“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.”