journal. Upon Pamela’s arrival at Mr B.’s Lincolnshire estate, where she is to besubjected to imprisonment, Mrs Jewkes reveals her role as Mr B’s deputy veryplainly to the heroine. Mrs Jewkes suggests that she has ‘a letter of instructions’from the master and that ‘if [Pamela’s] desire, and [Mr B.’s] will, come to clashonce, [she] shall do as [Mr B.] bids her, let it be what it will’.
If Mrs Jewkes’srigorous obedience to her master is not enough to make Pamela despair, herinability to understand Pamela’s defence of virtue truly isolates the heroine in theLincolnshire household. For example, when Pamela compares Mrs Jewkes’ssurveillance of her to cutting her throat on Mr B.’s behalf, for her ruin would beworse than her death, Mrs Jewkes laughs at Pamela:How strangely you talk! Are not the two sexes made for eachother? And is it not natural for a man to love a pretty woman?And suppose he can obtain his desires, is that so bad ascutting her throat? (148)Mrs Jewkes’s response reveals that she is devoted to ignorance on matters of morality. Moreover, Mrs Jewkes’s crude sexual observations sound increasinglyrepulsive to Pamela. She once remarks filthily that Pamela would make ‘a finebed-fellow’ for her master, for which she is reproached by the heroine as talkinglike ‘a vile London prostitute’ (219). Such squabbles between these twocharacters and Pamela’s internal responses to Mrs Jewkes’s offences through her journal both characterise the “jailor” and reflect the resistant side of the heroine,who is capable of aggression.The heroine’s ordeal reaches a climax in the bedchamber scene (Volume I,Letter XXV), in which Mr B. attempts to rape her by disguising himself as the maidNan. In this scene, Mrs Jewkes not only acts as a midwife who assists her master inthe attempted consummation, but also plays the role of Mr B.’s keen instructor who
All quotations from this text are taken from
, ed. Peter Sabor (London: Penguin, 1980).This quotation is from p.147 of the text. Subsequent citations from this novel will be given inparentheses.