How Joseph Andrews writ a letter to his sister Pamela.
"To MRS PAMELA ANDREWS, LIVING WITH SQUIRE BOOBY.
"DEAR SISTER,—Since I received your letter of your good lady's death, we have had a misfortune of the same kind in our family. My worthy master Sir Thomas died about four days ago; and, what is worse, my poor lady is certainly gone distracted. None of the servants expected her to take it so to heart, because they quarrelled almost every day of their lives: but no more of that, because you know, Pamela, I never loved to tell the secrets of my master's family; but to be sure you must have known they never loved one another; and I have heard her ladyship wish his honour dead above a thousand times; but nobody knows what it is to lose a friend till they have lost him.
"Don't tell anybody what I write, because I should not care to have folks say I discover what passes in our family; but if it had not been so great a lady, I should have thought she had had a mind to me. Dear Pamela, don't tell anybody; but she ordered me to sit down by her bedside, when she was in naked bed; and she held my hand, and talked exactly as a lady does to her sweetheart in a stage-play, which I have seen in Covent Garden, while she wanted him to be no better than he should be.
"If madam be mad, I shall not care for staying long in the family; so I heartily wish you could get me a place, either at the squire's, or some other neighbouring gentleman's, unless it be true that you are going to be married to parson Williams, as folks talk, and then I should be very willing to be his clerk; for which you know I am qualified, being able to read and to set a psalm.
"I fancy I shall be discharged very soon; and the moment I am, unless I hear from you, I shall return to my old master's country-seat, if it be only to see parson Adams, who is the best man in the world. London is a bad place, and there is so little good fellowship, that the next-door neighbours don't know one another. Pray give my service to all friends that inquire for me. So I rest
"Your loving brother,
As soon as Joseph had sealed and directed this letter he walked downstairs, where he met Mrs. Slipslop, with whom we shall take this opportunity to bring the reader a little better acquainted. She was a maiden gentlewoman of about forty-five years of age, who, having made a small slip in her youth, had continued a good maid ever since. She was not at this time remarkably handsome; being very short, and rather too corpulent in body, and somewhat red, with the addition of pimples in the face. Her nose was likewise rather too large, and her eyes too little; nor did she resemble a cow so much in her breath as in two brown globes which she carried before her; one of her legs was also a little shorter than the other, which occasioned her to limp as she walked. This fair creature had long cast the eyes of affection on Joseph, in which she had not met with quite so good success as she probably wished, though, besides the allurements of her native charms, she had given him tea, sweetmeats, wine, and many other delicacies, of which, by keeping the keys, she had the absolute command. Joseph, however, had not returned the least gratitude to all these favours, not even so much as a kiss; though I would not insinuate she was so easily to be satisfied; for surely then he would have been highly blameable. The truth is, she was arrived at an age when she thought she might indulge herself in any liberties with a man, without the danger of bringing a third person into the world to betray them. She imagined that by so long a self-denial she had not only made amends for the small slip of her youth above hinted at, but had likewise laid up a quantity of merit to excuse any future failings. In a word, she resolved to give a loose to her amorous inclinations, and to pay off the debt of pleasure which she found she owed herself, as fast as possible.
With these charms of person, and in this disposition of mind, she encountered poor Joseph at the bottom of the stairs, and asked him if he would drink a glass of something good this morning. Joseph, whose spirits were not a little cast down, very readily and thankfully accepted the offer; and together they went into a closet, where, having delivered him a full glass of ratafia, and desired him to sit down, Mrs. Slipslop thus began:—
"Sure nothing can be a more simple contract in a woman than to place her affections on a boy. If I had ever thought it would have been my fate, I should have wished to die a thousand deaths rather than live to see that day. If we like a man, the lightest hint sophisticates. Whereas a boy proposes upon us to break through all the regulations of modesty, before we can make any oppression upon him." Joseph, who did not understand a word she said, answered, "Yes, madam."—"Yes, madam!" replied Mrs. Slipslop with some warmth, "Do you intend to result my passion? Is it not enough, ungrateful as you are, to make no return to all the favours I have done you; but you must treat me with ironing? Barbarous monster! how have I deserved that my passion should be resulted and treated with ironing?" "Madam," answered Joseph, "I don't understand your hard words; but I am certain you have no occasion to call me ungrateful, for, so far from intending you any wrong, I have always loved you as well as if you had been my own mother." "How, sirrah!" says Mrs. Slipslop in a rage; "your own mother? Do you assinuate that I am old enough to be your mother? I don't know what a stripling may think, but I believe a man would refer me to any green-sickness silly girl whatsomdever: but I ought to despise you rather than be angry with you, for referring the conversation of girls to that of a woman of sense."—"Madam," says Joseph, "I am sure I have always valued the honour you did me by your conversation, for I know you are a woman of learning."—"Yes, but, Joseph," said she, a little softened by the compliment to her learning, "if you had a value for me, you certainly would have found some method of showing it me; for I am convicted you must see the value I have for you. Yes, Joseph, my eyes, whether I would or no, must have declared a passion I cannot conquer.—Oh! Joseph!"
As when a hungry tigress, who long has traversed the woods in fruitless search, sees within the reach of her claws a lamb, she prepares to leap on her prey; or as a voracious pike, of immense size, surveys through the liquid element a roach or gudgeon, which cannot escape her jaws, opens them wide to swallow the little fish; so did Mrs. Slipslop prepare to lay her violent amorous hands on the poor Joseph, when luckily her mistress's bell rung, and delivered the intended martyr from her clutches. She was obliged to leave him abruptly, and to defer the execution of her purpose till some other time. We shall therefore return to the Lady Booby, and give our reader some account of her behaviour, after she was left by Joseph in a temper of mind not greatly different from that of the inflamed Slipslop.
Sayings of wise men. A dialogue between the lady and her maid; and a panegyric, or rather satire, on the passion of love, in the sublime style.
It is the observation of some antient sage, whose name I have forgot, that passions operate differently on the human mind, as diseases on the body, in proportion to the strength or weakness, soundness or rottenness, of the one and the other.
We hope, therefore, a judicious reader will give himself some pains to observe, what we have so greatly laboured to describe, the different operations of this passion of love in the gentle and cultivated mind of the Lady Booby, from those which it effected in the less polished and coarser disposition of Mrs Slipslop.
Another philosopher, whose name also at present escapes my memory, hath somewhere said, that resolutions taken in the absence of the beloved object are very apt to vanish in its presence; on both which wise sayings the following chapter may serve as a comment.
No sooner had Joseph left the room in the manner we have before related than the lady, enraged at her disappointment, began to reflect with severity on her conduct. Her love was now changed to disdain, which pride assisted to torment her. She despised herself for the meanness of her passion, and Joseph for its ill success. However, she had now got the better of it in her own opinion, and determined immediately to dismiss the object. After much tossing and turning in her bed, and many soliloquies, which if we had no better matter for our reader we would give him, she at last rung the bell as above mentioned, and was presently attended by Mrs Slipslop, who was not much better pleased with Joseph than the lady herself.
"Slipslop," said Lady Booby, "when did you see Joseph?" The poor woman was so surprized at the unexpected sound of his name at so critical a time, that she had the greatest difficulty to conceal the confusion she was under from her mistress; whom she answered, nevertheless, with pretty good confidence, though not entirely void of fear of suspicion, that she had not seen him that morning. "I am afraid," said Lady Booby, "he is a wild young fellow."—"That he is," said Slipslop, "and a wicked one too. To my knowledge he games, drinks, swears, and fights eternally; besides, he is horribly indicted to wenching."—"Ay!" said the lady, "I never heard that of him."—"O madam!" answered the other, "he is so lewd a rascal, that if your ladyship keeps him much longer, you will not have one virgin in your house except myself. And yet I can't conceive what the wenches see in him, to be so foolishly fond as they are; in my eyes, he is as ugly a scarecrow as I ever upheld."—"Nay," said the lady, "the boy is well enough."—"La! ma'am," cries Slipslop, "I think him the ragmaticallest fellow in the family."—"Sure, Slipslop," says she, "you are mistaken: but which of the women do you most suspect?"—"Madam," says Slipslop, "there is Betty the chambermaid, I am almost convicted, is with child by him."—"Ay!" says the lady, "then pray pay her her wages instantly. I will keep no such sluts in my family. And as for Joseph, you may discard him too."—"Would your ladyship have him paid off immediately?" cries Slipslop, "for perhaps, when Betty is gone he may mend: and really the boy is a good servant, and a strong healthy luscious boy enough."— "This morning," answered the lady with some vehemence. "I wish, madam," cries Slipslop, "your ladyship would be so good as to try him a little longer."—"I will not have my commands disputed," said the lady; "sure you are not fond of him yourself?"—"I, madam!" cries Slipslop, reddening, if not blushing, "I should be sorry to think your ladyship had any reason to respect me of fondness for a fellow; and if it be your pleasure, I shall fulfil it with as much reluctance as possible."—"As little, I suppose you mean," said the lady; "and so about it instantly." Mrs. Slipslop went out, and the lady had scarce taken two turns before she fell to knocking and ringing with great violence. Slipslop, who did not travel post haste, soon returned, and was countermanded as to Joseph, but ordered to send Betty about her business without delay. She went out a second time with much greater alacrity than before; when the lady began immediately to accuse herself of want of resolution, and to apprehend the return of her affection, with its pernicious consequences; she therefore applied herself again to the bell, and re-summoned Mrs. Slipslop into her presence; who again returned, and was told by her mistress that she had considered better of the matter, and was absolutely resolved to turn away Joseph; which she ordered her to do immediately. Slipslop, who knew the violence of her lady's temper, and would not venture her place for any Adonis or Hercules in the universe, left her a third time; which she had no sooner done, than the little god Cupid, fearing he had not yet done the lady's business, took a fresh arrow with the sharpest point out of his quiver, and shot it directly into her heart; in other and plainer language, the lady's passion got the better of her reason. She called back Slipslop once more, and told her she had resolved to see the boy, and examine him herself; therefore bid her send him up. This wavering in her mistress's temper probably put something into the waiting-gentlewoman's head not necessary to mention to the sagacious reader.
Lady Booby was going to call her back again, but could not prevail with herself. The next consideration therefore was, how she should behave to Joseph when he came in. She resolved to preserve all the dignity of the woman of fashion to her servant, and to indulge herself in this last view of Joseph (for that she was most certainly resolved it should be) at his own expense, by first insulting and then discarding him.
O Love, what monstrous tricks dost thou play with thy votaries of both sexes! How dost thou deceive them, and make them deceive themselves! Their follies are thy delight! Their sighs make thee laugh, and their pangs are thy merriment!
Not the great Rich, who turns men into monkeys, wheel-barrows, and whatever else best humours his fancy, hath so strangely metamorphosed the human shape; nor the great Cibber, who confounds all number, gender, and breaks through every rule of grammar at his will, hath so distorted the English language as thou dost metamorphose and distort the human senses.
Thou puttest out our eyes, stoppest up our ears, and takest away the power of our nostrils; so that we can neither see the largest object, hear the loudest noise, nor smell the most poignant perfume. Again, when thou pleasest, thou canst make a molehill appear as a mountain, a Jew's-harp sound like a trumpet, and a daisy smell like a violet. Thou canst make cowardice brave, avarice generous, pride humble, and cruelty tender-hearted. In short, thou turnest the heart of man inside out, as a juggler doth a petticoat, and bringest whatsoever pleaseth thee out from it. If there be any one who doubts all this, let him read the next chapter.
In which, after some very fine writing, the history goes on, and relates the interview between the lady and Joseph; where the latter hath set an example which we despair of seeing followed by his sex in this vicious age.
Now the rake Hesperus had called for his breeches, and, having well rubbed his drowsy eyes, prepared to dress himself for all night; by whose example his brother rakes on earth likewise leave those beds in which they had slept away the day. Now Thetis, the good housewife, began to put on the pot, in order to regale the good man Phoebus after his daily labours were over. In vulgar language, it was in the evening when Joseph attended his lady's orders.
But as it becomes us to preserve the character of this lady, who is the heroine of our tale; and as we have naturally a wonderful tenderness for that beautiful part of the human species called the fair sex; before we discover too much of her frailty to our reader, it will be proper to give him a lively idea of the vast temptation, which overcame all the efforts of a modest and virtuous mind; and then we humbly hope his good nature will rather pity than condemn the imperfection of human virtue.
Nay, the ladies themselves will, we hope, be induced, by considering the uncommon variety of charms which united in this young man's person, to bridle their rampant passion for chastity, and be at least as mild as their violent modesty and virtue will permit them, in censuring the conduct of a woman who, perhaps, was in her own disposition as chaste as those pure and sanctified virgins who, after a life innocently spent in the gaieties of the town, begin about fifty to attend twice per diem at the polite churches and chapels, to return thanks for the grace which preserved them formerly amongst beaus from temptations perhaps less powerful than what now attacked the Lady Booby.
Mr Joseph Andrews was now in the one-and-twentieth year of his age. He was of the highest degree of middle stature; his limbs were put together with great elegance, and no less strength; his legs and thighs were formed in the exactest proportion; his shoulders were broad and brawny, but yet his arm hung so easily, that he had all the symptoms of strength without the least clumsiness. His hair was of a nut-brown colour, and was displayed in wanton ringlets down his back; his forehead was high, his eyes dark, and as full of sweetness as of fire; his nose a little inclined to the Roman; his teeth white and even; his lips full, red, and soft; his beard was only rough on his chin and upper lip; but his cheeks, in which his blood glowed, were overspread with a thick down; his countenance had a tenderness joined with a sensibility inexpressible. Add to this the most perfect neatness in his dress, and an air which, to those who have not seen many noblemen, would give an idea of nobility.
Such was the person who now appeared before the lady. She viewed him some time in silence, and twice or thrice before she spake changed her mind as to the manner in which she should begin. At length she said to him, "Joseph, I am sorry to hear such complaints against you: I am told you behave so rudely to the maids, that they cannot do their business in quiet; I mean those who are not wicked enough to hearken to your solicitations. As to others, they may, perhaps, not call you rude; for there are wicked sluts who make one ashamed of one's own sex, and are as ready to admit any nauseous familiarity as fellows to offer it: nay, there are such in my family, but they shall not stay in it; that impudent trollop who is with child by you is discharged by this time."
As a person who is struck through the heart with a thunderbolt looks extremely surprised, nay, and perhaps is so too—thus the poor Joseph received the false accusation of his mistress; he blushed and looked confounded, which she misinterpreted to be symptoms of his guilt, and thus went on:—
"Come hither, Joseph: another mistress might discard you for these offences; but I have a compassion for your youth, and if I could be certain you would be no more guilty—Consider, child," laying her hand carelessly upon his, "you are a handsome young fellow, and might do better; you might make your fortune." "Madam," said Joseph, "I do assure your ladyship I don't know whether any maid in the house is man or woman." "Oh fie! Joseph," answered the lady, "don't commit another crime in denying the truth. I could pardon the first; but I hate a lyar." "Madam," cries Joseph, "I hope your ladyship will not be offended at my asserting my innocence; for, by all that is sacred, I have never offered more than kissing." "Kissing!" said the lady, with great discomposure of countenance, and more redness in her cheeks than anger in her eyes; "do you call that no crime? Kissing, Joseph, is as a prologue to a play. Can I believe a young fellow of your age and complexion will be content with kissing? No, Joseph, there is no woman who grants that but will grant more; and I am deceived greatly in you if you would not put her closely to it. What would you think, Joseph, if I admitted you to kiss me?" Joseph replied he would sooner die than have any such thought. "And yet, Joseph," returned she, "ladies have admitted their footmen to such familiarities; and footmen, I confess to you, much less deserving them; fellows without half your charms—for such might almost excuse the crime. Tell me therefore, Joseph, if I should admit you to such freedom, what would you think of me?—tell me freely." "Madam," said Joseph, "I should think your ladyship condescended a great deal below yourself." "Pugh!" said she; "that I am to answer to myself: but would not you insist on more? Would you be contented with a kiss? Would not your inclinations be all on fire rather by such a favour?" "Madam," said Joseph, "if they were, I hope I should be able to controul them, without suffering them to get the better of my virtue." You have heard, reader, poets talk of the statue of Surprize; you have heard likewise, or else you have heard very little, how Surprize made one of the sons of Croesus speak, though he was dumb. You have seen the faces, in the eighteen-penny gallery, when, through the trap-door, to soft or no music, Mr. Bridgewater, Mr. William Mills, or some other of ghostly appearance, hath ascended, with a face all pale with powder, and a shirt all bloody with ribbons;—but from none of these, nor from Phidias or Praxiteles, if they should return to life—no, not from the inimitable pencil of my friend Hogarth, could you receive such an idea of surprize as would have entered in at your eyes had they beheld the Lady Booby when those last words issued out from the lips of Joseph. "Your virtue!" said the lady, recovering after a silence of two minutes; "I shall never survive it. Your virtue!—intolerable confidence! Have you the assurance to pretend, that when a lady demeans herself to throw aside the rules of decency, in order to honour you with the highest favour in her power, your virtue should resist her inclination? that, when she had conquered her own virtue, she should find an obstruction in yours?" "Madam," said Joseph, "I can't see why her having no virtue should be a reason against my having any; or why, because I am a man, or because I am poor, my virtue must be subservient to her pleasures." "I am out of patience," cries the lady: "did ever mortal hear of a man's virtue? Did ever the greatest or the gravest men pretend to any of this kind? Will magistrates who punish lewdness, or parsons who preach against it, make any scruple of committing it? And can a boy, a stripling, have the confidence to talk of his virtue?" "Madam," says Joseph, "that boy is the brother of Pamela, and would be ashamed that the chastity of his family, which is preserved in her, should be stained in him. If there are such men as your ladyship mentions, I am sorry for it; and I wish they had an opportunity of reading over those letters which my father hath sent me of my sister Pamela's; nor do I doubt but such an example would amend them." "You impudent villain!" cries the lady in a rage; "do you insult me with the follies of my relation, who hath exposed himself all over the country upon your sister's account? a little vixen, whom I have always wondered my late Lady Booby ever kept in her house. Sirrah! get out of my sight, and prepare to set out this night; for I will order you your wages immediately, and you shall be stripped and turned away." "Madam," says Joseph, "I am sorry I have offended your ladyship, I am sure I never intended it." "Yes, sirrah," cries she, "you have had the vanity to misconstrue the little innocent freedom I took, in order to try whether what I had heard was true. O' my conscience, you have had the assurance to imagine I was fond of you myself." Joseph answered, he had only spoke out of tenderness for his virtue; at which words she flew into a violent passion, and refusing to hear more, ordered him instantly to leave the room.
He was no sooner gone than she burst forth into the following exclamation:—"Whither doth this violent passion hurry us? What meannesses do we submit to from its impulse! Wisely we resist its first and least approaches; for it is then only we can assure ourselves the victory. No woman could ever safely say, so far only will I go. Have I not exposed myself to the refusal of my footman? I cannot bear the reflection." Upon which she applied herself to the bell, and rung it with infinite more violence than was necessary—the faithful Slipslop attending near at hand: to say the truth, she had conceived a suspicion at her last interview with her mistress, and had waited ever since in the antechamber, having carefully applied her ears to the keyhole during the whole time that the preceding conversation passed between Joseph and the lady.
What passed between the lady and Mrs Slipslop; in which we prophesy there are some strokes which every one will not truly comprehend at the first reading.
"Slipslop," said the lady, "I find too much reason to believe all thou hast told me of this wicked Joseph; I have determined to part with him instantly; so go you to the steward, and bid him pay his wages." Slipslop, who had preserved hitherto a distance to her lady—rather out of necessity than inclination—and who thought the knowledge of this secret had thrown down all distinction between them, answered her mistress very pertly—"She wished she knew her own mind; and that she was certain she would call her back again before she was got half-way downstairs." The lady replied, she had taken a resolution, and was resolved to keep it. "I am sorry for it," cries Slipslop, "and, if I had known you would have punished the poor lad so severely, you should never have heard a particle of the matter. Here's a fuss indeed about nothing!" "Nothing!" returned my lady; "do you think I will countenance lewdness in my house?" "If you will turn away every footman," said Slipslop, "that is a lover of the sport, you must soon open the coach door yourself, or get a set of mophrodites to wait upon you; and I am sure I hated the sight of them even singing in an opera." "Do as I bid you," says my lady, "and don't shock my ears with your beastly language." "Marry-come-up," cries Slipslop, "people's ears are sometimes the nicest part about them."
The lady, who began to admire the new style in which her waiting-gentlewoman delivered herself, and by the conclusion of her speech suspected somewhat of the truth, called her back, and desired to know what she meant by the extraordinary degree of freedom in which she thought proper to indulge her tongue. "Freedom!" says Slipslop; "I don't know what you call freedom, madam; servants have tongues as well as their mistresses." "Yes, and saucy ones too," answered the lady; "but I assure you I shall bear no such impertinence." "Impertinence! I don't know that I am impertinent," says Slipslop. "Yes, indeed you are," cries my lady, "and, unless you mend your manners, this house is no place for you." "Manners!" cries Slipslop; "I never was thought to want manners nor modesty neither; and for places, there are more places than one; and I know what I know." "What do you know, mistress?" answered the lady. "I am not obliged to tell that to everybody," says Slipslop, "any more than I am obliged to keep it a secret." "I desire you would provide yourself," answered the lady. "With all my heart," replied the waiting-gentlewoman; and so departed in a passion, and slapped the door after her.
The lady too plainly perceived that her waiting-gentlewoman knew more than she would willingly have had her acquainted with; and this she imputed to Joseph's having discovered to her what passed at the first interview. This, therefore, blew up her rage against him, and confirmed her in a resolution of parting with him.
But the dismissing Mrs Slipslop was a point not so easily to be resolved upon. She had the utmost tenderness for her reputation, as she knew on that depended many of the most valuable blessings of life; particularly cards, making curtsies in public places, and, above all, the pleasure of demolishing the reputations of others, in which innocent amusement she had an extraordinary delight. She therefore determined to submit to any insult from a servant, rather than run a risque of losing the title to so many great privileges.
She therefore sent for her steward, Mr Peter Pounce, and ordered him to pay Joseph his wages, to strip off his livery, and to turn him out of the house that evening.
She then called Slipslop up, and, after refreshing her spirits with a small cordial, which she kept in her corset, she began in the following manner:—
"Slipslop, why will you, who know my passionate temper, attempt to provoke me by your answers? I am convinced you are an honest servant, and should be very unwilling to part with you. I believe, likewise, you have found me an indulgent mistress on many occasions, and have as little reason on your side to desire a change. I can't help being surprized, therefore, that you will take the surest method to offend me—I mean, repeating my words, which you know I have always detested."
The prudent waiting-gentlewoman had duly weighed the whole matter, and found, on mature deliberation, that a good place in possession was better than one in expectation. As she found her mistress, therefore, inclined to relent, she thought proper also to put on some small condescension, which was as readily accepted; and so the affair was reconciled, all offences forgiven, and a present of a gown and petticoat made her, as an instance of her lady's future favour.
She offered once or twice to speak in favour of Joseph; but found her lady's heart so obdurate, that she prudently dropt all such efforts. She considered there were more footmen in the house, and some as stout fellows, though not quite so handsome, as Joseph; besides, the reader hath already seen her tender advances had not met with the encouragement she might have reasonable expected. She thought she had thrown away a great deal of sack and sweetmeats on an ungrateful rascal; and, being a little inclined to the opinion of that female sect, who hold one lusty young fellow to be nearly as good as another lusty young fellow, she at last gave up Joseph and his cause, and, with a triumph over her passion highly commendable, walked off with her present, and with great tranquillity paid a visit to a stone-bottle, which is of sovereign use to a philosophical temper.
She left not her mistress so easy. The poor lady could not reflect without agony that her dear reputation was in the power of her servants. all her comfort as to Joseph was, that she hoped he did not understand her meaning; at least she could say for herself, she had not plainly expressed anything to him; and as to Mrs Slipslop, she imagines she could bribe her to secrecy.
But what hurt her most was, that in reality she had not so entirely conquered her passion; the little god lay lurking in her heart, though anger and distain so hood-winked her, that she could not see him. She was a thousand times on the very brink of revoking the sentence she had passed against the poor youth. Love became his advocate, and whispered many things in his favour. Honour likewise endeavoured to vindicate his crime, and Pity to mitigate his punishment. On the other side, Pride and Revenge spoke as loudly against him. And thus the poor lady was tortured with perplexity, opposite passions distracting and tearing her mind different ways.
So have I seen, in the hall of Westminster, where Serjeant Bramble hath been retained on the right side, and Serjeant Puzzle on the left, the balance of opinion (so equal were their fees) alternately incline to either scale. Now Bramble throws in an argument, and Puzzle's scale strikes the beam; again Bramble shares the like fate, overpowered by the weight of Puzzle. Here Bramble hits, there Puzzle strikes; here one has you, there t'other has you; till at last all becomes one scene of confusion in the tortured minds of the hearers; equal wagers are laid on the success, and neither judge nor jury can possibly make anything of the matter; all things are so enveloped by the careful serjeants in doubt and obscurity.
Or, as it happens in the conscience, where honour and honesty pull one way, and a bribe and necessity another.—If it was our present business only to make similes, we could produce many more to this purpose; but a simile (as well as a word) to the wise.—We shall therefore see a little after our hero, for whom the reader is doubtless in some pain.
Joseph writes another letter: his transactions with Mr Peter Pounce, &c., with his departure from Lady Booby.
The disconsolate Joseph would not have had an understanding sufficient for the principal subject of such a book as this, if he had any longer misunderstood the drift of his mistress; and indeed, that he did not discern it sooner, the reader will be pleased to impute to an unwillingness in him to discover what he must condemn in her as a fault. Having therefore quitted her presence, he retired into his own garret, and entered himself into an ejaculation on the numberless calamities which attended beauty, and the misfortune it was to be handsomer than one's neighbours.
He then sat down, and addressed himself to his sister Pamela in the following words:—
"Dear Sister Pamela,—Hoping you are well, what news have I to tell you! O Pamela! my mistress is fallen in love with me-that is, what great folks call falling in love-she has a mind to ruin me; but I hope I shall have more resolution and more grace than to part with my virtue to any lady upon earth.
"Mr Adams hath often told me, that chastity is as great a virtue in a man as in a woman. He says he never knew any more than his wife, and I shall endeavour to follow his example. Indeed, it is owing entirely to his excellent sermons and advice, together with your letters, that I have been able to resist a temptation, which, he says, no man complies with, but he repents in this world, or is damned for it in the next; and why should I trust to repentance on my deathbed, since I may die in my sleep? What fine things are good advice and good examples! But I am glad she turned me out of the chamber as she did: for I had once almost forgotten every word parson Adams had ever said to me.
"I don't doubt, dear sister, but you will have grace to preserve your virtue against all trials; and I beg you earnestly to pray I may be enabled to preserve mine; for truly it is very severely attacked by more than one; but I hope I shall copy your example, and that of Joseph my namesake, and maintain my virtue against all temptations."
Joseph had not finished his letter, when he was summoned downstairs by Mr Peter Pounce, to receive his wages; for, besides that out of eight pounds a year he allowed his father and mother four, he had been obliged, in order to furnish himself with musical instruments, to apply to the generosity of the aforesaid Peter, who, on urgent occasions, used to advance the servants their wages: not before they were due, but before they were payable; that is, perhaps, half a year after they were due; and this at the moderate premium of fifty per cent, or a little more: by which charitable methods, together with lending money to other people, and even to his own master and mistress, the honest man had, from nothing, in a few years amassed a small sum of twenty thousand pounds or thereabouts.
Joseph having received his little remainder of wages, and having stript off his livery, was forced to borrow a frock and breeches of one of the servants (for he was so beloved in the family, that they would all have lent him anything): and, being told by Peter that he must not stay a moment longer in the house than was necessary to pack up his linen, which he easily did in a very narrow compass, he took a melancholy leave of his fellow-servants, and set out at seven in the evening.
He had proceeded the length of two or three streets, before he absolutely determined with himself whether he should leave the town that night, or, procuring a lodging, wait till the morning. At last, the moon shining very bright helped him to come to a resolution of beginning his journey immediately, to which likewise he had some other inducements; which the reader, without being a conjurer, cannot possibly guess, till we have given him those hints which it may be now proper to open.