Pamela, Or Virtue Rewarded (Chapter 2, page 1 of 8)

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Chapter 2


'The following ARTICLES are proposed to your serious consideration;
and let me have an answer, in writing, to them, that I may take my
resolutions accordingly. Only remember, that I will not be trifled with;
and what you give for answer will absolutely decide your fate, without
expostulation, or farther trouble.

This is my ANSWER. Forgive, sir, the spirit your poor servant is about to show in
her answer to your ARTICLES. Not to be warm, and in earnest,
on such an occasion as the present, would shew a degree of guilt,
that, I hope, my soul abhors. I will not trifle with you, nor
act like a person doubtful of her own mind; for it wants not one
moment's consideration with me; and I therefore return the ANSWER
following, let what will be the consequence.

'I. If you can convince me that the hated parson has had no
encouragement from you in his addresses; and that you have no
inclination for him in preference to me; then I will offer the following
proposals to you, which I will punctually make good.

I. As to the first article, sir, it may behove me (that I may
not deserve, in your opinion, the opprobrious terms of forward
and artful, and such like) to declare solemnly, that Mr. Williams
never had the least encouragement from me, as to what you hint;
and I believe his principal motive was the apprehended duty of his
function, quite contrary to his apparent interest, to assist a
person he thought in distress. You may, sir, the rather believe
me, when I declare, that I know not the man breathing I would wish
to marry; and that the only one I could honour more than another,
is the gentleman, who, of all others, seeks my everlasting dishonour.

'II. I will directly make you a present of 500 guineas, for your own
use, which you may dispose of to any purpose you please: and will give
it absolutely into the hands of any person you shall appoint to receive
it; and expect no favour in return, till you are satisfied in the
possession of it. II. As to your second proposal, let the consequence be what it
will, I reject it with all my soul. Money, sir, is not my chief
good: May God Almighty desert me, whenever it is! and whenever,
for the sake of that, I can give up my title to that blessed hope
which will stand me in stead, at a time when millions of gold will
not purchase one happy moment of reflection on a past misspent life!

'III. I will likewise directly make over to you a purchase I lately made
in Kent, which brings in 250l. per annum, clear of all deductions. This
shall be made over to you in full property for your life, and for the
lives of any children to perpetuity, that you may happen to have: And
your father shall be immediately put into possession of it in trust
for these purposes: and the management of it will yield a comfortable
subsistence to him, and your mother, for life; and I will make up any
deficiencies, if such should happen, to that clear sum, and allow him
50l. per annum, besides, for his life, and that of your mother, for his
care and management of this your estate.

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