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Pamela or Virtue Rewarded

Letter 8
DEAR PAMELA,
I cannot but renew my cautions on your master's kindness, and his free expression
to you about the stockings. Yet there may not be, and I hope there is not, any thing
in it. But when I reflect, that there possibly may, and that if there should, no less
depends upon it than my child's everlasting happiness in this world and the next; it is
enough to make one fearful for you. Arm yourself, my dear child, for the worst; and
resolve to lose your life sooner than your virtue. What though the doubts I filled you
with, lessen the pleasure you would have had in your master's kindness; yet what
signify the delights that arise from a few paltry fine clothes, in comparison with a
good conscience?
These are, indeed, very great favours that he heaps upon you, but so much the
more to be suspected; and when you say he looked so amiably, and like an angel,
how afraid I am, that they should make too great an impression upon you! For,
though you are blessed with sense and prudence above your years, yet I tremble to
think, what a sad hazard a poor maiden of little more than fifteen years of age stands
against the temptations of this world, and a designing young gentleman, if he should
prove so, who has so much power to oblige, and has a kind of authority to
command, as your master.
I charge you, my dear child, on both our blessings, poor as we are, to be on your
guard; there can be no harm in that. And since Mrs. Jervis is so good a
gentlewoman, and so kind to you, I am the easier a great deal, and so is your
mother; and we hope you will hide nothing from her, and take her counsel in every
thing. So, with our blessings, and assured prayers for you, more than for ourselves,
we
remain,
Your loving FATHER AND MOTHER.
Be sure don't let people's telling you, you are pretty, puff you up; for you did not
make yourself, and so can have no praise due to you for it. It is virtue and goodness
only, that make the true beauty. Remember that, Pamela.
 
 
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