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water; for this gave me some reflection, and abated that liveliness of my passions, which possible might otherwise have hurried me, in my first transport of grief, (on my seeing no way to escape, and the hard usage I had reason to expect from my dreadful keepers) to throw myself in without consideration; but my weakness of body made me move so slowly, that it gave time for a little reflection, a ray of grace, to dart in upon my benighted mind; and so, when I came to the pond-side, I sat myself down on the sloping bank, and began to ponder my wretched condition: and thus I reasoned with myself. Pause here a little, Pamela, on what thou art about, before thou takest the dreadful leap, and consider whether there be no way yet left, no hope, if not to escape from this wicked house, yet from the mischiefs threatened thee in it. I then considered, and after I had cast about in my mind, every thing that could make me hope, and saw no probability; a wicked woman devoid of all compassion! A horrid helper just arrived in this dreadful Colbrand! An angry and resenting master, who now hated me, and threatened the most afflicting evils! And, that I should, in all probability, be deprived even of the opportunity I now had before me, to free myself from all their persecutions—What hast thou to do, distressed creature,” said I to myself, “but throw thyself upon a merciful God, (who knows how innocently I suffer) to avoid the merciless wickedness of those who are determined on my ruin? And then thought I, (and Oh! That thought was surely of the devil’s instigation; for it was very soothing and powerful with me) “these wicked wretches, who now have no remorse, no pity on me, will then be moved to lament their misdoings; and when they see the dead corpse of the unhappy Pamela dragged out to these slopy banks, and lying breathless at their feel, they will find that remorse to wring their obdurate hearts, which now has no place there!—And my master, my angry master, will then forget his resentments, and say, O this in the unhappy Pamela! That I have so causelessly persecuted and destroyed! Now do I see she preferred her honesty to her life, will he say, and is no hypocrite, nor deceiver; but really was the innocent creature she pretended to be! Then, thinks I, will he, perhaps, she a few tears over the poor course of his persecuted servant; and, tho’ he may give out, it was love and disappointment, and that too, (in order to hide his own guilt) for the unfortunate Mr. Williams, perhaps, yet will he be inwardly grieved, and order me a decent funeral, and save me, or rather this part of me, from the dreadful stake, and the highway interment; and the young men and maidens all around my dear father’s, will pity poor Pamela; but O! I hope I shall not be the subject of their ballads and elegies; but that my memory, for the sake of my dear father and mothers, may quickly slide into oblivion! I was once rising, so indulgent was I to this sad way of thinking, to throw myself in: But again, my bruises made me slow; and I thought, What are thou about to do, wretched Pamela? How knowest thou, tho’ the prospect be all dark to thy short-sighted eye, what God may do for thee, even when all human means fail? God Almighty would not lay me under these sore afflictions, if he had not given me strength to grapple with them, if I will exert it as I ought: And who knows, but that the very presence I so much dread, of my angry and designing master, (for he has had me in his power before, and yet I have escaped) may be better for me, than these persecuting emissaries of his, who, for his money, are true to their wicked trust, and are hardened by that, and a long habit of wickedness, against compunction of heart? God can touch his heart in an instant; and if this should not be done, I can then but put an end to my life, by some other means, if I am so resolved. But how do I know, thought I, that even these bruises and maims that I have gotten, while I pursued only the laudable escape I had meditated, may not kindly furnish me with the opportunity I now am tempted to precipitate myself upon, and of surrendering up my life, spotless and unguilty, to that merciful being who gave it! Then, thought I, who gave thee, presumptuous as thou art, a power over thy life? Who authorized thee to put an end to it, when the weakness of thy mind suggests not to thee a way to
and weak as thou fanciest thyself. avoid the tempting evil. and no more? And. when they shall understand that their beloved daughter. heavy as they are. till I should be found by my cruel keepers. that have been witnesses of thy guilty intentions. for shortening thy transitory griefs. and worse usage than I had hitherto experienced. and continued. thou are the innocent. dost thou here. and can therefore claim no forgiveness. thought I. if I pursue it.—And wilt thou. and flee from these dashing waters. the suffering Pamela. which now have awed thy rebellious mind into duty and resignation to the divine will! And so saying. and the wet banks on which I had sat. thou wilt sooner die than bear it? This act of despondency. and wilt thou be the guilty aggressor? And. Pamela. that with great pain I got from the banks of this pond. and you may imagine. may not have permitted these sufferings on that very score. as also the damps arising from so large a piece of water. and a heart sensible to nothing but the extremest woe and dejection. because wicked men persecute thee. wilt thou dare to say. and bid defiance to his grace and goodness. thought I. and to say. and while thou hast power left thee. refuged myself in the corner of an out-house. (who have persisted in doing their duty with resignation to the divine will. and consigned to a wretched confinement.” Oxford: Oxford University Press. and merciless creditors) to be thrown away upon thee. wilt thou suffer in one moment all the good lessons of thy poor honest parents. admits of no repentance. and bending my limping steps towards the house. desponding in the mercies of a gracious God. though I. and to make me rely solely on his grace and assistance. and the benefit of their example. Samuel. but that God. now repulsed by divine grace. that. by the trials with which thou art now tempted? Art thou to put a bound to God’s will. with a mind just broken. lest thy grand enemy. plunge both body and soul into everlasting misery? Hitherto. amidst the extremest degrees of disappointment. who can still turn all these sufferings to they benefits? And how do I know. who perhaps have too much prided myself in a vain dependence on my own foolish contrivances? Then again. is a sin. where wood and coals are laid up for family use. and the persecutions of an ingrateful world. thus much will I bear. and lay down. and there behind a pile of firewood I crept. . and bring down. has blemished. Richardson. 2001. which they had hitherto approved and delighted in? What then. a whole life. return to the charge with a force that thy weakness may not be able to resist! And lest one rash moment destroy all the convictions. that even in their sounding murmurs. so cold with the moist dew of the night. slighting the tenders of divine grace. their grey hairs with sorrow to the grave. poverty and distress. thought I? Quit with speed these guilty banks. presumptuous Pamela.preserve it with honour? How knowest thou what purposes God may have to serve. as in all probability this thy rashness will. who sees all the lurking vileness of my heart. this still night. wilt thou fly in the face of the almighty. that if the trial be augmented. but was so stiff with my hurts. in this last act. reproach thy rashness! Tempt not God’s goodness on the mossy banks. and due reflection. “Pamela. which now I think of with terror. I arose.