« НазадПродовжити »
Thursday is so near, that I will send messen- this shall not have the least weight with me, if ger after messenger every four hours, till I have you be pleased to hold out the olive-branch to a favourable answer; the one to meet the other, me in the four requested words. till its eve arrives, to know, if I may venture to I have the following intelligence from Captain appear in your presence with the hope of having Tomlinson. my wishes answered on that day.
All your family are at your uncle Harlowe's. Your love, madam, I neither expect, nor ask Your uncle finds he cannot go up; and names for; nor will, till my future behaviour gives you Captain Tomlinson for his proxy.
proposes cause to think I deserve it. All I at present pre- to keep all your family with him till the captain sume to wish is, to have it in my power to do assures him that the ceremony is over. you all the justice I can now do you; and to Already he has begun, with hope of success, your generosity will I leave it, to reward me, as to try to reconcile your mother to you. I shall merit, with your affection.
My Lord M. but just now has told me how At present, revolving my poor behaviour of happy he should think himself to have an opfriday night before you, I think I should sooner portunity, before he dies, to salute you as his choose to go to my last audit, unprepared for it niece. I have put him in hopes that he shall see as I am, than to appear in your presence, unless you ; and have told him that I will go to town you give me some hope, that I shall be received
on Wednesday, in order to prevail upon you to elected husband, rather than (however accompany me down on Thursday or Friday. I deserved,) as a detested criminal.
have ordered a set to be in readiness to carry me Let mé, therefore, propose an expedient, in up; and, were not my lord so very ill, my cousin order to spare my own confusion; and to spare Montague tells me she would offer her attendance you the necessity for that soul-harrowing re- on you. If you please, therefore, we can set out crimination, which I cannot stand, and which for this place the moment the solemnity is permust be disagreeable to yourself—to name the formed. church, and I will have everything in readiness; Do not, dearest creature, dissipate all these so that our next interview will be, in a manner, promising appearances, and by refusing to save at the very altar; and then you will have the your own and your family's reputation in the kind husband to forgive for the faults of the un- eye of the world, use yourself worse than the grateful lover. If your resentment be still too ungratefullest wretch on earth has used you. high to write more, let it only be in your own For if we are married, all the disgrace you imadear hand, these words, St Martin's church, gine you have suffered while a single lady, will Thursday-or these, St Giles's church, Thurs- be my own, and only known to ourselves. day ; nor will I insist upon any inscription or Once more, then, consider well the situation subscription, or so much as the initials of your we are both in ; and remember, my dearest life, name. This shall be all the favour I will ex- that Thursday will be soon here ; and that you pect, till the dear hand itself is given to mine, have no time to lose. in presence of that Being whom I invoke as a In a letter sent by the messenger whom I witness of the inviolable faith and honour of dispatch with this, I have desired that my friend, Your adoring
Mr Belford, who is your very great admirer, LOVELACE. and who knows all the secrets of my heart, will
wait upon you, to know what I am to depend LETTER CXCI.
upon as to the chosen day.
Surely, my dear, you never could, at any time, suffer half so much from cruel suspense, as I do.
If I have not an answer to this, either from
your own goodness, or through Mr Belford's in[Superscribed to Mrs Lovelace.)
tercession, it will be too late for me to set out;
and Captain Tomlinson will be disappointed, M. Hall, Monday, June 26. who goes to town on purpose to attend your Once more, my dearest love, do I conjure you pleasure. to send me the four requested words. There is One motive for the gentle restraint I have no time to be lost. And I would not have next presumed to lay you'under is, to prevent the misThursday go over, without being entitled to call chiefs that might ensue, (as probably to the more you mine, for the world ; and that as well for innocent, as to the less,) were you to write to your sake as my own. Hitherto all that has anybody while your passions were so much raipassed is between you and me only; but, after sed and inflamed against me. Having apprized Thursday, if my wishes are unanswered, the you of my direction to the women in town on whole will be before the world.
this head, I wonder you should have endeavourMy lord is extremely ill, and endures not to ed to send a letter to Miss Howe, although in a have me out of his sight for one half hour. But cover directed to that young lady's* servant; as
MR LOVELACE TO MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE.
* The lady had made an attempt to send away a letter.
you must think it would be likely to fall into one grand plot upon myself, and a title to etermy hands.
nal infamy and disgrace! But, depending on The just sense of what I have deserved the thy friendly offices, I will say no more of this. contents should be, leaves me no room to doubt -Let her send me but one line!-But one line ! what they are. Nevertheless, I return it you - To treat me as unworthy of her notice ;-yet enclosed, with the seal, as you will see, un- be altogether in my power-I cannot~I will not broken.
bear that. Relieve, I beseech you, dearest madam, by My lord, as I said, is extremely ill. The docthe four requested words, or by Mr Belford, the tors give him over. He gives himself over. Those anxiety of
who would not have him die, are afraid he will Your ever-affectionate and obliged die. But as to myself, I am doubtful; for these
LOVELACE. long and violent struggles between the consti
tution and the disease, (though the latter has Remember, there will not, there cannot be time three physicians and an apothecary to help it
for further writing, and for coming up by forward, and all three, as to their prescriptions, Thursday, your uncle's birth-day.
of different opinions too,) indicate a plaguy habit, and savour more of recovery than death;
and the more so, as he has no sharp or acute LETTER CXCII.
mental organs to whet out his bodily ones, and
to raise his fever above the symptoinatic helpMR LOVELACE TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ.
Thou wilt see in the enclosed what pains I Monday, June 26. am at to dispatch messengers; who are constantThou wilt see the situation I am in with Miss ly on the road to meet each other, and one of Harlowe by the enclosed copies of three letters; them to link in the chain with the fourth, whose to two of which I am so much scorned as not to station is in London, and five miles onwards, or have one word given me in answer; and of the till met. But in truth I have some other matthird (now sent by the messenger who brings ters for them to perform at the same time, with thee this) I am afraid as little (notice will be my lord's banker and his lawyer; which will taken—and if so, her day of grace is absolutely enable me, if his lordship is so good as to die
this bout, to be an over-match for some of my One would imagine (so long used to constraint other relations. I don't mean Charlotte and too as she has been) that she might have been Patty; for they are noble girls ; but others, who satisfied with the triumph she had over us all have been scratching and clawing under-ground on Friday night ! a triumph that to this hour like so many moles in my absence; and whose has sunk my pride and my vanity so much, that workings I have discovered since I have been I almost hate the words, plot,contrivance, scheme; down, by the little heaps of dirt they have thrown and shall mistrust myself in future for every up one that rises to my inventive head.
A speedy account of thy commission, dear But seest thou not that I am under a neces- Jack! The letter travels all night. sity to continue her at Sinclair's, and to prohibit all her correspondencies? Now, Belford, as I really, in my present mood,
LETTER CXCIII. think of nothing less than marrying her, if she let not Thursday slip, I would have thee attend MR BELFORD TO ROBERT LOVELACE, ESQ. her, in pursuance of the intimation I have given her in my letter of this date ; and vow for me,
London, June 27. Tuesday. swear for me, bind thy soul to her for my ho- You must excuse me, Lovelace, from enganour, and use what arguments thy friendly ging in the office you would have me undertake, heart can suggest, in order to procure me an an- till I can be better assured you really intend swer from her; which, as thou wilt see, she may honourably at last by this much-injured lady. give in four words only. And then I purpose I believe you know your friend Belford too to leave Lord M. (dangerously ill as he is,) and well to think he would be easy with you, or with meet her at her appointed church, in order to any man alive, who should seek to make him solemnize. If she will but sign Cl. H. to thy promise for him what he never intended to perwriting the four words, that shall do: for I form. And let me tell thee, that I have not would not come up to be made a fool of in the much confidence in the honour of a man, who face of all my family and friends.
by imitation of hands, (I will only call it,) has If she should let the day go off, I shall be shewn so little regard to the honour of his own desperate. I am entangled in my own devices, relations. and cannot bear that she should detect me. Only that thou hast such jesuitical qualify:
( that I had been honest !-What a devil are ings, or I should think thee at least touched all my plots come to! What do they end in, but with remorse, and brought within view of being
ashamed of thy cursed inventions by the ill suc- affair. But, let me say, that hadst thou unders cess of thy last ; which I heartily congratulate taken the task, and I had afterwards thought fit
to change my mind, I should have contented O the divine lady !-But I will not aggra- myself to tell thee, that that was my mind when vate!
thou engagedest for me, and to have given thee Nevertheless, when thou writest that, in thy the reasons for the change, and then left thee to present mood, thou thinkest of marrying, and yet thy own discretion : for never knew I what fear canst so easily change thy mood ; when I know of man was—nor fear of woman neither, till I thy heart is against the state; that the four became acquainted with Miss Clarissa Harlowe; words thou courtest from the lady are as much nay, what is most surprising, till I came to have to thy purpose, as if she wrote forty; since it her in my power. will shew she can forgive the highest injury that And so thou wilt not wait upon the charmer can be offered to woman; and when I recol- of my heart, but apon terms and conditions !lect how easily thou canst find excuses to post
Let it alone, and be curs'd; I care not.—But pone; thou must be more explicit a good deal, so much credit did I give to the value thou exas to thy real intentions, and future honour, pressedst for her, that I thought the office would than thou art: for I cannot trust to temporary
have been acceptable to thee, as serviceable to remorse; which is brought on by disappoint- me; for what was it, but to endeavour to perment too, and not by principle, and the like of suade her to consent to the reparation of her which thou hast so often got over.
own honour ? For what have I done but disIf thou canst convince me time enough for graced myself, and been a thief to my own joys ? the day, that thou meanest to do honourably by
-And if there be an union of hearts, and an her, in her own sense of the word ; or, if not intention to solemnize, what is there wanting time enough, will fix some other day, (which but the foolish ceremony?—and that I still ofthou oughtest to leave to her option, and not bind fer. But, if she will keep back her hand, if she her down for the Thursday ; and the rather, will make me hold out mine in vain, how can I thy pretence for so doing is founded on an ab- help it? solute fiction ;) I will then most cheerfully un- I write her one more letter ; and if, after she dertake thy cause ; by person, if she will admit has received that, she keeps sullen silence, she me to her presence; if she will not, by pen. must thank herself for what is to follow. But, in this case, thou must allow me to be But, after all, my heart is wholly hers. I love guarantee for thy faith. And, if so, as much as her beyond expression; and cannot help it. I I value thee, and respect thy skill in all the hope therefore she will receive this last tender as qualifications of a gentleman, thou mayest de- I wish. I hope she intends not, like a true wopend upon it, that I will act up to the character man, to plague, and vex, and teaze me, now she of a guarantee, with more honour than the has found her power. If she will take me to merprinces of our day usually do-to their shame cy now these remorses are upon me, (though I be it spoken.
scorn to condition with thee for my sincerity,) Meantime let me tell thee, that my heart bleeds all her trials, as I have heretofore declared, shall for the wrong this angelic lady has received; be over, and she shall be as happy as I can and if thou dost not marry her, if she will have make her; for, ruminating upon all that has thee, and, when married, make her the best passed between us, from the first hour of our and tenderest of husbands, I would rather be a acquaintance till the present, I must pronounce, dog, a monkey, a bear, a viper, or a toad, than That she is virtue itself, and once more I say, thee.
has no equal. Command me with honour, and thou shalt As to what you hint, of leaving to her choice find none readier to oblige thee than
another day, do you consider, that it will be imThy sincere friend,
possible that my contrivances and stratagems John BELFORD. should be much longer concealed ?- This makes
me press that day, though so near; and the
more, as I have made so much ado about her LETTER CXCIV.
uncle's anniversary. If she send me the four
words, I will spare no fatigue to be in time, if MR LOVELACE TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ.
not for the canonical hour at church, for some
other hour of the day in her own apartment, or M. Hall, June 27. Tuesday night, near 12. any other ; for money will do everything; and YOURS reached me this moment, by an ex- that I have never spared in this affair. traordinary push in the messengers.
To shew thee, that I am not at enmity with What a man of honour thou of a sudden !- thee, I enclose the copies of two letters-one to
And so, in the imaginary shape of a guaran- her; it is the fourth, and must be the last on tee, thou threatenest me!
the subject — The other to Captain TomlinHad I not been in earnest as to the lady, I son; calculated, as thou wilt see, for him to should not have offered to employ thee in the shew her.
And now, Jack, interfere in this case or not, thou knowest the mind of
Tell but the Captain, that you forbid me not to attend you; and that shall be sufficient for bringing to you, on the wings of love, Your ever-grateful and affectionate
MR LOVELACE TO MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE.
TO MR PATI:ICK MÓDONALD,
AT HIS LODGINGS, AT HR BROWN'S, PERUKE-MAKEN, IN
ST MALTIN'S-LANE, WESTMINSTER. in answer to three letters I have written ! The time is now so short, that this must be the last
M. Hall, Wedn. Diorning, 'T'wo o'clock. letter that can reach you on this side the im- DEAR MʻDONALD, portant hour that might make us legally one. The bearer of this has a letter to carry to the
My friend, Mr Belford, is apprehensive that lady. I have been at the trouble of writing a he cannot wait upon you in time, by reason of copy of it; which I enclose, that you may not some urgent affairs of his own.
mistake your cue. I the less regret the disappointment, because You will judge of my reasons for ante-dating I have procured a more acceptable person, as I the enclosed sealed one, t directed to you by the hope, to attend you; Captain Tomlinson I mean: name of Tomlinson ; which you are to shew the to whom I had applied for this purpose, before lady, as in confidence. You will open it of I had Mr Belford's answer.
I was the more solicitous to obtain this favour I doubt not your dexterity and management, from him, because of the office he is to take dear M‘Donald; nor your zeal ; especially as the upon him, as I humbly presume to hope, to- hope of cohabitation must now be given up. Immorrow, That office obliged him to be in town possible to be carried is that scheme. I might as this day; and I acquainted him with my un- break her heart, but not incline her will-am happy situation with you; and desired that he in earnest therefore to marry her, if she let not would shew me, on this occasion, that I had as the day slip. much of his favour and friendship as your un- Improve upon the hint of her mother. That cle had; since the whole treaty must be broken may touch her. But John Harlowe, remember, off, if he could not prevail upon you in my be- has privately engaged that lady-privately, I half.
say; else, (not to mention the reason for her He will dispatch the messenger directly; uncle Harlowe's former expedient,) you know, whom I propose to meet in person at Slough; she might find means to get a letter away to the either to proceed onward to London with a joy- one or to the other, to know the truth; or to ful heart, or to return to M. Hall with a broken Miss Howe, to engage her to inquire into it; one.
and, if she should, the word privately will aeI ought not, (but cannot help it,) to antici- count for the uncle's and mother's denying it. pate the pleasure Mr Tomlinson proposes to him- However, fail not, as from me, to charge our self, in acquainting you with the likelihood mother and her nymphs to redouble their vigithere is of your mother's seconding your uncle's lance, both as to her person and letters. All's views. For, it seems, he has privately commu- upon a crisis now. But she must not be treated nicated to her his laudable intentions: and her ill neither. resolution depends, as well as his, upon what to- Thursday over, I shall know what to resolve morrow will produce.
upon. Disappoint not then, I beseech you, for an If necessary, you must assume authority. hundred persons' sakes, as well as for mine, that The devil's in't, if such a girl as this shall awe uncle and that mother, whose displeasure I have a man of your years and experience. You are heard you so often deplore.
not in love with her as I am. Fly out, if she You may think it impossible for me to reach doubt your honour. Spirits naturally soft may London by the canonical hour. If it should, the be beat out of their play and borne down (though ceremony may be performed in your own apart- ever so much raised) by higher anger. All woments, at any time in the day, or at night; so men are cowards at bottom ; only violent where that Captain
Tomlinson may have it to aver to they may. I have often stormed a girl out of your uncle, that it was performed on his anni- her mistrust, and made her yield (before she versary.
knew where she was) to the point indignantly
See the preceding Letter.
+ See the next Letter. ,
mistrusted; and that to make up with me, though my most pressing and respectful letters; I am I was the aggressor.
at a most perplexing uncertainty whether she If this matter succeed as I'd have it, (or if will meet us or not next Thursday to solemnize. not, and do not fail by your fault,) I will take My lord is so extremely ill, that if I thought you off the necessity of pursuing your cursed she would not oblige me, I would defer going smuggling; which otherwise may one day end up to town for two or three days. He cares not fatally for you.
to have me out of his sight; yet is impatient to We are none of us perfect, M‘Donald. This salute my beloved as his niece before he dies. sweet lady makes me serious sometimes in spite This I have promised to give him an opportuof my heart. But as private vices are less blame- nity to do; intending, if the dear creature will able than public; and as I think smuggling (as make me happy, to set out with her for this it is called) a national evil ; I have no doubt to place directly from church. pronounce you a much worse man than myself, With regret I speak it of the charmer of my and as such shall take pleasure in reforming you. soul, that irreconcilableness is her family-fault
I send you enclosed ten guineas, as a small the less excusable indeed in her, as she herearnest of further favours. Hitherto you have self suffers by it in so high a degree from her been a very clever fellow.
own relations. As to clothes for Thursday, Monmouth-street Now, sir, as you intended to be in town some will afford a ready supply. Clothes quite new time before Thursday, if it be not too great an would make your condition suspected. But you inconvenience to you, I could be glad you would may defer that care, till you see if she can be go up as soon as possible, for my sake; and this prevailed upon. Your riding-dress will do for I the more boldly request, as I presume that a the first visit. Nor let your boots be over clean. man who has so many great affairs of his own I have always told you the consequence of at- in hand as you have, would be glad to be at a tending to the minutiæ, where art (or imposture, certainty himself as to the day. as the ill-mannered would call it) is designed You, sir, can so pathetically and justly set your linen rumpled and soily, when you wait before her the unhappy consequences that will upon her-easy terms these-just come to town follow if the day be postponed, as well with re-remember (as formerly) to loll, to throw out gard to her uncle's disappointment, as to the your legs, to stroke and grasp down your ruffles, part you have assured me her mother is willing as if of significance enough to be careless. What to take in the wished-for reconciliation, that I though the presence of a fine lady would require have great hopes she will suffer herself to be a different behaviour, are you not of years to prevailed upon. And a man and horse shall be in dispense with politeness? You can have no de- waiting to take your despatches and bring them sign upon her, you know. You are a father to me. yourself of daughters as old as she. Evermore But if
you cannot prevail in my favour, you is parade and obsequiousness suspectable; it must will be pleased to satisfy your friend, Mr John shew either a foolish head, or a kpavish heart. Harlowe, that it is not my fault that he is not Assume airs of consequence therefore, and you obliged. I am, dear sir, will be treated as a man of consequence. I have
Your extremely obliged often more than half ruined myself by my com
and faithful servant, plaisance; and, being afraid of control, have
R. LOVELACE. brought control upon myself.
I think I have no more to say at present. I intend to be at Slough, or on the way to it, as
LETTER CXCVIII. by mine to the lady. Adieu, honest M‘Donald.
TO ROBERT LOVELACE, ESQ.
TO CAPTAIN ANTONY TOMLINSON.
Wedn. June 28, near Twelve o'clock. LETTER CXCVII.
HONOURED SIR, I RECEIVED yours, as your servant desired me to acquaint you, by ten this morning. Horse
and man were in a foam. [Enclosed in the preceding ; to be shewn to the Lady I instantly equipped myself, as if come off as in confidence. ]
from a journey, and posted away to the lady, in
tending to plead great affairs that I came not M. Hall, Tuesday Morn. June 27.
before, in order to favour your antedate; and Dear Capt. TOMLINSON,
likewise to be in a hurry, to have a pretence to An unhappy misunderstanding having arisen hurry her ladyship, and to take no denial for between the dearest lady in the world and me, her giving a satisfactory return to your messen(the particulars of which she perhaps may give ger. But, upon my entering Dirs Sinclair's you, but I will not, because I might be thought house, I found all in the greatest consternation. partial to myself ;) and she refusing to answer You must not, sir, be surprised. It is a trou