“For myself, what can I say? only that you gave me great disgusts (without cause, as I thought,) by your unwonted reception of me, ever in tears and grief; the Countess ever cheerful and lively; and fearing that your temper was entirely changing, I believe I had no bad excuse to try to make myself easy and cheerful abroad, since my home became more irksome to me than ever I believed it could be. Then, as we naturally love those who love us, I had vanity, and some reason for my vanity (indeed all vain men believe they have,) to think the Countess had more than an indifference for me. She was so exasperated by the wrong methods taken with an independent lady of her generous spirit, to break off our acquaintance, that, in revenge, she denied me less than ever opportunities of her company. The pleasure we took in each other’s conversation was reciprocal. The world’s reports had united us in one common cause: and you, as I said, had made home less delightful to me than it used to be: what might not then have been apprehended from so many circumstances concurring with the lady’s beauty and my frailty?
“I waited on her to Tunbridge. She took a house there. Where people’s tongues will take so much liberty, without any foundation, and where the utmost circumspection is used, what will they not say, where so little of the latter is observed? No wonder, then, that terms were said to be agreed upon between us: from her uncle’s story, of polygamy proposed by me, and seemingly agreed to by her, no wonder that all your Thomasine Fuller’s information was surmised. Thus stood the matter, when I was determined to give your cause for uneasiness a hearing, and to take my measures according to what should result from that hearing.”
“From this account, dear Sir,” said I, “it will not be so difficult, as I feared, to end this affair even to her ladyship’s satisfaction.”—“I hope not, my dear.”—“But if, now, Sir, the Countess should still be desirous not to break with you; from so charming a lady, who knows what may happen!”
“Very true, Pamela; but to make you still easier, I will tell you that her ladyship has a first cousin married to a person going with a public character to several of the Italian courts, and, had it not been for my persuasions, she would have accepted of their earnest invitations, and passed a year or two in Italy, where she once resided for three years together, which makes her so perfect a mistress of Italian.
“Now I will let her know, additionally to what I have written to her, the uneasiness I have given you, and, so far as it is proper, what is come to your ears, and your generous account of her, and the charms of her person, of which she will not be a little proud; for she has really noble and generous sentiments, and thinks well (though her sister, in pleasantry, will have it a little enviously,) of you; and when I shall endeavour to persuade her to go, for the sake of her own character, to a place and country of which she was always fond, I am apt to think she will come into it; for she has a greater opinion of my judgment than it deserves: and I know a young lord, who may be easily persuaded to follow her thither, and bring her back his lady, if he can obtain her consent: and what say you, Pamela, to this?”