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you are called ?
know. And here I am, attending your plea- I started, and, in a haughty tone, Is this, sir,
a question that must be answered before you
can proceed in the business you have undertaMy charmer owned afterwards her concern on ken?
my being so short. Whatever I shall mingle of I mean no offence, Mr Lovelace. Mr Harher emotions, thou wilt easily guess I had af- lowe sought to me to undertake this office. I terwards.
have daughters and nieces of my own. I thought
a good office, or I, who have many considerSir, I hope no offence. I intend none. able affairs upon my hands, had not accepted of None-None at all, sir.
it. I know the world ; and will take the liberty Sir, I have no interest in the affair I come to say, that, if that young ladyabout. I may appear officious; and, if I thought Captain Tomlinson, I think I should, I would decline any concern in it, af- My name is Tomlinson. ter I have just hinted what it is.
Why, then, Captain Tomlinson, no liberty, And pray, sir, what is it?
as you call it, will be taken well, that is not exMay I ask you, sir, without offence, whether tremely delicate, when that lady is mentioned. you wish to be reconciled, and to co-operate up- When you had heard me out, Mr Lovelace, on honourable terms, with one gentleman of the and had found I had so behaved as to make the name of Harlowe; preparative, as it may be caution necessary, it would have been just to hoped, to a general reconciliation ?
have given it. Allow me to say, I know what O how my heart fluttered ! cried my charmer. is due to the character of a woman of virtue as
I can't tell, sir-[and then it fluttered still well as any man alive. more, no doubt ; ] The whole family have used Why, sir,—why, Captain Tomlinson,--you me extremely ill. They have taken greater li.
If you intend anything by this, berties with my character than are justifiable ; [0 how I trembled ! said the lady, when she took and with my family too; which I can less for- notice of this part of our conversation aftergive.
wards,] I will only say, that this is a privileged Sir, sir, I have done. I beg pardon for this place. It is at present my home, and an asylum intrusion.
for any gentleman who thinks it worth his while My beloved was then ready to sink, and thought to inquire after me, be the manner or end of his very hardly of me.
inquiry what it will. But, pray, sir, to the immediate purpose of I know not, sir, that I have given occasion your present commission ; since a commission for this. I make no scruple to attend you elseit seems to be?
where if I am troublesome here. I was told, I It is a commission, sir ; and such a one, as I had a warm young gentleman to deal with ; but, thought would be agreeable to all parties, or I as I knew my intention, and that my commisshould not have given myself concern about it. sion was an amicable one, I was the less con
Perhaps it may, sir, when known. But let me cerned about that. I am twice your age, Mr ask you one previous question-Do you know Lovelace, I dare say; but I do assure you, that, Colonel Morden, sir?
if either my message or my manner give you ofNo, sir. If you mean personally, I do not. fence, I can suspend the one or the other for a But I have heard my good friend, Mr John day, or for ever, as you like. And so, sir, any Harlowe, talk of him with great respect; and time before eight to-morrow morning you will as a co-trustee with him in a certain trust. let me know your further commands.-And was
Lovel. I thought it probable, sir, that the going to tell me where he might be found. Colonel might be arrived ; that you might be a Captain Tomlinson, said I, you answer well. gentleman of his acquaintance; and that some- I love a man of spirit. Have you not been in thing of an agreeable surprise might be in- the army? tended.
I have, sir ; but have turned my sword into Capt. Had Colonel Morden been in England, a ploughshare, as the Scripture has it,-[There Mr John Harlowe would have known it; and was a clever fellow, Jack! He was a good man then I should not have been a stranger to it. with somebody, I warrant! O what a fine coat
Lovel. Well but, sir, have you then any com- and cloak for an hypocrite will a text of Scripmission to me from Mr John Harlowe? ture, properly applied, make at any time in the
Capt. Sir, I will tell you, as briefly as I can, eye of the pious ! How easily are the good folks the whole of what I have to say ; but you'll ex- taken in! j-and all my delight, added he, for cuse me also a previous question, for which cu- some years past, has been in cultivating my pariosity is not my motive; but it is necessary to ternal estate. I love a brave man, Mr Lovebe answered before I can proceed ; as you will lace, as well as ever I did in my life; but let judge when you hear it.
me tell you, sir, that, when you come to my Lovel. What, pray, sir, is your question ? time of life, you will be of opinion, that there
Capt. Briefly, whether you are actually, and is not so much true bravery in youthful choler bona fide, married to Miss Clarissa Harlowe? as you may now think there is.
A clever fellow again, Belford !-Ear and Desire the gentleman to walk into one of the heart, both at once, he took in my charmer !- parlours. I will wait on him presently. 'Tis well, she says, there are some men who have
[Exit Dorcas. wisdom in their anger.
The dear creature, I doubted not, wanted to Well, captain, that is reproof for reproof; so we instruct me how to answer the captain's homeare upon a footing. And now give me the plea- put. I knew how I intended to answer itsure of hearing the import of your commission. plumb, thou mayest be sure—but Dorcas's mes
Sir, you must first allow me to repeat my sage staggered me. And yet I was upon one of question,--Are you really, and bonâ fide, mare my master-strokes—which was, to take advanried to Miss Clarissa Harlowe, or are you not tage of the captain's inquiries, and to make her yet married ?
own her marriage before him, as she had done Bluntly put, captain. But if I answer that I to the people below; and, ifshe had been brought am, what then?
to that, to induce her, for her uncle's satisfacWhy then, sir, I shall say that you are a man tion, to write him a letter of gratitude, which, of honour.
of course, must have been signed Clarissa LoveThat I hope I am, whether you say it or not, lace. I was loath, therefore, thou mayest believe, Captain Tomlinson.
to attend her sudden commands; and yet, afraid Sir, I will be very frank in all I have to say of pushing matters beyond recovery with her, on this subject.—Mr John Harlowe has lately I thought proper to lead him from the question, found out, that you and his niece are both in to account for himself and for Mr Harlowe's the same lodgings; that you have been long so; coming at the knowledge of where we are, and and that the lady was at the play with you yes- for other particulars, which I knew would enterday was se'ennight; and he hopes that you are gage her attention, and which might possibly actually married. He has, indeed, heard that convince her of the necessity there was for her you are; but, as he knows your enterprizing to acquiesce in the affirmative I was disposed to temper, and that you have declared, that you give. And this for her own sake: for what, as disdain a relation to their family, he is willing, I asked her afterwards, is it to me, whether I by me, to have your marriage confirmed from am ever reconciled to her family? A family, your own mouth, before he take the steps he is Jack, which I must for ever despise. inclined to take in his niece's favour. You will You think, captain, that I have answered allow me to say, Mr Lovelace, that he will not doubtfully to the question you put. You may be satisfied with an answer that admits of the think so. And you must know that I have a least doubt.
good deal of pride; and, only that you are a Let me tell you, Captain Tomlinson, that it gentleman, and seem in this affair to be governis a high degree of vileness for any man to sup- ed by generous motives, or I should ill brook pose
being interrogated as to my honour to a lady so Sir—Mr Lovelace—don't put yourself into a dear to me.-But, before I answer more directpassion. The lady's relations are jealous of the ly to the point, pray, satisfy me in a question or honour of their family: they have prejudices to two tha ) shall .ut to you. overcome as well as you. Advantage may have With all my heart, sir. Ask me what quesbeen taken, and the lady at the time not to blame. tions you please, I will answer them with sin.
This lady, sir, could give no such advantages; cerity and candour. and if she had, what must the man be, Captain You say, Mr Harlowe has found out that Tomlinson, who could have taken them?-Do we were at a play together; and that we were you know the lady, sir?
both in the same lodgings. How, pray, came I never had the honour to see her but once, he at his knowledge ? For let me tell you, and that was at church; and should not know I have, for certain considerations, (not respecte
ing myself, I will assure you,) condescended Not know her again, sir! I thought there that our abode should be kept secret; and this was not a man living who had once seen her, has been so strictly observed, that even Miss and would not know her among a thousand. Howe, though she and my beloved correspond,
I remember, sir, that I thought I never saw knows not directly where to send to us. a finer woman in my life. But, Mr Lovelace, Why, sir, the person who saw you at the I believe you will allow, that it is better that play was a tenant of Mr John Harlowe. He her relations should have wronged you, than watched all your motions. When the play was you the lady. I hope, sir, you will permit me done, he followed your coach to your lodgings; to repeat my question.
and, early the next day, Sunday, he took horse,
and acquainted his landlord with what he had Enter Dorcas, in a hurry.
observed. A gentleman, this minute, sir, desires to speak Lovel. How oddly things come about !—But with your honour-[My lady, sir !-Aside.] does any other of the Harlowes know where we Could the dear creature put Dorcas upon tell.
are ? ing this fib, yet want to save me one?
Capt. It is an absolute secret to every other
person of the family, and so it is intended to be
A like application, he told me, had been kept. As also, that Mr John Harlowe is will- made to his sister Harlowe, by a good woman ing to enter into treaty with you by me, if his whom everybody respected; who had intimated, niece be actually married; for perhaps he is aware, that his niece, if encouraged, would again put that he shall have difficulty enough with some herself into the protection of her friends, and people to bring about the desirable reconciliation leave you; but, if not, that she must unavoidalthough he could give them this assurance.
ably be yours. I doubt it not, captain. To James Harlowe I hope, Mr Lovelace, I make no mischief. is all the family folly owing:—Fine fools ! [he- You look concerned—you sigh, sir. roically stalking about,] to be governed by one Proceed, Captain Tomlinson; pray, proceed. to whom malice, and not genius, gives the busy - And I sighed still more profoundly. liveliness that distinguishes him from a natural. Capt. They all thought it extremely particu-But how long, pray, sir, has Mr John Har- lar, that a lady should decline marriage with a lowe been in this pacific disposition ?
man she had so lately gone away with. I will tell you, Mr Lovelace, and the occa- Pray, captain-pray, Mr Tomlinson, no more sion; and be very explicit upon it, and upon all of this subject. My beloved is an angel ; in that concerns you to know of me, and of the everything unblamable. Whatever faults there commission I have undertaken to execute; and have been, have been theirs and mine.-What this the rather, as, when you have heard me out, you would further say is, that the unforgiving you will be satisfied, that I am not an officious family rejected her application ; they did. She man in this my present address to you. and I had had a misunderstanding--the falling
I am all attention, Captain Tomlinson. out of lovers you know, captain. We have been And so I doubt not wus my beloved.
happier ever since. Capt. You must know, sir, that I have not Capt. Well, sir ; but Mr John Harlowe could been many months in Mr John Harlowe's neigh- not but better consider the matter afterwards : bourhood. I removed from Northamptonshire, and he desired my advice how to act in it. He partly for the sake of better managing one of told mne, that no father ever loved a daughtwo executorships which I could not avoid en- ter as he loved this niece of his, whom, ingaging in, (the affairs of which frequently call deed, he used to call his daughter- niece. He me to town, and are part of my present busi- said, she had really been unkindly treated by ness,) and partly for the sake of occupying a
her brother and sister; and, as your alliance, sir, neglected farm which has lately,fallen into my was far from being a discredit to their family, hands. But, though an acquaintance of no long- he would do his endeavour to reconcile all parer standing, and that commencing on the bowl- ties, if he could be sure that ye were actually ing-green, [Uncle John is a great bowler, Bel- man and wife. ford,] upon my decision of a point to every Lovel. And what, pray, captain, was your adone's satisfaction which was appealed to me by
vice? all the gentlemen, and which might have been Capt. I gave it as my opinion, that, if his attended with bad consequences, no two bro- niece were unworthily treated and in distress, thers have a more cordial esteem for each other. as he apprehended from the application to him, You know, Mr Lovelace, that there is a con- he would soon hear of her again; but that it sent, as I may call it, in some minds, which will was likely, that this application was made withunite them stronger together in a few hours than out expecting it would succeed, and as a salvo years can do with others, whom yet we see not only to herself for marrying without their conwith disgust.
sent. And the rather thought I so, as he had Lovel. Very true, captain.
told me, that it came from a young lady, her Capt. It was on the foot of this avowed friend- friend, and not in a direct way from herself; ship on both sides, that, on Monday the 15th, which young lady was no favourite of the famias I very well remember, Mr Harlowe invited ly, and therefore would hardly have been emhimself home with me; and, when there, he ployed had success been expected. acquainted me with the whole of the unbappy Lovel. Very well, Captain Tomlinson-pray, affair that had made them all so uneasy. Till proceed. then I knew it only by report; for, intimate as Capt. Here the matter rested till last Sunwe were, I forebore to speak of what was so day evening, when Mr John Harlowe came to near his heart till he began first. And then he me with the man who had seen you and your told me, that he had had an application made lady, as I presume she is, at the play, and who to him two or three days before, by a gentleman had assured him that you both lodged in the whom he named,* to induce him not only to be same house; and then, the application having reconciled himself to his niece, but to forward been so lately made, which implied that you for her a general reconciliation.
were not the married, he was so uneasy for his
* Sce Letters LXXXIV. and XC. of this Volume.
niece's honour, that I advised him to despatch mission, I hope you will permit me to repeat to town some one in whom he could confide to my question, which ismake proper inquiries.
Lovel. Very well, captain. And was such a Enter Dorcas again, out of breath. person employed on such an errand by her un- Sir, the gentleman will step up to you. [My cle?
lady is impatient. She wonders at your honour's Capt. A trusty and discreet person was ac- delay. Aside.] cordingly sent; and, last Tuesday, I think it was, Excuse me, captain, for one moment. for he returned to us on the Wednesday, he I have staid my full time, Mr Lovelace. What made the inquiries among the neighbours first. may result from my question and your answer, [The very inquiry, Jack, that gave us all so much whatever it shall be, may take us up time, and uneasiness.*j But, finding that none of them you are engaged. Will you permit me to atcould give any satisfactory account, the lady's tend you in the morning, before I set out on woman was come at, who declared that you were my return? actually married; but, the inquirist keeping him- You will then breakfast with me, captain ? self on the reserve as to his employers, the girl It must be early if I do. I must reach my refused to tell the day, or to give him other par- own house to-morrow night, or I shall make the ticulars.
best of wives unhappy; and I have two or three Lovel. You give a very clear account of every- places to call at in my way, thing, Captain Tomlinson. Pray, proceed. It shall be by seven o'clock, if you please,
Capt. The gentleman returned ; and, on his captain. We are early folks. And this I will report, Mr Harlowe, having still some doubts, tell you, that, if ever I'am reconciled to a family and being willing to proceed on some grounds so implacable as I have always found the Harin so important a point, besought me, as my af- lowes to be, it must be by the mediation of so. fairs called me frequently to town, to undertake cool and so moderate a gentleman as yourself. this matter. You, Mr Tomlinson,” he was And so, with the highest civilities on both pleased to say, “ have children of your own; sides, we parted. But, for the private satisfacyou know the world; you know what I drive tion of so good a man, I left him out of doubt at. You will proceed, I am sure, with under- that we were man and wife, though I did not standing and spirit; and whatever you are sa- directly aver it. tisfied with shall satisfy me.” Enter Dorcas again, in a hurry.
MR LOVELACE TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. The captain then accounted for his not calling in person, when he had reason to think us
Sunday Night here.
This Captain Tomlinson is one of the hapHe said, he had business of consequence a few piest as well as one of the best men in the world. miles out of town, whither he thought he must What would I give to stand as high in my behave gone yesterday; and, having been obliged loved's opinion as he does !--but yet I am as to put off his little journey till this day, and un- good a man as he, were I to tell my own story, derstanding that we were within, not knowing and have equal credit given to it. But the dewhether he should have such another opportu- vil should have had him before I had seen him nity, he was willing to try his good fortune be- on the account he came upon, had I thought I fore he set out—and this made him come booted should not have answered my principal end in and spurred as I saw him.
it. I hinted to thee in my last what that was. He dropped a hint in commendation of the But to the particulars of the conference bepeople of the house; but it was in such a way tween my fair-one and me on her hasty mesas to give no room to suspect, that he thought sages, which I was loath to come to, because it necessary to inquire after the character of per- she has had an half triumph over me in it. sons who make so genteel an appearance, as he After I had attended the captain down to the observed they do.
very passage, I returned to the dining-room, And here let me remark, that my beloved and put on a joyful air on my beloved's entrance might collect another circumstance in favour of into it, my dearest creature, said I, let me the people below had she doubted their charac- congratulate you on a prospect so agreeable to ters, from the silence of her uncle's inquirist on your wishes !-And I snatched her hand, and Tuesday among the neighbours.
smothered it with kisses. Capt. And now, sir, that I believe I have sa- I was going on; when, interrupting me, You tisfied you in everything relating to my com- see, Mr Lovelace, said she, how you have em
• See Letter CXI. of this Volume.
barrassed yourself by your obliquities! You married, I would not appear to them in a light see that you have not been able to return a di- which you yourself think so shocking. By my rect answer to a plain and honest question, soul, madam, I had rather die than contradict though upon it depends all the happiness on the myself so flagrantly, after I have related to prospect of which you congratulate me! them so many circumstances of our marriage.
You know, my best love, what my prudent, Well, sir, the women may believe what they and, I will say, my kind motives were for giving please. That I have given countenance to what out that we were married. You see that I have you told them, is my error. The many circumtaken no advantage of it, and that no inconve- stances which you own one untruth has drawn nience has followed it. You see that your un- you in to relate, is a justification of my refusal cle wants only to be assured from ourselves that in the present case. it is so
Don't you see, madam, that your uncle wishNot another word on this subject, Mr Love- es to find that we are married ? May not the lace. I will not only risk, but I will forfeit, ceremony be privately over, before his mediathe reconciliation so near my heart, rather than tion can take place ? I will go on to countenance a story so untrue. Urge this point no further, Mr Lovelace. If
My dearest soul ! would you have me ap- you will not tell the truth, I will to-morrow pear
morning (if I see Captain Tomlinson) tell it I would have you appear, sir, as you are. I myself. Indeed I will. am resolved that I will appear to my uncle's Will you, madam, consent that things pass friend, and to my uncle, as I am.
as before with the people below? This mediaFor one week, my dearest life! Cannot you tion of Tomlinson may come to nothing. Your for one week-only till the settlements- brother's schemes may be pursued, the rather
Not for one hour, with my own consent.- that now he will know (perhaps from your unYou don't know, sir, how much I have been cle) that you are not under a legal protection. afflicted that I have appeared to the people be- You will, at least, consent that things pass here low what I am not. But my uncle, sir, shall as before ? bever have it to upbraid me, nor will I to up- To permit this, is to go on in an error, Mr braid myself, that I have wilfully passed upon Lovelace; but, as the occasion for so doing (if him in false lights.
there can be in your opinion an occasion that What, my dear, would you have me to say will warrant an untruth) will, as I presume, to the captain to-morrow morning ? I have soon be over, I shall the less dispute that point given him room to think
with you. But a new error I will not be guilty Then put him right, Mr Lovelace. Tell the of, if I can avoid it. truth. Tell him what you please of the favour Can I, do you think, madam, have any disof your relations to me tell him what you will honourable view in the step I supposed you about the settlements ; and if, when drawn, you would not scruple to take towards a reconciliwill submit them to his perusal and approba- ation with your own family? Not for my own tion, it will shew him how much you are in sake, you know, did I wish you to take it ; for earnest.
what is it to me, if I am never reconciled to My dearest life !-Do you think that he would your family? I want no favours from them. disapprove of the terms I have offered ?
I hope, Mr Lovelace, there is no occasion, in No.
our present not disagreeable situation, to anThen may I be accursed, if I willingly sub- swer such a question. And let me say, that I mit to be trampled under foot by my enemies ! shall think my prospects still more agreeable,
And may I, Mr Lovelace, never be happy in if, to-morrow morning, you will not only own this life, if I submit to the passing upon my the very truth, but give my uncle's friend such uncle Harlowe a wilful and premeditated false an account of the steps you have taken, and are hood for truth! I have too long laboured un- taking, as may keep up my uncle's favourable der the affliction which the rejection of all my intentions towards me. This you may do unfriends has given me, to purchase my reconci- der what restrictions of secrecy you please.. liation with them now at so dear a price as that Captain Tomlinson is a prudent man; a promoof my veracity.
ter of family peace, you find, and, I dare say, The women below, my dear
may be made a friend. What are the women below to me? I want I saw there was no help; I saw that the innot to establish myself with them. Need they flexible Harlowe spirit was all up in her.A know all that passes between my relations and little witch !-A little-Forgive me, Love, for you and me?
calling her names! And so I said, with an air, Neither are they anything to me, madam. We have had too many misunderstandings, maOnly that, when, for the sake of preventing the dam, for me to wish for new ones; I will obey fatal mischiefs which might have attended your you without
reserve. Had I not thought I should brother's projects, I have made them think us have obliged you by the other method, (espe