But, my dear lady, my spirits are so weak; I have such a violent headache, and have such a strange shivering disorder all running down my back, and I was so hot just now, and am so cold at this present—aguishly inclined—I don’t know how! that I must leave off, the post going away, with the assurance, that I am, and will be, to the last hour of my life, your ladyship’s grateful and obliged sister and servant,
From Mr. B. to Lady Davers.
MY DEAR SISTER,
I take very kindly your solicitude for the health of my beloved Pamela. The last line she wrote was to you, for she took to her bed the moment she laid down her pen.
I told her your kind message, and wishes for her safety, by my lord’s gentleman; and she begged I would write a line to thank you in her name for your affectionate regards to her.
She is in a fine way to do well: for with her accustomed prudence, she had begun to prepare herself by a proper regimen, the moment she knew the child’s illness was the small-pox.
The worst is over with the boy, which keeps up her spirits; and her mother is so excellent a nurse to both, and we are so happy likewise in the care of a skilful physician, Dr. M. (who directs and approves of every thing the good dame does,) that it is a singular providence this malady seized them here; and affords no small comfort to the dear creature herself.
When I tell you, that, to all appearance, her charming face will not receive any disfigurement by this cruel enemy to beauty, I am sure you will congratulate me upon a felicity so desirable: but were it to be otherwise, if I were capable of slighting a person, whose principal beauties are much deeper than the skin, I should deserve to be thought the most unworthy and superficial of husbands.
Whatever your notions have been, my ever-ready censuring Lady Davers, of your brother, on a certain affair, I do assure you, that I never did, and never can, love any woman as I love my Pamela.
It is indeed impossible I can ever love her better than I do; and her outward beauties are far from being indifferent to me; yet, if I know myself, I am sure I have justice enough to love her equally, and generosity enough to be more tender of her, were she to suffer by this distemper. But, as her humility, and her affection to me, would induce her to think herself under greater obligation to me, for such my tenderness to her, were she to lose any the least valuable of her perfections, I rejoice that she will have no reason for mortification on that score.
My respects to Lord Davers, and your noble neighbours. I am, your affectionate brother, and humble servant.
From Lady Davers, in answer to the preceding.