But how I run on! Your ladyship expects that I shall write as freely to you as I used to do to my parents. I have the merit of obeying you, that I have; but, I doubt, too much to the exercise of your patience.
This (like all mine) is a long letter; and I will only add to it Miss Darnford’s humble respects, and thanks for your ladyship’s kind mention of her, which she receives as no small honour.
And now. Madam, with a greater pleasure than I can express, will I make use of the liberty you so kindly allow me to take, of subscribing myself with that profound respect which becomes me, your ladyship’s most obliged sister, and obedient servant, P.B.
Mr. Adams, Mr. Longman, and Mrs. Jervis, are just arrived; and our household is now complete.
From Lady Davers to Mrs. B.
MY DEAR PAMELA,
After I have thanked you for your last agreeable letter, which has added the Earl and Lady Jenny to the number of your admirers (you know Lady Betty, her sister, was so before), I shall tell you, that I now write, at their requests, as well as at those of my Lord Davers, the countess you so dearly love, and Lady Betty, for your decision of an odd dispute, that, on reading your letter, and talking of your domestic excellencies, happened among us.
Lady Betty says, that, notwithstanding any awkwardness you attribute to yourself, she cannot but decide, by all she has seen of your writings, and heard from us, that yours is the perfectest character she ever found in the sex.
The countess said, that you wrong yourself in supposing you are not every thing that is polite and genteel, as well in your behaviour, as in your person; and that she knows not any lady in England who better becomes her station than you do.
“Why, then,” said Lady Jenny, “Mrs. B. must be quite perfect: that’s certain.” So said the earl; so said they all. And Lord Davers confirmed that you were.
Yet, as we are sure, there cannot be such a character in this life as has not one fault, although we could not tell where to fix it, the countess made a whimsical motion: “Lady Davers,” said she, “pray do you write to Mrs. B. and acquaint her with our subject; and as it is impossible, for one who can act as she does, not to know herself better than any body else can do, desire her to acquaint us with some of those secret foibles, that leave room for her to be still more perfect.”
“A good thought,” said they all. And this is the present occasion of my writing; and pray see that you accuse yourself, of no more than you know yourself guilty: for over-modesty borders nearly on pride, and too liberal self-accusations are generally but so many traps for acquittal with applause: so that (whatever other ladies might) you will not be forgiven, if you deal with us in a way so poorly artful; let your faults, therefore, be such as you think we can subscribe to, from what we have seen of you and what we have read of yours; and you must try to extenuate them too, as you give them, lest we should think you above that nature, which, in the best cases, is your undoubted talent.