He could ask nothing, that she was not ready to oblige him; indeed he could not.
She desired me to touch the keys. I would have been excused; but could not. And the ladies commended my performance; but neither my heart to play, nor my fingers in playing, deserved their praises. Mr. B. said, indeed—“You play better sometimes, my dear.”—“Do I, Sir?” was all the answer I made.
The Countess hoped, she said, I would return her visit; and so said the Viscountess.
I replied, Mr. B. would command me whenever he pleased.
She said, she hoped to be better acquainted—("I hope not,” thought I)—and that I would give her my company, for a week or so, upon the Forest: it seems she has a seat upon Windsor Forest.
“Mr. B. says,” added she, “you can’t ride a single horse; but we’ll teach you there. ’Tis a sweet place for that purpose.”
“How came Mr. B.,” thought I, “to tell you that, Madam? I suppose you know more of me than I do myself.” Indeed, my lady, this may be too true; for she may know what is to become of me!
I told her, I was very much obliged to her ladyship; and that Mr. B. directed all my motions.
“What say you, Sir?” said the Countess.
“I can’t promise that. Madam: for Mrs. B. wants to go down to Kent, before we go to Bedfordshire, and I am afraid I can’t give her my company thither.”
“Then, Sir, I shan’t choose to go without you.”
“I suppose not, my dear. But if you are disposed to oblige the Countess for a week, as you never were at Windsor—”
“I believe, Sir,” interrupted I, “what with my little nursery, and one thing or another, I must deny myself that honour, for this season.”
“Well, Madam, then I’ll expect you in Pall Mall.”
I bowed my head, and said, Mr. B. would command me.
They took leave with a politeness natural to them. Mr. B., as he handed them to the chariot, said something in Italian to the Countess: the word Pamela was in what he said: she answered him with a downcast look, in the same language, half-pleased, half-serious, and the chariot drove away.
“I would give,” said I, “a good deal, Sir, to know what her ladyship said to you; she looked with so particular a meaning, if I may say so.”
“I’ll tell you, truly, Pamela: I said to her, ’Well, now your ladyship has seen my Pamela—Is she not the charmingest girl in the world?’
“She answered—’Mrs. B. is very grave, for so young a lady; but I must needs say she is a lovely creature.’”
“And did you say so. Sir? And did her ladyship so answer?” And my heart was ready to leap out of my bosom for joy.
But my folly spoiled all again; for, to my own surprise, and great regret, I burst out into tears; though I even sobbed to have suppressed them, but could not; and so I lost a fine opportunity to have talked to him while he was so kind; for he was more angry with me than ever.