He raised my head, and kissed me two or three times, saying, “Thus then I chide, I beat, my angel!—And yet I have one fault to find with you, and let Mrs. Jervis, if not in bed, come up to us, and hear what it is; for I will expose you, as you deserve before her.”—My Polly being in hearing, attending to know if I wanted her assistance to undress, I bade her call Mrs. Jervis. And though I thought from his kind looks, and kind words, as well as tender behaviour, that I had not much to fear, yet I was impatient to know what my fault was, for which I was to be exposed.
The good woman came; and as she entered with all that modesty which is so graceful in her, he moved his chair further from me, and, with a set aspect, but not unpleasant, said, “Step in, Mrs. Jervis: your lady” (for so, Madam, he will always call me to Mrs. Jervis, and to the servants) “has incurred my censure, and I would not tell her in what, till I had you face to face.”
She looked surprised—now on me, now on her dear master; and I, not knowing what he would say, looked a little attentive. “I am sorry—I am very sorry for it, Sir,” said she, curtseying low:—“but should be more sorry, if I were the unhappy occasion.”
“Why, Mrs. Jervis, I can’t say but it is on your account that I must blame her.”
This gave us both confusion, but especially the good woman; for still I hoped much from his kind behaviour to me just before—and she said, “Indeed, Sir, I could never deserve——”
He interrupted her—“My charge against you, Pamela,” said he, “is that of niggardliness, and no other; for I will put you both out of your pain: you ought not to have found out the method of repayment.
“The dear creature,” said he, to Mrs. Jervis, “seldom does any thing that can be mended; but, I think, when your good conduct deserved an annual acknowledgment from me, in addition to your salary, the lady should have shewed herself no less pleased with your service than the gentleman. Had it been for old acquaintance-sake, for sex-sake, she should not have given me cause to upbraid her on this head. But I will tell you, that you must look upon the forty pounds you have, as the effect of just distinction on many accounts: and your salary from last quarter-day shall be advanced, as the dear niggard intended it some years hence; and let me only add, that when my Pamela first begins to shew a coldness to her Mrs. Jervis, I shall then suspect she is beginning to decline in that humble virtue, which is now peculiar to herself and makes her the delight of all who converse with her.”
He was thus pleased to say: thus, with the most graceful generosity, and a nobleness of mind truly peculiar to himself, was he pleased to act: and what could Mrs. Jervis or I say to him?—Why, indeed, nothing at all!—We could only look upon one another, with our eyes and our hearts full of a gratitude that would not permit either of us to speak, but which expressed itself at last in a manner he was pleased to call more elegant than words—with uplifted folded hands, and tears of joy.