“I always loved you, my dearest,” added he, “and that with a passionate fondness, which has not, I dare say, many examples in the married life: but I revere you now. And so great is my reverence for your virtue, that I chose to sit up all night, to leave you for a few days, until, by disengaging myself from all intercourses that have given you uneasiness, I can convince you, that I have rendered myself as worthy as I can be, of you upon your own terms. I will account to you for every step I shall take, and will reveal to you every step I have taken: for this I can do, because the lady’s honour is untainted, and wicked rumour has treated her worse than she could deserve.”
I told him, that since he had named the lady, I would take the liberty to say, I was glad, for her own sake, to hear that. Changing the subject a little precipitately, as if it gave him pain, he told me, as above, that I might prepare on Friday for Kent; and I parted with him with greater pleasure than ever I did in my life. So necessary sometimes are afflictions, not only to teach one how to subdue one’s passions, and to make us, in our happiest states, know we are still on earth, but even when they are overblown to augment and redouble our joys!
I am now giving orders for my journey, and quitting this undelightful town, as it has been, and is, to me. My next will be from Kent, I hope; and I may then have an opportunity to acquaint your ladyship with the particulars, and (if God answers my prayers), the conclusion of the affair, which has given me so much uneasiness.
Meantime, I am, with the greatest gratitude, for the kind share you have taken in my past afflictions, my good lady, your ladyship’s most obliged sister and servant,
My dearest Pamela,
Inclosed are all the letters you send for. I rejoice with you upon the turn this afflicting affair has taken, through your inimitable prudence, and a courage I thought not in you. A wretch!—to give you so much discomposure!—But I will not, if he be good now, rave against him, as I was going to do. I am impatient to hear what account he gives of the matter. I hope he will be able to abandon this—I won’t call her names; for she loves the wretch; and that, if he be just to you, will be her punishment.
What care ought these young widows to take of their reputation?—And how watchful ought they to be over themselves!—She was hardly out of her weeds, and yet must go to a masquerade, and tempt her fate, with all her passions about her, with an independence, and an affluence of fortune, that made her able to think of nothing but gratifying them.
She has good qualities—is generous—is noble—but has strong passions, and is thoughtless and precipitant.
My lord came home last Tuesday, with a long story of my brother and her: for I had kept the matter as secret as I could, for his sake and yours. It seems he had it from Sir John——, uncle to the young Lord C., who is very earnest to bring on a treaty of marriage between her and his nephew, who is in love with her, and is a fine young gentleman; but has held back, on the liberties she has lately given herself with my brother.