Pamela or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson - HTML preview
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My DEAREST CHILD,
Our hearts bleed for your distress, and the temptations you are exposed to. You have our hourly prayers; and we would have you flee this evil great house and man, if you find he renews his attempts. You ought to have done it at first, had you not had Mrs. Jervis to advise with. We can find no fault in your conduct hitherto: But it makes our hearts ache for fear of the worst. O my child! temptations are sore things,--but yet, without them, we know not ourselves, nor what we are able to do. Your danger is very great; for you have riches, youth, and a fine gentleman, as the world reckons him, to withstand; but how great will be your honour to withstand them! And when we consider your past conduct, and your virtuous education, and that you have been bred to be more ashamed of dishonesty than poverty, we trust in God, that He will enable you to overcome. Yet, as we can't see but your life must be a burthen to you, through the great apprehensions always upon you; and that it may be presumptuous to trust too much to our own strength; and that you are but very young; and the devil may put it into his heart to use some stratagem, of which great men are full, to decoy you: I think you had better come home to share our poverty with safety, than live with so much discontent in a plenty, that itself may be dangerous. God direct you for the best! While you have Mrs. Jervis for an adviser and bed-fellow, (and, O my dear child! that was prudently done of you,) we are easier than we should be; and so committing you to the divine protection, remain
Your truly loving, but careful, FATHER and MOTHER.