Pamela or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson - HTML preview
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O MY DEAREST FATHER AND MOTHER!
Let me write, and bewail my miserable hard fate, though I have no hope how what I write can be conveyed to your hands!--I have now nothing to do, but write and weep, and fear and pray! But yet what can I hope for, when I seem to be devoted, as a victim to the will of a wicked violator of all the laws of God and man!--But, gracious Heaven, forgive me my rashness and despondency! O let me not sin against thee; for thou best knowest what is fittest for thy poor handmaid!--And as thou sufferest not thy poor creatures to be tempted above what they can bear, I will resign myself to thy good pleasure: And still, I hope, desperate as my condition seems, that as these trials are not of my own seeking, nor the effects of my presumption and vanity, I shall be enabled to overcome them, and, in God's own good time, be delivered from them.
Thus do I pray imperfectly, as I am forced by my distracting fears and apprehensions; and O join with me, my dear parents!--But, alas! how can you know, how can I reveal to you, the dreadful situation of your poor daughter! The unhappy Pamela may be undone (which God forbid, and sooner deprive me of life!) before you can know her hard lot!
O the unparalleled wickedness, stratagems, and devices, of those who call themselves gentlemen, yet pervert the design of Providence, in giving them ample means to do good, to their own everlasting perdition, and the ruin of poor oppressed innocence!
But now I will tell you what has befallen me; and yet, how shall you receive it? Here is no honest John to carry my letters to you! And, besides, I am watched in all my steps; and no doubt shall be, till my hard fate may ripen his wicked projects for my ruin. I will every day, however, write my sad state; and some way, perhaps, may be opened to send the melancholy scribble to you. But, alas! when you know it, what will it do but aggravate your troubles? For, O! what can the abject poor do against the mighty rich, when they are determined to oppress?
Well, but I must proceed to write what I had hoped to tell you in a few hours, when I believed I should receive your grateful blessings, on my return to you from so many hardships.
I will begin with my account from the last letter I wrote you, in which I enclosed my poor stuff of verses; and continue it at times, as I have opportunity; though, as I said, I know not how it can reach you.
The long-hoped for Thursday morning came, when I was to set out. I had taken my leave of my fellow-servants overnight; and a mournful leave it was to us all: for men, as well as women servants, wept much to part with me; and, for my part, I was overwhelmed with tears, and the affecting instances of their esteem. They all would have made me little presents, as tokens of their love; but I would not take any thing from the lower servants, to be sure. But Mr. Longman would have me accept of several yards of Holland, and a silver snuff-box, and a gold ring, which he desired me to keep for his sake; and he wept over me; but said, I am sure so good a maiden God will bless; and though you return to your poor father again, and his low estate, yet Providence will find you out: Remember I tell you so; and one day, though I mayn't live to see it, you will be rewarded.
I said, O, dear Mr. Longman! you make me too rich, and too mody; and yet I must be a beggar before my time for I shall want often to be scribbling, (little thinking it would be my only employment so soon,) and I will beg you, sir, to favour me with some paper; and, as soon as I get home, I will write you a letter, to thank you for all your kindness to me; and a letter to good Mrs. Jervis too.
This was lucky; for I should have had none else, but at the pleasure of my rough- natured governess, as I may call her; but now I can write to ease my mind, though I can't send it to you; and write what I please, for she knows not how well I am provided: for good Mr. Longman gave me above forty sheets of paper, and a dozen pens, and a little phial of ink; which last I wrapped in paper, and put in my pocket; and some wax and wafers.
O dear sir, said I, you have set me up. How shall I requite you? He said, By a kiss, my fair mistress: And I gave it very willingly; for he is a good old man.
Rachel and Hannah cried sadly, when I took my leave; and Jane, who sometimes used to be a little crossish, and Cicely too, wept sadly, and said, they would pray for me; but poor Jane, I doubt, will forget that; for she seldom says her prayers for herself: More's the pity!
Then Arthur the gardener, our Robin the coachman, and Lincolnshire Robin too, who was to carry me, were very civil; and both had tears in their eyes; which I thought then very good-natured in Lincolnshire Robin, because he knew but little of me.--But since, I find he might well be concerned; for he had then his instructions, it seems, and knew how he was to be a means to entrap me.
Then our other three footmen, Harry, Isaac, and Benjamin, and grooms, and helpers, were very much affected likewise; and the poor little scullion- boy, Tommy, was ready to run over for grief.
They had got all together over-night, expecting to be differently employed in the morning; and they all begged to shake hands with me, and I kissed the maidens, and prayed to God to bless them all; and thanked them for all their love and kindness to me: and, indeed, I was forced to leave them sooner than I would, because I could not stand it: Indeed I could not. Harry (I could not have thought it; for he is a little wildish, they say) cried till he sobbed again. John, poor honest John, was not then come back from you. But as for the butler, Mr. Jonathan, he could not stay in company.
I thought to have told you a deal about this; but I have worse things to employ my thoughts.
Mrs. Jervis, good Mrs. Jervis, cried all night long; and I comforted her all I could: And she made me promise, that if my master went to London to attend parliament, or to Lincolnshire, I would come and stay a week with her: and she would have given me money; but I would not take it.
Well, next morning came, and I wondered I saw nothing of poor honest John; for I waited to take leave of him, and thank him for all his civilities to me and to you. But I suppose he was sent farther by my master, and so could not return; and I desired to be remembered to him.
And when Mrs. Jervis told me, with a sad heart, the chariot was ready with four horses to it, I was just upon sinking into the ground, though I wanted to be with you. My master was above stairs, and never asked to see me. I was glad of it in the main; but he knew, false heart as he is, that I was not to be out of his reach.--O preserve me, Heaven, from his power, and from his wickedness!
Well, they were not suffered to go with me one step, as I writ to you before; for he stood at the window to see me go. And in the passage to the gate, out of his sight, there they stood all of them, in two rows; and we could say nothing on both sides, but God bless you! and God bless you! But Harry carried my own bundle, my third bundle, as I was used to call it, to the coach, with some plumb-cake, and diet-bread, made for me over-night, and some sweet-meats, and six bottles of Canary wine, which Mrs. Jervis would make me take in a basket, to cheer our hearts now and then, when we got together, as she said. And I kissed all the maids again, and shook hands with the men again: but Mr. Jonathan and Mr. Longman were not there; and then I tripped down the steps to the chariot, Mrs. Jervis crying most sadly.
I looked up when I got to the chariot, and I saw my master at the window, in his gown; and I courtesied three times to him very low, and prayed for him with my hands lifted up; for I could not speak; indeed I was not able: And he bowed his head to me, which made me then very glad he would take such notice of me; and in I stepped, and was ready to burst with grief; and could only, till Robin began to drive, wave my white handkerchief to them, wet with my tears: and, at last, away he drove, Jehu-like, as they say, out of the court-yard. And I too soon found I had cause for greater and deeper grief.
Well, said I to myself, at this rate I shall soon be with my dear father and mother; and till I had got, as I supposed, half-way, I thought of the good friends I had left: And when, on stopping for a little bait to the horses, Robin told me I was near half-way, I thought it was high time to wipe my eyes, and think to whom I was going; as then, alack for me! I thought. So I began to ponder what a meeting I should have with you; how glad you'd both be to see me come safe and innocent to you, after all my dangers: and so I began to comfort myself, and to banish the other gloomy side from my mind; though, too, it returned now and then; for I should be ungrateful not to love them for their love.
Well, I believe I set out about eight o'clock in the morning; and I wondered and wondered, when it was about two, as I saw by a church dial, in a little village as we passed through, that I was still more and more out of my knowledge. Hey-day, thought I, to drive this strange pace, and to be so long a going a little more than twenty miles, is very odd! But to be sure, thought I, Robin knows the way.
At last he stopped, and looked about him, as if he was at a loss for the road; and I said, Mr. Robert, sure you are out of the way!--I'm afraid I am, said he. But it can't be much; I'll ask the first person I see. Pray do, said I; and he gave his horses a mouthful of bay: and I gave him some cake, and two glasses of Canary wine; and stopt about half an hour in all. Then he drove on very fast again.
I had so much to think of, of the dangers I now doubted not I had escaped, of the loving friends I had left, and my best friends I was going to; and the many things I had to relate to you; that I the less thought of the way, till I was startled out of my meditations by the sun beginning to set, and still the man driving on, and his horses sweating and foaming; and then I began to be alarmed all at once, and called to him; and he said he had horrid ill luck, for he had come several miles out of the way, but was now right, and should get in still before it was quite dark. My heart began then to misgive me a little, and I was very much fatigued; for I had no sleep for several nights before, to signify; and at last I said, Pray Mr. Robert, there is a town before us, what do you call it?--If we are so much out of the way, we had better put up there, for the night comes on apace: And, Lord protect me! thought I, I shall have new dangers, mayhap, to encounter with the man, who have escaped the master-- little thinking of the base contrivance of the latter.--Says he, I am just there: 'Tis but a mile on one side of the town before us.--Nay, said I, I may be mistaken; for it is a good while since I was this way; but I am sure the face of the country here is nothing like what I remember it.
He pretended to be much out of humour with himself for mistaking the way, and at last stopped at a farmhouse, about two miles beyond the village I had seen; and it was then almost dark, and he alighted, and said, We must make shift here; for I am quite out.
Lord, thought I, be good to the poor Pamela! More trials still!--What will befall me next?
The farmer's wife, and maid, and daughter, came out; and the wife said, What brings you this way at this time of night, Mr. Robert? And with a lady too?--Then I began to be frightened out of my wits; and laying middle and both ends together, I fell a crying, and said, God give me patience! I am undone for certain!--Pray, mistress, said I, do you know 'Squire B----, of Bedfordshire?
The wicked coachman would have prevented the answering me; but the simple daughter said, Know his worship! yes, surely! why he is my father's landlord.--Well, said I, then I am undone; undone for ever!--O, wicked wretch! what have I done to you, said I to the coachman, to serve me thus?--Vile tool of a wicked master!--Faith, said the fellow, I am sorry this task was put upon me; but I could not help it. But make the best of it now; here are very civil reputable folks; and you'll be safe here, I'll assure you.--Let me get out, said I, and I'll walk back to the town we came through, late as it is:--For I will not enter here.
Said the farmer's wife, You'll be very well used here, I'll assure you, young gentlewoman, and have better conveniences than any where in the village. I matter not conveniences, said I: I am betrayed and undone! As you have a daughter of your own, pity me, and let me know if your landlord, as you call him, be here!--No, I'll assure you he is not, said she.
And then came the farmer, a good-like sort of man, grave, and well- behaved; and spoke to me in such sort, as made me a little pacified; and seeing no help for it, I went in; and the wife immediately conducted me up stairs to the best apartment, and told me, that was mine as long as I staid: and nobody should come near me but when I called. I threw myself on the bed in the room, tired and frightened to death almost; and gave way to the most excessive fit of grief that I ever had.
The daughter came up, and said, Mr. Robert had given her a letter to give me; and there it was. I raised myself, and saw it was the hand and seal of the wicked wretch, my master, directed to Mrs. Pamela Andrews.--This was a little better than to have him here; though, if he had, he must have been brought through the air; for I thought I was.
The good woman (for I began to see things about a little reputable, and no guile appearing in them, but rather a face of grief for my grief) offered me a glass of some cordial water, which I accepted, for I was ready to sink; and then I sat up in a chair a little, though very faintish: and they brought me two candles, and lighted a brushwood fire; and said, if I called, I should be waited on instantly; and so left me to ruminate on my sad condition, and to read my letter, which I was not able to do presently. After I had a little come to myself, I found it to contain these words:
'The passion I have for you, and your obstinacy, have constrained me to act by you in a manner that I know will occasion you great trouble and fatigue, both of mind and body. Yet, forgive me, my dear girl; for, although I have taken this step, I will, by all that's good and holy! use you honourably. Suffer not your fears to transport you to a behaviour that will be disreputable to us both: for the place where you'll receive this, is a farm that belongs to me; and the people civil, honest, and obliging.
'You will, by this time, be far on your way to the place I have allotted for your abode for a few weeks, till I have managed some affairs, that will make me shew myself to you in a much different light, than you may possibly apprehend from this rash action: And to convince you, that I mean no harm, I do assure you, that the house you are going to, shall be so much at your command, that even I myself will not approach it without leave from you. So make yourself easy; be discreet and prudent; and a happier turn shall reward these your troubles, than you may at present apprehend.
'Meantime I pity the fatigue you will have, if this come to your hand in the place I have directed: and will write to your father to satisfy him, that nothing but what is honourable shall be offered to you, by
Your passionate admirer, (so I must style myself,)
Don't think hardly of poor Robin: You have so possessed all my servants in your favour, that I find they had rather serve you than me; and 'tis reluctantly the poor fellow undertook this task; and I was forced to submit to assure him of my honourable intentions to you, which I am fully resolved to make good, if you compel me not to a contrary conduct.'
I but too well apprehended that the letter was only to pacify me for the present; but as my danger was not so immediate as I had reason to dread, and he had promised to forbear coming to me, and to write to you, my dear parents, to quiet your concern, I was a little more easy than before and I made shift to eat a little bit of boiled chicken they had got for me, and drank a glass of my sack, and made each of them do so too.
But after I had so done, I was again a little flustered; for in came the coachman with the look of a hangman, I thought, and madamed me up strangely; telling me, he would beg me to get ready to pursue my journey by five in the morning, or else he should be late in. I was quite grieved at this; for I began not to dislike my company, considering how things stood; and was in hopes to get a party among them, and so to put myself into any worthy protection in the neighbourhood, rather than go forward.
When he withdrew, I began to tamper with the farmer and his wife. But, alas! they had had a letter delivered them at the same time I had; so securely had Lucifer put it into his head to do his work; and they only shook their heads, and seemed to pity me; and so I was forced to give over that hope.
However, the good farmer shewed me his letter; which I copied as follows: for it discovers the deep arts of this wicked master; and how resolved he seems to be on my ruin, by the pains he took to deprive me of all hopes of freeing myself from his power.
'I send to your house, for one night only, a young gentlewoman, much against her will, who has deeply embarked in a love affair, which will be her ruin, as well as the person's to whom she wants to betroth herself. I have, to oblige her father, ordered her to be carried to one of my houses, where she will be well used, to try, if by absence, and expostulation with both, they can be brought to know their own interest and I am sure you will use her kindly for my sake: for, excepting this matter, which she will not own, she does not want prudence and discretion. I will acknowledge any trouble you shall be at in this matter the first opportunity; and am
'Your Friend and Servant.'
He had said, too cunningly for me, that I would not own this pretended love affair; so that he had provided them not to believe me, say what I would; and as they were his tenants, who all love him, (for he has some amiable qualities, and so he had need!) I saw all my plot cut out, and so was forced to say the less.
I wept bitterly, however; for I found he was too hard for me, as well in his contrivances as riches; and so had recourse again to my only refuge, comforting myself, that God never fails to take the innocent heart into his protection, and is alone able to baffle and confound the devices of the mighty. Nay, the farmer was so prepossessed with the contents of his letter, that he began to praise his care and concern for me, and to advise me against entertaining addresses without my friends' advice and consent; and made me the subject of a lesson for his daughter's improvement. So I was glad to shut up this discourse; for I saw I was not likely to be believed.
I sent, however, to tell my driver, that I was so fatigued, I could not get out so soon the next morning. But he insisted upon it, and said, It would make my day's journey the lighter; and I found he was a more faithful servant to his master, notwithstanding what he wrote of his reluctance, than I could have wished: I saw still more and more, that all was deep dissimulation, and contrivance worse and worse.
Indeed I might have shewn them his letter to me, as a full confutation of his to them; but I saw no probability of engaging them in my behalf: and so thought it signified little, as I was to go away so soon, to enter more particularly into the matter with them; and besides, I saw they were not inclinable to let me stay longer, for fear of disobliging him so I went to bed, but had very little rest: and they would make their servant- maid bear me company in the chariot five miles, early in the morning, and she was to walk hack.
I had contrived in my thoughts, when I was on my way in the chariot, on Friday morning, that when we came into some town to bait, as he must do for the horses' sake, I would, at the inn, apply myself, if I saw I any way could, to the mistress of the inn, and tell her the case, and to refuse to go farther, having nobody but this wicked coachman to contend with.
Well, I was very full of this project, and in great hopes, some how or other, to extricate myself in this way. But, oh! the artful wretch had provided for even this last refuge of mine; for when we came to put up at a large town on the way, to eat a morsel for dinner, and I was fully resolved to execute my project, who should be at the inn that he put up at, but the wicked Mrs. Jewkes, expecting me! And her sister- in-law was the mistress of it; and she had provided a little entertainment for me.
And this I found, when I desired, as soon as I came in, to speak with the mistress of the house. She came to me: and I said, I am a poor unhappy young body, that want your advice and assistance; and you seem to be a good sort of a gentlewoman, that would assist an oppressed innocent person. Yes, madam, said she, I hope you guess right; and I have the happiness to know something of the matter before you speak. Pray call my sister Jewkes.--Jewkes! Jewkes! thought I; I have heard of that name; I don't like it.
Then the wicked creature appeared, whom I had never seen but once before, and I was terrified out of my wits. No stratagem, thought I, not one! for a poor innocent girl; but every thing to turn out against me; that is hard indeed!
So I began to pull in my horns, as they say, for I saw I was now worse off than at the farmer's.
The naughty woman came up to me with an air of confidence, and kissed me: See, sister, said she, here's a charming creature! Would she not tempt the best lord in the land to run away with her? O frightful! thought I; here's an avowal of the matter at once: I am now gone, that's certain. And so was quite silent and confounded; and seeing no help for it, (for she would not part with me out of her sight) I was forced to set out with her in the chariot for she came thither on horseback, with a man-servant, who rode by us the rest of the way, leading her horse: and now I gave over all thoughts of redemption, and was in a desponding condition indeed.
Well, thought I, here are strange pains taken to ruin a poor innocent, helpless, and even worthless young body. This plot is laid too deep, and has been too long hatching, to be baffled, I fear. But then I put my trust in God, who I knew was able to do every thing for me, when all other possible means should fail: and in him I was resolved to confide.
You may see--(Yet, oh! that kills me; for I know not whether ever you can see what I now write or no--Else you will see)--what sort of woman that Mrs. Jewkes is, compared to good Mrs. Jervis, by this:----
Every now and then she would be staring in my face, in the chariot, and squeezing my hand, and saying, Why, you are very pretty, my silent dear! And once she offered to kiss me. But I said, I don't like this sort of carriage, Mrs. Jewkes; it is not like two persons of one sex. She fell a laughing very confidently, and said, That's prettily said, I vow! Then thou hadst rather be kissed by the other sex? 'I fackins, I commend thee for that!
I was sadly teased with her impertinence, and bold way; but no wonder; she was innkeeper's housekeeper, before she came to my master; and those sort of creatures don't want confidence, you know: and indeed she made nothing to talk boldly on twenty occasions; and said two or three times, when she saw the tears every now and then, as we rid, trickle down my cheeks, I was sorely hurt, truly, to have the handsomest and finest young gentleman in five counties in love with me!
So I find I am got into the hands of a wicked procuress; and if I was not safe with good Mrs. Jervis, and where every body loved me, what a dreadful prospect have I now before me, in the hands of a woman that seems to delight in filthiness!
O dear sirs! what shall I do! What shall I do!--Surely, I shall never be equal to all these things!
About eight at night, we entered the court-yard of this handsome, large, old, and lonely mansion, that looks made for solitude and mischief, as I thought, by its appearance, with all its brown nodding horrors of lofty elms and pines about it: and here, said I to myself, I fear, is to be the scene of my ruin, unless God protect me, who is all-sufficient!
I was very sick at entering it, partly from fatigue, and partly from dejection of spirits: and Mrs. Jewkes got me some mulled wine, and seemed mighty officious to welcome me thither; and while she was absent, ordering the wine, the wicked Robin came in to me, and said, I beg a thousand pardons for my part in this affair, since I see your grief and your distress; and I do assure you, that I am sorry it fell to my task.
Mighty well, Mr. Robert! said I; I never saw an execution but once, and then the hangman asked the poor creature's pardon, and wiped his mouth, as you do, and pleaded his duty, and then calmly tucked up the criminal. But I am no criminal, as you all know: And if I could have thought it my duty to obey a wicked master in his unlawful command, I had saved you all the merit of this vile service.
I am sorry, said he, you take it so: but every body don't think alike. Well, said I, you have done your part, Mr. Robert, towards my ruin, very faithfully; and will have cause to be sorry, may be, at the long run, when you shall see the mischief that comes of it.--Your eyes were open, and you knew I was to be carried to my father's, and that I was barbarously tricked and betrayed; and I can only, once more, thank you for your part of it. God forgive you!
So he went away a little sad. What have you said to Robin, madam? said Mrs. Jewkes: (who came in as he went out:) the poor fellow's ready to cry. I need not be afraid of your following his example, Mrs. Jewkes, said I: I have been telling him, that he has done his part to my ruin: and he now can't help it! So his repentance does me no good; I wish it may him. I'll assure you, madam, said she, I should be as ready to cry as he, if I should do you any harm. It is not in his power to help it now, said I; but your part is to come, and you may choose whether you'll contribute to my ruin or not.--Why, look ye, madam, said she, I have a great notion of doing my duty to my master; and therefore you may depend upon it, if I can do that, and serve you, I will: but you must think, if your desire, and his will, come to clash once, I shall do as he bids me, let it be what it will.
Pray, Mrs. Jewkes, said I, don't madam me so: I am but a silly poor girl, set up by the gambol of fortune, for a May-game; and now am to be something, and now nothing, just as that thinks fit to sport with me: And let you and me talk upon a foot together; for I am a servant inferior to you, and so much the more, as I am turned out of place.
Ay, ay, says she, I understand something of the matter; you have so great power over my master, that you may soon be mistress of us all; and so I would oblige you, if I could. And I must and will call you madam; for I am instructed to shew you all respect, I'll assure you.
Who instructed you so to do? said I. Who! my master, to be sure, said she. Why, said I, how can that be? You have not seen him lately. No, that's true, said she; but I have been expecting you here some time; (O the deep laid wickedness! thought I:) and, besides, I have a letter of instructions by Robin; but, may be, I should not have said so much. If you would shew them to me, said I, I should be able to judge how far I could, or could not, expect favour from you, consistent with your duty to our master. I beg your pardon, fair mistress, for that, said she, I am sufficiently instructed; and you may depend upon it, I will observe my orders; and, so far as they will let me, so far will I oblige you; and there's an end of it.
Well, said I, you will not, I hope, do an unlawful or wicked thing, for any master in the world. Look ye, said she, he is my master; and if he bids me do any thing that I can do, I think I ought to do it; and let him, who has his power to command me, look to the lawfulness of it. Why, said I, suppose he should bid you cut my throat, Would you do it? There's no danger of that, said she; but to be sure I would not; for then I should be hanged! for that would be murder. Well, said I, and suppose he should resolve to ensnare a poor young creature, and ruin her, would you assist him in that? For to rob a person of her virtue is worse than cutting her throat.
Why now, says she, how strangely you talk! Are not the two sexes made for one another? And is it not natural for a gentleman to love a pretty woman? And suppose he can obtain his desires, is that so bad as cutting her throat? And then the wretch fell a laughing, and talked most impertinently, and shewed me, that I had nothing to expect from her virtue or conscience: and this gave me great mortification; for I was in hopes of working upon her by degrees.
So we ended our discourse here, and I bid her shew me where I must lie.-- Why, said she, lie where you list, madam; I can tell you, I must lie with you for the present. For the present! said I, and torture then wrung my heart!--But is it in your instructions, that you must lie with me? Yes, indeed, said she.--I am sorry for it, said I. Why, said she, I am wholesome, and cleanly too, I'll assure you. Yes, said I, I don't doubt that; but I love to lie by myself. How so? said she; Was not Mrs. Jervis your bed-fellow at t'other house?
Well, said I, quite sick of her, and my condition; you must do as you are instructed, I think. I can't help myself, and am a most miserable creature. She repeated her insufferable nonsense. Mighty miserable, indeed, to be so well beloved by one of the finest gentlemen in England!
I am now come down in my writing to this present SATURDAY, and a deal I have written.
My wicked bed-fellow has very punctual orders, it seems; for she locks me and herself in, and ties the two keys (for there is a double door to the room) about her wrist, when she goes to bed. She talks of the house having been attempted to be broken open two or three times; whether to fright me, I can't tell; but it makes me fearful; though not so much as I should be, if I had not other and greater fears.
I slept but little last night, and got up, and pretended to sit by the window, which looks into the spacious gardens; but I was writing all the time, from break of day, to her getting up, and after, when she was absent.
At breakfast she presented the two maids to me, the cook and house-maid, poor awkward souls, that I can see no hopes of, they seem so devoted to her and ignorance. Yet I am resolved, if possible, to find some way to escape, before this wicked master comes.
There are, besides, of servants, the coachman, Robert, a groom, a helper, a footman; all but Robert, (and he is accessary to my ruin,) strange creatures, that promise nothing; and all likewise devoted to this woman. The gardener looks like a good honest man; but he is kept at a distance, and seems reserved.
I wondered I saw not Mr. Williams the clergyman, but would not ask after him, apprehending it might give some jealousy; but when I had beheld the rest, he was the only one I had hopes of; for I thought his cloth would set him above assisting in my ruin.--But in the afternoon he came; for it seems he has a little Latin school in the neighbouring village, which he attends; and this brings him in a little matter, additional to my master's favour, till something better falls, of which he has hopes.
He is a sensible sober young gentleman; and when I saw him I confirmed myself in my hopes of him; for he seemed to take great notice of my distress and grief; (for I could not hide it;) though he appeared fearful of Mrs. Jewkes, who watched all our motions and words.
He has an apartment in the house; but is mostly at a lodging in the town, for a conveniency of his little school; only on Saturday afternoon and Sundays: and he preaches sometimes for the minister of the village, which is about three miles off.
I hope to go to church with him to-morrow: Sure it is not in her instructions to deny me! He can't have thought of every thing! And something may strike out for me there.
I have asked her, for a feint, (because she shan't think I am so well provided,) to indulge me with pen and ink, though I have been using my own so freely when her absence would let me; for I begged to be left to myself as much as possible. She says she will let me have it; but then I must promise not to send any writing out of the house, without her seeing it. I said, it was only to divert my grief when I was by myself, as I desired to be; for I loved writing as well as reading; but I had nobody to send to, she knew well enough.
No, not at present, may be, said she; but I am told you are a great writer; and it is in my instructions to see all you write: So, look you here, said she, I will let you have a pen and ink, and two sheets of paper: for this employment will keep you out of worse thoughts: but I must see them always when I ask, written or not written. That's very hard, said I; but may I not have to myself the closet in the room where we lie, with the key to lock up my things? I believe I may consent to that, said she; and I will set it in order for you, and leave the key in the door. And there is a spinnet too, said she; if it be in tune, you may play to divert you now and then; for I know my old lady learnt you: And below is my master's library: you may take out what books you will.
And, indeed, these and my writing will be all my amusement: for I have no work given me to do; and the spinnet, if in tune, will not find my mind, I am sure, in tune to play upon it. But I went directly and picked out some books from the library, with which I filled a shelf in the closet she gave me possession of; and from these I hope to receive improvement, as well as amusement. But no sooner was her back turned, than I set about hiding a pen of my own here, and another there, for fear I should come to be denied, and a little of my ink in a broken China cup, and a little in another cup; and a sheet of paper here and there among my linen, with a little of the wax, and a few wafers, in several places, lest I should be searched; and something, I thought, might happen to open a way for my deliverance, by these or some other means. O the pride, thought I, I shall have, if I can secure my innocence, and escape the artful wiles of this wicked master! For, if he comes hither, I am undone, to be sure! For this naughty woman will assist him, rather than fail, in the worst of his attempts; and he'll have no occasion to send her out of the way, as he would have done Mrs. Jervis once. So I must set all my little wits at work.
It is a grief to me to write, and not to be able to send to you what I write: but now it is all the diversion I have, and if God will favour my escape with my innocence, as I trust he graciously will, for all these black prospects, with what pleasure shall I read them afterwards!
I was going to say, Pray for your dutiful daughter, as I used; but, alas! you cannot know my distress, though I am sure I have your prayers: And I will write on as things happen, that if a way should open, my scribble may be ready to be sent: For what I do, must be at a jerk, to be sure.
O how I want such an obliging honest-hearted man as John! I am now come to SUNDAY.
Well, here is a sad thing! I am denied by this barbarous woman to go to church, as I had built upon I might: and she has huffed poor Mr. Williams all to pieces, for pleading for me. I find he is to be forbid the house, if she pleases. Poor gentleman! all his dependance is upon my master, who has a very good living for him, if the incumbent die; and he has kept his bed these four months, of old age and dropsy.
He pays me great respect, and I see pities me; and would, perhaps, assist my escape from these dangers: But I have nobody to plead for me; and why should I wish to ruin a poor gentleman, by engaging him against his interest? Yet one would do any thing to preserve one's innocence; and Providence would, perhaps, make it up to him!
O judge (but how shall you see what I write!) of my distracted condition, to be reduced to such a pass as to a desire to lay traps for mankind! But he wants sadly to say something to me, as he whisperingly hinted.
The wretch (I think I will always call her the wretch henceforth) abuses me more and more. I was but talking to one of the maids just now, indeed a little to tamper with her by degrees: and she popt upon us, and said-- Nay, madam, don't offer to tempt poor innocent country maidens from doing their duty. You wanted, I hear, she should take a walk with you. But I charge you, Nan, never stir with her, nor obey her, without letting me know it, in the smallest trifles.--I say, walk with you! and where would you go, I tro'? Why, barbarous Mrs. Jewkes, said I, only to look a little up the elm-walk, since you would not let me go to church.
Nan, said she, to shew me how much they were all in her power, pull off madam's shoes, and bring them to me. I have taken care of her others.-- Indeed she shan't, said I.--Nay, said Nan, but I must if my mistress bids me: so pray, madam, don't hinder me. And so indeed (would you believe it?) she took my shoes off, and left me barefoot: and, for my share, I have been so frighted at this, that I have not power even to relieve my mind by my tears. I am quite stupefied to be sure!--Here I was forced to leave off.
Now I will give you a picture of this wretch: She is a broad, squat, pursy, fat thing, quite ugly, if any thing human can be so called; about forty years old. She has a huge hand, and an arm as thick as my waist, I believe. Her nose is flat and crooked, and her brows grow down over her eyes; a dead spiteful, grey, goggling eye, to be sure she has. And her face is flat and broad; and as to colour, looks like as if it had been pickled a month in saltpetre: I dare say she drinks:--She has a hoarse, man- like voice, and is as thick as she is long; and yet looks so deadly strong, that I am afraid she would dash me at her foot in an instant, if I was to vex her.--So that with a heart more ugly than her face, she frightens me sadly: and I am undone to be sure, if God does not protect me; for she is very, very wicked--indeed she is.
This is poor helpless spite in me:--But the picture is too near the truth notwithstanding. She sends me a message just now, that I shall have my shoes again, if I will accept of her company to walk with me in the garden.--To waddle with me, rather, thought I.
Well, 'tis not my business to quarrel with her downright. I shall be watched the narrower, if I do; and so I will go with the hated wretch.--O for my dear Mrs. Jervis! or, rather, to be safe with my dear father and mother.
Oh! I am out of my wits for joy! Just as I have got my shoes on, I am told John, honest John, is come on horseback!--A blessing on his faithful heart! What joy is this! But I'll tell you more by and by. I must not let her know I am so glad to see this dear blessed John, to be sure!-- Alas! but he looks sad, as I see him out of the window! What can be the matter!--I hope my dear parents are well, and Mrs. Jervis, and Mr. Longman, and every body, my naughty master not excepted;--for I wish him to live and repent of all his wickedness to poor me.
O dear heart! what a world do we live in!--I am now come to take up my pen again: But I am in a sad taking truly! Another puzzling trial, to be sure.
Here was John, as I said, and the poor man came to me, with Mrs. Jewkes, who whispered, that I would say nothing about the shoes, for my own sake, as she said. The poor man saw my distress, by my red eyes, and my hagged looks, I suppose; for I have had a sad time of it, you must needs think; and though he would have hid it, if he could, yet his own eyes ran over. Oh, Mrs. Pamela; said he; Oh, Mrs. Pamela! Well, honest fellow-servant, said I, I cannot help it at present: I am obliged to your honesty and kindness, to be sure; and then he wept more. Said I, (for my heart was ready to break to see his grief; for it is a touching thing to see a man cry), Tell me the worst! Is my master coming? No, no, said he, and sobbed.--Well, said I, is there any news of my poor father and mother? How do they do?--I hope well, said he, I know nothing to the contrary. There is no mishap, I hope, to Mrs. Jervis or to Mr. Longman, or my fellow-servants!--No--said he, poor man! with a long N--o, as if his heart would burst. Well, thank God then! said I.
The man's a fool, said Mrs. Jewkes, I think: What ado is here! Why, sure thou'rt in love, John. Dost thou not see young madam is well? What ails thee, man? Nothing at all, said he; but I am such a fool as to cry for joy to see good Mrs. Pamela: But I have a letter for you.
I took it, and saw it was from my master; so I put it in my pocket. Mrs. Jewkes, said I, you need not, I hope, see this. No, no, said she, I see whose it is, well enough; or else, may be, I must have insisted on reading it.
And here is one for you, Mrs. Jewkes, said he; but yours, said he to me, requires an answer, which I must carry back early in the morning, or to- night, if I can.
You have no more, John, said Mrs. Jewkes, for Mrs. Pamela, have you? No, said he, I have not, but every body's kind love and service. Ay, to us both, to be sure, said she. John, said I, I will read the letter, and pray take care of yourself; for you are a good man, God bless you! and I rejoice to see you, and hear from you all. But I longed to say more; only that nasty Mrs. Jewkes.
So I went up, and locked myself in my closet, and opened the letter; and this is a copy of it:
'My DEAREST PAMELA,
'I send purposely to you on an affair that concerns you very much, and me somewhat, but chiefly for your sake. I am conscious that I have proceeded by you in such a manner as may justly alarm your fears, and give concern to your honest friends: and all my pleasure is, that I can and will make you amends for the disturbance I have given you. As I promised, I sent to your father the day after your departure, that he might not be too much concerned for you, and assured him of my honour to you; and made an excuse, such an one as ought to have satisfied him, for your not coming to him. But this was not sufficient, it seems; for he, poor man! came to me next morning, and set my family almost in an uproar about you.
'O my dear girl! what trouble has not your obstinacy given me, and yourself too! I had no way to pacify him, but to promise that he should see a letter written from you to Mrs. Jervis, to satisfy him you are well.
'Now all my care in this case is for your aged parents, lest they should be touched with too fatal a grief; and for you, whose duty and affection for them I know to be so strong and laudable; for this reason I beg you will write a few lines to them, and let me prescribe the form; which I have done, putting myself as near as I can in your place, and expressing your sense, with a warmth that I doubt will have too much possessed you.
'After what is done, and which cannot now be helped, but which, I assure you, shall turn out honourably for you, I expect not to be refused; because I cannot possibly have any view in it, but to satisfy your parents; which is more your concern than mine; and so I must beg you will not alter one tittle of the underneath. If you do, it will be impossible for me to send it, or that it should answer the good end I propose by it.
'I have promised, that I will not approach you without your leave. If I find you easy, and not attempting to dispute or avoid your present lot, I will keep to my word, although it is a difficulty upon me. Nor shall your restraint last long: for I will assure you, that I am resolved very soon to convince you of my good intentions, and with what ardour I am
'Yours, etc.' The letter he prescribed for me was as this:
'DEAR Mrs. JERVIS,
'I have, instead of being driven by Robin to my dear father's, been carried off, where I have no liberty to tell. However, at present, I am not used hardly; and I write to beg you to let my dear father and mother, whose hearts must be well nigh broken, know that I am well; and that I am, and, by the grace of God, ever will be, their honest, as well as dutiful daughter, and 'Your obliged friend.'
'I must neither send date nor place; but have most solemn assurances of honourable usage.'
I knew not what to do on this most strange request and occasion. But my heart bled so much for you, my dear father, who had taken the pains to go yourself, and inquire after your poor daughter, as well as for my dear mother, that I resolved to write, and pretty much in the above form, that it might be sent to pacify you, till I could let you, somehow or other, know the true state of the matter. And I wrote thus to my strange wicked master himself:
'If you knew but the anguish of my mind, and how much I suffer by your dreadful usage of me, you would surely pity me, and consent to my deliverance. What have I done, that I should be the only mark of your cruelty? I can have no hope, no desire of living left me, because I cannot have the least dependence, after what has passed, upon your solemn assurances.--It is impossible they should be consistent with the dishonourable methods you take.
'Nothing but your promise of not seeing me here in my deplorable bondage, can give me the least ray of hope.
'Don't, I beseech you, drive the poor distressed Pamela upon a rock, that may be the destruction both of her soul and body! You don't know, sir, how dreadfully I dare, weak as I am of mind and intellect, when my virtue is in danger. And, O! hasten my deliverance, that a poor unworthy creature, below the notice of such a gentleman as you, may not be made the sport of a high condition, for no reason in the world, but because she is not able to defend herself, nor has a friend that can right her.
'I have, sir, in part to shew my obedience to you, but indeed, I own, more to give ease to the minds of my poor distressed parents, whose poverty, one would think, should screen them from violences of this sort, as well as their poor daughter, followed pretty much the form you have prescribed for me, in the letter to Mrs. Jervis; and the alterations I have made (for I could not help a few) are of such a nature, as, though they shew my concern a little, yet must answer the end you are pleased to say you propose by this letter.
'For God's sake, good sir, pity my lowly condition, and my present great misery; and let me join with all the rest of your servants to bless that goodness, which you have extended to every one but the poor afflicted, heart-broken
I thought, when I had written this letter, and that which he had prescribed, it would look like placing a confidence in Mrs. Jewkes, to shew them to her; and I shewed her, at the same time, my master's letter to me; for I believed the value he expressed for me, would give me credit with one who professed in every thing to serve him, right or wrong; though I had so little reason, I fear, to pride myself in it: and I was not mistaken; for it has seemed to influence her not a little, and she is at present mighty obliging, and runs over in my praises; but is the less to be minded, because she praises as much the author of my miseries, and his honourable intentions, as she calls them; for I see, that she is capable of thinking, as I fear he does, that every thing that makes for his wicked will is honourable, though to the ruin of the innocent. Pray God I may find it otherwise! Though, I hope, whatever the wicked gentleman may intend, that I shall be at last rid of her impertinent bold way of talk, when she seems to think, from his letter, that he means honourably.
I am now come to MONDAY, the 5th Day of my Bondage and Misery.
I was in hope to have an opportunity to see John, and have a little private talk with him, before he went away; but it could not be. The poor man's excessive sorrow made Mrs. Jewkes take it into her head, to think he loved me; and so she brought up a message to me from him this morning that he was going. I desired he might come up to my closet, as I called it, and she came with him. The honest man, as I thought him, was as full of concern as before, at taking leave and I gave him two letters, the one for Mrs. Jervis, enclosed in another for my master: but Mrs. Jewkes would see me seal them up, lest I should enclose any thing else.-- I was surprised, at the man's going away, to see him drop a bit of paper, just at the head of the stairs, which I took up without being observed by Mrs. Jewkes: but I was a thousand times more surprised, when I returned to my closet, and opening it read as follows:
'GOOD MRS. PAMELA,
'I am grieved to tell you how much you have been deceived and betrayed, and that by such a vile dog as I. Little did I think it would come to this. But I must say, if ever there was a rogue in the world, it is me. I have all along shewed your letters to my master: He employed me for that purpose; and he saw every one, before I carried them to your father and mother; and then scaled them up, and sent me with them. I had some business that way, but not half so often as I pretended: and as soon as I heard how it was, I was ready to hang myself. You may well think I could not stand in your presence. O vile, vile wretch, to bring you to this! If you are ruined, I am the rogue that caused it. All the justice I can do you, is to tell you, you are in vile hands; and I am afraid will be undone in spite of all your sweet innocence; and I believe I shall never live, after I know it. If you can forgive me, you are exceeding good; but I shall never forgive myself, that's certain. Howsomever, it will do you no good to make this known; and may-hap I may live to do you service. If I can, I will: I am sure I ought.--Master kept your last two or three letters, and did not send them at all. I am the most abandoned wretch of wretches. 'J. ARNOLD.'
'You see your undoing has been long hatching. Pray take care of your sweet self. Mrs. Jewkes is a devil: but in my master's t'other house you have not one false heart, but myself. Out upon me for a villain!'
My dear father and mother, when you come to this place, I make no doubt your hair will stand on end as mine does!--O the deceitfulness of the heart of man!--This John, that I took to be the honestest of men; that you took for the same; that was always praising you to me, and me to you, and for nothing so much as for our honest hearts; this very fellow was all the while a vile hypocrite, and a perfidious wretch, and helping to carry on my ruin.
But he says so much of himself, that I will only sit down with this sad reflection, That power and riches never want tools to promote their vilest ends, and there is nothing so hard to be known as the heart of man:--I can but pity the poor wretch, since he seems to have great remorse, and I believe it best to keep his wickedness secret. If it lies in my way, I will encourage his penitence; for I may possibly make some discoveries by it.
One thing I should mention in this place; he brought down, in a portmanteau, all the clothes and things my lady and master had given me, and moreover two velvet hoods, and a velvet scarf, that used to be worn by my lady; but I have no comfort in them, or any thing else.
Mrs. Jewkes had the portmanteau brought into my closet, and she shewed me what was in it; but then locked it up, and said, she would let me have what I would out of it, when I asked; but if I had the key, it might make me want to go abroad, may be; and so the confident woman put it in her pocket.
I gave myself over to sad reflections upon this strange and surprising discovery of John's, and wept much for him, and for myself too; for now I see, as he says, my ruin has been long hatching, that I can make no doubt what my master's honourable professions will end in. What a heap of hard names does the poor fellow call himself! But what must they deserve, then, who set him to work? O what has this wicked master to answer for, to be so corrupt himself, and to corrupt others, who would have been all innocent; and to carry on a poor plot, I am sure for a gentleman, to ruin a poor creature, who never did him harm, nor wished him any; and who can still pray for his happiness, and his repentance?
I can't but wonder what these gentlemen, as they are called, can think of themselves for these vile doings! John had some inducement; for he hoped to please his master, who rewarded him and was bountiful to him; and the same may be said, bad as she is, for this same odious Mrs. Jewkes. But what inducement has my master for taking so much pains to do the devil's work for him?--If he loves me, as 'tis falsely called, must he therefore lay traps for me, to ruin me and make me as bad as himself? I cannot imagine what good the undoing of such a poor creature as I can procure him.--To be sure, I am a very worthless body. People, indeed, say I am handsome; but if I was so, should not a gentleman prefer an honest servant to a guilty harlot? And must he be more earnest to seduce me, because I dread of all things to be seduced, and would rather lose my life than my honesty?
Well, these are strange things to me! I cannot account for them, for my share; but sure nobody will say, that these fine gentlemen have any tempter but their own wicked wills!--his naughty master could run away from me, when he apprehended his servants might discover his vile attempts upon me in that sad closet affair; but is it not strange that he should not be afraid of the all-seeing eye, from which even that base plotting heart of his, in its most secret motions, could not be hid?--But what avail me these sorrowful reflections? He is and will be wicked, and designs me a victim to his lawless attempts, if the God in whom I trust, and to whom I hourly pray, prevent it not.
Tuesday and Wednesday.
I have been hindered by this wicked woman's watching me so close, from writing on Tuesday; and so I will put both these days together. I have been a little turn with her for an airing, in the chariot, and walked several times in the garden; but have always her at my heels.
Mr. Williams came to see us, and took a walk with us once; and while her back was just turned, (encouraged by the hint he had before given me,) I said, Sir, I see two tiles upon that parsley-bed; might not one cover them with mould, with a note between them, on occasion?--A good hint, said he; let that sunflower by the back- door of the garden be the place; I have a key to the door; for it is my nearest way to the town.
So I was forced to begin. O what inventions will necessity push us upon! I hugged myself at the thought; and she coming to us, he said, as if he was continuing a discourse we were in: No, not extraordinary pleasant. What's that? what's that? said Mrs. Jewkes.--Only, said he, the town, I'm saying, is not very pleasant. No, indeed, said she, it is not; it is a poor town, to my thinking. Are there any gentry in it? said I. And so we chatted on about the town, to deceive her. But my deceit intended no hurt to any body.
We then talked of the garden, how large and pleasant, and the like; and sat down on the tufted slope of the fine fish-pond, to see the fishes play upon the surface of the water; and she said, I should angle if I would.
I wish, said I, you'd be so kind to fetch me a rod and baits. Pretty mistress! said she-- I know better than that, I'll assure you, at this time.--I mean no harm, said I, indeed. Let me tell you, said she. I know none who have their thoughts more about them than you. A body ought to look to it where you are. But we'll angle a little to-morrow. Mr. Williams, who is much afraid of her, turned the discourse to a general subject. I sauntered in, and left them to talk by themselves; but he went away to town, and she was soon after me.
I had got to my pen and ink; and I said, I want some paper, Mrs. Jewkes, (putting what I was about in my bosom:) You know I have written two letters, and sent them by John. (O how his name, poor guilty fellow, grieves me!) Well, said she, you have some left; one sheet did for those two letters. Yes, said I; but I used half another for a cover, you know; and see how I have scribbled the other half; and so I shewed her a parcel of broken scraps of verses, which I had tried to recollect, and had written purposely that she might see, and think me usually employed to such idle purposes. Ay, said she, so you have; well, I'll give you two sheets more; but let me see how you dispose of them, either written or blank. Well, thought I, I hope still, Argus, to be too hard for thee. Now Argus, the poets say, had a hundred eyes, and was set to watch with them all, as she does.
She brought me the paper, and said, Now, madam, let me see you write something. I will, said I; and took the pen and wrote, 'I wish Mrs. Jewkes would be so good to me, as I would be to her, if I had it in my power.'--That's pretty now, said she; well, I hope I am; but what then? 'Why then (wrote I) she would do me the favour to let me know, what I have done to be made her prisoner; and what she thinks is to become of me.' Well, and what then? said she. 'Why then, of consequence, (scribbled I,) she would let me see her instructions, that I may know how far to blame, or to acquit her.' Thus I fooled on, to shew her my fondness for scribbling; for I had no expectation of any good from her; that so she might suppose I employed myself, as I said, to no better purpose at other times: for she will have it, that I am upon some plot, I am so silent, and love so much to be by myself.--She would have made me write on a little further. No, said I; you have not answered me. Why, said she, what can you doubt, when my master himself assures you of his honour? Ay, said I; but lay your hand to your heart, Mrs. Jewkes, and tell me, if you yourself believe him. Yes, said she, to be sure I do. But, said I, what do you call honour? Why, said she, what does he call honour, think you?--Ruin! shame! disgrace! said I, I fear.--Pho! pho! said she; if you have any doubt about it, he can best explain his own meaning:--I'll send him word to come and satisfy you, if you will.--Horrid creature! said I, all in a fright--Can'st thou not stab me to the heart? I'd rather thou would'st, than say such another word!--But I hope there is no such thought of his coming.
She had the wickedness to say, No, no; he don't intend to come, as I know of--But if I was he, I would not be long away. What means the woman? said I.--Mean! said she, (turning it off;) why I mean, I would come, if I was he, and put an end to all your fears--by making you as happy as you wish. It is out of his power, said I, to make me happy, great and rich as he is! but by leaving me innocent, and giving me liberty to go to my dear father and mother.
She went away soon after, and I ended my letter, in hopes to have an opportunity to lay it in the appointed place. So I went to her, and said; I suppose, as it is not dark, I may take another turn in the garden. It is too late, said she; but if you will go, don't stay; and, Nan, see and attend madam, as she called me.
So I went towards the pond, the maid following me, and dropt purposely my hussy: and when I came near the tiles, I said, Mrs. Anne, I have dropt my hussy; be so kind as to look for it; I had it by the pond side. She went back to look, and I slipt the note between the tiles, and covered them as quick as I could with the light mould, quite unperceived; and the maid finding the hussy, I took it, and sauntered in again, and met Mrs. Jewkes coming to see after me. What I wrote was this:
'The want of an opportunity to speak my mind to you, I am sure will excuse this boldness in a poor creature that is betrayed hither, I have reason to think, for the worst of purposes. You know something, to be sure, of my story, my native poverty, which I am not ashamed of, my late lady's goodness, and my master's designs upon me. It is true he promises honour, and all that; but the honour of the wicked is disgrace and shame to the virtuous: And he may think he keeps his promises, according to the notions he may allow himself to hold; and yet, according to nine and every good body's, basely ruin me.
'I am so wretched, and ill-treated by this Mrs. Jewkes, and she is so ill-principled a woman, that, as I may soon want the opportunity which the happy hint of this day affords to my hopes, I throw myself at once upon your goodness, without the least reserve; for I cannot be worse than I am, should that fail me; which, I dare say, to your power, it will not: For I see it, sir, in your looks, I hope it from your cloth, and I doubt it not from your inclination, in a case circumstanced as my unhappy one is. For, sir, in helping me out of my present distress, you perform all the acts of religion in one; and the highest mercy and charity, both to the body and soul of a poor wretch, that, believe me, sir, has, at present, not so much as in thought swerved from her innocence.
'Is there not some way to be found out for my escape, without danger to yourself? Is there no gentleman or lady of virtue in this neighbourhood, to whom I may fly, only till l can find a way to get to my poor father and mother? Cannot Lady Davers be made acquainted with my sad story, by your conveying a letter to her? My poor parents are so low in the world, they can do nothing but break their hearts for me; and that, I fear, will be the end of it.
'My master promises, if I will be easy, as he calls it, in my present lot, he will not come down without my consent. Alas! sir, this is nothing: For what's the promise of a person who thinks himself at liberty to act as he has done by me? If he comes, it must be to ruin me; and come to be sure he will, when he thinks he has silenced the clamours of my friends, and lulled me, as no doubt he hopes, into a fatal security.
'Now, therefore, sir, is all the time I have to work and struggle for the preservation of my honesty. If I stay till he comes, I am undone. You have a key to the back garden door; I have great hopes from that. Study, good sir, and contrive for me. I will faithfully keep your secret.--Yet I should be loath to have you suffer for me! I say no more, but commit this to the happy tiles, in the bosom of that earth, where, I hope, my deliverance will take root, and bring forth such fruit, as may turn to my inexpressible joy, and your eternal reward, both here and hereafter: As shall ever pray, 'Your oppressed humble servant.'
This completes a terrible week since my setting out, as I hoped to see you, my dear father and mother. O how different were my hopes then, from what they are now! Yet who knows what these happy tiles may produce!
But I must tell you, first, how I have been beaten by Mrs. Jewkes! It is very true!-- And thus it came about:
My impatience was great to walk in the garden, to see if any thing had offered, answerable to my hopes. But this wicked Mrs. Jewkes would not let me go without her; and said, she was not at leisure. We had a great many words about it; for I told her, it was very hard I could not be trusted to walk by myself in the garden for a little air, but must be dogged and watched worse than a thief.
She still pleaded her instructions, and said she was not to trust me out of her sight: And you had better, said she, be easy and contented, I assure you; for I have worse orders than you have yet found. I remember, added she, your asking Mr. Williams, If there were any gentry in the neighbourhood? This makes me suspect you want to get away to them, to tell your sad dismal story, as you call it.
My heart was at my mouth; for I feared, by that hint, she had seen my letter under the tiles: O how uneasy I was! At last she said, Well, since you take on so, you may take a turn, and I will be with you in a minute.
When I was out of sight of her window, I speeded towards the hopeful place; but was soon forced to slacken my pace, by her odious voice: Hey- day, why so nimble, and whither so fast? said she: What! are you upon a wager? I stopt for her, till her pursy sides were waddled up to me; and she held by my arm, half out of breath: So I was forced to pass by the dear place, without daring to look at it.