which proceeded more from pusillanimity and constitution, than
from want of principle: for once, talking of it to my mamma, before
me, he accused himself on this score, to her, with tears in his eyes.
She, good lady, would have given you this protection at Mr. Williams's
desire; but wanted the power to do it.

So you see, my dear Mrs. B., how your virtue has shamed every one
into such a sense of what they ought to have done, that good, bad, and
indifferent, are seeking to make excuses for past misbehaviour, and
to promise future amendment, like penitent subjects returning to their
duty to their conquering sovereign, after some unworthy defection.

Happy, happy lady! May you ever be so! May you always convert your
enemies, invigorate the lukewarm, and every day multiply your friends,
wishes _your most affectionate,_

POLLY DARNFORD.


P.S. How I rejoice in the joy of your honest parents! God bless 'em!
I am glad Lady Davers is so wise. Every one I have named desire their
best respects. Write oftener, and omit not the minutest thing: for
every line of yours carries instruction with it.



LETTER XXII

From Sir Simon Darnford to Mr. B.

SIR,

Little did I think I should ever have occasion to make a formal
complaint against a person very dear to you, and who I believe
deserves to be so; but don't let her be so proud and so vain of
obliging and pleasing you, as to make her not care how she affronts
every body else.

The person is no other than the wife of your bosom, who has taken such
liberties with me as ought not to be taken, and sought to turn my own
child against me, and make a dutiful girl a rebel.

If people will set up for virtue, and all that, let 'em be uniformly
virtuous, or I would not give a farthing for their pretences.

Here I have been plagued with gouts, rheumatisms, and nameless
disorders, ever since you left us, which have made me call for a
little more attendance than ordinary; and I had reason to think myself
slighted, where an indulgent father can least bear to be so, that is,
where he most loves; and that by young upstarts, who are growing up to
the enjoyment of those pleasures which have run away from me, fleeting
rascals as they are! before I was willing to part with them. And I
rung and rung, and "Where's Polly?" (for I honour the slut with too
much of my notice), "Where's Polly?" was all my cry, to every one
who came up to ask what I rung for. And, at last, in burst the pert
baggage, with an air of assurance, as if she thought all must be well
the moment she appeared, with "Do you want me, papa?"

"Do I want you, Confidence? Yes, I do. Where have you been these two
hours, that you never came near me, when you knew 'twas my time
to have my foot rubbed, which gives me mortal pain?" For you must
understand, Mr. B., that nobody's hand's so soft as Polly's.

She gave me a saucy answer, as I was disposed to think it, because I
had just then a twinge, that I could scarce bear; for pain is a plaguy
thing to a man of my lively spirits.

She gave me, I say, a careless answer, and turning upon her heel; and
not coming to me at my first word, I flung a book which I had in my
hand, at her head. And, this fine lady of your's, this paragon of
meekness and humility, in so many words, bids me, or, which is worse,
tells my own daughter to bid me, never to take a book into my hands
again, if I won't make a better use of it:--and yet, what better
use can an offended father make of the best books, than to correct a
rebellious child with them, and oblige a saucy daughter to jump into
her duty all at once?

Mrs. B. reflects upon me for making her blush formerly, and saying
things before my daughters, that, truly, I ought to be ashamed of?
then avows malice and revenge. Why neighbour, are these things to be
borne?--Do you allow your lady to set up for a general corrector of
every body's morals but your own?--Do you allow her to condemn the
only instances of wit that remain to this generation; that dear polite
_double entendre_, which keeps alive the attention, and quickens the
apprehension, of the best companies in the world, and is the salt, the
sauce, which gives a poignancy to all our genteeler entertainments!

Very fine, truly! that more than half the world shall be shut out of
society, shall be precluded their share of conversation amongst the
gay and polite of both sexes, were your lady to have her will! Let
her first find people who can support a conversation with wit and good
sense like her own, and then something may be said: but till then,
I positively say, and will swear upon occasion, that double entendre
shall not be banished from our tables; and where this won't raise a
blush, or create a laugh, we will, if we please, for all Mrs. B. and
her new-fangled notions, force the one and the other by still plainer
hints; and let her help herself how she can.

Thus, Sir, you find my complaints are of a high nature, regarding the
quiet of a family, the duty of a child to a parent, and the freedom
and politeness of conversation; in all which your lady has greatly
offended; and I insist upon satisfaction from you, or such a
correction of the fair transgressor, as is in your power to inflict,
and which may prevent worse consequences from _your offended friend
and servant_,

SIMON DARNFORD.



LETTER XXIII

_From Mr. B. in Answer to the preceding one._

DEAR SIR SIMON,

You cannot but believe that I was much surprised at your letter,
complaining of the behaviour of my wife. I could no more have expected
such a complaint from such a gentleman, than I could, that she would
have deserved it: and I am very sorry on _both_ accounts. I have
talked to her in such a manner, that, I dare say, she will never give
you like cause to appeal to me.

It happened, that the criminal herself received it from her servant,
and brought it to me in my closet; and, making her honours (for I
can't say but she is very obliging to me, though she takes such saucy
freedoms with my friends) away she tript; and I, inquiring for her,
when, with surprise, as you may believe, I had read your charge, found
she was gone to visit a poor sick neighbour; of which indeed I knew
before because she took the chariot; but I had forgot it in my wrath.

At last, in she came, with that sweet composure in her face which
results from a consciousness of doing _generally_ just and generous
things. I resumed, therefore, that sternness and displeasure which her
entrance had almost dissipated. I took her hand; her charming eye
(you know what an eye she has, Sir Simon) quivered at my overclouded
aspect; and her lips, half drawn to a smile, trembling with
apprehension of a countenance so changed from what she left it.

And then, all stiff and stately as I could look, did I accost
her--"Come along with me, Pamela, to my closet. I want to talk with
you."

"What have I done? Let me know, good Sir!" looking round, with her
half-affrighted eyes, this way and that, on the books, and pictures,
and on me, by turns.

"You shall know soon," said I, "the _crime_ you have been guilty
of."--"_Crime_, Sir! Pray let me--This closet, I hoped, would not be a
_second_ time witness to the flutter you put me in."

_There_ hangs a tale, Sir Simon, which I am not very fond of relating,
since it gave beginning to the triumphs of this little sorceress. I
still held one hand, and she stood before me, as criminals ought to
do before their judge, but said, "I see, Sir, sure I do,--or what will
else become of me!--less severity in your eyes, than you affect to
put on in your countenance. Dear Sir, let me but know my fault: I will
repent, acknowledge, and amend."

"You must have great presence of mind, Pamela, such is the nature of
your fault, if you can look me in the face, when I tell it you."

"Then let me," said the irresistible charmer, hiding her face in my
bosom, and putting her other arm about my neck, "let me thus, my dear
Mr. B., hide this guilty face, while I hear my fault told; and I will
not seek to extenuate it, by my tears, and my penitence."

I could hardly hold out. What infatuating creatures are these women,
when they thus soothe and calm the tumults of an angry heart! When,
instead of _scornful_ looks darted in return for _angry_ ones, words
of _defiance_ for words of _peevishness,_ persisting to defend
_one_ error by _another_, and returning _vehement wrath_ for _slight
indignation,_ and all the hostile provocations of the marriage
warfare; they can thus hide their dear faces in our bosoms, and wish
but to _know_ their faults, to _amend_ them!

I could hardly, I say, resist the sweet girl's behaviour; nay, I
believe, I did, and in defiance to my resolved displeasure, press her
forehead with my lips, as the rest of her face was hid on my breast;
but, considering it was the cause of my _friend,_ I was to assert, my
_injured_ friend, wounded and insulted, in so various a manner by the
fair offender, thus haughtily spoke I to the trembling mischief, in a
pomp of style theatrically tragic:

"I will not, too inadvertent, and undistinguishing Pamela, keep
you long in suspense, for the sake of a circumstance, that, on this
occasion, ought to give you as much joy, as it has, till now, given
me--since it becomes an advocate in your favour, when otherwise you
might expect very severe treatment. Know then, that the letter you
gave me before you went out, is a letter from a friend, a neighbour, a
worthy neighbour, complaining of your behaviour to him;--no other than
Sir Simon Darnford" (for I would not amuse her too much), "a gentleman
I must always respect, and whom, as my friend, I expected _you_
should: since, by the value a wife expresses for one esteemed by her
husband, whether she thinks so well of him herself, or not, a man
ought always to judge of the sincerity of her regards to himself."

She raised her head at once on this:--"Thank Heaven," said she, "it is
no worse!--I was at my wit's end almost, in apprehension: but I know
how this must be. Dear Sir, how could you frighten me so?--I know how
all this is!--I can now look you in the face, and hear all that Sir
Simon can charge me with! For I am sure, I have not so affronted him
as to make him angry indeed. And truly" (ran she on, secure of pardon
as she seemed to think), "I should respect Sir Simon not only as your
friend, but on his own account, if he was not so sad a rake at a time
of life--"

Then I interrupted her, you must needs think. Sir Simon; for how could
I bear to hear my worthy friend so freely treated! "How now, Pamela!"
said I; "and is it thus, by _repeating_ your fault, that you _atone_
for it? Do you think I can bear to hear my friend so freely treated?"

"Indeed," said she, "I do respect Sir Simon very much as your
_friend_, permit me to repeat; but cannot for his wilful failings.
Would it not be, in some measure, to approve of faulty conversation,
if one can hear it, and not discourage it, when the occasion comes in
so pat?--And, indeed, I was glad of an opportunity," continued she,
"to give him a little rub; I must needs own it: but if it displeases
you, or has made him angry in earnest, I am sorry for it, and will be
less bold for the future."

"Read then," said I, "the heavy charge, and I'll return instantly to
hear your answer to it." So I went from her, for a few minutes. But,
would you believe it, Sir Simon? she seemed, on my return, very little
concerned at your just complaints. What self-justifying minds have the
meekest of these women!--Instead of finding her in repentant tears, as
one would expect, she took your angry letter for a jocular one; and
I had great difficulty to convince her of the heinousness of _her_
fault, or the reality of your resentment. Upon which, being determined
to have justice done to my friend, and a due sense of her own great
error impressed upon her, I began thus:

"Pamela, take heed that you do not suffer the purity of your own mind,
in breach of your charity, to make you too rigorous a censurer
of other people's actions: don't be so puffed up with your own
perfections, as to imagine, that, because other persons allow
themselves liberties you cannot take, _therefore_ they must be wicked.
Sir Simon is a gentleman who indulges himself in a pleasant vein, and,
I believe, as well as you, _has been_ a great rake and libertine:"
(You'll excuse me, Sir Simon, because I am taking your part), "but
what then? You see it is all over with him now. He says, that he
_must_, and therefore he _will_ be virtuous: and is a man for ever to
hear the faults of his youth, when so willing to forget them?"

"Ah! but, Sir, Sir," said the bold slut, "can you say he is _willing_
to forget them?--Does he not repine in this very letter, that
he _must_ forsake them; and does he not plainly cherish the
_inclination_, when he owns--" She hesitated--"Owns what?"--"You know
what I mean. Sir, and I need not speak it: and can there well be a
more censurable character?--Then before his maiden daughters! his
virtuous lady! _before_ any body!--What a sad thing is this, at a time
of life, which should afford a better example!

"But, dear Sir," continued the bold prattler, (taking advantage of
a silence more owing to displeasure than approbation) "let me, for
I would not be too _censorious_" (No, not she! in the very act of
censoriousness to say this!), "let me offer but one thing: don't
you think Sir Simon himself would be loth to be thought a reformed
gentleman? Don't you see his delight, when speaking of his former
pranks, as if sorry he could not play them over again? See but how he
simpers, and _enjoys_, as one may say, the relations of his own rakish
actions, when he tells a bad story!"

"But," said I, "were this the case" (for I profess, Sir Simon, I was
at a grievous loss to defend you), "for you to write all these free
things against a father to his daughter, is that right, Pamela?"

"O, Sir! the good gentleman himself has taken care, that such a
character as I presumed to draw to Miss of her papa, was no strange
one to her. You have seen yourself, Mr. B., whenever his arch leers,
and his humourous attitude on those occasions, have taught us to
expect some shocking story, how his lady and daughters (used to him as
they are), have suffered in their apprehensions of what he would say,
before he spoke it: how, particularly, dear Miss Darnford has looked
at me with concern, desirous, as it were, if possible, to save her
papa from the censure, which his faulty expressions must naturally
bring upon him. And, dear Sir, is it not a sad thing for a young lady,
who loves and honours her papa, to observe, that he is discrediting
himself, and _wants_ the example he ought to _give?_ And pardon me,
Sir, for smiling on so serious an occasion; but is it not a fine
sight to see a gentleman, as we have often seen Sir Simon, when he has
thought proper to read a passage in some bad book, pulling off _his
spectacles_, to talk filthily upon it? Methinks I see him now," added
the bold slut, "splitting his arch face with a broad laugh, shewing a
mouth, with hardly a tooth in it, and making obscene remarks upon what
he has read."

And then the dear saucy-face laughed out, to bear _me_ company; for I
could not, for the soul of me, avoid laughing heartily at the figure
she brought to my mind, which I have seen my old friend more than once
make, with his dismounted spectacles, arch mouth, and gums of shining
jet, succeeding those of polished ivory, of which he often boasts, as
one ornament of his youthful days.--And I the rather in my heart, Sir
Simon, gave you up, because, when I was a sad fellow, it was always my
maxim to endeavour to touch a lady's heart without wounding her
ears. And, indeed, I found my account sometimes in observing it. But,
resuming my gravity--"Hussy, said I, do you think I will have my old
friend thus made the object of your ridicule?--Suppose a challenge
should have ensued between us on your account--what might have been
the issue of it? To see an old gentleman, stumping, as he says, on
crutches, to fight a duel in defence of his wounded honour!"--"Very
bad, Sir, to be sure: I see that, and am sorry for it: for had you
carried off Sir Simon's crutch, as a trophy, he must have lain sighing
and groaning like a wounded soldier in the field of battle, till
another had been brought him, to have stumped home with."

But, dear Sir Simon, I have brought this matter to an issue, that
will, I hope, make all easy;--Miss Polly, and my Pamela, shall both be
punished as they deserve, if it be not your own fault. I am told, that
the sins of your youth don't sit so heavily upon your limbs, as in
your imagination; and I believe change of air, and the gratification
of your revenge, a fine help to such lively spirits as yours, will set
you up. You shall then take coach, and bring your pretty criminal to
mine; and when we have them together, they shall humble themselves
before us, and you can absolve or punish them, as you shall see
proper. For I cannot bear to have my worthy friend insulted in so
heinous a manner, by a couple of saucy girls, who, if not taken down
in time, may proceed from fault to fault, till there will be no living
with them.

If (to be still more serious) your lady and you will lend Miss
Darnford to my Pamela's wishes, whose heart is set upon the hope of
her wintering with us in town, you will lay an obligation upon us
both; which will be acknowledged with great gratitude by, dear Sir,
_your affectionate and humble servant_.



LETTER XXIV

_From Sir Simon Darnford in reply._

Hark ye, Mr. B.--A word in your ear:--to be plain: I like neither you
nor your wife well enough to trust my Polly with you.

But here's war declared against my poor gums, it seems. Well, I will
never open my mouth before your lady as long as I live, if I can help
it. I have for these ten years avoided to put on my cravat; and for
what reason, do you think?--Why, because I could not bear to see what
ruins a few years have made in a visage, that used to inspire love and
terror as it pleased. And here your--what-shall-I-call-her of a wife,
with all the insolence of youth and beauty on her side, follows me
with a glass, and would make me look in it, whether I will or not. I'm
a plaguy good-humoured old fellow--if I am an old fellow--or I should
not bear the insults contained in your letter. Between you and your
lady, you make a wretched figure of me, that's certain.--And yet 'tis
_taking my part_.

But what must I do?--I'd be glad at any rate to stand in your
lady's graces, that I would; nor would I be the last rake libertine
unreformed by her example, which I suppose will make virtue the
fashion, if she goes on as she does. But here I have been used to cut
a joke and toss the squib about; and, as far as I know, it has
helped to keep me alive in the midst of pains and aches, and with two
women-grown girls, and the rest of the mortifications that will attend
on _advanced years_; for I won't (hang me if I will) give it up as
absolute _old age!_

But now, it seems, I must leave all this off, or I must be mortified
with a looking glass held before me, and every wrinkle must be made
as conspicuous as a furrow--And what, pray, is to succeed to this
reformation?--I can neither fast nor pray, I doubt.--And besides, if
my stomach and my jest depart from me, farewell, Sir Simon Darnford!

But cannot I pass as one necessary character, do you think: as a foil
(as, by-the-bye, some of your own actions have been to your lady's
virtue) to set off some more edifying example, where variety of
characters make up a feast in conversation?

Well, I believe I might have trusted you with my daughter, under your
lady's eye, rake as you have been yourself; and fame says wrong, if
you have not been, for your time a bolder sinner than ever I was, with
your maxim of touching ladies' hearts, without wounding their ears,
which made surer work with them, that was all; though 'tis to be hoped
you are now reformed; and if you are, the whole country round you,
east, west, north, and south, owe great obligations to your fair
reclaimer. But here is a fine prim young fellow, coming out of
Norfolk, with one estate in one county, another in another, and
jointures and settlements in his hand, and more wit in his head, as
well as more money in his pocket, than he can tell what to do with, to
visit our Polly; though I tell her I much question the former quality,
his wit, if he is for marrying.

Here then is the reason I cannot comply with your kind Mrs. B.'s
request. But if this matter should go off; if he should not like
_her_, or she _him_; or if I should not like _his_ terms, or he
_mine_;--or still another _or_, if he should like Nancy better why,
then perhaps, if Polly be a good girl, I may trust to her virtue, and
to your honour, and let her go for a month or two.

Now, when I have said this, and when I say, further, that I can
forgive your severe lady, and yourself too, (who, however, are less to
be excused in the airs you assume, which looks like one chimney-sweeper
calling another a sooty rascal) I gave a proof of my charity, which
I hope with Mrs. B. will cover a multitude of faults; and the rather,
since, though I cannot be a _follower_ of her virtue in the strictest
sense, I can be an _admirer_ of it; and that is some little merit: and
indeed all that can be at present pleaded by _yourself_, I doubt, any
more than _your humble servant_,

SIMON DARNFORD.



LETTER XXV

MY HONOURED AND DEAR PARENTS,

I hope you will excuse my long silence, which has been owing to
several causes, and having had nothing new to entertain you with: and
yet this last is but a poor excuse to you, who think every trifling
subject agreeable from your daughter.

I daily expect here my Lord and Lady Davers. This gives me no small
pleasure, and yet it is mingled with some uneasiness at times; lest I
should not, when viewed so intimately near, behave myself answerably
to her ladyship's expectations. But I resolve not to endeavour to
move out of the sphere of my own capacity, in order to emulate her
ladyship. She must have advantages, by conversation, as well as
education, which it would be arrogance in me to assume, or to think of
imitating.

All that I will attempt to do, therefore, shall be, to shew such a
respectful obligingness to my lady, as shall be consistent with the
condition to which I am raised; so that she may not have reason to
reproach me of pride in my exaltation, nor her dear brother to rebuke
me for meanness in condescending: and, as to my family arrangement, I
am the less afraid of inspection, because, by the natural bias of
my own mind, I bless God, I am above dark reserves, and have not one
selfish or sordid view, to make me wish to avoid the most scrutinising
eye.

I have begun a correspondence with Miss Darnford, a young lady
of uncommon merit. But yet you know her character from my former
writings. She is very solicitous to hear of all that concerns me, and
particularly how Lady Davers and I agree together. I loved her from
the moment I saw her first; for she has the least pride, and the most
benevolence and solid thought, I ever knew in a young lady, and does
not envy any one. I shall write to her often: and as I shall have so
many avocations besides to fill up my time, I know you will excuse me,
if I procure from this lady the return of my letters to her, for your
perusal, and for the entertainment of your leisure hours. This will
give you, from time to time, the accounts you desire of all that
happens here. But as to what relates to our own particulars, I beg you
will never spare writing, as I shall not answering; for it is one of
my greatest delights, that I have such worthy parents (as I hope in
God, I long shall) to bless me and to correspond with me.

The papers I send herewith will afford you some diversion,
particularly those relating to Sir Simon Darnford; and I must desire,
that when you have perused them (as well as what I shall send for the
future), you will return them to me.

Mr. Longman greatly pleased me, on his last return, in his account of
your health, and the satisfaction you take in your happy lot; and I
must recite to you a brief conversation on this occasion, which, I
dare say, will please you as much as it did me.

After having adjusted some affairs with his dear principal, which took
up two hours, my best beloved sent for me. "My dear," said he, seating
me by him, and making the good old gentleman sit down, (for he will
always rise at my approach) "Mr. Longman and I have settled, in two
hours, some accounts, which would have taken up as many months with
some persons: for never was there an exacter or more methodical
accomptant. He gives me (greatly to my satisfaction, because I know
it will delight you) an account of the Kentish concern, and of the
pleasure your father and mother take in it.--Now, my charmer," said
he, "I see your eyes begin to glisten: O how this subject raises your
whole soul to the windows of it!--Never was so dutiful a daughter, Mr.
Longman; and never did parents better deserve a daughter's duty."

I endeavoured before Mr. Longman to rein in a gratitude, that my
throbbing heart confessed through my handkerchief, as I perceived: but
the good old gentleman could not hinder his from shewing itself at
his worthy eyes, to see how much I was favoured--_oppressed_, I should
say--with the tenderest goodness to me, and kind expressions.--"Excuse
me," said he, wiping his cheeks: "my delight to see such merit so
justly rewarded will not be contained, I think." And so he arose and
walked to the window.

"Well, good Mr. Longman," said I, as he returned towards us, "you give
me the pleasure to know that my father and mother are well; and happy
then they _must_ be, in a goodness and bounty, that I, and many more,
rejoice in."

"Well and happy, Madam;--ay, that they are, indeed! A worthier couple
never lived. Most nobly do they go on in the farm. Your honour is one
of the happiest gentlemen in the world. All the good you do, returns
upon you in a trice. It may well be said _you cast your bread upon the
waters_; for it presently comes to you again, richer and heavier
than when you threw it in. All the Kentish tenants, Madam, are hugely
delighted with their good steward: every thing prospers under his
management: the gentry love both him and my dame; and the poor people
adore them."

Thus ran Mr. Longman on, to my inexpressible delight, you may believe;
and when he withdrew--"'Tis an honest soul," said my dear Mr. B. "I
love him for his respectful love to my angel, and his value for the
worthy pair. Very glad I am, that every thing answers _their_ wishes.
May they long live, and be happy!"

The dear man makes me spring to his arms, whenever be touches this
string: for he speaks always thus kindly of you; and is glad to hear,
he says, that you don't live only to yourselves; and now and then
adds, that he is as much satisfied with your prudence, as he is with
mine; that parents and daughter do credit to one another: and that
the praises he hears of you from every mouth, make him take as great
pleasure in you, as if you were his own relations. How delighting, how
transporting rather, my dear parents, must this goodness be to your
happy daughter! And how could I forbear repeating these kind things to
you, that you may see how well every thing is taken that you do?

When the expected visit from Lord and Lady Davers is over, the
approaching winter will call us to London; and as I shall then be
nearer to you, we may oftener hear from one another, which will be a
great heightening to my pleasures.

But I hear such an account of the immoralities which persons may
observe there, along with the public diversions, that it takes off a
little from the satisfaction I should otherwise have in the thought of
going thither. For, they say, quarrels, and duels, and gallantries, as
they are called, so often happen in London, that those enormities are
heard of without the least wonder or surprise.

This makes me very thoughtful at times. But God, I hope, will preserve
our dearest benefactor, and continue to me his affection, and then
I shall be always happy; especially while your healths and felicity
confirm and crown the delights of _your ever dutiful daughter,_ P.B.



LETTER XXVI

MY DEAREST CHILD,

It may not be improper to mention ourselves, what the nature of
the kindnesses is, which we confer on our poor neighbours, and the
labouring people, lest it should be surmised, by any body, that we
are lavishing away wealth that is not our own. Not that we fear either
your honoured husband or you will suspect so, or that the worthy
Mr. Longman would insinuate as much; for he saw what we did, and was
highly pleased with it, and said he would make such a report of it as
you write he did. What we do is in small things, though the good we
hope from them is not small perhaps: and if a very distressful
case should happen among our poor neighbours, requiring any thing
considerable, and the objects be deserving, we would acquaint you with
it, and leave it to you to do as God should direct you.

My dear child, you are very happy, and if it _can_ be, may you be
happier still! Yet I verily think you cannot be more happy than your
father and mother, except in this one thing, that all our happiness,
under God, proceeds from you; and, as other parents bless their
children with plenty and benefits, you have blessed your parents (or
your honoured husband rather for your sake) with all the good things
this world can afford.

Your papers are the joy of our leisure hours; and you are kind beyond
all expression, in taking care to oblige us with them. We know how
your time is taken up, and ought to be very well contented, if but
now and then you let us hear of your health and welfare. But it is
not enough with such a good daughter, that you have made our lives
_comfortable_, but you will make them _joyful_ too, by communicating
to us, all that befals you: and then you write so piously, and
with such a sense of God's goodness to you, and intermix such good
reflections in your writings, that whether it be our partial love or
not, I cannot tell, but, truly, we think nobody comes up to you: and
you make our hearts and eyes so often overflow, as we read, that we
join hand in hand, and say to each other, in the same breath--"Blessed
be God, and blessed be you, my love,"--"For such a daughter," says the
one--"For such a daughter," says the other--"And she has your own sweet
temper," cry I.--"And she has your own honest heart," cries she: and
so we go on, blessing God, and you, and blessing your spouse, and
ourselves!--Is any happiness like ours, my dear daughter?

We are really so enraptured with your writings, that when our spirits
flag, through the infirmity of years, which hath begun to take hold of
us, we have recourse to some of your papers:--"Come, my dear," cry I,
"what say you to a banquet now?"--She knows what I mean. "With all my
heart," says she. So I read although it be on a Sunday, so good are
your letters; and you must know, I have copies of many, and after a
little while we are as much alive and brisk, as if we had no nagging
at all, and return to the duties of the day with double delight.

Consider then, my dear child, what joy your writings give us: and
yet we are afraid of oppressing you, who have so much to do of other
kinds; and we are heartily glad you have found out a way to save
trouble to yourself, and rejoice us, and oblige so worthy a young
lady as Miss Darnford, all at one time. I never shall forget her dear
goodness, and notice of me at the Hall, kindly pressing my rough hands
with her fine hands, and looking in my face with _so_ much kindness
in her eyes!--What good people, as well as bad, there are in high
stations!--Thank God there are; else our poor child would have had
a sad time of it too often, when she was obliged to _step out of
herself_, as once I heard you phrase it, into company you could not
_live with_.

Well, but what shall I say more? and yet how shall I end?--Only, with
my prayers, that God will continue to you the blessing and comforts
you are in possession of!--And pray now, be not over-thoughtful about
London; for why should you let the dread of future evils lessen your
present joys?--There is no absolute perfection in this life, that's
true; but one would make one's self as easy as one could. 'Tis time
enough to be troubled when troubles come--"_Sufficient unto the day is
the evil thereof_."

Rejoice, then, as you have often said you would, in your present
blessings, and leave the event of things to the Supreme Disposer
of all events. And what have _you_ to do but to rejoice? _You_, who
cannot see a sun rise, but it is to bless you, and to raise up from
their beds numbers to join in the blessing! _You_ who can bless your
high-born friends, and your low-born parents, and obscure relations!
the rich by your example, and the poor by your bounty; and bless
besides so good and so brave a husband;--O my dear child, what, let
me repeat it, have _you_ to do but rejoice?--_For many daughters have
done wisely, but you have excelled them all_.

I will only add, that every thing the 'squire ordered is just upon the
point of being finished. And when the good time comes, that we shall
be again favoured with his presence and yours, what a still greater
joy will this afford to the already overflowing hearts of _your ever
loving father and mother_,

JOHN _and_ ELIZ. ANDREWS.



LETTER XXVII

MY DEAREST MISS DARNFORD,

The interest I take in everything that concerns you, makes me very
importunate to know how you approve the gentleman, whom some of your
best friends and well-wishers have recommended to your favour. I hope
he will deserve your good opinion, and then he must excel most of the
unmarried gentlemen in England.

Your papa, in his humourous manner, mentions his large possessions and
riches; but were he as rich as Croesus, he should not have my consent,
if he has no greater merit; though that is what the generality of
parents look out for first; and indeed an easy fortune is so far from
being to be disregarded, that, when attended with equal merit, I think
it ought to have a _preference_ given to it, supposing affections
disengaged. For 'tis certain, that a man or woman may stand as good a
chance for happiness in marriage with a person of fortune, as with one
who has not that advantage; and notwithstanding I had neither riches
nor descent to boast of, I must be of opinion with those who say, that
they never knew any body despise either, that had them. But to permit
riches to be the _principal_ inducement, to the neglect of superior
merit, that is the fault which many a one smarts for, whether the
choice be their own, or imposed upon them by those who have a title to
their obedience.

Here is a saucy body, might some who have not Miss Darnford's kind
consideration for her friend, be apt to say, who being thus meanly
descended, nevertheless presumes to give her opinion, in these high
cases, unasked.--But I have this to say; that I think myself so
entirely divested of partiality to my own case, that, as far as my
judgment shall permit, I will never have that in view, when I am
presuming to hint my opinion of general rules. For, most surely, the
honours I have received, and the debasement to which my best friend
had subjected himself, have, for their principal excuse, that the
gentleman was entirely independent, had no questions to ask, and had
a fortune sufficient to make himself, as well as the person he
chose, happy, though she brought him nothing at all; and that he had,
moreover, such a character for good sense, and knowledge of the world,
that nobody could impute to him any other inducement, but that of a
noble resolution to reward a virtue he had so frequently, and, I will
say, so wickedly, tried, and could not subdue.

My dear Miss, let me, as a subject very pleasing to me, touch upon
your kind mention of the worthy Mr. Peters's sentiments to that
part of his conduct to me, which (oppressed by the terrors and
apprehensions to which I was subjected) once I censured; and the
readier, as I had so great an honour for his cloth, that I thought,
to be a clergyman, and all that was compassionate, good, and virtuous,
was the same thing.

But when I came to know Mr. Peters, I had a high opinion of his
worthiness, and as no one can be perfect in this life, thus I thought
to myself: How hard was then my lot, to be the cause of stumbling
to so worthy a heart. To be sure, a gentleman, one who knows, and
practises so well, his duty, in every other instance, and preaches it
so efficaciously to others, must have been _one day_ sensible, that it
would not have mis-become his function and character to have afforded
that protection to oppressed innocence, which was requested of him:
and how would it have grieved his considerate mind, had my ruin been
completed, that he did not!

But as he had once a namesake, as one may say, that failed in a much
greater instance, let not _my_ want of charity exceed _his_ fault;
but let me look upon it as an infirmity, to which the most perfect
are liable; I was a stranger to him; a servant girl carried off by
her master, a young gentleman of violent and lawless passions, who,
in this very instance, shewed how much in earnest he was set upon
effecting all his vile purposes; and whose heart, although _God_ might
touch, it was not probable any lesser influence could. Then he was not
sure, that, though he might assist my escape, I might not afterwards
fall again into the hands of so determined a violator: and that
difficulty would not, with such an one, enhance his resolution to
overcome all obstacles.

Moreover, he might think, that the person, who was moving him to this
worthy measure, possibly sought to gratify a view of his own, and that
while endeavouring to save, to outward appearance, a virtue in danger,
he was, in reality, only helping another to a wife, at the hazard of
exposing himself to the vindictiveness of a violent temper, and a rich
neighbour, who had power as well as will to resent; for such was his
apprehension, entirely groundless as it was, though not improbable, as
it might seem to him.

For all these considerations, I must pity, rather than too rigorously
censure, the worthy gentleman, and I will always respect him. And
thank him a thousand times, my dear, in my name, for his goodness in
condescending to acknowledge, by your hand, his infirmity, as such;
for this gives an excellent proof of the natural worthiness of his
heart; and that it is beneath him to seek to extenuate a fault, when
he thinks he has committed one.

Indeed, my dear friend, I have so much honour for the clergy of all
degrees, that I never forget in my prayers one article, that God will
make them shining lights to the world; since so much depends on their
ministry and examples, as well with respect to our public as private
duties. Nor shall the faults of a few make impression upon me to the
disadvantage of the order; for I am afraid a very censorious temper,
in this respect, is too generally the indication of an uncharitable
and perhaps a profligate heart, levelling characters, in order to
cover some inward pride, or secret enormities, which they are ashamed
to avow, and will not be instructed to amend.

Forgive, my dear, this tedious scribble; I cannot for my life write
short letters to those I love. And let me hope that you will favour
me with an account of your new affair, and how you proceed in it;
and with such of your conversations, as may give me some notion of a
polite courtship. For, alas! your poor friend knows nothing of this.
All her courtship was sometimes a hasty snatch of the hand, a black
and blue gripe of the arm, and--"Whither now?"--"Come to me when I bid
you!" And Saucy-face, and Creature, and such like, on his part--with
fear and trembling on mine; and--"I will, I will!--Good Sir, have
mercy!" At other times a scream, and nobody to hear or mind me; and
with uplift hands, bent knees, and tearful eyes--"For God's sake, pity
your poor servant."

This, my dear Miss Darnford, was the hard treatment that attended my
courtship--pray, then, let me know, how gentlemen court their equals
in degree; how they look when they address you, with their knees bent,
sighing, supplicating, and _all that_, as Sir Simon says, with the
words Slave, Servant, Admirer, continually at their tongue's end.

But after all, it will be found, I believe, that be the language and
behaviour ever so obsequious, it is all designed to end alike--The
English, the plain English, of the politest address, is,--"I am now,
dear Madam, your humble servant: pray be so good as to let me be your
master,"--"Yes, and thank you too," says the lady's heart, though not
her lips, if she likes him. And so they go to church together; and,
in conclusion, it will be happy, if these obsequious courtships end no
worse than my frightful one.

But I am convinced, that with a man of sense, a woman of tolerable
prudence _must_ be happy.

That whenever you marry, it may be to such a man, who then must value
you as you deserve, and make you happy as I now am, notwithstanding
all that's past, wishes and prays _your obliged friend and servant,_

P.B.

[N.B.--Although Miss Darnford could not receive the above letter
so soon, as to answer it before others were sent to her by her fair
correspondent; yet we think it not amiss to dispense with the order of
time, that the reader may have the letter and answer at one view, and
shall on other occasions take the like liberty.]



LETTER XXVIII

_In answer to the preceding_

MY DEAR MRS. B.,

You charm us all with your letters. Mr. Peters says, he will never go
to bed, nor rise, but he will pray for you, and desires I will return
his thankful acknowledgment for your favourable opinion of him, and
kind allowances. If there be an angel on earth, he says, you are
one. My papa, although he has seen your stinging reflection upon his
refusal to protect you, is delighted with you too; and says, when you
come down to Lincolnshire again, he will be _undertaken_ by you
in good earnest: for he thinks it was wrong in him to deny you his
protection.

We all smiled at the description of your own uncommon courtship. And,
as they say the days of courtship are the happiest part of life, if we
had not known that your days of marriage are happier by far than any
other body's courtship, we must needs have pitied. But as the one
were days of trial and temptation, the others are days of reward and
happiness: may the last always continue to be so, and you'll have no
occasion to think any body happier than Mrs. B.!

I thank you heartily for your good wishes as to the man of sense.
Mr. Murray has been here, and continues his visits. He is a lively
gentleman, well enough in his person, has a tolerable character, yet
loves company, and will take his bottle freely; my papa likes him
ne'er the worse for that: he talks a good deal; dresses gay, and even
richly, and seems to like his own person very well--no great pleasure
this for a lady to look forward to; yet he falls far short of that
genteel ease and graceful behaviour, which distinguish your Mr. B.
from any body I know.

I wish Mr. Murray would apply to my sister. She is an ill-natured
girl; but would make a good wife, I hope; and fancy she'd like him
well enough. I can't say I do. He laughs too much; has something
boisterous in his conversation: his complaisance is not pretty; he is,
however, well versed in country sports; and my papa loves him for that
too, and says--"He is a most accomplished gentleman."--"Yes Sir," cry
I, "as gentlemen go."--"You _must_ be saucy," says Sir Simon, "because
the man offers himself to your acceptance. A few years hence, perhaps,
if you remain single, you'll alter your note, Polly, and be willing to
jump at a much less worthy tender."

I could not help answering that, although I paid due honour to all my
papa was pleased to say, I could not but hope he would be mistaken in
this. But I have broken my mind to my dear mamma, who tells me, she
will do me all the pleasure she can; but would be loth the youngest
daughter should go _first_, as she calls it. But if I could come
and live with you a little now and then, I did not care who married,
unless such an one offered as I never expect.

I have great hopes the gentleman will be easily persuaded to quit me
for Nancy; for I see he has not delicacy enough to love with any great
distinction. He says, as my mamma tells me by the bye, that I am the
handsomest, and best humoured, and he has found out as he thinks, that
I have some wit, and have ease and freedom (and he tacks innocence
to them) in my address and conversation. 'Tis well for me, _he_ is
of this opinion: for if he thinks justly, which I must question, _any
body_ may think so still much more; for I have been far from taking
pains to engage his good word, having been under more reserve to him,
than ever I was before to any body.

Indeed, I can't help it: for the gentleman is forward without
delicacy; and (pardon me, Sir Simon) my papa has not one bit of it
neither; but is for pushing matters on, with his rough raillery, that
puts me out of countenance, and has already adjusted the sordid part
of the preliminaries, as he tells me.

Yet I hope Nancy's three thousand pound fortune more than I am likely
to have, will give her the wished-for preference with Mr. Murray;
and then, as to a brother-in-law, in prospect, I can put off all
restraint, and return to my usual freedom.

This is all that occurs worthy of notice from us: but from you, we
expect an account of Lady Davers's visit, and of the conversations
that offer among you; and you have so delightful a way of making every
thing momentous, either by your subject or reflections, or both, that
we long for every post-day, in hopes of the pleasure of a letter. And
yours I will always carefully preserve, as so many testimonies of the
honour I receive in this correspondence: which will be always esteemed
as it deserves, by, my dear Mrs. B., _your obliged and faithful_

POLLY DARNFORD.

Mrs. Peters, Mrs. Jones, my papa, mamma, and sister, present their
respects. Mr. Peters I mentioned before. He continues to give a very
good account of poor Jewkes; and is much pleased with her.



LETTER XXIX

MY DEAR MISS DARNFORD,

At your desire, and to oblige your honoured mamma, and your good
neighbours, I will now acquaint you with the arrival of Lady Davers,
and will occasionally write what passes among us, I will not say
worthy of notice; for were I only to do so, I should be more brief,
perhaps, by much, than you seem to expect. But as my time is pretty
much taken up, and I find I shall be obliged to write a bit now, and
a bit then, you must excuse me, if I dispense with some forms, which I
ought to observe, when I write to one I so dearly love; and so I will
give it journal-wise, as it were, and have no regard, when it would
fetter or break in upon my freedom of narration, to inscription or
subscription; but send it as I have opportunity, and if you please to
favour me so far, as to lend it me, after you have read the stuff,
for the perusal of my father and mother, to whom my duty, and promise
require me to give an account of my proceedings, it will save me
transcription, for which I shall have no time; and then you will
excuse blots and blurs, and I will trouble myself no farther for
apologies on that score, but this once for all.

If you think it worth while when they have read it, you shall have it
again.

WEDNESDAY MORNING, SIX O'CLOCK.

For my dear friend permits me to rise an hour sooner than usual, that
I may have time to scribble; for he is always pleased to see me so
employed, or in reading; often saying, when I am at my needle, (as his
sister once wrote) "Your maids can do this, Pamela: but they cannot
write as you can." And yet, as he says, when I choose to follow my
needle, as a diversion from too intense study, (but, alas! I know not
what study is, as may be easily guessed by my hasty writing, putting
down every thing as it comes) I shall then do as I please. But I
promised at setting out, what a good wife I'd endeavour to make: and
every honest body should try to be as good as her word, you know, and
such particulars as I then mentioned, I think I ought to dispense with
as little as possible; especially as I promised no more than what was
my duty to perform, if I had _not_ promised. But what a preamble is
here? Judge by it what impertinences you may expect as I proceed.

Yesterday evening arrived here my Lord and Lady Davers, their nephew,
and the Countess of C., mother of Lady Betty, whom we did not expect,
but took it for the greater favour. It seems her ladyship longed, as
she said, to see _me_; and this was her principal inducement. The two
ladies, and their two women, were in Lord Davers's coach and six, and
my lord and his nephew rode on horseback, attended with a train of
servants.

We had expected them to dinner; but they could not reach time enough;
for the countess being a little incommoded with her journey, the coach
travelled slowly. My lady would not suffer her lord, nor his nephew,
to come hither before her, though on horseback, because she would be
present, she said, when his lordship first saw me, he having quite
forgot _her mother's Pamela_; that was her word.

It rained when they came in; so the coach drove directly to the door,
and Mr. B. received them there; but I was in a little sort of flutter,
which Mr. B. observing, made me sit down in the parlour to compose
myself. "Where's Pamela?" said my lady, as soon as she alighted.

I stept out, lest she should take it amiss: and she took my hand, and
kissed me: "Here, my lady countess," said she, presenting me to her,
"here's the girl; see if I said too much in praise of her person."

The countess saluted me with a visible pleasure in her eye, and said,
"Indeed, Lady Davers, you have not. 'Twould have been strange (excuse
me, Mrs. B., for I know your story), if such a fine flower had not
been transplanted from the field to the garden."

I made no return, but by a low curtsey, to her ladyship's compliment.
Then Lady Davers taking my hand again, presented me to her lord: "See
here, my lord, my mother's Pamela."--"And see here, my lord," said
her generous brother, taking my other hand most kindly, "see here your
brother's Pamela too!"

My lord saluted me: "I do," said he to his lady, and to his brother;
"and I see the first person in her, that has exceeded my expectation,
when every mouth had _prepared_ me to expect a wonder."

Mr. H., whom every one calls Lord Jackey, after his aunt's example,
when she is in good humour with him, and who is a very _young_
gentleman, though about as old as my best friend, came to me next,
and said, "Lovelier and lovelier, by my life!--I never saw your peer,
Madam."

Will you excuse me, my dear, all this seeming vanity, for the sake of
repeating exactly what passed?

"Well, but," said my lady, taking my hand, in her free quality way,
which quite dashed me, and holding it at a distance, and turning me
half round, her eye fixed to my waist, "let me observe you a little,
my sweet-faced girl;--I hope I am right: I hope you will do credit
to my brother, as he has done you credit. Why do you let her lace so
tight, Mr. B.?"

I was unable to look up, as you may believe, Miss: my face, all over
scarlet, was hid in my bosom, and I looked so _silly!_--

"Ay," said my naughty lady, "you may well look down, my good girl: for
works of this nature will not be long hidden.--And, oh! my lady," (to
the countess) "see how like a pretty _thief_ she looks!"

"Dear my lady!" said I: for she still kept looking at me: and her good
brother, seeing my confusion, in pity to me, pressed my blushing face
a moment to his generous breast, and said, "Lady Davers, you should
not be thus hard upon my dear girl, the moment you see her, and before
so many witnesses:--but look up, my best love, take your revenge of my
sister, and tell her, you wish her in the same way."

"It is so then?" said my lady. "I'm glad of it with all my heart. I
will now love you better and better: but I almost doubted it, seeing
her still so slender. But if, my good child, you lace too tight, I'll
never forgive you." And so she gave me a kiss of congratulation, as
she said.

Do you think I did not look very silly? My lord, smiling, and gazing
at me from head to foot; Lord Jackey grinning and laughing, like
an oaf, as I then, in my spite, thought. Indeed the countess said,
encouragingly to me, but severely in persons of birth, "Lady Davers,
you are as much too teazing, as Mrs. B. is too bashful. But you are a
happy man, Mr. B., that your lady's bashfulness is the principal mark
by which we can judge she is not of quality." Lord Jackey, in the
language of some character in a play, cried out, "_A palpable hit, by
Jupiter!_" and laughed egregiously, running about from one to another,
repeating the same words.

We talked only upon common topics till supper-time, and I was all ear,
as I thought it became me to be; for the countess had, by her first
compliment, and by an aspect as noble as intelligent, overawed me,
as I may say, into a respectful silence, to which Lady Davers's
free, though pleasant raillery (which she could not help carrying on
now-and-then) contributed. Besides, Lady Davers's letters had given me
still greater reason to revere her wit and judgment than I had before,
when I reflected on her passionate temper, and such parts of the
conversation I had had with her ladyship in your neighbourhood; which
(however to be admired) fell short of her letters.

When we were to sit down at table, I looked, I suppose, a little
diffidently: for I really then thought of my lady's anger at the Hall,
when she would not have permitted me to sit at table with her; and Mr.
B. saying, "Take your place, my dear; you keep our friends standing;"
I sat down in my usual seat. And my lady said, "None of your
reproaching eye, Pamela; I know what you hint at by it; and every
letter I have received from you has made me censure myself for my
_lady-airs_, as you call 'em, you sauce-box you: I told you, I'd
_lady-airs_ you when I saw you; and you shall have it all in good
time."

"I am sure," said I, "I shall have nothing from your ladyship, but
what will be very agreeable: but, indeed, I never meant any thing
particular by that, or any other word that I wrote; nor could I think
of any thing but what was highly respectful to your ladyship."

Lord Davers was pleased to say, that it was impossible I should either
write or speak any thing that could be taken amiss.

Lady Davers, after supper, and the servants were withdrawn, began
a discourse on titles, and said, "Brother, I think you should hold
yourself obliged to my Lord Davers; for he has spoken to Lord S. who
made him a visit a few days ago, to procure you a baronet's
patent. Your estate, and the figure you make in the world, are so
considerable, and your family besides is so ancient, that, methinks,
you should wish for some distinction of that sort."

"Yes, brother," said my lord, "I did mention it to Lord S. and told
him, withal, that it was without your knowledge or desire that I spoke
about it; and I was not very sure you would accept of it; but 'tis a
thing your sister has wished for a good while."

"What answer did my Lord S. make to it?" said Mr. B.

"He said, 'We,' meaning the ministers, I suppose, 'should be glad to
oblige a man of Mr. B.'s figure in the world; but you mention it so
slightly, that you can hardly expect courtiers will tender it to any
gentleman that is so indifferent about it; for, Lord Davers, we seldom
grant honours without a view: I tell you that,' added he, smiling."

"My Lord S. might mention this as a jest," returned Mr. B., "but he
spoke the truth. But your lordship said well, that I was indifferent
about it. 'Tis true, 'tis an hereditary title; but the rich citizens,
who used to be satisfied with the title of Knight, (till they made it
so common, that it is brought into as great contempt almost as that
of the French knights of St. Michael,[1] and nobody cares to accept
of it) now are ambitious of this; and, as I apprehend, it is hastening
apace into like disrepute. Besides, 'tis a novel honour, and what the
ancestors of our family, who lived at its institution, would never
accept of. But were it a peerage, which has some essential privileges
and splendours annexed to it, to make it desirable to some men, I
would not enter into conditions for it. Titles at best," added he,
"are but shadows; and he that has the substance should be above
valuing them; for who that has the whole bird, would pride himself
upon a single feather?"

"But," said my lady, "although I acknowledge that the institution is
of late date, yet, as abroad, as well as at home, it is regarded as
a title of dignity, and the best families among the gentry
are supposed to be distinguished by it, I should wish you to
accept of it. And as to citizens who have it, they are not many; and
some of this class of people, or their immediate descendants, have
bought themselves into the peerage itself of the one kingdom or the
other."

[Footnote 1: This order was become so scandalously common in France,
that, to order to suppress it, the hangman was vested with the ensigns
of it, which effectually abolished it.]

"As to what it is looked upon abroad," said Mr. B., "this is of no
weight at all; for when an Englishman travels, be he of what degree
he will, if he has an equipage, and squanders his money away, he is a
lord of course with foreigners: and therefore Sir Such-a-one is rather
a diminution to him, as it gives him a lower title than his vanity
would perhaps make him aspire to be thought in the possession
of. Then, as to citizens, in a trading nation like this, I am not
displeased in the main, with seeing the overgrown ones creeping into
nominal honours; and we have so many of our first titled families, who
have allied themselves to trade, (whose inducements were money only)
that it ceases to be either a wonder as to the fact, or a disgrace as
to the honour."

"Well, brother," said my lady, "I will tell you farther, the thing may
be had for asking for; if you will but go to court, and desire to kiss
the king's hand, that will be all the trouble you'll have: and pray
now oblige me in it."

"If a title would make me either a better or a wiser man," replied Mr.
B., "I would embrace it with pleasure. Besides, I am not so satisfied
with some of the measures now pursuing, as to owe any obligation
to the ministers. Accepting of a small title from them, is but like
putting on their badge, or listing under their banners; like a certain
lord we all know, who accepted of one degree more of title to shew he
was theirs, and would not have an higher, lest it should be thought a
satisfaction tantamount to half the pension he demanded: and could I
be easy to have it supposed, that I was an ungrateful man for voting
as I pleased, because they gave me the title of a baronet?"

The countess said, the world always thought Mr. B. to be a man of
steady principles, and not attached to any party; but, in her opinion,
it was far from being inconsistent with any gentleman's honour and
independency, to accept of a title from a prince he acknowledged as
his sovereign.

"'Tis very true. Madam, that I am attached to no party, nor ever will.
I will be a _country gentleman_, in the true sense of the word, and
will accept of no favour that shall make any one think I would _not_
be of the opposition when I think it a necessary one; as, on the other
hand, I should scorn to make myself a round to any man's ladder of
preferment, or a caballer for the sake of my own."

"You say well, brother," returned Lady Davers; "but you may
undoubtedly keep your own principles and independency, and yet pay
your duty to the king, and accept of this title; for your family and
fortune will be a greater ornament to the title, than the title to
you."

"Then what occasion have I for it, if that be the case, Madam?"

"Why, I can't say, but I should be glad you had it, for your family's
sake, as it is an hereditary honour. Then it would mend the style of
your spouse here; for the good girl is at such a loss for an epithet
when she writes, that I see the constraint she lies under. It is,
'_My dear gentleman, my best friend, my benefactor, my dear Mr. B._'
whereas Sir William would turn off her periods more roundly, and no
other softer epithets would be wanting."

"To me," replied he, "who always desire to be distinguished as my
Pamela's best friend, and think it an honour to be called _her dear
Mr. B. and her dear man_, this reason weighs very little, unless there
were no other Sir William in the kingdom than _her_ Sir William: for
I am very emulous of her favour, I can tell you, and think it no small
distinction."

I blushed at this too great honour, before such company, and was
afraid my lady would be a little picqued at it. But after a pause,
she said, "Well, then, brother, will you let Pamela decide upon this
point?"

"Rightly put," said the countess. "Pray let Mrs. B. choose for you,
Sir. My lady has hit the thing."

"Very good, by my soul," says Lord Jackey; "let my _young aunt_," that
was his word, "choose for you, Sir."

"Well, then, Pamela," said Mr. B., "give us your opinion, as to this
point."

"But, first," said Lady Davers, "say you will be determined by it; or
else she will be laid under a difficulty."

"Well, then," replied he, "be it so--I will be determined by your
opinion, my dear; give it me freely."

Lord Jackey rubbed his hands together, "Charming, charming, as I hope
to live! By Jove, this is just as I wished!"

"Well, now, Pamela," said my lady, "speak your true heart without
disguise: I charge you do."

"Why then, gentlemen and ladies," said I, "if I must be so bold as to
speak on a subject, upon which on several accounts, it would become me
to be silent, I should be _against_ the title; but perhaps my reason
is of too private a nature to weigh any thing: and if so, it would not
become me to have any choice at all."

They all called upon me for my reason; and I said, looking down
a little abashed, "It is this: Here my dear Mr. B. has disparaged
himself by distinguishing, as he has done, such a low creature as I;
and the world will be apt to say, he is seeking to repair _one
way_ the honour he has lost _another!_ and then perhaps, it will be
attributed to my pride and ambition: 'Here, they will perhaps say,
'the proud cottager will needs be a lady in hopes to conceal her
descent;' whereas, had I such a vain thought, it would be but making
it the more remembered against both Mr. B. and myself. And indeed, as
to my own part, I take too much pride in having been lifted up into
this distinction for the causes to which I owe it, your brother's
_bounty_ and _generosity_, than to be ashamed of what I _was_: only
now-and-then I am concerned for his own sake, lest he should be too
much censured. But this would not be prevented, but rather be promoted
by the title. So I am humbly of opinion against the title."

Mr. B. had hardly patience to hear me out, but came to me and folding
his arms about me, said, "Just as I wished, have you answered, my
beloved Pamela; I was never yet deceived in you; no, not once."

"Madam," said he to the countess, "Lord Davers, Lady Davers, do we
want any titles, think you, to make us happy but what we can confer
upon ourselves?" And he pressed my hand to his lips, as he always
honours me most in company and went to his place highly pleased; while
his fine manner drew tears from my eyes, and made his noble sister's
and the countess's glisten too.

"Well, for my part," said Lady Davers, "thou art a strange girl:
where, as my brother once said, gottest thou all this?" Then
pleasantly humorous, as if she was angry, she changed her tone, "What
signify thy _meek_ words and _humble_ speeches when by thy _actions_,
as well as _sentiments_, thou reflectest upon us all? Pamela," said
she, "have less merit, or take care to conceal it better: I shall
otherwise have no more patience with thee, than thy monarch has just
now shewn."

The countess was pleased to say, "You're a happy couple indeed!"

Such sort of entertainment as this you are to expect from your
correspondent. I cannot do better than I can; and it may appear such
a mixture of self-praise, vanity, and impertinence, that I expect you
will tell me freely, as soon as this comes to your hand, whether it be
tolerable to you. Yet I must write on, for my dear father and mother's
sake, who require it of me, and are prepared to approve of every thing
that comes from me, for no other reason but that: and I think you
ought to leave me to write to them only, as I cannot hope it will be
entertaining to any body else, without expecting as much partiality
and favour from others, as I have from my dear parents. Mean time
I conclude here my first conversation-piece; and am, and will be,
_always yours, &c._ P.B.



LETTER XXX

THURSDAY MORNING, SIX O'CLOCK.

Our breakfast conversation yesterday (at which only Mrs. Worden, my
lady's woman, and my Polly attended) was so whimsically particular,
(though I doubt some of it, at least, will appear too trifling) that
I must acquaint my dear Miss Darnford with it, who is desirous of
knowing all that relates to Lady Davers's conduct towards me.

You must know, then, I have the honour to stand very high in the
graces of Lord Davers, who on every occasion is pleased to call me his
_good Sister_, his _dear Sister_, and sometimes his _charming Sister_,
and he says, he will not be out of my company for an hour together,
while he stays here, if he can help it.

My lady seems to relish this very well in the main, though she cannot
quite so readily, yet, frame her mouth to the sound of the word
_Sister_, as my lord does; of which this that follows is one instance.

His lordship had called me by that tender name twice before, and
saying, "I will drink another dish, I think, my _good Sister_." My
lady said, "Your lordship has got a word by the end, that you seem
mighty fond of: I have taken notice, that you have called Pamela
_Sister, Sister, Sister_, no less than three times in a quarter of an
hour."

My lord looked a little serious: "I shall one day," said he, "be
allowed to choose my own words and phrases, I hope--Your sister, Mr.
B.," added he, "often questions whether I am at age or not, though the
House of Peers made no scruple of admitting me among them some years
ago."

Mr. B. said severely, but with a smiling air, "'Tis well she has
such a gentleman as your lordship for a husband, whose affectionate
indulgence to her makes you overlook all her saucy sallies! I am sure,
when you took her out of our family into your own, we all thought
ourselves, I in particular, bound to pray for you."

I thought this a great trial of my lady's patience: but it was from
Mr. B. And she said, with a half-pleasant, half-serious air, "How now,
Confidence!--None but my brother could have said this, whose violent
spirit was always much more intolerable than mine: but I can tell you,
Mr. B., I was always thought very good-humoured and obliging to every
body, till your impudence came from college, and from your travels;
and then, I own, your provoking ways made me now-and-then a little out
of the way."

"Well, well, sister, we'll have no more of this subject; only let
us see that my Lord Davers wants not his proper authority with you,
although you used to keep _me_ in awe formerly."

"Keep _you_ in awe!--That nobody could ever do yet, boy or man.
But, my lord, I beg your pardon; for this brother will make mischief
betwixt us if he can--I only took notice of the word _Sister_ so often
used, which looked more like affectation than affection."

"Perhaps, Lady Davers," said my lord, gravely, "I have two reasons for
using the word so frequently."

"I'd be glad to hear them," said the dear taunting lady; "for I don't
doubt they're mighty good ones. What are they, my lord?"

"One is, because I love, and am fond of my new relation: the other,
that you are so sparing of the word, that I call her so for us both."

"Your lordship says well," replied Mr. B., smiling: "and Lady Davers
can give two reasons why she does _not_."

"Well," said my lady, "now we are in for't, let us hear _your_ two
reasons likewise; I doubt not they're wise ones too."

"If they are _yours_, Lady Davers, they must be so. One is, That every
condescension (to speak in a proud lady's dialect) comes with as much
difficulty from her, as a favour from the House of Austria to
the petty princes of Germany. The second, Because those of your
sex--(Excuse me, Madam," to the countess) "who have once made
scruples, think it inconsistent with themselves to be over hasty to
alter their own conduct, choosing rather to persist in an error, than
own it to be one."

This proceeded from his impatience to see me in the least slighted
by my lady; and I said to Lord Davers, to soften matters, "Never,
my lord, were brother and sister so loving in earnest, and yet so
satirical upon each other in jest, as my good lady and Mr. B. But your
lordship knows their way."

My lady frowned at her brother, but turned it off with an air: "I
love the mistress of this house," said she, "very well; and am quite
reconciled to her: but methinks there is such a hissing sound in the
word _Sister_, that I cannot abide it. 'Tis a true English word, but
a word I have not been used to, having never had a sis-s-s-ter
before, as you know,"--Speaking the first syllable of the word with an
emphatical hiss.

Mr. B. said, "Observe you not, Lady Davers, that you used a word (to
avoid that) which had twice the hissing in it that _sister_ has? And
that was mis-s-s-tress, with two other hissing words to accompany it,
of this-s-s hous-s-e: but to what childish follies does not pride
make one stoop!--Excuse, Madam" (to the countess), "such poor low
conversation as we are dwindled into."

"O Sir," said her ladyship, "the conversation is very agreeable;--and
I think, Lady Davers, you're fairly caught."

"Well," said my lady, "then help me, good _sister_--there's for
you!--to a little sugar. Will that please you, Sir?"

"I am always pleased," replied her brother, smiling, "when Lady Davers
acts up to her own character, and the good sense she is mistress of."

"Ay, ay, my good brother, like other wise men, takes it for granted
that it is a mark of good sense to approve of whatever _he_ does.--And
so, for this one time, I am a very sensible body with him--And I'll
leave off, while I have his good word. Only one thing I must say to
you, my dear," turning to me, "that though I call you Pamela, as I
please, be assured, I love you as well as if I called you _sister_, as
Lord Davers does, at every word."

"Your ladyship gives me great pleasure," said I, "in this kind
assurance; and I don't doubt but I shall have the honour of being
called by that tender name, if I can be so happy as to deserve it;
and I'll lose no opportunity that shall be afforded me, to show how
sincerely I will endeavour to do so."

She was pleased to rise from her seat: "Give me a kiss, my dear girl;
you deserve every thing: and permit me to say Pamela sometimes, as the
word occurs: for I am not used to speak in print; and I will call you
_sister_ when I think of it, and love you as well as ever sister loved
another."

"These proud and passionate folks," said Mr. B., "how good they can
be, when they reflect a little on what becomes their characters!"

"So, then," rejoined my lady, "I am to have no merit of my own, I see,
do what I will. This is not quite so generous in my brother, as one
might expect."

"Why, you saucy sister--excuse me. Lord Davers--what merit _would_
you assume? Can people merit by doing their duty? And is it so great a
praise, that you think fit to own for a sister so deserving a girl as
this, whom I take pride in calling my wife?"

"Thou art what thou always wert," returned my lady; "and were I in
this my imputed pride to want an excuse, I know not the creature
living, that ought so soon to make one for me, as you."

"I _do_ excuse you," said he, "for _that_ very reason, if you please:
but it little becomes either your pride, or mine, to do any thing that
wants excuse."

"Mighty moral! mighty grave, truly!--Pamela, friend, sister,--there's
for you!--thou art a happy girl to have made such a reformation in
thy honest man's way of _thinking_ as well as _acting_. But now we are
upon this topic, and only friends about us, I am resolved to be even
with thee, brother--Jackey, if you are not for another dish, I wish
you'd withdraw. Polly Barlow, we don't want you. Beck, you may stay."
Mr. H. obeyed; and Polly went out; for you must know, Miss, that my
Lady Davers will have none of the men-fellows, as she calls them, to
attend upon us at tea. And I cannot say but I think her entirely in
the right, for several reasons that might be given.

When they were withdrawn, my lady repeated, "Now we are upon this
topic of reclaiming and reformation, tell me, thou bold wretch; for
you know I have seen all your rogueries in Pamela's papers; tell me,
if ever rake but thyself made such an attempt as thou didst, on this
dear good girl, in presence of a virtuous woman, as Mrs. Jervis was
always noted to be? As to the other vile creature, Jewkes, 'tis less
wonder, although in _that_ thou hadst the impudence of _him_ who set
thee to work: but to make thy attempt before Mrs. Jervis, and in spite
of _her_ struggles and reproaches, was the very stretch of shameless
wickedness."

Mr. B. seemed a little disconcerted, and said, "Surely, Lady Davers,
this is going too far! Look at Pamela's blushing face, and downcast
eye, and wonder at yourself for this question, as much as you do at me
for the action you speak of."

The countess said to me, "My dear Mrs. B., I wonder not at this sweet
confusion on so affecting a question!--but, indeed, since it is
come in so naturally, I must say, Mr. B., that we have all, and
my daughters too, wondered at this, more than at any part of your
attempts; because, Sir, we thought you one of the most civilized men
in England, and that you could not but wish to have saved appearances
at least."

"Though this is to you, my Pamela, the renewal of griefs; yet hold
up your dear face. You may--The triumph was yours--the shame and the
blushes ought to be mine--And I will humour my saucy sister in all she
would have me say."

"Nay," said Lady Davers, "you know the question; I cannot put it
stronger."

"That's very true," replied he: "But would you expect I should give
you a _reason_ for an attempt that appears to you so very shocking?"

"Nay, Sir," said the countess, "don't say _appears_ to Lady Davers;
for (excuse me) it will appear so to every one who hears of it."

"I think my brother is too hardly used," said Lord Davers; "he has
made all the amends he could make:--and _you_, my sister, who were the
person offended, forgive him now, I hope; don't you?"

I could not answer; for I was quite confounded; and made a motion to
withdraw: but Mr. B. said, "Don't go, my dear: though I ought to be
ashamed of an action set before me in so full a glare, in presence of
Lord Davers and the countess; yet I will not have you stir because I
forget how you represented it, and you must tell me."

"Indeed, Sir, I cannot," said I; "pray, my dear ladies--pray, my good
lord--and, dear Sir, don't thus _renew my griefs_, as you were pleased
justly to phrase it."

"I have the representation of that scene in my pocket," said my lady;
"for I was resolved, as I told Lady Betty, to shame the wicked wretch
with it the first opportunity; and I'll read it to you; or rather, you
shall read it yourself, Bold-face, if you can."

So she pulled those leaves out of her pocket, wrapped up carefully in
a paper. "Here,--I believe he who could act thus, must read it; and,
to spare Pamela's confusion, read it to yourself; for we all know how
it was."

"I think," said he, taking the papers, "I can say something to abate
the heinousness of this heavy charge, or else I should not stand thus
at the insolent bar of my sister, answering her interrogatories."

I send you, my dear Miss Darnford, a transcript of the charge. To be
sure, you'll say, he was a very wicked man.

Mr. B. read it to himself, and said, "This is a dark affair, as here
stated; and I can't say, but Pamela, and Mrs. Jervis too, had great
reason to apprehend the worst: but surely readers of it, who were less
parties in the supposed attempt, and not determined at all events to
condemn me, might have made a more favourable construction for me,
than you, Lady Davers, have done in the strong light in which you have
set this heinous matter before us.

"However, since my lady," bowing to the countess, "and Lord Davers
seem to expect me particularly to answer this black charge, I will,
at a proper time, if agreeable, give you a brief history of my
passion for this dear girl; how it commenced and increased, and my own
struggles with it, and this will introduce, with some little advantage
to myself perhaps, what I have to say, as to this supposed attempt:
and at the same time enable you the better to account for some facts
which you have read in my pretty accuser's papers."

This pleased every one, and they begged him to begin _then_; but he
said, it was time we should think of dressing, the morning being far
advanced; and if no company came in, he would, in the afternoon, give
them the particulars they desired to hear.

The three gentlemen rode out, and returned to dress before dinner: my
lady and the countess also took an airing in the chariot. Just as they
returned, compliments came from several of the neighbouring ladies to
our noble guests, on their arrival in these parts; and to as many as
sent, Lady Davers desired their companies for to-morrow afternoon, to
tea; but Mr. B. having fallen in with some of the gentlemen likewise,
he told me, we should have most of our visiting neighbours at dinner,
and desired Mrs. Jervis might prepare accordingly for them.

After dinner Mr. H. took a ride out, attended by Mr. Colbrand, of whom
he is very fond, ever since he frightened Lady Davers's footmen at
the Hall, threatening to chine them, if they offered to stop his lady:
for, he says, he loves a man of courage: very probably knowing his
own defects that way, for my lady often calls him a chicken-hearted
fellow. And then Lord and Lady Davers, and the countess, revived the
subject of the morning; and Mr. B. was pleased to begin in the manner
I shall mention by-and-bye. For here I am obliged to break off.

Now, my dear Miss Darnford, I will proceed.

"I began," said Mr. B., "very early to take notice of this lovely
girl, even when she was hardly thirteen years old; for her charms
increased every day, not only in my eye, but in the eyes of all who
beheld her. My mother, as _you_ (Lady Davers) know, took the greatest
delight in her, always calling her, her Pamela, her good child: and
her waiting-maid and her cabinet of rarities were her boasts, and
equally shewn to every visitor: for besides the beauty of her figure,
and the genteel air of her person, the dear girl had a surprising
memory, a solidity of judgment above her years, and a docility so
unequalled, that she took all parts of learning which her lady, as
fond of instructing her as she of improving by instruction, crowded
upon her; insomuch that she had masters to teach her to dance, sing,
and play on the spinnet, whom she every day surprised by the readiness
wherewith she took every thing.

"I remember once, my mother praising her girl before me, and my aunt
B. (who is since dead), I could not but notice her fondness for her,
and said, 'What do you design, Madam, to do _with_ or _for_, this
Pamela of yours? The accomplishments you give her will do her more
hurt than good; for they will set her so much above her degree, that
what you intend as a kindness, may prove her ruin.'

"My aunt joined with me, and spoke in a still stronger manner against
giving her such an education: and added, as I well remember, 'Surely,
sister, you do wrong. One would think, if one knew not my nephew's
discreet pride, that you design her for something more than your own
waiting-maid.'

"'Ah! sister,' said the old lady, 'there is no fear of what you hint
at; his family pride, and stately temper, will secure my son: he has
too much of his father in him. And as for Pamela, you know not the
girl. She has always in her thoughts, and in her mouth, too, her
parents' mean condition, and I shall do nothing for _them_, at least
at present, though they are honest folks, and deserve well, because I
will keep the girl humble.'

"'But what can I do with the little baggage?' continued my mother;
'she conquers every thing so fast, and has such a thirst after
knowledge, and the more she knows, I verily think, the humbler she is,
that I cannot help letting go, as my son, when a little boy, used to
do to his kite, as fast as she pulls; and to what height she'll soar,
I can't tell.

"'I intended,' proceeded the good lady, 'at first, only to make
her mistress of some fine needle-work, to qualify her (as she has a
delicacy in her person, that makes it a pity ever to put her to hard
work) for a genteel place; but she masters that so fast, that now as
my daughter is married and gone from me, I am desirous to qualify her
to divert and entertain me in my thoughtful hours: and were _you_,
sister, to know what she is capable of, and how diverting her innocent
prattle is to me, and her natural simplicity, which I encourage her
to preserve amidst all she learns, you would not, nor my son neither,
wonder at the pleasure I take in her. Shall I call her in?'

"'I don't want,' said I, 'to have the girl called in: if you, Madam,
are diverted with her, that's enough. To be sure, Pamela is a better
companion for a lady, than a monkey or a harlequin: but I fear you'll
set her above herself, and make her vain and pert; and that, at last,
in order to support her pride, she may fall into temptations which may
be fatal to herself, and others too.'

"'I'm glad to hear this from my _son_,' replied the good lady. 'But
the moment I see my favour puffs her up, I shall take other measures.'

"'Well,' thought I to myself, 'I only want to conceal my views from
your penetrating eye, my good mother; and I shall one day take as much
delight in your girl, and her accomplishments, as you now do; so go
on, and improve her as fast as you will. I'll only now and then talk
against her, to blind you; and doubt not that all you do will qualify
her the better for my purpose. Only,' thought I, 'fly swiftly on, two
or three more tardy years, and I'll nip this bud by the time it begins
to open, and place it in my bosom for a year or two at least: for so
long, if the girl behaves worthy of her education, I doubt not, she'll
be new to me.--Excuse me, ladies;--excuse me, Lord Davers;--if I am
not ingenuous, I had better be silent."

I will not interrupt this affecting narration, by mentioning my own
alternate blushes, confusions, and exclamations, as the naughty man
went on; nor the censures, and many _Out upon you's_ of the attentive
ladies, and _Fie, brother's_, of Lord Davers; nor yet with apologies
for the praises on myself, so frequently intermingled--contenting
myself to give you, as near as I can recollect, the very sentences
of the dear relator. And as to our occasional exclaimings and
observations, you may suppose what they were.

"So," continued Mr. B., "I went on dropping hints against her now and
then; and whenever I met her in the passages about the house, or in
the garden, avoiding to look at, or to speak to her, as she passed me,
curtseying, and putting on a thousand bewitching airs of obligingness
and reverence; while I (who thought the best way to demolish the
influence of such an education, would be not to alarm her fears on
one hand, or to familiarize myself to her on the other, till I came to
strike the blow) looked haughty and reserved, and passed by her with
a stiff nod at most. Or, if I spoke, 'How does your lady this morning,
girl?--I hope she rested well last night:' then, covered with blushes,
and curtseying at every word, as if she thought herself unworthy of
answering my questions, she'd trip away in a kind of confusion, as
soon as she had spoken. And once I heard her say to Mrs. Jervis,
'Dear Sirs, my young master spoke to me, and called me by my name,
saying--How slept your lady last night, Pamela?--Was not that very
good, Mrs. Jervis?'--'Ay,' thought I, 'I am in the right way, I find:
this will do in proper time. Go on, my dear mother, improving as fast
as you will: I'll engage to pull down in three hours, what you'll
be building up in as many years, in spite of all the lessons you can
teach her.'

"'Tis enough for me, that I am establishing in you, ladies, and in
you, my lord, a higher esteem for my Pamela (I am but too sensible I
shall lose a good deal of my own reputation) in the relation I am now
giving you.

"I dressed, grew more confident, and as insolent withal, as if, though
I had not Lady Davers's wit and virtue, I had all her spirit--(excuse
me, Lady Davers;) and having a pretty bold heart, which rather put me
upon courting than avoiding a danger or difficulty, I had but too much
my way with every body; and many a menaced complaint have I _looked
down_, with a haughty air, and a promptitude, like that of Colbrand's
to your footmen at the Hall, to clap my hand to my side; which was of
the greater service to my bold enterprise, as two or three gentlemen
had found I knew how to be in earnest."

"Ha!" said my lady, "thou wast ever an impudent fellow: and many a
vile roguery have I kept from my poor mother.--Yet, to my knowledge,
she thought you no saint."

"Ay, poor lady," continued he, "she used now-and-then to catechize me;
and was _sure_ I was not so good as I ought to be:--'For, son,' she
would cry, 'these late hours, these all night works, and to come home
so _sober_ cannot be right.-I'm not sure, if I were to know all, (and
yet I'm afraid of inquiring after your ways) whether I should not have
reason to wish you were brought home in wine, rather than to come in
so sober, and so late, as you do.'

"Once, I remember, in the summer-time, I came home about six in the
morning, and met the good lady unexpectedly by the garden back-door,
of which I had a key to let myself in at all hours. I started,
and would have avoided her: but she called me to her, and then I
approached her with an air, 'What brings you, Madam, into the garden
at so early an hour?' turning my face from her; for I had a few
scratches on my forehead--with a thorn, or so--which I feared she
would be more inquisitive about than I cared she should.

"'And what makes you,' said she, 'so early here, Billy?--What a
rakish figure dost thou make!--One time or other these courses will
yield you but little comfort, on reflection: would to God thou wast
but happily married!'

"'So, Madam, the old wish!--I'm not so bad as you think me:--I hope I
have not merited so great a punishment.'

"These hints I give, not as matter of glory, but shame: yet I ought to
tell you all the truth, or nothing. 'Meantime,' thought I, (for I used
to have some compunction for my vile practices, when cool reflection,
brought on by satiety, had taken hold of me) 'I wish this sweet girl
was grown to years of susceptibility, that I might reform this wicked
course of life, and not prowl about, disturbing honest folks' peace,
and endangering myself.' And as I had, by a certain very daring and
wicked attempt, in which, however, I did not succeed, set a hornet's
nest about my ears, which I began to apprehend would sting me to
death, having once escaped an ambush by dint of mere good luck;
I thought it better to remove the seat of my warfare into another
kingdom, and to be a little more discreet for the future in my amours.
So I went to France a second time, and passed a year there in the
best of company, and with some improvement both to my morals and
understanding; and had a very few sallies, considering my love of
intrigue, and the ample means I had to prosecute successfully all the
desires of my heart.

"When I returned, several matches were proposed to me, and my good
mother often requested me to make her so happy, as she called it, as
to see me married before she died; but I could not endure the thoughts
of the state: for I never saw a lady whose temper and education I
liked, or with whom I thought I could live tolerably. She used in vain
therefore to plead family reasons to me:--like most young fellows, I
was too much a self-lover, to pay so great a regard to posterity; and,
to say truth, had little solicitude at that time, whether my name were
continued or not, in my own descendants. However, I looked upon
my mother's Pamela with no small pleasure, and I found her so
much improved, as well in person as behaviour, that I had the less
inducement either to renew my intriguing life, or to think of a
married state.

"Yet, as my mother had all her eyes about her, as the phrase is,
I affected great shyness, both before her, and to the girl; for I
doubted not, my very looks would be watched by them both; and what the
one discovered would not be a secret to the other; and laying myself
open too early to a suspicion, I thought, would but ice the girl over,
and make her lady more watchful.

"So I used to go into my mother's apartment, and come out of it,
without taking the least notice of her, but put on stiff airs; and as
she always withdrew when I came in, I never made any pretence to keep
her there.

"Once, indeed, my mother, on my looking after her, when her back was
turned, said, 'My dear son, I don't like your eye following my girl
so intently.--Only I know that sparkling lustre natural to it, or I
should have some fear for my Pamela, as she grows older.'

"'_I_ look after her. Madam!-_My_ eyes sparkle at such a girl as that!
No indeed! She may be your favourite as a waiting-maid; but I see
nothing but clumsy curtseys and awkward airs about her. A little
rustic affectation of innocence, that to such as cannot see into her,
may pass well enough.'

"'Nay, my dear,' replied my mother, 'don't say that, of all things.
She has no affectation, I am sure.'

"'Yes, she has, in my eye, Madam, and I'll tell you how it is; you
have taught her to assume the airs of a gentlewoman, to dance, and
to enter a room with a grace; and yet bid her keep her low birth and
family in view: and between the one character, which she wants to get
into, and the other she dares not get out of, she trips up and down
mincingly, and knows not how to set her feet: so 'tis the same in
every gesture: her arms she knows not whether to swim with, or to
hold before her, nor whether to hold her head up or down; and so
does neither, but hangs it on one side: a little awkward piece of
one-and-t'other I think her. And, indeed, you'd do the girl more
kindness to put her into your dairy, than to keep her about your
person; for she'll be utterly spoiled, I doubt, for any useful
purpose.'

"'Ah, son!' said she, 'I fear, by your description, you have minded
her too much in one sense, though not enough in another. 'Tis not my
intention to recommend her to your notice, of all men; and I doubt
not, if it please God I live, and she continues a good girl, but she
will make a man of some middling, genteel business, very happy.'

"Pamela came in just then, with an air so natural, so humble, and yet
so much above herself, that I was forced to turn my head from her,
lest my mother should watch my eye again, and I be inclined to do her
that justice, which my heart assented to, but which my lips had just
before denied her.

"All my difficulty, in apprehension, was my good mother; the effect
of whose lessons to her girl, I was not so much afraid of as her
vigilance. 'For,' thought I, 'I see by the delicacy of her person, the
brilliancy of her eye, and the sweet apprehensiveness that plays
about every feature of her face, she must have tinder enough in her
constitution, to catch a well-struck spark; and I'll warrant I shall
know how to set her in a blaze, in a few months more.'

"Yet I wanted, as I passed, to catch her attention too: I expected her
to turn after me, and look so as to shew a liking towards me; for I
had a great opinion of my person and air, which had been fortunately
distinguished by the ladies, whom, of course, my vanity made me allow
to be very good judges of these outward advantages.

"But to my great disappointment, Pamela never, by any favourable
glance, gave the least encouragement to my vanity. 'Well,' thought I,
'this girl has certainly nothing ethereal in her mould: all unanimated
clay!--But the dancing and singing airs my mother is teaching her,
will better qualify her in time, and another year will ripen her into
my arms, no doubt of it. Let me only go on thus, and make her _fear_
me: that will enhance in her mind every favour I shall afterwards
vouchsafe to shew her: and never question old _humdrum_ Virtue,'
thought I, 'but the tempter _without_, and the tempter _within_, will
be too many for the perversest nicety that ever the sex boasted.'

"Yet, though I could not once attract her eye towards me, she never
failed to draw mine after her, whenever she went by me, or wherever I
saw her, except, as I said, in my mother's presence; and particularly
when she had passed me, and could not see me look at her, without
turning her head, as I expected so often from her in vain.

"You will wonder, Lord Davers, who, I suppose, was once in love, or
you'd never have married such an hostile spirit as my sister's there-"

"Go on, sauce--box," said she, "I won't interrupt you."

"You will wonder how I could behave so coolly as to escape all
discovery so long from a lady so watchful as my mother, and from the
apprehensiveness of the girl.

"But, to say nothing of her tender years, and that my love was not of
this bashful sort, I was not absolutely determined, so great was my
pride, that I ought to think her worthy of being my _mistress_, when
I had not much reason, as I thought, to despair of prevailing upon
persons of higher birth (were I disposed to try) to live with me upon
my own terms. My pride, therefore, kept my passion at bay, as I may
say: so far was I from imagining I should ever be brought to what has
since happened! But to proceed:

"Hitherto my mind was taken up with the beauties of her person only.
My EYE had drawn my HEART after it, without giving myself any trouble
about that sense and judgment which my mother was always praising in
her Pamela, as exceeding her years and opportunities: but an occasion
happened, which, though slight in itself, took the HEAD into the
party, and I thought of her, young as she was, with a distinction,
that before I had not for her. It was this:

"Being with my mother in her closet, who was talking to me on the old
subject, _matrimony_, I saw Pamela's commonplace book, as I may call
it; in which, by her lady's direction, from time to time, she had
transcribed from the Bible, and other good books, such passages
as most impressed her as she read--A method, I take it, my dear"
(_turning to me_), "of great service to you, as it initiated you into
writing with that freedom and ease, which shine in your saucy letters
and journals; and to which my present fetters are not a little owing:
just as pedlars catch monkeys in the baboon kingdoms, provoking the
attentive fools, by their own example, to put on shoes and stockings,
till the apes of imitation, trying to do the like, entangle their
feet, and so cannot escape upon the boughs of the tree of liberty, on
which before they were wont to hop and skip about, and play a thousand
puggish tricks.

"I observed the girl wrote a pretty hand, and very swift and free;
and affixed her points or stops with so much judgment (her
years considered), that I began to have an high opinion of her
understanding. Some observations likewise upon several of the passages
were so just and solid, that I could not help being tacitly surprised
at them.

"My mother watched my eye, and was silent: I seemed not to observe
that she did; and after a while, laid down the book, shutting it with
great indifference, and talking of another subject.

"Upon this, my mother said, 'Don't you think Pamela writes a pretty
hand, son?'

"'I did not mind it much,' said I, with a careless air. 'This is her
writing, is it?' taking the book, and opening it again, at a place of
Scripture. 'The girl is mighty pious!' said I.

"'I wish _you_ were so, child.'

"'I wish so too, Madam, if it would please _you_.'

"'I wish so, for your _own_ sake, child.'

"'So do I, Madam;' and down I laid the book again very carelessly.

"'Look once more in it,' said she, 'and see if you can't open it upon
some place that may strike you.'

"I opened it at--'_Train up a child in the way it should go_,' &c. 'I
fancy,' said I, 'when I was of Pamela's age, I was pretty near as good
as she.'

"'Never, never,' said my mother; 'I am sure I took great pains with
you; but, alas I to very little purpose. You had always a violent
headstrong will.'

"'Some allowances for boys and girls, I hope, Madam; but you see I am
as good for a man as my sister for a woman.'

"'No indeed, you are not, I do assure you.'

"'I am sorry for that. Madam; you give me a sad opinion of myself.'"

"Brazen wretch!" said my lady; "but go on."

"'Turn to one of the girl's observations on some text,' said my
mother.

"I did; and was pleased with it more than I would own. 'The girl's
well enough,' said I, 'for what she is; but let's see what she'll be a
few years hence. Then will be the trial.'

"'She'll be always good, I doubt not.'

"'So much the better for her. But can't we talk of any other subject?
You complain how seldom I attend you; and when you are always talking
of matrimony, or of this low-born, raw girl, it must needs lessen the
pleasure of approaching you.'

"But now, as I hinted to you, ladies, and my lord, I had a still
higher opinion of Pamela; and esteemed her more worthy of my attempts.
'For,' thought I, 'the girl has good sense, and it will be some
pleasure to watch by what gradations she may be made to rise into
love, and into a higher life, than that to which she was born.' And so
I began to think she would be worthy in time of being my _mistress,_
which, till now, as I said before, I had been a little scrupulous
about.

"I took a little tour soon after this in company of some friends, with
whom I had contracted an intimacy abroad, into Scotland and Ireland,
they having a curiosity to see those countries, and we spent six or
eight months on this expedition; and when I had landed them in France,
I returned home, and found my good mother in a very indifferent state
of health, but her Pamela arrived to a height of beauty and perfection
which exceeded all my expectations. I was so taken with her charms
when I first saw her, which was in the garden, with a book in her
hand, just come out of a little summer-house, that I then thought of
obliging her to go back again, in order to begin a parley with her:
but while I was resolving, she tript away with her curtesies and
reverences, and was out of my sight before I could determine.

"I was resolved, however, not to be long without her; and Mrs. Jewkes
having been recommended to me a little before, by a brother-rake, as
a woman of tried fidelity, I asked her if she would be faithful, if I
had occasion to commit a pretty girl to her care?

"She hoped, she said, it would be with the lady's own consent, and she
should make no scruple in obeying me.

"So I thought I would way-lay the girl, and carry her first to
a little village in Northamptonshire, to an acquaintance of Mrs.
Jewkes's. And when I had brought her to be easy and pacified a little,
I designed that Jewkes should attend her to Lincolnshire: for I knew
there was no coming at her here, under my mother's wing, by her
own consent, and that to offer terms to her, would be to blow up my
project all at once. Besides, I was sensible, that Mrs. Jervis would
stand in the way of my proceedings as well as my mother.

"The method I had contrived was quite easy, as I imagined, and such
as could not have failed to answer my purpose, as to carrying her off;
and I doubted not of making her well satisfied in her good fortune
very quickly; for, having a notion of her affectionate duty to her
parents, I was not displeased that I could make the terms very easy
and happy to them all.

"What most stood in my way, was my mother's fondness for her: but
supposing I had got her favourite in my hands, which appeared to me,
as I said, a task very easy to be conquered, I had actually formed a
letter for her to transcribe, acknowledging a love-affair, and laying
her withdrawing herself so privately, to an implicit obedience to her
husband's commands, to whom she was married that morning, and who,
being a young gentleman of genteel family, and dependent on his
friends, was desirous of keeping it all a profound secret; and
begging, on that account, her lady not to divulge it, so much as to
Mrs. Jervis.

"And to prepare for this, and make her escape the more probable, when
matters were ripe for my plot, I came in one night, and examined all
the servants, and Mrs. Jervis, the latter in my mother's hearing,
about a genteel young man, whom I pretended to find with a pillion on
the horse he rode upon, waiting about the back door of the garden, for
somebody to come to him; and who rode off, when I came up to the door,
as fast as he could. Nobody knew any thing of the matter, and they
were much surprised at what I told them: but I begged Pamela might be
watched, and that no one would say any thing to her about it.

"My mother said, she had two reasons not to speak of it to Pamela:
one to oblige me: the other and chief, because it would break the poor
innocent girl's heart, to be suspected. 'Poor dear child!' said
she, 'whither can she go, to be so happy as with me? Would it not be
inevitable ruin to her to leave me? There is nobody comes after her:
she receives no letters, but now-and-then one from her father and
mother, and those she shews me.'

"'Well,' replied I, 'I hope she can have no design; 'twould be strange
if she had formed any to leave so good a mistress; but you can't
be _sure_ all the letters she receives are from her father; and her
shewing to you those he writes, looks like a cloak to others she may
receive from another hand. But it can be no harm to have an eye upon
her. You don't know, Madam, what tricks there are in the world.'

"'Not I, indeed; but only this I know, that the girl shall be under no
restraint, if she is resolved to leave me, well as I love her.'

"Mrs. Jervis said, she would have an eye upon Pamela, in obedience to
my command, but she was sure there was no need; nor would she so much
wound the poor child's peace, as to mention the matter to her.

"This I suffered to blow off, and seemed to my mother to have so good
an opinion of her Pamela, that I was sorry, as I told her, I had such
a surmise: saying, that though the fellow and the pillion were odd
circumstances, yet I dared to say, there was nothing in it: for I
doubted not, the girl's duty and gratitude would hinder her from doing
a foolish or rash thing.

"This my mother heard with pleasure: although my motive was but to lay
Pamela on the thicker to her, when she was to be told she had escaped.

"She was _glad_ I was not an enemy to the poor child. 'Pamela has
no friend but me,' continued she; 'and if I don't provide for her, I
shall have done her more harm than good (as you and your aunt B. have
often said,) in the accomplishments I have given her: and yet the poor
girl, I see that,' added she, 'would not be backward to turn her hand
to any thing for the sake of an honest livelihood, were she put to it;
which, if it please God to spare me, and she continues good, she never
shall be.'

"I wonder not, Pamela, at your tears on this occasion. Your lady was
an excellent woman, and deserved this tribute to her memory. All my
pleasure now is, that she knew not half my wicked pranks, and that I
did not vex her worthy heart in the prosecution of this scheme;
which would have given me a severe sting, inasmuch as I might have
apprehended, with too much reason, that I had shortened her days by
the knowledge of the one and the other.

"I had thus every thing ready for the execution of my project: but my
mother's ill state of health gave me too much concern, to permit me to
proceed. And, now-and-then, as my frequent attendance in her illness
gave me an opportunity of observing more and more of the girl; her
affectionate duty, and continual tears (finding her often on her
knees, praying for her mistress,) I was moved to pity her; and while
those scenes of my mother's illness and decline were before me, I
would resolve to conquer, if possible, my guilty passion, as those
scenes taught me, while their impressions held, justly to call it; and
I was much concerned to find it so difficult a task; for, till now,
I thought it principally owing to my usual enterprising temper, and a
love of intrigue; and that I had nothing to do but to resolve against
it, and to subdue it.

"But I was greatly mistaken: for I had insensibly brought myself
to admire her in every thing she said or did; and there was so much
gracefulness, humility, and innocence in her whole behaviour, and I
saw so many melting scenes between her lady and her, that I found I
could not master my esteem for her.

"My mother's illness increasing beyond hopes of recovery, and having
settled all her greater affairs, she talked to me of her servants; I
asked what she would have done for Pamela and Mrs. Jervis.

"'Make Mrs. Jervis, my dear son, as happy as you can: she is a
gentlewoman born, you know; let her always be treated as such; but
for your own sake, don't make her independent; for then you'll want a
faithful manager. Yet if you marry, and your lady should not value her
as she deserves, allow her a competency for the rest of her life, and
let her live as she pleases.

"'As for Pamela, I hope you will be her protector!--She is a good
girl: I love her next to you and your dear sister. She is just
arriving at a trying time of life. I don't know what to say for her.
What I had designed was, that if any man of a genteel calling should
offer, I would give her a little pretty portion, had God spared my
life till then. But were she made independent, some idle fellow might
snap her up; for she is very pretty: or if she should carry what you
give her to her poor parents, as her duty would lead her to do, they
are so unhappily involved, that a little matter would be nothing to
them, and the poor girl might be to seek again. Perhaps Lady Davers
will take her. But I wish she was not so pretty! She may be the bird
for which some wicked fowler will spread his snares; or, it may be,
every lady will not choose to have such a waiting-maid. You are a
young gentleman, and I am sorry to say, not better than I wish you to
be--Though I hope my Pamela would not be in danger from her master,
who owes all his servants protection, as much as the king does to his
subjects. Yet I don't know how to wish her to stay with you, for your
own reputation's sake, my dear son;--for the world will censure as it
lists.--Would to God!' said she, 'the dear girl had the small-pox in
a mortifying manner: she'd be lovely though in the genteelness of her
person and the excellencies of her mind; and more out of danger of
suffering from the transcient beauties of countenance. Yet I think,'
added she, 'she might be safe and happy under Mrs. Jervis's care;
and if you marry, and your lady parts with Mrs. Jervis, let 'em go
together, and live as they like. I think that will be the best for
both. And you have a generous spirit enough: I will not direct you
in the _quantum_. But, my dear son, remember that I am the less
concerned, that I have not done for the poor girl myself, because I
depend upon you: the manner how fitly to provide for her, has made me
defer it till now, that I have so much more important concerns on my
hands; life and strength ebbing so fast, that I am hardly fit for any
thing, or to wish for any thing, but to receive the last releasing
stroke.'"

Here he stopped, being under some concern himself, and we in much
more. At last he resumed the subject.

"You will too naturally think, my lord--and you, my good ladies--that
the mind must be truly diabolical, that could break through the regard
due to the solemn injunctions of a dying parent. They _did_ hold me a
good while indeed; and as fast as I found any emotions of a contrary
nature rise in my breast, I endeavoured for some time to suppress
them, and to think and act as I ought; but the dear bewitching girl
every day rose in her charms upon me: and finding she still continued
the use of her pen and ink, I could not help entertaining a jealousy,
that she was writing to somebody who stood well in her opinion; and my
love for her, and my own spirit of intrigue, made it a sweetheart of
course. And I could not help watching her emotions; and seeing her
once putting a letter she had just folded up, into her bosom, at my
entrance into my mother's dressing-room, I made no doubt of detecting
her, and her correspondent; and so I took the letter from her stays,
she trembling and curtseying with a sweet confusion: and highly
pleased I was to find it contained only innocence and duty to the
deceased mistress, and the loving parents, expressing her joy that,
in the midst of her grief for losing the one, she was not obliged
to return to be a burden to the other; and I gave it her again, with
words of encouragement, and went down much better satisfied than I had
been with her correspondence.

"But when I reflected upon the innocent simplicity of her style, I was
still more in love with her, and formed a stratagem, and succeeded in
it, to come at her other letters, which I sent forward, after I had
read them, all but three or four, which I kept back, when my plot
began to ripen for execution; although the little slut was most
abominably free with my character to her parents.

"You will censure me, no doubt, that my mother's injunctions made not
a more lasting impression. But really I struggled hard with myself
to give them their due force: and the dear girl, as I said, every day
grew lovelier, and more accomplished. Her letters were but so many
links to the chains in which she had bound me; and though once I
had resolved to part with her to Lady Davers, and you, Madam, had
an intention to take her, I could not for my life give her up; and
thinking more honourably then of the state of a mistress than I have
done since, I could not persuade myself (since I intended to do as
handsomely by her as ever man did to a lady in that situation) but
that I should do better for her than my mother had wished me to do,
and so _more_ than answer all her injunctions, as to the providing
for her: and I could not imagine I should meet with a resistance I had
seldom encountered from persons much her superiors as to descent; and
was amazed at it; for it confounded me in all the notions I had of
her sex, which, like a true libertine, I supposed wanted nothing but
_importunity_ and _opportunity_, a bold attempter, and a mind not
ungenerous. Sometimes I admired her for her virtue; at other times,
impetuous in my temper, and unused to control, I could have beat her.
She well, I remember, describes the tumults of my soul, repeating what
once passed between us, in words like, these:--'Take the little
witch from me, Mrs. Jervis.--I can neither bear, nor forbear her--But
stay-you shan't go--Yet be gone!--No, come back again.'--She thought I
was mad, she says in her papers. Indeed I was little less. She says,
I took her arm, and griped it black and blue, to bring her back again;
and then sat down and looked at her as silly as such a poor girl as
she!--Well did she describe the passion I struggled with; and no one
can conceive how much my pride made me despise myself at times for the
little actions my love for her put me upon, and yet to find that love
increasing every day, as her charms and her resistance increased.--I
have caught myself in a raging fit, sometimes vowing I would have her,
and, at others, jealous that, to secure herself from my attempts, she
would throw herself into the arms of some menial or inferior, whom
otherwise she would not have thought of.

"Sometimes I soothed, sometimes threatened her; but never was
such courage, when her virtue seemed in danger, mixed with so
much humility, when her fears gave way to her hopes of a juster
treatment.--Then I would think it impossible (so slight an opinion had
I of woman's virtue) that such a girl as this, cottage-born, who
owed every thing to my family, and had an absolute dependence upon my
pleasure: myself not despicable in person or mind, as I supposed;
she unprejudiced in any man's favour, at an age susceptible of
impressions, and a frame and constitution not ice or snow: 'Surely,'
thought I, 'all this frost must be owing to the want of fire in my
attempts to thaw it: I used to dare more, and succeed better. Shall
such a girl as this awe me by her rigid virtue? No, she shall not.'

"Then I would resolve to be more in earnest. Yet my love was a
traitor, that was more faithful to _her_ than to _me_; it had more
honour in it at bottom than I had designed. Awed by her unaffected
innocence, and a virtue I had never before encountered, so uniform and
immovable, the moment I _saw_ her I was half disarmed; and I courted
her consent to that, which, though I was not likely to obtain, yet it
went against me to think of extorting by violence. Yet marriage was
never in my thoughts: I scorned so much as to promise it.

"To what numberless mean things did not this unmanly passion subject
me!--I used to watch for her letters, though mere prittle-prattle and
chit-chat, received them with delight, though myself was accused in
them, and stigmatized as I deserved.

"I would listen meanly at her chamber-door, try to overhear her little
conversation; in vain attempted to suborn Mrs. Jervis to my purposes,
inconsistently talking of honour, when no one step I took, or action
I attempted, shewed any thing like it: lost my dignity among my
servants; made a party in her favour against me, of every body,
but whom my money corrupted, and that hardly sufficient to keep my
partisans steady to my interest; so greatly did the virtue of the
servants triumph over the vice of the master, when confirmed by such
an example!

"I have been very tedious, ladies and my Lord Davers, in my narration:
but I am come within view of the point for which I now am upon my
trial at your dread tribunal (_bowing to us all_).

"After several endeavours of a smooth and rough nature, in which my
devil constantly failed me, and her good angel prevailed, I had talked
to Mrs. Jervis to seduce the girl (to whom, in hopes of frightening
her, I had given warning, but which she rejected to take, to my great
disappointment) to desire to stay; and suspecting Mrs. Jervis played
me booty, and rather confirmed her in her coyness, and her desire of
leaving me, I was mean enough to conceal myself in the closet in Mrs.
Jervis's room, in order to hear their private conversation; but really
not designing to make any other use of my concealment, than to tease
her a little, if she should say any thing I did not like; which would
give me a pretence to treat her with greater freedoms than I had
ever yet done, and would be an introduction to take off from her
unprecedented apprehensiveness another time.

"But the dear prattler, not knowing I was there, as she undressed
herself, begun such a bewitching chit-chat with Mrs. Jervis, who, I
found, but ill kept my secret, that I never was at such a loss what to
resolve upon. One while I wished myself, unknown to them, out of the
closet, into which my inconsiderate passion had meanly led me; another
time I was incensed at the freedom with which I heard myself treated:
but then, rigidly considering that I had no business to hearken to
their private conversation, and it was such as became _them_, while
I ought to have been ashamed to give occasion for it, I excused them
both, and admired still more and more the dear prattler.

"In this suspense, the undesigned rustling of my night-gown, from
changing my posture, alarming the watchful Pamela, she in a fright
came towards the closet to see who was there. What could I then do,
but bolt out upon the apprehensive charmer; and having so done, and
she running to the bed, screaming to Mrs. Jervis, would not any man
have followed her thither, detected as I was? But yet, I said, if she
forbore her screaming, I would do her no harm; but if not, she should
take the consequence. I found, by their exclamations, that this would
pass with both for an attempt of the worst kind; but really I had no
such intentions as they feared. When I found myself detected; when the
dear frightened girl ran to the bed; when Mrs. Jervis threw herself
about her; when they would not give over their hideous squallings;
when I was charged by Mrs. Jervis with the worst designs; it was
enough to make me go farther than I designed; and could I have
prevailed upon Mrs. Jervis to go up, and quiet the maids, who seemed
to be rising, upon the other screaming, I believe, had Pamela kept out
of her fit, I should have been a little freer with her, than ever I
had been; but, as it was, I had no thought but of making as honourable
a retreat as I could, and to save myself from being exposed to my
whole family: and I was not guilty of any freedoms, that her modesty,
unaffrighted, could reproach herself with having suffered; and the
dear creature's fainting fits gave _me_ almost as great apprehensions
as I could give _her_.

"Thus, ladies--and, my lord--have I tediously, and little enough to
my own reputation, given you my character, and told you more against
myself than any _one_ person could accuse me of. Whatever redounds to
the credit of my Pamela, redounds in part to my own; and so I have the
less regret to accuse myself, since it exalts her. But as to a formed
intention to hide myself in the closet, in order to attempt the girl
by violence, and in the presence of a good woman, as Mrs. Jervis is,
which you impute to me, bad as I was, I was not so vile, so abandoned
as that.

"Love, as I said before, subjects its inconsiderate votaries to
innumerable meannesses, and unlawful passion to many more. I could not
live without this dear girl. I hated the thoughts of matrimony
with any body: and to be brought to the state by my mother's
waiting-maid.--'Forbid it, pride!' thought I; 'forbid it, example!
forbid it, all my past sneers, and constant ridicule, both on the
estate, and on those who descended to inequalities in it! and, lastly,
forbid it my family spirit, so visible in Lady Davers, as well as
in myself, to whose insults, and those of all the world, I shall be
obnoxious, if I take such a step!'

"All this tends to demonstrate the strength of my passion: I could
not conquer my love; so I conquered a pride, which every one thought
unconquerable; and since I could not make an innocent heart vicious,
I had the happiness to follow so good an example; and by this means, a
vicious heart is become virtuous. I have the pleasure of rejoicing in
the change, and hope I shall do so still more and more; for I really
view with contempt my past follies; and it is now a greater wonder to
me how I could act as I did, than that I should detest those actions,
which made me a curse, instead of a benefit to society. I am not yet
so pious as my Pamela; but that is to come; and it is one good sign,
that I can truly say, I delight in every instance of her piety and
virtue: and now I will conclude my tedious narration."

Thus he ended his affecting relation: which in the course of it gave
me a thousand different emotions; and made me often pray for him, that
God will entirely convert a heart so generous and worthy, as his is on
most occasions. And if I can but find him not deviate, when we go
to London, I shall greatly hope that nothing will affect his morals
again.

I have just read over again the foregoing account of himself. As near
as I remember (and my memory is the best faculty I have), it is pretty
exact; only he was fuller of beautiful similitudes, and spoke in a
more flowery style, as I may say. Yet don't you think, Miss (if I
have not done injustice to his spirit), that the beginning of it,
especially, is in the saucy air of a man too much alive to such
notions? For so the ladies observed in his narration.--Is it very
like the style of a true penitent?--But indeed he went on better, and
concluded best of all.

But don't you observe what a dear good lady I had? A thousand
blessings on her beloved memory! Were I to live to see my children's
children, they should be all taught to lisp her praises before they
could speak. _My_ gratitude should always be renewed in _their_
mouths; and God, and my dear father and mother, my lady, and my master
that was, my best friend that is, but principally, as most due, the
FIRST, who inspired all the rest, should have their morning, their
noontide, and their evening praises, as long as I lived!

I will only observe farther, as to this my third conversation-piece,
that my Lord Davers offered to extenuate some parts of his dear
brother-in-law's conduct, which he did not himself vindicate; and Mr.
B. was pleased to say, that my lord was always very candid to him,
and kind in his allowances for the sallies of ungovernable youth. Upon
which my lady said, a little tartly, "Yes, and for a very good reason,
I doubt not; for who cares to condemn himself?"

"Nay," said my lord pleasantly, "don't put us upon a foot, neither:
for what sallies I made before I knew your ladyship, were but like
those of a fox, which now and then runs away with a straggling pullet,
when nobody sees him, whereas those of my brother were like the
invasions of a lion, breaking into every man's fold, and driving the
shepherds, as well as the sheep, before him."--"Ay," said my lady,
"but I can look round me, and have reason, perhaps, to think the
invading lion has come off, little as he deserved it, better than the
creeping fox, who, with all his cunning, sometimes suffers for his
pilfering theft."

O, my dear, these gentlemen are strange creatures!--What can they
think of themselves? for they say, there is not one virtuous man in
five; but I hope, for our sex's sake, as well as for the world's
sake, all is not true that evil fame reports; for you know every
man-trespasser must _find_ or _make_ a woman-trespasser!--And if
so, what a world is this!--And how must the innocent suffer from the
guilty! Yet, how much better is it to suffer one's self, than to be
the cause of another's sufferings? I long to hear of you, and must
shorten my future accounts, or I shall do nothing but write, and tire
_you_ into the bargain, though I cannot my dear father and mother. I
am, my dear Miss, _always yours_, P.B.



LETTER XXXI

_From Miss Darnford to Mrs. B._

DEAR MRS. B.,

Every post you more and more oblige us to admire and love you: and let
me say, I will gladly receive your letters upon your own terms: only
when your worthy parents have perused them, see that I have every line
of them again.

Your account of the arrival of your noble guests, and their behaviour
to you, and yours to them; your conversation, and wise determination,
on the offered title of Baronet; the just applauses conferred upon you
by all, particularly the good countess; your breakfast conversation,
and the narrative of your saucy abominable _master_, though amiable
_husband_; all delight us beyond expression.

Do go on, dear excellent lady, with your charming journals, and let us
know all that passes.

As to the state of matters with us, I have desired my papa to allow
me to decline Mr. Murray's addresses. The good man loved me most
violently, nay, he could not live without me: life was no life, unless
I favoured him: but yet, after a few more of these flights, he is
trying to sit down satisfied without my papa's foolish perverse girl,
as Sir Simon calls me, and to transpose his affections to a worthier
object, my sister Nancy; and it would make you smile to see how, a
little while before he _directly_ applied to her, she screwed up her
mouth to my mamma, and, truly, she'd have none of Polly's leavings;
no, not she!--But no sooner did he declare himself in form, than the
_gaudy wretch_, as he was before with her, became a _well-dressed_
gentleman;--the _chattering magpie_ (for he talks and laughs much),
_quite conversable_, and has something _agreeable_ to say upon _every
subject_. Once he would make a good master of the buck-hounds; but
now, really, the _more_ one is in his company, the _more polite_ one
finds him.

Then, on his part,--he happened to see Miss Polly first; and truly,
he could have thought himself very happy in so agreeable a young lady;
yet there was always something of majesty (what a stately name for
ill nature!) in Miss Nancy, something so awful; that while Miss Polly
engaged the affections at first sight, Miss Nancy struck a man with
reverence; insomuch, that the one might he loved as a woman, but the
other revered as something more: a goddess, no doubt!

I do but think, that when he comes to be lifted up to her celestial
sphere, as her fellow constellation, what a figure Nancy and her
_ursus major_ will make together; and how will they glitter and shine
to the wonder of all beholders!

Then she must make a brighter appearance by far, and a more pleasing
one too: for why? She has three thousand _satellites_, or little
stars, in her train more than poor Polly can pretend to. Won't there
be a fine twinkling and sparkling, think you, when the greater and
lesser bear-stars are joined together?

But excuse me, dear Mrs. B.; this saucy girl has vexed me just now, by
her ill-natured tricks; and I am even with her, having thus vented my
spite, though she knows nothing of the matter.

So, fancy you see Polly Darnford abandoned by her own fault; her papa
angry at her; her mamma pitying her, and calling her silly girl; Mr.
Murray, who is a rough lover, growling over his mistress, as a dog
over a bone he fears to lose; Miss Nancy, putting on her prudish
pleasantry, snarling out a kind word, and breaking through her sullen
gloom, for a smile now and then in return; and I laughing at both in
my sleeve, and thinking I shall soon get leave to attend you in town,
which will be better than twenty humble servants of Mr. Murray's cast:
or, if I can't, that I shall have the pleasure of your correspondence
here, and enjoy, unrivalled, the favour of my dear parents, which this
ill-tempered girl is always envying me.

Forgive all this nonsense. I was willing to write something, though
worse than nothing, to shew how desirous I am to oblige you, had I a
capacity or subject, as you have. But nobody can love you better, or
admire you more, of this you may be assured (however unequal in all
other respects), than _your_ POLLY DARNFORD.

I send you up some of your papers for the good couple in Kent. Pray,
pay my respects to them: and beg they'll let me have 'em again as soon
as they can, by your conveyance.

Our Stamford friends desire their kindest respects; they mention you
with delight in every letter.



LETTER XXXII

_The Journal continued._

THURSDAY, FRIDAY EVENING.

My dear Miss Darnford,

I am returned from a very busy day, having had no less than fourteen
of our neighbours, gentlemen and ladies, to dinner: the occasion,
principally, to welcome our noble guests into these parts; Mr. B.
having, as I mentioned before, turned the intended visit into an
entertainment, after his usual generous manner.--He and Lord Davers
are gone part of the way with them home; and Lord Jackey, mounted with
his favourite Colbrand, as an escort to the countess and Lady Davers,
who are taking an airing in the chariot. They offered to take the
coach, if I would have gone; but being fatigued, I desired to be
excused. So I retired to my closet; and Miss Damford, who is seldom
out of my thoughts, coming into my mind, I had a new recruit of
spirits, which enabled me to resume my pen, and thus I proceed with my
journal.

Our company was, the Earl and Countess of D., who are so fashionable a
married couple, that the earl made it his boast, and his countess bore
it like one accustomed to such treatment, that he had not been in his
lady's company an hour abroad before for seven years. You know his
lordship's character: every body does; and there is not a worse, as
report says, in the peerage.

Sir Thomas Atkyns, a single gentleman, not a little finical and
ceremonious, and a mighty beau, though of the tawdry sort, and
affecting foreign airs; as if he was afraid it would not be judged by
any other mark that he had travelled.

Mr. Arthur and his lady, a moderately happy couple, who seem always,
when together, to behave as if upon a compromise; that is, that each
should take it in turn to say free things of the other; though some
of their freedoms are of so cutting a nature, that it looks as if they
intended to divert the company at their own expense. The lady, being
of a noble family, strives to let every one know that she values
herself not a little upon that advantage; but otherwise has many good
qualities.

Mr. Brooks and his lady. He is a free joker on serious subjects, but
a good-natured man, and says sprightly things with no ill grace: the
lady a little reserved, and haughty, though to-day was freer than
usual; as was observed at table by

Lady Towers, who is a maiden lady of family, noted for her wit and
repartee, and who says many good things, with so little doubt and
really so good a grace, that one cannot help being pleased with her.
This lady is generally gallanted by

Mr. Martin of the Grove, so called, to distinguish him from a rich
citizen of that name, settled in these parts, but being covetous and
proud, is seldom admitted among the gentry in their visits or parties
of pleasure.

Mr. Dormer, one of a very courteous demeanour, a widower, was another,
who always speaks well of his deceased lady, and of all the sex for
her sake. Mr. Chapman and his lady, a well-behaved couple, not ashamed
to be very tender and observing to each other, but without that
censurable fondness which sits so ill upon some married folks in
company.

Then there was the dean, our good minister, whom I name last, because
I would close with one of the worthiest; and his daughter, who came to
supply her mamma's place, who was indisposed; a well-behaved prudent
young lady. And here were our fourteen guests.

The Countess of C., Lord and Lady Davers, Mr. H., my dear Mr. B. and
your humble servant, made up the rest of the company. Thus we had a
capacious and brilliant circle; and all the avenues to the house were
crowded with their equipages.

The subjects of discourse at dinner were various, as you may well
suppose; and the circle was too large to fall upon any regular or very
remarkable topics. A good deal of sprightly wit, however, flew about,
between the Earl of D., Lady Towers, and Mr. Martin, in which that
lord suffered as he deserved; for he was no match for the lady,
especially as the presence of the dean was a very visible restraint
upon him, and Mr. Brooks too: so much awe will the character of a good
clergyman always have upon even forward spirits, where he is known
to have had an inviolable regard to it himself.--Besides, the good
gentleman has, naturally, a genteel and inoffensive vein of raillery,
and so was too hard for them at their own weapons. But after dinner,
and the servants being withdrawn, Mr. Martin singled me out, as he
loves to do, for a subject of encomium, and made some high compliments
to my dear Mr. B. upon his choice; and wished (as he often does), he
could find just such another for himself.

Lady Towers told him it was a thing as unaccountable as it was
unreasonable, that every rake who loved to destroy virtue, should
expect to be rewarded with it: and if his _brother_ B. had come off so
well, she thought no one else ought to expect it.

Lady Davers said, it was a very just observation: and she thought it
a pity there was not a law, that every man who made a harlot of an
honest woman, should be obliged to marry one of another's making.

Mr. B. said, that would be too severe; it would be punishment enough,
if he was to marry his own; and especially if he had not seduced her
under promise of marriage.

"Then you'd have a man be obliged to stand to his promise, I suppose,
Mr. B.?" replied Lady Davers. "Yes, madam."--"But," said she, "the
proof would be difficult perhaps: and the most unguilty heart of our
sex might be least able to make it out.--But what say you, my Lord D.;
will you, and my Lord Davers, join to bring a bill into the House of
Peers, for the purposes I mentioned? I fancy my brother would give it
all the assistance he could in the Lower House."

"Indeed," said Mr. B., "if I may be allowed to speak in the
plural number, _we_ must not pretend to hold an argument on this
subject.--What say you, Mr. H.? Which side are you of?"--"Every
gentleman," replied he, "who is not of the ladies' side, is deemed
a criminal; and I was always of the side that had the power of the
gallows."

"That shews," returned Lady Towers, "that Mr. H. is more afraid of
the _punishment_, than of deserving it."--"'Tis well," said Mr. B.,"
that any consideration deters a man of Mr. H.'s time of life. What may
be _fear_ now, may improve to _virtue_ in time."

"Ay," said Lady Davers, "Jackey is one of his uncle's _foxes_: he'd be
glad to snap up a straggling pullet, if he was not well looked after,
perhaps."--"Pray, my dear," said Lord Davers, "forbear: you ought not
to introduce two different conversations into different companies."

"Well, but," said Lady Arthur, "since you seem to have been so hard
put to it, as _single_ men, what's to be done with the married man who
ruins an innocent body?--What punishment, Lady Towers, shall we find
out for such an one; and what reparation to the injured?" This
was said with a particular view to the earl, on a late scandalous
occasion; as I afterwards found.

"As to the punishment of the gentleman," replied Lady Towers, "where
the law is not provided for it, it must be left, I believe, to his
conscience. It will then one day be heavy enough. But as to the
reparation to the woman, so far as it can be made, it will be
determinable as the unhappy person _may_ or may _not_ know, that her
seducer is a married man: if she knows he is, I think she neither
deserves redress nor pity, though it elevate not _his_ guilt. But if
the case be otherwise, and _she_ had no means of informing herself
that he was married, and he promised to make her his wife, to be
sure, though _she_ cannot be acquitted, _he_ deserves the severest
punishment that can be inflicted.--What say you, Mrs. B.?"

"If I must speak, I think that since custom now exacts so little
regard to virtue from men, and so much from women, and since the
designs of the former upon the latter are so flagrantly avowed and
known, the poor creature, who suffers herself to be seduced, either by
a _single_ or _married_ man, _with_ promises, or _without_, has only
to sequester herself from the world, and devote the rest of her days
to penitence and obscurity. As to the gentleman," added I, "he must,
I doubt, be left to his conscience, as you say, Lady Towers, which he
will one day have enough to do to pacify."

"Every young lady has not your angelic perfection, Madam," said Mr.
Dormer. "And there are cases in which the fair sex deserve compassion,
ours execration. Love may insensibly steal upon a soft heart; when
once admitted, the oaths, vows, and protestations of the favoured
object, who declaims against the deceivers of his sex, confirm her
good opinion of him, till having lull'd asleep her vigilance, in an
unguarded hour he takes advantage of her unsuspecting innocence. Is
not such a poor creature to be pitied? And what punishment does not
such a seducer deserve?"

"You have put, Sir," said I, "a moving case, and in a generous manner.
What, indeed, does not such a deceiver deserve?"--"And the more,"
said Mrs. Chapman, "as the most innocent heart is generally the most
credulous."--"Very true," said my countess; "for such an one as would
do no harm to others, seldom suspects any _from_ others; and her
lot is very unequally cast; admired for that very innocence which
tempts some brutal ravager to ruin it."--"Yet, what is that virtue,"
said the dean, "which cannot stand the test?"

"But," said Lady Towers, very satirically, "whither, ladies, are we
got? We are upon the subject of virtue and honour. Let us talk of
something in which the _gentlemen_ can join with us. This is such
an one, you see, that none but the dean and Mr. Dormer can discourse
upon."--"Let us then," retorted Mr. Martin, "to be even with _one_
lady at least find a subject that will be _new_ to her: and that is
CHARITY."

"Does what I said concern Mr. Martin more than any other gentleman,"
returned Lady Towers, "that he is disposed to take offence at it?"

"You must pardon me, Lady Towers," said Mr. B., "but I think a lady
should never make a motion to wave such subjects as those of virtue
and honour; and less still, in company, where there is so much
occasion, as she seems to think, for enforcing them."

"I desire not to wave the subject, I'll assure you," replied she. "And
if, Sir, you think it may do good, we will continue it for the sakes
of all you gentlemen" (looking round her archly), "who are of opinion
you may be benefited by it."

A health to the king and royal family, brought on public affairs and
politics; and the ladies withdrawing to coffee and tea, I have no more
to say as to this conversation, having repeated all that I remember
was said to any purpose.

SATURDAY MORNING

The countess being a little indisposed. Lady Davers and I took an
airing this morning in the chariot, and had a long discourse together.
Her ladyship was pleased to express great favour and tenderness
towards me; gave me much good advice, as to the care she would have me
take of myself; and told me, that her hopes, as well as her brother's,
all centred in my welfare; and that the way I was in made her love me
better and better.

She was pleased to tell me, how much she approved of the domestic
management; and to say, that she never saw such regularity and method
in any family in her life, where was the like number of servants:
every one, she said, knew their duty, and did it without speaking to,
in such silence, and with so much apparent cheerfulness and delight,
without the least hurry or confusion, that it was her surprise and
admiration: but kindly would have it that I took too much care upon
me. "Yet," said she, "I don't see but you are always fresh and lively,
and never seem tired or fatigued; and are always dressed and easy, so
that no company find you unprepared, or unfit to receive them, come
when they will, whether it be to breakfast or dinner."

I told her ladyship, I owed all this and most of the conduct for
which she was pleased to praise me, to her dear brother, who, at the
beginning of my happiness, gave me several cautions and instructions
for my behaviour; which had been the rule of my conduct ever since,
and I hoped ever would be:--"To say nothing," added I, "which yet
would be very unjust, of the assistance I received from worthy Mrs.
Jervis, who is an excellent manager."

_Good Creature_, _Sweet Pamela_, and _Charming Girl_, were her
common words; and she was pleased to attribute to me a graceful and
unaffected ease, and that I have a natural dignity in my person and
behaviour, which at once command love and reverence; so that, my dear
Miss Darnford, I am in danger of being proud. For you must believe,
that her ladyship's approbation gives me great pleasure; and the more,
as I was afraid, before she came, I should not have come on near
so well in her opinion. As the chariot passed along, she took great
notice of the respects paid me by people of different ranks, and of
the blessings bestowed upon me, by several, as we proceeded; and said,
she should fare well, and be rich in good wishes, for being in my
company.

"The good people who know us, _will_ do so, Madam," said I; "but I had
rather have their silent prayers than their audible ones; and I have
caused some of them to be told so. What I apprehend is, that you will
be more uneasy to-morrow, when at church you'll see a good many people
in the same way. Indeed my story, and your dear brother's tenderness
to me, are so much talked of, that many strangers are brought hither
to see us: 'tis the only thing," continued I (and so it is, Miss),
"that makes me desirous to go to London; for by the time we return,
the novelty, I hope, will cease." Then I mentioned some verses of Mr.
Cowley, which were laid under my cushion in our seat at church, two
Sundays ago, by some unknown hand; and how uneasy they have made me.
I will transcribe them, my dear, and give you the particulars of our
conversation on that occasion. The verses are these:

  "Thou robb'st my days of bus'ness and delights,
  Of sleep thou robb'st my nights.
  Ah! lovely thief! what wilt thou do?
  What! rob me of heaven too?
  Thou ev'n my prayers dost steal from me,
  And I, with wild idolatry,
  Begin to GOD, and end them all to thee.

  No, to what purpose should I speak?
  No, wretched heart, swell till you break.
  She cannot love me, if she would,
  And, to say truth, 'twere pity that she should.
  No, to the grave thy sorrow bear,
  As silent as they will be there;
  Since that lov'd hand this mortal wound does give,
  So handsomely the thing contrive
  That she may guiltless of it live;
  So perish, that her killing thee
  May a chance-medley, and no murder, be."

I had them in my pocket, and read them to my lady; who asked me, if
her brother had seen them? I told her, it was he that found them under
the cushion I used to sit upon; but did not shew them to me till I
came home; and that I was so vexed at them, that I could not go to
church in the afternoon.

"What should you be vexed at, my dear?" said she: "how could you help
it? My brother was not disturbed at them, was he?"--"No, indeed,"
replied I: "he chid _me_ for being so; and was pleased to make me a
fine compliment upon it; that he did not wonder that every body who
saw me loved me. But I said, this was all that wicked wit is good for,
to inspire such boldness in bad hearts, which might otherwise not dare
to set pen to paper to affront any one. But pray, Madam," added I,
"don't own I have told you of them, lest the least shadow of a thought
should arise, that I was prompted by some vile secret vanity, to tell
your ladyship of them, when I am sure, they have vexed me more than
enough. For is it not a sad thing, that the church should be profaned
by such actions, and such thoughts, as ought not to be brought into
it? Then, Madam, to have any wicked man _dare_ to think of one with
impure notions! It gives me the less opinion of myself, that I should
be so much as _thought of_ as the object of any wicked body's wishes.
I have called myself to account upon it, whether any levity in my
looks, my dress, my appearance, could embolden such an offensive
insolence. And I have thought upon this occasion better of Julius
Caesar's delicacy than I did, when I read of it; who, upon an attempt
made on his wife, to which, however, it does not appear she gave the
least encouragement, said to those who pleaded for her against the
divorce he was resolved upon, _that the wife of Caesar ought not to
be suspected_.--Indeed, Madam," continued I, "it would extremely shock
me, but to know that any wicked heart had conceived a design upon me;
upon _me_, give me leave to repeat, whose only glory and merit is,
that I have had the grace to withstand the greatest of trials and
temptations, from a gentleman more worthy to be beloved, both for
person and mind, than any man in England."

"Your observation, my dear, is truly delicate, and such as becomes
your mind and character. And I really think, if any lady in the world
is secure from vile attempts, it must be you; not only from your
story, so well known, and the love you bear to your man, and his merit
to you, but from the prudence, and natural _dignity_, I will say, of
your behaviour, which, though easy and cheerful, is what would strike
dead the hope of any presumptuous libertine the moment he sees you."

"How can I enough," returned I, and kissed her hand, "acknowledge your
ladyship's polite goodness in this compliment? But, my lady, you see
by the very instance I have mentioned, that a liberty is taken, which
I cannot think of without pain."

"I am pleased with your delicacy, my dear, as I said before. You can
never err, whilst thus watchful over your conduct: and I own you have
the more reason for it, as you have married a mere Julius Caesar, an
open-eyed rake" (that was her word), "who would, on the least surmise,
though ever so causeless on your part, have all his passions up
in arms, in fear of liberties being offered like those he has not
scrupled to take."--"O but, Madam," said I, "he has given me great
satisfaction in one point; for you must think I should not love him as
I ought, if I had not a concern for his future happiness, as well
as for his present; and that is, he has assured me, that in all the
liberties he has taken, he never attempted a married lady, but always
abhorred the thought of so great an evil."--"'Tis pity," said her
ladyship, "that a man who could conquer his passions _so far_, could
not subdue them entirely. This shews it was in his own power to do so;
and increases his crime: and what a wretch is he, who scrupling, under
pretence of conscience or honour, to attempt ladies _within_ the pale,
boggles not to ruin a poor creature _without_; although he knows, he
thereby, most probably, for ever deprived her of that protection, by
preventing her marriage, which even among such rakes as himself, is
deemed, he owns, inviolable; and so casts the poor creature headlong
into the jaws of perdition."

"Ah! Madam," replied I, "this was the very inference I made upon the
occasion."--"And what could he say?"--"He said, my inference was just;
but called me _pretty preacher_;--and once having cautioned me not
to be over-serious to him, so as to cast a gloom, as he said, over
our innocent enjoyments, I never dare to urge matters farther, when he
calls me by that name."

"Well," said my lady, "thou'rt an admirable girl! God's goodness was
great to our family, when it gave thee to it. No wonder," continued
she, "as my brother says, every body that sees you, and has heard your
character, loves you. And this is some excuse for the inconsiderate
folly even of this unknown transcriber."--"Ah! Madam," replied I, "but
is it not a sad thing, that people, if they must take upon them to
like one's behaviour in general, should have the _worst_, instead
of the _best_ thoughts upon it? If I were as good as I _ought_ to
be, and as some _think_ me, must they wish to make me bad for that
reason?"

Her ladyship was pleased to kiss me as we sat. "My charming Pamela, my
_more than sister,_."--(Did she say?)--Yes, she did say so! and
made my eyes overflow with joy to hear the sweet epithet. "How your
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
noblest minds.

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
favour.

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
do.

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.

SUNDAY.

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
general admiration.

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
going."

"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
together."

"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
proceedings."

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
accompanying me.

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
fervour.

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."

MONDAY.

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
man perhaps."

"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
place.

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.

TUESDAY.

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
happy."

"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
done."

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
they do."

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
judges?"

"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
doctrines.

"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
valued at?"

"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
to it."

"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
repeat them.

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
teach _you_."

"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_,

P.B.



LETTER XXXIII

My dear Miss Darnford,

I now proceed with my journal, which I brought down to Tuesday
evening; and of course I begin with

WEDNESDAY.

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
benevolence.

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
wrong."

"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."

"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
again.

"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
tell how!"

"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
Countess's chair.

"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
descended.

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.

THURSDAY.

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
expect it!"

"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
begone."

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
_before_.

"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
merit."

"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
bear them."

"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
you."

"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
deny me.

*       *       *       *       *



LETTER XXXIV

_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
their domestics.

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."

"Is that it? What a kind sister have I! But I see it vexes you; and
_ill-natured_ folks love to teaze, you know. But, dear Polly,
don't let the affection Mr. Murray expresses for me, put such a
good-tempered body out of humour, pray don't--Who knows" (continued
the provoker, who never says a tolerable thing that is not
ill-natured) "but the gentleman may be happy that he has found a way,
with so much ease, to dispense with the difficulty that eldership laid
him under? But, as he did you the favour to let the repulse come from
you, don't be angry, sister, that he took you at the first word."

"Indeed," said I, with a contemptuous smile, "thou'rt in the right,
Nancy, to take the gentleman at _his_ first word. Hold him fast, and
play over all thy monkey tricks with him, with all my heart; who knows
but it may engage him more? For, should _he_ leave thee, I might be
too much provoked at thy ingratitude, _to turn over_ another gentleman
to thee. And let me tell thee, without such an introduction, thy
temper would keep any body from thee, that knows it!"

"Poor Miss Polly--Come, be as easy as you can! Who knows but we may
find out some cousin or friend of Mr. Murray's between us, that we may
persuade to address you? Don't make us your enemies: we'll try to make
you easy, if we can. 'Tis a little hard, that you should be so cruelly
taken at your word, that it is."--"Dost think," said I, "poor, stupid,
ill-judging Nancy, that I can have the same regret for parting with
a man I could not like, that thou hadst, when thy vain hopes met with
the repulse they deserved from Mr. B.?"--"Mr. B. come up again? I have
not heard of him a great while."--"No, but it was necessary that one
nail should drive out another; for thou'dst been repining still, had
not Mr. Murray been _turned over_ to thee."--"_Turned over!_ You used
that word once before: such great wits as you, methinks, should not
use the same word twice."

"How dost thou know what wits _should_ or should _not_ do? Thou hast
no talent but ill-nature; and 'tis enough for thee, that _one_ view
takes up thy whole thought. Pursue that--But I would only caution
thee, not to _satiate_ where thou wouldst _oblige_, that's all; or,
if thy man can be so gross as to like thy fondness, to leave something
for _hereafter_."

"I'll call him in again, sister, and you shall acquaint us how you'd
have it. Bell" (for the maid came in just then), "tell Mr. Murray I
desire him to walk in."--"I'm glad to see thee so teachable all at
once!--I find now what was the cause of thy constant perverseness: for
had the unavailing lessons my mamma was always inculcating into thee,
come from a _man_ thou couldst have had hopes of, they had succeeded
better."

In came Sir Simon with his crutch-stick--But can you bear this
nonsense, Mrs. B.?--"What sparring, jangling again, you sluts!--O what
fiery eyes on one side! and contemptuous looks on t'other!"

"Why, papa, my sister Polly has _turned over_ Mr. Murray to me, and
she wants him back again, and he won't come--That's all the matter!"

"You know Nancy, papa, never could _bear_ reproof, and yet would
always _deserve_ it!--I was only gently remarking for her instruction,
on her fondness before company, and she is as she _used to
be!_--Courtship, indeed, is a new thing to the poor girl, and so she
knows not how to behave herself in it."

"So, Polly, because you have been able to run over a long list of
humble servants, you must insult your sister, must you?--But are you
really concerned, Polly?--Hey!"--"Sir, this or anything is very well
from you. But these imputations of envy, before Mr. Murray, must make
the man very considerable with himself. Poor Nancy don't consider
that. But, indeed, how should she? How should _she_ be able to
reflect, who knows not what reflection is, except of the spiteful
sort? But, papa, should the poor thing add to _his_ vanity, which
wants no addition, at the expense of that pride, which can only
preserve her from contempt?"

I saw her affected, and was resolved to pursue my advantage.

"Pr'ythee, Nancy," continued I, "canst thou not have a _little_
patience, child--My papa will set the day as soon as he shall think it
proper. And don't let thy man toil to keep pace with thy fondness; for
I have pitied him many a time, when I have seen him stretched on the
tenters to keep thee in countenance."

This set the ill-natured girl in tears and fretfulness; all her old
temper came upon her, as I designed it should, for she had kept me at
bay longer than usual; and I left her under the dominion of it, and
because I would not come into fresh dispute, got my mamma's leave, and
went in the chariot, to beg a dinner at Lady Jones's; and then came
home as cool and as easy as I used to be; and found Nancy as sullen
and silent, as was her custom, before Mr. Murray tendered himself to
her ready acceptance. But I went to my spinnet, and suffered her to
swell on.

We have said nothing but No and Yes ever since; and I wish I was with
you for a month, and all their nonsense over without me. I am,
my dear, obliging, and excellent Mrs. B., _your faithful and
affectionate_

Polly Darnford.

The two following anticipating the order of time, for the reasons
formerly mentioned, we insert here.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER XXXV

_From Miss Darnford to Mrs. B._

MY DEAR MRS. B.,

Pray give my service to your Mr. B. and tell him he is very impolite
in his reflections upon me, as to Mr. Murray, when he supposes I
regret the loss of him. You are much more favourable and _just_ too,
I will say, to your Polly Damford. These gentlemen, the very best
of them, are such indelicates! They think so highly of their saucy
selves, and confident sex, as if a lady cannot from _her_ heart
despise them; but if she turns them off, as they deserve, and
continues her dislike, what should be interpreted in her favour, as a
just and _regular_ conduct, is turned against her, and it must proceed
from spite. Mr. B. may think he knows much of the sex. But were I as
malicious as he is reflecting (and yet, if I have any malice, he has
raised it), I could say, that his acquaintance, was not with the most
unexceptionable, till he knew you: and he has not long enough been
happy in you, I find, to do justice to those who are proud to emulate
your virtues.

I say, Mrs. B., there can be no living with these men upon such
beginnings. They ought to know their distance, or be taught it, and
not to think it in their power to confer that as a favour, which they
should esteem it an honour to receive.

But neither can I bear, it seems, the preparatives to matrimony, the
fine clothes, the compliments, the _busy novelty_, as he calls it, the
new equipages, and so forth.

That's his mistake again, tell him: for one who can look forwarder
than the nine days of wonder, can easily despise so flashy and so
transient a glare. And were I fond of compliments, it would not,
perhaps, be the way to be pleased, in that respect, if I were to
marry.

Compliments in the single state are a lady's due, whether courted or
not; and she receives, or ought always to receive them, as such; but
in courtship they are poured out upon one, like a hasty shower, soon
to be over. A mighty comfortable consideration this, to a lady who
_loves to be complimented_! Instead of the refreshing April-like
showers, which beautify the sun-shine, she shall stand a deluge of
complaisance, be wet to the skin with it; and what then? Why be in a
Lybian desert ever after!--experience a constant parching drought and
all her attributed excellencies will be swallowed up in the quicksands
of matrimony. It may be otherwise with you; and it _must_ be so;
because there is such an infinite variety in your excellence. But does
Mr. B. think it must be so in _every_ matrimony?

'Tis true, he improves every hour, as I see in his fine speeches to
you. But it could not be Mr. B. if he did not: your merit _extorts_
it from him: and what an ungrateful, as well as absurd churl, would
he be, who should seek to obscure a meridian lustre, that dazzles the
eyes of every one else?

I thank you for your delightful narratives, and beg you to continue
them. I told you how your Saturday's conversation with Lady Davers,
and your Sunday employments, charm us all: so regular, and so easy to
be performed--That's the delightful thing--What every body may do;-and
yet so beautiful, so laudable, so uncommon in the practice, especially
among people in genteel life!--Your conversation and decision in
relation to the two parsons (more than charm) transport us. Mr. B.
judges right, and acts a charming part, to throw such a fine game into
your hands. And so excellently do you play it, that you do as much
credit to your partner's judgment as to your own. Never was so happy a
couple.

Mr. Williams is more my favourite than ever; and the amply rewarded
Mr. Adams, how did that scene affect us! Again and again, I say (for
what can I say else or more--since I can't find words to speak all I
think?), you're a charming lady! Yet, methinks, poor Mr. H. makes but
a sorry figure among you. We are delighted with Lady Davers; but still
more, if possible, with the countess: she is a fine lady, as you have
drawn her: but your characters, though truth and nature, are the most
shocking, or the most amiable, that I ever read.

We are full of impatience to hear of the arrival of Sir Jacob
Swynford. We know his character pretty well: but when he has sat for
it to your pencil, it must be an original indeed. I will have another
trial with my papa, to move him to let me attend you. I am rallying
my forces, and have got my mamma on my side again; who is concerned
to see her girl vexed and insulted by her younger sister; and who yet
minds no more what _she_ says to her, than what I say; and Sir Simon
loves to make mischief between us, instead of interposing to silence
either: and truly, I am afraid his delight of this kind will make him
deny his Polly what she so ardently wishes for. I had a good mind to
be sick, to be with you. I could fast two or three days, to give it
the better appearance; but then my mamma, who loves not deceit, would
blame me, if she knew my stratagem; and be grieved, if she thought I
was really ill. I know, fasting, when one has a stomach to eat, gives
one a very gloomy and mortified air. What would I not do, in short,
to procure to myself the inexpressible pleasure that I should have in
your company and conversation? But continue to write to me till then,
however, and that will be _next best_. I am _your most obliged and
obedient_ POLLY DARNFORD.



LETTER XXXVI

From the same.

My Dearest Mrs. B.,

I am all over joy and rapture. My good papa permits me to say, that
he will put his Polly under your protection, when you go to London. If
you have but a _tenth part_ of the pleasure I have on this occasion, I
am sure, I shall be as welcome as I wish. But he will insist upon it,
he says, that Mr. B. signs some acknowledgment, which I am to carry
along with _me_, that I am intrusted to his honour and yours,
and to be returned to him _heart-whole_ and _dutiful_, and with
a reputation as unsullied as he receives me. But do continue your
journals till then; for I have promised to take them up where you
leave off, to divert our friends here. There will be presumption!
But yet I will write nothing but what I will shew you, and have your
consent to send! For I was taught early not to tell tales out of
school; and a school, the best I ever went to, will be your charming
conversation.

We were greatly diverted with the trick put upon that _barbarian_
Sir Jacob. His obstinacy, repentance, and amendment, followed
so irresistibly in one half hour, from the happy thought of the
excellent lady countess, that I think no plot was ever more fortunate.
It was like springing a lucky mine in a siege, that blew up twenty
times more than was expected from it, and answered all the besiegers'
ends at once.

Mr. B.'s defence of his own conduct towards you is quite noble; and
he judges with his usual generosity and good sense, when, by adding to
your honour, he knows he enhances his own.

You bid me skim over your writings lightly; but 'tis impossible. I
will not flatter you, my dear Mrs. B., nor will I be suspected to
do so; and yet I cannot find words to praise, so much as I think you
deserve: so I will only say that your good parents, for whose pleasure
you write, as well as for mine, cannot receive or read them with more
delight than I do. Even my sister Nancy (judge of their effect by
this!) will at any time leave Murray, and forget to frown or be
ill-natured, while she can hear read what you write. And, angry as
she makes me some times, I cannot deny her this pleasure, because
possibly, among the innumerable improving reflections they abound
with, some one may possibly dart in upon her, and illuminate her, as
your conversation and behaviour did Sir Jacob.

But your application in P.S. to my papa pleased him; and confirmed his
resolution to let me go. He snatched the sheet that contained this,
"That's to me," said he: "I must read this myself." He did, and said,
"She's a sweet one: '_Do dear good Sir Simon_,'" repeated he aloud,
"'_let Miss Polly add to our delights!_' So she shall, then;--if that
will do it!--And yet this same Mrs. B. has so many delights already,
that I should think she might be contented. But, Dame Darnford, I
think I'll let her go. These sisters then, you'll see, how they'll
love at a distance, though always quarrelling when together." He
read on, "'_The new affair will divert you--Lady Darnford has
consented--Miss is willing; and her sister can spare her;'_--Very
prettily put, faith--'_And don't you be cross_'--Very sweet '_to
deny me_.'--Why, dear Mrs. B., I won't be so cross then; indeed I
won't!--And so, Polly, let 'em send word when they set out for London,
and you shall join 'em there with all my heart; but I'll have a letter
every post, remember that, girl."

"Any thing, any thing, dear papa," said I: "so I can but go!" He
called for a kiss, for his compliance. I gave it most willingly, you
may believe.

Nancy looked envious, although Mr. Murray came in just then. She
looked almost like a great glutton, whom I remember; one Sir Jonathan
Smith, who killed himself with eating: he used, while he was heaping
up his plate from one dish, to watch the others, and follow the knife
of every body else with such a greedy eye, as if he could swear a
robbery against any one who presumed to eat as well as he.

Well, let's know when you set out, and you shan't have been a week in
London, if I can help it, but you shall be told by my tongue, as now
by my pen, how much I am _your obliged admirer and friend_, POLLY
DARNFORD.



LETTER XXXVII

MY DEAR FRIEND,

I now proceed with my journal, which I had brought down to Thursday
night.

FRIDAY.

The two ladies resolving, as they said, to inspect all my proceedings,
insisted upon it, that I would take them with me in my _benevolent
round_ (as they, after we returned, would call it), which I generally
take once a week, among my poor and sick neighbours; and finding I
could not get off, I set out with them, my lady countess proposing
Mrs. Worden to fill up the fourth place in the coach. We talked all
the way of charity, and the excellence of that duty; and my Lady
Davers took notice of the text, that it would hide a _multitude of
faults_.

The countess said she had once a much better opinion of herself,
than she found she had reason for, within these _few_ days past: "And
indeed, Mrs. B.," said she, "when I get home, I shall make a good many
people the better for your example." And so said Lady Davers; which
gave me no small inward pleasure; and I acknowledged, in suitable
terms, the honour they both did me. The coach set us down by the side
of a large common, about five miles distant from our house; and we
alighted, and walked a little way, choosing not to have the coach come
nearer, that we might be taken as little notice of as possible; and
they entered with me into two mean cots with great condescension and
goodness; one belonging to a poor widow and five children, who had
been all down in agues and fevers; the other to a man and his wife
bed-rid with age and infirmities, and two honest daughters, one a
widow with two children, the other married to an husbandman, who had
also been ill, but now, by comfortable cordials, and good physic, were
pretty well to what they had been.

The two ladies were well pleased with my demeanour to the good folks:
to whom I said, that as I should go so soon to London, I was willing
to see them before I went, to wish them better and better, and to tell
them, that I should leave orders with Mrs. Jervis concerning them, to
whom they must make known their wants: and that Mr. Barrow would take
care of them, I was sure; and do all that was in the power of physic
for the restoration of their healths.

Now you must know, Miss, that I am not so good as the old ladies of
former days, who used to distil cordial waters, and prepare medicines,
and dispense them themselves. I knew, if I were so inclined, my dear
Mr. B. would not have been pleased with it, because in the approbation
he has kindly given to my present method, he has twice or thrice
praised me, that I don't carry my charity to extremes, and make his
house a dispensatory. I would not, therefore, by aiming at doing too
much, lose the opportunity of doing any good at all in these respects;
and besides, as the vulgar saying is, One must creep before one goes.
But this is my method:

I am upon an agreement with this Mr. Barrow, who is deemed a very
skilful and honest apothecary, and one Mr. Simmonds, a surgeon of
like character, to attend to all such cases and persons as I shall
recommend; Mr. Barrow, to administer physic and cordials, as he shall
judge proper, and even, in necessary cases, to call in a physician.
And now and then, by looking in upon them one's self, or sending a
servant to ask questions, all is kept right.

My Lady Davers observed a Bible, a Common Prayer-book, and a Whole
Duty of Man, in each cot, in leathern outside cases, to keep them
clean, and a Church Catechism or two for the children; and was pleased
to say, it was right; and her ladyship asked one of the children,
a pretty girl, who learnt her her catechism? And she curtsey'd and
looked at me; for I do ask the children questions, when I come, to
know how they improve; "'Tis as I thought," said my lady; "my sister
provides for both parts. God bless you, my dear!" said she, and tapped
my neck.

My ladies left tokens of their bounty behind them to both families,
and all the good folks blessed and prayed for us at parting: and as
we went out, my Lady Davers, with a serious air, was pleased to say to
me, "Take care of your health, my dear sister; and God give you, when
it comes, a happy hour: for how many real mourners would you have, if
you were to be called early to reap the fruits of your piety!"

"God's will must be done, my lady," said I. "The same Providence that
has so wonderfully put it in my power to do a little good, will raise
up new friends to the honest hearts that rely upon him."

This I said, because some of the good people heard my lady, and seemed
troubled, and began to redouble their prayers, for my safety and
preservation.

We walked thence to our coach, and stretched a little farther, to
visit two farmers' families, about a mile distant from each other.
One had the mother of the family, with two sons, just recovering, the
former from a fever, the latter from tertian agues; and I asked, when
they saw Mr. Barrow? They told me, with great commendations of him,
that he had but just left them. So, having congratulated their hopeful
way, and wished them to take care of themselves, and not go too early
to business, I said I should desire Mr. Barrow to watch over them, for
fear of a relapse, and should hardly see 'em again for some time; and
so I slid, in a manner not to be observed, a couple of guineas into
the good woman's hand; for I had a hint given me by Mrs. Jervis, that
their illness had made it low with them.

We proceeded then to the other farm, where the case was a married
daughter, who had a very dangerous lying-in, and a wicked husband who
had abused her, and run away from her; but she was mending apace, by
good comfortable things, which from time to time I had caused to be
sent her. Her old father had been a little unkind to her, before I
took notice of her; for she married against his consent; and indeed
the world went hard with the poor man, and he could not do much; and
besides, he had a younger daughter, who had lost all her limbs, and
was forced to be tied in a wicker chair, to keep her up in it; which
(having expended much to relieve her) was a great _pull-back_, as the
good old woman called it. And having been a year in arrear to a harsh
landlord, who, finding a good stock upon the ground, threatened to
distress the poor family, and turn them out of all, I advanced the
money upon the stock; and the poor man has already paid me half of it
(for, Miss, I must keep within compass too), which was fifty pounds at
first, and is in a fair way to pay me the other half, and make as much
more for himself.

Here I found Mr. Barrow, and he gave me an account of the success
of two other cases I had recommended to him; and told me, that John
Smith, a poor man, who, in thatching a barn, had tumbled down, and
broken his leg, and bruised himself all over, was in a fair way of
recovery. This poor creature had like to have perished by the cruelty
of the parish officers, who would have passed him away to Essex,
where his settlement was, though in a burning fever, occasioned by his
misfortune; but hearing of the case, I directed Mr. Simmonds to attend
him, and to provide for him at my expense, and gave my word, if he
died, to bury him.

I was glad to hear he was in so good a way, and told Mr. Barrow, I
hoped to see him and Mr. Simmonds together at Mr. B.'s, before I
set out for London, that we might advise about the cases under their
direction, and that I might acquit myself of some of my obligations to
them.

"You are a good man, Mr. Barrow," added I: "God will bless you for
your care and kindness to these poor destitute creatures. They all
praise you, and do nothing but talk of your humanity to them."

"O my good lady," said he, "who can forbear following such an example
as you set? Mr. Simmonds can testify as well as I (for now and then
a case requires us to visit together) that we can hardly hear any
complaints from our poor patients, let 'em be ever so ill, for the
praises and blessings they bestow upon you."

"It is good Mr. B. that enables and encourages me to do what I do.
Tell them, they must bless God, and bless him, and pray for me, and
thank you and Mr. Simmonds: we all join together, you know, for their
good."

The countess and Lady Davers asked the poor lying-in woman many
questions, and left with her, and for her poor sister, a miserable
object indeed!--(God be praised that I am not such an one!) marks of
their bounty in gold, and looking upon one another, and then upon me,
and lifting up their hands, could not say a word till we were in the
coach: and so we were carried home, after we had just looked in upon
a country school, where I pay for the learning of eight children. And
here (I hope I recite not this with pride, though I do with pleasure)
is a cursory account of my _benevolent weekly round_, as my ladies
will call it. I know you will not be displeased with it; but it will
highly delight my worthy parents, who, in their way, do a great deal
of discreet good in their neighbourhood: for indeed, Miss, a little
matter, _prudently_ bestowed, and on true objects of compassion (whose
cases are soon at a crisis, as are those of most labouring people),
will go a great way, and especially if laid out properly for 'em,
according to the exigencies of their respective cases.--For such
poor people, who live generally low, want very seldom any thing
but reviving cordials at first, and good wholesome kitchen physic
afterwards: and then the wheels of nature, being unclogged, new oiled,
as it were, and set right, they will go round again with pleasantness
and ease for a good while together, by virtue of that exercise which
their labour gives them; while the rich and voluptuous are forced to
undergo great fatigues to keep theirs clean and in order.

SATURDAY MORNING.

It is hardly right to trouble either of you, my honoured
correspondents, with an affair that has vexed me a good deal; and,
indeed, _should_ affect me more than any other mistress of a family,
for reasons which will be obvious to you, when I tell you the case.
And this I cannot forbear doing.

A pretty genteel young body, my Polly Barlow, as I call her, having
been well recommended, and behaved with great prudence till this time,
is the cause.

My dear Mr. B. and the two ladies, agreed with me to take a little
airing in the coach, and to call in upon Mr. Martin, who had a present
made him for his menagerie, in which he takes a great delight, of a
rare and uncommon creature, a native of the East Indies. But just
as Sir Jacob was on horseback to accompany them, and the ladies were
ready to go, I was taken with a sudden disorder and faintishness; so
that Lady Davers, who is very tender of me, and watches every change
of my countenance, would not let me go with them, though my disorder
was going off: and my dear Mr. B. was pleased to excuse me; and just
meeting with Mr. Williams, as they went to the coach, they took him
with them, to fill up the vacant place. So I retired to my closet, and
shut myself in.

They had asked Mr. H. to go with them, for company to Sir Jacob; but
he (on purpose, as I believe by what followed) could not be found,
when they set out: so they supposed he was upon some ramble with Mr.
Colbrand, his great favourite.

I was writing to you, being pretty well recovered, when I heard Polly,
as I supposed, and as it proved, come into my apartment: and down she
sat, and sung a little catch, and cried, "Hem!" twice; and presently
I heard two voices. But suspecting nothing, I wrote on, till I heard
a kind of rustling and struggling, and Polly's voice crying, "Fie--How
can you do so!--Pray, Sir."

This alarmed me much, because we have such orderly folks about us; and
I looked through the key-hole; and, to my surprise and concern, saw
Mr. H.--foolish gentleman!--taking liberties with Polly, that neither
became him to offer, nor, more foolish girl! her to suffer. And
having reason to think, that this was not their first interview, and
freedom--and the girl sometimes encouragingly laughing, as at other
times, inconsistently, struggling and complaining, in an accent that
was too tender for the occasion, I forced a faint cough. This frighted
them both: Mr. H. swore, and said, "Who can that be?--Your lady's gone
with them, isn't she?"

"I believe so!--I hope so!" said the silly girl--"yet that was like
her voice!--Me'm, are you in your closet, Me'm?" said she, coming
up to the door; Mr. H. standing like a poor thief, half behind the
window-curtains, till he knew whether it was I.

I opened the door: away sneaked Mr. H., and she leaped with surprise,
not hoping to find me there, though she asked the question.

"I thought--Indeed--Me'm--I thought you were gone out,"--"It is plain
you did, Polly.--Go and shut the chamber door, and come to me again."

She did, but trembled, and was so full of confusion, that I pitied the
poor creature, and hardly knew how to speak to her. For my compassion
got the upper hand of my resentment; and as she stood quaking and
trembling, and looking on the ground with a countenance I cannot
describe, I now and then cast my eye upon her, and was as often forced
to put my handkerchief to it.

At last I said, "How long have these freedoms past between you and Mr.
H.?--I am loth to be censorious, Polly; but it is too plain, that Mr.
H. would not have followed you into my chamber, if he had not met you
at other places."--The poor girl said never a word.--"Little did I
expect, Polly, that you would have shewn so much imprudence. You have
had instances of the vile arts of men against poor maidens: have
you any notion that Mr. H. intends to do honourably by you?"
--"Me'm--Me'm--I believe--I hope--I dare say, Mr. H. would not do
otherwise."--"So much the worse that you believe so, if you have not
very good reason for your belief. Does he pretend that he will marry
you?"--She was silent.--"Tell me, Polly, if he does?"--"He says
he will do honourably by me."--"But you know there is but one word
necessary to explain that other precious word _honour_, in this case.
It is _matrimony_. That word is as soon spoken as any other, and if
he _means_ it, he will not be shy to _speak_ it."--She was silent.--
"Tell me, Polly (for I am really greatly concerned for you), what
you think _yourself_; do you _hope_ he will marry you?"--She was
silent.--"Do, good Polly (I hope I may call you _good_ yet!),
answer me."--"Pray, Madam!" and she wept, and turned from me, to the
wainscot--"Pray, excuse me."--"But, indeed, Polly, I cannot _excuse_
you. You are under my protection. I was once in as dangerous a
situation as you can be in. And I did not escape it, child, by the
language and conduct I heard from you."--"Language and conduct,
Me'm!"--"Yes, Polly, language and conduct. Do you think, if I had set
me down in my lady's bed-chamber, sung a song, and hemm'd twice, and
Mr. B. coming to me, upon that signal (for such I doubt it was), I had
kept my place, and suffered myself to be rumpled, and only, in a soft
voice, and with an encouraging laugh, cried--'How can you do so?' that
I should have been what I am?"--"Me'm, I dare say, my lord" (so all
the servants call him, and his aunt often, when she puts Jackey
to it), "means no hurt."--"No hurt, Polly! What, and make you cry
'_Fie!_'-or do you intend to trust your honour to his mercy, rather
than to your own discretion?"--"I hope not, Me'm!"--"I hope not too,
Polly!--But you know he was free enough with you, to make you say
'_Fie!_' And what might have been the case, who knows? had I not
coughed on purpose: unwilling, for your sake, Polly, to find matters
so bad as I feared, and that you would have been led beyond what was
reputable."

"Reputable, Me'm!"--"Yes, Polly: I am sorry you oblige me to speak so
plain. But your good requires it. Instead of flying from him, you not
only laughed when you cried out, '_Fie!_' and '_How can you do so?_'
but had no other care than to see if any body heard you; and you
observe how he slid away, like a guilty creature, on my opening the
door--Do these things look well, Polly? Do you think they do?--And if
you hope to emulate my good fortune, do you think _this_ is the way?"

"I wish, Me'm, I had never seen Mr. H. For nobody will look upon me,
if I lose your favour!"

"It will still, Polly" (and I took her hand, with a kind look), "be in
your power to keep it: I will not mention this matter, if you make me
your friend, and tell me all that has passed."--Again she wept, and
was silent.--This made me more uneasy.--"Don't think, Polly," said I,
"that I would envy any other person's preferment, when I have been
so much exalted myself. If Mr. H. has talked to you of marriage, tell
me."--"No, Me'm, I can't say he has _yet_."--"Yet, Polly! Then he
_never_. will. For when men do talk of it, they don't always _mean_
it: but whenever they _mean_ it, how can they confirm a doubting
maiden, without _mentioning_ it: but alas for you, poor Polly!--The
freedoms you have permitted, no doubt, previous to those I heard, and
which might have been greater, had I not surprised you with my cough,
shew too well, that he _need_ not make any promises to you."--"Indeed,
Me'm," said she, sobbing, "I might be too little upon my guard; but I
would not have done any ill for the world."

"I hope you would not, Polly; but if you suffer these freedoms, you
can't tell what you'd have permitted--Tell me, do you love Mr. H.?"

"He is very good-humoured, Madam, and is not proud."--"No, 'tis not
his business to be proud, when he hopes to humble you--humble you,
indeed!--beneath the lowest person of the sex, that is honest."--"I
hope----"--"You _hope!_" interrupted I. "You _hope_ too much; and
I _fear a great deal_ for you, because you fear so _little_ for
yourself.--But say, how often have you been in private together?"

"In private, Me'm! I don't know what your ladyship calls
_private!_"--"Why that is _private_, Polly, when, as just now, you
neither imagined nor intended any body should see you."

She was silent; and I saw by this, poor girl, how true lovers are to
their secret, though, perhaps, their ruin depends upon keeping it.
But it behoved me, on many accounts, to examine this matter narrowly;
because if Mr. H. should marry her, it would have been laid upon Mr.
B.'s example.--And if Polly were ruined, it would be a sad thing, and
people would have said, "Aye, she could take care enough of herself,
but none at all of her servant: _her_ waiting-maid had a much more
remiss mistress than Pamela found, or the matter would not have been
thus."

"Well, Polly, I see," continued I, "that you will not speak out to me.
You may have _several_ reasons for it, possibly, though not _one_ good
one. But as soon as Lady Davers comes in, who has a great concern in
this matter, as well as Lord Davers, and are answerable to Lord H.
in a matter of so much importance as this, I will leave it to her
ladyship's consideration, and shall no more concern myself to ask you
questions about it--For then I must take her ladyship's directions,
and part with you, to be sure."

The poor girl, frighted at this (for every body fears Lady Davers),
wrung her hands, and begged, for God's sake, I would not acquaint Lady
Davers with it.

"But how can I help it?--Must I not connive at your proceedings, if
I do not? You are no fool, Polly, in other cases. Tell me, how it is
possible for me, in my situation, to avoid it?"

"I will tell your ladyship the whole truth; indeed I will--if you
will not tell Lady Davers. I am ready to sink at the thoughts of Lady
Davers knowing any thing of this."

This looked sadly. I pitied her, but yet was angry in my mind; for I
saw, too plainly, that her conduct could not bear a scrutiny, not even
in _her own _opinion, poor creature.

I said, "Make me acquainted with the whole."--"Will your ladyship
promise--"--"I'll promise nothing, Polly. When I have heard all you
think proper to say, I will do what befits me to do; but with as much
tenderness as I can for you--and that's all you ought to expect me
to promise."--"Why then, Madam--But how can I speak it?--I can speak
sooner to any body, than to Lady Davers and you, Madam: for her
ladyship's passion, and your ladyship's virtue--How shall I?"--And
then she threw herself at my feet, and hid her face with her apron.

I was in agonies for her, almost; I wept over her, and raised her up,
and said, "Tell me all. You cannot tell me worse than I apprehend, nor
I hope so bad! O Polly, tell me soon.--For you give me great pain."

And my back, with grief and compassion for the poor girl, was ready
to open, as it seemed to me.--In my former distresses, I have been
overcome by fainting next to death, and was deprived of sense for some
moments--But else, I imagine, I must have felt some such affecting
sensation, as the unhappy girl's case gave me.

"Then, Madam, I own," said she, "I have been too faulty."--"As
how?--As what?--In what way?--How faulty?"--asked I, as quick as
thought: "you are not ruined, are you?--Tell me, Polly!"--"No,
Madam, but--"--"But what?--Say, but what?"--"I had consented--"--"To
what?"--"To his proposals, Madam."--"What proposals?"--"Why, Madam, I
was to live with Mr. H."

"I understand you too well--But is it too late to break so wretched a
bargain;--have you already made a sacrifice of your honour?"

"No, Madam: but I have given it under my hand."

"Under your _hand!_--Ah! Polly, it is well if you have not given
it under your _heart_ too. But what foolishness is this!--What
consideration has he made you?"--"He has given it under his hand, that
he will always love me; and when his lordship's father dies, he will
own me."

"What foolishness is this on both sides!--But are you willing to be
released from this bargain?"

"Indeed I am. Madam, and I told him so yesterday. But he says he will
sue me, and ruin me, if I don't stand to it."

"You are ruined if you do!--And I wish--But tell me, Polly, are you
not ruined as it is?"

"Indeed I am not, Madam."

"I doubt, then, you were upon the brink of it, had not this
providential indisposition kept me at home.--You met, I suppose, to
conclude your shocking bargain.--O poor unhappy girl!--But let me see
what he has given under his hand!"

"He has 'em both, Madam, to be drawn up fair, and in a strong hand,
that shall be like a record."

Could I have thought, Miss, that a girl of nineteen could be so
ignorant in a point so important, when in every thing else she has
shewn no instances like this stupid folly?

"Has he given you money?"

"Yes, Madam, he gave me--he gave me--a note. Here it is. He says any
body will give me money for it." And this was a bank note of fifty
pounds, which she pulled out of her stays.

The result was, he was to settle one hundred pounds a year upon her
and hers, poor, poor girl--and was to _own_ her, as he calls it (but
as wife or mistress, she stipulated not), when his father died, and he
came into the title and estate.

I told her, it was impossible for me to conceal the matter from Lady
Davers, if she would not, by her promises to be governed entirely by
me, and to abandon all thoughts of Mr. H., give me room to conclude,
that the wicked bargain was at an end.

And to keep the poor creature in some spirits, and to enable her to
look up, and to be more easy under my direction, I blamed _him_ more
than I did _her_: though, considering what virtue requires of a
woman, and custom has made shameless in a man, I think the poor girl
inexcusable, and shall not be easy while she is about me. For she is
more to blame, because, of the two, she has more wit than the man.

"But what can I do?" thought I. "If I put her away, 'twill be to throw
her directly into his hands. He won't stay here long: and she _may_
see her folly. But yet her eyes were open; she knew what she had to
trust to--and by their wicked beginning, and her encouraging repulses,
I doubt she would have been utterly ruined that very day."

I knew the rage Lady Davers would be in with both. So this was another
embarrassment. Yet should my good intentions fail, and they conclude
their vile bargain, and it appeared that I knew of it, but would not
acquaint her, then should I have been more blamed than any mistress of
a family, circumstanced as I am. Upon the whole, I resolved to comfort
the girl as well as I could, till I had gained her confidence, that my
advice might have the more weight, and, by degrees, be more likely to
reclaim her: for, poor soul! there would be an end of her reputation,
the most precious of all jewels, the moment the matter was known; and
that would be a sad thing.

As for the man, I thought it best to take courage (and you, that know
me, will say, I must have a good deal more than usual) to talk to
Mr. H. on this subject. And she consenting I should, and, with great
protestations, declaring her sorrow and repentance, begging to get her
note of hand again, and to give him back his note of fifty pounds, I
went down to find him.

He shunned me, as a thief would a constable at the head of a
hue-and-cry. As I entered one room, he went into another, looking with
conscious guilt, yet confidently humming a tune. At last I fixed him,
bidding Rachel tell Polly be wanted to send a message by her to her
lady. By which I doubted not he was desirous to know what she had
owned, in order to govern himself accordingly.

His back was towards me; and I said--

"Mr. H., here I am myself, to take your commands."

He gave a caper half a yard high--"Madam, I wanted--I wanted to speak
to--I would have spoken with--"

"You wanted to send Polly to me, perhaps, Mr. H., to ask if I would
take a little walk with you in the garden."

"Very true, Madam!--Very true indeed!--You have guessed the matter. I
thought it was pity, this fine day, as every body was taking airing--"

"Well then. Sir, please to lead the way, and I'll attend you."

"Yet I fancy, Madam, the wind is a little too high for you.--Won't
you catch cold?"--"No, never fear, Mr. H., I am not afraid of a little
air."

"I will attend you presently, Madam: you'll be in the great gravel
walk, or on the terrace.--I'll wait upon you in an instant."

I had the courage to take hold of his arm, as if I had like to have
slipt.--For, thought I, thou shalt not see the girl till I have talked
to thee a little, if thou dost then.--"Excuse me, Mr. H.--I hope I
have not hurt my foot--I must lean upon you."

"Will you be pleased, Madam, to have a chair? I fear you have sprained
your foot.--Shall I help you to a chair?"

"No, no, Sir, I shall walk it off, if I hold by you."

So he had no excuse to leave me, and we proceeded into the garden. But
never did any thing look so like a _foolish fellow_, as his aunt
calls him. He looked, if possible, half a dozen ways at once, hemm'd,
coughed, turned his head behind him every now and then, started half a
dozen silly subjects, in hopes to hinder me from speaking.

I appeared, I believe, under some concern how to begin with him; for
he would have it I was not very well, and begged he might step in one
minute to desire Mrs. Jervis to attend me.

So I resolved to begin with him; lest I should lose the opportunity,
seeing my eel so very slippery. And placing myself on a seat, asked
him to sit down. He declined, and would wait upon me presently, he
said, and seemed to be going. So I began--"It is easy for me, Mr. H.,
to penetrate into the reason why you are so willing to leave me: but
'tis for your own sake, that I desire you to hear me, that no mischief
may ensue among friends and relations, on an occasion to which you are
no stranger."

"O, Madam, what can you mean? Surely, Madam, you don't think amiss of
a little innocent liberty, or so!"

"Mr. H.," replied I, "I want not any evidence of your inhospitable
designs upon a poor unwary young creature, whom your birth and quality
have found it too easy a task to influence."

"_Inhospitable designs_! Madam!--A harsh word! You very nice ladies
cannot admit of the least freedom in the world!--Why, Madam, I have
kiss'd a lady's woman before now, in a civil way or so, and never was
called to an account for it, as a breach of hospitality."

"Tis not for me, Mr. H., to proceed to _very nice _particulars with a
gentleman who can act as you have done, by a poor girl, that dare
not have looked up to a man of your quality, had you not levelled all
distinction between you in order to level the weak creature to the
common dirt of the highway. I must say, that the poor girl heartily
repents of her folly; and, to shew you, that it signifies nothing to
deny it, she begs you will return the note of her hand you extorted
from her foolishness; and I hope you'll be so much of a gentleman, as
not to keep in your power such a testimony of the weakness of any of
the sex."

"Has she told you that, Madam?--Why, may be--indeed--I can't but
say--Truly, it mayn't look so well to you, Madam: but young folks will
have frolics. It was nothing but a frolic. Let me _be hanged_, if it
was!"

"Be pleased then, Sir, to give up her note to me, to return to her.
Reputation should not be frolicked with, Sir; especially that of a
poor girl, who has nothing else to depend upon."

"I'll give it her myself, if you please, Madam, and laugh at her into
the bargain. Why, 'tis comical enough, if the little pug thought I was
earnest, I must have a laugh or two at her, Madam, when I give it her
up."

"Since, 'tis but a frolic, Mr. H., you won't take it amiss, that when
we are set down to supper, we call Polly in, and demand a sight of her
note, and that will make every one merry as well as you."

"Not so, Madam, that mayn't be so well neither! For, perhaps, they
will be apt to think it is in earnest; when, as I hope to live, 'tis
but a jest: nothing in the world else, upon honour!"

I put on then a still more serious air--"As you _hope to live_, say
you, Mr. H.!--and _upon your honour!_ How! fear you not an instant
punishment for this appeal? And what is the _honour_ you swear by?
Take that, and answer me, Sir: do gentlemen give away bank-notes for
_frolics_, and for _mere jests_, and _nothing in the world_ else!--I
am sorry to be obliged to deal thus with you. But I thought I was
talking to a gentleman who would not forfeit his veracity; and that in
so solemn an instance as this!"

He looked like a man thunderstruck. His face was distorted, and his
head seemed to turn about upon his neck, like a weather-cock in a
hurricane, to all points of the compass; his hands clenched as in
a passion, and yet shame and confusion struggling in every limb and
feature. At last he said, "I am confoundedly betrayed. But if I am
exposed to my uncle and aunt" (for the wretch thought of nobody but
himself), "I am undone, and shall never be able to look them in the
face. 'Tis true, I had a design upon her; and since she has betrayed
me, I think I may say, that she was as willing, almost, as I."

"Ungenerous, contemptible wretch!" thought I--"But such of our sex as
can thus give up their virtue, ought to expect no better: for he
that sticks not at _one_ bad action, will not scruple at _another_ to
vindicate himself: and so, devil-like, become the attempter and the
accuser too!"

"But if you will be so good," said he, with hands uplifted, "as to
take no notice of this to my uncle, and especially to my aunt and Mr.
B., I swear to you, I never will think of her as long as I live."

"And you'll bind this promise, will you, Sir, by _your honour_, and as
you _hope to live?_"

"Dear, good Madam, forgive me, I beseech you; don't be so severe upon
me. By all that's--"

"Don't swear, Mr. H. But as an earnest that I may believe you, give
me back the girl's foolish note, that, though 'tis of no significance,
she may not have _that_ to witness her folly."--He took out his
pocket-book: "There it is, Madam! And I beg you'll forgive this
attempt: I see I ought not to have made it. I doubt it was a breach of
the laws of hospitality, as you say. But to make it known, will only
expose me, and it can do no good; and Mr. B. will perhaps resent
it; and my aunt will never let me hear the last of it, nor my uncle
neither--And I shall be sent to travel again--And" (added the poor
creature) "I was once in a storm, and the crossing the sea again would
be death to me."

"What a wretch art thou!" thought I. "What could such an one as thou
find to say, to a poor creature that, if put in the scale against
considerations of virtue, should make the latter kick the [Transcriber's
note: illegible] "Poor, poor Tony Barrow! thou art sunk indeed! Too low
for excuse, and almost beneath pity!"

I told him, if I could observe that nothing passed between them, that
should lay me under a necessity of revealing the matter, I should not
be forward to expose him, nor the maiden either: but that he must, in
his own judgment, excuse me, if I made every body acquainted with it,
if I were to see the correspondence between them likely to be renewed
or carried on: "For," added I, "in that case I should owe it to
myself, to Mr. B., to Lord and Lady Davers, and to you, and the
unhappy body too, to do so."

He would needs drop down on one knee, to promise this; and with a
thousand acknowledgments, left me to find Mr. Colbrand, in order to
ride to meet the coach on its return. I went in, and gave the foolish
note to the silly girl, which she received eagerly, and immediately
burnt; and I told her, I would not suffer her to come near me but
as little as possible, when I was in company while Mr. H. staid; but
consigned her entirely to the care of Mrs. Jervis, to whom only, I
said, I would hint the matter as tenderly as I could: and for this, I
added, I had more reasons than one; first, to give her the benefit
of a good gentlewoman's advice, to which I had myself formerly been
beholden, and from whom I concealed nothing; next, to keep out of
Mr. H.'s way; and lastly that I might have an opportunity, from Mrs.
Jervis's opinion, to judge of the sincerity of her repentance: "For,
Polly," said I, "you must imagine, so regular and uniform as all our
family is, and so good as I thought all the people about me were,
that I could not suspect, that she, the duties of whose place made her
nearest to my person, was the farthest from what I wished."

I have set this matter so strongly before her, and Mrs. Jervis has
so well seconded me, that I hope the best; for the grief the poor
creature carries in her looks, and expresses in her words, cannot be
described; frequently accusing herself, with tears, saying often
to Mrs. Jervis, she is not worthy to stand in the presence of her
mistress, whose example she has made so bad an use of, and whose
lessons she had so ill followed.

I am sadly troubled at this matter, however; but I take great comfort
in reflecting that my sudden indisposition looked like a providential
thing, which may save one poor soul, and be a seasonable warning to
her, as long as she lives.

Meantime I must observe, that at supper last night, Mr. H. looked
abject and mean, and like a poor thief, as I thought, and conscious of
his disappointed folly (though I seldom glanced my eye upon him), had
less to say for himself than ever.

And once my Lady Davers, laughing, said, "I think in my heart, my
nephew looks more foolish every time I see him, than the last." He
stole a look at me, and blushed; and my lord said, "Jackey has some
grace! He blushes! Hold up thy head, nephew! Hast thou nothing at all
to say for thyself?"

Sir Jacob said, "A blush becomes a young gentleman! I never saw one
before though, in Mr. H.--What's the matter, Sir?"--"Only," said Lady
Davers, "his skin or his conscience is mended, that's all."

"Thank you, Madam," was all he said, bowing to his aunt, and affecting
a careless yet confused air, as if he whispered a whistle. "O,
wretch!" thought I, "see what it is to have a condemning conscience;
while every _innocent_ person looks round easy, smiling, and
erect!"--But yet it was not the shame of a bad action, I doubt, but
being discovered and disappointed, that gave him his confusion of
face.

What a sad thing for a person to be guilty of such actions, as shall
put it in the power of another, even by a look, to mortify him! And
if poor souls can be thus abjectly struck at such a discovery by
a fellow-creature, how must they appear before an unerring and
omniscient Judge, with a conscience standing in the place of a
thousand witnesses? and calling in vain upon the _mountains to fall
upon them_, and the _hills to cover them!_--How serious this subject
makes one!

SATURDAY EVENING.

I am just retired from a fatiguing service; for who should come to
dine with Mr. B. but that sad rake Sir Charles Hargrave; and Mr.
Walgrave, Mr. Sedley, and Mr. Floyd, three as bad as himself;
inseparable companions, whose whole delight is drinking, hunting, and
lewdness; but otherwise gentlemen of wit and large estates. Three of
them broke in upon us at the Hall, on the happiest day of my life,
to our great regret; and they had been long threatening to make this
visit, in order to see me, as they told Mr. B.

They whipt out two bottles of champagne instantly, for a _whet_, as
they called it; and went to view the stud and the kennel, and then
walked in the garden till dinner was ready; my Lord Davers, Mr. H.
and Sir Jacob, as well as Mr. B. (for they are all acquainted)
accompanying them.

Sir Charles, it seems, as Lord Davers told me afterwards; said, he
longed to see Mrs. B. She was the talk wherever he went, and he had
conceived a high opinion of her beforehand.

Lord Davers said, "I defy you, gentlemen, to think so highly of her as
she deserves, take mind and person together."

Mr. Floyd said, he never saw any woman yet, who came up to what he
expected, where fame had been lavish in her praise.

"But how, brother baronet," said Sir Charles to Sir Jacob, "came _you_
to be reconciled to her? I heard that you would never own her."

"Oons man!" said Sir Jacob, "I was taken in.--They contrived to clap
her upon me as Lady Jenny C. and pretended they'd keep t'other out of
my sight; and I was plaguily bit, and forced to get on as well as I
could."

"That was a bite indeed," said Mr. Walgrave; "and so you fell a
praising Lady Jenny, I warrant, to the skies."

"Ye--s" (drawling out the affirmative monosyllable), "I was used most
scurvily: faith I was. I bear 'em a grudge for it still, I can tell
'em that; for I have hardly been able to hold up my head like a man
since--but am forced to go and come, and to do as they bid me. By my
troth, I never was so manageable in my life."

"Your Herefordshire neighbours, Sir Jacob," said Mr. Sedley, with an
oath, "will rejoice to hear this; for the whole county there cannot
manage you."

"I am quite cow'd now, as you will see by-and-by; nay, for that
matter, if you can set Mrs. B. a talking, not one of you all will care
to open your lips, except to say as she says."

"Never fear, old boy," said Sir Charles, "we'll bear our parts in
conversation. I never saw the woman yet, who could give me either awe
or love for six minutes together. What think you, Mr. B.? Have you any
notion, that your lady will have so much power over us?"

"I think, Sir Charles, I have one of the finest women in England; but
I neither expect nor desire you rakes should see her with my eyes."

"You know, if I have a mind to love her, and make court to her too,
Mr. B., I will: and I am half in love with her already, although I
have not seen her."

They came in when dinner was near ready, and the four gentlemen took
each a large bumper of old hock for another whet.

The countess, Lady Davers, and I came down together. The gentlemen
knew our two noble ladies, and were known to them in person, as well
as by character. Mr. B., in his usual kind and encouraging manner,
took my hand, and presented the four gentlemen to me, each by his
name. Sir Charles said, pretty bluntly, that he hoped he was more
welcome to me now, than the last time he was under the same roof with
me; for he had been told since, that _that_ was our happy day.

I said, Mr. B.'s friends were always welcome to me.

"Tis well, Madam," said Mr. Sedley, "we did not know how it was. We
should have quartered ourselves upon Mr. B. for a week together, and
kept him up day and night."

I thought this speech deserved no answer, especially as they were
gentlemen who wanted no countenance, and addressed myself to Lord
Davers, who is always kindly making court to me: "I hope, my good
lord, you find yourself quite recovered of your head-ache?" (of which
he complained at breakfast).

"I thank you, my dear sister, pretty well."

"I was telling Sir Charles and the other gentlemen, niece," said Sir
Jacob, "how I was cheated here, when I came first, with a Lady Jenny."

"It was a very lucky cheat for me, Sir Jacob; for it gave you a
prepossession in my favour under so advantageous a character, that I
could never have expected otherwise."

"I wish," said the countess, "my daughter, for whom Sir Jacob took
you, had Mrs. B.'s qualities to boast of."--"How am I obliged to your
ladyship's goodness," returned I, "when you treat me with even greater
indulgence than you use to so beloved a daughter!"

"Nay, now you talk of treating," said Sir Charles, "when, ladies, will
you treat our sex with the politeness which you shew to one another?"

"When your sex deserve it, Sir Charles," answered Lady Davers.

"Who is to be judge of that?" said Mr. Walgrave.

"Not the gentlemen, I hope," replied my lady.

"Well then, Mrs. B.," said Sir Charles, "we bespeak your good opinion
of _us_; for you have _ours_."

"I am obliged to you, gentlemen; but I must be more cautious in
declaring _mine_, lest it should be thought I am influenced by your
kind, and perhaps too hasty, opinions of me."

Sir Charles swore they had _seen_ enough of me the moment I entered
the parlour, and heard enough the moment I opened my lips to answer
for _their_ opinions of me.

I said, I made no doubt, when _they_ had as good a subject to
expatiate upon, as I had, in the pleasure before me, of seeing so
many agreeable friends of Mr. B.'s, they would maintain the title they
claimed of every one's good opinion.

"This," said Sir Jacob, "is binding you over, gentlemen, to your good
behaviour. You must know, my niece never shoots flying, as _you_ do."

The gentlemen laughed: "Is it shooting flying, Sir Jacob," returned
Sir Charles, "to praise that lady?"

"Ads-bud, I did not think of that."

"Sir Jacob," said the countess, "you need not be at a fault;--for a
good sportsman always hits his mark, flying or not; and the gentlemen
had so fair an one, that they could not well miss it."

"You are fairly helped over the stile, Sir Jacob," said Mr. Floyd.

"And, indeed, I wanted it; though I limped like a puppy before I was
lame. One can't think of every thing as one used to do at your time
of life, gentlemen." This flippant stuff was all that passed, which I
_can_ recite; for the rest, at table, and after dinner, was too polite
by half for me; such as, the quantity of wine each man could
_carry off_ (that was the phrase), dogs, horses, hunting, racing,
cock-fighting, and all accompanied with swearing and cursing, and that
in good humour, and out of wantonness (the least excusable and more
profligate sort of swearing and cursing of all).

The gentlemen liked the wine so well, that we had the felicity to
drink tea and coffee by ourselves; only Mr. B. (upon our inviting the
gentlemen to partake with us) sliding in for a few minutes to tell us,
they would stick by what they had, and taking a dish of coffee with
us.

I should not omit one observation; that Sir Jacob, when they were
gone, said they were _pure company_; and Mr. H. that he never was
so delighted in his _born days_.--While the two ladies put up their
prayers, that they might never have such another entertainment. And
being encouraged by their declaration, I presumed to join in the same
petition.

Yet it seems, these are men of wit! I believe they must be so--for I
could neither like nor understand them. Yet, if their conversation had
much wit, I should think my ladies would have found it out.

The gentlemen, permit me to add, went away very merry, to ride ten
miles by owl-light; for they would not accept of beds here. They had
two French horns with them, and gave us a flourish or two at going
off. Each had a servant besides: but the way they were in would have
given me more concern than it did, had they been related to Mr. B. and
less used to it. And, indeed, it is a happiness, that such gentlemen
take no more care than they generally do, to interest any body
intimately in their healths and preservation; for these are all single
men. Nor need the public, any more than the private, be much concerned
about them; for let such persons go when they will, if they continue
single, their next heir cannot well be a worse commonwealth's man; and
there is a great chance he may be better.

You know I end my Saturdays seriously. And this, to what I have
already said, makes me add, that I cannot express how much I am, my
dear Miss Darnford, _your faithful and affectionate_ PB



LETTER XXXVIII

_From Mrs. B. to Miss Darnford. In Answer to Letters XXXV and XXXVI._

MY DEAR MISS DARNFORD,

I skip over the little transactions of several days, to let you know
how much you rejoice me, in telling me Sir Simon has been so kind as
to comply with my wishes. Both your most agreeable letters came to my
hand together, and I thank you a hundred times for them; and I thank
your dear mamma, and Sir Simon too, for the pleasure they have given
me in this obliging permission. How happy shall we be!--But how long
will you be permitted to stay, though? All the winter, I hope:--and
then, when that is over, let us set out together, if God shall spare
us, directly for Lincolnshire; and to pass most of the summer likewise
in each other's company. What a sweet thought is this!--Let me indulge
it a little while.

Mr. B. read your letters, and says, you are a charming young lady,
and surpass yourself in every letter. I told him, that he was more
interested in the pleasure I took in this favour of Sir Simon's than
he imagined. "As how, my dear?" said he. "A plain case, Sir," replied
I: "for endeavouring to improve myself by Miss Darnford's conversation
and behaviour, I shall every day be more worthy of your favour." He
kindly would have it, that nobody, no, not Miss Darnford herself,
excelled me.

'Tis right, you know, Miss, that Mr. B. should think so, though I must
know nothing at all, if I was not sensible how inferior I am to my
dear Miss Darnford: and yet, when I look abroad now-and-then, I could
be a proud slut, if I would, and not yield the palm to many others.

Well, my dear Miss,

SUNDAY

Is past and gone, as happy as the last; the two ladies, and, at
_their_ earnest request, Sir Jacob bearing us company, in the evening
part. My Polly was there morning and evening, with her heart broken
almost, poor girl!--I put her in a corner of my closet, that her
concern should not be minded. Mrs. Jervis gives me great hopes of her.

Sir Jacob was much pleased with our family order, and said, 'twas no
wonder I _kept_ so good myself, and made others so: and he thought
the four rakes (for he run on how much they admired me) would be
converted, if they saw how well I passed my time, and how cheerful and
easy every one, as well as myself was under it! He said, when he came
home, he must take such a method himself in _his_ family; for, he
believed, it would make not only better masters and mistresses, but
better children, and better servants too. But, poor gentleman! he has,
I doubt, a great deal to mend in _himself_, before he can begin such a
practice with efficacy in his _family_.

MONDAY.

In the afternoon. Sir Jacob took his leave of us, highly satisfied
with us both, and _particularly_ (so he said) with me; and promised
that my two cousins, as he called his daughters, and his sister, an
old maiden lady, if they went to town this winter, should visit me,
and be improved by me; that was his word. Mr. B. accompanied him some
miles on his journey, and the two ladies, and Lord Davers, and I, took
an airing in the coach.

Mr. B. was so kind as to tell me, when he came home, with a whisper,
that Miss Goodwin presented her duty to me.

I have got a multitude of fine things for the dear little creature,
and Mr. B. promises to give me a dairy-house breakfast, when our
guests are gone.

I enclose the history of this little charmer, by Mr. B.'s consent,
since you are to do us the honour, as he (as well as I) pleases
himself, to be one of our family--but keep it to yourself, whatever
you do. I am guarantee that you will; and have put it in a separate
paper, that you may burn it when read. For I may want your advice
on this subject, having a great desire to get this child in my
possession; and yet Lady Davers has given a hint, that dwells a little
with me. When I have the pleasure I hope for, I will lay all before
you, and be determined, and proceed, as far as I have power, by you.
You, my good father and mother, have seen the story in my former
papers.

TUESDAY.

You must know, I pass over the days thus swiftly, not that I could
not fill them up with writing, as amply as I have done the former;
but intending only to give you a general idea of our way of life and
conversation; and having gone through a whole week and more, you will
be able, from what I have recited, to form a judgment how it is with
us, one day with another. As for example, now and then neighbourly
visits received and paid--Needlework between whiles--Music--Cards
sometimes, though I don't love them--One more benevolent
round--Improving conversations with my dear Mr. B. and my two good
ladies--A lesson from him, when alone, either in French or Latin--A
new pauper case or two--A visit from the good dean--Mr. Williams's
departure, in order to put the new projected alteration in force,
which is to deprive me of my chaplain--(By the way, the dean is highly
pleased with this affair, and the motives to it, Mr. Adams being a
favourite of his, and a distant relation of his lady)--Mr. H.'s and
Polly's mutual endeavour to avoid one another--My lessons to the poor
girl, and cautions, as if she were my sister--

These, my dear Miss Darnford, and my honoured parents, are the
pleasant employments of our time; so far as we females are concerned:
for the gentlemen hunt, ride out, and divert themselves in their way,
and bring us home the news and occurrences they meet with abroad, and
now-and-then a straggling gentleman they pick up in their diversions.
And so I shall not enlarge upon these articles, after the tedious
specimens I have already given.

WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY.

Could you ever have thought, my dear, that husbands have a dispensing
power over their wives, which kings are not allowed over the laws?
I have had a smart debate with Mr. B., and I fear it will not be the
only one upon this subject. Can you believe, that if a wife thinks
a thing her duty to do, which her husband does not approve, he can
dispense with her performing it, and no sin shall lie at her door? Mr.
B. maintains this point. I have great doubts about it; particularly
one; that if a matter be my duty, and he dispenses with my performance
of it, whether, even although that were to clear _me_ of the sin,
it will not fall upon _himself_? And a good wife would be as much
concerned at this, as if it was to remain upon _her_. Yet he seems set
upon it. What can one do?--Did you ever hear of such a notion, before?
Of such a prerogative in a husband? Would you care to subscribe to it?

He says, the ladies are of his opinion. I'm afraid they are, and so
will not ask them. But, perhaps, I mayn't live, and other things may
happen; and so I'll say no more of it at present.

FRIDAY.

Mr. H. and my Lord and Lady Davers and the excellent Countess of C.
having left us this day, to our mutual regret, the former put the
following letter into my hands, with an air of respect and even
reverence. He says, he spells most lamentably; and this obliges me to
give it you _literally_:

"DEARE GOOD MADAM,

"I cannott contente myself with common thankes, on leaving youres, and
Mr. B.'s hospitabel house, because of _thatt there_ affaire, which I
neede not mention! and truly am _ashamed_ to mention, as I _have been_
to looke you in the face ever since it happen'd. I don't knowe _how
itt came aboute_, butt I thought butt att first of _joking_ a littel,
_or soe_; and seeing Polley heard me with more attentiveness than I
expected, I was encouraged to proceede; and _soe_, now I recollecte,
itt _camn aboute_.

"But she is innosente for me: and I don't knowe how _thatt_ came
about neither; for wee were oute one moonelighte nighte in the garden,
walking aboute, and afterwards tooke a _napp_ of two houres, as I
beliefe, in the summer-house in the littel gardin, being over-powered
with sleepe; for I woulde make her lay her head uppon my breste, till
before we were awar, wee felle asleepe. Butt before thatt, wee had
agreed on whatt you discovered.

"This is the whole truthe, and all the intimasies we ever hadde, to
_speake off_. But I beleefe we should have been better acquainted,
hadd you nott, luckily _for mee_! prevented itt, by being at home,
when we thought you abroad. For I was to come to her when shee hemm'd
_two or three times_; for having made a contract, you knowe. Madam, it
was naturall enough to take the first occasion to putt itt in force.

"Poor Polley! I pity her too. Don't thinke the worse of her, deare
Madam, so as to turn her away, because it may bee her ruin. I don't
desire too see her. I might have been _drawne_ _in_ to do strange
foolish things, and been ruin'd at the long run; for who knows where
this thing mought have ended? My _unkell_ woulde have never seene
me. My _father_ too (his lordshipp, you have hearde, Madam, is a very
_crosse man_, and never loved _me much_) mought have cutt off the
intaile. My _aunte_ would have dispis'd mee and scorn'd mee. I should
have been her foolishe fellowe in _earneste_, nott in _jeste_, as
now. You woulde have resented itt, and Mr. B. (who knows?) mought have
called me to account.

"Butt cann you forgive me? You see how happy I am in my
disappointment. I did nott think too write so much;--for I don't love
it: but on this occasion, know not how too leave off. I hope you
can read my letter. I know I write a _clumsy_ hand, and _spelle most
lamentabelly_; for I never had a tallent for these things. I was
readier by half to admire the _orcherd robbing picture _in Lillie's
grammar, then any other part of the book.

"But, hey, whether am I running! I never writt to you before, and
never may again, unless you, or Mr. B. command it, for your service.
So pray excuse me, Madam.

"I knowe I neede give no advice to Polley, to take care of _first_
encouragements. Poor girl! she mought have suffer'd sadly, as welle
as I. For iff my father, and my unkell and aunte, had requir'd mee
to turne her off, you know itt woulde have been undutifull to have
refused them, notwithstanding our bargaine. And want of duty to
them woulde have been to have added faulte too faulte: as you once
observed, I remember, that one faulte never comes alone, but drawes
after itt generally five or six, to hide or vindicate itt, and _they_
every one perhapps as many more _eache_.

"I shall never forgett severall of youre wise sayinges. I have been
vex'd, may I be _hang'd_ if I have not, many a time, thatt I coulde
not make such observations as you make; who am so much _older_ too,
and a _man_ besides, and a _peere's son_, and a _peere's nephew!_ but
my tallents lie _another way_; and by that time my father dies, I hope
to improve myselfe, in order to _cutt_ such a figure, as may make me
be no disgrase to my _name_ or _countrey_.

"Well, but whatt is all this to the purpose?--I will keep close to
my text; and that is, to thank you, good Madam, for all the favours I
have received in your house; to thank you for disappointing mee, and
for convincing mee, in so _kinde_, yet so _shameing_ a manner, how
wrong I was in the matter of _that there_ Polley; and for not exposing
my folly to any boddy but _myselfe_ (for I should have been ready
to _hang_ myselfe, if you hadd); and to beg youre pardon for itt,
assuring you, that I will never offerr the like as long as I breathe.
I am, Madam, with the greatest respecte, _youre most obliged, moste
faithful, and most obedient humbell servante_, J.H.

"Pray excuse blotts and blurs."

Well, Miss Darnford, what shall we say to this fine letter?--You'll
allow it to be an original, I hope. Yet, may-be not. For it may be
as well written, and as sensible a letter as this class of people
generally write!

Mr. H. dresses well, is not a contemptible figure of a man, laughs,
talks, where he can be heard, and his aunt is not present; and _cuts_,
to use his own word, a considerable figure in a country town.--But
see--Yet I will not say what I might--He is Lord Davers's nephew; and
if he makes his _observations_, and _forbears_ his _speeches_ (I mean,
can be silent, and only laugh when he sees somebody of more sense
laugh, and never _approve_ or _condemn_ but in _leading-strings_),
he may possibly pass in a crowd of gentlemen. But poor, poor Polly
Barlow! What _can_ I say for Polly Barlow?

I have a time in view, when my papers may fall under the inspection
of a dear gentleman, to whom, next to God, I am accountable for all my
actions and correspondences; so I will either write an account of
the matter, and seal it up separately, for Mr. B., or, at a fit
opportunity, break it to him, and let him know (under secrecy, if
he will promise it) the steps I took in it; lest something arise
hereafter, when I cannot answer for myself, to render any thing dark
or questionable in it. A method, I believe, very proper to be taken by
every married lady; and I presume the rather to say so, having had a
good example for it: for I have often thought of a little sealed up
parcel of papers, my lady made me burn in her presence, about a month
before she died. "They are, Pamela," said she, "such as would not
concern me, let who will see them, could they know the springs and
causes of them; but, for want of a clue, my son might be at a loss
what to think of several of those letters were he to find them, in
looking over my other papers, when I am no more."

Let me add, that nothing could be more endearing than our parting with
our noble guests. My lady repeated her commands for what she often
engaged me to promise, that is to say, to renew the correspondence
begun between us, so much (as she was pleased to say) to her
satisfaction.

I could not help shewing her ladyship, who was always enquiring after
my writing employment, most of what passed between you and me: she
admires you much, and wished Mr. H. had more wit, that was her word:
she should in that case, she said, be very glad to set on foot a
treaty between you and him.

But that, I fancy, can never be tolerable to you; and I only mention
it _en passant_.--There's a French woman for you!

The countess was full of her kind wishes for my happiness; and my Lady
Davers told me, that if I could give her timely notice, she would be
present on a _certain_ occasion.

But, my dear Miss, what could I say?--I know nothing of the
matter!--Only, I am a sad coward, and have a thousand anxieties which
I cannot mention to any body.

But, if I have such in the honourable estate of matrimony, what must
those poor souls have, who are seduced, and have all manner of reason
to apprehend, that the crime shall be followed by a punishment so
_natural_ to it? A punishment _in kind_, as I may say; which if it
only ends in forfeiture of life, following the forfeiture of fame,
must be thought merciful and happy beyond expectation: for how shall
they lay claim to the hope given to persons in their circumstances
that _they shall be saved in child-bearing_, since the condition
is, _if they _CONTINUE _in faith and charity, and _HOLINESS _with_
SOBRIETY.

Now, my honoured mother, and my dear Miss Darnford since I am upon
this affecting subject, does not this text seem to give a comfortable
hope to a good woman, who shall thus die, of being happy in the Divine
mercies? For the Apostle, in the context, says, that _he suffers not
a woman to teach, nor usurp authority over the man, but to be in
silence_.--And what is the reason he gives? Why, a reason that is a
natural consequence of the curse on the first disobedience, that she
shall be in subjection to her husband. "For," says he, "_Adam was_ NOT
_deceived; but the woman, being deceived, was in the transgression._"
As much as to say--Had it not been for the woman, Adam had kept his
integrity, and therefore her punishment shall be, as it is said, "_I
will greatly multiply thy sorrow in thy conception: in sorrow shall
thou bring forth children--and thy husband shall rule over thee_." But
nevertheless, if thou shalt not survive the sharpness of thy sorrow,
thy death shall be deemed to be such an alleviation of thy part of
the entailed transgression, that thou shalt _be saved_, if thou hast
CONTINUED in faith and charity, and HOLINESS with SOBRIETY.

This, my honoured parents, and my dear friend, is _my_ paraphrase; and
I reap no small comfort from it, when I meditate upon it.

But I shall make you as serious as myself; and, my dear friend,
perhaps, frighten you from entering into a state, in which our poor
sex suffer so much, from the bridal morning, let it rise as gaily
as it will upon a thoughtful mind, to that affecting circumstance,
(throughout its whole progression), for which nothing but a tender, a
generous, and a worthy husband can make them any part of amends.

But a word or two more, as to the parting with our honoured company.
I was a little indisposed, and they all would excuse me, against my
will, from attending them in the coach some miles, which their dear
brother did. Both ladies most tenderly saluted me, twice or thrice
a-piece, folding their kind arms about me, and wishing my safety and
health, and charging me to _think_ little, and _hope_ much; for they
saw me thoughtful at times, though I endeavoured to hide it from them.

My Lord Davers said, with a goodness of temper that is peculiar to
him, "My dearest sister,--May God preserve you, and multiply your
comforts! I shall pray for you more than ever I did for myself, though
I have so much more need of it:--I _must_ leave you--But I leave one
whom I love and honour next to Lady Davers, and ever shall."

Mr. H. looked consciously silly. "I can say nothing, Madam, but"
(saluting me) "that I shall never forget your goodness to me."

I had before, in Mrs. Jervis's parlour, taken leave of Mrs. Worden
and Mrs. Lesley, my ladies' women: they each stole a hand of mine, and
kissed it, begging pardon for the freedom. But I answered, taking
each by her hand, and kissing her, "I shall always think of you with
pleasure, my good friends; for you have encouraged me constantly by
your presence in my private duties; and may God bless you, and the
worthy families you so laudably serve, as well for your sakes, as
their own!"

They turned away with tears; and Mrs. Worden would have said something
to me, but could not.--Only both taking Mrs. Jervis by the hand,
"Happy Mrs. Jervis!" said they, almost in a breath. "And happy I too,"
repeated I, "in my Mrs. Jervis, and in such kind well-wishers as
Mrs. Worden and Mrs. Lesley. Wear this, Mrs. Worden;--wear this, Mrs.
Lesley, for my sake:" and to each I gave a ring, with a crystal and
brilliants set about it, which Mr. B. had bought a week before for
this purpose: he has a great opinion of both the good folks, and often
praised their prudence, and quiet and respectful behaviour to every
body, so different from the impertinence (that was his word) of most
ladies' women who are favourites.

Mrs. Jervis said, "I have enjoyed many happy hours in your
conversation, Mrs. Worden and Mrs. Lesley: I shall miss you very
much."

"I must endeavour," said I, taking her hand, "to make it up to you,
my good friend, as well as I can. And of late we have not had so many
opportunities together as I should have wished, had I not been so
agreeably engaged as you know. So we must each try to comfort
the other, when we have lost, I such noble, and you such worthy
companions."

Mrs. Jervis's honest heart, before touched by the parting, shewed
itself at her eyes. "Wonder not," said I, to the two gentlewomen,
wiping with my handkerchief her venerable cheeks, "that I always
thus endeavour to dry up all my good Mrs. Jervis's tears;" and then
I kissed her, thinking of you, my dear mother; and I was forced to
withdraw a little abruptly, lest I should be too much moved myself;
for had our departing company enquired into the occasion, they would
perhaps have thought it derogatory (though I should not) to my present
station, and too much retrospecting to my former.

I could not, in conversation between Mr. B. and myself, when I was
gratefully expatiating upon the amiable characters of our noble
guests, and of their behaviour and kindness to me, help observing,
that I had little expected, from some hints which formerly dropt from
Mr. B., to find my good Lord Davers so polite and so sensible a man.

"He is a very good-natured man," replied Mr. B. "I believe I might
once or twice drop some disrespectful words of him. But it was the
effect of passion at the time, and with a view to two or three points
of his conduct in public life; for which I took the liberty to find
fault with him, and received very unsatisfactory excuses. One of
these, I remember, was in a conference between a committee of each
house of parliament, in which he behaved in a way I could not wish
from a man so nearly allied to me by marriage; for all he could talk
of, was the dignity of their house, when the reason of the thing was
strong with the other; and it fell to my lot to answer what he said;
which I did with some asperity; and this occasioned a coolness between
us for some time.

"But no man makes a better figure in private life than Lord Davers;
especially now that my sister's good sense has got the better of her
passions, and she can behave with tolerable decency towards him. For
once, Pamela, it was not so: the violence of her spirit making him
appear in a light too little advantageous either to his quality or
merit. But now he improves upon me every time I see him.

"You know not, my dear, what a disgrace a haughty and passionate woman
brings upon her husband, and upon herself too, in the eyes of her own
sex, as well as ours. Nay, even those ladies, who would be as glad of
dominion as she, if they might be permitted to exercise it, despise
others who do, and the man _most_ who suffers it.

"And let me tell you," said the dear man, with an air that shewed
he was satisfied with his own conduct in this particular, "that you
cannot imagine how much a woman owes to her husband, as well with
regard to _her own _peace of mind, as to _both_ their reputations
(however it may go against the grain with her sometimes), if he be
a man who has discretion to keep her encroaching passions under a
genteel and reasonable control!"

How do you like this doctrine, Miss?--I'll warrant, you believe,
that I could do no less than drop Mr. B. one of my best curt'sies,
in acknowledgment of my obligation to him, for so considerately
preserving to me _my_ peace of mind, and _my_ reputation, as well as
_his own_, in this case.

But after all, when one duly weighs the matter, what he says may be
right in the main; for I have not been able to contradict him, partial
as I am to my sex, when he has pointed out to me instances in the
behaviour of certain ladies, who, like children, the more they have
been humoured, the more humoursome they have grown; which must have
occasioned as great uneasiness to themselves, as to their husbands.
Will you excuse me, my dear? This is between ourselves; for I did not
own so much to Mr. B. For one should not give up one's sex, you know,
if one can help it: for the men will be as apt to impose, as the women
to encroach, I doubt.

Well, but here, my honest parents, and my dear Miss Darnford, at last,
I end my journal-wise letters, as I may call them; our noble guests
being gone, and our time and employments rolling on in much the same
manner, as in past days, of which I have given an account. I am,
_my dearest father and mother, and best beloved Miss Darnford, your
dutiful and affectionate_

P.B.



LETTER XXXIX

MY DEAR MISS DARNFORD,

I hear that Mrs. Jewkes is in no good state of health. I am very sorry
for it. I pray for her life, that she may be a credit (if it please
God) to the penitence she has so lately assumed.

Do, my dear _good_ Miss, vouchsafe to the poor soul the honour of a
visit: she may be low-spirited.--She may be too much sunk with the
recollection of past things. Comfort, with that sweetness which is so
natural to Miss Darnford, her drooping heart; and let her know, that I
have a true concern for her, and give it her in charge to take care of
herself, and spare nothing that will administer either to her health
or peace of mind.

You'll pardon me that I put you upon an office so unsuitable from a
lady in your station, to a person in hers; but not to your piety and
charity, where a duty so eminent as that of visiting the sick, and
cheering the doubting mind, is in the question.

I know your condescension will give her great comfort; and if she
should be hastening to her account, what a pleasure will it give
such a lady as you, to have illuminated a benighted mind, when it was
tottering on the verge of death!

I know she will want no spiritual help from good Mr. Peters; but then
the kind notice of so generally esteemed a young lady, will raise her
more than can be imagined: for there is a tenderness, a sympathy, in
the good persons of our sex to one another, that (while the best of
the other seem but to act as in office, saying those things, which,
though edifying and convincing, one is not certain proceeds not
rather from the fortitude of their minds, than the tenderness of their
natures) mingles with one's very spirits, thins the animal mass, and
runs through one's heart in the same lify current (I can't clothe my
thought suitably to express what I would), giving assurance, as well
as pleasure, in the most arduous cases, and brightening our misty
prospects, till we see the Sun of Righteousness rising on the hills of
comfort, and dispelling the heavy fogs of doubt and diffidence.

This it is makes me wish and long as I do, for the company of my dear
Miss Darnford. O when shall I see you? When shall I?--To speak to
my present case, it is _all I long for_; and, pardon my freedom of
expression, as well as thought, when I let you know in this instance,
how _early_ I experience the _ardent longings_ of one in the way I am
in.

But I ought not to set my heart upon any thing not in my own power,
and which may be subject to accidents, and the control of others. But
let whatever interventions happen, so I have your _will_ to come, I
must be rejoiced in your kind intention, although your _power_ should
not prove answerable.

But I will say no more, than that I am, my honoured father and
mother, your ever dutiful daughter; and, my dear Miss Darnford, _your
affectionate and obliged_ P.B.



LETTER XL

From Miss Darnford to Mrs. B.

MY DEAR MRS. B.,

We are greatly obliged to you for every particular article in your
entertaining journal, which you have brought, sooner than we wished,
to a conclusion. We cannot express how much we admire you for your
judicious charities, so easy to be practised, yet so uncommon in the
manner, and for your inimitable conduct in the affair of your frail
Polly and the silly Mr. H.

Your account of the visit of the four rakes; of your parting with your
noble guests; Mr. H.'s letter (an original indeed!) have all greatly
entertained us, as your prerogative hints have amused us: but we
defer our opinion of those hints, till we have the case more fully
explained.

But, my dear friend, are you not in danger of falling into a too
thoughtful and gloomy way? By the latter part of your last letter,
we are afraid you are; and my mamma, and Mrs. Jones, and Mrs. Peters,
enjoin me to write, to caution you on that head. But there is the less
need of it, because your prudence will always suggest to you reasons,
as it does in that very letter, that must out-balance your fears.
_Think_ little, and _hope_ much, is a good lesson in your case, and
to a lady of your temper; and I hope Lady Davers will not in vain have
given you that caution. After all, I dare say your thoughtfulness is
but symptomatical, and will go off in proper time.

But to wave this: let me ask you, is Mr. B.'s conduct to you as
_respectful_, I don't mean fond, when you are alone together, as in
company?--Forgive me--But you have hinted two or three times, in your
letters, that he always is most complaisant to you in company; and you
observe, that _wisely_ does he act in this, as he thereby does credit
with every body to his own choice. I make no doubt, that the many
charming scenes which your genius and fine behaviour furnish out to
him, must, as often as they happen, inspire him with joy, and even
rapture: and must make him love you more for your mind than for your
person:--but these rapturous scenes last very little longer than the
present moment. What I want to know is, whether in the _steadier_
parts of life, when you are both nearer the level of us common folks,
he give up any thing of his own will in compliment to yours? Whether
he acts the part of a respectful, polite gentleman, in his behaviour
to you; and breaks not into your retirements, in the dress, and with
the brutal roughness of a fox-hunter?--Making no difference, perhaps,
between the field or his stud (I will not say kennel) and your chamber
or closet?--Policy, for his own credit-sake, as I mentioned, accounts
to me well, for his complaisance to you in public. But his regular and
uniform behaviour to you, in your retirement, when the conversation
between you turns upon usual and common subjects, and you have not
obliged him to rise to admiration of you, by such scenes as those
of your two parsons, Sir Jacob Swynford, and the like: is what would
satisfy my curiosity, if you please to give me an instance or two of
it.

Now, my dearest Mrs. B., if you can give me a case, partly or nearly
thus circumstanced, you will highly oblige me:

First, where he has borne with any infirmity of your own; and I know
of none where you can give him such an opportunity, except you get
into a vapourish habit, by giving way to a temper too thoughtful and
apprehensive:

Next, that, in complaisance to _your_ will, he recedes from his _own_
in any one instance:

Next, whether he breaks not into your retirements unceremoniously, and
without apology or concern, as I hinted above.

You know, my dear Mrs. B., all I mean, by what I have said.; and if
you have any pretty conversation in memory, by the recital of which,
this my bold curiosity may be answered, pray oblige me with it; and we
shall be able to judge by it, not only of the in-born generosity which
all that know Mr. B. have been willing to attribute to him, but of
the likelihood of the continuance of both your felicities, upon terms
suitable to the characters of a fine lady and fine gentleman: and, of
consequence, worthy of the imitation of the most delicate of our own
sex.

Your obliging _longings_, my beloved dear lady, for my company, I
hope, will very soon be answered. My papa was so pleased with your
sweet earnestness on this occasion, that he joined with my mamma; and
both, with equal cheerfulness, said, you should not be many days in
London before me. Murray and his mistress go on swimmingly, and have
not yet had one quarrel. The only person, he, of either sex, that ever
knew Nancy so intimately, and so long, without one!

This is all I have to say, at present, when I have assured you, my
dear Mrs. B., how much I am _your obliged, and affectionate_ POLLY
DARNFORD.



LETTER XLI

My dearest Miss Darnford,

I was afraid I ended my last letter in a gloomy way; and I am obliged
to you for the kind and friendly notice you take of it. It was owing
to a train of thinking which sometimes I get into, of late; I hope
only symptomatically, as you say, and that the cause and effect will
soon vanish together.

But what a task, my dear friend, I'll warrant, you think you have set
me! I thought, in the progress of my journal, and in my letters, I had
given so many instances of Mr. B.'s polite tenderness to me, that no
new ones would be required at my hands; and when I said he was always
_most_ complaisant before company, I little expected, that such an
inference would be drawn from my words, as would tend to question the
uniformity of his behaviour to me, when there were no witnesses to it.
But I am glad of an opportunity to clear up all your doubts on this
subject.

To begin then:

You first desire an instance, where Mr. B. has borne with some
infirmity of mine:

Next, that in complaisance to my will, he has receded from his own:

And lastly, whether he breaks not into my retirements unceremoniously;
and without apology or concern, making no difference between the field
or the stud, and my chamber or closet?

As to the first, his bearing with my infirmities; he is daily giving
instances of his goodness to me on this head; and I am ashamed to say,
that of late I give him so much occasion for them as I do; but he sees
my apprehensiveness, at times, though I endeavour to conceal it; and
no husband was ever so soothing and so indulgent as Mr. B. He gives me
the best advice, as to my malady, if I may call it one: treats me with
redoubled tenderness: talks to me upon the subjects I most delight to
dwell upon: as of my worthy parents; what they are doing at this time,
and at that; of our intended journey to London; of the diversions of
the town; of Miss Darnford's company; and when he goes abroad, sends
up my good Mrs. Jervis to me, because I should not be alone: at
other times, takes me abroad with him, brings this neighbour and that
neighbour to visit; and carries me to visit them; talks of our journey
to Kent, and into Lincolnshire, and to my Lady Davers's, to Bath, to
Tunbridge, and I can't tell whither, when the apprehended time shall
be over.--In fine, my dear Miss Darnford, you cannot imagine one half
of his tender goodness and politeness to me!--Then he hardly ever
goes to any distance, but brings some pretty present he thinks will be
grateful to me. When at home, he is seldom out of my company; delights
to teach me French and Italian, and reads me pieces of manuscript
poetry, in several of the modern tongues (for he speaks them all);
explains to me every thing I understand not; delights to answer all my
questions, and to encourage my inquisitiveness and curiosity, tries
to give me a notion of pictures and medals, and reads me lectures upon
them, for he has a fine collection of both; and every now and
then will have it, that he has been improved by my questions and
observations.

What say you to these things, my dear? Do they come up to your first
question? or do they not? Or is not what I have said, a full answer,
were I to say no more, to _all_ your enquiries?

O my dear, I am thoroughly convinced, that half the misunderstandings,
among married people, are owing to trifles, to petty distinctions,
to mere words, and little captious follies, to over-weenings, or
unguarded petulances: and who would forego the solid satisfaction
of life, for the sake of triumphing in such poor contentions, if one
could triumph?

But you next require of me an instance, where, in complaisance to _my_
will, he has receded from _his own?_ I don't know what to say to
this. When Mr. B. is all tenderness and indulgence, and requires of
me nothing, that I can have a material objection to, ought I _not_
to oblige him? Can I have a will that is not his? Or would it be
excusable if I _had?_ All little matters I cheerfully give up: great
ones have not yet occurred between us, and I hope never will. One
point, indeed, I have some apprehension _may_ happen; and that, to be
plain with you, is, we have had a debate or two on the subject (which
I maintain) of a mother's duty to nurse her own child; and I am sorry
to say it, he seems more determined than I wish he were, against it.

I hope it will not proceed so far as to awaken the sleeping dragon I
mentioned. _Prerogative_ by name; but I doubt I cannot give up this
point very contentedly. But as to lesser points, had I been a duchess
born, I think I would not have contested them with my husband.

I could give you many respectful instances too, of his receding, when
he has desired to see what I have been writing, and I have told him to
whom, and begged to be excused. One such instance I can give since I
began this letter. This is it:

I put it in my bosom, when he came up: he saw me do so:

"Are you writing, my dear, what I must not see?"

"I am writing to Miss Darnford, Sir: and she begged you might not at
present."

"This augments my curiosity, Pamela. What can two such ladies write,
that I may not see?"

"If you won't be displeased, Sir, I had rather you would not, because
she desires you may not see her letter, nor this my answer, till the
letter is in her hands."

"Then I will not," returned Mr. B.

Will this instance, my dear, come up to your demand for one, where he
recedes from his own will, in complaisance to mine?

But now, as to what both our notions and our practice are on the
article of my retirements, and whether he breaks in upon them
unceremoniously, and without apology, let the conversation I promised
inform you, which began on the following occasion.

Mr. B. rode out early one morning, within a few days past, and did not
return till the afternoon; an absence I had not been used to of late;
and breakfasting and dining without him being also a new thing with
me, I had such an impatience to see him, having expected him at
dinner, that I was forced to retire to my closet, to try to divert it,
by writing; and the gloomy conclusion of my last was then the subject.
He returned about four o'clock, and indeed did _not_ tarry to change
his riding-dress, as your politeness, my dear friend, would perhaps
have expected; but came directly up to me, with an impatience to see
me, equal to my own, when he was told, upon enquiry, that I was in my
closet.

I heard his welcome step, as he came up stairs; which generally, after
a longer absence than I expect, has such an effect upon my fond heart,
that it gives a responsive throb for every step he takes towards me,
and beats quicker and faster, as he comes nearer.

I met him at my closet door. "So, my dear love," says he, "how do
you?" folding his kind arms about me, and saluting me with ardour.
"Whenever I have been but a few hours from you, my impatience to
see my beloved, will not permit me to stand upon the formality of a
message to know how you are engaged; but I break in upon you, even in
my riding-dress, as you see."

"Dear Sir, you are very obliging. But I have no notion of _mere_
formalities of this kind"--(How unpolite this, my dear, in your
friend?)--"in a married state, since 'tis impossible a virtuous wife
can be employed about any thing that her husband may not know, and so
need not fear surprises."

"I am glad to hear you say this, my Pamela; for I have always thought
the extraordinary civilities and distances of this kind which I have
observed among several persons of rank, altogether unaccountable. For
if they are exacted by the lady, I should suspect she had reserves,
which she herself believed I could not approve. If not exacted,
but practised of choice by the gentleman, it carries with it, in my
opinion, a false air of politeness, little less than affrontive to
the lady, and dishonourable to himself; for does it not look as if
he supposed, and allowed, that she might be so employed that it was
necessary to apprise her of his visit, lest he should make discoveries
not to her credit or his own?"

"One would not, Sir" (for I thought his conclusion too severe),
"make such a harsh supposition as this neither: for there are little
delicacies and moments of retirement, no doubt, in which a modest lady
would wish to be indulged by the tenderest husband."

"It may be so in an _early_ matrimony, before the lady's confidence in
the honour and discretion of the man she has chosen has disengaged her
from her bridal reserves."

"Bridal reserves, dear Sir! permit me to give it as my humble opinion,
that a wife's behaviour ought to be as pure and circumspect,
in degree, as that of a bride, or even of a maiden lady, be her
confidence in her husband's honour and discretion ever so great. For,
indeed, I think a gross or a careless demeanour little becomes that
modesty which is the peculiar excellency and distinction of our sex."

"You account very well, my dear, by what you now say for your own
over-nice behaviour, as I have sometimes thought it. But are we not
all apt to argue for a practice we make our own, because we _do_ make
it our own, rather than from the reason of the thing?"

"I hope, Sir, that is not the present case with me; for, permit me to
say, that an over-free or negligent behaviour of a lady in the married
state, must be a mark of disrespect to her consort, and would shew as
if she was very little solicitous about what appearance she made in
his eye. And must not this beget in him a slight opinion of her sex
too, as if, supposing the gentleman had been a free liver, she would
convince him there was no other difference in the sex, but as they
were within or without the pale, licensed by the law, or acting in
defiance of it?"

"I understand the force of your argument, Pamela. But you were going
to say something more."

"Only, Sir, permit me to add, that when, in my particular case, you
enjoin me to appear before you always dressed, even in the early part
of the day, it would be wrong, if I was less regardful of my behaviour
and actions, than of my appearance."

"I believe you are right, my dear, if a precise or unnecessary
scrupulousness be avoided, and where all is unaffected, easy, and
natural, as in my Pamela. For I have seen married ladies, both in
England and France, who have kept a husband at a greater distance than
they have exacted from some of his sex, who have been more entitled to
his resentment, than to his wife's intimacies.

"But to wave a subject, in which, as I can with pleasure say, neither
of us have much concern, tell me, my dearest, how you were employed
before I came up? Here are pen and ink: here, too, is paper, but it is
as spotless as your mind. To whom were you directing your favours now?
May I not know your subject?"

Mr. H.'s letter was a part of it; and so I had put it by, at his
approach, and not choosing he should see that--"I am writing," replied
I, "to Miss Darnford: but I think you must not ask me to see what I
have written _this_ time. I put it aside that you should not, when
I heard your welcome step. The subject is our parting with our noble
guests; and a little of my apprehensiveness, on an occasion upon which
our sex may write to one another; but, for some of the reasons we have
been mentioning, gentlemen should not desire to see."

"Then I will not, my dearest love." (So here, my dear, is another
instance--I could give you an hundred such--of his receding from his
own will, in complaisance to mine.) "Only," continued he, "let me warn
you against too much apprehensiveness, for your own sake, as well as
mine; for such a mind as my Pamela's I cannot permit to be
habitually over-clouded. And yet there now hangs upon your brow an
over-thoughtfulness, which you must not indulge."

"Indeed, Sir, I was a little too thoughtful, from my subject, before
you came; but your presence, like the sun, has dissipated the mists
that hung upon my mind. See you not," and I pressed his hand with my
lips, "they are all gone already?" smiling upon him with a delight
unfeigned.

"Not quite, my dearest Pamela; and therefore, if you have no
objection, I will change my dress, and attend you in the chariot for
an hour or two, whither you please, that not one shadow may remain
visible in this dear face;" tenderly saluting me.

"Whithersoever you please, Sir. A little airing with you will be
highly agreeable to me."

The dear obliger went and changed his dress in an instant; and he
led me to the chariot, with his usual tender politeness, and we had a
charming airing of several miles; returning quite happy, cheerful, and
delighted with each other's conversation, without calling in upon any
of our good neighbours: for what need of that, my dear, when we could
be the best company in the world to each other?

Do these instances come up to your questions, my dear? or, do they
not?--If you think not, I could give you our conversation in the
chariot: for I wrote it down at my first leisure, so highly was I
delighted with it; for the subject was my dearest parents; a subject
started by himself, because he knew it would oblige me. But being
tired with writing, I may reserve it, till I have the pleasure of
seeing you, if you think it worth asking for. And so I will hasten to
a conclusion of this long letter.

I have only farther to add, for my comfort, that next Thursday
se'n-night, if nothing hinders, we are to set out for London. And why
do you think I say _for my comfort?_ Only that I shall then soon have
the opportunity, to assure you personally, as you give me hope, how
much I am, my dear Miss Darnford, _your truly affectionate_. P.B.



LETTER XLII

My dear Miss Darnford,

One more letter, and I have done for a great while, because I hope
your presence will put an end to the occasion. I shall now tell you of
my second visit to the dairy-house, where we went to breakfast, in the
chariot and four, because of the distance, which is ten pretty long
miles.

I transcribed for you, from letters written formerly to my dear
parents, an account of my former dairy-house visit, and what the
people were, and whom I saw there; and although I besought you to keep
that affair to yourself, as too much affecting the reputation of my
Mr. B. to be known any farther, and even to destroy that account, when
you had perused it; yet, I make no doubt, you remember the story, and
so I need not repeat any part of it.

When we arrived there, we found at the door, expecting us (for they
heard the chariot-wheels at a distance), my pretty Miss Goodwin,
and two other Misses, who had earned their ride, attended by the
governess's daughter, a discreet young gentlewoman. As soon as I
stepped out, the child ran into my arms with great eagerness, and I
as tenderly embraced her, and leading her into the parlour, asked her
abundance of questions about her work, and her lessons; and among the
rest if she had merited this distinction of the chaise and dairy-house
breakfast, or if it was owing to her uncle's favour, and to that of
her governess? The young gentlewoman assured me it was to both, and
shewed me her needleworks, and penmanship; and the child was highly
pleased with my commendations.

I took a good deal of notice of the other two Misses, for their
school-fellow's sake, and made each of them a present of some little
toys; and my Miss, of a number of pretty trinkets, with which she
was highly delighted; and I told her, that I would wait upon her
governess, when I came from London into the country again, and see in
what order she kept her little matters; for, above all things, I love
pretty house-wifely Misses; and then, I would bring her more.

Mr. B. observed, with no small satisfaction, the child's behaviour,
which is very pretty; and appeared as fond of her, as if he had been
_more_ than her _uncle_, and yet seemed under some restraint, lest it
should be taken, that he _was_ more. Such power has secret guilt, poor
gentleman! to lessen and restrain a pleasure, that would, in a happier
light, have been so laudable to have manifested!

I am going to let you into a charming scene, resulting from this
perplexity of the dear gentleman. A scene that has afforded me high
delight ever since; and always will, when I think of it.

The child was very fond of her uncle, and told him she loved him
dearly, and always would love and honour him, for giving her such a
good aunt. "You talked, Madam," said she, "when I saw you before, that
I should come and live with you--Will you let me, Madam? Indeed I will
be very good, and do every thing you bid me, and mind my book, and my
needle; indeed I will."

"Ask your uncle, my dear," said I; "I should like your pretty company
of all things."

She went to Mr. B. and said, "Shall I, Sir, go and live with my
aunt?--Pray let me, when you come from London again."

"You have a very good governess, child," said he; "and she can't part
with you."

"Yes, but she can. Sir; she has a great many Misses, and can spare me
well enough; and if you please to let me ride in your coach sometimes,
I can go and visit my governess, and beg a holiday for the Misses,
now-and-then, when I am almost a woman, and then all the Misses will
love me."

"Don't the Misses love you now, Miss Goodwin?" said he.

"Yes, they love me well enough, for matter of that; but they'll love
me better, when I can beg them a holiday. Do, dear Sir, let me go home
to my new aunt, next time you come into the country."

I was much pleased with the dear child's earnestness; and permitted her
to have her full argument with her beloved uncle; but was much moved,
and he himself was under some concern, when she said, "But you should,
in pity, let me live with you, Sir, for I have no papa, nor mamma
neither: they are so far off!--But I will love you both as if you were
my own papa and mamma; so, dear now, my good uncle, promise the poor
girl that has never a papa nor mamma!"

I withdrew to the door: "It will rain, I believe," said I, and looked
up. And, indeed, I had almost a shower in my eye: and had I kept my
place, could not have refrained shewing how much I was affected.

Mr. B., as I said, was a little moved; but for fear the young
gentlewoman should take notice of it--"How! my dear," said he, "no
papa and mamma!--Did they not send you a pretty black boy to wait upon
you, a while ago? Have you forgot that?"--"That's true," replied she:
"but what's a black boy to living with my new aunt?--That's better a
great deal than a black boy!"

"Well, your aunt and I will consider of it, when we come from London.
Be a good girl, meantime, and do as your governess would have you, and
then you don't know what we may do for you."

"Well then, Miss," said she to her young governess, "let me be set two
tasks instead of one, and I will learn all I can to deserve to go to
my aunt."

In this manner the little prattler diverted herself. And as we
returned from them, the scene I hinted at, opened as follows:

Mr. B. was pleased to say, "What a poor figure does the proudest man
make, my dear Pamela, under the sense of a concealed guilt, in company
of the innocent who know it, and even of those who do not!--Since the
casual expression of a baby shall overwhelm him with shame, and
make him unable to look up without confusion. I blushed for myself,"
continued he, "to see how you were affected for me, and yet withdrew,
to avoid reproaching me so much as with a look. Surely, Pamela, I
must then make a most contemptible appearance in your eye! Did you not
disdain me at that moment?"

"Dearest Sir! how can you speak such a word? A word I cannot
repeat after you! For at that very time, I beheld you with the more
reverence, for seeing your noble heart touched with a sense of your
error; and it was such an earnest to me of the happiest change I could
ever wish for, and in so young a gentleman, that it was one half
joy for that, and the other half concern at the little charmer's
accidental plea, to her best and nearest friend, for coming home to
her new aunt, that affected me so sensibly as you saw."

"You must not talk to me of the child's coming home, after this visit,
Pamela; for how, at this rate, shall I stand the reproaches of my own
mind, when I see the little prater every day before me, and think of
what her poor mamma has suffered on my account! 'Tis enough, that in
_you_, my dear, I have an hourly reproach before me, for my attempts
on your virtue; and I have nothing to boast of, but that I gave way to
the triumphs of your innocence: and what then is my boast?"

"What is your boast, dearest Sir? You have everything to boast, that
is worthy of being boasted of.

"You are the best of husbands, the best of landlords, the best of
masters, the best of friends; and, with all these excellencies, and
a mind, as I hope, continually improving, and more and more affected
with the sense of its past mistakes, will you ask, dear Sir, what is
your boast?

"O my dearest, dear Mr. B.," and then I pressed his hands with my
lips, "whatever you are to yourself, when you give way to reflections
so hopeful, you are the glory and the boast of your grateful Pamela!
And permit me to add," tears standing in my eyes, and holding his hand
between mine, "that I never beheld you in my life, in a more amiable
light, than when I saw that noble consciousness which you speak of,
manifest itself in your eyes, and your countenance--O Sir! this was a
sight of joy, of true joy! to one who loves you for your dear soul's
sake, as well as for that of your person; and who looks forward to a
companionship with you beyond the term of this transitory life."

Putting my arms round his arms, as I sat, my fearful eye watching his,
"I fear. Sir, I have been too serious! I have, perhaps, broken one
of your injunctions! Have cast a gloominess over your mind! And if I
have, dear Sir, forgive me!"

He clasped his arms around me: "O my beloved Pamela," said he; "thou
dear confirmer of all my better purposes! How shall I acknowledge your
inexpressible goodness to me? I see every day more and more, my dear
love, what confidence I may repose in your generosity and discretion!
You want no forgiveness; and my silence was owing to much better
motives than to those you were apprehensive of."

He saw my grateful transport, and kindly said, "Struggle not, my
beloved Pamela, for words to express sentiments which your eyes and
your countenance much more significantly express than any words _can_
do. Every day produces new instances of your affectionate concern for
my _future_ as well as _present_ happiness: and I will endeavour to
confirm to you all the hopes which the present occasion has given you
of me, and which I see by these transporting effects are so desirable
to you."

The chariot brought us home sooner than I wished, and Mr. B. handed me
into the parlour.

"Here, Mrs. Jervis," said he, meeting her in the passage, "receive
your angelic lady. I must take a little tour without you, Pamela; for
I have had _too much_ of your dear company, and must leave you, to
descend again into myself; for you have raised me to such a height,
that it is with pain I look down from it."

He kissed my hand, and went into his chariot again; for it was but
half an hour after twelve; and said he would be back by two at dinner.
He left Mrs. Jervis wondering at his words, and at the solemn air with
which he uttered them. But when I told that good friend the occasion,
I had a new joy in the pleasure and gratulations of the dear good
woman, on what had passed.

My next letter will be from London, and to you, my honoured parents;
for to you, my dear, I shall not write again, expecting to see
you soon. But I must now write seldomer, because I am to renew my
correspondence with Lady Davers; with whom I cannot be so free, as
I have been with Miss Darnford; and so I doubt, my dear father and
mother, you cannot have the particulars of that correspondence; for I
shall never find time to transcribe.

But every opportunity that offers, you may assure yourselves, shall be
laid hold of by your ever-dutiful daughter.

And now, my dear Miss Darnford, as I inscribed this letter to you, let
me conclude it, with the assurance, that I am, and ever will be _your
most affectionate friend and servant_, P.B.



LETTER XLIII

MY DEAR FATHER AND MOTHER,

I know you will be pleased to hear that we arrived safely in town last
night. We found a stately, well-furnished, and convenient house; and
I had my closet, or library, and my withdrawing room, all in complete
order, which Mr. B. gave me possession of in the most obliging manner.

I am in a new world, as I may say, and see such vast piles of
building, and such a concourse of people, and hear such a rattling
of coaches in the day, that I hardly know what to make of it, as yet.
Then the nightly watch, going their hourly rounds, disturbed me. But
I shall soon be used to that, and sleep the sounder, perhaps, for the
security it assures to us.

Mr. B. is impatient to shew me what is curious in and about this vast
city, and to hear, as he is pleased to say, my observations upon what
I shall see. He has carried me through several of the fine streets
this day in his chariot; but, at present, I have too confused a notion
of things, to give any account of them: nor shall I trouble you with
descriptions of that kind; for you being within a day's journey of
London, I hope for the pleasure of seeing you oftener than I could
expect before; and shall therefore leave these matters to your own
observations, and what you'll hear from others.

I am impatient for the arrival of my dear Miss Darnford, whose company
and conversation will reconcile me, in a great measure, to this new
world.

Our family at present are Colbrand, Jonathan, and six men servants,
including the coachman. The four maids are also with us.

But my good Mrs. Jervis was indisposed; so came not up with us; but we
expect her and Mr. Longman in a day or two: for Mr. B. has given her
to my wishes; and as Mr. Longman's business will require him to be up
and down frequently, Mrs. Jervis's care will be the better dispensed
with. I long to see the dear good woman, and shall be more in my
element when I do.

Then I have, besides, my penitent Polly Barlow, who has never held
up her head since that deplorable instance of her weakness, which I
mentioned to you and to Miss Darnford, yet am I as kind to her as if
nothing bad happened. I wish, however, some good husband would offer
for her.

Mr. Adams, our worthy chaplain, is now with Mr. Williams. He purposes
to give us his company here till Christmas, when probably matters will
be adjusted for him to take possession of his living. Meantime, not to
let fall a good custom, when perhaps we have most occasion for it, I
make Jonathan, who is reverend by his years and silver hairs, supply
his place, appointing him the prayers he is to read.

God preserve you both in health, and continue to me, I beseech you,
your prayers and blessings, concludes _your ever dutiful daughter_, P.
B.



LETTER XLIV

_From Mrs. B. to Lady Davers._

My Dearest Lady,

I must beg pardon, for having been in this great town more than a
week, and not having found an opportunity to tender my devoirs to your
ladyship. You know, dear Madam, what hurries and fatigues must attend
such a journey, to one in my way, and to an entire new settlement
in which an hundred things must be done, and attended to, with a
preference to other occasions, however delightful. Yet, I must own, we
found a stately, well-ordered, and convenient house: but, although it
is not far from the fields, and has an airy opening to its back part,
and its front to a square, as it is called, yet I am not reconciled to
it, so entirely as to the beloved mansion we left.

My dear Mr. B. has been, and is, busily employed in ordering some few
alterations, to make things still more commodious. He has furnished me
out a pretty library; and has allotted me very convenient apartments
besides: the furniture of every place is rich, as befits the mind and
fortune of the generous owner. But I shall not offer at particulars,
as we hope to have the honour of a visit from my good lord, and your
ladyship, before the winter weather sets in, to make the roads too
dirty and deep: but it is proper to mention, that the house is so
large, that we can make a great number of beds, the more conveniently
to receive the honours of your ladyship, and my lord, and Mr. B.'s
other friends will do us.

I have not yet been at any of the public diversions. Mr. B. has
carried me, by gentle turns, out of his workmen's way, ten miles round
this overgrown capital, and through the principal of its numerous
streets. The villages that lie spangled about this vast circumference,
as well on the other side the noble Thames (which I had before a
notion of, from Sir John Denham's celebrated Cooper's Hill), as on the
Middlesex side, are beautiful, both by buildings and situation, beyond
what I had imagined, and several of them seem larger than many of our
country towns of note. But it would be impertinent to trouble your
ladyship with these matters, who are no stranger to what is worthy
of notice in London. But I was surprised, when Mr. B. observed to me,
that this whole county, and the two cities of London and Westminster,
are represented in parliament by no more than eight members, when so
many borough towns in England are inferior to the meanest villages
about London.

I am in daily expectation of the arrival of Miss Darnford, and then I
shall wish (accompanied by a young lady of so polite a taste) to see
a good play. Mr. B. has already shewn me the opera-house, and the
play-houses, though silent, as I may say; that, as he was pleased to
observe, they should not be new to me, and that the sight might not
take off my attention from the performance, when I went to the play;
so that I can conceive a tolerable notion of every thing, from the
disposition of the seats, the boxes, galleries, pit, the music,
scenes, and the stage; and so shall have no occasion to gaze about me,
like a country novice, whereby I might attract a notice that I would
not wish, either for my own credit, or your dear brother's honour.

I have had a pleasure which I had not in Bedfordshire; and that is,
that on Sunday I was at church, without gaping crowds to attend us,
and blessings too loud for my wishes. Yet I was more gazed at (and
so was Mr. B.) than I expected, considering there were so many
well-dressed gentry, and some nobility there, and _they_ stared as
much as any body, but will not, I hope, when we cease to be a novelty.

We have already had several visitors to welcome Mr. B. to town, and to
congratulate him on his marriage; but some, no doubt, to see, and to
find fault with his rustic; for it is impossible, you know, Madam,
that a gentleman so distinguished by his merit and fortune should have
taken a step of such consequence to himself and family, and not to
have been known by every body so to have done.

Sir Thomas Atkyns is in town, and has taken apartments in Hanover
Square; and he brought with him a younger brother of Mr. Arthur's,
who, it seems, is a merchant.

Lord F. has also been to pay his respects to Mr. B. whose school
fellow he was at Eton, the little time Mr. B. was there. His lordship
promises, that his lady shall make me a visit, and accompany me to the
opera, as soon as we are fully settled.

A gentleman of the Temple, Mr. Turner by name, and Mr. Fanshow of
Gray's Inn, both lawyers, and of Mr. B.'s former acquaintance, very
sprightly and modish gentlemen, have also welcomed us to town, and
made Mr. B. abundance of gay compliments on my account to my face, all
in the common frothy run.

They may be polite gentlemen, but I can't say I over-much like them.
There is something so opiniated, so seemingly insensible of rebuke,
either from _within_ or _without_, and yet not promising to avoid
deserving one occasionally, that I could as _lieve_ wish Mr. B. and
they would not renew their former acquaintance.

I am very bold your ladyship will say--But you command me to write
freely: yet I would not be thought to be uneasy, with regard to your
dear brother's morals, from these gentlemen; for, oh, Madam, I am a
blessed creature, and am hourly happier and happier in the confidence
I have as to that particular: but I imagine they will force
themselves upon him, more than he may wish, or would permit, were the
acquaintance now to begin; for they are not of his turn of mind, as
it seems to me; being, by a sentence or two that dropt from them, very
free, and very frothy in their conversation; and by their laughing at
what they say themselves, taking that for wit which will not stand the
test, if I may be allowed to say so.

But they have heard, no doubt, what a person Mr. B.'s goodness to me
has lifted into notice; and they think themselves warranted to say any
thing before his country girl.

He was pleased to ask me, when they were gone, how I liked his two
lawyers? And said, they were persons of family and fortune.

"I am glad of it, Sir," said I; "for their own sakes."

"Then you don't approve of them, Pamela?"

"They are _your_ friends, Sir; and I cannot have any dislike to them."

"They say good things _sometimes_," returned he.

"I don't doubt it, Sir; but you say good things _always_."

"'Tis happy for me, my dear, you think so. But tell me, what you think
of 'em?"

"I shall be better able, Sir, to answer your questions, if I see them
a second time."

"But we form notions of persons at first sight, sometimes, my dear;
and you are seldom mistaken in yours."

"I only think. Sir, that they have neither of them any diffidence: but
their profession, perhaps, may set them above that."

"They don't _practise_, my dear; their fortunes enable them to live
without it; and they are too studious of their pleasures, to give
themselves any trouble they are not obliged to take."

"They seem to me. Sir, _qualified_ for practice: they would make great
figures at the bar, I fancy."

"Why so?"

"Only, because they seem prepared to think _well_ of what they say
_themselves_; and _lightly_ of what _other people_ say, or may think,
_of them_."

"That, indeed, my dear, is the necessary qualifications of a public
speaker, be he lawyer, or what he will: the man who cannot doubt
_himself_, and can think meanly of his _auditors_, never fails to
speak with _self-applause_ at least."

"But you'll pardon me, good Sir, for speaking my mind so freely, and
so early of these _your friends_."

"I never, my love, ask you a question, I wish you not to answer; and
always expect your answer should be without reserve; for many times
I may ask your opinion, as a corrective or a confirmation of my own
judgment."

How kind, how indulgent was this, my good lady! But you know, how
generously your dear brother treats me, on all occasions; and this
makes me so bold as I often am.

It may be necessary, my dear lady, to give you an account of our
visitors, in order to make the future parts of my writing the more
intelligible; because what I have to write may turn sometimes upon the
company we see: for which reason, I shall also just mention Sir George
Stuart, a Scottish gentleman, with whom Mr. B. became acquainted in
his travels, who seems to be a polite (and Mr. B. says, is a learned)
man, and a virtuoso: he, and a nephew of his, of the same name, a
bashful gentleman, and who, for that reason, I imagine, has a merit
that lies deeper than a first observation can reach, are just gone
from us, and were received with so much civility by Mr. B. as entitles
them to my respectful regard.

Thus, Madam, do I run on, in a manner, without materials; and only
to shew you the pleasure I take in obeying you. I hope my good Lord
Davers enjoys his health, and continues me in his favour; which I
value extremely, as well as your ladyship's. Mr. H., I hope, likewise
enjoys his health. But let me not forget my particular and thankful
respects to the Countess, for her favour and goodness to me, which I
shall ever place next, in my grateful esteem, to the honours I
have received from your ladyship, and which bind me to be, with the
greatest respect, _your faithful and obliged servant_, P.B.



LETTER XLV

MY DEAR FATHER AND MOTHER,

I write to you both, at this time, for your advice in a particular
dispute, which is the only one I have had, or I hope ever shall have,
with my dear benefactor; and as he is pleased to insist upon his
way, and it is a point of conscience with me, I must resolve to be
determined by your joint advice; for, if my father and mother, and
husband, are of one opinion, I must, I think, yield up my own.

This is the subject:--I think a mother ought, if she can, to be the
nurse to her own children.

Mr. B. says, he will not permit it.

It is the first _will not_ I have heard from him, or given occasion
for: and I tell him, that it is a point of conscience with me, and
I hope he will indulge me: but the dear gentleman has an odd way of
arguing, that sometimes puzzles me. He pretends to answer me from
Scripture; but I have some doubts of _his_ exposition; and he gives me
leave to write to you, though yet he won't promise to be determined by
your opinions if they are not the same with his own; and I say to him,
"Is this fair, my dearest Mr. B.? Is it?"

He has got the dean's opinion with him; for our debate began before we
came to town: and then he would not let me state the case; but did it
himself; and yet 'tis but an half opinion, as I may, neither. For it
is, that if the husband is set upon it, it is a wife's duty to obey.

But I can't see how that is; for if it be the _natural_ duty of a
mother, it is a _divine_ duty; and how can a husband have power to
discharge a divine duty? As great as a wife's obligation is to obey
her husband, which is, I own, one indispensable of the marriage
contract, it ought not to interfere with what one takes to be a
superior duty; and must not one be one's own judge of actions, by
which we must stand or fall?

I'll tell you my plea:

I say, that where a mother is unhealthy; subject to communicative
distempers, as scrophulous or scorbutic, or consumptive disorders,
which have infected the blood or lungs; or where they have not plenty
of nourishment for the child, that in these cases, a dispensation lies
of course.

But where there is good health, free spirits, and plentiful
nourishment, I think it an indispensable duty.

For this was the custom of old, of all the good wives we read of in
Scripture.

Then the nourishment of the mother must be most natural to the child.

These were my pleas, among others: and this is his answer which he
gave to me in writing:

"As to what you allege, my dear, of old customs; times and fashions
are much changed. If you tell me of Sarah's, or Rachel's, or
Rebecca's, or Leah's nursing their children, I can answer, that the
one drew water at a well, for her father's flocks; another kneaded
cakes, and baked them on the hearth; another dressed savoury meat
for her husband; and all of them performed the common offices of the
household: and when our modern ladies shall follow such examples in
_every thing_, their plea ought to be allowed in this.

"Besides, my fondness for your personal graces, and the laudable, and,
I will say, honest pleasure, I take in that easy, genteel form, which
every body admires in you, at first sight, oblige me to declare, that
I can by no means consent to sacrifice these to the carelessness into
which I have seen very nice ladies sink, when they became nurses.
Moreover, my chief delight in you is for the beauties of your mind;
and unequalled as they are, in my opinion, you have still a genius
capable of great improvement; and I shan't care, when I want to hear
my Pamela read her French and Latin lessons, which I take so much
delight to teach her (and to endeavour to improve myself from her
virtue and piety, at the same time), to seek my beloved in the
nursery; or to permit her to be engrossed by those baby offices, which
will better befit weaker minds.

"No, my dear, you must allow me to look upon you as my scholar, in one
sense; as my companion in another; and as my instructress, in a third.
You know I am not governed by the worst motives: I am half overcome by
your virtue: and you must take care, that you leave not your work half
done. But I cannot help looking upon the nurse's office, as an office
beneath Pamela. Let it have your inspection, your direction, and your
sole attention, if you please, when I am abroad: but when I am at
home, even a son and heir, so jealous am I of your affections, shall
not be my rival in them: nor will I have my rest broken in upon, by
your servants bringing to you your dear little one, at times,
perhaps, as unsuitable to my repose and your own, as to the child's
necessities.

"The chief thing with you, my dear, is that you think it unnatural in
a mother not to be a nurse to her own child, if she can; and what is
unnatural, you say, is sin.

"Some men may be fond of having their wives undertake this province,
and good reasons may be assigned for such their fondness; but it
suits not me at all. And yet no man would be thought to have a greater
affection for children than myself, or be more desirous to do them
justice; for I think every one should look forward to posterity with
a preference: but if my Pamela can be _better_ employed; if the office
can be equally well performed; if your direction and superintendence
will be sufficient; and if I cannot look upon you in that way with
equal delight, as if it was otherwise; I insist upon it, my Pamela,
that you acquiesce with my _dispensation_, and don't think to let me
lose my beloved wife, and have a nurse put upon me instead of her.

"As to that (the nearest to me of all) of dangers to your
constitution: there is as much reason to hope it may not be so, as to
fear that it _may_. For children sometimes bring health with them as
well as infirmity; and it is not a little likely, that the _nurse's_
office may affect the health of one I hold most dear, who has no very
robust constitution, and thinks it so much her duty to attend to it,
that she will abridge herself of half the pleasures of life, and on
that account confine herself within doors, or, in the other case, must
take with her her infant and her nursery-maid wherever she goes; and
I shall either have very fine company (shall I not?) or be obliged to
deny myself yours.

"Then, as I propose to give you a smattering of the French and
Italian, I know not but I may take you on a little tour into France
and Italy; at least, to Bath, Tunbridge, Oxford, York, and the
principal places of England. Wherefore, as I love to look upon you as
the companion of my pleasures, I advise you, my dearest love, not to
weaken, or, to speak in a phrase proper to the present subject, _wean_
me from that love _to_ you, and admiration _of_ you, which hitherto
has been rather increasing than otherwise, as your merit, and regard
for me have increased."

These, my dear parents, are charming allurements, almost irresistible
temptations! And what makes me mistrust myself the more, and be the
more diffident; for we are but too apt to be persuaded into any thing,
when the motives are so tempting as the last.

I take it for granted, that many wives will not choose to dispute
this point so earnestly as I have done; for we have had several little
debates about it; and it is the only point I have ever yet debated
with him; but one would not be altogether implicit neither. It is no
compliment to him to be quite passive, and to have no will at all of
one's own: yet would I not dispute one point, but in supposition of
a superior obligation: and this, he says, he can _dispense_ with. But
alas! my dear Mr. B. was never yet thought so entirely fit to fill up
the character of a casuistical divine, as that one may absolutely rely
upon his decisions in these serious points: and you know we must stand
or fall by our own judgments.

Upon condition, therefore, that he requires not to see this my
letter, nor your answer to it, I write for your advice. But this I see
plainly, that he will have his own way; and if I cannot get over my
scruples, what shall I do? For if I think it a _sin_ to submit to the
dispensation he insists upon as in his power to grant, and to submit
to it, what will become of my peace of mind? For it is not in our
power to believe as one will.

As to the liberty he gives me for a month, I should be loath to take
it; for one knows not the inconveniences that may attend a change of
nourishment; or if I did, I should rather--But I know not what I would
say; for I am but a young creature to be in this way, and so very
unequal to it in every respect! So I commit myself to God's direction,
and your advice, as becomes _your ever dutiful daughter_, P.B.



LETTER XLVI

My Dearest Child,

Your mother and I have as well considered the case you put as we are
able; and we think your own reasons very good; and it is a thousand
pities your honoured husband will not allow them, as you, my dear,
make it such a point with you. Very few ladies would give their
spouses, we believe, the trouble of this debate; and few gentlemen are
so very nice as yours in this respect; for I (but what signifies
what such a mean soul as I think, compared to so learned and brave a
gentleman; yet I) always thought your dear mother, and she has been a
pretty woman too, in her time, never looked so lovely, as when I saw
her, like the pelican in the wilderness, feeding her young ones from
her kind breast:--and had I never so noble an estate, I should have
had the same thoughts.

But since the good 'squire cannot take this pleasure; since he so much
values your person; since he gives you warning, that it may estrange
his affections; since he is impatient of denial, and thinks so highly
of his prerogative; since he may, if disobliged, resume some bad
habits, and so you may have all your prayers and hopes in his perfect
reformation frustrated, and find your own power to do good more
narrowed: we think, besides the obedience you have vowed to him, and
is the duty of every good wife, you ought to give up the point, and
acquiesce; for this seemeth to us to be the lesser evil: and God
Almighty, if it should be your duty, will not be less merciful than
men; who, as his honour says, by the laws of the realm, excuses a
wife, when she is faulty by the command of the husband; and we hope,
the fault he is pleased to make you commit (if a fault, for he really
gives very praise-worthy motives for his dispensation) will not be
laid at his own door. So e'en resolve, my dearest child, to submit to
it, and with cheerfulness too.

God send you an happy hour! But who knows, when the time comes,
whether it may not be proper to dispense with this duty, as you
deem it, on other accounts? For every young person is not enabled
to perform it. So, to shew his honour, that you will cheerfully
acquiesce, your dear mother advises you to look out for a wholesome,
good-humoured, honest body, as near your complexion and temper, and
constitution, as may be; and it may not be the worse, she thinks,
if she is twenty, or one--or two-and-twenty; for she will have more
strength and perfection, as one may say, than even you can have at
your tender age: and, above all, for the wise reason you give from
your reading, that she may be brought to-bed much about your time, if
possible. We can look out, about us, for such an one. And, as Mr. B.
is not adverse to have the dear child in the house, you will have as
much delight, and the dear baby may fare as well, under your prudent
and careful eye, as if you were obliged in the way you would choose.

So God direct you, my child, in all your ways, and make you acquiesce
in this point with cheerfulness (although, as you say, one cannot
believe, as one pleases; for we verily are of opinion you safely may,
as matters stand) and continue to you, and your honoured husband,
health, and all manner of happiness, are the prayers of _your most
affectionate father and mother,_

J. _and_ E. ANDREWS.



LETTER XLVII

I thank you, my dearest parents, for your kind letter; it was given to
Mr. B. and he brought it to me himself, and was angry with me: indeed
he was, as you shall hear:

"'Tis from the good couple, my dear, I see. I hope they are of my
opinion--But whether they be or not--But I will leave you; and do you,
Pamela, step down to my closet, when you have perused it."

He was pleased to withdraw; and I read it, and sat down, and
considered it well; but, as you know I made it always my maxim to
do what I could not avoid to do, with as good a grace as possible, I
waited on the dear gentleman.

"Well, Pamela," said he, a little seriously, "what say the worthy
pair?"

"O Sir! they declare for you. They say, it is best for me to yield up
this point."

"They are certainly in the right--But were you not a dear perverse
creature, to give me all this trouble about your saucy scruples?"

"Nay, Sir, don't call them so," said I, little thinking he was
displeased with me. "I still am somewhat wavering; though they advise
me to acquiesce; and, as it is your will, and you have determined, it
is my duty to yield up the point."

"But do you yield it up cheerfully, my dear?"

"I do, Sir; and will never more dispute it, let what will happen. And
I beg pardon for having so often entered into this subject with you.
But you know, Sir, if one's weakness of mind gives one scruples, one
should not yield implicitly, till they are satisfied; for that would
look as if one gave not you the obedience of a free mind."

"You are very obliging, _just now_, my dear; but I can tell you, you
had made me half serious; yet I would not shew it, in compliment
to your present condition; for I did not expect that you would have
thought any appeal necessary, though to your parents, in a point that
I was determined upon, as you must see, every time we talked of it."

This struck me all in a heap. I looked down to the ground: having no
courage to look up to his face, for fear I should behold his aspect as
mortifying to me as his words. But he took both my hands, and drew me
kindly to him, and saluted me, "Excuse me, my dearest love: I am not
angry with you. Why starts this precious pearl?" and kissed my cheek:
"speak to me, Pamela!"

"I will, Sir--I will--as soon as I can:" for this being my first
check, so seriously given, my heart was full. But as I knew he would
be angry, and think me obstinate, if I did not speak, I said, full
of concern, "I wish, Sir--I wish--you had been pleased to spare me a
little longer, for the same kind, very kind, consideration."

"But is it not better, my dear, to tell you I _was_ a little out of
humour with you, than that I _am_?--But you were very earnest with
me on this point more than once; and you put me upon a hated, because
ungenerous, necessity of pleading my prerogative, as I call it; yet
this would not do, but you appealed against me in the point I was
determined upon, for reasons altogether in your favour: and if this
was not like my Pamela, excuse me, that I could not help being a
little unlike myself."

"Ah!" thought I, "this is not so very unlike your dear self, were I to
give the least shadow of an occasion; for it is of a piece with your
lessons formerly."

"I am sure," said I, "I was not in the least aware, that I had
offended. But I was too little circumspect. I had been used to your
goodness for so long a time, that I expected it, it seems; and thought
I was sure of your favourable construction."

"Why, so you may be, my dear, in every thing _almost_. But I don't
love to speak twice my mind on the same subject; you know I don't!
and you have really disputed this point with me five or six times;
insomuch, that I wondered what was come to my dearest."

"I thought, Sir, you would have distinguished between a command where
my _conscience_ was concerned, and a _common_ point: you know. Sir, I
never had any will but yours in _common_ points. But, indeed, you make
me fearful because my task is rendered too difficult for my own weak
judgment."

I was silent, but by my tears.

"Now, I doubt, Pamela, your spirit is high. You won't speak, because
you are out of humour at what I say. I will have no sullen reserves,
my dearest. What means that heaving sob? I know that this is the time
with your sex, when, saddened with your apprehensions, and indulged
because of them, by the fond husband, it is needful, for both their
sakes, to watch over the changes of their temper. For ladies in your
way are often like encroaching subjects; apt to extend what they call
their privileges, on the indulgence shewed them; and the husband never
again recovers the ascendant he had before."

"You know these things better than I, Mr. B. But I had no intention
to invade your province, or to go out of my own. Yet I thought I had a
right to a little free will, on some greater occasions."

"Why, so you have, my dear. But you must not plead in behalf of your
own will, and refuse to give due weight to mine." "Well, Sir, I must
needs say, I have one advantage above others of my sex; for if wives,
in my circumstances, are apt to grow upon indulgence, I am very happy
that your kind and watchful care will hinder me from falling into that
error."

He gave me a gentle tap on the neck: "Let me beat my beloved
sauce-box," said he: "is it thus you rally my watchful care over you
for your own good? But tell me, truly, Pamela, are you not a little
sullen? Look up to me, my dear. Are you not?"

"I believe I am; but 'tis but very little, Sir. It will soon go
off. Please to let me withdraw, that I may take myself to task about
it;-for at present, I know not what to do, because I did not expect
the displeasure I have incurred."

"Is it not the same thing," replied he, "if this our first quarrel end
here, without your withdrawing?--I forgive you heartily, my Pamela;
and give me one kiss, and I will think of your saucy appeal against me
no more."

"I will comply with your condition, Sir; but I have a great mind to be
saucy. I wish you would let me for this once."

"What would you say, my dearest?--Be saucy then, as you call it, as
saucy as you can."

"Why; then I _am_ a little sullen at present, that I am; and I am not
fully convinced, whether it must be I that forgive you, or you me.
For, indeed, if I can recollect, I cannot think my fault so great in
this point, that was a point of conscience to me, as (pardon me Sir),
to stand in need of your forgiveness."

"Well, then, my dearest," said he, "we will forgive one another?
but take this with you, that it is my love to you that makes me more
delicate than otherwise I should be; and you have inured me so much to
a faultless conduct, that I can hardly bear with natural infirmities
from you.--But," giving me another tap, "get you gone; I leave you to
your recollection; and let me know what fruits it produces: for I must
not be put off with a half-compliance; I must have your whole will
with me, if possible."

So I went up, and recollecting every thing, _sacrificed to my sex_,
as Mr. B. calls it, when he talks of a wife's reluctance to yield a
favourite point: for I shed many tears, because my heart was set upon
it.

And so, my dear parents, twenty charming ideas and pleasures I had
formed to myself, are vanished from me, and my measures are quite
broken. But after my heart was relieved by my eye, I was lighter and
easier. And the result is, we have heard of a good sort of woman,
that is to be my poor _baby's mother_, when it comes; so your
kindly-offered enquiries are needless, I believe.

'Tis well for our sex in general, that there are not many husbands who
distinguish thus nicely. For, I doubt, there are but very few so well
entitled to their ladies' observances as Mr. B. is to mine, and who
would act so generously and so tenderly by a wife as he does, in every
material instance on which the happiness of life depends.

But we are quite reconciled; although as I said, upon his own terms:
and so I can still style myself, _my dear honoured parents, your
happy, as well as your dutiful daughter_, P.B.



LETTER XLVIII

_From Lady Davers to Mrs. B._

My Dear Pamela,

I have sent you a present, the completest I could procure, of every
thing that may suit your approaching happy circumstance; as I hope
it will be to you, and to us all: but it is with a hope annexed, that
although both sexes are thought of in it, you will not put us off with
a girl: no, child, we will not permit you, may we have our wills, to
_think_ of giving us a girl, till you have presented us with half a
dozen fine boys. For our line is gone so low, we expect that
human security from you in your first seven years, or we shall be
disappointed.

I will now give you their names, if my brother and you approve of
them: your first shall be BILLY; my Lord Davers, and the Earl of
C----, godfathers; and it must be doubly godmothered too, or I am
afraid the countess and I shall fall out about it. Your second DAVERS;
be sure remember that.--Your third, CHARLEY; your fourth, JEMMY; your
fifth, HARRY; your sixth--DUDLEY, if you will--and your girl, if you
had not rather call it PAMELA, shall be called BARBARA.--The rest name
as you please.--And so, my dear, I wish all seven happily over with
you.

I am glad you got safe to town: and long to hear of Miss Darnford's
arrival, because I know you'll be out of your bias in your new
settlement till then. She is a fine lady, and writes the most to my
taste of any one of her sex that I know, next to you. I wish she'd be
so kind as to correspond with me. But be sure don't omit to give me
the sequel of her sister's and Murray's affair, and what you think
will please me in relation to her.-You do well to save yourself
the trouble of describing the town and the public places. We are no
strangers to them; and they are too much our table talk, when
any country lady has for the first time been carried to town, and
returned: besides, what London affords, is nothing that deserves
mention, compared to what we have seen at Paris and at Versailles, and
other of the French palaces. You exactly, therefore, hit our tastes,
and answer our expectations, when you give us, in your peculiar
manner, sentiments on what we may call the _soul of things_, and such
characters as you draw with a pencil borrowed from the hand of nature,
intermingled with those fine lights and shades of reflections and
observations, that make your pictures glow, and instruct as well as
delight.

There, Pamela, is encouragement for you to proceed in obliging us. We
are all of one mind in this respect; and more than ever, since we have
seen your actions so well answered to your writings; and that theory
and practice, as to every excellence that can adorn a lady, is the
same thing with you.

We are pleased with your lawyers' characters. There are life and
nature in them; but never avoid giving all that occur to you, for that
seems to be one of your talents; and in the ugliest, there will be
matter of instruction; especially as you seem naturally to fall upon
such as are so general, that no one who converses, but must see in
them the picture of one or other he is acquainted with.

By this time, perhaps, Miss Darnford will be with you.--Our respects
to her, if so.--And you will have been at some of the theatrical
entertainments: so will not want subjects to oblige us.--'Twas a good
thought of your dear man's, to carry you to see the several houses,
and to make you a judge, by that means, of the disposition and fashion
of every thing in them.-Tell him, I love him better and better. I
am proud of my brother, and do nothing but talk of what a charming
husband he makes. But then, he gives an example to all who know him,
and his uncontrollable temper (which makes against many of us),
that it is possible for a good wife to make even a bad man a worthy
husband: and this affords an instruction, which may stand all our sex
in good stead.--But then they must have been cautious first, to choose
a man of natural good sense, and good manners, and not a brutal or
abandoned debauchee.

But hark-ye-me, my sweet girl, what have I done, that you won't write
yourself _sister_ to me? I could find in my heart to be angry with
you. Before my last visit, I was scrupulous to subscribe myself so
to _you_. But since I have seen myself so much surpassed in every
excellence, that I would take pleasure in the name, you assume a pride
in your turn, and may think it under-valuing yourself, to call _me_
so--Ay, that's the thing, I doubt--Although I have endeavoured by
several regulations since my return (and the countess, too, keeps
your example in distant view, as well as I), to be more worthy of the
appellation. If, therefore, you would avoid the reproaches of secret
pride, under the shadow of so remarkable an humility, for the future
never omit subscribing as I do, with great pleasure, _your truly
affectionate sister and friend_, B. DAVERS.

I always take it for granted, that my worthy brother sends his
respects to us; as you must, that Lord Davers, the Countess of C. and
Jackey (who, as well as his uncle, talks of nothing else but you),
send theirs; and so unnecessary compliments will be always excluded
our correspondence.



LETTER XLIX

_In answer to the preceding._

How you overwhelm me with your goodness, my dearest lady, in every
word of your last welcome letter, is beyond my power to express I How
nobly has your ladyship contrived, in your ever-valued present, to
encourage a doubting and apprehensive mind! And how does it contribute
to my joy and my glory, that I am deemed by the noble sister of
my best beloved, not wholly unworthy of being the humble means to
continue, and, perhaps, to perpetuate, a family so ancient and so
honourable!

When I contemplate this, and look upon what I was--How shall I express
a sense of the honour done me!--And when, reading over the other
engaging particulars in your ladyship's letter, I come to the last
charming paragraph, I am doubly affected to see myself seemingly
upbraided, but so politely emboldened to assume an appellation, that
otherwise I hardly dared.

I--_humble_ I--who never had a sister before--to find one now in
Lady Davers! O Madam, you, and _only_ you, can teach me words fit to
express the joy and the gratitude that filled my delighted heart!--But
thus much I am taught, that there is some thing more than the low-born
can imagine in birth and education. This is so evident in your
ladyship's actions, words, and manner, that it strikes one with a
becoming reverence; and we look up with awe to a condition we emulate
in vain, when raised by partial favour, like what I have found; and
are confounded when we see grandeur of soul joined with grandeur
of birth and condition; and a noble lady acting thus nobly, as Lady
Davers acts.

My best wishes, and a thousand blessings, attend your ladyship in all
you undertake! And I am persuaded the latter will, and a peace and
satisfaction of mind incomparably to be preferred to whatever else
this world can afford, in the new regulations, which you, and my dear
lady countess, have set on foot in your families: and when I can have
the happiness to know what they are, I shall, I am confident, greatly
improve my own methods by them.

Were we to live for ever in this life, we might be careless and
indifferent about these matters: but when such an uncertainty as to
the time, and such a certainty as to the event is before us, a prudent
mind will be always preparing, till prepared; and what can be a better
preparative, than charitable actions to our fellow-creatures in the
eye of that Majesty, which wants nothing of us himself, but to do just
the merciful things to one another.

Pardon me, my dearest lady, for this my free style. Methinks I am out
of myself! I know not how to descend all at once from the height to
which you have raised me: and you must forgive the reflections to
which you yourself and your own noble actions have given birth.

Here, having taken respite a little, I naturally sink into _body_
again.--And will not your ladyship confine your expectations from
me within narrower limits?--For, O, I cannot even with my wishes,
so swiftly follow your expectations, if such they are! But, however,
leaving futurity to HIM, who only governs futurity, and who conducts
us all, and our affairs, as shall best answer his own divine purposes,
I will proceed as well as I can, to obey you in those articles, which
are, at present, more within my own power.

My dear Miss Darnford, then, let me acquaint your ladyship, arrived on
Thursday last: she had given us notice, by a line, of the day she set
out; and Sir Simon and Lady Darnford saw her ten miles on the way
to the stage coach in Sir Simon's coach, Mr. Murray attending her on
horseback. They parted with her, as was easy to guess from her merit,
with great tenderness; and we are to look upon the visit (as we do) as
a high favour from her papa and mamma; who, however, charge her not to
exceed a month in and out, which I regret much. Mr. B. kindly proposed
to me, as she came in the stage coach, attended with one maid-servant,
to meet her part of the way in his coach and six, if, as he was
pleased to say, it would not be too fatiguing to me; and we would go
so early, as to dine at St. Alban's. I gladly consented, and we got
thither about one o'clock; and while dinner was preparing, he was
pleased to shew me the great church there, and the curious vault of
the good Duke of Gloucester, and also the monument of the great Lord
Chancellor Bacon in St. Michael's church; all which, no doubt, your
ladyship has seen.

There happened to be six passengers in the stage coach, including
Miss Darnford and her maid; she was exceeding glad to be relieved from
them, though the weather was cold enough, two of the passengers being
not very agreeable company, one a rough military man, and the other a
positive humoursome old gentlewoman: and the others two sisters--"who
jangled now and then," said she, "as much as _my_ sister, and my
sister's _sister_."

Judge how joyful this meeting was to us both. Mr. B. was no less
delighted, and said, he was infinitely obliged to Sir Simon for this
precious trust.

"I come with double pleasure," said she, "to see the greatest
curiosity in England, a husband and wife, who have not, in so many
months as you have been married, if I may believe report, and your
letters, Mrs. B., once repented."

"You are severe, Miss Darnford," replied Mr. B., "upon people in the
married state: I hope there are many such instances."

"There might, if there were more such husbands as Mr. B. makes.--I
hated you once, and thought you very wicked; but I revere you now."

"If you will _revere_ any body, my dear Miss Darnford," said he,
"let it be this good girl; for it is all owing to her conduct and
direction, that I make a tolerable husband: were there more such
wives, I am persuaded, there would be more such husbands than there
are."

"You see, my dear," said I, "what it is to be wedded to a generous
man. Mr. B., by his noble treatment of me, creates a merit in me, and
disclaims the natural effects of his own goodness."

"Well, you're a charming couple--person and mind. I know not any
equal either of you have.--But, Mr. B., I will not compliment you too
highly. I may make _you_ proud, for men are saucy creatures; but
I cannot make your _lady_ so: and in this doubt of the one, and
confidence in the other, I must join with you, that her merit is the
greatest.--Since, excuse me, Sir, her example has reformed her rake;
and you have only confirmed in her the virtues you found ready formed
to your hand."

"That distinction," said Mr. B., "is worthy of Miss Darnford's
judgment."

"My dearest Miss Darnford--my dearest Mr. B.," said I, laying my hand
upon the hand of each, "how can you go on thus!--As I look upon every
kind thing, two such dear friends say of me, as incentives for me
to endeavour to deserve it, you must not ask me too high; for then,
instead of encouraging, you'll make me despair."

He led us into the coach; and in a free, easy, joyful manner, not in
the least tired or fatigued, did we reach the town and Mr. B.'s house;
with which and its furniture, and the apartments allotted for her, my
dear friend is highly pleased.

But the dear lady put me into some little confusion, when she saw me
first, taking notice of my _improvements_, as she called them, before
Mr. B. I looked at him and her with a downcast eye. He smiled, and
said, "Would you, my good Miss Darnford, look so silly, after such a
length of time, with a husband you need not be ashamed of?"

"No, indeed, Sir, not I, I'll assure you; nor will I forgive those
maiden airs in a wife so happy as you are."

I said nothing. But I wished myself, in mind and behaviour, to be just
what Miss Darnford is.

But, my dear lady, Miss Darnford has had those early advantages from
conversation, which I had not; and so must never expect to know how to
deport myself with that modest freedom and ease, which I know I want,
and shall always want, although some of my partial favourers think
I do not. For I am every day more and more sensible of the great
difference there is between being used to the politest conversation as
an inferior, and being born to bear a part in it: in the one, all is
set, stiff, awkward, and the person just such an ape of imitation as
poor I; in the other, all is natural ease and sweetness--like Miss
Darnford.

Knowing this, I don't indeed aim at what I am sensible I cannot
attain; and so, I hope, am less exposed to censure than I should be if
I did. For, I have heard Mr. B. observe with regard to gentlemen who
build fine houses, make fine gardens, and open fine prospects, that
art should never take place of, but be subservient to, nature; and a
gentleman, if confined to a situation, had better conform his designs
to that, than to do as at Chatsworth, level a mountain at a monstrous
expense; which, had it been suffered to remain, in so wild and
romantic a scene as Chatsworth affords, might have been made one of
the greatest beauties of the place.

So I think I had better endeavour to make the best of those natural
defects I cannot master, than, by assuming airs and dignities in
appearance, to which I was not born, act neither part tolerably. By
this means, instead of being thought neither gentlewoman nor rustic,
as Sir Jacob hinted (_linsey-wolsey_, I think was his term too), I may
be looked upon as an original in my way; and all originals pass well
enough, you know, Madam, even with judges.

Now I am upon this subject, I can form to myself, if your ladyship
will excuse me, two such polite gentlemen as my lawyers mentioned in
my former, who, with a true London magnanimity and penetration (for,
Madam, I fancy your London critics will be the severest upon the
country girl), will put on mighty significant looks, forgetting, it
may be, that they have any faults themselves, and apprehending that
they have nothing to do, but to sit in judgment upon others, one of
them expressing himself after this manner--"Why, truly, Jack, the girl
is well enough--_considering_--I can't say--" (then a pinch of snuff,
perhaps, adds importance to his air)--"but a man might love her for a
month or two." (These sparks talked thus of other ladies before me.)
"She behaves better than I expected from her--_considering_--" again
will follow.

"So I think," cries the other, and tosses his tie behind him, with an
air partly of contempt, and partly of rakery.

"As you say. Jemmy, I expected to find an awkward country girl, but
she tops her part, I'll assure you!--Nay, for that matter, behaves
very tolerably for _what she was_--And is right, not to seem desirous
to drown the remembrance of her original in her elevation--And, I
can't but say" (for something like it he did say), "is mighty pretty,
and passably genteel." And thus with their poor praise of Mr. B.'s
girl, they think they have made a fine compliment to his judgment.

But for _his_ sake (for as to my own, I am not solicitous about such
gentlemen's good opinions), I owe them a spite; and believe, I shall
find an opportunity to come out of their debt. For I have the vanity
to think, now you have made me proud by your kind encouragements and
approbation, that the country girl will make 'em look about them, with
all their _genteel contempts_, which they miscall _praise_.

But how I run on! Your ladyship expects that I shall write as freely
to you as I used to do to my parents. I have the merit of obeying you,
that I have; but, I doubt, too much to the exercise of your patience.

This (like all mine) is a long letter; and I will only add to it
Miss Darnford's humble respects, and thanks for your ladyship's kind
mention of her, which she receives as no small honour.

And now. Madam, with a greater pleasure than I can express, will I
make use of the liberty you so kindly allow me to take, of subscribing
myself with that profound respect which becomes me, _your ladyship's
most obliged sister, and obedient servant,_ P.B.

Mr. Adams, Mr. Longman, and Mrs. Jervis, are just arrived; and our
household is now complete.



LETTER L

_From Lady Davers to Mrs. B._

MY DEAR PAMELA,

After I have thanked you for your last agreeable letter, which has
added the Earl and Lady Jenny to the number of your admirers (you know
Lady Betty, her sister, was so before), I shall tell you, that I now
write, at their requests, as well as at those of my Lord Davers, the
countess you so dearly love, and Lady Betty, for your decision of
an odd dispute, that, on reading your letter, and talking of your
domestic excellencies, happened among us.

Lady Betty says, that, notwithstanding any awkwardness you attribute
to yourself, she cannot but decide, by all she has seen of your
writings, and heard from us, that yours is the perfectest character
she ever found in the sex.

The countess said, that you wrong yourself in supposing you are not
every thing that is polite and genteel, as well in your behaviour, as
in your person; and that she knows not any lady in England who better
becomes her station than you do.

"Why, then," said Lady Jenny, "Mrs. B. must be quite perfect:
that's certain." So said the earl; so said they all. And Lord Davers
confirmed that you were.

Yet, as we are sure, there cannot be such a character in this life
as has not one fault, although we could not tell where to fix it, the
countess made a whimsical motion: "Lady Davers," said she, "pray do
you write to Mrs. B. and acquaint her with our subject; and as it
is impossible, for one who can act as she does, not to know herself
better than any body else can do, desire her to acquaint us with some
of those secret foibles, that leave room for her to be still more
perfect."

"A good thought," said they all. And this is the present occasion of
my writing; and pray see that you accuse yourself, of no more than you
know yourself guilty: for over-modesty borders nearly on pride, and
too liberal self-accusations are generally but so many traps for
acquittal with applause: so that (whatever other ladies might) you
will not be forgiven, if you deal with us in a way so poorly artful;
let your faults, therefore, be such as you think we can subscribe to,
from what we have _seen_ of _you_ and what we have _read_ of _yours_;
and you must try to extenuate them too, as you give them, lest we
should think you above that nature, which, in the _best_ cases, is
your undoubted talent.

I congratulate you and Miss Damford on her arrival: she is a charming
young lady; but tell her, that we shall not allow her to take you at
your word, and to think that she excels you in any one thing: only,
indeed, we think you nicer in some points than you need be to, as to
your present agreeable circumstance. And yet, let me tell you, that
the easy, unaffected, conjugal purity, in word and behaviour, between
your good man and you, is worthy of imitation, and what the countess
and I have with pleasure contemplated since we left you, an hundred
times, and admire in you both: and it is good policy too, child,
as well as high decorum; for it is what will make you ever new and
respectful to one another.

But _you_ have the honour of it all, whose sweet, natural, and easy
modesty, in person, behaviour, and conversation, forbid indecency,
even in thought, much more in word, to approach you: insomuch that no
rakes can be rakes in your presence, and yet they hardly know to what
they owe their restraint.

However, as people who see you at this time, will take it for granted
that you and Mr. B. have been very intimate together, I should think
you need not be ashamed of your appearance, because, as he rightly
observes, you have no reason to be ashamed of your husband.

Excuse my pleasantry, my dear: and answer our demand upon you, as soon
as you can; which will oblige us all; particularly _your affectionate
sister_,

B. DAVERS.



LETTER LI

MY DEAREST LADY,

What a task have you imposed upon me! And according to the terms you
annex to it, how shall I acquit myself of it, without incurring the
censure of affectation, if I freely accuse myself as I may deserve, or
of vanity, if I do not? Indeed, Madam, I have a great many failings:
and you don't know the pain it costs me to keep them under; not so
much for fear the world should see them, for I bless God, I can hope
they are not capital, as for fear they should become capital, if I
were to let them grow upon me.

And this, surely, I need not have told your ladyship, and the Countess
of C., who have read my papers, and seen my behaviour in the kind
visit you made to your dear brother, and had from _both_ but too much
reason to censure me, did not your generous and partial favour make
you overlook my greater failings, and pass under a kinder name many
of my lesser; for surely, my good ladies, you must both of you have
observed, in what you have read and seen, that I am naturally of a
saucy temper: and with all my appearance of meekness and humility, can
resent, and sting too, when I think myself provoked.

I have also discovered in myself, on many occasions (of some of which
I will by-and-by remind your ladyship), a malignancy of heart, that,
it is true, lasts but a little while--nor had it need--but for which I
have often called myself to account--to very little purpose hitherto.

And, indeed, Madam (now for a little extenuation, as you expect from
me), I have some difficulty, whether I ought to take such pains to
subdue myself in some instances, in the station to which I am raised,
that otherwise it would have become me to attempt to do: for it is
no easy task, for one in my circumstances, to distinguish between the
_ought_ and the _ought_ not; to be humble without meanness, and decent
without arrogance. And if all persons thought as justly as I flatter
myself I do, of the inconveniences, as well as conveniences, which
attend their being raised to a condition above them, they would
not imagine all the world was their own, when they came to be
distinguished as I have been: for, what with the contempts of superior
relations on one side, the envy of the world, and low reflections
arising from it, on the other, from which no one must hope to be
totally exempted, and the awkwardness, besides, with which they
support their elevated condition, if they have sense to judge of
their own imperfections; and if the gentleman be not such an one as
mine--(and where will such another be found?)--On all these accounts, I
say, they will be made sensible, that, whatever they might once think,
happiness and an high estate are two very different things.

But I shall be too grave, when your ladyship, and all my kind and
noble friends, expect, perhaps, I should give the uncommon subject a
pleasanter air: yet what must that mind be, that is not serious, when
obliged to recollect, and give account of its defects?

But I must not only accuse myself, it seems, I must give _proofs_,
such as your ladyship can subscribe to, of my imperfections. There is
so much _real kindness_ in this _seeming hardship_, that I will
obey you. Madam, and produce proofs in a moment, which cannot be
controverted.

As to my _sauciness_, those papers will give an hundred instances
against me, as well to your dear brother, as to others. Indeed, to
extenuate, as you command me, as I go along, these were mostly when I
was apprehensive for my honour, they were.

And then, I have a little tincture of _jealousy_, which sometimes has
made me more uneasy than I ought to be, as the papers you have not
seen would have demonstrated, particularly in Miss Godfrey's case,
and in my conversation with your ladyships, in which I have frequently
betrayed my fears of what might happen when in London: yet, to
extenuate again, I have examined myself very strictly on this head;
and really think, that I can ascribe a great part of this jealousy to
laudable motives; no less than to my concern for your dear brother's
future happiness, in the hope, that I may be a humble means, through
Providence, to induce him to abhor those crimes of which young
gentlemen too often are guilty, and bring him over to the practice of
those virtues, in which he will ever have cause to rejoice.--Yet, my
lady, some other parts of the charge must stand against me; for as
I love his person, as well as his mind, I have pride in my jealousy,
that would not permit me, I verily think, to support myself as I
ought, under trial of a competition, in this very tender point.

And this obliges me to own, that I have a little spark--not a little
one, perhaps of _secret pride_ and _vanity_, that will arise, now and
then, on the honours done me; but which I keep under as much as I
can; and to this pride, let me tell your ladyship, I know no one
contributes, or can contribute, more largely than yourself.

So you see, my dear lady, what a naughty heart I have, and how far
I am from being a faultless creature--I hope I shall be better and
better, however, as I live longer, and have more grace, and more
wit: for here to recapitulate my faults, is in the first place,
_vindictiveness_, I will not call it downright revenge--And how much
room do all these leave for amendment, and greater perfection?

Had your ladyship, and the countess, favoured us longer in your kind
visit, I must have so improved, by your charming conversations, and
by that natural ease and dignity which accompany everything your
ladyships do and say, as to have got over such of these foibles as
are not rooted in nature: till in time I had been able to do more than
emulate those perfections, which at present, I can only at an awful
distance revere; as becomes, _my dear ladies, your most humble
admirer, and obliged servant_,

P.B.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER LII

_From Miss Darnford to her Father and Mother_.

MY EVER-HONOURED PAPA AND MAMMA,

I arrived safely in London on Thursday, after a tolerable journey,
considering Deb and I made six in the coach (two having been taken up
on the way, after you left me), and none of the six highly agreeable.
Mr. B. and his lady, who looks very stately upon us (from the
circumstance of _person_, rather than of _mind_, however), were so
good as to meet me at St. Alban's, in their coach and six. They have a
fine house here, richly furnished in every part, and have allotted me
the best apartment in it.

We are happy beyond expression. Mr. B. is a charming husband; so easy,
so pleased with, and so tender of his lady: and she so much all that
we saw her in the country, as to humility and affability, and improved
in every thing else which we hardly thought possible she could
be--that I never knew so happy a matrimony.--All that _prerogative
sauciness_, which we apprehended would so eminently display itself in
his behaviour to his wife, had she been ever so distinguished by birth
and fortune, is vanished. I did not think it was in the power of an
angel, if our sex could have produced one, to have made so tender and
so fond a husband of Mr. B. as he makes. And should I have the sense
to follow Mrs. B.'s example, if ever I marry, I should not despair of
making myself happy, let it be to whom it would, provided he was not a
brute, nor sordid in his temper; which two characters are too obvious
to be concealed, if persons take due care, and make proper inquiries,
and if they are not led by blind passion. May Mr. Murray and Miss
Nancy make just such a happy pair!

You commanded me, my honoured mamma, to write to you an account of
every thing that pleased me--I said I would: but what a task should
I then have!--I did not think I had undertaken to write volumes.--You
must therefore allow me to be more brief than I had intended.

In the first place, it would take up five or six long letters to do
justice to the economy observed in this happy family. You know that
Mrs. B. has not changed one of her servants, and only added her Polly
to them. This is an unexampled thing, especially as they were her
_fellow-servants_ as we may say: but since they have the sense to
admire so good an example, and are proud to follow it, each to his and
her power, I think it one of her peculiar facilities to have continued
them, and to choose to reform such as were exceptionable rather than
dismiss them.

Their mouths, Deb tells me, are continually full of their lady's
praises, and prayers, and blessings, uttered with such delight and
fervour for the happy pair, that it makes her eyes, she says, ready to
run over to hear them.

Moreover, I think it an extraordinary degree of policy (whether
designed or not) to keep them, as they were all worthy folks; for had
she turned them off, what had she done but made as many enemies as
she had discarded servants; and as many more as those had friends and
acquaintance? And we all know, how much the reputation of families
lies at the mercy of servants; and it is easy to guess to what cause
each would have imputed his or her dismission. And so she has escaped,
as she ought, the censure of pride; and made every one, instead of
reproaching her with her descent, find those graces in her, which turn
that very disadvantage to her glory.

She is exceedingly affable; always speaks to them with a smile;
but yet has such a dignity in her manner, that it secures her their
respect and reverence; and they are ready to fly at a look, and seem
proud to have her commands to execute; insomuch, that the words--"_My
lady commands so, or so,_" from one servant to another, are sure to
meet with an indisputable obedience, be the duty required what it
will.

If any of them are the least indisposed, her care and tenderness for
them engage the veneration and gratitude of all the rest, who see how
kindly they will be treated, should they ail any thing themselves.
And in all this she is very happy in Mrs. Jervis, who is an excellent
second to her admirable lady; and is treated by her with as much
respect and affection, as if she was her mother.

You may remember, Madam, that in the account she gave us of her
_benevolent round_, as Lady Davers calls it, she says, that as she
was going to London, she should instruct Mrs. Jervis about some of
her _clients_, as I find she calls her poor, to avoid a word which
her delicacy accounts harsh with regard to them, and ostentatious
with respect to herself. I asked her, how (since, contrary to her then
expectation, Mrs. Jervis was permitted to be in town with her) she had
provided to answer her intention as to those her clients, whom she had
referred to the care of that good woman?

She said, that Mr. Barlow, her apothecary, was a very worthy man, and
she had given him a plenary power in that particular, and likewise
desired him to recommend any new and worthy case to her that no
deserving person among the destitute sick poor, might be unrelieved by
reason of her absence.

And here in London she has applied herself to Dr.----(her parish
minister, a fine preacher, and sound divine, who promises on all
opportunities to pay his respects to Mr. B.) to recommend to her
any poor housekeepers, who would be glad to accept of some private
benefactions, and yet, having lived creditably, till reduced by
misfortunes, are ashamed to apply for public relief: and she has
several of these already on her _benevolent list_, to some of whom she
sends coals now at the entrance on the wintry season, to some a piece
of Irish or Scottish linen, or so many yards of Norwich stuff, for
gowns and coats for the girls, or Yorkshire cloth for the boys; and
money to some, who she is most assured will lay it out with care. And
she has moreover _mortified_, as the Scots call it, one hundred and
fifty pounds as a fund for loans, without interest, of five, ten,
or fifteen, but not exceeding twenty pounds, to answer some present
exigence in some honest families, who find the best security they can,
to repay it in a given time; and this fund, she purposes, as she grows
richer, she says, to increase; and estimates pleasantly her worth by
this sum, saying sometimes, "Who would ever have thought I should have
been worth one hundred and fifty pounds so soon? I shall be a rich
body in time." But in all these things, she enjoins secresy, which the
doctor has promised.

She told the doctor what Mr. Adams's office is in her family; and
hoped, she said, he would give her his sanction to it; assuring him,
that she thought it her duty to ask it, as she was one of his
flock, and he, on that account, her principal shepherd, which made a
spiritual relation between them, the requisites of which, on her part,
were not to be dispensed with. The good gentleman very cheerfully
and applaudingly gave his consent; and when she told him how well Mr.
Adams was provided for, and that she would apply to him to supply her
with a town chaplain, when she was deprived of him, he wished that the
other duties of his function (for he has a large parish) would permit
him to be the happy person himself, saying, that till she was supplied
to her mind, either he or his curate would take care that so laudable
a method should be kept up.

You will do me the justice, Madam, to believe, that I very cheerfully
join in my dear friend's Sunday duties; and I am not a little edified,
with the good example, and the harmony and good-will that this
excellent method preserves in the family.

I must own I never saw such a family of love in my life: for here,
under the eye of the best of mistresses, they twice every Sunday see
one another all together (as they used to do in the country), superior
as well as inferior servants; and Deb tells me, after Mrs. B. and I
are withdrawn, there are such friendly salutations among them, that
she never heard the like--"Your servant, good Master Longman:"--"Your
servant, Master Colbrand," cries one and another:--"How do you,
John?"--"I'm glad to see you, Abraham!"--"All blessedly met once
more!" cries Jonathan, the venerable butler, with his silver hairs, as
Mrs. B. always distinguishes him:--"Good Madam Jervis," cries another,
"you look purely this blessed day, thank God!" And they return
to their several vocations, so light, so easy, so pleased, so
even-tempered in their minds, as their cheerful countenances, as well
as expressions, testify, that it is a heaven of a house: and being
wound up thus constantly once a week, at least, like a good eight-day
clock, no piece of machinery that ever was made is so regular and
uniform as this family is.

What an example does this dear lady set to all who see her, know her,
and who hear of her; how happy they who have the grace to follow
it! What a public blessing would such a mind as hers be, could it be
vested with the robes of royalty, and adorn the sovereign dignity! But
what are the princes of the earth, look at them in every nation, and
what they have been for ages past, compared to this lady? who acts
from the impulses of her own heart, unaided in most cases, by
any human example. In short, when I contemplate her innumerable
excellencies, and that sweetness of temper, and universal benevolence,
which shine in every thing she says and does, I cannot sometimes help
looking upon her in the light of an angel, dropped down from heaven,
and received into bodily organs, to live among men and women, in order
to shew what the first of the species was designed to be.

And, here, is the admiration, that one sees all these duties performed
in such an easy and pleasant manner, as any body may perform them; for
they interfere not with any parts of the family management; but rather
aid and inspirit every one in the discharge of all their domestic
services; and, moreover, keep their minds in a state of preparation
for the more solemn duties of the day; and all without the least
intermixture of affectation, enthusiasm, or ostentation. O my dear
papa and mamma, permit me but to tarry here till I am perfect in all
these good lessons, and how happy shall I be!

As to the town, and the diversions of it, I shall not trouble you with
any accounts, as, from your former thorough knowledge of both, you
will want no information about them; for, generally speaking, all
who reside constantly in London, allow, that there is little other
difference in the diversions of one winter and another, than such
as are in clothes; a few variations of the fashions only, which are
mostly owing to the ingenious contrivances of persons who are to get
their bread by diversifying them.

Mrs. B. has undertaken to give Lady Davers an account of the matters
as they pass, and her sentiments on what she sees. There must be
something new in her observations, because she is a stranger to these
diversions, and unbiassed entirely by favour or prejudice; and so will
not play the partial critic, but give to a beauty its due praise, and
to a fault its due censure, according to that truth and nature which
are the unerring guides of her actions as well as sentiments. These I
will transcribe for you; and you'll be so good as to return them when
perused, because I will lend them, as I used to do her letters, to her
good parents; and so I shall give her a pleasure at the same time in
the accommodating them with the knowledge of all that passes, which
she makes it a point of duty to do, because they take delight in her
writings.

My papa's observation, that a woman never takes a journey but she
forgets something, is justified by me; for, with all my care, I have
left my diamond buckle, which Miss Nancy will find in the inner till
of my bureau, wrapt up in cotton; and I beg it may be sent me by the
first opportunity. With my humble duty to you both, my dear
indulgent papa and mamma, thanks for the favour I now rejoice in, and
affectionate respects to Miss Nancy (I wish she would love me as
well as I love her), and service to Mr. Murray, and all our good
neighbours, conclude _me your dutiful, and highly-favoured daughter_,

M. DARNFORD.

Mr. B. and Mrs. B, desire their compliments of congratulation to Mr.
and Mrs. Peters, on the marriage of their worthy niece; also to your
honoured selves they desire their kind respects and thanks for the
loan of your worthless daughter. I experience every hour some new
token of their politeness and affection; and I make no scruple
to think I am with such a brother, and such a sister as any happy
creature may rejoice in, and be proud of. Mr. B. I cannot but repeat,
is a charming husband, and a most polite gentleman. His lady is always
accusing herself to me of awkwardness and insufficiency; but not a
soul who sees her can find it out; she is all genteel ease; and the
admiration of every one who beholds her. Only I tell her, with such
happiness in possession, she is a little of the gravest sometimes.



LETTER LIII

_From Mrs. B. to Lady Davers._

MY GOOD LADY,

You command me to acquaint you with the proceedings between Mr. Murray
and Miss Nanny Darnford: and Miss Polly makes it easy for me to obey
you in this particular, and in very few words; for she says, every
thing was adjusted before she came away, and the ceremony, she
believes, may be performed by this time. She rejoices that she was
out of the way of it: for, she says, love is so awkward a thing to
Mr. Murray, and good-humour so uncommon an one to Miss Nancy, that she
hopes she shall never see such another courtship.

We have been at the play-house several time; and, give me leave to
say, Madam, (for I have now read as well as seen several), that I
think the stage, by proper regulations, might be made a profitable
amusement.--But nothing more convinces one of the truth of the common
observation, that the best things, corrupted, prove the worst, than
these representations. The terror and compunction for evil deeds,
the compassion for a just distress, and the general beneficence which
those lively exhibitions are so capable of raising in the human mind,
might be of great service, when directed to right ends, and induced by
proper motives: particularly where the actions which the catastrophe
is designed to punish, are not set in such advantageous lights, as
shall destroy the end of the moral, and make the vice that ought to be
censured, imitable; where instruction is kept in view all the way, and
where vice is punished, and virtue rewarded.

But give me leave to say, that I think there is hardly one play I
have seen, or read hitherto, but has too much of love in it, as that
passion is generally treated. How unnatural in some, how inflaming in
others, are the descriptions of it!--In most, rather rant and fury,
like the loves of the fiercer brute animals, as Virgil, translated
by Dryden, describes them, than the soft, sighing, fearfully hopeful
murmurs, that swell the bosoms of our gentler sex: and the respectful,
timorous, submissive complainings of the other, when the truth of the
passion humanizes, as one may say, their more rugged hearts.

In particular, what strange indelicates do these writers of tragedy
often make of our sex! They don't enter into the passion at all, if I
have any notion of it; but when the authors want to paint it strongly
(at least in those plays I have seen and read) their aim seems to
raise a whirlwind, as I may say, which sweeps down reason, religion,
and decency; and carries every laudable duty away before it; so that
all the examples can serve to shew is, how a disappointed lover may
rage and storm, resent and revenge.

The play I first saw was the tragedy of _The Distressed Mother;_ and a
great many beautiful things I think there are in it: but half of it is
a tempestuous, cruel, ungoverned rant of passion, and ends in
cruelty, bloodshed, and desolation, which the truth of the story
not warranting, as Mr. B. tells me, makes it the more pity, that
the original author (for it is a French play, translated, you know,
Madam), had not conducted it, since it was his choice, with less
terror, and with greater propriety, to the passions intended to be
raised, and actually raised in many places.

But the epilogue spoken after the play, by Mrs. Oldfield, in the
character of Andromache, was more shocking to me, than the most
terrible parts of the play; as by lewd and even senseless _double
entendre_, it could be calculated only to efface all the tender, all
the virtuous sentiments, which the tragedy was designed to raise.

The pleasure this gave the men was equally barbarous and insulting;
all turning to the boxes, pit, and galleries, where ladies were, to
see how they looked, and stood an emphatical and too-well pronounced
ridicule, not only upon the play in general, but upon the part of
Andromache in particular, which had been so well sustained by an
excellent actress; and I was extremely mortified to see my favourite
(and the only perfect) character debased and despoiled, and the widow
of Hector, prince of Troy, talking nastiness to an audience, and
setting it out with all the wicked graces of action, and affected
archness of look, attitude, and emphasis.

I stood up--"Dear Sir!--Dear Miss!" said I.

"What's the matter, my love?" said Mr. B. smiling.

"Why have I wept the distresses of the injured Hermione?" whispered I:
"why have I been moved by the murder of the brave Pyrrhus, and shocked
by the madness of Orestes! Is it for this? See you not Hector's
widow, the noble Andromache, inverting the design of the whole play,
satirizing her own sex, but indeed most of all ridiculing and shaming,
in _my_ mind, that part of the audience, who can be delighted with
this vile epilogue, after such scenes of horror and distress?"

He was pleased to say, smiling, "I expected, my dear, that your
delicacy, and Miss Darnford's too, would be shocked on this
preposterous occasion. I never saw this play, rake as I was, but the
impropriety of the epilogue sent me away dissatisfied with it, and
with human nature too: and you only see, by this one instance, what a
character that of an actor or actress is, and how capable they are to
personate any thing for a sorry subsistence."

"Well, but, Sir," said I, "are there not, think you, extravagant
scenes and characters enough in most plays to justify the censures
of the virtuous upon them, that the wicked friend of the author must
crown the work in an epilogue, for fear the audience should go away
improved by the representation? It is not, I see, always narrowness of
spirit, as I have heard some say, that opens the mouths of good people
against these diversions."

In this wild way talked I; for I was quite out of patience at this
unnatural and unexpected piece of ridicule, tacked to so serious a
play, and coming after such a moral.

Here is a specimen, my dear lady, of my observations on the first
play I saw. How just or how impertinent, I must leave to your better
judgment. I very probably expose my ignorance and folly in them, but I
will not say presumption, because you have put me upon the task, which
otherwise I should hardly have attempted. I have very little reason
therefore to blame myself on this score; but, on the contrary, if I
can escape your ladyship's censure, have cause to pride myself in the
opportunity you have thereby given me to shew my readiness to obey
you; and the rather, since I am sure of your kindest indulgence,
now you have given me leave to style myself _your ladyship's obliged
sister, and humble servant,_

P.B.



LETTER LIV

MY DEAR LADY,

I gave you in my last my bold remarks upon a TRAGEDY-_The Distressed
Mother_. I will now give you my shallow notions of a COMEDY--_The
Tender Husband_.

I liked this part of the title; though I was not pleased with the
other, explanatory of it; _Or--The Accomplished Fools_. But when I
heard it was written by Sir Richard Steele, and that Mr. Addison had
given some hints towards it, if not some characters--"O, dear Sir,"
said I, "give us your company to this play; for the authors of the
Spectator cannot possibly produce a faulty scene."

Mr. B. indeed smiled; for I had not then read the play: and the Earl
of F., his countess, Miss Darnford, Mr. B. and myself, agreed to
meet with a niece of my lord's in the stage-box, which was taken on
purpose.

There seemed to me to be much wit and satire in the play: but, upon my
word, I was grievously disappointed as to the morality of it; nor,
in some places, is--_probability_ preserved; and there are divers
speeches so very free, that I could not have expected to meet with
such, from the names I mentioned.

In short the author seems to have forgotten the moral all the way; and
being put in mind of it by some kind friend (Mr. Addison, perhaps),
was at a loss to draw one from such characters and plots as he had
produced; and so put down what came uppermost, for the sake of custom,
without much regard to propriety. And truly, I should think, that
the play was begun with a design to draw more amiable characters,
answerable to the title of _The Tender Husband_; but that the author,
being carried away by the luxuriancy of a genius, which he had not
the heart to prune, on a general survey of the whole, distrusting
the propriety of that title, added the under one: with an OR, _The
Accomplished Fools_, in justice to his piece, and compliment to his
audience. Had he called it _The Accomplished Knaves_, I would not have
been angry at him, because there would have been more propriety in the
title.

I wish I could, for the sake of the authors, have praised every scene
of this play: I hoped to have reason for it. Judge then, my dear
lady, my mortification, not to be able to say I liked above one,
the _Painter's scene_, which too was out of time, being on the
wedding-day; and am forced to disapprove of every character in it, and
the views of every one. I am, dear Madam, _your most obliged sister
and servant_,

P.B.



LETTER LV

My Dear Lady,

Although I cannot tell how you received my observations on the tragedy
of _The Distressed Mother_, and the comedy of _The Tender Husband_,
yet will I proceed to give your ladyship my opinion of the opera I was
at last night.

But what can I say, after mentioning what you so well know, the fine
scenes, the genteel and splendid company, the charming voices, and
delightful music?

If, Madam, one were all ear, and lost to every sense but that of
harmony, surely the Italian opera would be a transporting thing!--But
when one finds good sense, and instruction, and propriety, sacrificed
to the charms of sound, what an unedifying, what a mere temporary
delight does it afford! For what does one carry home, but the
remembrance of having been pleased so many hours by the mere vibration
of air, which, being but sound, you cannot bring away with you; and
must therefore enter the time passed in such a diversion, into the
account of those blank hours, from which one has not reaped so much as
one improving lesson?

Mr. B. observes, that when once sound is preferred to sense, we shall
depart from all our own worthiness, and, at best, be but the apes,
yea, the dupes, of those whom we may strive to imitate, but never can
reach, much less excel.

Mr. B. says, sometimes, that this taste is almost the only good fruit
our young nobility gather, and bring home from their foreign tours;
and that he found the English nation much ridiculed on this score, by
those very people who are benefited by their depravity. And if this
be the best, what must the other qualifications be, which they bring
home?--Yet every one does not return with so little improvement, it is
to be hoped.

But what can I say of an Italian opera?--For who can describe sound!
Or what words shall be found to embody air? And when we return, and
are asked our opinion of what we have seen or heard, we are only able
to answer, as I hinted above the scenery is fine, the company
splendid and genteel, the music charming for the time, the action
not extraordinary, the language unintelligible, and, for all these
reasons--the instruction none at all.

This is all the thing itself gives me room to say of the Italian
opera; very probably, for want of a polite taste, and a knowledge of
the language.

In my next, I believe, I shall give you, Madam, my opinion of a
diversion, which, I doubt, I shall like still less, and that is a
masquerade; for I fear I shall not be excused going to one, although
I have no manner of liking to it, especially in my present way. I am.
Madam, _your ladyship's most obliged and faithful_ P.B.

I must add another half sheet to this letter on the subject matter
of it, the opera; and am sure you will not be displeased with the
addition.

Mr. B. coming up just as I had concluded my letter, asked me what was
my subject? I told him I was giving your ladyship my notions of the
Italian opera. "Let me see what they are, my dear; for this is a
subject that very few of those who admire these performances, and
fewer still of those who decry them, know any thing of."

He read the above, and was pleased to commend it. "Operas," said he,
"are very sad things in England, to what they are in Italy; and the
translations given of them abominable: and indeed, our language will
not do them justice.

"Every nation, as you say, has its excellencies; and ours should not
quit the manly nervous sense, which is the distinction of the English
drama. One play of our celebrated Shakespeare will give infinitely
more pleasure to a sensible mind than a dozen English-Italian operas.
But, my dear, in Italy, they are quite another thing: and the sense is
not, as here, sacrificed so much to the sound, but that they are both
very compatible."

"Be pleased, Sir, to give me your observations on this head in
writing, and then I shall have something to send worthy of Lady
Davers's acceptance."

"I will, my dear;" and he took a pen, and wrote the inclosed; which
I beg your ladyship to return me; because I will keep it for my
instruction, if I should be led to talk of this subject in company.
"Let my sister know," said he, "that I have given myself no time to
re-peruse what I have written. She will do well, therefore, to correct
it, and return it to you."

"In Italy, judges of operas are so far from thinking the drama or
poetical part of their operas nonsense, as the unskilled in Italian
rashly conclude in England, that if the Libretto, as they call it, is
not approved, the opera, notwithstanding the excellence of the music,
will be condemned. For the Italians justly determine, that the very
music of an opera cannot be complete and pleasing, if the drama be
incongruous, as I may call it, in its composition, because, in order
to please, it must have the necessary contrast of the grave and the
light, that is, the diverting equally blended through the whole. If
there be too much of the first, let the music be composed ever so
masterly in that style, it will become heavy and tiresome; if the
latter prevail, it will surfeit with its levity: wherefore it is the
poet's business to adapt the words for this agreeable mixture: for the
music is but secondary, and subservient to the words; and if there be
an artful contrast in the drama, there will be the same in the music,
supposing the composer to be a skilful master.

"Now, since in England, the practice has been to mutilate, curtail,
and patch up a drama in Italian, in order to introduce favourite airs,
selected from different authors, the contrast has always been broken
thereby, without every one's knowing the reason: and since ignorant
mercenary prompters, though Italians, have been employed in
hotch-potch, and in translating our dramas from Italian into English,
how could such operas appear any other than incongruous nonsense?"

Permit me, dear Madam, to repeat my assurances, that I am, and must
ever be, _your obliged sister and servant_,

P.B.



LETTER LVI

Well, now, my dear lady, I will give you my poor opinion of a
masquerade, to which Mr. B. persuaded me to accompany Miss Darnford;
for, as I hinted in my former, I had a great indifference, or rather
dislike, to go, and Miss therefore wanted so powerful a second, to get
me with her; because I was afraid the freedoms which I had heard were
used there, would not be very agreeable to my apprehensive temper, at
_this_ time especially.

But finding Mr. B. chose to have me go, if, as he was pleased to say,
I had no objection, "I said, I _will_ have none, I _can_ have none,
when you tell me it is your choice; and so send for the habits you
like, and that you would have me appear in, and I will cheerfully
attend you."

The habit Mr. B. pitched upon was that of a Spanish Don, and it well
befitted the majesty of his person and air; and Miss Darnford chose
that of a young Widow; and Mr. B. recommended that of a Quaker for
me. We all admired one another in our dresses; and Mr. B. promising to
have me always in his eye, we went thither.

But I never desire to be present at another. Mr. B. was singled out by
a bold Nun, who talked Italian to him with such free airs, that I did
not much like it, though I knew not what she said; for I thought the
dear gentleman no more kept to his Spanish gravity, than she to the
requisites of the habit she wore: when I had imagined that all that
was tolerable in a masquerade, was the acting up to the character each
person assumed: and this gave me no objection to the Quaker's dress;
for I thought I was prim enough for that naturally.

I said softly, "Dear Miss Darnford" (for Mr. B. and the Nun were
out of sight in a moment), "what is become of that Nun?"--"Rather,"
whispered she, "what is become of the Spaniard?"

A Cardinal attacked me instantly in French; but I answered in English,
not knowing what he said, "Quakers are not fit company for Red-hats."

"They are," said he, in the same language; "for a Quaker and a Jesuit
is the same thing."

Miss Darnford was addressed by the name of the Sprightly Widow:
another asked, how long she intended to wear those weeds? And a
footman, in a rich livery, answered for her eyes, through her mask,
that it would not be a month.

But I was startled when a Presbyterian Parson came up, and bid me look
after my Musidorus--So that I doubted not by this, it must be one who
knew my name to be Pamela; and I soon thought of one of my lawyers,
whose characters I gave before.

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
thee?"

"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
with you."

"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
went.

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
thou makest!"

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 assemblée, 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
Jack-pudding, neither!"

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
surrounded."

"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
that purpose.

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_,

P.B.



LETTER LVII

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
beloved daughter.

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_,

P.B.



LETTER LVIII

_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
sister_,

B. DAVERS.

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.



LETTER LIX

_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
omissions.

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_,

P.B.



LETTER LX

_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
happy!

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
may suppose.

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
ever!

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
home--

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_

POLLY DARNFORD.



LETTER LXI

_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
time._

_"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
surname.

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
bosom.

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
room.

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

POLLY DARNFORD.



LETTER LXII

_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_,

P. DARNFORD.



LETTER LXIII

_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
health.

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
to-morrow."

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
in."

"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
at?"

"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
obligation.



LETTER LXIV

_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_,

B. DAVERS.



LETTER LXV

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.



LETTER LXVI

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



LETTER LXVII

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.



LETTER LXVIII

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
it.



LETTER LXIX

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
wicked masquerades!

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
charge you."

"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
to town.

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.
B.

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
bad consequences.

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
it."

"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
bear that?"

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--"

"_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--"

"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
mentioned above.

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.



LETTER LXX

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
England.

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.



LETTER LXXI

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
appear in.

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
and gone!

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_,

P.B.



LETTER LXXII

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
in _mine_."

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
this emotion?"

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
together.

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
pair!"

"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
an emphasis.

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
Countess.

"Yes," thought I, "much rather than my dear naughty gentleman should
any other."

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
this.

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
interesting event.

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,
I doubt."

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
could not.

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
the Viscountess.

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
company thither."

"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
season."

"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
so."

"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
than ever.

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_,

P.B.



LETTER LXXIII

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.

"DEAR SIR,

"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
favourable parting.

"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_,

"P.B."

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.

"MY DEAR,

"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
affectionate_, &c."

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.

"Who's that?"

"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
sceptre!"

He took my hand: "I hope, my dear, by this tragedy speech, we are not
to expect any sad catastrophe to our present misunderstanding."

"I hope not, Sir. But 'tis all as God and you shall please. I am
resolved to do my duty, Sir, if possible. But, indeed, I cannot bear
this cruel suspense! Let me know what is to become of me. Let me
know but what is designed for me, and you shall be sure of all the
acquiescence that my duty and conscience can give to your pleasure."

"What _means_ the dear creature? What _means my_ Pamela? Surely, your
head, child, is a little affected!"

"I can't tell, Sir, but it may!--But let me have my trial, that you
write about. Appoint my day of hearing, and speedily too; for I would
not bear such another month, as the last has been, for the world."

"Come, my dear," said he, "let me attend you to your chamber. But your
mind has taken much too solemn a turn, to enter further now upon this
subject. Think as well of me as I do of you, and I shall be as happy
as ever."

I wept, "Be not angry, dear Sir: your kind words have just the same
effect upon me now, as in the afternoon."

"Your apprehensions, my dear, must be very strong, that a kind word,
as you call it, has such an effect upon you! But let us wave the
subject for a few days, because I am to set out on a little journey at
four, and had not intended to go to bed, for so few hours."

When we came up, I said, "I was very bold. Sir, to break in upon you;
but I could not help it, if my life had been the forfeit; and you
received me with more goodness than I could have expected. But will
you pardon me, if I ask, whither you go so soon? And if you had
intended to have gone without taking leave of me?"

"I go to Tunbridge, my dear. I should have stept up and taken leave of
you before I went."

"Well, Sir, I will not ask you, who is of your party: I will not--No,"
(putting my hand to his lips) "don't tell me. Sir: it mayn't be
proper."

"Don't fear, my dear; I won't tell you: nor am I certain whether it
be _proper_ or not, till we are come to a better understanding. Only,
once more, think as well of me as I do of you."

"Would to Heaven," thought I, "there was the same reason for the one
as for the other!"

I intended (for my heart was full) to enter further into this subject,
so fatal to my repose: but the dear gentleman had no sooner laid his
head on the pillow, but he fell asleep, or feigned to do so, and that
was as prohibitory to my talking as if he had. So I had all my own
entertaining reflections to myself; which gave me not one wink of
sleep; but made me of so much service, as to tell him, when the clock
struck four, that he should not (though I did not say so, you may
think, Madam) make my ready rivaless (for I doubted not her being one
of the party) wait for him.

He arose, and was dressed instantly; and saluting me, bid me be easy
and happy, while it was _yet_ in my own power.

He said, he should be back on Saturday night, as he believed. And I
wished him, most fervently, I am sure, health, pleasure, and safety.

Here, Madam, must I end this letter. My next, will, perhaps contain my
trial, and my sentence: God give me but patience and resignation, and
then whatever occurs, I shall not be unhappy: especially while I
can have, in the last resource, the pleasure of calling myself _your
ladyship's most obliged sister and servant_,

P.B.

       *       *       *       *       *



LETTER LXXIV

My dear Lady,

I will be preparing to write to you, as I have opportunity,
not doubting but this must be a long letter; and having some
apprehensions, that, as things may fall out, I may want either head
or heart to write to your ladyship, were I to defer it till the
catastrophe of this cruel suspense.

O what a happiness am I sunk from!--And in so few days too! O the
wicked masquerades!

The following letter, in a woman's hand, and signed, as you'll see, by
a woman's name, and spelt as I spell it, will account to your ladyship
for my beginning so heavily. It came by the penny-post.

"Madame,

"I ame unknowne to yowe; but yowe are not so altogathar to mee, becaus
I haue bene edefy'd by yowre pius behafiorr att church, whir I see
yowe with playsir everie Sabbaoth day. I ame welle acquaintid with the
famely of the Coumptesse of---; and yowe maie passiblie haue hard what
you wished not to haue hard concerninge hir. Butt this verie
morninge, I can assur yowe, hir ladishippe is gon with yowre spowse to
Tonbrigge; and theire they are to take lodgings, or a hous; and Mr. B.
is after to come to town, and settel matters to go downe to hir, where
they are to liue as man and wiffe. Make what use yowe pleas of thiss
informasion: and belieue me to haue no other motife, than to serue
yowe, becavs of yowre vartues, whiche make yowe deserue a better
retorne, I am, thof I shall not set my trewe name, _yowre grete
admirer and seruant_,

"THOMASINE FULLER.

"Wednesday morninge,

"9 o'clock."

Just above I called my state, a state of _cruel suspense_. But I
recall the words: for now it is no longer suspense; since, if this
letter says truth, I know the worst: and there is too much appearance
that it does, let the writer be who he will, or his or her motive what
it will: for, after all, I am apt to fancy this a contrivance of Mr.
Turner's, though, for fear of ill consequences, I will not say so.

And now, Madam, I am endeavouring, by the help of religion, and cool
reflection, to bring my mind to bear this heavy evil, and to recollect
what I _was_, and how much more honourable an estate I _am in_, than
I could ever have expected to be in; that my virtue and good name are
secured; and I can return innocent to my dear parents: and these were
once the only pride of my heart.

In addition to what I was then (and yet I pleased myself with my
prospects, poor as they were), I have honest parents, bountifully
provided for, thank God and your ever-dear brother for this
blessing!--and not only provided for--but made useful to him, to the
amount of their provision, well-nigh! There is a pride, my lady!

Then I shall have better conditions from his generosity to support
myself, than I can wish for, or make use of.

Then I have my dear Billy-O be contented, too charming, and too happy
rival, with my husband; and tear not from me my dearest baby, the
pledge, the beloved pledge, of our happier affections, and the dear
remembrance of what I once was!--A thousand pleasing prospects, that
had begun to dawn on my mind, I can bear to have dissipated! But I
cannot, indeed I cannot! permit my dear Mr. B.'s son and heir to be
torn from me.

But I am running on in a strain that shews my impatience, rather than
my resignation; yet some struggles must be allowed me: I could not
have loved, as I love, if I could easily part with my interest in so
beloved a husband.--For my interest I _will_ part with, and sooner
die, than live with a gentleman who has another wife, though I was
the first. Let countesses, if they can, and ladies of birth, choose to
humble themselves to this baseness. The low-born Pamela cannot stoop
to it. Pardon me; you know I only write this with a view to this poor
lady's answer to her noble uncle, of which you wrote me word.

FRIDAY

Is now concluding. I hope I am much calmer. For, being disappointed,
in all likelihood, in twenty agreeable schemes and projects, I am now
forming new ones, with as much pleasure to myself as I may.

I am thinking to try to get good Mrs. Jervis with me. You must not,
Madam, be too much concerned for me. After a while, I shall be no
unhappy person; for though I was thankful for my splendid fortunes,
and should have been glad, to be sure I should, of continuing in them,
with so dear a gentleman; yet a high estate had never such dazzling
charms with me as it has with some: if it had, I could not have
resisted so many temptations, possibly, as God enabled me to resist.

SATURDAY NIGHT

Is now come. 'Tis nine, and no Mr. B.--"O why," as Deborah makes the
mother of Sisera say, "is his chariot so long in coming? Why tarry the
wheels of his chariot?"

I have this note now at eleven o'clock:

"MY DEAREST PAMELA,

"I dispatch the messenger, lest, expecting me this night, you should
be uneasy. I shall not be with you till Monday, when I hope to dine
with my dearest life. _Ever affectionately yours_."

So I'll go up and pray for him, and then to bed.--Yet 'tis a sad
thing!--I have had but poor rest for a great while; nor shall have
any till my fate is decided.--Hard-hearted man, he knows under what
uneasiness he left me!

MONDAY, ELEVEN.

If God Almighty hears my yesterday's, and indeed my hourly, prayers,
the dear man will be good still; but my aching heart, every time I
think what company he is in (for I find the Countess is _certainly_
one of the party), bodes me little satisfaction.

He's come! He's come! now, just now, come! I will have my trial over
before this night be past, if possible. I'll go down and meet him with
love unfeigned, and a duty equal to my love, although he may forget
his to me. If I conquer myself on this occasion, I conquer nature,
as your ladyship says: and then, by God's grace, I can conquer every
thing. They have taken their house, I suppose: but what need they,
when they'll have one in Bedfordshire, and one in Lincolnshire? But
they know best. God bless him, and reform her! That's all the harm I
wish them, or will wish them!

My dear Mr. B. has received me with great affection and tenderness.
Sure he cannot be so bad!--Sure he cannot!

"I know, my dear," said he, "I left you in great anxiety; but 'tis an
anxiety you have brought upon yourself; and I have not been easy ever
since I parted from you."

"I am sorry for it, Sir."

"Why, my dear love, there is still a melancholy air in your
countenance: indeed, it seems mingled with a kind of joy; I hope at
my return to you. But 'tis easy to see which of the two is the most
natural."

"You should see nothing. Sir, that you would not wish to see, if I
could help it."

"I am sorry you cannot. But I am come home to hear all your
grievances, and to redress them, if in my power."

"When, Sir, am I to come upon my trial? I have much to say. I will
tell you everything I think. And, as it may be the last _grievances_,
as you are pleased to call them, I may ever trouble you with, you must
promise to answer me not one word till I have done. For, if it does
but hold, I have great courage, indeed I you don't know half the
sauciness that is in your girl yet; but when I come upon my trial,
you'll wonder at my boldness."

"What means my dearest?" taking me into his arms. "You alarm me
exceedingly, by this moving sedateness."

"Don't let it alarm you. Sir! I mean nothing but good!--But I have
been preparing myself to tell you all my mind. And as an instance of
what you may expect from me, sometimes, Sir, I will be your judge,
and put home questions to you; and sometimes you shall be mine, and at
last pronounce sentence upon me; or, if you won't, I will upon myself;
a severe one to me, it shall be, but an agreeable one, perhaps, to
you!--When comes on the trial. Sir?"

He looked steadily upon me, but was silent. And I said, "But don't
be afraid, Sir, that I will invade your province; for though I shall
count myself your judge, in some cases, you shall be judge paramount
still."

"Dear charmer of my heart," said he, and clasped me to his bosom,
"what a _new_ PAMELA have I in my arms! A mysterious charmer! Let us
instantly go to my closet, or yours, and come upon our mutual trial;
for you have fired my soul with impatience!"

"No, Sir, if you please, we will dine first. I have hardly eaten any
thing these four days; and your company may give me an appetite. I
shall be pleased to sit down at table with you. Sir," taking his hand,
and trying to smile upon him; "for the moments I have of your company,
may be, some time hence, very precious to my remembrance."

I was then forced to turn my head, to hide from him my eyes, brimful
as they were of tears.

He took me again into his arms:--"My dearest Pamela, if you love me,
distract not my soul thus, by your dark and mysterious speeches. You
are displeased with _me_, and I thought I had reason, of late, to take
something amiss in _your_ conduct; but, instead of your suffering by
my anger, you have words and an air that penetrate my very soul."

"O Sir, Sir, treat me not thus kindly! Put on an angrier brow, or how
shall I retain my purpose? How shall I!"

"Dear, dear creature! make not use of _all_ your power to melt me!
_Half_ of it is enough. For there is eloquence in your eyes I cannot
resist; but in your present solemn air, and affecting sentences, you
mould me to every purpose of your heart; so that I am a mere machine,
a passive instrument, to be played upon at your pleasure."

"Dear, kind Sir, how you revive my heart, by your goodness! Perhaps
I have only been in a frightful dream, and am but just now
awakened.--But we will not anticipate our trial. Only, Sir, give
orders, that you are not to be spoken with by any body, when we have
dined; for I must have you all to myself, without interruption."

Just as I had said this, a gentleman calling, I retired to my chamber,
and wrote to this place.

Mr. B. dismissed his friend, without asking him to dine; so I had
him all to myself at dinner--But we said little, and sat not above a
quarter of an hour; looking at each other: he, with impatience, and
some seeming uneasiness; I with more steadiness, I believe, but now
and then a tear starting.

I eat but little, though I tried all I could, and especially as he
helped me, and courted me with tenderness and sweetness--O why were
ever such things as _masquerades_ permitted in a Christian nation!

I chose to go into _my_ closet rather than into _his_; and here I
sit, waiting the dear gentleman's coming up to me. If I keep but my
courage, I shall be pleased. I know the worst, and that will help
me; for he is too noble to use me roughly, when he sees I mean not to
provoke him by upbraidings, any more than I will act, in this case,
beneath the character I ought to assume as his wife.

Mr. B. came up, with great impatience in his looks. I met him at the
chamber door, with a very sedate countenance, and my heart was
high with my purpose, and supported me better than I could have
expected.--Yet, on recollection, now I impute to myself something
of that kind of magnanimity, that was wont to inspire the innocent
sufferers of old, for a still worthier cause than mine; though their
motives could hardly be more pure, in that one hope I had, to be an
humble means of saving the man I love and honour, from errors that
might be fatal to his soul.

I took his hand with boldness:--"Dear Sir," leading him to my closet,
"here is the bar at which I am to take my trial," pointing to the
backs of three chairs, which I had placed in a joined row, leaving
just room to go by on each side. "You must give me, Sir, all my own
way; this is the first, and perhaps the last time, that I shall desire
it.--Nay, dear Sir," turning my face from him, "look not upon me with
an eye of tenderness: if you do I may lose my purposes, important to
me as they are; and however fantastic my behaviour may seem to you,
I want not to move your passions (for the good impressions made upon
them may be too easily dissipated by the winds of _sense_,) but
_your reason_; and if that can be done, I am safe, and shall fear no
relapse."

"What means all this parade, my dear? Let me perish," that was his
word, "if I know how to account for _you_, or your _humour_."

"You _will_, presently. Sir. But give me all my ways--I pray you
do--This one time only!"

"Well, so, this is your bar, is it? There's an elbow-chair, I see;
take your place in it, Pamela, and here I'll stand to answer all your
questions."

"No, Sir, that must not be." So I boldly led him to the elbow-chair.
"You are the judge, Sir; it is I that am to be tried. Yet I will not
say I am a criminal. I know I am not. But that must be proved, Sir,
you know."

"Well, take your way; but I fear for your head, my dear, in all this."

"I fear only my heart, Sir, that's all! but there you must sit--So
here," (retiring to the three chairs, and leaning on the backs,) "here
I stand."

"And now, my dearest Mr. B., you must begin first; you must be my
accuser, as well as my judge."

"I have nothing to accuse you of, my dear, if I _must_ give in to your
moving whimsy. You are everything I wish you to be. But for the last
month you have seemed to be uneasy, and have not done me the justice
to acquaint me with your reasons for it."

"I was in hopes my reasons might have proved to be no reasons; and I
would not trouble you with my ungrounded apprehensions. But now, Sir,
we are come directly to the point; and methinks I stand here as Paul
did before Felix; and like that poor prisoner, if I, Sir, reason of
_righteousness, temperance_, and _judgment to come_, even to make you,
as the great Felix did, tremble, don't put me off to _another day_,
to a _more convenient season_, as that governor did Paul; for you must
bear patiently with all that I have to say."

"Strange, uncommon girl I how unaccountable is all this!--Pr'ythee,
my dear," and he pulled a chair by him, "come and sit down by me, and
without these romantic airs let me hear all you have to say; and teaze
me not with this parade."

"No, Sir, let me stand, if you please, while I can stand; when weary I
will sit down at my bar.

"Now, Sir, since you are so good as to say, you have nothing but
change of temper to accuse me of, I am to answer to that, and assign a
cause; and I will do it without evasion or reserve; but I beseech you
say not one word but Yes or No, to my questions, till I have said
all I have to say, and then you shall find me all silence and
resignation."

"Well, my strange dear!--But sure your head is a little turned!--What
is your question?"

"Whether, Sir, the Nun--I speak boldly; the cause requires it--who
followed you at the Masquerade every where, is not the Countess of--?"

"What then, my dear:" (speaking with quickness,)--"I _thought_ the
occasion of your sullenness and reserve was this!--But, Pamela--"

"Nay, Sir," interrupted I, "only Yes, or No, if you please: I will be
all silence by-and-by."

"Yes, then."--"Well, Sir, then let me tell you, for I _ask_ you not
(it may be too bold in me to multiply questions,) that she _loves_
you; that you correspond by letters with her--Yes, Sir, _before_ that
letter from her ladyship came, which you received from my hand in
so short and angry a manner, for fear of my curiosity to see its
contents, which would have been inexcusable in me, I own, if I had.
You have talked over to her all your polygamy notions, and she seems
so well convinced of them, as to declare to her noble uncle (who
expostulated with her on the occasions she gave for talk,) that she
had rather be a certain gentleman's second wife, than the first to the
greatest man in England: and you are but just returned from a journey
to Tunbridge, in which that lady was a party; and the motive for it, I
am acquainted with, by this letter."

He was displeased, and frowned: I looked down, being resolved not to
be terrified, if I could help it.

"I have cautioned you, Pamela----"

"I know you have, Sir," interrupted I; "but be pleased to answer me.
Has not the Countess taken a house or lodgings at Tunbridge?"

"She has; and what then?"

"And is her ladyship there, or in town?"

"_There_--and what then?"

"Are you to go to Tunbridge, Sir, soon, or not?--Be pleased to answer
but that one question."

"I _will_ know," rising up in anger, "your informants, Pamela."

"Dear Sir, so you shall, in proper time: you shall know all, when I am
convinced, that your wrath will not be attended with bad consequences
to yourself and others. That is wholly the cause of my reserve in this
point; for I have not had a thought, since I have been yours, that I
wished to be concealed from you.--But your knowledge of the informants
makes nothing at all as to the truth of the information--Nor will I
press you too home. I doubt not, you are soon to return to Tunbridge?"

"I _am_, and what then?--Must the consequence be crime enough to
warrant your jealousy?"

"Dear Sir, don't be so angry," still looking down; for I durst not
trust myself to look up. "I don't do this, as your letter charged me,
in a spirit of matrimonial recrimination: if you don't _tell_ me, that
you see the Countess with pleasure, I _ask_ it not of you; nor have I
anything to say by way of upbraiding. 'Tis my misfortune, that she is
too lovely, and too attractive: and it is the less wonder, that a fine
young gentleman as you are, and a fine young lady as she is, should
engage one another's affections.

"I knew every thing, except what this letter which you shall read
presently, communicates, when you brought the two noble sisters to
visit me: hence proceeded my grief; and should I, Sir, have deserved
to be what I am, if I was _not_ grieved? Religion has helped me, and
God has answered my supplications, and enabled me to act this new
uncommon part before you at this imaginary bar. You shall see, Sir,
that as, on one hand, I want not, as I said before, to move your
passions in my favour; so, on the other, I shall not be terrified by
your displeasure, dreaded by me as it used to be, and as it will be
again, the moment that my raised spirits sink down to their usual
level, or are diverted from this my long meditated purpose, to tell
you all my mind.

"I repeat, then, Sir, that I knew all this, when the two noble sisters
came to visit your poor girl, and to see your Billy. Yet, _grave_ as
the Countess called me, (dear Sir! might I not well be grave, knowing
what I knew?) did I betray any impatience of speech or action, or any
discomposure?

"No, Sir," putting my hand on my breast, "_here_ all my discomposure
lay, vehemently struggling, now and then, and wanting that vent of my
eyes, which it seems (overcome by my joy, to hear myself favourably
spoken of by you and the lady,) it _too soon_ made itself. But I could
not help it--You might have seen. Sir, I could not!

"But I want neither to recriminate nor expostulate; nor yet, Sir, to
form excuses for my general conduct; for that you accuse not in the
main--but be pleased, Sir, to read this letter. It was brought by the
penny-post, as you'll see by the mark. Who the writer is, I know not.
And did _you_, Sir, that knowledge, and your resentment upon it, will
not alter the fact, or give it a more favourable appearance."

I stepped to him, and giving him the letter, came back to my bar, and
sat down on one of the chairs while he read it, drying my eyes; for
they would overflow as I talked, do what I could.

He was much moved at the contents of this letter; called it malice,
and hoped he might find out the author of it, saying, he would
advertise 500 guineas reward for the discoverer.

He put the letter in his pocket, "Well, Pamela, you believe all you
have said, no doubt: and this matter has a black appearance, indeed,
if you do. But who was your _first_ informant?--Was that by letter or
personally? That Turner, I doubt not, is at the bottom of all this.
The vain coxcomb has had the insolence to imagine the Countess would
favour an address of his; and is enraged to meet with a repulse; and
has taken liberties upon it, that have given birth to all the scandals
scattered about on this occasion. Nor do I doubt but he has been the
Serpent at the ear of my Eve."

I stood up at the bar, and said, "Don't be too hasty, Sir, in your
judgment--You _may_ be mistaken."

"But _am_ I mistaken, Pamela?--You never told me an untruth in cases
the most important to you to conceal. _Am_ I mistaken?"

"Dear Sir, if I should tell you it is _not_ Mr. Turner, you'll guess
at somebody else: and what avails all this to the matter in hand? You
are your own master, and must stand or fall by your own conscience.
God grant that _that_ may acquit you!--But my intention is not either
to accuse or upbraid you."

"But, my dear, to the fact then:--This is a malicious and a villainous
piece of intelligence, given you, perhaps, for the sake of designs and
views, that may not yet be proper to be avowed."

"By God's grace, Sir, I defy all designs and views of any one, upon my
honour!"

"But, my dear, the charge is basely false: we have not agreed upon any
such way of life."

"Well, Sir, all this only proves, that the intelligence may be a
little premature. But now let me, Sir, sit down one minute, to recover
my failing spirits, and then I'll tell you all I purpose to do, and
all I have to say, and that with as much brevity as I can, for fear
neither my head nor my heart should perform the part I have been so
long in endeavouring to prevail upon them to perform."

I sat down then, he taking out the letter, and reading it again with
much vexation and anger in his countenance; and after a few tears
and sobs, that would needs be so officious as to offer their service,
unbidden, and undesired, to introduce what I had to say; I rose up, my
feet trembling, as well as my knees; which, however, leaning against
the seats of the chairs, that made my bar, as my hand held by the
back, tolerably supported me, I cleared my voice, wiped my eyes, and
said:

"You have all the excuse, dear Mr. B., that a gentleman can have in
the object of your present passion."

"Present passion, Pamela!"

"Dear Sir, hear me without interruption.

"The Countess is a charming lady. She excels your poor girl in all
those outward graces of form, which your kind fancy (more valued by me
than the opinion of all the world besides) had made you attribute
to me. And she has all those additional advantages, as nobleness of
birth, of alliance, and deportment, which I want. (Happy for you, Sir,
that you had known her ladyship some months ago, before you disgraced
yourself by the honours you have done me!) This therefore frees you
from the aggravated crime of those, who prefer, to their own ladies,
less amiable and less deserving persons; and I have not the sting
which those must have, who are contemned and ill-treated for the sake
of their inferiors. Yet cannot the Countess love you better than your
girl loves you, not even for your person, which must, I doubt, be
_her_ principal attachment! when I can truly say, all noble
and attracting to the outward eye as it is, that is the least
consideration by far with me: no, Sir, your generous and beneficent
mind, is the principal object of my affection; and my pride in hoping
to be an humble means, in the hands of Providence, to bless you
_hereafter_ as well as _here_, gave me more pleasure than all the
blessings I reaped from your name or your fortune. Judge then, my
dearest Mr. B., my grief and disappointment.

"But I will not expostulate: I _will not_, because it _must_ be to no
purpose; for could my fondness, and my watchful duty to you, have kept
you steady, I should not now appear before you in this solemn manner:
and I know the charms of my rival are too powerful for me to contend
with. Nothing but divine grace can touch your heart: and that I expect
not, from the nature of the case, should be instantaneous.

"I will therefore. Sir, dear as you are to me--(Don't look with such
tender surprise upon me!) give up your person to the happier, to my
_worthier_ rival. For since such is your will, and seem to be your
engagements, what avails it to me to oppose them?

"I have only to beg, that you will be so good as to permit me to
go down to Kent, to my dear parents, who, with many more, are daily
rejoicing in your favour and bounty. I will there" (holding up my
folded hands) "pray for you every hour of my life; and for every one
who shall be dear to you, not excepting the charming Countess.

"I will never take your name into my lips, nor suffer any other in
my hearing, but with reverence and gratitude, for the good I and mine
_have_ reaped at your hands: nor wish to be freed from my obligations
to you, except you shall choose to be divorced from me; and if so
I will give your wishes all the forwardness I honourably can, with
regard to my own character and yours, and that of your beloved baby.

"But you must give me something worth living for along with you; your
Billy and mine!--Unless it is your desire to kill me quite! and then
'tis done, and nothing will stand in your happy Countess's way, if
you tear from my arms my _second_ earthly good, after I am deprived of
you, my first.

"I will there, Sir, dedicate all my time to my first duties; happier
far, than once I could have hoped to be! And if, by any accident, and
misunderstanding between you, you should part by consent, and you
will have it so, my heart shall be ever yours, and my hopes shall be
resumed of being an instrument still for your future good, and I will
receive your returning ever-valued heart, as if nothing had happened,
the moment I can be sure it will be wholly mine.

"For, think not, dear Sir, whatever be your notions of polygamy,
that I will, were my life to depend upon it, consent to live with a
gentleman, dear as, God is my witness," (lifting up my tearful eyes)
"you are to me, who lives in what I cannot but think open sin with
another! You _know_, Sir, and I appeal to you for the purity, and I
will aver piety of my motives, when I say this, that I _would not_;
and as you do know this, I cannot doubt but nay proposal will be
agreeable to you both. And I beg of you, dear Sir, to take me at my
word; and don't let me be tortured, as I have been so many weeks, with
such anguish of mind, that nothing but religious considerations can
make supportable to me."

"And are you in earnest, Pamela?" coming to me, and folding me in his
arms over the chair's back, the seat of which supported my trembling
knees, "Can you so easily part with me?"

"I can, Sir, and I will!--rather than divide my interest in you,
knowingly, with any lady upon earth. But say not, can I part with you.
Sir; it is you that part with me: and tell me, Sir, tell me but what
you had intended should become of me?"

"You talk to me, my dearest life, as if all you had heard against
me was true; and you would have me answer you, (would you?) as if it
was."

"I want nothing to convince me, Sir, that the Countess loves you:
you know the rest of my information: judge for me, what I can, what I
ought to believe!--You know the rumours of the world concerning you:
Even I, who stay so much at home, and have not taken the least pains
to find out my wretchedness, nor to confirm it, since I knew it, have
come to the hearing of it; and if you know the licence taken with both
your characters, and yet correspond so openly, must it not look to me
that you value not your honour in the world's eye, nor my lady hers? I
told you, Sir, the answer she made to her uncle."

"You told me, my dear, as you were told. Be tender of a lady's
reputation--for your own sake. No one is exempted from calumny; and
even words said, and the occasion of saying them not known, may bear
a very different construction from 'what they would have done, had the
occasion been told."

"This may be all true. Sir: I wish the lady would be as tender of her
reputation as I would be, let her injure me in your affections as she
will. But can you say, Sir, that there is nothing between you, that
should _not_ be, according to _my_ notions of virtue and honour, and
according to your _own_, which I took pride in, before that fatal
masquerade?

"You answer me not," continued I; "and may I not fairly presume you
cannot as I wish to be answered? But come, dearest Sir," (and I put
my arms around his neck) "let me not urge you too boldly. I will never
forget your benefits, and your past kindnesses to me. I have been a
happy creature: no one, till within these few weeks, was ever so happy
as I. I will love you still with a passion as ardent as ever I loved
you. Absence cannot lessen such a love as mine: I am sure it cannot.

"I see your difficulties. You have gone too far to recede. If you can
make it easy to your conscience, I will wait with patience my happier
destiny; and I will wish to live (if I can be convinced you wish me
not to die) in order to pray for you, and to be a directress to the
first education of my dearest baby.

"You sigh, dear Sir; repose your beloved face next to my fond heart.
'Tis all your own: and ever shall be, let it, or let it not, be worthy
of the honour in your estimation.

"But yet, my dear Mr. B., if one could as easily, in the prime of
sensual youth, look twenty years backward, what an empty vanity, what
a mere nothing, will be all those grosser satisfactions, that now give
wings of desire to our debased appetites!

"Motives of religion will have their due force upon _your_ mind one
day, I hope; as, blessed be God, they have enabled _me_ to talk to you
on such a touching point (after infinite struggles, I own,) with so
much temper and resignation; and then, my dearest Mr. B., when we come
to that last bed, from which the piety of our friends shall lift us,
but from which we shall never be able to raise ourselves; for, dear
Sir, your Countess, and you, and your poor Pamela, must all come to
this!--we shall find what it is will give us true joy, and enable us
to support the pangs of the dying hour. Think you, my dearest Sir,"
(and I pressed my lips to his forehead, as his head was reclined on
my throbbing bosom,) "that _then_, in that important moment, what
now gives us the greatest pleasure, will have any part in our
consideration, but as it may give us woe or comfort in the reflection?

"But I will not, O best beloved of my soul, afflict you farther. Why
should I thus sadden all your gaudy prospects? I have said enough to
such a heart as yours, if Divine grace touches it. And if not, all I
can say will be of no avail!--I will leave you therefore to that, and
to your own reflections. And after giving you ten thousand thanks for
your indulgent patience with me, I will only beg, that I may set out
in a week for Kent, with my dear Billy; that you will receive one
letter at least, from me, of gratitude and blessings; it shall not be
of upbraidings and exclamations.

"But my child you must not deny me; for I shall haunt, like his
shadow, every place wherein you shall put my Billy, if you should be
so unkind to deny him to me!--And if you will permit me to have the
dear Miss Goodwin with me, as you had almost led me to hope, I will
read over all the books of education, and digest them, as well as I am
able, in order to send you my scheme, and to show you how fit, I hope
your _indulgence_, at least, will make you think me, of having two
such precious trusts reposed in me!"

I was silent, waiting in tears his answer. But his generous heart was
touched, and seemed to labour within him for expression.

He came round to me at last, and took me in his arms; "Exalted
creature!" said he: "noble-minded Pamela! Let no bar be put between
us henceforth! No wonder, when one looks back to your first promising
dawn of excellence, that your fuller day should thus irresistibly
dazzle such weak eyes as mine. Whatever it costs me, and I have been
inconsiderately led on by blind passion for an object too charming,
but which I never thought equal to my Pamela, I will (for it is yet,
I bless God, in my power), restore to your virtue a husband all your
own."

"O Sir, Sir," (and I should have sunk with joy, had not his kind arms
supported me,) "what have you said?--Can I be so happy as to behold
you innocent as to deed! God, of his infinite goodness, continue you
both so!--And, Oh! that the dear lady would make me as truly love her,
for the graces of her mind, as I admire her for the advantages of her
person!"

"You are virtue itself, my dearest life; and from this moment I will
reverence you as my tutelary angel. I shall behold you with awe, and
implicitly give up myself to all your dictates: for what you _say_,
and what you _do_, must be ever right. But I will not, my dearest
life, too lavishly promise, lest you should think it the sudden
effects of passions thus movingly touched, and which may subside
again, when the soul, as you observed in your own case, sinks to its
former level: but this I promise (and I hope you believe me, and will
pardon the pain I have given you, which made me fear more than once,
that your head was affected, so _uncommon_, yet so like _yourself_,
has been the manner of your acting,) that I will break off a
correspondence that has given you so much uneasiness: and my Pamela
may believe, that if I can be as good as my word in this point, she
will never more be in danger of any rival whatever.

"But say, my dear love," added he, "say you forgive me; and resume but
your former cheerfulness, and affectionate regards to me, else I shall
suspect the sincerity of your forgiveness: and you shall indeed go to
Kent, but not without me, nor your boy neither; and if you insist upon
it, the poor child you have wished so often and so generously to have,
shall be given up absolutely to your disposal."

Do you think. Madam, I could speak any one distinct sentence? No
indeed I could not. I was just choked with my joy; I never was so
before. And my eyes were in a manner fixed, as he told me afterwards;
and that he was a little startled, seeing nothing but the whites; for
the sight was out of its orbits, in a manner lifted up to heaven--in
ecstasy for a turn so sudden, and so unexpected!

We were forced to separate soon after; for there was no bearing each
other, so excessive was my Joy, and his goodness. He left me, and went
down to his own closet.

Judge my employment you will, I am sure, my dear lady. I had new
ecstasy to be blest with, in a thankfulness so exalted, that it left
me all light and pleasant, as if I had shook off body, and trod in
air; so much heaviness had I lost, and so much joy had I received.
From two such extremes, how was it possible I could presently hit the
medium? For when I had given up my beloved husband, as lost to me, and
had dreaded the consequences to his future state: to find him not only
untainted as to deed, but, in all probability, mine upon better and
surer terms than ever--O, Madam! must not this give a joy beyond all
joy, and surpassing all expression!

About eight o'clock Mr. B. sent me up these lines from his closet,
which will explain what I meant, as to the papers I must beg your
ladyship to return me.

"My dear Pamela,

"I have so much real concern at the anguish I have given you, and am
so much affected with the recollection of the uncommon scenes which
passed between us, just now, that I write, because I know not how
to look so excellent a creature in the face--You must therefore sup
without me, and take your Mrs. Jervis to bed with you; who, I doubt
not, knows all this affair; and you may tell her the happy event.

"You must not interfere with me just now, while writing upon a subject
which takes up all my attention; and which, requiring great delicacy,
I may, possibly, be all night before I can please myself in it.

"I am determined to make good my promise to you. But if you have
written to your mother, Miss Darnford, or to Lady Davers, anything of
this affair, you must shew me the copies, and let me into every tittle
how you came by your information. I solemnly promise you, on my honour
(that has not yet been violated to you, and I hope never will), that
not a soul shall know or suffer by the communication, not even Turner;
for I am confident he has had some hand in it. This request you must
comply with, if you can confide in me; for I shall make some use of it
(as prudent a one as I am able), for the sake of every one concerned,
in the conclusion of the correspondence between the lady and myself.
Whatever you may have said in the bitterness of your heart, in the
letters I require to see, or whatever any of those, to whom they
are directed, shall say, on the bad prospect, shall be forgiven, and
looked upon as deserved, by your _ever-obliged and faithful_, &c."

I returned the following:

"Dearest, dear Sir,

"I will not break in upon you, while you are so importantly employed.
Mrs. Jervis has indeed seen my concern for some time past, and has
heard rumours, as I know by hints she has given me; but her prudence,
and my reserves, have kept us from saying anything to one another of
it. Neither my mother nor Miss Darnford know a tittle of it from me.
I have received a letter of civility from Miss, and have answered it,
taking and giving thanks for the pleasure of each other's company, and
best respects from her, and the Lincolnshire families, to your dear
self. These, my copy, and her original, you shall see when you please.
But, in truth, all that has passed, is between Lady Davers and me, and
I have not kept copies of mine; but I will dispatch a messenger to her
ladyship for them, if you please, in the morning, before it is light,
not doubting your kind promise of excusing everything and everybody.

"I beg, dear Sir, you will take care your health suffers not by your
sitting up; for the nights are cold and damp.

"I will, now you have given me the liberty, let Mrs. Jervis know how
happy you have made me, by dissipating my fears, and the idle rumours,
as I shall call them to her, of calumniators.

"God bless you, dear Sir, for your goodness and favour to _your
ever-dutiful_

P.B."

He was pleased to return me this:

"MY DEAR LIFE,

"You need not be in such haste to send. If you write to Lady Davers
how the matter has ended, let me see the copy of it: and be very
particular in your, or rather, my trial. It shall be a standing lesson
to me for my future instruction; as it will be a fresh demonstration
of your excellence, which every hour I more and more admire. I am glad
Lady Davers only knows the matter. I think I ought to avoid seeing
you, till I can assure you, that every thing is accommodated to your
desire. Longman has sent me some advices, which will make it proper
for me to meet him at Bedford or Gloucester. I will not go to
Tunbridge, till I have all your papers; and so you'll have three
days to procure them. Your boy, and your penmanship, will find you
no disagreeable employment till I return. Nevertheless, on second
thoughts, I will do myself the pleasure of breakfasting with you in
the morning, to re-assure you of my unalterable purpose to approve
myself, _my dearest life, ever faithfully yours."_

Thus, I hope, is happily ended this dreadful affair. My next shall
give the particulars of our breakfast conversation. But I would not
slip this post, without acquainting you with this blessed turn; and to
beg the favour of you to send me back my letters; which will lay a
new obligation upon, _dear Madam, your obliged sister, and humble
servant,_ P.B.



LETTER LXXV

MY DEAREST LADY,

Your joyful correspondent has obtained leave to get every thing: ready
to quit London by Friday next, when your kind brother promises to
carry me down to Kent, and allows me to take my charmer with me.
There's happiness for you, Madam! To see, as I hope I shall see, upon
one blessed spot, a dear faithful husband, a beloved child, and a
father and mother, whom I so much love and honour!

Mr. B. told me this voluntarily, this morning at breakfast; and then,
in the kindest manner, took leave of me, and set out for Bedfordshire.

But I should, according to my promise, give you a few particulars of
our breakfast conference.

I bid Polly withdraw, when her master came up to breakfast; and I ran
to the door to meet him, and threw myself on my knees: "O forgive
me, dearest, dear Sir, all my boldness of yesterday!--My heart was
strangely affected--or I could not have acted as I did. But never
fear, my dearest Mr. B., that my future conduct shall be different
from what it used to be, or that I shall keep up to a spirit, which
you hardly thought had place in the heart of your dutiful Pamela, till
she was thus severely tried."--"I have weighed well your conduct, my
dear life," raising me to his bosom; "and I find an uniformity in it,
that is surprisingly just."

He led me to the tea-table, and sat down close by me. Polly came in.
"If every thing," said he, "be here, that your lady wants, you may
withdraw; and let Colbrand and Abraham know I shall be with them
presently. Nobody shall wait upon me but you, my dear." Polly
withdrew.

"I always _loved_ you, my dearest," added he, "and that with a
passionate fondness, which has not, I dare say, many examples in the
married life: but I _revere_ you now. And so great is my reverence for
your virtue, that I chose to sit up all night, to leave you for a few
days, until, by disengaging myself from all intercourses that have
given you uneasiness, I can convince you, that I have rendered myself
as worthy as I can be, of you upon your own terms. I will account to
you for every step I _shall_ take, and will reveal to you every step
I have taken: for this I _can_ do, because the lady's honour is
untainted, and wicked rumour has treated her worse than she could
deserve."

I told him, that since _he_ had named the lady, I would take the
liberty to say, I was glad, for her own sake, to hear that. Changing
the subject a little precipitately, as if it gave him pain, he told
me, as above, that I might prepare on Friday for Kent; and I parted
with him with greater pleasure than ever I did in my life. So
necessary sometimes are afflictions, not only to teach one how to
subdue one's passions, and to make us, in our happiest states, know
we are still on earth, but even when they are overblown to augment and
redouble our joys!

I am now giving orders for my journey, and quitting this undelightful
town, as it has been, and is, to me. My next will be from Kent, I
hope; and I may then have an opportunity to acquaint your ladyship
with the particulars, and (if God answers my prayers), the conclusion
of the affair, which has given me so much uneasiness.

Meantime, I am, with the greatest gratitude, for the kind share you
have taken in my past afflictions, my good lady, _your ladyship's most
obliged sister and servant_,

P.B.



LETTER LXXVI

My dearest Pamela,

Inclosed are all the letters you send for. I rejoice with you upon
the turn this afflicting affair has taken, through your inimitable
prudence, and a courage I thought not in you. A wretch!--to give you
so much discomposure!--But I will not, if he be good now, rave against
him, as I was going to do. I am impatient to hear what account he
gives of the matter. I hope he will be able to abandon this--I won't
call her names; for she loves the wretch; and that, if he be just to
_you_, will be her punishment.

What care ought these young widows to take of their reputation?--And
how watchful ought they to be over themselves!--She was hardly out of
her weeds, and yet must go to a masquerade, and tempt her fate, with
all her passions about her, with an independence, and an affluence of
fortune, that made her able to think of nothing but gratifying them.

She has good qualities--is generous--is noble--but has strong
passions, and is thoughtless and precipitant.

My lord came home last Tuesday, with a long story of my brother and
her: for I had kept the matter as secret as I could, for his sake and
yours. It seems he had it from Sir John----, uncle to the young Lord
C., who is very earnest to bring on a treaty of marriage between
her and his nephew, who is in love with her, and is a fine young
gentleman; but has held back, on the liberties she has lately given
herself with my brother.

I hope she is innocent, as to fact; but I know not what to say to it.
He ought to be hanged, if he did not say she was. Yet I have great
opinion of his veracity: and yet he is so bold a wretch!--And her
inconsideration is so great!

But lest I should alarm your fears, I will wait till I have the
account he gives you of this dark affair; till when, I congratulate
you upon the leave you have obtained to quit the town, and on your
setting out for a place so much nearer to Tunbridge. Forgive me,
Pamela; but he is an intriguing wretch, and I would not have you to be
too secure, lest the disappointment should be worse for you, than
what you knew before: but assure yourself, that I am in all cases and
events, _your affectionate sister and admirer_,

B. DAVERS.



LETTER LXXVII

_From Mrs. B. to Lady Davers._

MY DEAREST LADY,

Mr. B. came back from Bedfordshire to his time. Every thing being in
readiness, we set out with my baby, and his nurse. Mrs. Jervis,
when every thing in London is settled by her direction, goes to
Bedfordshire.

We were met by my father and mother in a chaise and pair, which your
kind brother had presented to them unknown to me, that they might
often take the air together, and go to church in it (which is at some
distance) on Sundays. The driver is clothed in a good brown cloth
suit, but no livery; for that my parents could not have borne, as Mr.
B.'s goodness made him consider.

Your ladyship must needs think, how we were all overjoyed at this
meeting: for my own part I cannot express how much I was transported
when we arrived at the farm-house, to see all I delighted in, upon one
happy spot together.

Mr. B. is much pleased with the alterations here: and it is a sweet,
rural, and convenient place.

We were welcomed into these parts by the bells, and by the minister,
and people of most note; and were at church together on Sunday.

Mr. B. is to set out on Tuesday for Tunbridge, with my papers. A happy
issue, attend that affair, I pray God! He has given me the following
particulars of it, to the time of my trial, beginning at the
masquerade.

He says, that at the masquerade, when, pleased with the fair Nun's
shape, air and voice, he had followed her to a corner most unobserved,
she said in Italian, "Why are my retirements invaded, audacious
Spaniard?"--"Because, my dear Nun, I hope you would have it so."

"I can no otherwise," returned she, "strike dead thy bold presumption,
than to shew thee my scorn and anger thus!"--"And she unmasking
surprised me," said Mr. B., "with a face as beautiful, but not so
soft as my Pamela's."--"And I," said Mr. B., "to shew I can defy
your resentment, will shew you a countenance as intrepid as yours is
lovely." And so he drew aside his mask too.

He says, he observed his fair Nun to be followed wherever she went, by
a mask habited like Testimony in Sir Courtly Nice, whose attention was
fixed upon her and him; and he doubted not, that it was Mr. Turner.
So he and the fair Nun took different ways, and he joined me and Miss
Darnford, and found me engaged as I before related to your ladyship,
and his Nun at his elbow unexpected.

That afterwards as he was engaged in French with a lady who had the
dress of an Indian Princess, and the mask of an Ethiopian, his fair
Nun said, in broken Spanish, "Art thou at all complexions?--By St.
Ignatius, I believe thou'rt a rover!"

"I am trying," replied he in Italian, "whether I can meet with any
lady comparable to my lovely Nun."

"And what is the result?"--"Not one: no not one."--"I wish you could
not help being in earnest," said she; and slid from him.

He engaged her next at the sideboard, drinking under her veil a glass
of Champaign. "You know, Pamela," said he, "there never was a sweeter
mouth in the world than the Countess's except your own." She drew away
the glass, as if unobserved by any body, to shew me the lower part of
her face.

"I cannot say, but I was struck with her charming manner, and an
unreservedness of air and behaviour, that I had not before seen so
becoming. The place, and the freedom of conversation and deportment
allowed there, gave her great advantages in my eye, although her habit
required, as I thought, a little more gravity and circumspection: and
I could not tell how to resist a secret pride and vanity, which is but
too natural to both sexes, when they are taken notice of by persons so
worthy of regard.

"Naturally fond of every thing that carried the face of an intrigue, I
longed to know who this charming Nun was. And next time I engaged
her, 'My good sister,' said I, 'how happy should I be, if I might be
admitted to a conversation with you at your grate!'

"'Answer me,' said she, 'thou bold Spaniard,' (for that was a name
she seemed fond of, which gave me to imagine, that boldness was a
qualification she was not displeased with. 'Tis not unusual
with our vain sex," observed he, "to construe even reproaches
to our advantage,") 'is the lady here, whose shackles thou
wearest?'--'Do I look like a man shackled, my fairest Nun?'--'No--no!
not much like such an one. But I fancy thy wife is either a _Widow_
or a _Quaker_.'--'Neither,' replied I, taking, by equivocation, her
question literally.

"'And art thou not a married wretch? Answer me quickly!--We are
observed.'--'No,' said I.--'Swear to me, thou art not.'--'By St.
Ignatius, then;' for, my dear, I was no _wretch_, you know.--'Enough!'
said she, and slid away; and the Fanatic would fain have engaged her,
but she avoided him as industriously.

"Before I was aware, she was at my elbow, and, in Italian, said, 'That
fair Quaker, yonder, is the wit of the assemblée; her eyes seem always
directed to thy motions; and her person shews some intimacies have
passed with somebody; is it with thee?'--'It would be my glory if
it was,' said I, 'were her face answerable to her person.'--'Is
it not?'--'I long to know,'" replied Mr. B.--"I am glad thou dost
not."--"I am glad to hear my fair Nun say that."--"Dost thou," said
she, "hate shackles? Or is it, that thy hour is not yet come?"

"I wish," replied he, "this be not the hour, the very hour!"
pretending (naughty gentleman!--What ways these men have!) to sigh.

She went again to the side-board, and put her handkerchief upon it.
Mr. B. followed, and observed all her motions. She drank a glass of
lemonade, as he of Burgundy; and a person in a domino, supposed to be
the King, passing by, took up every one's attention but Mr. B.'s who
eyed her handkerchief, not doubting but she laid it there on purpose
to forget to take it up. Accordingly she left it there; and slipping
by him, he, unobserved, as he believes, put it in his pocket, and at
the corner found the cover of a letter--"To the Right Honourable the
Countess Dowager of ----"

That after this, the fair Nun was so shy, so reserved, and seemed
so studiously to avoid him, that he had no opportunity to return her
handkerchief; and the Fanatic observing how she shunned him, said, in
French, "What, Monsieur, have you done to your Nun?"

"I found her to be a very coquette; and told her so; and she is
offended."

"How could you affront a lady," replied he, "with such a _charming
face?_

"By that I had reason to think," said Mr. B., "that he had seen her
unmask; and I said, 'It becomes not any character, but that you
wear, to pry into the secrets of others, in order to make ill-natured
remarks, and perhaps to take ungentlemanlike advantages.'"

"No man should make that observation," returned he, "whose views would
bear prying into."

"I was nettled," said Mr. B., "at this warm retort, and drew aside my
mask: 'Nor would any man, who wore not a mask, tell me so!'

"He took not the challenge, and slid from me, and I saw him no more
that night."

"So!" thought I, "another instance this might have been of the
glorious consequences of masquerading." O my lady, these masquerades
are abominable things!

The King, they said, met with a free speaker that night: in truth,
I was not very sorry for it; for if monarchs will lay aside their
sovereign distinctions, and mingle thus in masquerade with the worst
as well as the highest (I cannot say _best_) of their subjects, let
'em take the consequence. Perhaps they might have a chance to hear
more truth here than in their palaces--the only good that possibly can
accrue from them--that is to say, if they made a good use of it when
they heard it. For you see, my monarch, though he told the truth,
as it happened, received the hint with more resentment than
thankfulness!--So, 'tis too likely did the monarch of us both.

And now, my lady, you need not doubt, that so polite a gentleman would
find an opportunity to return the Nun her handkerchief!--To be sure
he would: for what man of honour would rob a lady of any part of her
apparel? And should he, that wanted to steal a heart content himself
with a handkerchief?--No no, that was not to be expected. So, what
does he do, but resolve, the very next day, after dinner, to pursue
this affair: accordingly, the poor Quaker little thinking of the
matter, away goes her naughty Spaniard, to find out his Nun at her
grate, or in her parlour rather.

He asks for the Countess. Is admitted into the outward parlour--her
woman comes down; requires his name and business. His name he
mentioned not. His business was, to restore into her lady's own hands,
something she had dropt the night before.--Was desired to wait.

I should have said, that he was dressed very richly--having no
design at all to make conquests; no, not he!--O this wicked love
of intrigue!--A kind of olive-coloured velvet, and fine brocaded
waistcoat. I said, when he took leave of me, "You're a charming Mr.
B.," and saluted him, more pressingly than he returned it; but little
did I think, when I plaited so smooth his rich laced ruffles, and
bosom, where he was going, or what he had in his plotting heart. He
went in his own chariot, that he did: so that he had no design to
conceal who he was--But intrigue, a new conquest, vanity, pride!--O
these men!--They had need talk of ladies!--But it is half our own
fault, indeed it is, to encourage their vanity.

Well, Madam, he waited till his stateliness was moved to send up
again, that he would wait on her ladyship some other time. So down she
came, dressed most richly, jewels in her breast, and in her hair,
and ears--But with a very reserved and stately air. He approached
her--Methinks I see him, dear saucy gentleman. You know, Madam, what a
noble manner of address he has.

He took the handkerchief from his bosom with an air; and kissing it,
presented it to her, saying, "This happy estray, thus restored, begs
leave, by me, to acknowledge its lovely owner!"

"What mean you, Sir?--Who are you, Sir?--What mean you?"

"Your ladyship will excuse me: but I am incapable of meaning any thing
but what is honourable."--(_No, to be sure_)--"This, Madam, you left
last night, when the domino took up every one's attention but mine,
which was much better engaged; and I take the liberty to restore it to
you."

She turned to the mark; a coronet at one corner, "'Tis true, Sir, I
see now it is one of mine: but such a trifle was not worthy of being
brought by such a gentleman as you seem to be; nor of my trouble to
receive it in person. Your servant, Sir, might have delivered the
bagatelle to mine."--"Nothing should be called so that belongs to
the Countess of ----"--"She was no Countess, Sir, that _dropt_
that handkerchief, and a gentleman would not attempt to penetrate,
_unbecomingly_, through the disguises a lady thinks proper to assume;
especially at such a place where every enquiry should begin and end."

This, Madam, from a lady, who had unmasked--because _she would not
be known_!--Very pretty, indeed!--Oh! these slight cobweb airs of
modesty! so easily seen through. Hence such advantages against us are
taken by the men. She had looked out of her window, and seen no arms
quartered with his own; for you know, my lady, I would never permit
any to be procured for me: so, she doubted not, it seems, but he was
an unmarried gentleman, as he had intimated to her the night before.
He told her it was impossible, after having seen the finest lady in
the world, not to wish to see her again; and that he hoped he did not,
_unbecomingly_, break through her ladyship's reserves: nor had he made
any enquiries, either on the spot, or off it; having had a much better
direction by accident.

"As how, Sir?" said she, as he told me, with so bewitching an air,
between attentive and pleasant, that, bold gentleman, forgetting
all manner of distance, so early too! he clasped his arms around her
waist, and saluted her, struggling with anger and indignation, he
says; but I think little of that!

"Whence this insolence? How, now, Sir! Begone!" were her words, and
she rung the bell; but he set his back against the door--(I never
heard such boldness in my life, Madam!)--till she would forgive him.
And, it is plain, she was not so angry as she pretended: for her woman
coming, she was calmer;--"Nelthorpe," said she, "fetch my snuff box,
with the lavender in it."

Her woman went; and then she said, "You told me, Sir, last night, of
your intrepidness: I think you are the boldest man I ever met with:
but, Sir, surely you ought to know, that you are not now in the
Haymarket."

I think, truly, Madam, the lady might have saved herself that speech:
for, upon my word, they neither of them wore masks--Though they ought
to have put on one of blushes--I am sure I do for them, while I am
writing. Her irresistible loveliness served for an excuse, that
she could not disapprove from a man she disliked not: and his
irresistible--may I say, assurance, Madam?--found too ready an excuse.

"Well, but, Sir," said I, "pray, when her ladyship was made acquainted
that you were a married gentleman, how then?--Pray, did _she_ find it
out, or did _you_ tell her?"--"Patience, my dear!"--"Well pray, Sir,
go on.--What was next?"

"Why, next, I put on a more respectful and tender air: I would have
taken her hand indeed, but she would not permit it; and when she saw I
would not go till her lavender snuff came down (for so I told her, and
her woman was not in haste), she seated herself, and I sat by her,
and began to talk about a charming lady I saw the night before, after
parting with her ladyship, but not equal by any means to her: and I
was confident this would engage her attention; for I never knew the
lady who thought herself handsome, that was not taken by this topic.
Flattery and admiration, Pamela, are the two principal engines by
which our sex make their first approaches to yours; and if you listen
to us, we are sure, either by the sap or the mine, to succeed, and
blow you up when ever we please, if we do but take care to suit
ourselves to your particular foibles; or, to carry on the metaphor,
point our batteries to your weak side--for the strongest fortresses,
my dear, are weaker in one place than another."--"A fine thing, Sir,"
said I, "to be so learned a gentleman!"--"I wish, however," thought I,
"you had always come honestly by your knowledge."

"When the lavender snuff came down, we were engaged in an agreeable
disputation, which I had raised on purpose to excite her opposition,
she having all the advantage in it; and in order to my giving it up,
when she was intent upon it, as a mark of my consideration for her."

"I the less wonder, Sir," said I, "at your boldness (pardon the word!)
with such a lady, in your first visit, because of her freedoms, when
masked, her unmasking, and her handkerchief, and letter cover. To
be sure, the lady, when she saw, next day, such a fine gentleman and
handsome equipage, had little reason, after her other freedoms, to
be so very nice with you as to decline an ensnaring conversation,
calculated on purpose to engage her attention, and to lengthen out
your visit. But did she not ask you who you were?"

"Her servants did of mine. And her woman (for I knew all afterwards,
when we were better acquainted), whispered her lady, that I was Mr. B.
of Bedfordshire; and had an immense estate, to which they were so kind
as to add two or three thousand pounds a year, out of pure good will
to me: I thank them."

"But pray, dear Sir, what had you in view in all this? Did you intend
to carry this matter, at first, as far as ever you could?"--"I had, at
first, my dear, no view, but such as pride and vanity suggested to
me. I was carried away by inconsideration, and the love of intrigue,
without even thinking about the consequences. The lady, I observed,
had abundance of fine qualities. I thought I could converse with her,
on a very agreeable foot, and her honour I knew, at any time, would
preserve me mine, if ever I should find it in danger; and, in my soul,
I preferred my Pamela to all the ladies on earth, and questioned not,
but that, and your virtue, would be another barrier to my fidelity.

"In a word, therefore, pride, vanity, thoughtlessness, were my
misguiders, as I said. The Countess's honour and character, and
your virtue and merit, my dear, and my obligations to you, were my
defences: but I find one should avoid the first appearances of evil.
One knows not one's own strength. 'Tis presumptuous to depend upon it,
where wit and beauty are in the way on one side, and youth and strong
passions on the other."

"You certainly, Sir, say right. But be pleased to tell me what her
ladyship said when she knew you were married."--"The Countess's woman
was in my interest, and let me into some of her lady's secrets, having
a great share in her confidence; and particularly acquainted me,
how loth her lady was to believe I was married. I had paid her three
visits in town, and one to her seat upon the Forest, before she heard
that I was. But when she was assured of it, and directed her Nelthorpe
to ask me about it, and I readily owned it, she was greatly incensed,
though nothing but general civilities, and intimacies not inconsistent
with honourable friendship, had passed between us. The consequence
was, she forbad my ever seeing her again, and set out with her sister
and the Viscount for Tunbridge, where she staid about three weeks.

"I thought I had already gone too far, and blamed myself for
permitting her so long to believe me single; and here the matter had
dropped, in all probability, had not a ball, given by my Lord ----, to
which, unknown to each other, we were both, as also the Viscountess,
invited, brought us again together. The lady soon withdrew, with
her sister, to another apartment; and being resolved upon personal
recrimination (which is what a lady, who is resolved to break with a
favoured object, should never trust herself with,) sent for me, and
reproached me on my conduct, in which her sister joined.

"I owned frankly, that gaiety, rather than design, made me give cause,
at the masquerade, for her ladyship to think I was not married; for
that I had a wife, with a thousand excellencies, who was my pride,
and my boast: that I held it very possible for a gentleman and lady to
carry on an innocent and honourable friendship, in a _family_ way; and
I was sure, when she and her sister saw my spouse, they would not be
displeased with her acquaintance; all that I had to reproach myself
with, was, that after having, at the masquerade, given reason to
think I was not married, I had been both, _officiously_, to say I was,
although I never intended to conceal it. In short, I acquitted myself
so well with both ladies, that a family intimacy was consented to.
I renewed my visits; and we accounted to one another's honour, by
entering upon a kind of Platonic system, in which sex was to have no
manner of concern.

"But, my dear Pamela, I must own myself extremely blameable, because I
knew the world and human nature, I will say, better than the lady,
who never before had been trusted into it upon her own feet: and who,
notwithstanding that wit and vivacity which every one admires in her,
gave herself little time for consideration. I ought, therefore, to
have more carefully guarded against inconveniencies, which I knew were
so likely to arise from such intimacies; and the rather, as I hinted,
because the lady had no apprehension at all of any: so that, my dear,
if I have no excuse from human frailty, from youth, and the charms of
the object, I am entirely destitute of any."

"I see, Mr. B.," said I, "there is a great deal to be said for the
lady. I wish I could say there was for the gentleman. But such a fine
lady had been safe, with all her inconsideration; and so (forgive me.
Sir,) would the gentleman, with all his intriguing spirit, had it not
been for these vile masquerades. Never, dear Sir, think of going to
another."--"Why, my dear, those are least of all to be trusted at
these diversions, who are most desirous to go to them.--Of this I am
now fully convinced."--"Well, Sir, I long to hear more particulars of
this story: for this generous openness, now the affair is over, cannot
but be grateful to me, as it shews me you have no reserve, and tends
to convince me, that the lady was less blameable than I apprehended:
for I love, for the honour of my sex, to find ladies of birth and
quality innocent, who have so many opportunities of knowing and
practising their duties, above what meaner persons can have."

"Well observed, my dear: this is like your generous and deep way of
thinking."

"But, dear Sir, proceed--Your reconciliation is now effected; a
friendship quadripartite is commenced. And the Viscountess and I are
to find cement for the erecting of an edifice, that is to be devoted
to Platonic love. What, may I ask, came next? And what did you design
should come of it?"

"The Oxford journey, my dear, followed next; and it was my fault
you were not a party in it, both ladies being very desirous of your
company: but it was the time you were not going abroad, after your
lying-in, so I excused you to them. Yet they both longed to see you:
especially as by this time, you may believe, they knew all your story:
and besides, whenever you were mentioned, I did justice, as well to
your mind, as to your person."

"Well, Sir, to be sure this was very kind; and little was I disposed
(knowing what I did,) to pass so favourable a construction in your
generosity to me."

"My question to her ladyship at going away, whether you were not the
charmingest girl in the world, which seeing you both together, rich
as she was drest, and plain as you, gave me the double pleasure
(a pleasure she said afterwards I exulted in,) of deciding in your
favour; my readiness to explain to you what we both said, and her not
ungenerous answer, I thought entitled me to a better return than a
flood of tears; which confirmed me that your past uneasiness was a
jealousy I was not willing to allow in you: though I should have been
more indulgent to it had I known the grounds you thought you had for
it: and for this reason I left you so abruptly as I did."

Here, Madam, Mr. B. broke off, referring to another time the
conclusion of his narrative. I will here close this letter (though
possibly I may not send it, till I send the conclusion of this story
in my next,) with the assurance that I am _your ladyship's obliged
sister and servant_,

P.B.



LETTER LXXVIII

My dear lady,

Now I will proceed with my former subject: and with the greater
pleasure, as what follows makes still more in favour of the Countess's
character, than what went before, although that set it in a better
light than it had once appeared to me in. I began as follows:

"Will you be pleased, Sir, to favour me with the continuation of
our last subject?"--"I will, my dear."--"You left off, Sir, with
acquitting me for breaking out into that flood of tears, which
occasioned your abrupt departure. But, dear Sir, will you be pleased,
to satisfy me about that affecting information, of your intention and
my lady's to live at Tunbridge together?"

"'Tis absolute malice and falsehood. Our intimacy had not proceeded
so far; and, thoughtless as my sister's letters suppose the lady, she
would have spurned at such a proposal, I dare say."

"Well, but then, Sir, as to the expression to her uncle, that she had
rather have been a certain gentleman's second wife?"

"I believe she might, in a passion, say something like it to him: he
had been teazing her (from the time that I held an argument in favour
of that foolish topic _polygamy_, in his company and his niece's,
and in that of her sister and the Viscount,) with cautions against
conversing with a man, who, having, as he was pleased to say behind my
back, married beneath him, wanted to engage the affections of a lady
of birth, in order to recover, by doubling that fault upon her, his
lost reputation.

"She despised his insinuation enough to answer him, that she thought
my arguments in behalf of _polygamy_ were convincing. This set him a
raving, and he threw some coarse reflections upon her, which could not
be repeated, if one may guess at them, by her being unable to tell
me them; and then to vex him more, and to revenge herself, she said
something like what was reported: which was handle enough for her
uncle; who took care to propagate it with an indiscretion peculiar to
himself; for I heard it in three different companies, before I knew
any thing of it from herself; and when I did, it was so repeated, as
you, my dear, would hardly have censured her for it, the provocation
considered."

"Well, but then, dear Sir, there is nothing at all amiss, at this
rate, in the correspondence between my lady and you?"

"Not on her side, I dare say, if her ladyship can be excused to
punctilio, and for having a greater esteem for a married man, than
he can deserve, or than may be strictly defended to a person of your
purity and niceness."

"Well, Sir, this is very noble in you. I love to hear the gentlemen
generous in points where the honour of our sex is concerned. But pray.
Sir, what then was there on _your_ side, in that matter, that made you
give me so patient and so kind a hearing?"

"Now, my dear, you come to the point: at first it was nothing in me
but vanity, pride, and love of intrigue, to try my strength, where
I had met with some encouragement, as I thought, at the masquerade;
where the lady went farther, too, than she would have done, had she
not thought I was a single man. For, by what I have told you, Pamela,
you will observe, that she tried to satisfy herself on that head, as
soon as she well could. Mrs. Nelthorpe acquainted me afterwards, when
better known to each other, that her lady was so partial in my favour,
(who can always govern their fancies, my dear?) as to think, so early
as at the masquerade, that if every thing answered appearances,
and that I were a single man, she, who has a noble and independent
fortune, might possibly be induced to make me happy in her choice.

"Supposing, then, that I was unmarried, she left a signal for me in
her handkerchief. I visited her; had the honour, after the customary
first shyness, of being well received; and continued my visits, till,
perhaps, she would have been glad I had not been married, but on
finding I was, she avoided me, as I have told you, till the accident
I mentioned threw us again upon each other: which renewed our intimacy
upon terms you would think too inconsiderable on one side, and too
designing on the other.

"For myself, what can I say? only that you gave me great disgusts
(without cause, as I thought,) by your unwonted reception of me, ever
in tears and grief; the Countess ever cheerful and lively; and fearing
that your temper was entirely changing, I believe I had no bad excuse
to try to make myself easy and cheerful abroad, since my home became
more irksome to me than ever I believed it could be. Then, as we
naturally love those who love us, I had vanity, and some reason for my
vanity (indeed all vain men believe they have,) to think the Countess
had more than an indifference for me. She was so exasperated by the
wrong methods taken with an independent lady of her generous spirit,
to break off our acquaintance, that, in revenge, she denied me less
than ever opportunities of her company. The pleasure we took in each
other's conversation was reciprocal. The world's reports had united us
in one common cause: and you, as I said, had made home less delightful
to me than it used to be: what might not then have been apprehended
from so many circumstances concurring with the lady's beauty and my
frailty?

"I waited on her to Tunbridge. She took a house there. Where people's
tongues will take so much liberty, without any foundation, and where
the utmost circumspection is used, what will they not say, where so
little of the latter is observed? No wonder, then, that terms were
said to be agreed upon between us: from her uncle's story, of polygamy
proposed by me, and seemingly agreed to by her, no wonder that all
your Thomasine Fuller's information was surmised. Thus stood the
matter, when I was determined to give your cause for uneasiness a
hearing, and to take my measures according to what should result from
that hearing."

"From this account, dear Sir," said I, "it will not be so
difficult, as I feared, to end this affair even to her _ladyship's_
satisfaction."--"I hope not, my dear."--"But if, now, Sir, the
Countess should still be desirous not to break with you; from so
charming a lady, who knows what may happen!"

"Very true, Pamela; but to make you still easier, I will tell you
that her ladyship has a first cousin married to a person going with
a public character to several of the Italian courts, and, had it not
been for my persuasions, she would have accepted of their earnest
invitations, and passed a year or two in Italy, where she once resided
for three years together, which makes her so perfect a mistress of
Italian.

"Now I will let her know, additionally to what I have written to her,
the uneasiness I have given you, and, so far as it is proper, what is
come to your ears, and your generous account of her, and the charms
of her person, of which she will not be a little proud; for she has
really noble and generous sentiments, and thinks well (though her
sister, in pleasantry, will have it a little enviously,) of you; and
when I shall endeavour to persuade her to go, for the sake of her own
character, to a place and country of which she was always fond, I am
apt to think she will come into it; for she has a greater opinion
of my judgment than it deserves: and I know a young lord, who may be
easily persuaded to follow her thither, and bring her back his lady,
if he can obtain her consent: and what say you, Pamela, to this?"

"O, Sir! I believe I shall begin to love the lady dearly, and that is
what I never thought I should. I hope this will be brought about.

"But I see, give me leave to say, Sir, how dangerously you might
both have gone on, under the notion of this Platonic love, till
two precious souls had been lost: and this shews one, as well in
spirituals as temporals, from what slight beginnings the greatest
mischiefs sometimes spring; and how easily at first a breach may be
stopped, that, when neglected, the waves of passion will widen till
they bear down all before them."

"Your observation, my dear, is just," replied Mr. B., "and though, I
am confident the lady was more in earnest than myself in the notion of
Platonic love, yet I am convinced, and always was, that Platonic love
is Platonic nonsense: 'tis the fly buzzing about the blaze, till its
wings are scorched; or, to speak still stronger, it is a bait of the
devil to catch the unexperienced, and thoughtless: nor ought such
notions to be pretended to, till the parties are five or ten years
on the other side of their grand climateric: for age, old age, and
nothing else, must establish the barriers to Platonic love. But this
was my comparative consolation, though a very bad one, that had I
swerved, I should not have given the only instance, where persons more
scrupulous than I pretended to be, have begun friendships even with
spiritual views, and ended them as grossly as I could have done, were
the lady to have been as frail as her tempter."

Here Mr. B. finished his narrative. He is now set out for Tunbridge
with all my papers. I have no doubt in his honour and kind assurances,
and hope my next will be a joyful letter; and that I shall inform
you in it, that the affair which went so near my heart, is absolutely
concluded to my satisfaction, to Mr. B.'s and the Countess's; for if
it be so to all three, my happiness, I doubt not, will be founded on
a permanent basis. Meantime I am, my dear good lady, _your most
affectionate, and obliged sister and servant_,

P.B.



LETTER LXXIX

A new misfortune, my dear lady!--But this is of God Almighty's
sending; so I must bear it patiently. My dear baby is taken with the
small-pox!--To how many troubles are the happiest of us subjected
in this life! One need not multiply them by one's own wilful
mismanagements!--I am able to mind nothing else!

I had so much joy (as I told your ladyship in the beginning of my last
letter but one) to see, on our arrival at the farm-house, my dearest
Mr. B., my beloved baby, and my good parents, all upon one happy spot,
that I fear I was too proud--Yet I was truly thankful, I am sure!--But
I had, notwithstanding too much pride, and too much pleasure, on this
happy occasion.

I said, in my last, that your dear brother set out on Tuesday morning
for Tunbridge with my papers; and I longed to know the result, hoping
that every thing would be concluded to the satisfaction of all three:
"For," thought I, "if this be so, my happiness must be permanent:" but
alas! there is nothing permanent in this life. I feel it by experience
now!--I knew it before by theory: but that was not so near and
interesting by half.

For, with all my pleasures and hopes; in the midst of my dear parents'
joy and congratulations on our arrival, and on what had passed so
happily since we were last here together, (in the birth of the dear
child, and my safety, for which they had been so apprehensive,) the
poor baby was taken ill. It was on that very Tuesday his papa set
out for Tunbridge; but we knew not it would be the small-pox till
Thursday. O Madam! how are all the pleasures I had formed to myself
sickened now upon me! for my Billy is very bad.

They talk of a kind sort: but alas: they talk at random: for they come
not out at all!--I fear the nurse's constitution is too hale and too
rich for the dear baby!--Had _I_ been permitted--But hush, all my
repining _ifs!_--except one _if_; and that is, _if_ it be got happily
over, it will be best he had it so young, and while at the breast!--

Oh! Madam, Madam! the small appearance that there was is gone in
again: and my child, my dear baby, will die! The doctors seem to think
so.

They wanted to send for Mr. B. to keep me from him!--But I forbid
it!--For what signifies life, or any thing, if I cannot see my baby,
while he is so dangerously ill!

My father and mother are, for the first time, quite cruel to me; they
have forbid me, and I never was so desirous of disobeying them before,
to attend the darling of my heart: and why?--For fear of this poor
face!--For fear I should get it myself!--But I am living very low, and
have taken proper precautions by bleeding, and the like, to lessen
the distemper's fury, if I should have it; and the rest I leave to
Providence. And if Mr. B.'s value is confined so much to this poor
transitory sightliness, he must not break with his Countess, I think;
and if I am ever so deformed in person, my poor intellects, I hope
will not be impaired, and I shall, if God spare my Billy, be useful
in his first education, and be helpful to dear Miss Goodwin--or to any
babies--with all my heart--he may make me an humble nurse too!--How
peevish, sinfully so, I doubt, does this accident, and their
affectionate contradiction, make one!

I have this moment received the following from Mr. B.

_Maidstone_.

"My dearest love,

"I am greatly touched with the dear boy's malady, of which I have
this moment heard. I desire you instantly to come to me hither, in the
chariot with the bearer, Colbrand. I know what your grief must be: but
as you can do the child no good, I beg you'll oblige me. Everything
is in a happy train; but I can think only of you, and (for your sake
principally, but not a little for _my own_) my boy. I will set out
to meet you; for I choose not to come myself, lest you should try to
persuade me to permit your tarrying about him; and I should be sorry
to deny you any thing. I have taken handsome apartments for you, till
the event, which I pray God may be happy, shall better determinate me
what to do. I will be ever _your affectionate and faithful_."

Maidstone indeed is not so very far off, but one may hear every day,
once or twice, by a man and horse; so I will go, to shew my obedience,
since Mr. B. is so intent upon it--But I cannot live, if I am not
permitted to come back--Oh! let me be enabled, gracious Father! to
close this letter more happily than I have begun it!

I have been so dreadfully uneasy at Maidstone, that Mr. B. has been
so good as to return with me hither; and I find my baby's case not yet
quite desperate--I am easier now I see him, in presence of his beloved
papa who lets me have all my way, and approves of my preparative
method for myself; and he tells me that since I will have it so,
he will indulge me in my attendance on the child, and endeavour to
imitate my reliance on God--that is his kind expression--and leave
the issue to him. And on my telling him, that I feared nothing in
the distemper, but the loss of his love, he said, in presence of the
doctors, and my father and mother, pressing my hand to his lips--"My
dearest life, make yourself easy under this affliction, and apprehend
nothing for yourself: I love you more, for your mind than for your
face. That and your person will be the same; and were that sweet face
to be covered with seams and scars, I will value you the more for the
misfortune: and glad I am, that I had your picture so well drawn in
town, to satisfy those who have heard of your loveliness, what you
were, and hitherto are. For myself, my admiration lies deeper;" and,
drawing me to the other end of the room, whisperingly he said, "The
last uneasiness between us, I now begin to think, was necessary,
because it has turned all my delight in you, more than ever, to the
perfections of your mind: and so God preserves to me the life of my
Pamela, I care not for my own part, what ravages the distemper makes
here," and tapped my cheek.--How generous, how noble, how comforting
was this!

When I went from my apartment, to go to my child, my dear Mr. B. met
me at the nursery door, and led me back again. "You must not go in
again, my dearest. They have just been giving the child other things
to try to drive out the malady; and some pustules seem to promise on
his breast." I made no doubt, my baby was then in extremity; and I
would have given the world to have shed a few tears, but I could not.

With the most soothing goodness he led me to my desk, and withdrew to
attend the dear baby himself--to see his last gaspings, poor little
lamb, I make no doubt!

In this suspense, my own strange hardness of heart would not give
up one tear, for the passage from _that_ to my _eyes_ seemed quite
choaked up, which used to be so open and ready on other occasions,
affecting ones too.

Two days have passed, dreadful days of suspense: and now, blessed be
God! who has given me hope that our prayers are heard, the pustules
come kindly out, very thick in his breast, and on his face: but of
a good sort, they tell me.--They won't let me see him; indeed they
won't!--What cruel kindness is this! One must believe all they tell
one!

But, my dear lady, my spirits are so weak; I have such a violent
headache, and have such a strange shivering disorder all running
down my back, and I was so hot just now, and am so cold at this
present--aguishly inclined--I don't know how! that I must leave off,
the post going away, with the assurance, that I am, and will be, to
the last hour of my life, _your ladyship's grateful and obliged sister
and servant_,

P.B.



LETTER LXXX

_From Mr. B. to Lady Davers._

MY DEAR SISTER,

I take very kindly your solicitude for the health of my beloved
Pamela. The last line she wrote was to you, for she took to her bed
the moment she laid down her pen.

I told her your kind message, and wishes for her safety, by my lord's
gentleman; and she begged I would write a line to thank you in her
name for your affectionate regards to her.

She is in a fine way to do well: for with her accustomed prudence, she
had begun to prepare herself by a proper regimen, the moment she knew
the child's illness was the small-pox.

The worst is over with the boy, which keeps up her spirits; and her
mother is so excellent a nurse to both, and we are so happy likewise
in the care of a skilful physician, Dr. M. (who directs and approves
of every thing the good dame does,) that it is a singular providence
this malady seized them here; and affords no small comfort to the dear
creature herself.

When I tell you, that, to all appearance, her charming face will not
receive any disfigurement by this cruel enemy to beauty, I am sure you
will congratulate me upon a felicity so desirable: but were it to be
otherwise, if I were capable of slighting a person, whose principal
beauties are much deeper than the skin, I should deserve to be thought
the most unworthy and superficial of husbands.

Whatever your notions have been, my ever-ready censuring Lady Davers,
of your brother, on a certain affair, I do assure you, that I never
did, and never can, love any woman as I love my Pamela.

It is indeed impossible I can ever love her better than I do; and her
outward beauties are far from being indifferent to me; yet, if I know
myself, I am sure I have justice enough to love her _equally_, and
generosity enough to be _more tender_ of her, were she to suffer by
this distemper. But, as her humility, and her affection to me, would
induce her to think herself under greater obligation to me, for such
my tenderness to her, were she to lose any the _least_ valuable of her
perfections, I rejoice that she will have no reason for mortification
on that score.

My respects to Lord Davers, and your noble neighbours. I am, _your
affectionate brother, and humble servant_.



LETTER LXXXI

_From Lady Davers, in answer to the preceding_.

MY DEAR BROTHER,

I do most heartily congratulate you on the recovery of Master Billy,
and the good way my sister is in. I am the more rejoiced, as her sweet
face is not like to suffer by the malady; for, be the beauties of the
mind what they will, those of the person are no small recommendation,
with some folks, I am sure; and I began to be afraid, that when it was
hardly possible for _both conjoined_ to keep a roving mind constant,
that _one only_ would not be sufficient.

This news gives me more pleasure, because I am well informed, that a
certain gay lady was pleased to give herself airs upon learning of my
sister's illness, as, That she would not be sorry for it; for now she
should look upon herself as the prettiest woman in England.--She meant
only, I suppose, as to _outward_ prettiness, brother!

You give me the name of a _ready censurer_. I own, I think myself to
be not a little interested in all that regards my brother, and his
honour. But when some people are not readier to _censure_, than others
to _trespass_, I know not whether they can with justice be styled
censorious.

But however that be, the rod seems to have been held up, as a
warning--and that the blow, in the irreparable deprivation, is not
given, is a mercy, which I hope will be deserved; though you never can
those very signal ones you receive at the Divine hands, beyond any man
I know. For even (if I shall not be deemed censorious again) your
very vices have been turned to your felicity, as if God would try the
nobleness of the heart he has given you, by overcoming you (in answer
to my sister's constant prayers, as well as mine) by mercies rather
than by judgments.

I might give instances of the truth of this observation, in almost
all the actions and attempts of your past life; and take care (if you
_are_ displeased, I _will_ speak it), take care, thou bold wretch,
that if this method be ungratefully slighted, the uplifted arm fall
not down with double weight on thy devoted head!

I must always love and honour my brother, but cannot help speaking my
mind: which, after all, is the natural result of that very love and
honour, and which obliges me to style myself _your truly affectionate
sister_,

B. Davers.



LETTER LXXXII

_From Mrs. B. to Lady Davers_.

MY DEAREST LADY,

My first letter, and my first devoirs, after those of thankfulness to
that gracious God, who has so happily conducted me through two such
heavy trials, as my child's and my own illness, must be directed to
you, with all due acknowledgment of your generous and affectionate
concern for me.

We are now preparing for our journey to Bedfordshire; and there, to my
great satisfaction, I am to be favoured with the care of Miss Goodwin.

After tarrying about a month there, Mr. B. will make a tour with me
through several counties (taking the Hall in the way) for about a
fortnight, and shew me what is remarkable, every where as we pass; for
this, he thinks, will better contribute to my health, than any
other method. The distemper has left upon me a kind of weariness and
listlessness; and he proposes to be out with me till the Bath season
begins; and by the aid of those healing and balsamic waters, he hopes,
I shall be quite established. Afterwards to return to Bedfordshire
for a little while; then to London; and then to Kent; and, if nothing
hinders, has a great mind to carry me over to Paris.

Thus most kindly does he amuse and divert me with his agreeable
proposals. But I have made one amendment to them; and that is, that I
must not be denied to pay my respects to your ladyship, at your seat,
and to my good Lady Countess in the same neighbourhood, and this will
be far from being the least of my pleasures.

I have had congratulations without number upon my recovery; but one,
among the rest, I did not expect; from the Countess Dowager (could you
think it, Madam?) who sent me by her gentleman the following letter
from Tunbridge.

"MADAM,

"I hope, among the congratulations of your numerous admirers, on your
happy recovery, my very sincere ones will not be unacceptable. I have
no other motive for making you my compliments on this occasion, on
so slender an acquaintance, than the pleasure it gives me, that the
public, as well as your private friends, have not been deprived of a
lady whose example, in every duty of life, is of so much concern
to both.--May you, Madam, long rejoice in an uninterrupted state of
happiness, answerable to your merits, and to your own wishes, are
those of _your most obedient humble servant_."

To this kind letter I returned the following:

"MADAM,

"I am under the highest obligation to your generous favour, in your
kind compliments of congratulation on my recovery. There is something
so noble and so condescending in the honour you have done me, on
so slender an acquaintance, that it bespeaks the exalted mind and
character of a lady, who, in the principles of generosity, and in true
nobleness of nature, has no example. May God Almighty bless you, my
dear lady, with all the good you wish me, and with increase of honour
and glory, both here and hereafter, prays, and will always pray, _your
ladyship's most obliged and obedient servant_, P.B."

This leads me to mention, what my illness would not permit me to do
before, that Mr. B. met with such a reception and audience from the
Countess, when he attended her, in all he had to offer and propose to
her, and in her patient hearing of what he thought fit to read
her, from your ladyship's letters and mine, that he said, "Don't be
jealous, my dear Pamela; but I must admire her as long as I live."

He gave me the particulars, so much to her ladyship's honour, that I
told him, he should not only be welcome to admire her ladyship, but
that I would admire her too.

They parted very good friends, and with great professions of esteem
for each other.--And as Mr. B. had undertaken to inspect into some
exceptionable accounts and managements of her ladyship's bailiff,
one of her servants brought a letter for him on Monday last, wholly
written on that subject. But she was so considerate, as to send
it unsealed, in a cover directed to me. When I opened it, I was
frightened to see it begin to Mr. B. and I hastened to find him--"Dear
Sir--Here's some mistake--You see the direction is to Mrs. B.--'Tis
very plain--But, upon my word, I have not read it."--"Don't be
uneasy, my love.--I know what the subject must be; but I dare swear
there is nothing, nor will there ever be, but what you or any body may
see."

He read it, and giving it to me, said, "Answer yourself the
postscript, my dear." That was--"If, Sir, the trouble I give you, is
likely to subject you or your lady to uneasiness or apprehensions, I
beg you will not be concerned in it. I will then set about the matter
myself; for my uncle I will not trouble; yet women enter into these
particulars with as little advantage to themselves as inclination."

I told him, I was entirely easy and unapprehensive; and, after all
his goodness to me, should be so, if he saw the Countess every day.
"That's kindly said, my dear; but I will not trust myself to see
her every day, or at all, for the present. But I shall be obliged to
correspond with her for a month or so, on this occasion; unless you
prohibit it; and it shall be in your power to do so."

I said, with my whole heart, he might; and I should be quite easy in
both their honours.

"Yet I will not," said he, "unless you see our letters: for I know she
will always, now she has begun, send in a cover to you, what she will
write to me, unsealed; and whether I am at home or abroad, I shall
take it unkindly, if you do not read them."

He went in, and wrote an answer, which he sent by the messenger; but
would make me, whether I would or not, read it, and seal it up with
his seal. But all this needed not to me now, who think so much better
of the lady than I did before; and am so well satisfied in his own
honour and generous affection for me; for you saw, Madam, in what I
wrote before, that he always loved me, though he was angry at times,
at my change of temper, as he feared, not knowing that I was apprised
of what had passed between him and the Countess.

I really am better pleased with his correspondence, than I should have
been, had it not been carried on; because the servants, on both sides,
will see, by my deportment on the occasion (and I will officiously,
with a smiling countenance, throw myself in their observation), that
it is quite innocent; and this may help to silence the mouths of those
who have so freely censured their conduct.

Indeed, Madam, I think I have received no small good myself by that
affair, which once lay so heavy upon me: for I don't believe I shall
be ever jealous again; indeed I don't think I shall. And won't that
be an ugly foible overcome? I see what may be done, in cases not
favourable to our wishes, by the aid of proper reflection; and that
the bee is not the only creature that may make honey out of the bitter
flowers as well as the sweet.

My most grateful respects and thanks to my good Lord Davers; to the
Earl, and his excellent Countess; and most particularly to Lady Betty
(with whose kind compliments your ladyship acquaints me), and to
Mr. H. for all your united congratulations on my recovery. What
obligations do I lie under to such noble and generous well-wishers!--I
can make no return but by my prayers, that God, by his goodness, will
supply all my defects. And these will always attend you, from, my
dearest lady, _your ever obliged sister, and humble servant_,

P.B.

Mr. H. is just arrived. He says, he comes a special messenger, to make
a report how my face has come off. He makes me many compliments
upon it. How kind your ladyship is, to enter so favourably into the
minutest concerns, which you think, may any way affect my future
happiness in your dear brother's opinion!--I want to pour out all my
joy and my thankfulness to God, before you, and the good Countess of
C----! For I am a happy, yea, a blessed creature! Mr. B.'s boy, your
ladyship's boy, and my boy, is charmingly well; quite strong, and very
forward, for his months; and his papa is delighted with him more and
more.



LETTER LXXXIII

MY DEAR MISS DARNFORD,

I hope you are happy and well. You kindly say you can't be so, till
you hear of my perfect recovery. And this, blessed be God! you have
heard already from Mr. B.

As to your intimation of the fair Nun, 'tis all happily over. Blessed
be God for that too! And I have a better and more endearing husband
than ever. Did you think that could be?

My Billy too improves daily, and my dear parents seem to have their
youth renewed like the eagle's. How many blessings have I to be
thankful for!

We are about to turn travellers, to the northern counties. I think
quite to the borders: and afterwards to the western, to Bath, Bristol,
and I know not whither myself: but among the rest, to Lincolnshire,
that you may be sure of. Then how happy shall I be in my dear Miss
Darnford!

I long to hear whether poor Mrs. Jewkes is better or worse for the
advice of the doctor, whom I ordered to attend her from Stamford, and
in what frame her mind is. Do vouchsafe her a visit in my name; tell
her, if she be low spirited, what God hath done for me, as to _my_
recovery, and comfort her all you can; and bid her spare neither
expence nor attendance, nor any thing her heart can wish for; nor the
company of any relations or friends she may desire to be with her.

If she is in her _last stage_, poor soul! how noble will it be in you
to give her comfort and consolation in her dying hours! Although we
can merit nothing at the hand of God, yet I have a notion, that
we cannot deserve more of one another, and in some sense, for that
reason, of him, than in our charities on so trying an exigence! When
the poor soul stands shivering, as it were, on the verge of death,
and has nothing strong, but its fears and doubts; then a little balm
poured into the wounds of the mind, a little comforting advice to rely
on God's mercies, from a good person, how consolatory must it be!
And how, like morning mists before the sun, must all diffidences and
gloomy doubts, be chased away by it!

But, my dear, the great occasion of my writing to you just now, is by
Lady Davers's desire, on a quite different subject. She knows how
we love one another. And she has sent me the following lines by her
kinsman, who came to Kent, purposely to enquire how my face fared in
the small-pox; and accompanied us hither, [_i.e._ to Bedfordshire,]
and sets out to-morrow for Lord Davers's.

"MY DEAR PAMELA,

"Jackey will tell you the reason of his journey, my curiosity on
your own account; and I send this letter by him, but he knows not the
contents. My good Lord Davers wants to have his nephew married, and
settled in the world: and his noble father leaves the whole matter
to my lord, as to the person, settlements, &c. Now I, as well as he,
think so highly of the prudence, the person, and family of your Miss
Darnford, that we shall be obliged to you, to sound the young lady on
this score.

"I know Mr. H. would wish for no greater happiness. But if she is
engaged, or cannot love my nephew, I don't care, nor would my lord,
that such a proposal should be received with undue slight. His birth,
and the title and estate he is heir to, are advantages that require a
lady's consideration. He has not so much wit as Miss, but enough for
a lord, whose friends are born before him, as the phrase is; is very
good-humoured, no tool, no sot, no debauchee: and, let me tell you,
this is not to be met with every day in a young man of quality.

"As to settlements, fortunes, &c. I fancy there would be no great
difficulties. The business is, if Miss Darnford could love him well
enough for a husband? _That_ we leave you to sound the young lady; and
if she thinks she can, we will directly begin a treaty with Sir Simon.
I am, my dearest Pamela, _your ever affectionate sister_, B. Davers."

Now, my dear friend, as my lady has so well stated the case, I beg
you to enable me to return an answer. I will not say one word _pro_ or
_con_. till I know your mind--Only, that I think he is good-humoured
and might be easily persuaded to any thing a lady should think
reasonable.

I must tell you another piece of news in the matrimonial way. Mr.
Williams has been here to congratulate us on our multiplied blessings;
and he acquainted Mr. B. that an overture has been made him by his
new patron, of a kinswoman of his lordship's, a person of virtue and
merit, and a fortune of three thousand pounds, to make him amends,
as the earl tell him, for quitting a better living to oblige him; and
that he is in great hope of obtaining the lady's consent, which is all
that is wanting. Mr. B. is much pleased with so good a prospect in Mr.
Williams's favour, and was in the lady's company formerly at a ball,
at Gloucester; he says, she is prudent and deserving; and offers to
make a journey on purpose to forward it, if he can be of service to
him.

I suppose you know that all is adjusted, according to the scheme I
formerly acquainted you with, between Mr. Adams and that gentleman;
and both are settled in their respective livings. But I ought to have
told you, that Mr. Williams, upon mature deliberation, declined the
stipulated eighty pounds _per annum_ from Mr. Adams, as he thought it
would have a simoniacal appearance.

But now my hand's in, let me tell you of a third matrimonial
proposition, which gives me more puzzle and dislike a great deal. And
that is, Mr. Adams has, with great reluctance, and after abundance of
bashful apologies, asked me, if I have any objection to his making
his addresses to Polly Barlow? which, however, he told me, he had not
mentioned to her, nor to any body living, because he would first know
whether I should take it amiss, as her service was so immediately
about my person.

This unexpected motion much perplexed me. Mr. Adams is a worthy man.
He has now a very good living; yet just entered upon it; and, I think,
according to his accustomed prudence in other respects, had better
have turned himself about first.

But that is not the point with me neither. I have a great regard to
the function. I think it is as necessary, in order to preserve the
respect due to the clergy, that their wives should be nearly, if not
quite as unblemished, and as circumspect, as themselves; and this for
the gentleman's own sake, as well as in the eye of the world: for how
shall he pursue his studies with comfort to himself, if made uneasy at
home! or how shall he expect his female parishioners will regard
his _public_ preaching, if he cannot have a due influence over the
_private_ conduct of his wife?

I can't say, excepting in the instance of Mr. H. but Polly is a good
sort of body enough so far as I know; but that is such a blot in the
poor girl's escutcheon, a thing not _accidental_, nor _surprised_
into, not owing to _inattention_, but to cool _premeditation_, that, I
think, I could wish Mr. Adams a wife more unexceptionable.

'Tis true, Mr. Adams knows not this, but _that_ is one of my
difficulties. If I acquaint him with it, I shall hurt the poor girl
irreparably, and deprive her of a husband, to whom she may possibly
make a good wife--For she is not very meanly descended--much better
than myself, as the world would say were a judgment to be made from
my father's low estate, when I was exalted--I never, my dear, shall be
ashamed of these retrospections! She is genteel, has a very innocent
look, a good face, is neat in her person, and not addicted to any
excess that I know of. But _still_, that one _premeditated_ fault, is
so sad a one, though she might make a good wife for any middling man
of business, yet she wants, methinks, that discretion, that purity,
which I would always have in the wife of a good clergyman.

Then, she has not applied her thoughts to that sort of economy, which
the wife of a country clergyman ought to know something of; and has
such a turn to dress and appearance, that I can see, if indulged,
she would not be one that would help to remove the scandal which some
severe remarkers are apt to throw upon the wives of _parsons_, as they
call them.

The maiden, I believe, likes Mr. Adams not a little. She is very
courteous to every body, but most to him of any body, and never has
missed being present at our Sunday's duties; and five or six times,
Mrs. Jervis tells me, she has found her desirous to have Mr. Adams
expound this text, and that difficulty; and the good man is taken with
her piety, which, and her reformation, I hope, is sincere; but she
is very sly, very subtle, as I have found in several instances, as
foolish as she was in the affair I hint at.

"So," sometimes I say to myself, "the girl may love Mr. Adams."--"Ay,"
but then I answer, "so she did Mr. H. and on his own very bad terms
too."--In short--but I won't be too censorious neither.

So I'll say no more, than that I was perplexed; and yet should be very
glad to have Polly well married; for, since _that_ time, I have always
had some diffidences about her--Because, you know, Miss--her fault
was so enormous, and, as I have said, so premeditated. I wanted you to
advise with.--But this was the method I took.--I appointed Mr. Adams
to drink a dish of tea with me. Polly attended, as usual; for I can't
say I love men attendants in these womanly offices. A tea-kettle in a
man's hand, that would, if there was no better employment for him, be
fitter to hold a plough, or handle a flail, or a scythe, has such
a look with it!--This is like my low breeding, some would say,
perhaps,--but I cannot call things polite, that I think unseemly; and,
moreover. Lady Davers keeps me in countenance in this my notion; and
who doubts her politeness?

Well, but Polly attended, as I said; and there were strange
simperings, and bowing, and curt'sying, between them; the honest
gentleman seeming not to know how to let his mistress wait upon him;
while she behaved with as much respect and officiousness, as if she
could not do too much for him.

"Very well," thought I, "I have such an opinion of your veracity, Mr.
Adams, that I dare say you have not mentioned the matter to Polly;
but between her officiousness, and your mutual simperings and
complaisance, I see you have found a language between you, that is
full as significant as plain English words. Polly," thought I, "sees
no difficulty in _this_ text; nor need you, Mr. Adams, have much
trouble to make her understand you, when you come to expound upon
_this_ subject."

I was forced, in short, to put on a statelier and more reserved
appearance than usual, to make them avoid acts of complaisance for one
another, that might not be proper to be shewn before me, for one who
sat as my companion, to my servant.

When she withdrew, the modest gentleman hemmed, and looked on one
side, and turned to the right and left, as if his seat was uneasy to
him, and, I saw, knew not how to speak; so I began in mere compassion
to him, and said--"Mr. Adams, I have been thinking of what you
mentioned to me, as to Polly Barlow."

"Hem! hem!" said he; and pulled out his handkerchief, and wiped his
mouth--"Very well. Madam; I hope no offence, Madam!"

"No, Sir, none at all. But I am at a loss how to distinguish in this
case; whether it may not be from a motive of too humble gratitude,
that you don't think yourself above matching with Polly, as you may
suppose her a favourite of mine; or whether it be your value for her
person and qualities, that makes her more agreeable in your eyes, than
any other person would be."

"Madam--Madam," said the bashful gentleman, hesitatingly--"I do--I
must needs say--I can't but own--that--Mrs. Mary--is a person-whom I
think very agreeable; and no less modest and virtuous."

"You know, Sir, your own circumstances. To be sure you have a very
pretty house, and a good living, to carry a wife to. And a gentleman
of your prudence and discretion wants not any advice; but you have
reaped no benefits by your living. It has been an expence to you
rather, which you will not presently get up: do you propose an early
marriage, Sir? Or were it not better to suspend your intentions of
that sort for a year or two more?"--"Madam, if your ladyship choose
not to part with--"--"Nay, Mr. Adams," interrupted I, "I say not any
thing for my own sake in this point: that is out of the question with
me. I can very willingly part with Polly, were it to-morrow, for her
good and yours."--"Madam, I humbly beg pardon;--but--but--delays may
breed dangers."--"Oh I very well," thought I; "if the artful girl has
not let him know, by some means or other, that she has another humble
servant."

And so, Miss, it has proved--For, dismissing my gentleman, with
assuring him, that I had no objection at all to the matter, or to
parting with Polly, as soon as it suited with their conveniency--I
sounded her, and asked, if she thought Mr. Adams had any affection for
her?--She said he was a very good gentleman.

"I know it, Polly; and are you not of opinion he loves you a
little?"--"Dear Ma'am--love me--I don't know what such a gentleman as
Mr. Adams should see in me, to love me!"--"Oh!" thought I, "does the
doubt lie on _that_ side then?--I see 'tis not of _thine_."

"Well, but, Polly, if you have _another_ sweetheart, you should do the
fair thing; it would be wrong, if you encourage any body else, if
you thought of Mr. Adams."--"Indeed, Ma'am, I had a letter sent me--a
letter that I received--from--from a young man in Bedford; but I never
answered it."

"Oh!" thought I, "then thou wouldst not encourage _two at once_;" and
this was as plain a declaration as I wanted, that she had thoughts of
Mr. Adams.

"But how came Mr. Adams, Polly, to know of this letter?"--"How came
he to know of it, Ma'am!"--repeated she--half surprised--"Why,
I don't know, I can't tell how it was--but I dropped it near his
desk--pulling out my handkerchief, I believe, Ma'am, and he brought
it, and gave it me again."--"Well," thought I, "thou'rt an intriguing
slut, I doubt, Polly."--"_Delays may breed dangers_," quoth the poor
gentleman!--"Ah! girl, girl!" thought I, but did not say so, "thou
deservest to have thy plot spoiled, that thou dost--But if thy
forwardness should expose thee afterwards to evils which thou mayest
avoid if thy schemes take place, I should very much blame myself. And
I see he loves thee--So let the matter take its course; I will trouble
myself no more about it. I only wish, that thou wilt make Mr. Adams as
good a wife as he deserves."

And so I dismissed her, telling her, that whoever thought of being a
clergyman's wife, should resolve to be as good as himself; to set an
example to all her sex in the parish, and shew how much his doctrines
had weight with her; should be humble, circumspect, gentle in her
temper and manners, frugal, not proud, nor vying in dress with the
ladies of the laity; should resolve to sweeten his labour, and to be
obliging in her deportment to poor as well as rich, that her husband
get no discredit through her means, which would weaken his influence
upon his auditors; and that she must be most of all obliging to him,
and study his temper, that his mind might be more disengaged, in order
to pursue his studies with the better effect.

And so much for _your_ humble servant; and for Mr. Williams's and Mr.
Adams's matrimonial prospect;--and don't think me so disrespectful,
that I have mentioned my Polly's affair in the same letter with yours.
For in high and low (I forget the Latin phrase--I have not had a
lesson a long, long while, from my dear tutor) love is in all the
same!--But whether you'll like Mr. H. as well as Polly does Mr.
Adams, that's the question. But, leaving that to your own decision,
I conclude with one observation; that, although I thought our's was a
house of as little intriguing as any body's, since the dear master of
it has left off that practice, yet I cannot see, that any family can
be clear of some of it long together, where there are men and women
worth plotting for, as husbands and wives.

My best wishes and respects attend all your worthy neighbours. I hope
ere long, to assure them, severally (to wit, Sir Simon, my lady, Mrs.
Jones, Mr. Peters, and his lady and niece, whose kind congratulations
make me very proud, and very thankful) how much I am obliged to them;
and particularly, my dear, how much I am _your ever affectionate and
faithful friend and servant_, P. B,



LETTER LXXXIV

_From Miss Darnford, in answer to the preceding._

MY DEAR MRS. B.,

I have been several times (in company with Mr. Peters) to see Mrs.
Jewkes. The poor woman is very bad, and cannot live many days. We
comfort her all we can; but she often accuses herself of her past
behaviour to so excellent a lady; and with blessings upon blessings,
heaped upon you, and her master, and your charming little boy, is
continually declaring how much your goodness to her aggravates her
former faults to her own conscience.

She has a sister-in-law and her niece with her, and has settled all
her affairs, and thinks she is not long for this world.--Her distemper
is an inward decay, all at once as it were, from a constitution that
seemed like one of iron; and she is a mere skeleton: you would not
know her, I dare say.

I will see her every day; and she has given me up all her keys, and
accounts, to give to Mr. Longman, who is daily expected, and I hope
will be here soon; for her sister-in-law, she says herself, is a woman
of _this world_, as _she_ has been.

Mr. Peters calling upon me to go with him to visit her, I will break
off here.

Mrs. Jewkes is much as she was; but your faithful steward is come. I
am glad of it--and so is she--Nevertheless I will go every day, and
do all the good I can for the poor woman, according to your charitable
desires.

I thank you for your communication of Lady Davers's letter, I am much
obliged to my lord, and her ladyship; and should have been proud of an
alliance with that noble family, but with all Mr. H.'s good qualities,
as my lady paints them out, and his other advantages, I could not, for
the world, make him my husband. I'll tell you one of my objections, in
confidence, however, (for you are only to _sound_ me, you know:) and
I would not have it mentioned that I have taken any thought about the
matter, because a stronger reason may be given, such a one as my
lord and lady will both allow; which I will communicate to you by and
bye.--My objection arises even from what you intimate, of Mr. H.'s
good humour, and his persuadableness, if I may so call it. Now, were I
of a boisterous temper, and high spirit, such an one as required great
patience in a husband to bear with me, then Mr. H.'s good humour might
have been a consideration with me. But when I have (I pride myself in
the thought) a temper not wholly unlike your own, and such an one as
would not want to contend for superiority with a husband, it is no
recommendation to me, that Mr. H. is a good-humoured gentleman, and
will bear with faults I design not to be guilty of.

But, my dear Mrs. B., my husband must be a man of sense, and give me
reason to think he has a superior judgment to my own, or I shall be
unhappy. He will otherwise do wrong-headed things: I shall be forced
to oppose him in them: he will be tenacious and obstinate, be taught
to talk of prerogative, and to call himself a _man_, without knowing
how to behave as one, and I to despise him, of course; so be deemed
a bad wife, when, I hope, I have qualities that would make me a
tolerable good one, with a man of sense for my husband.

Now you must not think I would dispense with real good-humour in
a man. No, I make it one of my _indispensables_ in a husband. A
good-natured man will put the best constructions on what happens;
but he must have sense to _distinguish_ the best. He will be kind to
little, unwilful, undesigned failings: but he must have judgment to
distinguish what _are_ or are _not so_. But Mr. H.'s good-humour is
softness, as I may call it; and my husband must be such an one, in
short, as I need not be ashamed to be seen with in company; one who,
being my head, must not be beneath all the gentlemen he may happen
to fall in with, and who, every time he is adjusting his mouth for
speech, will give me pain at my heart, and blushes in my face, even
before he speaks.

I could not bear, therefore, that every one we encountered should be
prepared, whenever he offered to open his lips, by their contemptuous
smiles, to expect some weak and silly things from him; and when he
_had_ spoken, that he should, with a booby grin, seem pleased that he
had not disappointed them.

The only recommendatory point in Mr. H. is, that he dresses
exceedingly smart, and is no contemptible figure of a man. But, dear
Madam, you know, that's so much the worse, _when_ the man's talent
is not taciturnity, except before his aunt, or before Mr. B. or you;
_when_ he is not conscious of internal defect, and values himself upon
outward appearance.

As to his attempts upon your Polly, though I don't like him the better
for it, yet it is a fault so wickedly common among men, that when a
woman resolves never to marry, till a quite virtuous man addresses
her, it is, in other words, resolving to die single; so that I
make not this the _chief_ objection; and yet, I would abate in my
expectations of half a dozen other good qualities, rather than that
one of virtue in a husband--But when I reflect upon the figure Mr. H.
made in that affair, I cannot bear him; and, if I may judge of other
coxcombs by him, what wretches are these smart, well-dressing querpo
fellows, many of whom you and I have seen admiring themselves at the
plays and operas!

This is one of my infallible rules, and I know it is yours too; that
he who is taken up with the admiration of his own person, will never
admire a wife's. His delights are centred in himself, and he will not
wish to get out of that exceeding narrow circle; and, in my opinion,
should keep no company but that of taylors, wig-puffers, and
milliners.

But I will run on no further upon this subject; but will tell you a
reason, which you _may_ give to Lady Davers, why her kind intentions
to me cannot be answered; and which she'll take better than what I
_have said_, were she to know it, as I hope you won't let her: and
this is, my papa has had a proposal made to him from a gentleman
you have seen, and have thought polite. It is from Sir W.G. of this
county, who is one of your great admirers, and Mr. B.'s too; and that,
you must suppose, makes me have never the worse opinion of him, or
of his understanding; although it requires no great sagacity or
penetration to see how much you adorn our sex, and human nature too.

Every thing was adjusted between my papa and mamma, and Sir William,
on condition we approved of each other, before I came down; which
I knew not, till I had seen him here four times; and then my papa
surprised me into half an approbation of him: and this, it seems, was
one of the reasons why I was so hurried down from you. I can't say,
but I like the man as well as most I have seen; he is a man of sense
and sobriety, to give him his due, in very easy circumstances, and
much respected by all who know him; which is no bad earnest in a
marriage prospect. But, hitherto, he seems to like me better than I do
him. I don't know how it is; but I often observe, that when any thing
is in our power, we are not half so much taken with it, as we should
be, perhaps, if we were kept in suspense! Why should this be?--But
this I am convinced of, there is no comparison between Sir William and
Mr. Murray.

Now I have named this brother-in-law of mine; what do you think?--Why,
that good couple have had their house on fire three times already.
Once it was put out by Mr. Murray's mother, who lives near them; and
twice Sir Simon has been forced to carry water to extinguish it; for,
truly, Mrs. Murray would go home again to her papa; she would not
live with such a surly wretch: and it was with all his heart; a fair
riddance! for there was no bearing the house with such an ill-natured
wife:--her sister Polly was worth a thousand of her!--I am heartily
sorry for their unhappiness. But could she think every body must bear
with her, and her fretful ways?--They'll jangle on, I reckon, till
they are better used to one another; and when he sees she can't
help it, why he'll bear with her, as husbands generally do with
ill-tempered wives; he'll try to make himself happy abroad, and leave
her to quarrel with her maids, instead of him; for she must have
somebody to vent her spleen upon--poor Nancy!--I am glad to hear of
Mr. Williams's good fortune.

As Mr. Adams knows not Polly's fault, and it was prevented in time,
they may be happy enough. She is a _sly_ girl. I always thought her
so: something so innocent, and yet so artful in her very looks: she is
an odd compound. But these worthy and piously turned young gentlemen,
who have but just quitted the college, are mere novices, as to the
world: indeed they are _above_ it, while _in_ it; they therefore
give themselves little trouble to study it, and so, depending on the
goodness of their own hearts, are more liable to be imposed upon than
people of half their understanding.

I think, since he seems to love her, you do right not to hinder the
girl's fortune. But I wish she may take your advice, in her behaviour
to _him_, at least: for as to her carriage to her neighbours, I
doubt she'll be one of the heads of the parish, presently, in her own
estimation.

'Tis pity, methinks, any worthy man of the cloth should have a wife,
who, by her bad example, should pull down, as fast as he, by a good
one, can build up. This is not the case of Mrs. Peters, however; whose
example I wish was more generally followed by gentlewomen, who are
made so by marrying good clergymen, if they were not so before.

Don't be surprised, if you should hear that poor Jewkes is given
over!--She made a very exemplary--Full of blessings--And more easy
and resigned, than I apprehended she would be. I know you'll shed
a tear for the poor woman:--I can't help it myself. But you will be
pleased that she had so much time given her, and made so good use of
it.

Mr. Peters has been every thing that one would wish one of his
function to be, in his attendance and advice to the poor woman. Mr.
Longman will take proper care of every thing. So, I will only add,
that I am, with the sincerest respect, in hopes to see you soon (for I
have a multitude of things to talk to you about), dear Mrs. B., _your
ever faithful and affectionate_ POLLY DARNFORD.



LETTER LXXXV

_From Mrs. B. to Lady Davers._

MY DEAR LADY DAVERS,

I understand from Miss Darnford, that before she went down from us,
her papa had encouraged a proposal made by Sir W.G. whom you saw,
when your ladyship was a kind visitor in Bedfordshire. We all agreed,
if you remember, that he was a polite and sensible gentleman, and I
find it is countenanced on all hands. Poor Mrs. Jewkes, Madam, as
Miss informs me, has paid her last debt. I hope, through mercy, she
is happy!--Poor, poor woman! But why say I so!--Since, in _that_ case,
she will be richer than an earthly monarch!

Your ladyship was once mentioning a sister of Mrs. Worden's whom you
wished to recommend to some worthy family. Shall I beg of you. Madam,
to oblige Mr. B.'s in this particular? I am sure she must have merit
if your ladyship thinks well of her; and your commands in this, as
well as in every other particular in my power, shall have their due
weight with _your ladyship's obliged sister and humble servant_, P.B.

Just now, dear Madam, Mr. B. tells me I shall have Miss Goodwill
brought me hither to-morrow.



LETTER LXXXVI

_From Lady Davers to Mrs. B. in answer to the preceding._

MY DEAR PAMELA,

I am glad Miss Darnford is likely to be so happy in a husband, as Sir
W.G. will certainly make her. I was afraid that my proposal would not
do with her, had she not had so good a tender. I want _too_, to have
the foolish fellow married--for several reasons; one of which is, he
is continually teasing us to permit him to go up to town, and reside
there for some months, in order that he may _see the world_, as he
calls it. But we are convinced he would _feel_ it, as well as _see_
it, if we give way to his request: for in understanding, dress, and
inconsiderate vanity, he is so exactly cut out and sized for a town
fop, coxcomb, or pretty fellow, that he will undoubtedly fall into all
the vices of those people; and, perhaps, having such expectations as
he has, will be made the property of rakes and sharpers. He
complains that we use him like a child in a go-cart, or a baby with
leading-strings, and that he must not be trusted out of our sight.
'Tis a sad thing, that these _bodies_ will grow up to the stature
of men, when the _minds_ improve not at all with them, but are still
those of boys and children. Yet, he would certainly make a
fond husband: for he has no very bad qualities. But is such a
Narcissus!--But this between ourselves, for his uncle is wrapt up in
the fellow--And why? Because he is good-humoured, that's all. He has
vexed me lately, which makes me write so angrily about him--But 'tis
not worth troubling you with the particulars. I hope Mrs. Jewkes is
happy, as you say!--Poor woman! she seemed to promise for a longer
life! But what shall we say?

Your compliment to me, about my Beck's sister, is a very kind one.
Mrs. Oldham is a sober, grave widow, a little aforehand, in the
world, but not much; has lived well; understands house-hold management
thoroughly; is diligent; and has a turn to serious things, which will
make you like her the better. I'll order Beck and her to wait on you,
and she will satisfy you in every thing as to what you may, or may not
expect of her.

You can't think how kindly I take this motion from you. You forget
nothing that can oblige your friends. Little did I think you would
remember me of (what I had forgotten in a manner) my favourable
opinion and wishes for her expressed so long ago.--But you are what
you are--a dear obliging creature.

Beck is all joy and gratitude upon it, and her sister had rather serve
you than the princess. You need be under no difficulties about terms:
she would serve you for nothing, if you would accept of her service.

I am glad, because it pleases you so much, that Miss Goodwin will be
soon put into your care. It will be happy for the child, and I hope
she will be so dutiful as to give you no pain for your generous
goodness to her. Her mamma has sent me a present of some choice
products of that climate, with acknowledgments of my kindness to Miss.
I will send part of it to you by your new servant; for so I presume to
call her already.

What a naughty sister are you, however, to be so far advanced again as
to be obliged to shorten your intended excursions, and yet not to send
me word of it yourself? Don't you know how much I interest myself in
every thing that makes for my brother's happiness and your's? more
especially in so material a point as is the increase of a family
that it is my boast to be sprung from. Yet I must find this out by
accident, and by other hands!--Is not this very slighting!--But never
do so again, and I'll forgive you now because of the joy it gives me;
who am _your truly affectionate and obliged sister_, B. DAVERS.

I thank you for your book upon the plays you saw. Inclosed is a list
of some others, which I desire you to read, and to oblige me with your
remarks upon them at your leisure; though you may not, perhaps, have
seen them by the time you will favour me with your observations.



LETTER LXXXVII

_From Mrs. B. to Lady Davers_.

MY DEAR LADY DAVERS,

I have a valuable present made me by the same lady; and therefore hope
you will not take it amiss, that, with abundance of thanks, I return
your's by Mrs. Worden, whose sister I much approve of, and thank your
ladyship for your kind recommendation of so worthy a person. We begin
with so much good liking to one another, that I doubt not we shall be
very happy together.

A moving letter, much more valuable to me than the handsome present,
was put into my hands, at the same time with that; of which the
following is a copy:

_From Mrs. Wrightson (formerly Miss Sally Godfrey) to Mrs. B._

"HAPPY, DESERVEDLY HAPPY, DEAR LADY,

"Permit these lines to kiss your hands from one, who, though she is
a stranger to your person, is not so to your character: _that_ has
reached us here, in this remote part of the world, where you have as
many admirers as have heard of you. But I more particularly am bound
to be so, by an obligation which I can never discharge, but by my
daily prayers for you, and the blessings I continually implore upon
you and yours.

"I can write my whole mind _to_ you, though I cannot, from the most
deplorable infelicity, receive _from_ you the wished-for favour of a
few lines in return, written with the same unreservedness: so unhappy
am I, from the effects of an inconsideration and weakness on one hand,
and temptation on the other, which you, at a tender age, most nobly,
for your own honour, and that of your sex, have escaped: whilst I--but
let my tears in these blots speak the rest--as my heart bleeds, and
has constantly bled ever since, at the grievous remembrance--but
believe, however, dear Madam, that 'tis shame and sorrow, and not
pride and impenitence, that make me both to speak out, to so much
purity of life and manners, my own odious weakness.

"Nevertheless, I ought, and I _will_ accuse myself by name. Imagine
then, illustrious lady, truly illustrious for virtues, infinitely
superior to all the advantages of birth and fortune!--Imagine, I
say, that in this letter, you see before you the _once_ guilty,
and therefore, I doubt, _always_ guilty, but _ever penitent_, Sarah
Godfrey; the unhappy, though fond and tender mother of the poor
infant, to whom your generous goodness has, I hear, extended itself,
so as to make you desirous of taking her under your worthy protection:
God for ever bless you for it! prays an indulgent mother, who admires
at an awful distance, that virtue in you, which she could not practise
herself.

"And will you, dearest lady, take under your own immediate protection,
the poor unguilty infant? will you love her, for the sake of her
suffering mamma, whom you know not; for the sake of the gentleman, now
so dear to you, and so worthy of you, as I hear, with pleasure, he
is? And will you, by the best example in the world, give me a moral
assurance, that she will never sink into the fault, the weakness,
the crime (I ought not to scruple to call it so) of her poor
inconsiderate-But you are her mamma _now_: I will not think of a
_guilty_ one therefore. What a joy is it to me, in the midst of my
heavy reflections on my past misconduct, that my beloved Sally can
boast a _virtuous_ and _innocent mamma_, who has withstood the snares
and temptations, that have been so fatal--elsewhere!--and whose
example, and instructions, next to God's grace, will be the strongest
fences to her honour!--Once more I say, and on my knees I write it,
God for ever bless you here, and augment your joys hereafter, for your
generous goodness to my poor, and, till now, _motherless_ infant.

"I hope she, by her duty and obligingness, will do all in her little
power to make you amends, and never give you cause to repent of this
your _unexampled_ kindness to her and to _me_. She cannot, I hope
(except her mother's crime has had an influence upon her, too much
like that of an original stain), be of a sordid, or an ungrateful
nature. And, O my poor Sally! if you _are_, and if ever you fail in
your duty to your new mamma, to whose care and authority I transfer
my _whole_ right in you, remember that you have no more a mamma in me,
nor can you be entitled to my blessing, or my prayers, which I make
now, on that _only_ condition, your implicit obedience to all your new
mamma's commands and directions.

"You may have the curiosity, Madam, to wish to know how I live: for no
doubt you have heard all my sad, sad story!--Know, then, that I am
as happy, as a poor creature can be, who has once so deplorably, so
inexcusably fallen. I have a worthy gentleman for my husband, who
married me as a widow, whose only child by my former was the care of
her papa's friends, particularly of good Lacy Davers and her brother.
Poor unhappy I! to be under such a sad necessity to disguise the
truth!--Mr. Wrightson (whose name I am unworthily honoured by) has
often entreated me to send for the poor child, and to let her be
joined as his--killing thought, that it cannot be!--with two children
I have by him!--Judge, my good lady, how that very generosity, which,
had I been guiltless, would have added to my joys, must wound me
deeper than even ungenerous or unkind usage from him could do! and how
heavy that crime must lie upon me, which turns my very pleasures to
misery, and fixes all the joy I _can_ know, in repentance for my past
misdeeds!--How happy are YOU, Madam, on the contrary; YOU, who have
nothing of this sort to pall, nothing to mingle with your felicities!
who, blessed in an honour untainted, and a conscience that cannot
reproach you, are enabled to enjoy every well deserved comfort, as it
offers itself; and can _improve_ it too, by reflection on _your_ past
conduct! While _mine_, alas! like a winter frost, nips in the bud
every rising satisfaction.

"My husband is rich as well as generous, and very tender of me--Happy,
if I could think _myself_ as deserving as _he_ thinks me!--My
principal comfort, as I hinted, is in my penitence for my past faults;
and that I have a merciful God for my judge, who knows that penitence
to be sincere!

"You may guess, Madam, from what I have said, in what light I _must_
appear here; and if you would favour me with a line or two, in
answer to the letter you have now in your hand, it will be one of the
greatest pleasures I_ can_ receive: a pleasure next to that which I
_have_ received in knowing, that the gentleman you love best, has had
the grace to repent of all his evils; has early seen his errors; and
has thereby, I hope, freed_ two_ persons from being, one day, mutual
accusers of each other; for now I please myself to think, that the
crimes of both may be washed away in the blood of that Saviour God,
whom both have so grievously offended!

"May that God, who has not suffered me to be abandoned entirely to
my own shame, as I deserved, continue to shower down upon you those
blessings, which a virtue like yours may expect from his mercy! May
you long be happy in the possession of all you wish! and late, very
late (for the good of thousands, I wish this!) may you receive the
reward of your piety, your generosity, and your filial, your social,
and conjugal virtues! are the prayers of _your most unworthy admirer,
and obliged humble servant_,

"SARAH WRIGHTSON.

"Mr. Wrightson begs your acceptance of a small present, part of which
can have no value, but what its excelling qualities, for what it is,
will give it at so great a distance as that dear England, which I
once left with so much shame and regret; but with a laudable purpose,
_however_, because I would not incur still _greater_ shame, and of
consequence give cause for still _greater_ regret!"

To this letter, my dear Lady Davers, I have written the following
answer, which Mr. B. will take care to have conveyed to her.

"DEAREST MADAM,

"I embrace with great pleasure the opportunity you have so kindly
given me, of writing to a lady whose person though I have not the
honour to know, yet whose character, and noble qualities, I truly
revere.

"I am infinitely obliged to you. Madam, for the precious trust
you have reposed in me, and the right you make over to me, of your
maternal interest in a child, on whom I set my heart, the moment I saw
her.

"Lady Davers, whose love and tenderness for Miss, as well for her
mamma's sake, as your late worthy spouse's, had, from her kind opinion
of me, consented to grant me this favour: and I was, by Mr. B.'s
leave, in actual possession of my pretty ward about a week before your
kind letter came to my hands.

"As I had been long very solicitous for this favour, judge how welcome
your kind concurrence was: and the rather, as, had I known, that a
letter from you was on the way to me, I should have feared you would
insist upon depriving the surviving friends of her dear papa, of the
pleasure they take in the dear child. Indeed, Madam, I believe we
should one and all have joined to disobey you, had _that_ been the
case; and it is a great satisfaction to us, that we are not under so
hard a necessity, as to dispute with a tender mamma the possession of
her own child.

"Assure yourself, worthiest Madam, of a care and tenderness in me to
the dear child truly maternal, and answerable, as much as in my power,
to the trust you repose in me. The little boy, that God has given me,
shall not be more dear to me than my sweet Miss Goodwin shall be; and
my care, by God's grace, shall extend to her _future_ as well as to
her _present_ prospects, that she may be worthy of that piety, and
_truly_ religious excellence, which I admire in your character.

"We all rejoice, dear Madam, in the account you give of your present
happiness. It was impossible that God Almighty should desert a lady
so exemplarily deserving; and he certainly conducted you in your
resolutions to abandon every thing that you loved in England, after
the loss of your dear spouse, because it seems to have been his
intention that you should reward the merit of Mr. Wrightson, and meet
with your own reward in so doing.

"Miss is very fond of my little Billy: she is a charming child, is
easy and genteel in her shape, and very pretty; she dances finely,
has a sweet air, and is improving every day in music; works with her
needle, and reads admirably for her years; and takes a delight in
both, which gives me no small pleasure. But she is not very forward in
her penmanship, as you will see by what follows: the inditing too is
her own; but in that, and the writing, she took a good deal of time,
on a separate paper.

"DEAREST DEAR MAMMA,

"Your Sally is full of joy, to have any commands from her honoured
mamma. I promise to follow all your directions. Indeed, and upon my
word, I will. You please me mightily in giving me so dear a new mamma
here. Now I know indeed I have a mamma, and I will love and obey her,
as if she was you your own self. Indeed I will. You must always bless
me, because I will be always good. I hope you will believe me, because
I am above telling fibs. I am, my honoured mamma on the other side
of the water, and ever will be, as if you was here, _your dutiful
daughter_,

"SALLY GOODWIN."

"Miss (permit me, dear Madam, to subjoin) is a very good tempered
child, easy to be persuaded, and I hope loves me dearly; and I will
endeavour to make her love me better and better; for on that love will
depend the regard which, I hope, she will pay to all I shall say and
do for her good.

"Repeating my acknowledgements for the kind trust you repose in me,
and with thanks for the valuable present you have sent me, we all here
join in respects to worthy Mr. Wrightson, and in wishing you. Madam,
a continuance and increase of worldly felicity; and I particularly
beg leave to assure you, that I am, and ever will be, with the highest
respect and gratitude, though personally unknown, dearest Madam, _the
affectionate admirer of your piety, and your obliged humble servant_,

"P.B."

Your ladyship will see how I was circumscribed and limited; otherwise
I would have said (what I have mentioned more than once), how I admire
and honour her for her penitence, and for that noble resolution, which
enabled her to do what thousands could not have had the heart to do,
abandon her country, her relations, friends, baby, and all that was
dear to her, as well as the seducer, whom she too well loved, and
hazard the sea, the dangers of pirates, and possibly of other wicked
attempters of the mischievous sex, in a world she knew nothing
of, among strangers; and all to avoid repeating a sin she had been
unhappily drawn into; and for which she still abhors herself.

Must not such a lady as this, dear Madam, have as much merit as many
even of those, who, having not had her temptations, have not fallen?
This, at least, one may aver, that next to not committing an error, is
the resolution to retrieve it all that one may, to repent of it, and
studiously to avoid the repetition. But who, besides this excellent
Mrs. Wrightson, having so fallen, and being still so ardently
solicited and pursued, (and flattered, perhaps, by fond hopes, that
her spoiler would one day do her all the justice he _could_--for
who can do complete justice to a woman he has robbed of her
honour?)--could resolve as she resolved, and act as she acted? Miss
Goodwin is a sweet child; but, permit me to say, has a little of
her papa's spirit; hasty, yet generous and acknowledging when she is
convinced of her fault; a little haughtier and prouder than I wish her
to be; but in every thing else deserves the character I give of her to
her mamma.

She is very fond of fine clothes, is a little too lively to the
servants.--Told me once, when I took notice that softness and mildness
of speech became a young lady, that they were _but_ servants! and she
could say no more than, "Pray," and "I desire," and "I wish you'd be
so kind," to her uncle or to me.

I told her, that good servants deserved any civil distinctions; and
that so long as they were ready to oblige in every thing, by a kind
word, it would be very wrong to give them imperative ones, which could
serve for no other end but to convince observers of the haughtiness
of one's own temper; and looked, as if one would question their
compliance with our wills, unless we would exact it with an high hand;
which might cast a slur upon the command we gave, as if we thought it
was hardly so reasonable as otherwise to obtain their observation of
it.

"Besides, my dear," said I, "you don't consider, that if you speak
as haughtily and commandingly to them on common, as on extraordinary
occasions, you weaken your own authority, if even you should be
permitted to have any, and they'll regard you no more in the one case
than in the other."

She takes great notice of what I say, and when her little proud heart
is subdued by reasonings she cannot answer, she will sit as if she
were studying what to say, to come off as flying as she can, and as
the case requires, I let her go off easily, or push the little dear to
her last refuge, and make her quit her post, and yield up her spirit a
captive to Reason and Discretion: two excellent commanders, with whom,
I tell her, I must bring her to be intimately acquainted.

Yet, after all, till I can be sure that I can inspire her with the
love of virtue, for its _own_ sake, I will rather try to conduct her
spirit to proper ends, than endeavour totally to subdue it; being
sensible that our passions are given us for excellent ends, and that
they may, by a proper direction, be made subservient to the noblest
purposes.

I tell her sometimes, there may be a decent pride in humility, and
that it is very possible for a young lady to behave with so much
_true_ dignity, as shall command respect by the turn of her eye,
sooner than by asperity of speech; that she may depend upon it, the
person, who is always finding faults, frequently causes them; and that
it is no glory to be better born than servants, if she is not better
behaved too.

Besides, I tell her humility is a grace that shines in a _high_
condition, but cannot equally in a _low_ one; because that is already
too much humbled, perhaps: and that, though there is a censure lies
against being _poor and proud_, yet I would rather forgive pride in a
poor body, than in a rich: for in the rich it is insult and arrogance,
proceeding from their high condition; but in the poor it may be a
defensative against dishonesty, and may shew a natural bravery
of mind, perhaps, if properly directed, and manifested on right
occasions, that the frowns of fortune cannot depress.

She says she hears every day things from me, which her governess never
taught her.

That may very well be, I tell her, because her governess has _many_
young ladies to take care of: I but _one_; and that I want to make her
wise and prudent betimes, that she may be an example to other Misses;
and that governesses and mammas shall say to their Misses, "When will
you be like Miss Goodwin? Do you ever hear Miss Goodwin say a naughty
word? Would Miss Goodwin, think you, have done so or so?"

She threw her arms about my neck, on one such occasion as this; "Oh,"
said she, "what a charming mamma have I got! I will be in every thing
as like you, as ever I can!--and then you will love me, and so will my
uncle, and so will every body else."

Mr. B. whom now-and-then, she says, she loves as well as if he was her
own papa, sees with pleasure how we go on. But she tells me, I must
not have any daughter but her, and is very jealous on the occasion
about which your ladyship so kindly reproaches me.

There is a pride, you know, Madam, in some of our sex, that serves to
useful purposes, is a good defence against improper matches, and mean
actions; and is not wholly to be subdued, for that reason; for, though
it is not _virtue_, yet, if it can be virtue's _substitute_, in high,
rash, and inconsiderate minds, it; may turn to good account. So I
will not quite discourage my dear pupil neither, till I see what
discretion, and riper years, may add to her distinguishing faculty.
For, as some have no notion of pride, separate from imperiousness and
arrogance, so others know no difference between humility and meanness.

There is a golden mean in every thing; and if it please God to spare
us both, I will endeavour to point her passions, and such even of
those foibles, which seem too deeply rooted to be soon eradicated,
to useful purposes; choosing to imitate physicians, who, in certain
chronical illnesses, as I have read in Lord Bacon, rather proceed by
palliatives, than by harsh extirpatives, which, through the resistance
given to them by the constitution, may create such ferments in it, as
may destroy that health it was their intention to establish.

But whither am I running?--Your ladyship, I hope, will excuse this
parading freedom of my pen: for though these notions are well enough
with regard to Miss Goodwin, they must be very impertinent to a
lady, who can so much better instruct Miss's tutoress than that vain
tutoress can her pupil. And, therefore, with my humblest respects to
my good Lord Davers, and your noble neighbours, and to Mr. H. I hasten
to conclude myself _your ladyship's obliged sister, and obedient
servant_,

P.B.

Your Billy, Madam, is a charming dear!--I long to have you see him.
He sends you a kiss upon this paper. You'll see it stained, just here.
The charmer has cut two teeth, and is about more: so you'll excuse the
dear, pretty, slabbering boy. Miss Goodwin is ready to eat him
with love: and Mr. B. is fonder and fonder of us all: and then your
ladyship, and my good Lord Davers love us too. O, Madam, what a
blessed creature am I!

Miss Goodwin begs I'll send her duty to her _noble_ uncle and aunt;
that's her just distinction always, when she speaks of you both. She
asked me, pretty dear, just now, If I think there is such a happy girl
in the world as she is? I tell her, God always blesses good Misses,
and makes them happier and happier.



LETTER LXXXVIII

MY DEAR LADY DAVERS,

I have three marriages to acquaint you with, in one letter. In the
first place, Sir W.G. has sent, by the particular desire of my dear
friend, that he was made one of the happiest men in England, on the
18th past; and so I have no longer my Miss Darnford to boast of. I
have a very good opinion of the gentleman; but if he be but half so
good a husband as she will make a wife, they will be exceedingly happy
in one another.

Mr. Williams's marriage to a kinswoman of his noble patron (as you
have heard was in treaty) is the next; and there is great reason to
believe, from the character of both, that they will likewise do credit
to the state.

The third is Mr. Adams and Polly Barlow; and I wish them, for both
their sakes, as happy as either of the former. They are set out to his
living, highly pleased with one another; and I hope will have reason
to continue so to be.

As to the first, I did not indeed think the affair would have been so
soon concluded; and Miss kept it off so long, as I understood, that
her papa was angry with her: and, indeed, as the gentleman's family,
circumstances, and character, were such, that there could lie no
objection against him, I think it would have been wrong to have
delayed it.

I should have written to your ladyship before; but have been favoured
with Mr. B.'s company into Kent, on a visit to my good mother, who was
indisposed. We tarried there a week, and left both my dear parents, to
my thankful satisfaction, in as good health as ever they were in their
lives.

Mrs. Judy Swynford, or Miss Swynford (as she refuses not being called,
now and then), has been with us for this week past; and she expects
her brother, Sir Jacob, to fetch her away in about a week hence.

It does not become me to write the least word that may appear
disrespectful of any person related to your ladyship and Mr. B.
Otherwise I should say, that the B----s and the S----s are directly
the opposites of one another. But yet, as she never saw your ladyship
but once, you will forgive me to mention a word or two about her,
because she is a character that is in a manner new to me.

She is a maiden lady, as you know, and though she will not part with
the green leaf from her hand, one sees by the grey-goose down on her
brows and her head, that she cannot be less than fifty-five. But so
much pains does she take, by powder, to have never a dark hair in her
head, because she has one half of them white, that I am sorry to see,
what is a subject for reverence, should be deemed, by the good lady,
matter of concealment.

She is often seemingly reproaching herself, that she is an _old maid_,
and an _old woman_; but it is very discernible, that she expects
a compliment, that she is _not so_, every time she is so free with
herself: and if nobody makes her one, she will say something of that
sort in her own behalf.

She takes particular care, that of all the public transactions which
happen to be talked of, her memory will never carry her back above
thirty years! and then it is--"About thirty years ago; when I was a
girl," or "when I was in hanging sleeves;" and so she makes herself,
for twenty years of her life, a very useless and insignificant person.

If her teeth, which, for her age, are very good, though not over white
(and which, by her care of them, she seems to look upon as the last
remains of her better days), would but fail, it might help her to a
conviction, that would set her ten years forwarder at least. But, poor
lady, she is so _young_, in spite of her wrinkles, that I am really
concerned for her affectation; because it exposes her to the remarks
and ridicule of the gentlemen, and gives one pain for her.

Surely, these ladies don't act prudently at all; since, for every year
Mrs. Judy would take from her age, her censurers add two to it; and,
behind her back, make her going on towards seventy; whereas, if she
would lay claim to her _reverentials_, as I may say, and not try to
conceal her age, she would have many compliments for looking so well
at her years.--And many a young body would hope to be the better for
her advice and experience, who now are afraid of affronting her, if
they suppose she has lived much longer in the world than themselves.

Then she looks back to the years she owns, when more flippant ladies,
at the laughing time of her life, delight to be frolic: she tries to
sing too, although, if ever she had a voice, she has outlived it; and
her songs are of so antique a date, that they would betray her; only,
as she says, they were learnt her by her grandmother, who was a fine
lady at the Restoration. She will join in a dance; and though her
limbs move not so pliantly as might be expected of a lady no older
than she would be thought, and whose dancing-days are not entirely
over, yet that was owing to a fall from her horse some years ago,
which, she doubts, she shall never recover, though she finds she grows
better and better, _every year_.

Thus she loses the respect, the reverence, she might receive, were it
not for this miserable affectation; takes pains, by aping youth, to
make herself unworthy of her years, and is content to be thought less
discreet than she might otherwise be deemed, for fear she should be
imagined older if she appeared wiser.

What a sad thing is this, Madam!--What a mistaken conduct! We pray to
live to old age; and it is promised as a blessing, and as a reward for
the performance of certain duties; and yet, when we come to it, we had
rather be thought as foolish as youth, than to be deemed wise, and in
possession of it. And so we shew how little we deserve what we have
been so long coveting; and yet covet on: for what? Why, to be more and
more ashamed, and more and more unworthy of that we covet!

How fantastic a character is this!-Well may irreverent, unthinking
youth despise, instead of revere, the hoary head which the wearer is
so much ashamed of. The lady boasts a relationship to you, and Mr.
B. and, I think, I am very bold. But my reverence for years, and the
disgust I have to see anybody behave unworthy of them, makes me take
the greater liberty: which, however, I shall wish I had not taken, if
it meets not with that allowance, which I have always had from your
ladyship in what I write.

God knows whether ever I may enjoy the blessing I so much revere in
others. For now my heavy time approaches. But I was so apprehensive
before, and so troublesome to my best friends, with my vapourish
fears, that now (with a perfect resignation to the Divine Will) I will
only add, that I am _your ladyship's most obliged sister and servant_,
P.B.

My dear Billy, and Miss Goodwin, improve every day, and are all I can
desire or expect them to be. Could Miss's poor mamma be here with a
wish, and back again, how much would she be delighted with one of our
afternoon conferences; our Sunday employments especially!--And let
me add, that I am very happy in another young gentleman of the dean's
recommending, instead of Mr. Adams.



LETTER LXXXIX

MY DEAREST LADY,

I am once more, blessed be God for all his mercies to me! enabled,
on my upsitting, to thank you, and my noble lord, for all your kind
solicitudes for my welfare. Billy every day improves. Miss is all I
wish her to be, and my second dear boy continues to be as lovely and
as fine a baby as your ladyship was pleased to think him; and their
papa, the best of husbands!

I am glad to hear Lady Betty is likely to be so happy. Mr. B. says,
her noble admirer is as worthy a gentleman as any in the peerage; and
I beg of you to congratulate the dear lady, and her noble parents,
in my name, if I should be at a distance, when the nuptials are
celebrated.

I have had the honour of a visit from my lady, the Countess Dowager,
on occasion of her leaving the kingdom for a year or two, for which
space she designs to reside in Italy, principally at Naples or
Florence; a design she took up some time ago, but which it seems she
could not conveniently put into execution till now.

Mr. B. was abroad when her ladyship came, and I expected him not till
the next day. She sent her gentleman, the preceding evening, to let me
know that business had brought her as far as Wooburn; and if it would
not be unacceptable, she would pay her respects to me at breakfast,
the next morning, being speedily to leave England. I returned, that I
should be very proud of that honour. And about ten her ladyship came.

She was exceedingly fond of my two boys, the little man, and the
pretty baby, as she called them; and I had very different emotions
from the expression of her love to Billy, and her visit to me, from
what I had once before. She was sorry, she said, Mr. B. was abroad;
though her business was principally with me. "For, Mrs. B.," said she,
"I come to tell you all that passed between Mr. B. and myself, that
you may not think worse of either of us, than we deserve; and I could
not leave England till I had waited on you for this purpose; and yet,
perhaps, from the distance of time, you'll think it needless now.
And, indeed, I should have waited on you before, to have cleared up my
character with you, had I thought I should have been so long kept on
this side of the water."--I said, I was very sorry I had ever been
uneasy, when I had two persons of so much honour--"Nay," said she,
interrupting me, "you have no need to apologize; things looked bad
enough, as they were presented to you, to justify greater uneasiness
than you expressed."

She asked me, who that pretty genteel Miss was?--I said, a relation of
Lord Davers, who was entrusted lately to my care. "Then, Miss," said
her ladyship, and kissed her, "you are very happy."

Believing the Countess was desirous of being alone with me, I said,
"My dear Miss Goodwin, won't you go to your little nursery, my love?"
for so she calls my last blessing--"You'd be sorry the baby should cry
for you." For she was so taken with the charming lady, that she was
loth to leave us--But, on my saying this, withdrew.

When we were alone, the Countess began her story, with a sweet
confusion, which added to her loveliness. She said she would be
brief, because she should exact all my attention, and not suffer me
to interrupt her till she had done. She began with acknowledging, that
she thought, when she first saw Mr. B. at the masquerade, that he was
the finest gentleman she had ever seen; that the allowed freedoms of
the place had made her take liberties in following him, and engaging
him wherever he went. She blamed him very freely for passing for a
single man; for that, she said, since she had so splendid a fortune
of her own, was all she was solicitous about; having never, as she
confessed, seen a man she could like so well; her former marriage
having been in some sort forced upon her, at an age when she knew not
how to distinguish; and that she was very loth to believe him married,
even when she had no reason to doubt it. "Yet this I must say," said
she, "I never heard a man, when he owned he was married, express
himself with more affectionate regard and fondness than he did of
you; which made me long to see you; for I had a great opinion of those
personal advantages which every one flattered me with; and was very
unwilling to yield the palm of beauty to you.

"I believe you will censure me, Mrs. B., for permitting his visits
after I knew he was married. To be sure, that was a thoughtless, and
a faulty part of my conduct. But the world's saucy censures, and
my friends' indiscreet interposals, incensed me; and, knowing the
uprightness of my own heart, I was resolved to disgrace both, when I
found they could not think worse of me than they did.

"I am naturally of a high spirit, impatient of contradiction, always
gave myself freedoms, for which, satisfied with my own innocence, I
thought myself above being accountable to any body--And then Mr. B.
has such noble sentiments, a courage and fearlessness, which I saw
on more occasions than one, that all ladies who know the weakness of
their own sex, and how much they want the protection of the brave,
are taken with. Then his personal address was so peculiarly
distinguishing, that having an opinion of his honour, I was
embarrassed greatly how to deny myself his conversation; although,
you'll pardon me, Mrs. B., I began to be afraid that my reputation
might suffer in the world's opinion for the indulgence.

"Then, when I had resolved, as I did several times, to see him no
more, some unforeseen accident threw him in my way again, at one
entertainment or other; for I love balls and concerts, and public
diversions, perhaps, better than I ought; and then I had all my
resolves to begin again. Yet this I can truly say, whatever his views
were, I never heard from him the least indecent expression, nor saw in
his behaviour to me much to apprehend; saving, I began to fear, that
by his insinuating address, and noble manner, I should be too much in
his power, and too little in my own, if I went on so little doubting,
and so little alarmed, if ever he should avow dishonourable designs.

"I had often lamented, that our sex were prohibited, by the designs
of the other upon their honour, and by the world's censures, from
conversing with the same ease and freedom with gentlemen, as with one
another. And when once I asked myself, to what this conversation
might tend at last? and where the pleasure each seemed to take in the
other's, might possibly end? I resolved to break it off; and told
him my resolution next time I saw him. But he stopped my mouth with a
romantic notion, as I since think it, (though a sorry plea will have
weight in favour of a proposal, to which one has no aversion) of
Platonic love; and we had an intercourse by letters, to the number of
six or eight, I believe, on that and other subjects.

"Yet all this time, I was the less apprehensive, because he always
spoke so tenderly, and even with delight, whenever he mentioned
his lady; and I could not find, that you were at all alarmed at our
acquaintance: for I never scrupled to send my letters, by my own
livery, to your house, sealed with my own seal. At last, indeed, he
began to tell me, that from the sweetest and evenest temper in the
world, you seemed to be leaning towards melancholy, were always in
tears, or shewed you had been weeping, when he came home; and that you
did not make his return to you so agreeable as he used to find it.

"I asked if it were not owing to some alteration in his own temper?
If you might not be uneasy at our acquaintance, and at his frequent
absence from you, and the like? He answered, No; that you were above
disguises, were of a noble and frank nature, and would have hinted it
to him, if you had. This, however, when I began to think seriously of
the matter, gave me but little satisfaction; and I was more and
more convinced, that my honour required it of me, to break off this
intimacy.

"And although I permitted Mr. B. to go with me to Tunbridge, when I
went to take a house there, yet I was uneasy, as he saw. And, indeed,
so was he, though he tarried a day or two longer than he designed, on
account of a little excursion my sister and her lord, and he and I,
made into Sussex, to see an estate I thought of purchasing; for he was
so good as to look into my affairs, and has put them upon an admirable
establishment.

"His uneasiness, I found, was upon your account, and he sent you a
letter to excuse himself for not waiting on you on Saturday, and to
say, he would dine with you on Monday. And I remember when I
said, 'Mr. B., you seem to be chagrined at something; you are more
thoughtful than usual: 'his answer was, 'Madam, you are right, Mrs.
B. and I have had a little misunderstanding. She is so solemn, and so
melancholy of late, I fear it will be no difficult matter to put her
out of her right mind: and I love her so well, that then I should
hardly keep my own.'

"'Is there no reason, think you,' said I, 'to imagine that your
acquaintance with me gives her uneasiness? You know, Mr. B., how that
villain T.' (a man," said she, "whose insolent address I rejected with
the contempt it deserved) 'has slandered us. How know you, but he has
found a way to your wife's ear, as he has done to my uncle's, and to
all my friends'? And if so, it is best for us both to discontinue a
friendship, that may be attended with disagreeable consequences.'

"He said, he should find it out on his return. 'And will you,' said I,
'ingenuously acquaint me with the issue of your inquiries? for,' added
I, 'I never beheld a countenance, in so young a lady, that seemed to
mean more than Mrs. B.'s, when I saw her in town; and notwithstanding
her prudence I could see a reserve and thoughtfulness in it, that, if
it was not natural to it, must indicate too much.'

"He wrote to me, in a very moving letter, the issue of your
conference, and referred to some papers of your's, that he would shew
me, as soon as he could procure them, they being of your own hands;
and let me know that T. was the accuser, as I had suspected.

"In brief, Madam, when you went down into Kent, he read to me
some part of your account to Lady Davers, of your informant and
information; your apprehensions; your prudence; your affection for
him; the reason of your melancholy; and, to all appearance, reason
enough you had, especially from the letter of Thomasine Fuller,
which was one of T.'s vile forgeries: for though we had often, for
argument's sake, talked of polygamy (he arguing for it, I against it),
yet had not Mr. B. dared, nor was he inclined, I verily believe, to
propose any such thing to me: no, Madam, I was not so much abandoned
to a sense of honour, as to give reason for any one, but my
impertinent and foolish uncle, to impute such a folly to me; and he
had so behaved to me, that I cared not what _he_ thought.

"Then, what he read to me, here and there, as he pleased, gave me
reason to admire you for your generous opinion of one you had so much
seeming cause to be afraid of: he told me his apprehensions, from your
uncommon manner, that your mind was in some degree affected, and your
strange proposal of parting with a husband every one knows you so
dearly love: and we agreed to forbear seeing each other, and all
manner of correspondence, except by letter, for one month, till some
of my affairs were settled, which had been in great disorder, and were
in his kind management then; and I had not one relation, whom I cared
to trouble with them, because of their treatment of me on Mr. B.'s
account. And this, I told him, should not be neither, but through your
hands, and with your consent.

"And thus, Madam," said her ladyship, "have I told you the naked truth
of the whole affair. I have seen Mr. B. very seldom since: and when
I have, it has been either at a horse-race, in the open field, or at
some public diversion, by accident, where only distant civilities have
passed between us.

"I respect him greatly; you must allow me to say that. Except in the
article of permitting me to believe, for some time, that he was a
single gentleman, a fault he cannot be excused for, and which made me
heartily quarrel with him, when I first knew it, he has behaved to
me with so much generosity and honour, that I could have wished I
had been of his sex, since he had a lady so much more deserving than
myself; and then, had he had the same esteem for me, there never would
have been a more perfect friendship. I am now going," continued she,
"to embark for France, and shall pass a year or two in Italy; and then
I shall, I hope, return as solid, as grave, as circumspect, though not
so wise, as Mrs. B."

Thus the Countess concluded her narrative: I said, I was greatly
obliged to her for the honour of this visit, and the kind and
considerate occasion of it: but that Mr. B. had made me entirely happy
in every particular, and had done her ladyship the justice she so well
deserved, having taken upon himself the blame of passing as a single
man at his first acquaintance with her.

I added, that I could hope her ladyship might be prevented, by some
happy man, from leaving a kingdom, to which she was so great an
ornament, as well by her birth, her quality and fortune, as by her
perfections of person and mind.

She said, she had not been the happiest of her sex in her former
marriage: although nobody, her youth considered, thought her a bad
wife; and her lord's goodness to her, at his death, had demonstrated
his own favourable opinion of her by deeds, as he had done by words
upon all occasions: but that she was yet young; a little too gay and
unsettled: and had her head turned towards France and Italy, having
passed some time in those countries, which she thought of with
pleasure, though then only twelve or thirteen: that for this reason,
and having been on a late occasion still more unsettled (looking down
with blushes, which often overspread her face, as she talked), she had
refused some offers, not despicable: that indeed Lord C. threatened to
follow her to Italy, in hopes of meeting better success there, than
he had met with here: but if he did, though she would make no
resolutions, she might be too much offended with him, to give him
reason to boast of his journey; and this the rather, as she believed
he had once entertained no very honourable notions of her friendship
for Mr. B.

She wished to see Mr. B. and to take leave of him, but not out of my
company, she was pleased to say.--"Your ladyship's consideration for
me," replied I, "lays me under high obligation; but indeed, Madam,
there is no occasion for it, from any diffidences I have in your's or
Mr. B.'s honour. And if you will give me the pleasure of knowing when
it will be most acceptable, I will beg of Mr. B. to oblige me with his
company to return this favour, the first visit I make abroad."

"You are very kind, Mrs. B.," said she: "but I think to go to
Tunbridge for a fortnight, when I have disposed of every thing for
my embarkation, and so set out from thence. And if you should then be
both in Kent, I should be glad to take you at your word."

To be sure, I said, Mr. B. at least, would attend her ladyship there,
if any thing should happen to deprive me of that honour.

"You are very obliging," said she, "I take great concern to myself,
for having caused you a moment's uneasiness formerly: but I must now
try to be circumspect, in order to retrieve my character, which has
been so basely traduced by that presumptuous fellow Turner, who hoped,
I suppose, by that means, to bring me down to his level."

Her ladyship would not be prevailed upon to stay dinner; and, saying
she would be at Wooburn all the next day, took a very tender leave of
me, wishing me all manner of happiness, as I did her.

Mr. B. came home in the evening, and next morning rode to Wooburn, to
pay his respects to the Countess, and came back in the evening.

Thus happily, and to the satisfaction of all three, as I hope, ended
this perplexing affair.

Mr. B. asks me how I relish Mr. Locke's _Treatise on Education_?
which he put into my hands some time since, as I told your ladyship. I
answered, Very well; and I thought it an excellent piece in the main.

"I'll tell you," said he, "what you shall do. You have not shewed me
any thing you have written for a good while. I could wish you to fill
up your leisure-time with your observations on that treatise, that I
may know what you can object to it; for you say _in the main_, which
shews, that you do not entirely approve of every part of it."

"But will not that be presumptuous, Sir?"

"I admire Mr. Locke," replied he; "and I admire my Pamela. I have
no doubt of his excellencies, but I want to know the sentiments of a
young mother, as well as of a learned gentleman, upon the subject of
education; because I have heard several ladies censure some part of
his regimen, when I am convinced, that the fault lies in their own
over-great fondness for their children."

"As to myself, Sir, who, in the early part of my life, have not been
brought up too tenderly, you will hardly meet with any objection to
the part which I imagine you have heard most objected to by ladies who
have been more indulgently treated in their first stage. But there
are a few other things that want clearing up to my understanding; but,
which, however, may be the fault of that."

"Then, my dear," said he, "suppose me at a distance from you, cannot
you give me your remarks in the same manner, as if you were writing to
Lady Davers, or to Miss Darnford, that was?"

"Yes, Sir, depending on your kind favour to me, I believe I could."

"Do then; and the less restraint you write with, the more I shall be
pleased with it. But I confine you not to time or place. We will make
our excursions as I once proposed; and do you write to me now-and-then
upon the subject; for the places and remarkables you will see, will be
new only to yourself; nor will either of those ladies expect from
you an itinerary, or a particular description of countries, which are
better described by authors who have made it their business to treat
upon those subjects. By this means, you will be usefully employed in
your own way, which may turn to good account to us both, and to the
dear children, which it may please God to bestow upon us."

"You don't expect, Sir, any thing regular, or digested from me."

"I don't, my dear. Let your fancy and your judgment be both employed,
and I require no method; for I know, in your easy, natural way, that
would be a confinement, which would cramp your genius, and give what
you write a stiff, formal air, that I might expect in a pedagogue, but
not in my Pamela."

"Well, but, Sir, although I may write nothing to the purpose, yet if
Lady Davers desires it, you will allow me to transmit what I shall
write to her, when you have perused it yourself? For your good sister
is so indulgent to my scribble, she will expect to be always hearing
from me; and this way I shall oblige her ladyship while I obey her
brother."

"With all my heart," he was pleased to say.

So, my lady, I shall now-and-then pay my respects to you in the
writing way, though I must address myself, it seems, to my dearest Mr.
B.; and I hope to be received on these my own terms, since they are
your brother's also, and, at the same time, such as will convince you,
how much I wish to approve myself, to the best of my poor ability,
_your ladyship's most obliged sister, and humble servant_,

P.B.



LETTER XC

My dearest Mr. B.,

I have been considering of your commands, in relation to Mr. Locke's
book, and since you are pleased to give me time to acquit myself
of the task, I shall beg to include in a little book my humble
sentiments, as I did to Lady Davers, in that I shewed you in relation
to the plays I had seen. And since you confine me not to time or
place, I may be three or four years in completing it, because I shall
reserve some subjects to my further experience in children's ways and
tempers, and in order to benefit myself by the good instructions I
shall receive from your delightful conversation, in that compass of
time, if God spare us to one another: and then it will, moreover, be
still worthier of the perusal of the most honoured and best beloved of
all my correspondents, much honoured and beloved as they all are.

I must needs say, my dear Mr. B., that this is a subject to which
I was always particularly attentive; and among the charities your
bountiful heart permits me to dispense to the poor and indigent,
I have had always a watchful eye upon the children of such, and
endeavoured, by questions put to them, as well as to their parents,
to inform myself of their little ways and tempers, and how nature
delights to work in different minds, and how it might be pointed to
their good, according to their respective capacities; and I have for
this purpose erected, with your approbation, a little school of seven
or eight children, among which is four in the earliest stages, when
they can but just speak, and call for what they want and love: and I
am not a little pleased to observe, when I visit them in their school
time that principles of goodness and virtue may be instilled into
their little hearts much earlier than is usually imagined. And why
should it not be so? for may not the child, that can tell its wants,
and make known its inclination, be easily made sensible of _yours_,
and what you expect from it, provided you take a proper method? For,
sometimes, signs and tokens (and even looks), uniformly practised,
will do as well as words; as we see in such of the young of the brute
creation as we are disposed to domesticate, and to teach to practise
those little tricks, of which the aptness or docility of their natures
makes them capable.

But yet, dearest Sir, I know not enough of the next stage, the
_maturer_ part of life, to touch upon that as I wish to do: and yet
there is a natural connection and progression from the one to the
other: and I would not be thought a vain creature, who believes
herself equal to _every_ subject, because she is indulged with the
good opinion of her friends, in a _few_, which are supposed to be
within her own capacity.

For, I humbly conceive, that it is no small point of wisdom to know,
and not to mistake, one's own talents: and for this reason, permit
me, Sir, to suspend, till I am better qualified for it, even my own
proposal of beginning my little book; and, in the mean time, to touch
upon a few places of the admirable author, that seem to me to warrant
another way of thinking, than that which he prescribes.

But, dear Sir, let me premise, that all that your dear babies can
demand of my attention for some time to come, is their health; and God
has blessed them with such sound limbs, and, to all appearances, good
constitutions, that I have very little to do, but to pray for them
every time I pray for their dear papa; and that is hourly; and yet
not so often as you confer upon me benefits and favours, and new
obligations, even to the prevention of all my wishes, were I to sit
down and study for what must be the next.

As to this point of _health_, Mr. Locke gives these plain and easy to
be observed rules.

He prescribes first, _plenty of open air_. That this is right, the
infant will inform one, who, though it cannot speak, will make signs
to be carried abroad, and is never so well pleased, as when enjoying
the open and free air; for which reason I conclude, that this is one
of those natural pointings, as I may say, that are implanted in every
creature, teaching it to choose its good, and to avoid its evil.

_Sleep_ is the next, which he enjoins to be indulged to its utmost
extent: an admirable rule, as I humbly conceive; since sound sleep is
one of the greatest nourishers of nature, both to the once young
and to the _twice_ young, if I may use the phrase. And I the rather
approve of this rule, because it keeps the nurse unemployed, who
otherwise may be doing it the greatest mischief, by cramming and
stuffing its little bowels, till ready to burst. And, if I am right,
what an inconsiderate and foolish, as well as pernicious practice it
is, for a nurse to _waken_ the child from its nourishing sleep, for
fear it should suffer by hunger, and instantly pop the breast into
its pretty mouth, or provoke it to feed, when it has no inclination to
either, and for want of digestion, must have its nutriment turned to
repletion, and bad humours!

Excuse me, dear Sir, these lesser particulars. Mr. Locke begins with
them; and surely they may be allowed in a young _mamma_, writing
(however it be to a gentleman of genius and learning) to a _papa_, on
a subject, that in its lowest beginnings ought not to be unattended to
by either. I will therefore pursue my excellent author without farther
apology, since you have put his work into my hands.

The next thing, then, which he prescribes, is _plain diet_. This
speaks for itself, for the baby can have no corrupt taste to gratify:
all is pure, as out of the hand of Nature; and what is not plain and
natural, must vitiate and offend.

Then, _no wine_, or _strong drink_. Equally just; and for the same
reasons.

_Little_ or _no physic_. Undoubtedly right. For the _use_ of
physic, without necessity, or by way of _precaution_, as some call
it, begets the _necessity_ of physic; and the very _word_ supposes
_distemper_ or _disorder_; and where there is none, would a parent
beget one; or, by frequent use, render the salutary force of medicine
ineffectual, when it was wanted?

Next, he forbids _too warm_ and _too strait clothing_. This is just as
I wish it. How often has my heart ached, when I have seen poor babies
rolled and swathed, ten or a dozen times round; then blanket upon
blanket, mantle upon that; its little neck pinned down to one posture;
its head, more than it frequently needs, triple-crowned like a young
pope, with covering upon covering; its legs and arms, as if to prevent
that kindly stretching, which we rather ought to promote, when it is
in health, and which is only aiming at growth and enlargement, the
former bundled up, the latter pinned down; and how the poor thing lies
on the nurse's lap, a miserable little pinioned captive, goggling
and staring with its eyes, the only organ it has at liberty, as if
supplicating for freedom to its fettered limbs! Nor has it any comfort
at all, till with a sigh or two, like a dying deer, it drops asleep;
and happy then will it be till the officious nurse's care shall awaken
it for its undesired food, as if resolved to try its constitution, and
willing to see how many difficulties it could overcome.

Then he advises, that the head and feet should be kept cold; and the
latter often used to cold water, and exposed to wet, in order to lay
the foundation, as he says, of an healthy and hardy constitution.

Now, Sir, what a pleasure it is to your Pamela, that her notions, and
her practice too, fall in so exactly with this learned gentleman's
advice that, excepting one article, which is, that your Billy has not
yet been accustomed to be _wet-shod_, every other particular has
been observed! And don't you see what a charming, charming baby he
is?--Nay, and so is your little Davers, for his age--pretty soul!

Perhaps some, were they to see this, would not be so ready, as I know
_you_ will be, to excuse me; and would be apt to say, "What nursery
impertinences are these to trouble a man with!"--But with all their
wisdom, they would be mistaken; for if a child has not good health,
(and are not these rules the moral foundation, as I may say, of that
blessing?) its animal organs will play but poorly in a weak or crazy
case. These, therefore, are necessary rules to be observed for the
first two or three years: for then the little buds of their minds
will begin to open, and their watchful mamma will be employed like
a skilful gardener, in assisting and encouraging the charming flower
through its several hopeful stages to perfection, when it shall become
one of the principal ornaments of that delicate garden, your honoured
family. Pardon me, Sir, if in the above paragraph I am too figurative.
I begin to be afraid I am out of my sphere, writing to your dear self,
on these important subjects.

But be that as it may, I will here put an end to this my first letter
(on the earliest part of my subject), rejoicing in the opportunity
you have given me of producing a fresh instance of that duty and
affection, wherewith I am, and shall ever be, my dearest Mr. B., _your
grateful, happy_,

P.B.



LETTER XCI

I will now, my dearest, my best beloved correspondent of all, begin,
since the tender age of my dear babies will not permit me to have
an eye yet to their _better_ part, to tell you what are the little
matters to which I am not quite so well reconciled in Mr. Locke: and
this I shall be better enabled to do, by my observations upon the
temper and natural bent of my dear Miss Goodwin, as well as by those
which my visits to the bigger children of my little school, and those
at the cottages adjacent, have enabled me to make; for human
nature, Sir, you are not to be told, is human nature, whether in the
high-born, or in the low.

This excellent author (Section 52), having justly disallowed of
slavish and corporal punishments in the education of those we would
have to be wise, good, and ingenuous men, adds, "On the other side, to
flatter children by rewards of things that are pleasant to them, is
as carefully to be avoided. He that will give his son apples, or
sugar-plums, or what else of this kind he is most delighted with, to
make him learn his book, does but authorize his love of pleasure, and
cockers up that dangerous propensity, which he ought, by all means,
to subdue and stifle in him. You can never hope to teach him to master
it, whilst you compound for the check you give his inclination in one
place, by the satisfaction you propose to it in another. To make a
good, a wise, and a virtuous man, 'tis fit he should learn to cross
his appetite, and deny his inclination to riches, finery, or pleasing
his palate, &c."

This, Sir, is well said; but is it not a little too philosophical and
abstracted, not only for the generality of children, but for the age
he supposes them to be of, if one may guess by the apples and the
sugar-plums proposed for the rewards of their well-doing?--Would not
this require that memory or reflection in children, which, in another
place, is called the concomitant of prudence and age, and not of
childhood?

It is undoubtedly very right, to check an unreasonable appetite, and
that at its first appearance. But if so small and so reasonable an
inducement will prevail, surely, Sir, it might be complied with.
A generous mind takes delight to win over others by good usage and
mildness, rather than by severity; and it must be a great pain to
such an one, to be always inculcating, on his children or pupils, the
doctrine of self-denial, by methods quite grievous to his own nature.

What I would then humbly propose, is, that the encouragements offered
to youth, should, indeed, be innocent ones, as the gentleman enjoins,
and not such as would lead to luxury, either of food or apparel; but
I humbly think it necessary, that rewards, proper rewards, should
be proposed as incentives to laudable actions: for is it not by this
method that the whole world is influenced and governed? Does not God
himself, by rewards and punishments, make it our interest, as well
as our duty, to obey him? And can we propose ourselves, for the
government of our children, a better example than that of the Creator?

This fine author seems to think he had been a little of the strictest,
and liable to some exception. "I say not this," proceeds he, (Section
53) "that I would have children kept from the conveniences or
pleasures of life, that are not injurious to their health or virtue.
On the contrary, I would have their lives made as pleasant and as
agreeable to them as may be, in a plentiful enjoyment of whatsoever
might innocently delight them."-And yet he immediately subjoins a very
hard and difficult proviso to this indulgence.--"Provided," says he,
"it be with this caution, that they have those enjoyments only as the
consequences of the state of esteem and acceptation they are in with
their parents and governors."

I doubt, my dear Mr. B., this is expecting such a distinction and
discretion in children, as they seldom have in their tender years, and
requiring capacities not commonly to be met with; so that it is not
prescribing to the _generality_, as this excellent author intended.
'Tis, I humbly conceive, next to impossible that their tender minds
should distinguish beyond facts; they covet this or that play-thing,
and the parent, or governor, takes advantage of its desires, and
annexes to the indulgence such or such a task or duty, as a condition;
and shews himself pleased with its compliance with it: so the child
wins its plaything, and receives the commendation so necessary to lead
on young minds to laudable pursuits. But shall it not be suffered
to enjoy the innocent reward of its compliance, unless it can give
satisfaction, that its greatest delight is not in having the thing
coveted, but in performing the task, or obeying the injunctions
imposed upon it as a condition of its being obliged? I doubt, Sir,
this is a little too strict, and not to be expected from children. A
servant, full-grown, would not be able to shew, that, on condition he
complied with such and such terms (which, it is to be supposed by the
offer, he would not have complied with, but for that inducement), he
should have such and such a reward;

I say, he would hardly be able to shew, that he preferred the pleasure
of performing the requisite conditions to the stipulated reward. Nor
is it necessary he should: for he is not the less a good servant, or
a virtuous man, if he own the conditions painful, and the reward
necessary to his low state in the world, and that otherwise he would
not undergo any service at all.--Why then should this be exacted from
a child?

Let, therefore, innocent rewards be proposed, and let us be contented
to lead on the ductile minds of children to a love of their duty, by
obliging them with such: we may tell them what we expect in this case;
but we ought not, I humbly conceive, to be too rigorous in exacting
it; for, after all, the inducement will naturally be the uppermost
consideration with the child: not, as I hinted, had it been offered to
it, if the parent himself had not thought so. And, therefore, we can
only let the child know his duty in this respect, and that he _ought_
to give a preference to that; and then rest ourselves contented,
although we should discern, that the reward is the chief incentive,
of it. For this, from whatever motive inculcated, may beget a habit
in the child of doing it: and then, as it improves in years, one may
hope, that reason will take place, and enable him, from the most solid
and durable motives, to give a preference to the duty.

Upon the whole, then, can we insist upon it, that the child should
so nicely distinguish away its little _innate_ passions, as if we
expected it to be born a philosopher? Self-denial is, indeed, a most
excellent doctrine to be inculcated into children, and it must be done
_early_: but we must not be too severe in our exacting it; for a duty
too rigidly insisted upon, will make it odious. This Mr. Locke, too,
observes in another place, on the head of too great severity; which he
illustrates by a familiar comparison: "Offensive circumstances," says
he, "ordinarily infect innocent things which they are joined with. And
the very sight of a cup, wherein any one uses to take nauseous physic,
turns his stomach; so that nothing will relish well out of it,
though the cup be never so clean and well-shaped, and of the richest
materials."

Permit me to add, that Mr. Locke writes still more rigorously on the
subject of rewards; which I quote, to shew I have not misunderstood
him: "But these enjoyments," says he, "should _never_ be offered
or bestowed on children, as the rewards of this or that particular
performance that they shew an aversion to, or to which they would not
have applied themselves without that temptation." If, dear Sir,
the minds of children can be led on by innocent inducements to the
performance of a duty, of which they are capable, what I have humbly
offered, is enough, I presume, to convince one, that it _may_ be done.
But if ever a particular study be proposed to be mastered, or a bias
to be overcome (that is not an _indispensable_ requisite to his future
life of morals) to which the child shews an aversion, I would not,
methinks, have him be too much tempted or compelled to conquer or
subdue it, especially if it appear to be a _natural_ or rivetted
aversion. For, permit me to observe, that the education and studies of
children ought, as much as possible, to be suited to their capacities
and inclination, and, by these means, we may expect to have always
_useful_ and often _great_ men, in different professions; for that
genius which does not prompt to the prosecution of one study, may
shine in another no less necessary part of science. But, if the
promise of innocent rewards _would_ conquer this aversion, yet they
should not be applied with this view; for the best consequences that
can be hoped for, will be tolerable skill in one thing, instead of
most excellent in another.

Nevertheless, I must repeat, that if, as the child grows up, and is
capable of so much reason, that, from the love of the _inducement_,
one can raise his mind to the love of the _duty_, it should be done
by all means. But, my dear Mr. B., I am afraid that _that_ parent
or tutor will meet with but little success, who, in a child's tender
years, shall refuse to comply with its foibles, till he sees it value
its duty, and the pleasure of obeying his commands, beyond the little
enjoyment on which his heart is fixed. For, as I humbly conceive, that
mind which can be brought to prefer its duty to its appetites, will
want little of the perfection of the wisest philosophers.

Besides, Sir, permit to me say, that I am afraid this perpetual
opposition between the passions of the child and the duty to be
enforced, especially when it sees how other children are indulged (for
if this regimen could be observed by _any_, it would be impossible it
should become _general_, while the fond and the inconsiderate parents
are so large a part of mankind), will cow and dispirit a child, and
will, perhaps produce, a necessity of making use of severity, to
subdue him to this temper of self-denial; for if the child refuses,
the parent must insist; and what will be the consequence? must it not
introduce a harsher discipline than this gentleman allows of?--and
which, I presume to say, did never yet do good to any but to slavish
and base spirits, if to them; a discipline which Mr. Locke every where
justly condemns.

See here, dear Sir, a specimen of the presumption of your girl: "What
will she come to in time!" you will perhaps say, "Her next step will
be to arraign myself." No, no, dear Sir, don't think so: for my duty,
my love, and my reverence, shall be your guards, and defend you from
every thing saucy in me, but the bold approaches of my gratitude,
winch shall always testify for me, how much I am _your obliged and
dutiful servant_,

P.B.



LETTER XCII

MY DEAREST MR. B.,

I will continue my subject, although I have not had an opportunity
to know whether you approve of my notions or not by reason of the
excursions you have been pleased to allow me to make in your beloved
company to the sea-ports of this kingdom, and to the more noted inland
towns of Essex, Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, and Dorsetshire, which have
given me infinite delight and pleasure, and enlarged my notions of the
wealth and power of the kingdom, in which God's goodness has given you
so considerable a stake.

My next topic will be upon a _home_ education, which Mr. Locke
prefers, for several weighty reasons, to a _school_ one, provided
such a tutor can be procured, as he makes next to an impossibility to
procure. The gentleman has set forth the inconveniencies of both, and
was himself so discouraged, on a review of them, that he was ready, as
he says, to throw up his pen. My chief cares, dear Sir, on this head,
are three: 1st, The difficulty which, as I said, Mr. Locke makes
almost insuperable, to find a qualified tutor. 2ndly, The necessity
there is, according to Mr. Locke, of keeping the youth out of the
company of the meaner servants, who may set him bad examples. And,
3rdly, Those still greater difficulties which will arise from the
example of his parents, if they are not very discreet and circumspect.

As to the qualifications of the tutor, Mr. Locke supposes, that he is
to be so learned, so discreet, so wise, in short, so _perfect_ a man,
that I doubt, and so does Mr. Locke, such an one can hardly be met
with for this _humble_ and _slavish_ employment. I presume, Sir, to
call it so, because of the too little regard that is generally paid
to these useful men in the families of the great, where they are
frequently put upon a foot with the uppermost servants, and the
rather, if they happen to be men of modesty.

"I would," says he, "from children's first beginning to talk, have
some discreet, sober, nay, _wise_ person about them, whose care
it should be to fashion them right, and to keep them from all ill;
especially the infection of bad company. I think this province
requires great sobriety, temperance, tenderness, diligence, and
discretion; qualities hardly to be found united in persons that are to
be had for ordinary salaries, nor easily to be found any where."

If this, Sir, be the case, does not this excellent author recommend
a scheme that is rendered in a manner impracticable from this
difficulty?

As to these qualities being more rarely to be met with in persons that
are to be had for _ordinary salaries_, I cannot help being of opinion
(although, with Mr. Locke, I think no expence should be spared, if
that _would_ do) that there is as good a chance for finding a proper
person among the needy scholars (if not of a low and sordid turn of
mind) as among the more affluent: because the narrow circumstances of
the former (which probably became a spur to his own improvement) will,
it is likely, at first setting out in the world, make him be glad to
embrace such an offer in a family which has interest enough to prefer
him, and will quicken his diligence to make him _deserve_ preferment;
and if such an one wanted any of that requisite politeness, which some
would naturally expect from scholars of better fortune, might not that
be supplied to the youth by the conversation of parents, relations,
and visitors, in conjunction with those other helps which young men of
family and large expectations constantly have, and which few learned
tutors can give him?

I say not this to countenance the wretched niggardliness (which
this gentleman justly censures) of those who grudge a handsome
consideration to so necessary and painful a labour as that of a tutor,
which, where a deserving man can be met with, cannot be too genteelly
rewarded, nor himself too respectfully treated. I only beg to deliver
my opinion, that a low condition is as likely as any other, with a
mind not ungenerous, to produce a man who has these good qualities,
as well for the reasons I have hinted at, as for others which might be
mentioned.

But Mr. Locke thus proceeds: "To form a young gentleman as he should
be, 'tis fit his governor should be well bred, understand the ways of
carriage, and measures of civility, in all the variety of _persons_,
_times_, and _places_ and keep his pupil, as far as his age requires,
constantly to the observation of them. This is an art not to be
learnt or taught by books.--Nothing can give it but good company and
observation joined together."

And in another place says, "Besides being well-bred, the tutor should
know the world well; the ways, the humours, the follies, the cheats,
the faults of the age he has fallen into, and particularly of the
country he lives in: these he should be able to shew to his pupil, as
he finds him capable; teach him skill in men and their manners; pull
off the mask which their several callings and pretences cover them
with; and make his pupil discern what lies at the bottom, under such
appearances, that he may not, as unexperienced young men are apt to
do, if they are unwarned, take one thing for another, judge by the
outside, and give himself up to show, and the insinuations of a fair
carriage, or an obliging application; teach him to guess at, and
beware of, the designs of men he hath to do with, neither with too
much suspicion, nor too much confidence."

This, dear Sir, is excellently said: 'tis noble _theory_; and if
the tutor be a man void of resentment and caprice, and will not be
governed by partial considerations, in his own judgment of persons and
things, all will be well: but if otherwise, may he not take advantage
of the confidence placed in him, to the injury of some worthy person,
and by degrees monopolize the young gentleman to himself, and govern
his passions as absolutely, as I have heard some first ministers have
done those of their prince, equally to his own personal disreputation,
and to the disadvantage of his people? But all this, and much more,
according to Mr. Locke, is the duty of a tutor: and on the finding out
such an one, depends his scheme of a home education. No wonder, then,
that he himself says, "When I consider the scruples and cautions
I here lay in your way, methinks it looks as if I advised you to
something which I would have offered at, but in effect not done,"
&c.--Permit me, dear Sir, in this place to express my fear that it
is hardly possible for any one, with talents inferior to those of
Mr. Locke himself, to come up to the rules he has laid down upon this
subject; and 'tis to be questioned, whether even _he_, with all that
vast stock of natural reason and solid sense, for which, as you tell
me, Sir, he was so famous, had attained to these perfections, at his
first setting out into life.

Now, therefore, dear Sir, you can't imagine how these difficulties
perplex me, as to my knowing how to judge which is best, a _home_ or
a _school_ education. For hear what this excellent author justly
observes on the latter, among other things, no less to the purpose:
"I am sure, he who is able to be at the charge of a tutor at home, may
there give his son a more genteel carriage, more manly thoughts, and
a sense of what is worthy and becoming, with a greater proficiency in
learning, into the bargain, and ripen him up sooner into a man, than
any school can do. Not that I blame the schoolmaster in this," says
he, "or think it to be laid to his charge. The difference is great
between two or three pupils in the same house, and three or four score
boys lodged up and down; for, let the master's industry and skill be
never so great, it is impossible he should have fifty or an hundred
scholars under his eye any longer than they are in the school
together." But then, Sir, if there be such a difficulty as Mr. Locke
says, to meet with a proper tutor for the home education, which he
thus prefers, what a perplexing thing is this. But still, according to
this gentleman, another difficulty attends a home education; and that
is, what I hinted at before, in my second article, the necessity of
keeping the youth out of the company of the meaner servants, who
may set him bad examples. For thus he says, "Here is another great
inconvenience, which children receive from the ill examples which they
meet with from the meaner servants. They are _wholly_, if possible,
to be kept from such conversation: for the contagion of these ill
precedents, both in civility and virtue, horribly infects children, as
often as they come within the reach of it. They frequently learn from
unbred or debauched servants, such language, untowardly tricks and
vices, as otherwise they would be ignorant of all their lives. 'Tis a
hard matter wholly to prevent this mischief," continues he; "you will
have very good luck, if you never have a clownish or vicious servant,
and if from them your children never get any infection."

Then, Sir, my third point (which I mentioned in the beginning of this
letter) makes a still stronger objection, as it may happen, against a
home education; to wit, the example of the parents themselves, if they
be not very circumspect and discreet.

All these difficulties being put together, let me, dear Sir, humbly
propose it, as a matter for your consideration and determination,
whether there be not a middle way to be found out in a school
education, that may remedy some of these inconveniencies? For suppose
you cannot get a tutor so qualified as Mr. Locke thinks he ought to
be, for your Billy as he grows up. Suppose there is danger from your
meaner servants; or we his parents should not be able to lay ourselves
under the requisite restraints, in order to form his mind by our
own examples, which I hope, by God's grace, however, will not be the
case--Cannot some master be found, who shall be so well rewarded for
his care of a _few_ young gentlemen, as to make it worth his while to
be contented with those _few?_--suppose from five to eight at most;
whose morals and breeding he may attend to, as well as to their
learning? The farther this master lives from the young gentleman's
friends, the better it may be. We will hope, that he is a man of a
mild disposition, but strict in his discipline, and who shall make it
a rule not to give correction for small faults, or till every other
method has been tried; who carries such a just dignity in his manner,
without the appearance of tyranny, that his looks may be of greater
force than the blows of others; and who will rather endeavour to shame
than terrify, a youth out of his faults. Then, suppose this gentleman
was to allot a particular portion of time for the _more learned_
studies; and before the youth was tired with _them_, suppose another
portion was allotted for the _writing_ and _arithmetic_; and then to
relieve his mind from both, suppose the _dancing-master_ should take
his part; and innocent exercises of mere diversion, to fill up the
rest, at his own choice, in which, diverted by such a rotation
of employments (all thus rendered delightful by their successive
variety), he would hardly wish to pass much time. For the dancing of
itself, with the dancing-master's instruction, if a well-bred man,
will answer both parts, that of breeding and that of exercise: and
thus different studies at once be mastered.

Moreover, the emulation which will be inspired, where there are
several young gentlemen, will be of inconceivable use both to tutor
and pupil, in lessening the trouble of the one, and advancing the
learning of the other, which cannot be expected where there is but a
single youth to be taken care of.

Such a master will know it to be his interest, as well as duty, to
have a watchful eye over the conduct and behaviour of his servants.
His assistants, in the different branches of science and education,
will be persons of approved prudence, for whom he will think himself
answerable, since his own _reputation_, as well as _livelihood_, will
depend upon their behaviour. The youths will have young gentlemen for
their companions, all under the influence of the same precepts and
directions; and if some chosen period were fixed, as a reward for some
excellence, where, at a little desk, raised a step or two above the
other seats, the excelling youth should be set to read, under the
master's direction, a little portion from the best translations of the
Greek and Roman historians, and even from the best English authors;
this might, in a very engaging manner, initiate them into the
knowledge of the history of past times, and of their own country, and
give them a curiosity to pass some of their vacant hours in the same
laudable pursuit: for, dear Sir, I must still insist that rewards, and
innocent gratifications, as also little honours and distinctions, must
needs be very attractive to the minds of youth.

For, is not the pretty ride, and dairy house breakfasting, by which
Miss Goodwin's governess distinguishes the little ladies who excel
in their allotted tasks, a fine encouragement to their ductile
minds?--Yes, it is, to be sure!--And I have often thought of it with
pleasure, and partaken of the delight with which I have supposed their
pretty hearts must be filled with on that occasion. And why may not
such little triumphs be, in proportion, as incentives, to children,
to make them try to master laudable tasks; as the Roman triumphs, of
different kinds, and their mural and civic crowns, all which I have
heard you speak of, were to their heroes and warriors of old? For Mr.
Dryden well observes, that--

  "Men are but children of a larger growth;
  Our appetites are apt to change as theirs,
  And full as craving too, and full as vain."

  Permit me. Sir, to transcribe four or five lines more, for the
  beauty of the thought:

  "And yet the soul, shut up in her dark room,
  Viewing so clear abroad, at home sees nothing:
  But like a mole in earth, busy and blind,
  Works all her folly up, and casts it outward
  To the world's open view--"

Improving the thought: methinks I can see the dear little Miss, who
has, in some eminent task, borne away the palm, make her public entry,
as I may call it, after her dairy breakfast and pretty airing, into
the governess's court-yard, through a row of her school-fellows, drawn
out on each side to admire her; her governess and assistants receiving
her at the porch, their little capitol, and lifting her out with
applauses and encomiums, with a _Thus shall it be done to the Miss,
whom her governess delighteth to honour!_ I see not why the dear Miss
in this case, as she moves through her admiring school-fellows, may
not have her little heart beat with as much delight, be as gloriously
elated, proportionably, as that of the greatest hero in his triumphal
car, who has returned from exploits, perhaps, much less laudable.

But how I ramble!--Yet surely, Sir, you don't expect method or
connection from your girl. The education of our sex will not permit
that, where it is best. We are forced to struggle for knowledge, like
the poor feeble infant in the month, who is pinned and fettered down
upon the nurse's lap; and who, if its little arms happen, by chance,
to escape its nurse's observation, and offer but to expand themselves,
are immediately taken into custody, and pinioned down to their passive
behaviour. So, when a poor girl, in spite of her narrow education,
breaks out into notice, her genius is immediately tamed by trifling
employments, lest, perhaps, she should become the envy of one sex, and
the equal of the other. But you. Sir, act more nobly with your Pamela;
for you throw in her way all opportunities of improvement; and she
has only to regret, that she cannot make a better use of them, and, of
consequence, render herself more worthy of your generous indulgence.

I know not how, Sir, to recover my thread; and so must break off with
that delight which I always take when I come near the bottom of my
letters to your dear self; because then I can boast of the honour
which I have in being _your ever dutiful_,

P.B.



LETTER XCIII

Well, but, my dear Mr. B., you will perhaps think, from my last
rambling letter, that I am most inclined to a _school_ education for
your Billy, and some years hence, if it should please God to spare him
to us. Yet I cannot say that I am; I only lay several things together
in my usual indigested way, to take your opinion upon, which, as it
ought, will be always decisive with me. And indeed I am so thoroughly
convinced by Mr. Locke's reasons, where the behaviour of servants
can be so well answered for, as that of yours can be, and where
the example of the parents will be, as I hope, rather edifying
than otherwise, that without being swayed, as I think, by maternal
fondness, in this case, I must needs give a preference to the home
education; and the little scheme I presumed to form in my last, was
only on a supposition, that those necessary points could not be so
well secured.

In my observations on this head, I shall take the liberty, in one
or two particulars, a little to differ from an author, that I admire
exceedingly; and that is the present design of my writing these
letters; for I shall hereafter, if God spare my life, in my little
book (when you have kindly decided upon the points in which I presume
to differ) shew you, Sir, my great reverence and esteem for him; and
can then let you know all my sentiments on this important subject, and
that more undoubtedly, as I shall be more improved by years and your
conversation; especially, Sir, if I have the honour and happiness of
a foreign tour with you, of which you give me hope; so much are you
pleased with the delight I take in these improving excursions, which
you have now favoured me with, at different times, through more than
half the kingdom.

Well then, Sir, I will proceed to consider a little more particularly
the subject of a home education, with an eye to those difficulties,
of which Mr. Locke takes notice, as I mentioned in my last. As to the
first, that of finding a qualified tutor; we must not expect so much
perfection, I doubt, as he lays down as necessary. What, therefore, I
humbly conceive is best to be done, will be to avoid choosing a man
of bigoted and narrow principles; who yet shall not be tainted with
sceptical or heterodox notions, nor a mere scholar or pedant; who has
travelled, and yet preserved his moral character untainted; and whose
behaviour and carriage is easy, unaffected, unformal, and genteel,
as well acquiredly as naturally so, if possible; who shall not be
dogmatical, positive, overbearing, on one hand; nor too yielding,
suppliant, fawning, on the other; who shall study the child's natural
bent, in order to direct his studies to the point he is most likely
to excel in; and to preserve the respect due to his own character from
every one, he must not be a busy body in the family, a whisperer,
a tale-bearer, but of a benevolent turn of mind, ready to compose
differences; who shall avoid, of all things, that foppishness of dress
and appearance, which distinguishes the _petit-maitres_, and French
ushers (that I have seen at some boarding schools), for coxcombs
rather than guides of education: for, as I have heard you, my best
tutor, often observe, the peculiarities of habit, where a person aims
at something fantastic, or out of character, are an undoubted sign of
a wrong head; for such a one is so kind as always to hang out on
his sign what sort of furniture he has in his shop, to save you the
trouble of asking questions about him; so that one may as easily know
by his outward appearance what he _is_, as one can know a widow by her
weeds.

Such a person as I have thus negatively described, may be found
without very much difficulty, perhaps, because some of these
requisites are personal, and others are such as are obvious at first
sight, to a common penetration; or, where not so, may be found out, by
inquiry into his general character and behaviour: and to the care of
such a one, dear Sir, let me suppose your Billy is committed: and so
we acquit ourselves of the first difficulty, as well as we can, that
of the tutor; who, to become more perfect, may form himself, as to
what he wants, by Mr. Locke's excellent rules on that head.

But before I quit this subject, I beg to remind you of your opinion
upon it, in a conversation with Sir George Stuart, and his nephew,
in London; in which you seemed to prefer a Scottish gentleman for a
tutor, to those of your own nation, and still more than to those of
France? Don't you remember it, dear Sir? And how much those gentlemen
were pleased with your facetious freedom with their country, and said,
you made them amends for that, in your preference to their learned and
travelled youth? If you have forgot it, I will here transcribe it from
my _records_, as I call my book of memorandums; for every time I am
pleased with a conversation, and have leisure, before it quits my
memory, I enter it down in as near the very words as I can; and now
you have made me your correspondent, I shall sometimes, perhaps, give
you back some valuables from your own treasure.--Miss Darnford, and
Mr. Turner, and Mr. Fanshaw, were present, I well remember. These were
your words:

"Since the union of the two kingdoms, we have many persons of
condition, who have taken their tutors for their sons from Scotland;
which practice, to speak impartially, has been attended with some
advantageous circumstances, that should not be overlooked. For, Sir
George, it must be confessed that, notwithstanding your narrow and
stiff manner of education in Scotland, a spirit of manly learning, a
kind of poetic liberty, as I may call it, has begun to exert itself
in that part of the island. The blustering north--forgive me,
gentlemen--seems to have hardened the foreheads of her hungry sons;
and the keenness with which they set out for preferment in the
kindlier south, has taught them to know a good deal of the world
betimes. Through the easy terms on which learning is generally
attained there, as it is earlier inculcated, so it may, probably,
take deeper root: and since 'tis hardly possible--forgive me, dear
Sirs--they can go to a worse country on this side Greenland, than some
of the northern parts of Scotland; so their education, with a view to
travel, and to better themselves by settlements in other countries,
may, perhaps, be so many reasons to take greater pains to qualify
themselves for this employment, and may make them succeed better in
it; especially when they have been able to shake off the fetters which
are rivetted upon them under the narrow influence of a too tyrannical
kirk discipline, which you, Sir George, have just now so freely
censured.

"To these considerations, when we add the necessity, which these
remote tutors lie under, of behaving well; first, because they seldom
wish to return to their own country; and next, because _that_ cannot
prefer them, if it would; and thirdly, because it would not, if it
could, if the gentleman be of an enlarged genius, and generous way
of thinking; I say, when we add to the premises these considerations,
they all make a kind of security for their good behaviour: while those
of our own country have often friends or acquaintances on whose favour
they are apt to depend, and for that reason give less attention to the
duties requisite for this important office.

"Besides, as their kind friend Æolus, who is accustomed to spread and
strengthen the bold muscles of the strong-featured Scot, has generally
blown away that inauspicious bashfulness, which hangs a much longer
time, commonly, on the faces of the southern students; such a one (if
he fall not too egregiously into the contrary extreme, so as to become
insufferable) may still be the more eligible person for a tutor, as he
may teach a young gentleman, betimes, that necessary presence of mind,
which those who are confined to a private education sometimes want.

"But, after all, if a gentleman of this nation be chosen for this
employment, it may be necessary that he should be one who has had as
genteel and free an education himself, as his country will afford;
and the native roughness of his climate filed off by travel and
conversation; who has made, at least, the tour of France and Italy,
and has a taste for the politeness of the former nation: but from the
boisterousness of a North Britain, and the fantastic politeness of
a Frenchman, if happily blended, such a mixture may result, as will
furnish out a more complete tutor, than either of the two nations,
singly, may be able to produce. But it ought to be remembered that
this person must have conquered his native brogue, as I may call
it, and be a master of the English pronunciation; otherwise his
conversation will be disagreeable to an English ear.

"And permit me to add, that, as an acquaintance with the Muses
contributes not a little to soften the manners, and give a graceful
and delicate turn to the imagination, and a kind of polish to severer
studies, it would not be amiss that he should have a taste of
poetry, although perhaps it were not to be wished he had such strong
inclinations that way, as to make that lively and delectable amusement
his predominant passion: for we see very few poets, whose warm
imaginations do not run away with their judgments. And yet, in order
to learn the dead languages in their purity, it will be necessary
to inculcate both the love and the study of the ancient poets, which
cannot fail of giving the youth a taste for poetry, in general."

Permit me, dear Sir, to ask you, whether you advanced this for
argument sake, as sometimes you love to amuse and entertain your
friends in an uncommon way? For I should imagine, that our two
universities, which you have shewn me, and for which I have ever since
had a greater reverence than I had before, are capable of furnishing
as good tutors as any nation in the world: for here the young
gentlemen seem to me to live both in the _world_ and in the
_university_; and we saw several gentlemen who had not only fine
parts, but polite behaviour, and deep learning, as you assured me;
some of whom you entertained, and were entertained by, in so elegant
a manner, that no travelled gentleman, if I may be allowed to judge,
could excel them! And besides, my dear Mr. B., I know who is reckoned
one of the politest and best-bred gentlemen in England by every body,
and learned as well as polite, and yet had his education in one of
those celebrated seats of learning. I wish your Billy may never fall
short of the gentleman I mean, in all these acquirements; and he will
be a very happy creature, I am sure.

But how I wander again from my subject. I have no other way to recover
myself, when I thus ramble, but by returning to that one delightful
point of reflection, that I have the honour to be, dearest Sir, _your
ever dutiful and obliged_,

P.B.



LETTER XCIV

DEAREST SIR,

I now resume my subject. I had gone through the article of the tutor,
as well as I could; and will now observe upon what Mr. Locke
says, That children are wholly, if possible, to be kept from the
conversation of the meaner servants; whom he supposes to be, as too
frequently they are, _unbred_ and _debauched_, to use his own words.

Now, Sir, I think it is very difficult to keep children from
the conversation of servants at all times. The care of personal
attendance, especially in the child's early age, must fall upon
servants of one denomination or other, who, little or much, must be
conversant with the inferior servants, and so be liable to be tainted
by their conversation; and it will be difficult in this case to
prevent the taint being communicated to the child. Wherefore it will
be a _surer_, as well as a more _laudable_ method, to insist upon the
regular behaviour of the whole family, than to expect the child, and
its immediate attendant or tutor, should be the only good ones in it.

Nor is this so difficult to effect, as may be imagined. Your family
affords an eminent instance of it: the good have been confirmed, the
remiss have been reformed, the passionate have been tamed; and there
is not a family in the kingdom, I will venture to say, to the honour
of every individual in it, more uniform, more regular, and freer from
evil, and more regardful of what they say and do, than yours. And you
will allow, that though always honest, yet they were not always so
laudable, so exemplarily virtuous, as of late: which I mention only to
shew the practicableness of a reformation, even where bad habits have
taken place--For your Pamela, Sir, arrogates not to herself the honour
of this change: 'tis owing to the Divine grace shining upon hearts
naturally good; for else an example so easy, so plain, so simple,
from so young a mistress, who moreover had been exalted from their own
station, could not have been attended with such happy effects.

You see, dear Sir, what a master and mistress's example could do, with
a poor soul so far gone as Mrs. Jewkes. And I dare be confident, that
if, on the hiring of a new servant, sobriety of manners and a virtuous
conversation were insisted upon, and a general inoffensiveness in
words as well as actions was required from them, as indispensable
conditions of their service: and that a breach of that kind would be
no more passed over, than a wilful fraud, or an act of dishonesty; and
if, added to these requisites, their principals take care to support
these injunctions by their own example; I say, then, I dare be
confident, that if such a service did not _find_ them good, it would
_make_ them so.

And why should we not think this a very practicable scheme,
considering the servants we take are at years of discretion, and have
the strong ties of _interest_ superadded to the obligations we require
of them? and which, they must needs know (let 'em have what bad habits
they will) are right for _themselves_ to discharge, as well as for
_us_ to exact.

We all know of how much force the example of superiors is to
inferiors. It is too justly said, that the courts of princes abound
with the most profligate of men, insomuch that a man cannot well have
a more significantly bad title, than that of COURTIER: yet even among
these, one shall see the force of _example_, as I have heard you, Sir,
frequently observe: for, let but the land be blest with a pious and
religious prince, who makes it a rule with him to countenance and
promote men of virtue and probity; and to put the case still stronger,
let such a one even succeed to the most libertine reign, wherein the
manners of the people are wholly depraved: yet a wonderful change will
be immediately effected. The flagitious livers will be chased away, or
reformed; or at least will think it their duty, or their _interest_,
which is a stronger tie with such, to _appear_ reformed; and not a man
will seek for the favour or countenance of his prince, but by laudable
pretences, or by worthy actions.

In the reign of King Richard III, as I have read, deformity of body
was the fashion, and the nobility and gentry of the court thought it
an indispensable requisite of a graceful form to pad for themselves a
round shoulder, because the king was crooked. And can we think human
nature so absurdly wicked, that it would not much rather have tried
to imitate a personal perfection, than a deformity so shocking in its
appearance, in people who were naturally straight?

'Tis melancholy to reflect, that of all professions of men, the
mariners, who most behold the wonders of Almighty power displayed in
the great deep (a sight that has struck me with awe and reverence only
from a coast prospect), and who every moment, while at sea, have but
one frail plank betwixt themselves and inevitable destruction, are
yet, generally speaking, said to be the most abandoned invokers and
blasphemers of the name of that God, whose mercies they every moment
unthankfully, although so visibly, experience. Yet, as I once heard at
your table, Sir, on a particular occasion, we have now a commander
in the British navy, who, to his honour, has shewn the force of an
excellent example supporting the best precepts: for, on board of his
ship, not an oath or curse was to be heard; while volleys of
both (issued from impious mouths in the same squadron, out of his
knowledge) seemed to fill the sails of other ships with guilty breath,
calling aloud for that perdition to overtake them, which perhaps his
worthy injunctions and example, in his own, might be of weight to
suspend.

If such then, dear Sir, be the force of a good example, what have
parents to do, who would bring up a child at home under their own eye,
according to Mr. Locke's advice, but, first, to have a strict regard
to _their_ conduct! This will not want its due influence on the
servants; especially if a proper enquiry be first made into their
characters, and a watchful eye had over them, to keep them up to those
characters afterwards. And when they know they must forfeit the favour
of a worthy master, and their places too (which may be thought to
be the best of places, because an _uniform_ character must make all
around it easy and happy), they will readily observe such rules and
directions, as shall be prescribed to them--Rules and directions,
which their own consciences will tell them are _right_ to be
prescribed; and even right for them to follow, were they not insisted
upon by their superiors: and this conviction must go a great way
towards their _thorough_ reformation: for a person wholly convinced is
half reformed. And thus the hazard a child will run of being corrupted
by conversing with the servants, will be removed, and all Mr. Locke's
other rules be better enforced.

I have the boldness, Sir, to make another objection; and that is, to
the distance which Mr. Locke prescribes to be kept between children
and servants: for may not this be a means to fill the minds of the
former with a contempt of those below them, and an arrogance that is
not warranted by any rank or condition, to their inferiors of the same
species?

I have before transcribed what Mr. Locke has enjoined in relation to
this distance, where he says, that the children are by all means to
be kept _wholly_ from the conversation of the meaner servants. But
how much better advice does the same author give for the behaviour of
children to servants in the following words which, I humbly think, are
not so entirely consistent with the former, as might be expected from
so admirable an author.

"Another way," says he (Section 111), "to instil sentiments of
humanity, and to keep them lively in young folks, will be, to accustom
them to civility in their language and deportment towards their
inferiors, and meaner sort of people, particularly servants. It is
not unusual to observe the children in gentlemen's families treat the
servants of the house with domineering words, names of contempt, and
an imperious carriage, as if they were of another race, or species
beneath them. Whether ill example, the advantage of fortune or their
natural vanity, inspire this haughtiness, it should be prevented or
weeded out; and a gentle, courteous, affable carriage towards
the lower ranks of men placed in the room of it. No part of their
superiority will be hereby lost, but the distinction increased, and
their authority strengthened, when love in inferiors is joined to
outward respect, and the esteem of the person has a share in their
submission: and domestics will pay a more ready and cheerful service,
when they find themselves not spurned, because fortune has laid them
below the level of others at their master's feet."

These, dear Sir, are certainly the sentiments of a generous and
enlarged spirit: but I hope, I may observe, that the great distance
Mr. Locke before enjoins to be kept between children and servants, is
not very consistent with the above-cited paragraph: for if we would
prevent this undue contempt of inferiors in the temper of children,
the best way, as I humbly presume to think, is not to make it so
unpardonable a fault for them, especially in their early years, to
be in their company. For can one make the children shun the
servants without rendering them odious or contemptible to them, and
representing them to the child in such disadvantageous light, as must
needs make the servants vile in their eyes, and themselves lofty
and exalted in their own? and thereby cause them to treat them with
"domineering words, and an imperious carriage, as if they were of
another race or species beneath them; and so," as Mr. Locke says,
"nurse up their natural pride into an habitual contempt of those
beneath them; and then," as he adds, "where will that probably end,
but in oppression and cruelty?" But this matter, dear Sir, I presume
to think, will all be happily accommodated and reconciled, when the
servants' good behaviour is secured by the example and injunctions of
the principals.

Upon the whole, then, of what Mr. Locke has enjoined, and what I have
taken the liberty to suggest on this head, it shall be my endeavour,
in that early part of your dear Billy's education, which you will
intrust to me, to inculcate betimes in his mind the principles of
universal benevolence and kindness to others, especially to inferiors.

Nor shall I fear, that the little dear will be wanting to himself
in assuming, as he grows up, an air of superiority and distance of
behaviour equal to his condition, or that he will descend too low for
his station. For, Sir, there is a pride and self-love natural to human
minds, that will seldom be kept so low, as to make them humbler than
they ought to be.

I have observed, before now, instances of this, in some of the
families we visit, between the young Masters or Misses, and those
children of lower degree, who have been brought to play with them, or
divert them. On the Masters' and Misses' side I have always seen, they
lead the play and prescribe the laws of it, be the diversion what it
will; while, on the other hand, their lower-rank play-fellows have
generally given into their little humours, though ever so contrary to
their own; and the difference of dress and appearance, and the
notion they have of the more eminent condition of their play-fellows'
parents, have begot in them a kind of awe and respect, that perhaps
more than sufficiently secures the superiority of the one, and the
subordination of the other.

The advantage of this universal benevolence to a young gentleman, as
he grows up, will be, as I humbly conceive, so to diffuse itself over
his mind, as to influence all his actions, and give a grace to every
thing he does or says, and make him admired and respected from the
best and most durable motives; and will be of greater advantage to him
for his attaining a handsome address and behaviour (for it will make
him conscious that he _merits_ the distinction he will meet with, and
encourage him still _more_ to merit it), than the best rules that can
be given him for that purpose.

I will therefore teach the little dear courteousness and affability,
from the properest motives I am able to think of; and will instruct
him in only one piece of pride, that of being above doing a mean or
low action. I will caution him not to behave in a lordly or insolent
manner, even to the lowest servants. I will tell him that that
superiority is the most commendable, and will be the best maintained,
which is owing to humanity and kindness, and grounded on the
perfections of the _mind_, rather than on the _accidental_ advantage
of _fortune_ and _condition_: that if his conduct be such as it ought
to be, there will be no occasion to tell a servant, that he will
be observed and respected: that _humility_, as I once told my Miss
Goodwin, is a charming grace, and most conspicuously charming in
persons of distinction; for that the poor, who are humbled by their
condition, cannot glory in it, as the rich may; and that it makes
the lower ranks of people love and admire the high-born, who can so
condescend: whereas _pride_, in such, is meanness and insult, as it
owes its boast and its being to accidental advantages; which, at the
same time, are seldom of _his_ procuring, who can be so mean as to be
proud: that even I would sooner forget pride in a low degree than in
a high; for it may be a security in the first against doing a base
thing: but in the rich, it is a base thing itself, and an impolitic
one too; for the more distinction a proud mind grasps at, the less it
will have; and every poor despised person can whisper such a one in
the ear, when surrounded with, and adorned by, all his glittering
splendours, that he _was_ born, and _must_ die, in the _same manner_
with those whom he despises.

Thus will the doctrine of benevolence and affability, implanted early
in the mind of a young gentleman, and duly cultivated as he grows
up, inspire him with the requisite conduct to command respect from
_proper_ motives; and while it will make the servants observe a
decorum towards him, it will oblige them to have a guard upon their
words and actions in presence of one, whose manner of education and
training-up would be so great a reproach to them, if they were grossly
faulty: so thus, I conceive, a mutual benefit will flow to the manners
of each; and _his_ good behaviour will render him, in some measure, an
instructive monitor to the whole family.

But permit me, Sir, to enlarge on the hint I have already given, in
relation to the example of parents, in case a preference be given
to the home education. For if this point cannot be secured, I should
always imagine it were best to put the child to such a school, as I
formerly mentioned. But yet the subject might be spared by me in this
case, as I write with a view only to your family; though you will
remember, that while I follow Mr. Locke, whose work is public, I must
be considered as directing myself to the generality of the world: for,
Sir, I have the pleasure to say, that your conduct in your family is
unexceptionable; and the pride to think that mine is no disgrace to
it. No one hears a word from your mouth unbecoming the character of a
polite gentleman; and I shall always be very regardful of what falls
from mine. Your temper, Sir, is equal and kind to all your servants,
and they love you, as well as awfully respect you: and well does your
beautiful and considerate mind, deserve it of them all: and they,
seeing I am watchful over my own conduct, so as not to behave unworthy
of your kind example, regard me as much as I could wish they should;
for well do they know, that their beloved master will have it so, and
greatly honours and esteems me himself. Your table-talk is such
as persons of the strictest principles may hear, and join in: your
guests, and your friends are, generally speaking, persons of the
genteelest life, and of the best manners. So that Mr. Locke would have
advised _you_, of all gentlemen, had he been living, and known you,
to give your children a home education, and assign these, and still
stronger reasons for it.

But were we to speak to the generality of parents, I fear this would
be an almost insuperable objection to a home education. For (I am
sorry to say it) when one turns one's eyes to the bad precedents given
by the heads of some families, it is hardly to be wondered at, that
there is so little virtue and religion among men. For can those
parents be surprised at the ungraciousness of their _children_,
who hardly ever shew them, that their _own_ actions are governed
by reasonable or moral motives? Can the gluttonous father expect a
self-denying son? With how ill a grace must a man who will often be
disguised in liquor, preach sobriety? a passionate man, patience?
an irreligious man, piety? How will a parent, whose hands are seldom
without cards, or dice in them, be observed in lessons against the
pernicious vice of gaming? Can the profuse father, who is squandering
away the fortunes of his children, expect to be regarded in a lesson
of frugality? 'Tis impossible he should, except it were that the
youth, seeing how pernicious his father's example is, should have the
grace to make a proper use of it, and look upon it as a sea-mark, as
it were, to enable him to shun the dangerous rocks, on which he
sees his father splitting. And even in this _best_ case, let it be
considered, how much shame and disgrace his thoughtless parent ought
to take to himself, who can admonish his child by nothing but the
_odiousness_ of his own vice; and how little it is owing to him, that
his guilt is not _doubled_, by his son's treading in his steps! Let
such an unhappy parent duly weigh this, and think how likely he is to
be, by his bad example, the cause of his child's perdition, as well as
his own, and stand unshocked and unamended, if he can!

It is then of no avail to wish for discreet servants, if the conduct
of the parents is faulty. If the fountain-head be polluted, how shall
the under-currents run clear? That master and mistress, who would
exact from their servants a behaviour which they themselves don't
practice, will be but ill observed. And that child, who discovers
excesses and errors in his parents, will be found to be less profited
by their good precepts, than prejudiced by bad examples. Excessive
fondness this hour; violent passions and perhaps execrations, the
next; unguarded jests, and admiration of fashionable vanities, rash
censures, are perhaps the best, that the child sees in, or hears from
those, who are most concerned to inculcate good precepts into his
mind. And where it is so, a home education must not surely be chosen.

Having thus, as well as my slender abilities will permit, presumed to
deliver my opinion upon three great points, _viz_. the qualifications
of a tutor; the necessity of having an eye to the morals of servants;
and the example of parents (all which, being taken care of, will give
a preference, as I imagine, to a home education); permit me, dear
Sir, to speak a little further to a point, that I have already touched
upon.

It is that of _emulation_; which I humbly conceive to be of great
efficacy to lead children on in their duties and studies. And how,
dear Sir, shall this advantage be procured for a young master, who has
no school-fellows and who has no example to follow, but that of
his tutor, whom he cannot, from the disparity of years, and other
circumstances, without pain (because of this disparity), think of
emulating? And this, I conceive, is a very great advantage to such a
school education, as I mentioned in my former letter, where there are
no more scholars taken in, than the master can with ease and pleasure
instruct.

But one way, in my humble opinion, is left to answer this objection,
and still preserve the reason for the preference which Mr. Locke gives
to a home education; and that is, what I formerly hinted, to take
into your family the child of some honest neighbour of but middling
circumstances, and like age of your own, but who should give apparent
indications of his natural promptitude, ingenuous temper, obliging
behaviour and good manners; and to let him go hand-in-hand with yours
in his several studies and lessons under the same tutor.

The child would be sensible of the benefit, as well as of the
distinction, he received, and consequently of what was expected from
him, and would double his diligence, and exert all his good qualities,
which would inspire the young gentleman with the wished-for emulation,
and, as I imagine, would be so promotive of his learning, that it
would greatly compensate the tutor for his pains with the additional
scholar; for the young gentleman would be ashamed to be outdone by one
of like years and stature with himself. And little rewards might
be proposed to the greatest proficient, in order to heighten the
emulation.

Then, Sir, the _generosity_ of such a method, to a gentleman of your
fortune, and beneficent mind, would be its own reward, were there no
other benefit to be received from it.

Moreover, such an ingenious youth might, by his good morals and
industry, hereafter be of service, in some place of trust in the
family; or it would be easy for a gentleman of your interest in the
world, if such a thing offered not, to provide for the youth in the
navy, in some of the public offices, or among your private friends.
If he proved faulty in his morals, his dismission would be in your own
power, and would be punishment enough.

But, if on the other hand, he proved a sober and hopeful youth, he
would make an excellent companion for your Billy in riper years; as
he would be, in a manner, a corroborator of his morals; for, as his
circumstances would not support him in any extravagance, so they would
be a check upon his inclination; and this being seconded by the hopes
of future preferment from your favour and interest, which he could not
expect but upon the terms of his perseverance in virtue, he would find
himself under a necessity of setting such an example, as might be of
great benefit to his companion, who should be watched, as he grew up,
that he did not (if his ample fortune became dangerous to his virtue)
contribute out of his affluence to draw the other after him into
extravagance. And to this end, as I humbly conceive, the noble
doctrine of _independence_ should be early instilled into both their
minds, and upon all occasions, inculcated and inforced; which would be
an inducement for the one to endeavour to _improve_ his fortune by his
honest industry, lest he never be enabled to rise out of a state of
dependence; and to the other, to _keep,_ if not to _improve,_ his
own, lest he ever fall into such a servile state, and thereby lose the
glorious power of conferring happiness on the deserving, one of the
highest pleasures that a generous mind can know; a pleasure, Sir,
which you have oftener experienced than thousands of gentlemen:
and which may you still continue to experience for a long and happy
succession of years, is the prayer of one, the most obliged of all
others in her own person, as well as in the persons of her dearest
relations, and who owes to this glorious beneficence the honour she
boasts, of being _your ever affectionate and grateful_ P.B.



LETTER XCV

But now, my dear Mr. B., if you will indulge me in a letter or two
more, preparative to my little book, I will take the liberty to touch
upon one or two other places, wherein I differ from this learned
gentleman. But first, permit me to observe, that if parents are, above
all things, to avoid giving bad examples to their children, they
will be no less careful to shun the practice of such fond fathers and
mothers, as are wont to indulge their children in bad habits, and give
them their head, at a time when, like wax, their tender minds may
be moulded into what shape they please. This is a point that, if it
please God, I will carefully attend to, because it is the foundation
on which the superstructure of the whole future man is to be erected.
For, according as he is indulged or checked in his childish follies,
a ground is laid for his future happiness or misery; and if once they
are suffered to become habitual to him, it cannot but be expected,
that they will grow up with him, and that they will hardly ever be
eradicated. "Try it," says Mr. Locke, speaking to this very point, "in
a dog, or a horse, or any other creature, and see whether the ill and
resty tricks they have learned when young, are easily to be mended,
when they are knit; and yet none of these creatures are half so wilful
and proud, or half so desirous to be masters of themselves, as men."

And this brings me, dear Sir, to the head of _punishments_, in which,
as well as in the article of _rewards_, which I have touched upon, I
have a little objection to what Mr. Locke advances.

But permit me, however, to premise, that I am exceedingly pleased with
the method laid down by this excellent writer, rather to shame the
child out of his fault, than beat him; which latter serves generally
for nothing but to harden his mind.

_Obstinacy_, and telling a _lie_, and committing a _wilful_ fault,
and then persisting in it, are, I agree with this gentleman, the only
causes for which the child should be punished with stripes: and
I admire the reasons he gives against a too rigorous and severe
treatment of children.

But I will give Mr. Locke's words, to which I have some objection.

"It may be doubted," says he, "concerning whipping, when, as the
_last_ remedy, it comes to be necessary, at _what time_, and by whom,
it should be done; whether presently, upon the committing the
fault, whilst it is yet fresh and hot. I think it should not be done
presently," adds he, "lest passion mingle with it; and so, though it
exceed the just proportion, yet it lose of its due weight. For even
children discern whenever we do things in a passion."

I must beg leave, dear Sir, to differ from Mr. Locke in this point;
for I think it ought rather to be a rule with parents, who shall
chastise their children, to conquer what would be extreme in _their
own_ passion on this occasion (for those who cannot do it, are very
unfit to be the punishers of the wayward passions of their children),
than to _defer_ the punishment, especially if the child knows its
fault has reached its parent's ear. It is otherwise, methinks, giving
the child, if of an obstinate disposition, so much more time to harden
its mind, and bid defiance to its punishment.

Just now, dear Sir, your Billy is brought into my presence, all
smiling, crowing to come to me, and full of heart-cheering promises;
and the subject I am upon goes to my heart. Surely I can never beat
your Billy!--Dear little life of my life! how can I think thou canst
ever deserve it, or that I can ever inflict it?--No, my baby, that
shall be thy papa's task, if ever thou art so heinously naughty; and
whatever _he_ does, must be right. Pardon my foolish fondness, dear
Sir!--I will proceed.

If, then, the fault be so atrocious as to deserve whipping, and the
parent be resolved on this exemplary punishment, the child ought not,
as I imagine, to come into one's presence without meeting with it:
or else, a fondness too natural to be resisted, will probably get the
upper hand of one's resentment, and how shall one be able to whip the
dear creature one had ceased to be angry with? Then after he has once
seen one without meeting his punishment, will he not be inclined to
hope for connivance at his fault, unless it should be repeated? And
may he not be apt (for children's resentments are strong) to impute
to cruelty a correction (when he thought the fault had been forgotten)
that should always appear to be inflicted with reluctance, and through
motives of love?

If, from anger at his fault, one should go _above the due proportion_,
(I am sure I might be trusted for this!) let it take its course!--How
barbarously, methinks, I speak!--He ought to _feel_ the lash, first,
because he _deserves_ it, poor little soul? Next, because it is
_proposed_ to be exemplary. And, lastly, because it is not intended to
be _often_ used: and the very passion or displeasure one expresses (if
it be not enormous) will shew one is in earnest, and create in him a
necessary awe, and fear to offend again. The _end_ of the correction
is to shew him the difference between right and wrong. And as it
is proper to take him at his first offer of a full submission and
repentance (and not before), and instantly dispassionate one's self,
and shew him the difference by acts of pardon and kindness (which
will let him see that one punishes him out of necessity rather than
choice), so one would not be afraid to make him smart so sufficiently,
that he should not soon forget the severity of the discipline, nor
the disgrace of it. There's a cruel mamma for you, Mr. B.! What my
_practice_ may be, I cannot tell; but this _theory_, I presume to
think, is right.

As to the _act_ itself, I much approve Mr. Locke's advice, to do it
by pauses, mingling stripes and expostulations together, to shame and
terrify the more; and the rather, as the parent, by this slow manner
of inflicting the punishment, will less need to be afraid of giving
too violent a correction; for those pauses will afford _him_, as well
as the _child_, opportunities for consideration and reflection.

But as to the _person_, by whom the discipline should be performed,
I humbly conceive, that this excellent author is here also to be
objected to.

"If you have a discreet servant," says he, "capable of it, and has the
place of governing your child (for if you have a tutor, there is no
doubt), I think it is best the smart should come immediately from
another's hand, though by the parent's order, who should see it done,
whereby the parent's authority will be preserved, and the child's
aversion for the pain it suffers, rather be turned on the person that
immediately inflicts it. For I would have a father seldom strike a
child, but upon very urgent necessity, and as the last remedy."

'Tis in such an urgent case that we are supposing that it should be
done at all. If there be not a reason strong enough for the father's
whipping the child himself, there cannot be one for his ordering
another to do it, and standing by to see it done. But I humbly think,
that if there be a necessity, no one can be so fit as the father
himself to do it. The child cannot dispute his authority to punish,
from whom he receives and expects all the good things of his life: he
cannot question _his_ love to him, and after the smart is over, and
his obedience secured, must believe that so tender, so indulgent a
father could have no other end in whipping him, but his good. Against
_him_, he knows he has no remedy, but must passively submit; and when
he is convinced he _must_, he will in time conclude that he _ought_.

But to have this severe office performed by a servant, though at the
father's command, and that professedly, that the aversion of the child
for the pain it suffers should be turned on the person who immediately
inflicts it, is, I humbly think, the _reverse_ of what ought to be
done. And _more_ so, if this servant has any direction of the child's
education; and still much _more_ so, if it be his tutor, though Mr.
Locke says, there is no doubt, if there be a tutor, that it should be
done by him.

For, dear Sir, is there no doubt, that the tutor should lay himself
open to the aversion of the child, whose manners he is to form? Is not
the best method a tutor can take, in order to enforce the lessons he
would inculcate, to try to attract the love and attention of his pupil
by the most winning ways he can possibly think of? And yet is _he_,
this very tutor _out of all doubt_, to be the instrument of doing an
harsh and disgraceful thing, and that in the last resort, when all
other methods are found ineffectual; and that too, because he ought to
incur the child's resentment and aversion, rather than the father? No,
surely, Sir, it is not reasonable it should be so: quite contrary,
in my humble notion, there can be no doubt, but that it should be
_otherwise_.

It should, methinks, be enough for a tutor, in case of a fault in the
child, to threaten to complain to his father; but yet not to make
such a complaint, without the child obstinately persists in his error,
which, too, should be of a nature to merit such an appeal: and this
might highly contribute to preserve the parent's authority; who, on
this occasion, should never fail of extorting a promise of amendment,
or of instantly punishing him with his own hands. And, to soften the
distaste he might conceive in resentment of too rigid complainings, it
might not be amiss, that his interposition in the child's favour, were
the fault not too flagrant, should be permitted to save him once or
twice from the impending discipline.

'Tis certain that the passions, if I may so call them, of affection
and aversion, are very early discoverable in children; insomuch
that they will, even before they can speak, afford us marks for the
detection of an hypocritical appearance of love to it before the
parents' faces. For the fondness or averseness of the child to some
servants, will at any time let one know, whether their love to the
baby is uniform and the same, when one is absent, as present. In one
case the child will reject with sullenness all the little sycophancies
made to it in one's sight; while on the other, its fondness of the
person, who generally obliges it, is an infallible rule to judge of
such an one's sincerity behind one's back. This little observation
shews the strength of a child's resentments, and its sagacity, at the
earliest age, in discovering who obliges, and who disobliges it: and
hence one may infer, how improper a person _he_ is, whom we would have
a child to love and respect, or by whose precepts we would have it
directed, to be the punisher of its faults, or to do any harsh or
disagreeable office to it.

For my own part, I beg to declare, that if the parent were not to
inflict the punishment himself, I think it much better it should be
given him, in the parent's presence, by the servant of the lowest
consideration in the family, and whose manners and example one would
be the least willing of any other he should follow. Just as the common
executioner, who is the lowest and most flagitious officer of the
commonwealth, and who frequently deserves, as much as the criminal,
the punishment he is chosen to inflict, is pitched upon to perform,
as a mark of greater ignominy, sentences intended as examples to deter
others from the commission of heinous crimes. The Almighty took this
method when he was disposed to correct severely his chosen people;
for, in that case, he generally did it by the hands of the most
profligate nations around them, as we read in many places of the Old
Testament.

But the following rule I admire in Mr. Locke: "When," says he (for any
misdemeanour), "the father or mother looks sour on the child, every
one else should put on the same coldness to him, and nobody give him
countenance till forgiveness is asked, and a reformation of his fault
has set him right again, and restored him to his former credit. If
this were constantly observed," adds he, "I guess there would be
little need of blows or chiding: their own ease or satisfaction would
quickly teach children to court commendation, and avoid doing that
which they found every body condemned, and they were sure to suffer
for, without being chid or beaten. This would teach them modesty and
shame, and they would quickly come to have a natural abhorrence for
that which they found made them slighted and neglected by every body."

This affords me a pretty hint; for if ever your charming Billy shall
be naughty, I will proclaim throughout your worthy family, that the
little dear is in disgrace! And one shall shun him, another decline
answering him, a third say, "No, master, I cannot obey you, till your
mamma is pleased with you"; a fourth, "Who shall mind what little
masters bid them do, when they won't mind what their mammas say to
them?" And when the dear little soul finds this, he will come in my
way, (and I see, pardon me, my dear Mr. B., he has some of his papa's
spirit, already, indeed he has!) and I will direct myself with double
kindness to your beloved Davers, and to my Miss Goodwin, and not
notice the dear creature, if I can help it, till I can see his _papa_
(forgive my boldness) banished from his little sullen brow, and all
his _mamma_ rise to his eyes. And when his musical tongue shall be
unlocked to own his fault, and promise amendment--O then! how shall I
clasp him to my bosom! and tears of joy, I know, will meet his tears
of penitence!

How these flights, dear Sir, please a body!-What delights have those
mammas (which some fashionable dear ladies are quite unacquainted
with) who can make their babies, and their first educations, their
entertainment and diversion! To watch the dawnings of reason in them,
to direct their little passions, as they shew themselves, to this
or that particular point of benefit or use; and to prepare the sweet
virgin soil of their minds to receive the seeds of virtue and goodness
so early, that, as they grow up, one need only now a little pruning,
and now a little water, to make them the ornaments and delights of
the garden of this life! And then their pretty ways, their fond
and grateful endearments, some new beauty every day rising to
observation--O my dearest Mr. B., whose enjoyments and pleasures are
so great, as those of such mothers as can bend their minds two or
three hours every day to the duties of the nursery?

I have a few other things to observe upon Mr. Locke's treatise, which,
when I have done, I shall read, admire, and improve by the rest, as my
years and experience advance; of which, in my proposed little book,
I shall give you better proofs than I am able to do at present; raw,
crude, and indigested as the notions of so young a mamma must needs
be.

But these shall be the subjects of another letter; for now I am come
to the pride and the pleasure I always have, when I subscribe myself,
dearest Sir, _your ever dutiful and grateful_

P.B.



LETTER XCVI

DEAR SIR,

Mr. Locke gives a great many very pretty instructions relating to the
play-games of children: but I humbly presume to object to what he says
in one or two places.

He would not indulge them in any playthings, but what they make
themselves, or endeavour to make. "A smooth pebble, a piece of paper,
the mother's bunch of keys, or any thing they cannot hurt themselves
with," he rightly says, "serve as much to divert little children,
as those more chargeable and curious toys from the shops, which are
presently put out of order, and broken."

These playthings may certainly do for little ones: but methinks, to a
person of easy circumstances, since the making these toys employs
the industrious poor, the buying them for the child might be complied
with, though they _were_ easily broken; and especially as they are of
all prices, and some less costly, and more durable than others.

"Tops, gigs, battledores," Mr. Locke observes, "which are to be used
with labour, should indeed be procured them--not for variety, but
exercise; but if they had a top, the scourge-stick and leather strap
should be left to their own making and fitting."

But I may presume to say, that whatever be the good Mr. Locke proposes
by this, it cannot be equal to the mischief children may do themselves
in making these playthings! For must they not have implements to work
with? and is not a knife, or other edged tool, without which it is
impossible they can make or shape a scourge-stick, or _any_ of their
playthings, a fine instrument in a child's hands! This advice is
the reverse of the caution warranted from all antiquity, _That it is
dangerous to meddle with edged tools!_ and I am afraid, the tutor must
often act the surgeon, and follow the indulgence with a styptic and
plaister; and the young gentleman's hands might be so often bound up
as to be one way to cure him of his earnest desire to play; but I
can hardly imagine any other good that it can do him; for I doubt the
excellent consequences proposed by our author from this doctrine,
such as to teach the child moderation in his desires, application,
industry, thought, contrivance, and good husbandry, qualities that, as
he says, will be useful to him when he is a man, are too remote to be
ingrafted upon such beginnings; although it must be confessed, that,
as Mr. Locke wisely observes, good habits and industry cannot be too
early inculcated.

But then, Sir, may I ask, Are not the very plays and sports, to which
children accustom themselves, whether they make their own playthings
or not, equivalent to the work or labour of grown persons! Yes, Sir,
I will venture to say, they are, and more than equivalent to the
exercises and labour of many.

Mr. Locke advises, that the child's playthings should be as few as
possible, which I entirely approve: that they should be in his tutor's
power, who is to give him but one at once. But since it is the nature
of the human mind to court most what is prohibited, and to set light
by what is in its own power; I am half doubtful (only that Mr. Locke
says it, and it may not be so very important as other points, in which
I have ventured to differ from that gentleman), whether the child's
absolute possession of his own playthings in some little repository,
of which he may be permitted to keep the key, especially if he makes
no bad use of the privilege, would not make him more indifferent to
them: while the contrary conduct might possibly enhance his value of
them. And if, when he had done with any plaything, he were obliged to
put it into its allotted place, and were accustomed to keep account of
the number and places of them severally; this would teach him order,
and at the same time instruct him to keep a proper account of them,
and to avoid being a squanderer or waster: and if he should omit to
put his playthings in their places, or be careless of them, the taking
them away for a time, or threatening to give them to others, would
make him the more heedful.

Mr. Locke says, that he has known a child so distracted with the
number and variety of his playthings, that he tired his maid every day
to look them over: and was so accustomed to abundance, that he never
thought he had enough, but was always asking, "What more? What new
thing shall I have?"--"A good introduction," adds he, ironically, "to
moderate desires, and the ready way to make a contented happy man."

All that I shall offer to this, is, that few _men_ are so
philosophical as one would wish them to be, much less _children_. But,
no doubt, this variety engaged the child's activity; which, of the two
might be turned to better purposes than sloth or indolence; and if the
maid was tired, it might be, because she was not so much _alive_ as
the child; and perhaps this part of the grievance might not be so
great, because if she was his attendant, 'tis probable she had nothing
else to do.

However, in the main, as Mr. Locke says, it is no matter how few
playthings the child is indulged with; but yet I can hardly persuade
myself, that plenty of them can have such bad consequences as he
apprehends; and the rather, because they will excite his attention,
and promote his industry and activity. His enquiry after new things,
let him have few or many, is to be expected as a consequence to
those natural desires which are implanted in him, and will every day
increase: but this may be observed, that as he grows in years, he will
be above some playthings, and so the number of the old ones will be
always reducible, perhaps in a greater proportion, than the new ones
will increase.

On the head of good-breeding, he observes, that, "there are two sorts
of ill-breeding; the one a sheepish bashfulness, and the other a
misbecoming negligence and disrespect in our carriage; both which,"
says he, "are avoided by duly observing this one rule, not to think
meanly of ourselves, and not to think meanly of others." I think, as
Mr. Locke explains this rule, it is an excellent one. But I would beg
to observe upon it, that however discommendable a bashful temper is,
in some instances, where it must be deemed a weakness of the mind,
yet, in my humble opinion, it is generally the mark of an ingenuous
one, and is always to be preferred to an undistinguishing and hardy
confidence, which, as it seems to me, is the genuine production of
invincible ignorance.

What is faulty in it, which he calls _sheepishness_, should indeed be
shaken off as soon as possible, because it is an enemy to merit in its
advancement in the world: but, Sir, were I to choose a companion for
your Billy, as he grows up, I should not think the worse of the youth,
who, not having had the opportunities of knowing men, or seeing the
world, had this defect. On the contrary, I should be apt to look upon
it as an outward fence or inclosure to his virtue, which might keep
off the lighter attacks of immorality, the _Hussars_ of vice, as I may
say, who are not able to carry on a formal siege against his morals;
and I should expect such a one to be docile, humane, good-humoured,
diffident of himself, and therefore most likely to improve as well in
mind as behaviour: while a hardened mind, that never doubts itself,
must be a stranger to its own infirmities, and suspecting none, is
impetuous, over-bearing, incorrigible; and, if rich, a tyrant; if not,
possibly an invader of other men's properties; or at least, such a one
as allows itself to walk so near the borders of injustice, that where
_self_ is concerned, it hardly ever does right things.

Mr. Locke proposes (Section 148) a very pretty method to cheat
children, as it were, into learning: but then he adds, "There may be
dice and playthings, with the letters on them, to teach children the
alphabet by playing." And (Section 151) "I know a person of great
quality, who, by pasting on the six vowels (for in our language _y_ is
one) on the six sides of a dice, and the remaining eighteen consonants
on the sides of three other dice, has made this a play for his
children, that _he_ shall win, who at one cast throws most words on
these four dice; whereby his eldest son, yet in coats, has _played_
himself _into spelling_ with great eagerness, and without once having
been chid for it, or forced to it."

But I had rather your Billy should be a twelvemonth backwarder for
want of this method, than forwarded by it. For what may not be feared
from so early inculcating the use of dice and gaming, upon the minds
of children? Let Mr. Locke himself speak to this in his Section
208, and I wish I could reconcile the two passages in this excellent
author. "As to cards and dice," says he, "I think the safest and best
way is, never to learn any play upon them, and so to be incapacitated
for these dangerous temptations, and encroaching wasters of useful
time." And, he might have added, of the noblest estates and fortunes;
while sharpers and scoundrels have been lifted into distinction upon
their ruins. Yet, in § 153, Mr. Locke proceeds to give directions in
relation to the dice he recommends.

But after all, if some innocent plays were fixed upon to cheat
children into reading, that, as he says, should look as little like
a task as possible, it must needs be of use for that purpose. But let
every gentleman, who has a fortune to lose, and who, if he games, is
on a foot with the vilest company, who generally have nothing at all
to risque, tremble at the thoughts of teaching his son, though for the
most laudable purposes, the early use of dice and gaming.

But how much I am charmed with a hint in Mr. Locke, which makes your
Pamela hope, she may be of greater use to your children, even as they
_grow up_, than she could ever have flattered herself to be. 'Tis a
charming paragraph; I must not skip one word of it. Thus it begins,
and I will observe upon it as I go along. § 177: "But under whose care
soever a child is put to be taught, during the tender and flexible
years of his life, this is certain, it should be one who thinks Latin
and language the least part of education."

How agreeable is this to my notions; which I durst not have avowed,
but after so excellent a scholar! For I have long had the thought,
that much time is wasted to little purpose in the attaining of Latin.
Mr. H., I think, says he was ten years in endeavouring to learn
it, and, as far as I can find, knows nothing at all of the matter
neither!--Indeed he lays that to the wicked picture in his grammar,
which he took for granted (as he has often said, as well as once
written) was put there to teach boys to rob orchards, instead of
improving their minds in learning, or common honesty.

But (for this is too light an instance for the subject) Mr. Locke
proceeds--"One who knowing how much virtue and a well-tempered soul is
to be preferred to any sort of _learning or language_," [_What a noble
writer is this!_] "makes it his chief business to form the mind of his
scholars, and give that a right disposition:" [_Ay, there, dear Sir,
is the thing!_] "which, if once got, though all the rest should be
neglected," [_charmingly observed!_] "would, in _due time_," [_without
wicked dice, I hope!_] "produce all the rest; and which, if it be not
got and settled, so to keep out ill and vicious habits, _languages_
and _sciences_, and all the other accomplishments of education, will
be to no purpose, but to make the worse or more dangerous man." [_Now
comes the place I am so much delighted with!_] "And indeed, whatever
stir there is made about getting of Latin, as the great and difficult
business, his mother" [_thank you, dear Sir, for putting this
excellent author into my hands!_] "may teach it him herself, if she
will but spend two or three hours in a day with him," [_If she will!
Never fear, but I will, with the highest pleasure in the world!_] "and
make him read the Evangelists in Latin to her." [_How I long to be
five or six years older, as well as my dearest babies, that I may
enter upon this charming scheme!_] "For she need but buy a Latin
Testament, and having got somebody to mark the last syllable but one,
where it is long, in words above two syllables (which is enough to
regulate her pronunciation and accenting the words), read daily in the
Gospels, and then let her avoid understanding them in Latin, if she
can."

Why, dear Sir, you have taught me almost all this already; and you,
my beloved tutor, have told me often, I read and pronounce Latin more
than tolerably, though I don't understand it: but this method will
teach _me_, as well as your dear _children_--But thus the good
gentleman proceeds--"And when she understands the Evangelists in
Latin, let her in the same manner read Aesop's Fables, and so proceed
on to Eutropius, Justin, and such other books. I do not mention this,"
adds Mr. Locke, "as an imagination of what I fancy _may_ do, but as
of a thing I have known done, and the Latin tongue got with ease this
way."

He then mentions other advantages, which the child may receive from
his mother's instruction, which I will try more and more to qualify
myself for: particularly, after he has intimated, that "at the same
time that the child is learning French and Latin, he may be entered
also in arithmetic, geography, chronology, history, and geometry too;
for if," says he, "these be taught him in French or Latin, when he
begins once to understand either of these tongues, he will get a
knowledge of these sciences, and the language to boot." He then
proceeds: "Geography, I think, should be begun with: for the learning
of the figure of the globe, the situation and boundaries of the four
parts of the world, and that of particular kingdoms and countries,
being only an exercise of the eyes and memory, a child with pleasure
will learn and retain them. And this is so certain, that I now live in
a house with a child, whom his MOTHER has so well instructed this way
in geography," [_But_ _had she not, do you think, dear Sir, some of
this good gentleman's kind assistance?_] "that he knew the limits of
the four parts of the world; would readily point, being asked, to any
country upon the globe, or any county in the map of England; knew all
the great rivers, promontories, streights, and bays in the world, and
could find the longitude and latitude of any place, before he was six
years old."

There's for you, dear Sir!--See what a mother can do if she pleases!

I remember, Sir, formerly, in that sweet chariot conference, at
the dawning of my hopes, when all my dangers were happily over (a
conference I shall always think of with pleasure), that you asked me,
how I would bestow my time, supposing the neighbouring ladies would
be above being seen in my company; when I should have no visits to
receive or return; no parties of pleasure to join in; no card-tables
to employ my winter evenings?

I then, Sir, transported with my opening prospects, prattled to you,
how well I would try to pass my time, in the family management and
accounts, in visits now and then to the indigent and worthy poor; in
music sometimes; in reading, in writing, in my superior duties--And I
hope I have not behaved quite unworthily of my promise.

But I also remember, what once you said on a certain occasion, which
_now_, since the fair prospect is no longer distant, and that I have
been so long your happy wife, I may repeat without those blushes which
then covered my face; thus then, with a _modest_ grace, and with that
_virtuous_ endearment that is so _beautiful_ in _your_ sex, as well
as in _ours_, whether in the character of lover or husband, maiden
or wife, you were pleased to say--"And I hope, my Pamela, to have
superadded to all these, such an employment as--" in short, Sir, I am
now blessed with, and writing of; no less than the useful part I may
be able to take in the first education of your beloved babies!

And now I must add, that this pleasing hope sets me above all other
diversions: I wish for no parties of pleasure but with you, my dearest
Mr. B., and these are parties that will improve me, and make me more
capable of the other, and more worthy of your conversation, and of
the time you pass (beyond what I could ever have promised to my utmost
wishes) in such poor company as mine, for no other reason but because
I love to be instructed, and take my lessons well, as you are pleased
to say; and indeed I must be a sad dunce, if I did not, from so
skilful and so beloved a master. I want no card-table amusements; for
I hope, in a few years (and a proud hope it is), to be able to teach
your dear little ones the first rudiments, as Mr. Locke points the
way, of Latin, of French, and of geography, and arithmetic.

O, my dear Mr. B., by your help and countenance, what may I not
be able to teach them, and how may I prepare the way for a tutor's
instructions, and give him up minds half cultivated to his hands!--And
all this time improve myself too, not only in science, but in nature,
by tracing in the little babes what all mankind are, and have been,
from infancy to riper years, and watching the sweet dawnings of
reason, and delighting in every bright emanation of that ray of
divinity, lent to the human mind, for great and happy purposes, when
rightly pointed and directed.

There is no going farther after these charming recollections and
hopes, for they bring me to that grateful remembrance, to whom, under
God, I owe them all, and also what I have been for so happy a period,
and what I am, which will ever be my pride and my glory; and well it
may, when I look back to my beginning with humble acknowledgment, and
can call myself, dearest Mr. B., _your honoured and honouring, and, I
hope to say, in time, useful wife_, P.B.



LETTER XCVII

MY DEAREST MR. B.,

Having in my former letters said as much as is necessary to let you
into my notion of the excellent book you put into my hands, and
having touched those points in which the children of both sexes may be
concerned (with some _art_ in my intention, I own), in hope that they
would not be so much out of the way, as to make you repent of the
honour you have done me, in committing the dear Miss Goodwin to my
care; I shall now very quickly set myself about the proposed little
book.

You have been so good as to tell me (at the same time that you
disapprove not these my specimen letters as I may call them), that you
will kindly accept of my intended present, and encourage me to proceed
in it; and as I shall leave one side of the leaf blank for your
corrections and alterations, those corrections will be a fine help and
instruction to me in the pleasing task which I propose to myself, of
assisting in the early education of your dear children. And as I
may be years in writing it, as the dear babies improve, as I myself
improve, by the opportunities which their advances in years will give
me, and the experience I shall gain, I may then venture to give my
notions on the more material and nobler parts of education, as well
as the inferior: for (but that I think the subjects above my present
abilities) Mr. Locke's book would lead me into several remarks, that
might not be unuseful, and which appear to me entirely new; though
that may be owing to my slender reading and opportunities, perhaps.

But what I would now touch upon, is a word or two still more
particularly upon the education of my own sex; a topic which naturally
arises to me from the subject of my last letter. For there, dear Sir,
we saw, that the mothers might teach the child _this_ part of science,
and _that_ part of instruction; and who, I pray, as our sex is
generally educated, shall teach the _mothers_? How, in a word, shall
_they_ come by their knowledge?

I know you'll be apt to say, that Miss Goodwin gives all the promises
of becoming a fine young lady, and takes her learning, loves reading,
and makes very pretty reflections upon all she reads, and asks very
pertinent questions, and is as knowing, at her years, as most young
ladies. This is very true, Sir; but it is not every one that can boast
of Miss Goodwin's capacity, and goodness of temper, which have enabled
her to get up a good deal of _lost_ time, as I must call it; for her
first four years were a perfect blank, as far as I can find, just as
if the pretty dear was born the day she was four years old; for what
she had to _unlearn_ as to temper, and will, and such things, set
against what little improvements she had made, might very fairly be
compounded for, as a blank.

I would indeed have a girl brought up to her needle, but I would not
have _all_ her time employed in samplers, and learning to mark, and
do those unnecessary things, which she will never, probably, be called
upon to practise.

And why, pray, are not girls entitled to the same _first_ education,
though not to the same plays and diversions, as boys; so far, at
least, as is supposed by Mr. Locke a mother can instruct them?

Would not this lay a foundation for their future improvement, and
direct their inclinations to useful subjects, such as would make them
above the imputations of some unkind gentlemen, who allot to their
part common tea-table prattle, while they do all they can to make them
fit for nothing else, and then upbraid them for it? And would not the
men find us better and more suitable companions and assistants to them
in every useful purpose of life?--O that your lordly sex were all like
my dear Mr. B.--I don't mean that they should all take raw, uncouth,
unbred, lowly girls, as I was, from the cottage, and, destroying
all distinction, make such their wives; for there is a far greater
likelihood, that such a one, when she comes to be lifted up into so
dazzling a sphere, would have her head made giddy with her exaltation,
than that she would balance herself well in it: and to what a blot,
over all the fair page of a long life, would this little drop of dirty
ink spread itself! What a standing disreputation to the choice of a
gentleman!

But _this_ I mean, that after a gentleman had entered into the
marriage state with a young creature (saying nothing at all of birth
or descent) far inferior to him in learning, in parts, in knowledge of
the world, and in all the graces which make conversation agreeable and
improving, he would, as you do, endeavour to make her fit company for
himself, as he shall find she is _willing_ to improve, and _capable_
of improvement: that he would direct her taste, point out to her
proper subjects for her amusement and instruction; travel with her now
and then, a month in a year perhaps; and shew her the world, after he
has encouraged her to put herself forward at his own table, and at the
houses of his friends, and has seen, that she will not do him great
discredit any where. What obligations, and opportunities too, will
this give her to love and honour such a husband, every hour, more
and more! as she will see his wisdom in a thousand instances, and
experience his indulgence to her in ten thousand, to the praise of
his politeness, and the honour of them both!--And then, when select
parties of pleasure or business engaged him not abroad, in his home
conversation, to have him delight to instruct and open her views, and
inspire her with an ambition to enlarge her mind, and more and more
to excel! What an intellectual kind of married life would such persons
find theirs! And how suitable to the rules of policy and self-love in
the gentleman; for is not the wife, and are not her improvements, all
_his own_?--_Absolutely_, as I may say, _his own_? And does not every
excellence she can be adorned by, redound to her husband's honour
because she is his, even more than to _her own_!--In like manner as no
dishonour affects a man so much, as that which he receives from a bad
wife.

But where is such a gentleman as Mr. B. to be met with? Look round and
see where, with all the advantages of sex, of education, of travel,
of conversation in the open world, a gentleman of his abilities
to instruct and inform, is to be found? And there are others, who,
perhaps, will question the capacities or inclinations of our sex in
general, to improve in useful knowledge, were they to meet with such
kind instructors, either in the characters of parents or husbands.

As to the first, I grant, that it is not easy to find such a
gentleman: but for the second (if excusable in me, who am one of the
sex, and so may be thought partial to it), I could by comparisons
drawn from the gentlemen and ladies within the circle of my own
acquaintance, produce instances, which are so flagrantly in their
favour, as might make it suspected, that it is policy more than
justice, in those who would keep our sex unacquainted with that
more eligible turn of education, which gives the gentlemen so many
advantages over us in _that_; and which will shew, they have none at
all in _nature_ or _genius_.

I know you will pardon me, dear Sir; for you are so exalted above your
Pamela, by nature and education too, that you cannot apprehend any
inconvenience from bold comparisons. I will beg, therefore, to mention
a few instances among our friends, where the ladies, notwithstanding
their more cramped and confined education, make _more_ than an equal
figure with the gentlemen in all the graceful parts of conversation,
in spite of the contempts poured out upon our sex by some witty
gentlemen, whose writings I have in my eye.

To begin then with Mr. Murray, and Miss Damford that was; Mr. Murray
has the reputation of scholarship, and has travelled too; but how
infinitely is he surpassed in every noble and useful quality, and in
greatness of mind, and judgment, as well as wit, by the young lady I
have named! This we saw, when last at the Hall, in fifty instances,
where the gentleman was, you know, Sir, on a visit to Sir Simon and
his lady.

Next, dear Sir, permit me to observe, that my good Lord Davers, with
all his advantages, born a counsellor of the realm, and educated
accordingly, does not surpass his lady.

_My_ countess, as I delight to call her, and Lady Betty, her eldest
daughter, greatly surpassed the Earl and her eldest brother in every
point of knowledge, and even learning, as I may say, although both
ladies owe that advantage principally to their own cultivation and
acquirement.

Let me presume, Sir, to name Mr. H.: and when I _have_ named him,
shall we not be puzzled to find any where in our sex, one remove from
vulgar life, a woman that will not out-do Mr. H.?

Lady Darnford, upon all useful subjects, makes a much brighter figure
than Sir Simon, whos