Pamela, Volume II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 640 pages of information about Pamela, Volume II.

Nor ought you to be concerned who sees any the most tender parts of your story, except, as I said, for his sake; for it must be a very unvirtuous mind that can form any other ideas from what you relate than those of terror and pity for you.  Your expressions are too delicate to give the nicest ear offence, except at him.  You paint no scenes but such as make his wickedness odious:  and that gentleman, much more lady, must have a very corrupt heart, who could from such circumstances of distress, make any reflections, but what should be to your honour, and in abhorrence of such actions.  I am so convinced of this, that by this rule I would judge of any man’s heart in the world, better than by a thousand declarations and protestations.  I do assure you, rakish as Jackey is, and freely as I doubt not that Lord Davers has formerly lived (for he has been a man of pleasure), they gave me, by their behaviour on these tender occasions, reason to think they had more virtue than not to be very apprehensive for your safety; and my lord often exclaimed, that he could not have thought his brother such a libertine, neither.

Besides, child, were not these things written in confidence had not recited all you could recite, would there not have been room for any one, who saw what you wrote, to imagine they had been still worse?  And how could the terror be supposed to have had such effects upon you, as to endanger your life, without imagining you had undergone the worst a vile man could offer, unless you had told us what that was which he did offer, and so put a bound, as it were, to one’s fears of what you suffered, which otherwise must have been injurious to your purity, though you could not help it?

Moreover, Pamela, it was but doing justice to the libertine himself to tell your mother the whole truth, that she might know he was not so very abandoned, but he could stop short of the execution of his wicked purposes, which he apprehended, if pursued, would destroy the life, that, of all lives, he would choose to preserve; and you owed also thus much to your parents’ peace of mind, that, after all their distracting fears for you, they might see they had reason to rejoice in an uncontaminated daughter.  And one cannot but reflect, now he has made you his wife, that it must be satisfaction to the wicked man, as well as to yourself, that he was not more guilty than he was, nor took more liberties than he did.

For my own part, I must say, that I could not have accounted for your fits, by any descriptions short of those you give; and had you been less particular in the circumstances, I should have judged he had been still worse, and your person, though not your mind, less pure, than his pride would expect from the woman he should marry; for this is the case of all rakes, that though they indulge in all manner of libertinism themselves, there is no class of men who exact greater delicacy from the persons they marry, though they care not how bad they make the wives, the sisters, and daughters of others.

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Pamela, Volume II from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.