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


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Chapter 2

III. Your third proposal, sir, I reject for the same reason;
and am sorry you could think my poor honest parents would enter
into their part of it, and be concerned for the management of
an estate, which would be owing to the prostitution of their
poor daughter. Forgive, sir, my warmth on this occasion; but
you know not the poor man, and the poor woman, my ever-dear
father and mother, if you think, that they would not much rather
choose to starve in a ditch, or rot in a noisome dungeon, than
accept of the fortune of a monarch, upon such wicked terms.
I dare not say all that my full mind suggests to me on this
grievous occasion--But, indeed, sir, you know them not; nor
shall the terrors of death, in its most frightful form, I hope,
through God's assisting grace, ever make me act unworthy of
such poor honest parents! 'IV. I will, moreover, extend my favour to any other of your relations,
that you may think worthy of it, or that are valued by you.

IV. Your fourth proposal, I take upon me, sir, to answer as the
third. If I have any friends that want the favour of the great,
may they ever want it, if they are capable of desiring it on
unworthy terms! 'V. I will, besides, order patterns to be sent you for choosing four
complete suits of rich clothes, that you may appear with reputation, as
if you were my wife. And will give you the two diamond rings, and two
pair of ear-rings, and diamond necklace, that were bought by my mother,
to present to Miss Tomlins, if the match that was proposed between her
and me had been brought to effect: and I will confer upon you still
other gratuities, as I shall find myself obliged, by your good behaviour
and affection. V. Fine clothes, sir, become not me; nor have I any ambition
to wear them. I have greater pride in my poverty and meanness,
than I should have in dress and finery. Believe me, sir, I think
such things less become the humble-born Pamela, than the rags
your good mother raised me from. Your rings, sir, your necklace,
and your ear-rings, will better befit ladies of degree, than me:
and to lose the best jewel, my virtue, would be poorly recompensed
by those you propose to give me. What should I think, when I
looked upon my finger, or saw in the glass those diamonds on my
neck, and in my ears, but that they were the price of my honesty;
and that I wore those jewels outwardly, because I had none inwardly.

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