Reference > Fiction > Nonfiction > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
Pamela Immured by her Lover
By Samuel Richardson (1689–1761)
From ‘Pamela’

THIS completes a terrible week since my setting out, as I hoped to see you, my dear father and mother.
  My impatience was great to walk in the garden, to see if anything had offered answerable to my hopes; but this wicked Mrs. Jewkes would not let me go without her, and said she was not at leisure. We had a great many words about it: I told her it was very hard I could not be trusted to walk by myself in the garden for a little air, but must be dogged and watched worse than a thief.  2
  “I remember,” said she, “your asking Mr. Williams if there were any gentry in the neighborhood. This make me suspect you want to go away to them, to tell your dismal story, as you call it.”  3
  “Why,” said I, “are you afraid I should confederate with them to commit a robbery upon my master?”  4
  “Maybe I am,” said she; “for to rob him of yourself would be the worst that could happen to him, in his opinion.”  5
  “And pray,” said I, walking on, “how came I to be his property? what right has he to me, but such as a thief may plead to stolen goods?”  6
  “Why, was ever the like heard!” says she. “This is downright rebellion, I protest! Well, well, lambkin” (which the foolish woman often calls me), “if I was in his place, he should not have his property in you so long questionable.”  7
  “Why, what would you do,” said I, “if you were he?”  8
  “Not stand shill-I shall-I, as he does, but put you and himself both out of pain.”  9
  “Why, Jezebel,” said I (I could not help it), “would you ruin me by force?”  10
  Upon this she gave me a deadly slap upon the shoulder. “Take that,” said she: “whom do you call Jezebel?”  11
  I was so surprised (for you never beat me, my dear father and mother, in your lives), that I was like one thunder-struck, and looked round as if I wanted somebody to help me; but alas, I had nobody! and said, rubbing my shoulder, “Is this also in your instructions? Alas for me! am I to be beaten too?” And so I fell a-crying, and threw myself upon the grass-walk we were upon.  12
  Said she in a great pet, “I won’t be called such names, I’ll assure you. Marry come up! I see you have a spirit: you must and shall be kept under. I’ll manage such little provoking things as you, I warrant ye! Come, come: we’ll go indoors, and I’ll lock you up; you shall have no shoes, nor anything else, if this be the case.”  13
  I did not know what to do. This was a cruel thing to me: I blamed myself for my free speech; for now I had given her some pretense for severity, and had by my pertness ruined the only project I had left.  14
  The gardener saw the scene: but she called to him, “Well, Jacob, what do you stare at? Pray mind what you are upon.” And away he walked to another quarter, out of sight.  15
  “Well,” thought I, “I must put on the dissembler a little, I see.”  16
  She took my hand roughly. “Come, get up,” said she, “and come in a’ doors. I’ll Jezebel you, I will!”  17
  “Why, dear Mrs. Jewkes—” said I.  18
  “None of your dears and your coaxing,” said she: “why not Jezebel again?”  19
  She was in a passion, I saw; and I was out of my wits. I have often heard women blamed for their tongues. I wished mine had been shorter.  20
  “But I can’t go in,” said I; “indeed I can’t.”  21
  “Why,” said she, “can’t you? I’ll warrant I can take such a thin body as you under my arm, and carry you in, if you won’t walk. You don’t know my strength.”  22
  “Yes, but I do,” said I, “too well; and will you not use me worse when I come in?” So I arose; and she muttered to herself all the way,—she to be a Jezebel with me, that had used me so well, and such like.  23
  When I came near the house, I said, sitting down upon a bench, “Well, I will not go in until you say you forgive me, Mrs. Jewkes. If you will forgive me calling you that name, I will forgive your beating me.”  24
  She sat down by me, and seemed in a great pucker, and said, “Well, come, I will forgive you this time;” and so kissed me as a mark of reconciliation.  25
  “But pray,” said I, “tell me where I am to walk or go, and give me what liberty you can; and when I know the most you can favor me with, you shall see I will be as content as I can, and not ask you for more.”  26
  “Aye,” said she, “this is something like: I wish I could give you all the liberty you desire; for you must think it no pleasure to me to tie you to my petticoat, as it were, and not let you stir without me. But people that will do their duties must have some trouble; and what I do is to serve as good a master as lives.”  27
  “Yes,” said I, “to every one but me.”  28
  “He loves you too well, to be sure,” said she; “that’s the reason! so you ought to bear it. Come,” said she, “don’t let the servant see you have been crying, nor tell her any tales; for you won’t tell them fairly, I’m sure. I’ll send her to you, and you shall take another walk in the garden, if you will: maybe it will get you a stomach for your dinner; for you don’t eat enough to keep life and soul together. You are a beauty to the bone, or you could not look so well as you do, with so little stomach, so little rest, and so much pining and whining for nothing at all.”  29
  “Well,” thought I, “say what thou wilt, so I can be rid of thy bad tongue and company; and I hope to find some opportunity now to come at my sunflower.” But I walked the other way to take that in my return, to avoid suspicion.  30
  I forced my discourse to the maid, but it was all upon general things; for I found she is asked after everything I say or do.  31
  When I came near the place, as I had been devising, I said, “Pray step to the gardener, and ask him to gather a salad for me to dinner.”  32
  She called out, “Jacob!”  33
  Said I, “He can’t hear you so far off: and pray tell him I should like a cucumber too, if he has one.”  34
  When she had stepped about a bowshot from me, I popt down, and whipt my fingers under the upper tile; and pulled out a letter without direction, and thrust it into my bosom, trembling for joy. She was with me before I could secure it; and I was in such a taking that I feared I should discover myself.  35
  “You seem frightened, madam,” said she.  36
  “Why,” said I, with a lucky thought, (alas! your poor daughter will make an intriguer by-and-by; but I hope an innocent one!) “I stooped to smell at the sunflower, and a great nasty worm ran into the ground, that startled me; for I can’t abide worms.”  37
  Said she, “Sunflowers don’t smell.”  38
  “So I find,” I replied. And then we walked in.  39
  Mrs. Jewkes said, “Well, you have made haste now. You shall go another time.”  40
  I went to my closet, locked myself in, and opening my letter, found in it these words:—

          I am infinitely concerned in your distress. I most heartily wish it may be in my power to serve and save so much innocence, beauty, and merit. My whole dependence is upon Mr. B., and I have a near view of being provided for by his favor to me. But yet I would sooner forfeit all my hopes in him (trusting to God for the rest) than not assist you, if possible. I never looked upon Mr. B. in the light he now appears in. I am entirely of opinion you should, if possible, get out of his hands, and especially as you are in very bad ones in Mrs. Jewkes’s.
  We have here the widow Lady Jones; mistress of a good fortune, and a woman of virtue, I believe. We have also Sir Simon Darnford, and his lady, who is a good woman; and they have two daughters, virtuous young ladies. All the rest are but middling people, and traders, at best. I will try, if you please, either Lady Jones or Lady Darnford, if they’ll permit you to take refuge with them. I see no probability of keeping myself concealed in this matter, but will, as I said, risk all things to serve you; for never saw I sweetness and innocence like yours: your hard case has attached me entirely to you; for I well know, as you so happily express, if I can serve you in this case, I shall thereby perform all the acts of religion in one.
  As to Lady Davers, I will convey a letter, if you please; but it must not be from our post-house, I give you caution: for the man owes all his bread to Mr. B., and his place too; and I believe, from something that dropped from him over a can of ale, has his instructions. You don’t know how you are surrounded: all which confirms me in your opinion that no honor is meant you, let what will be professed; and I am glad you want no caution on that head.
  Give me leave to say, that I had heard much in your praise, but I think greatly short of what you deserve, both as to person and mind: my eyes convince me of the one, your letter of the other. For fear of losing the present lucky opportunity, I am longer than otherwise I should be. But I will not enlarge any further than to assure you that I am, to the best of my power, your faithful friend and servant,
  I will come once every morning, and once every evening, after school-time, to look for your letters. I’ll come in, and return without going into the house if I see the coast clear; otherwise, to avoid suspicion, I’ll come in.
  I instantly, in answer to this pleasing letter, wrote as follows:—

        Reverend Sir:
  Oh, how suited to your function and your character is your kind letter! God bless you for it! I now think I am beginning to be happy. I should be very sorry to have you suffer on my account; but I hope it will be made up to you a hundredfold by that God whom you so faithfully serve.
  Any way you think best I shall be pleased with; for I know not the persons, nor in what manner to apply to them.
  I should think, sir, if either of these ladies would give me leave, I might get out by favor of your key. As it is impossible, watched as I am, to know when it can be, suppose, sir, you could get one made by it, and put it the next opportunity under the sunflower. If, sir, I had this key, I could, if these ladies would not shelter me, run away anywhere: and if I was once out of the house, they could have no pretense to force me in again; for I have done no harm, and hope to make my story good to any impassionate body: by this way you need not be known. Torture should not wring it from me, I assure you.
  I inclose you a letter of a deceitful wretch (for I can intrust you with anything), poor John Arnold. Perhaps by his means something may be discovered; for he seems willing to atone for his treachery to me by the intimation of future services. I leave the hint to you to improve upon. I am, Reverend Sir, your forever obliged and faithful servant.
  I hope, sir, by your favor, I could send a little packet now and then to my poor father and mother. I have about five or six guineas: shall I put half in your hands, to defray the charge of a man and horse, or any other incidents?
  I am just come off from a walk in the garden, and have deposited my letter: we took a turn in the garden to angle, as Mrs. Jewkes had promised me. She baited the hook, I held it, and soon hooked a lovely carp.  43
  “I’ll try my fortune,” said she, and took the rod.  44
  “Do,” answered I; “and I will plant life, if I can, while you are destroying it. I have some horse-beans, and will go and stick them in one of the borders, to see how long they will be coming up; and I will call them my garden.”  45
  So you see, dear father and mother, that this furnishes me with a good excuse to look after my garden another time; and if the mold should look a little fresh, it won’t be so much suspected: she mistrusted nothing of this; and I went and stuck in here and there my beans, for about the length of six yards, on each side of the sunflower, and easily deposited my letter. And not a little proud am I of this. Sure something will do at last.  46
  I HAVE just now told of a trick of mine; now I’ll tell you a trick of this wicked woman’s.
  She came up to me and said, “I have a bill I cannot change till to-morrow, and a tradesman wants his money sadly; I don’t love to turn poor tradesmen away without their money: have you any about you?”  48
  “I have a little,” replied I: “how much will do?”  49
  “Oh,” said she, “I want eight pounds.”  50
  “Alack!” said I, “I have only between five and six.”  51
  “Lend me that,” said she, “till to-morrow.”  52
  I did so, and she went down-stairs; and when she came up, she laughed and said, “Well, I have paid the tradesman.”  53
  “I hope,” said I, “you’ll give it me to-morrow.”  54
  At this she laughing said, “To tell the truth, lambkin, I didn’t want it. I only feared your making bad use of it: and now I can trust Nan with you a little oftener, especially as I have got the key of your portmanteau; so that you can neither corrupt her with money nor fine things.”  55
  And now I have not five shillings left to support me, if I can get away. The more I think of this, the more I regret it, and blame myself.  56
  This night the postman brought a letter for Mrs. Jewkes, in which one was inclosed for me; she brought it up to me, and said, “Well, my good master don’t forget us: he has sent you a letter; and see what he writes to me.”  57
  So she read that he hoped her fair charge was well, happy, and contented. “Aye, to be sure,” said I, “I can’t but choose!” That he did not doubt her care and kindness to me; that I was dear to him, and she could not use me too well; and the like. “There’s a master,” said she: “sure you will love and pray for him!”  58
  I desired her to read the rest. “No,” said she, “but I won’t.” “Then,” said I, “are there any orders for taking my shoes away, and for beating me?” “No,” said she, “nor about Jezebel neither.” “Well,” returned I, “I cry truce; for I have no mind to be beat again.” “I thought,” said she, “we had forgiven one another.”  59
  My letter is as follows:—

        My dear Pamela:
  I begin to repent already that I have bound myself, by promise, not to see you till you give me leave; for I think the time very tedious. Can you place so much confidence in me as to invite me down? Assure yourself that your generosity shall not be thrown away upon me. I would press this, as I am uneasy for your uneasiness; for Mrs. Jewkes acquaints me that you take your restraint very heavily, and neither eat, drink, nor rest well. I have too great an interest in your health, not to wish to shorten the time of this trial; which will be the consequence of my coming down to you. John too has intimated to me your concern, with a grief that hardly gave him leave for utterance,—a grief that a little alarmed my tenderness for you. I will only say one thing: that if you will give me leave to attend you at the hall (consider who it is that requests this from you as a favor), I solemnly declare that you shall have cause to be pleased with this obliging mark of your confidence and consideration for me. If I find Mrs. Jewkes has not behaved to you with the respect due to one I so tenderly love, I will put it entirely in your power to discharge her the house, if you think proper; and Mrs. Jervis, of who else you please, shall attend you in her place. This I say on a hint John gave me, as if you resented something from that quarter. Dearest Pamela, answer favorably this earnest request of one that cannot live without you, and on whose honor to you, you may absolutely depend; and so much the more, as you place a confidence in it. I am, and assuredly ever will be, your faithful and affectionate, etc.
  You will be glad, I know, to hear that your father and mother are well, and easy upon your last letter. That gave me a pleasure I am resolved you shall not repent. Mrs. Jewkes will convey to me your answer.
  I but slightly read this letter for the present, to give way to one I had hopes of finding by this time from Mr. Williams. I took an evening turn, as I called it, in Mrs. Jewkes’s company; and walking by the place, I said, “Do you think, Mrs. Jewkes, any of my beans can have struck since yesterday?”  61
  She laughed and said, “You are a poor gardener, but I love to see you divert yourself.” She passing on, I found my good friend had provided for me; and slipping it in my bosom (for her back was towards me)—“Here,” said I (having a bean in my hand), “is one of them; but it has not stirred.” “No, to be sure,” said she; and then turned upon me a most wicked jest, unbecoming the mouth of a woman, about planting, etc. When I came in I went to my closet, and read as follows:—

          I am sorry to inform you that I have had a repulse from Lady Jones. She is concerned at your case, she says, but don’t like to make herself enemies.
  I applied to Lady Darnford, and told, in the most pathetic manner, your sad story, and showed her your more pathetic letter. I found her well disposed: but she would advise with Sir Simon, who is not a man of an extraordinary character for virtue; for he said to his lady in my presence, “Why, what is all this, my dear, but that our neighbor has a mind to his mother’s waiting-maid! And if he takes care she wants for nothing, I don’t see any great injury will be done to her. He hurts no family by this.” (So, my dear father and mother, it seems poor people’s honesty is to go for nothing.) “And I think, Mr. Williams, you of all men should not engage in this affair, against your friend and patron.”
  I have hinted your case to Mr. Peters, the minister of this parish; but I am concerned to say that he imputed selfish views to me, as if I would make an interest in your affections by my zeal.
  I represented the different circumstances of your affair: that other women lived evilly by their own consent; but to serve you was to save an innocence that had but few examples. I then showed him your letter.
  He said it was prettily written; he was sorry for you; and that your good intentions ought to be encouraged. “But what,” said he, “would you have me do, Mr. Williams?”
  “Why, suppose, sir,” said I, “you give her shelter in your house with your spouse and niece, till she can get to her friends?”
  “What, and embroil myself with a man of Mr. B.’s power and fortune? No! not I, I assure you.”
  I am greatly concerned for you, I assure you; but am not discouraged by this ill success, let what will come of it, if I can serve you.
  I don’t hear as yet that Mr. B. is coming. I am glad of your hint as to that unhappy fellow John Arnold. Something perhaps will strike out from that, which may be useful. As to your packets, if you seal them up and lay them in the usual place, if you find it not suspected, I will watch an opportunity to convey them; but if they are large, you had best be very cautious. This evil woman, I find, mistrusts me.
  I have just heard that the gentleman is dying, whose living Mr. B. has promised me. I have almost a scruple to take it, as I am acting so contrary to his desire; but I hope he’ll one day thank me for it.
  I believe when we hear he is coming, it will be best to make use of the key, which I shall soon procure you: I can borrow a horse for you, to wait within half a mile of the back door, over the pasture, and will contrive by myself, or somebody, to have you conducted some miles distant, to one of the villages thereabouts; so don’t be discomforted, I beseech you.
  I am, Mrs. Pamela, your faithful friend, etc.
  I made a thousand sad reflections upon the former part of this honest gentleman’s kind letter; and but for the hopes he gave me at last, should have given up my case as quite desperate. I then wrote to thank him most gratefully for his kind endeavors; and that I would wait the happy event I might hope for from his kind assistance in the key and the horse.  63
  I had no time to take a copy of this letter, I was so watched. But when I had it in my bosom I was easy. And so I went to seek out Mrs. Jewkes, and told her I would hear her advice upon the letter I had received from my master; which point of confidence in her pleased her not a little.  64
  “Aye,” said she, “now this is something like; and we’ll take a turn in the garden, or where you please.” I pretended it was indifferent to me; and so we walked into the garden.  65
  I began to talk to her of the letter, but was far from acquainting her with all the contents; only that he wanted my consent to come down, and hoped that she used me kindly, and the like. And I said, “Now, Mrs. Jewkes, let me have your advice as to this.”  66
  “Why then,” said she, “I will give it you freely: e’en send for him to come down. It will highly oblige him, and I daresay you will fare the better for it.”  67
  “Well,” said I, “I will write him a letter, because he expects an answer, or maybe he will make a pretense to come down. How can it go?” “I’ll take care of that,” said she: “it is in my instructions.” “Aye,” thought I, “so I doubt, by the hint Mr. Williams gave me about the post-house.”  68
  I wrote to my master as follows:—

        Honored Sir:
  When I consider how easily you might have made me happy, since all I desire is to be permitted to go to my poor father and mother; when I reflect upon your former proposal to me in relation to a certain person, not one word of which is now mentioned; and upon my being in that strange manner run away with, and still kept here a miserable prisoner, do you think, sir (pardon your poor servant’s freedom: my fears make me bold),—do you think, I say, that your general assurances of honor to me can have the effect they ought to have? O good sir! I too much apprehend that your notions of honor and mine are very different from one another; I have no other hope but in your continual absence. If you have any proposals to make me that are consistent with your honorable professions, in my humble sense of the word, a few lines will communicate them to me, and I will return such an answer as befits me.
  Whatever rashness you may impute to me, I cannot help it; but I wish I may not be forced upon any that otherwise would not enter my thoughts. Forgive, sir, my plainness; I should be loth to behave to my master unbecomingly: but I must say, sir, my innocence is so dear to me that all other considerations must be dispensed with. If you mean honorably, why should you not let me know it plainly? Why, sir, I humbly ask, why all this if you mean honorably? It is not for me to expostulate too freely with you, sir, so greatly my superior. Pardon me, I hope you will; but as to seeing you, I cannot bear the dreadful apprehension. Whatever you have to propose to me, whatever you intend, let my assent be that of a free person, and not of a sordid slave, who is to be threatened and frightened into a compliance with measures which your conduct seems to imply. My restraint is hard upon me; I am very uneasy under it. Shorten it, I beseech you, or— But I will dare to say no more than that I am your greatly oppressed, unhappy servant.
  After I had taken a copy of this, I folded it up: and Mrs. Jewkes coming just as I had done, sat down by me; and said, when she saw me directing it, “I wish you would tell me if you have taken my advice, and consented to my master’s coming down.”  70
  “If it will oblige you,” said I, “I will read it to you.”  71
  “That’s good,” said she; “then I’ll love you dearly.”  72
  Said I, “Then you must not offer to alter one word.”  73
  “I won’t,” replied she.  74
  So I read it to her. She praised me much for my wording of it; but said she thought I pushed the matter very close, and it would better bear talking than writing about. She wanted an explanation or two about a certain person; but I said she must take it as she heard it.  75
  “Well, well,” said she, “I make no doubt you understand one another, and will do so more and more.”  76
  I sealed up the letter, and she undertook to convey it.  77

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