Your dearest brother, from whose knowledge I would not keep any thing that shall take up any considerable portion of my time, gives me leave to proceed in this correspondence, if you command it; and is pleased to say, he will content himself to see such parts of it, and only such parts, as I shall shew him, or read to him.—Is not this very good, Madam?—O, my lady, you don’t know how happy I am!
From Lady Davers to Mrs. B.
My dear Pamela,
You very much oblige me by your cheerful compliance with my request: I leave it entirely to you to write as you shall be in the humour, when you take up your pen; and then I shall have you write with less restraint: for, you must know, that what we admire in you, are truth and nature, not studied or elaborate epistles. We can hear at church, or read in our closets, fifty good things that we expect not from you: but we cannot receive from any body else the pleasure of sentiments flowing with that artless ease, which so much affects us when we read your letters. Then, my sweet girl, your gratitude, prudence, integrity of heart, your humility, shine so much in all your letters and thoughts, that no wonder my brother loves you as he does.
But I shall make you proud, I doubt, and so by praise ruin those graces which we admire, and, but for that, cannot praise you too much. In my conscience, if thou canst hold as thou hast begun, I believe thou wilt have him all to thyself; and that was more than I once thought any woman on this side the seventieth year of his age would ever be able to say. The letters to and from your parents, we are charmed with, and the communicating of them to me, I take to be as great an instance of your confidence in me, as it is of your judgment and prudence; for you cannot but think, that we, his relations, are a little watchful over your conduct, and have our eyes upon you, to observe what use you are likely to make of your power over your man, with respect to your own relations.
Hitherto all is unexampled prudence, and you take the right method to reconcile even the proudest of us to your marriage, and make us not only love you, but respect your parents: for their honesty will, I perceive, be their distinguishing character, and they will not forget themselves, nor their former condition.
I can tell you, you are exactly right; for if you were to be an encroacher, as the good old man calls it, my brother would be the first to see it, and would gradually think less and less of you, till possibly he might come to despise you, and to repent of his choice: for the least shadow of an imposition, or low cunning, or mere selfishness, he cannot bear.
In short, you are a charming girl; and Lady Betty says so too; and moreover adds, that if he makes you not the best and faithfullest of husbands, he cannot deserve you, for all his fortune and birth. And in my heart, I begin to think so too.