Pamela, Or Virtue Rewarded (Chapter 3, page 1 of 108)

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Chapter 3


Monday night. 'I hope my not coming home this night will not frighten you. You may
believe I can't help it. My poor friend is so very ill, that I doubt he
can't recover. His desires to have me stay with him are so strong, that
I shall sit up all night with him, as it is now near one o'clock in the
morning; for he can't bear me out of his sight: And I have made him and
his distressed wife and children so easy, in the kindest assurances I
could give him of my consideration for him and them, that I am looked
upon (as the poor disconsolate widow, as she, I doubt, will soon be,
tells me,) as their good angel. I could have wished we had not engaged
to the good neighbourhood at Sir Simon's for to-morrow night; but I am
so desirous to set out on Wednesday for the other house, that, as well
as in return for the civilities of so many good friends, who will be
there on purpose, I would not put it off.

What I beg of you, therefore,
my dear, is, that you would go in the chariot to Sir Simon's, the sooner
in the day the better, because you will be diverted with the company,
who all so much admire you; and I hope to join you there by your
tea-time in the afternoon, which will be better than going home, and
returning with you, as it will be six miles difference to me; and I know
the good company will excuse my dress, on the occasion. I count every
hour of this little absence for a day: for I am, with the utmost

'My dearest love, for ever yours, etc.'

'If you could go to dine with them, it will be a freedom that would be
very pleasing to them; and the more, as they don't expect it.'

I begin to have a little concern, lest his fatigue should be too great,
and for the poor sick gentleman and family; but told Mrs. Jewkes, that
the least intimation of his choice should be a command to me, and so
I would go to dinner there; and ordered the chariot to be got ready to
carry me: when a messenger came up, just as I was dressed, to tell her
she must come down immediately. I see at the window, that visitors are
come; for there is a chariot and six horses, the company gone out of it,
and three footmen on horseback; and I think the chariot has coronets.
Who can it be, I wonder?--But here I will stop, for I suppose I shall
soon know.

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