What made me such a fool, I wonder? But I had so long struggled with myself; and not expecting so kind a question from the dear gentleman, or such a favourable answer from the Countess, I had no longer any command of myself.
“What ails the little fool?” said he, with a wrathful countenance. This made me worse, and he added, “Take care, take care, Pamela!—You’ll drive me from you, in spite of my own heart.”
So he went into the best parlour, and put on his sword, and took his hat. I followed him—“Sir, Sir!” with my arms expanded, was all I could say; but he avoided me, putting on his hat with an air; and out he went, bidding Abraham follow him.
This is the dilemma into which, as I hinted at the beginning of this letter, I have brought myself with Mr. B. How strong, how prevalent is the passion of jealousy; and thus it will shew itself uppermost, when it is uppermost, in spite of one’s most watchful regards!
My mind is so perplexed, that I must lay down my pen: and, indeed, your ladyship will wonder, all things considered, that I could write the above account as I have done, in this cruel suspense, and with such apprehensions. But writing is all the diversion I have, when my mind is oppressed.
PAST TEN O’CLOCK AT NIGHT.
I have only time to tell your ladyship (for the postman waits) that Mr. B. is just come in. He is gone into his closet, and has shut the door, and taken the key on the inside; so I dare not go to him there. In this uncertainty and suspense, pity and pray for your ladyship’s afflicted sister and servant,
MY DEAR LADY,
I will now proceed with my melancholy account. Not knowing what to do, and Mr. B. not coming near me, and the clock striking twelve, I ventured to send this billet to him, by Polly.
“I know you choose not to be invaded, when retired to your closet; yet, being very uneasy, on account of your abrupt departure, and heavy displeasure, I take the liberty to write these few lines.
“I own, Sir, that the sudden flow of tears which involuntarily burst from me, at your kind expressions to the Countess in my favour, when I had thought for more than a month past, you were angry with me, and which had distressed my weak mind beyond expression, might appear unaccountable to you. But had you kindly waited but one moment till this fit, which was rather owing to my gratitude than to perverseness, had been over (and I knew the time when you would have generously soothed it), I should have had the happiness of a more serene and favourable parting.
“Will you suffer me, Sir, to attend you? (Polly shall wait your answer). I dare not come without your permission; for should you be as angry as you were, I know not how I shall bear it. But if you say I may come down, I hope to satisfy you, that I intended not any offence. Do, dear Sir, permit me to attend you, I can say no more, than that I am your ever dutiful,