Previously, on Pamela, the Master finally gave up and let Pamela go home to her family.
Haha just kidding.
“In vain, my Pamela, do I find it to struggle against my affection for you. I must needs, after you were gone, venture to entertain myself with your Journal”
[Ariel says: So I guess at least one person really does find Pamela’s journal entertaining.] The Master sends Colbrand (AKA the muscle) with a letter explaining that he changed his mind and thinks there is a hope for their love, because – get this – he decided to read the rest of her journal, and then he learned the rest of what happened!
Even worse, the Master is so sad that Pamela’s gone, that he got sick. And now you know how old that trope is. He begs her to return to him, because he’s “sure you’ll excuse the trouble I give you” since he has “for good reasons, changed his mind”. Given that this “trouble” was an obsessed man who kidnapped and repeatedly sexually assaulted her, Pamela considers the notion of willingly returning to him and obviously-
O my exulting heart! How it throbs in my bosom
Even in old timey English, this doesn’t sound good.
Should I go back, or should I not?
No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.
Is it not too great a trust? Especially considering how I have been used! […] But now he gives great hope
My dear parents, I wish I could consult you for your opinions
Pamela: A girl is confused about whether she’s in love with a man who kidnapped her, and only wishes she could get her parents’ advice. [Ariel says: Tale as old as time.]
“I am resolved to return to our master [and] the more haste you make, the better.”
Against all comprehensible reason, Pamela returns to the Master, who is seriously ill. Until Pamela gets there, because of course.
“You need not, Mrs. Jewkes,” added he, “send for the doctor […] for this lovely creature is my doctor”
And now you know how old that cliché is.
So now that Pamela and the Master are happily together and my Kindle’s only at the 49% mark, what could the second half of the book possibly be about? Per usual, we can figure it out by looking at Pamela‘s modern day carbon copy:
And then not even remotely altering it.
The Master reveals that his sister wrote him a scathing letter criticizing him of degrading his honor with his pursuit of the lower-class Pamela.
Could I think, that a brother of mine would so meanly run away with my late dear mother’s waiting-maid, and keep her a prisoner from all her friends?
Okay, that part’s totally on the money. Now it gets kinda unfair:
Consider, brother, that ours is no upstart family; but is as ancient as the best in the kingdom [and] the heirs of it have [never] disgraced themselves by unequal matches. […] I, and all mine, will renounce you for ever, if you can descend so meanly; and I shall be ashamed to be called your sister.
Pamela ponders the absurdity of people acting like they’re just better than other people.
Poor souls! How do I pity their pride! O keep me, Heaven, from […] my mind ever be[ing] tainted with their vice!
Good job, Pamela.
But these aren’t important matters, because LOVE, which the Master and Pamela celebrate by going on a carriage ride from which Pamela remembers an entire 18 pages worth of repetitive conversation verbatim. Jesus, I just had a ten second conversation with my roommate and I couldn’t begin to tell you a single word of it. [Ariel says: The Fifty Shades version of this is the helicopter ride. Modern!]
The Master explains that his plan is to gradually make the world accept his and Pamela’s love, because “gradually” is exactly how we wanted the plot of the second half of this book to turn out. So this means it’s the same crap we’ve already seen before, seen again here, which will be seen many more times to come. Pamela wonders briefly about whether the Master really loves her. Pamela and the Master argue about Pamela acting above her social class. The Master kisses Pamela more than Pamela would like him to. You know, the usual.
The Master brings up a decent point (given the historical context) that it might be unfair to Pamela if she married into a society where everybody hates her. Pamela offers another good counterpoint: she doesn’t have a life anyway. Pamela explains that she’ll spend her time:
- Managing “the family economy”, aka doing the Master’s taxes
- Visiting the sick and the poor
- Doing housework
- Writing, because of course
- God, because God
- Waiting for him to come home
“With all this, sir,” said I, “can you think I shall be at a loss to pass my time?”
Well, Pamela, you got him there.
There’s also this, just in case you thought this story might still be about Pamela:
“My greatest concern will be for the rude jests you will have yourself to encounter with, for this stooping beneath yourself.”
Because you were WRONG ABOUT THAT.
Pamela also mentions the gypsy’s letter, warning her of a sham marriage. The Master reads the letter, realizes it was written by one of his servants admits he did have such a plot but couldn’t go through with it.
“I did not in haste intend you the mortification of being undeceived; so that we might have lived for years, very lovingly together”
Wait, what. How is this different from… what?
The day ends with Pamela and Mrs. Jewkes deciding they’re friends now, because why the fuck not.