But oh! if he takes from me my Billy, who must, after all, be his heir, and gives him to the cruel Countess, he will at once burst asunder the strings of my heart! For, oh, my happy rivaless! if you tear from me my husband, he is in his own disposal, and I cannot help it: nor can I indeed, if he will give you my Billy. But this I am sure of, that my child and my life must go together!
Your ladyship will think I rave. Indeed I am almost crazed at times. For the dear man is so negligent, so cold, so haughty, that I cannot bear it. He says, just now, “You are quite altered, Pamela.” I believe I am. Madam. But what can I do? He knows not that I know so much. I dare not tell him. For he will have me then reveal my intelligencer: and what may be the case between them?
I weep in the night, when he is asleep; and in the day when he is absent: and I am happy when I can, unobserved, steal this poor relief. I believe already I have shed as many tears as would drown my baby. How many more I may have to shed, God only knows! For, O Madam, after all my fortitude, and my recollection, to fall from so much happiness, and so soon, is a trying thing!
But I will still hope the best, and should this matter blow over, I shall be ashamed of my weakness, and the trouble I must give to your generous heart, for one so undeservedly favoured by you, as your obliged sister, and most humble servant, P.B.
Dear Madam, let no soul see any part of this our present correspondence, for your brother’s sake, and your sake, and my sake.
MY DEAREST PAMELA,
You need not be afraid of any body’s knowing what passes between us on this cutting subject. Though I hear of it from every mouth, yet I pretend ’tis all falsehood and malice. Yet Lady Betty will have it that there is more in it than I will own; and that I know my brother’s wickedness by my pensive looks. She will make a vow, she says, never to marry any man living.
I am greatly moved by your affecting periods. Charming Pamela! what a tempest do you raise in one’s mind, when you please, and lay it too, at your own will! Your colourings are strong; but, I hope, your imagination carries you much farther than it is possible he should go.
I am pleased with your prudent reasonings, and your wise resolutions. I see nobody can advise or help you. God only can! And his direction you beg so hourly, that I make no doubt you will have it.
What vexes me is, that when the noble uncle of this vile lady—(why don’t you call her so as well as I?)—expostulated with her on the scandals she brought upon her character and family, she pretended to argue (foolish creature!) to polygamy: and said, she had rather be a certain gentleman’s second wife, than the first to the greatest man in England.
I leave you to your own workings; but if I find your prudence unrewarded by the wretch, the storm you saw raised at the Hall, shall be nothing to the hurricane I will excite, to tear up by the roots all the happiness the two wretches propose to themselves.