Pamela or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson - HTML preview
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Well, I will now proceed with my sad story. And so, after I had dried my eyes, I went in, and began to ruminate with myself what I had best to do. Sometimes I thought I would leave the house and go to the next town, and wait an opportunity to get to you; but then I was at a loss to resolve whether to take away the things he had given me or no, and how to take them away: Sometimes I thought to leave them behind me, and only go with the clothes on my back, but then I had two miles and a half, and a byway, to the town; and being pretty well dressed, I might come to some harm, almost as bad as what I would run away from; and then may-be, thought I, it will be reported, I have stolen something, and so was forced to run away; and to carry a bad name back with me to my dear parents, would be a sad thing indeed!--O how I wished for my grey russet again, and my poor honest dress, with which you fitted me out, (and hard enough too it was for you to do it!) for going to this place, when I was not twelve years old, in my good lady's days! Sometimes I thought of telling Mrs. Jervis, and taking her advice, and only feared his command to be secret; for, thought I, he may be ashamed of his actions, and never attempt the like again: And as poor Mrs. Jervis depended upon him, through misfortunes, that had attended her, I thought it would be a sad thing to bring his displeasure upon her for my sake.
In this quandary, now considering, now crying, and not knowing what to do, I passed the time in my chamber till evening; when desiring to be excused going to supper, Mrs. Jervis came up to me, and said, Why must I sup without you, Pamela? Come, I see you are troubled at something; tell me what is the matter.
I begged I might be permitted to be with her on nights; for I was afraid of spirits, and they would not hurt such a good person as she. That was a silly excuse, she said; for why was not you afraid of spirits before?-- (Indeed I did not think of that.) But you shall be my bed-fellow with all my heart, added she, let your reason be what it will; only come down to supper. I begged to be excused; for, said I, I have been crying so, that it will be taken notice of by my fellow-servants; and I will hide nothing from you, Mrs. Jervis, when we are alone.
She was so good to indulge me; but made haste to come up to bed; and told the servants, that I should be with her, because she could not rest well, and would get me to read her to sleep; for she knew I loved reading, she said.
When we were alone, I told her all that had passed; for I thought, though he had bid me not, yet if he should come to know I had told, it would be no worse; for to keep a secret of such a nature, would be, as I apprehended, to deprive myself of the good advice which I never wanted more; and might encourage him to think I did not resent it as I ought, and would keep worse secrets, and so make him do worse by me. Was I right, my dear mother?
Mrs. Jervis could not help mingling tears with my tears; for I cried all the time I was telling her the story, and begged her to advise me what to do; and I showed her my dear father's two letters, and she praised the honesty and enditing of them, and said pleasing things to me of you both. But she begged I would not think of leaving my service; for, said she, in all likelihood, you behaved so virtuously, that he will be ashamed of what he has done, and never offer the like to you again: though, my dear Pamela, said she, I fear more for your prettiness than for anything else; because the best man in the land might love you: so she was pleased to say. She wished it was in her power to live independent; then she would take a little private house, and I should live with her like her daughter.
And so, as you ordered me to take her advice, I resolved to tarry to see how things went, except he was to turn me away; although, in your first letter, you ordered me to come away the moment I had any reason to be apprehensive. So, dear father and mother, it is not disobedience, I hope, that I stay; for I could not expect a blessing, or the good fruits of your prayers for me, if I was disobedient.
All the next day I was very sad, and began my long letter. He saw me writing, and said (as I mentioned) to Mrs. Jervis, That girl is always scribbling; methinks she might find something else to do, or to that purpose. And when I had finished my letter, I put it under the toilet in my late lady's dressing-room, whither nobody comes but myself and Mrs. Jervis, besides my master; but when I came up again to seal it, to my great concern, it was gone; and Mrs. Jervis knew nothing of it; and nobody knew of my master's having been near the place in the time; so I have been sadly troubled about it: But Mrs. Jervis, as well as I, thinks he has it, some how or other; and he appears cross and angry, and seems to shun me, as much as he said I did him. It had better be so than worse!
But he has ordered Mrs. Jervis to bid me not pass so much time in writing; which is a poor matter for such a gentleman as he to take notice of, as I am not idle other ways, if he did not resent what he thought I wrote upon. And this has no very good look.
But I am a good deal easier since I lie with Mrs. Jervis; though, after all, the fears I live in on one side, and his frowning and displeasure at what I do on the other, make me more miserable than enough.
O that I had never left my little bed in the loft, to be thus exposed to temptations on one hand, or disgusts on the other! How happy was I awhile ago! How contrary now!--Pity and pray for
Your afflicted PAMELA.