Polly returned with the following. “So,” thought I, “a letter!—I could have spared that, I am sure.” I expected no favour from it. So tremblingly, opened it.
“I would not have you sit up for me. We are getting apace into the matrimonial recriminations. You knew the time!—So did I, my dear!—But it seems that the time is over with both; and I have had the mortification, for some past weeks, to come home to a very different Pamela, than I used to leave all company and all pleasure for.—I hope we shall better understand one another. But you cannot see me at present with any advantage to yourself; and I would not, that any thing farther should pass, to add to the regrets of both. I wish you good rest. I will give your cause a fair hearing, when I am more fit to hear all your pleas, and your excuses. I cannot be insensible, that the reason for the concern you have lately shewn, must lie deeper than, perhaps, you’ll now own. As soon as you are prepared to speak all that is upon your mind, and I to hear it with temper, then we may come to an eclaircissement. Till when I am your affectionate, &c.”
My busy apprehension immediately suggested to me, that I was to be terrified, with a high hand, into a compliance with some new scheme or other that was projecting; and it being near one, and hearing nothing from Mr. B., I bid Polly go to bed, thinking she would wonder at our intercourse by letter, if I should send again.
So down I ventured, my feet, however, trembling all the way, and tapped at the door of his closet.
“I, Sir: one word, if you please. Don’t be more angry, however, Sir.”
He opened the door: “Thus poor Hester, to her royal husband, ventured her life, to break in upon him unbidden. But that eastern monarch, great as he was, extended to the fainting suppliant the golden sceptre!”
He took my hand: “I hope, my dear, by this tragedy speech, we are not to expect any sad catastrophe to our present misunderstanding.”
“I hope not, Sir. But ’tis all as God and you shall please. I am resolved to do my duty, Sir, if possible. But, indeed, I cannot bear this cruel suspense! Let me know what is to become of me. Let me know but what is designed for me, and you shall be sure of all the acquiescence that my duty and conscience can give to your pleasure.”
“What means the dear creature? What means my Pamela? Surely, your head, child, is a little affected!”
“I can’t tell, Sir, but it may!—But let me have my trial, that you write about. Appoint my day of hearing, and speedily too; for I would not bear such another month, as the last has been, for the world.”
“Come, my dear,” said he, “let me attend you to your chamber. But your mind has taken much too solemn a turn, to enter further now upon this subject. Think as well of me as I do of you, and I shall be as happy as ever.”