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last extremity of all, will make her father, and But Miss

Howe [it is a sad thing, Mrs her uncles, and her other friends, forgive her. Norton, to suffer so many ways at once] had

The easy pardon perverse children meet with, made matters so difficult by her undue liberties when they have done the rashest and most re- with us all, as well by speech in all companies, bellious thing they can do, is the reason (as is as by letters written to my Bella, that we could pleaded to us every day) that so many follow hardly prevail upon him to hear her letter read. their example. They depend upon the indulgent These liberties of Miss Howe with us; the geweakness of their parents' tempers, and, in that neral cry against us abroad, wherever we are dependence, harden their own hearts; and a spoken of; and the visible, and not seldom aulittle humiliation, when they have brought them- dible, disrespectfulness, which high and low treat selves into the foretold misery, is to be a suffi- us with to our faces, as we go to and from church, cient atonement for the greatest perverseness ! and even at church, (for nowhere else have we

But for such a child as this [I mention what the heart to go,) as if none of us had been reothers hourly say, but what I must sorrowfully garded but upon her account; and as if she were subscribe to] to lay plots and stratagems to de- innocent, we all in fault ; are constant aggravaceive her parents as well as herself! and to run tions, you must needs think, to the whole family. away with a libertine! Can there be any atone- She has made my lot heavy, I am sure, that ment for her crime? And is she not answerable was far from being light before !—To tell you to God, to us, to you, and to all the world who truth, I am enjoined not to receive anything of knew her, for the abuse of such talents as she hers, from any hand, without leave. Should I, has abused ?

therefore, gratify my yearnings after her, so far You say her heart is half broken : Is it to be as to receive privately the letter you mention, wonderedat? Was not her sin committed equal- what would the case be, but to torment myself, ly against warning and the light of her own without being able to do her good ?-And were knowledge?

it to be known-Mr Harlowe is so passionateThat he would now marry her, or that she And should it throw his gout into his stomach, would refuse him, if she believed him in ear- as her rash flight did—Indeed, indeed, I am very nest, as she has circumstanced herself, is not at unhappy !-For, O my good woman, she is my all probable ; and were I inclined to believe it, child still!—But unless it were morein my power nobody else here would. He values not his rela- -Yet do I long to see the letter—you say it tells tions, and would deceive them as soon as any of her present way and circumstances. The poor others; his aversion to marriage he has always child, who ought to be in possession of thouopenly declared, and still occasionally declares sands !—And will !-For her father will be a it. But, if he be now in earnest, which every one faithful steward for her.—But it must be in his who knows him must doubt, which do you think own way, and at his own time. (hating us too, as he professes to hate and de- And is she really ill ?—so very ill ?—But she spise us all) would be most eligible here, To hear ought to sorrow-she has given a double measure of her death, or of her marriage with such a vile of it. man?

But does she really believe she shall not long To all of us, yet, I cannot say! For, O my trouble us ?-But, ő my Norton !—She must, good Mrs Norton, you know what a mother's she will, long trouble us—For can she think her tenderness for the child of her heart would make death, if we should be deprived of her, will put her choose, notwithstanding all that child's faults, an end to our afflictions ? -Can it be thought rather than lose her for ever!

that the fall of such a child will not be regretBut I must sail with the tide ; my own judg- ted by us to the last hour of our lives? ment also joining with the general resentment; But, in the letter you have, does she, without or I should make the unhappiness of the more reserve, express her contrition? Has she in it worthy still greater, [my dear Mr Harlowe's no reflecting hints? Does she not-aim at exteparticularly;] which is already more than enough nuations ? If I were to see it, will it not shock to make them unhappy for the remainder of their me so much, that my apparent grief may expose days. This I know; if I were to oppose the me to harshness ?-Can it be contrived rest, our son would fly out to find this libertine; But to what purpose ?—Don't send it-I and who could tell what would be the issue of charge you don't-I dare not see itthat with such a man of violence and blood as Yetthat Lovelace is known to be ?

But, alas! All I can expect to prevail for her is, that in Oh! forgive the almost distracted mother! a week, or so, Mr Brand may be sent up to in- You can. —You know how to allow for all this quire privately about her present state and way -so I will let it go. I will not write over again of life, and to see she is not altogether destitute; this part of my letter. for nothing she writes herself will be regarded. But I choose not to know more of her than is

Her father, indeed, has, at her earnest re- communicated to us all-no more than I dare quest, withdrawn the curse, which, in a passion, own I have seen—and what soine of them may die laid upon her, at her first wicked flight from rather communicate to me, than receive from me

and this for the sake of my outward quiet ; al- I write in some hurry, being apprehensive of though my inward peace suffers more and more the consequence of the hints you give of some by the compelled reserve.

method you propose to try in my favour (with my relations, I presume, you mean]; but you will not tell me what, you say, if it prove un

successful. I was forced to break off. But I will now try Now I must beg of you that you will not take to conclude my long letter.

any step in my favour, with which you do not. I am sorry you are ill. But if you were first acquaint me. well, I could not, for your own sake, wish you I have but one request to make to them, beto go up, as Betty tells us you long to do. If you sides what is contained in my letter to my siswent, nothing would be minded that came from ter; and I would not, methinks, for the sake of you. As they already think you too partial in their own future peace of mind, that they should her favour, your going up would confirm it, and be teazed so by your well-meant kindness, and do yourself prejudice, and her no good. And as that of Miss Howe, as to be put upon denying everybody values you here, I advise you not to me that. And why should more be asked for me interest yourself too warmly in her favour, es- than I can partake of? More than is absolutely pecially before my Bella's Betty, till I can let necessary for my own peace ? you know a proper time. Yet to forbid you to You suppose I should have

my sister's answer love the dear naughty creature, who can? O my to my letter by the time yours reached my hand. Norton! you must love her !--And so must I ! I have it: and a severe one, a very severe one,

I send you five guineas, to help you in your it is. Yet, considering my fault in their eyes, present illness, and your son's ; for it must have and the provocations I am to suppose they so lain heavy upon you. What a sad, sad thing, newly had from my dear Miss Howe, I am to my dear good woman, that all your pains, and look upon it as a favour that it was answered at all my pains, for eighteen or nineteen years to- all. I will send you a copy of it soon; as also of gether, have, in so few months, been rendered mine, to which it is an answer. thus deplorably vain! Yet I must be always I have reason to be very thankful that my fayour friend, and pity you, for the very reason ther has withdrawn that heavy malediction, that I myself deserve every one's pity.

which affected me so much-A parent's curse, Perhaps I may find an opportunity to pay you my dear Mrs Norton! What child could die in a visit, as in your illness; and then may weep peace under a parent's curse ? so literally fulover the letter you mention with you. But, for filled too as this has been in what relates to this the future, write nothing to me about the poor life? girl, that you think may not be communicated to My heart is too full to touch upon the parti

culars of my sister's letter. I can make but one And I charge you, as you value my friend- atonement for my fault. May that be accepted ! ship, as you wish my peace, not to say anything And may it soon be forgotten, by every dear reof a letter you have from me, either to the lation, that there was such an unhappy daughnaughty one, or to anybody else. It was some ter, sister, or niece, as Clarissa Harlowe ! little relief (the occasion given) to write to you, My cousin Morden was one of those who was who must, in so particular a manner, share my so earnest in prayer for my recovery, at nine and affliction. A mother, Mrs Norton, cannot for- eleven years of age, as you mention. My sister get her child, though that child could abandon thinks he will be one of those who will wish I her mother; and, in so doing, run away with never had had a being. But pray, when he does all her mother's comforts !-As I can truly say come, let me hear of it with the first. is the case of

You think that, were it not for that unhappy Your unhappy friend, notion of my moving talent, my mother would CHARLOTTE HARLOWE. relent. What would I give to see her once more,

and, although unknown to her, to kiss but the

hem of her garment ! LETTER CCLXXXIV.

Could I have thought that the last time I saw

her would have been the last, with what difficulty MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE TO MRS JUDITH should I have been torn from her embraced feet!

-And when, screened behind the yew-hedge on

the 5th of April last, * I saw my father, and my

Sat. July 29. uncle Antony, and my brother and sister, how I CONGRATULATE you, my dear Mrs Norton, little did I think that that would be the last time with all my heart, on your son's recovery; which I should ever see them; and, in so short a space, I pray to God, with your own health, to perfect. that so many dreadful evils would befal me !

us all.


* See Vol. VI. Letter LXXX.


But I can write nothing but what must give but upon the terms you have already without you trouble. I will therefore, after repeating my all doubt been his. desire that you will not intercede for me but You ought to advise your friend Miss Howe with my previous consent, conclude with the as- to concern herself less in your matters than she surance, that I am, and ever will be,

does, except she could do it with more decency. Your most affectionate and dutiful She has written three letters to me ; very insoCLARISSA HARLOWE.

lent ones.

Your favourer, poor Mrs Norton, thinks you know nothing of the pert creature's writing. I hope you don't. But then the more

impertinent the writer. But, believing the fond LETTER CCLXXXV.

woman, I sat down the more readily to answer your letter ; and I write with less severity, I can tell you, than otherwise I should have done, if

I had answered it at all. [In answer to hers of Friday, July 21, Letter Monday last was your birth-day. Think, CCLXX.]

poor ungrateful wretch as you are! how we all

used to keep it; and you will not wonder to be Thursday, July 27. told, that we ran away from one another that O MY UNAAPPY, Lost Sister!

day. But God give you true penitence, if you What a miserable hand have you made of have it not already! and it will be true, if it be your romantic and giddy expedition !—I pity equal to the shame and the sorrow you have you at my heart.

given us all. You may well grieve and repent !-Lovelace

Your afflicted sister, has left you !-In what way or circumstances

ARABELLA HARLOWE. you know best.

I wish your conduct had made your case more Your cousin Morden is every day expected in pitiable. But 'tis your own seeking !

England. He, as well as others of the family, God help you ! For you have not a friend when he comes to hear what a blessed piece will look upon you!— Poor, wicked, undone crea- of work you have made of it, will wish you ture !-Fallen, as you are, against warning, never had had a being. against expostulation, against duty!

But it signifies nothing to reproach you. I weep over you.

LETTER CCLXXXVI. My poor mother !_Your rashness and folly have made her more miserable than you can be. Yet she has besought my father to grant your request.

Sunday, July 30 My uncles joined with her; for they thought You have given me great pleasure, my dear. there was a little more modesty in your letter est friend, by your approbation of my reasonthan in the letters of your pert advocate; and my ings, and of my resolution founded upon them, father is pleased to give me leave to write ; but never to have Mr Lovelace. This approbation only these words for him, and no more: “ That is so right a thing, give me leave to say, from the he withdraws the curse he laid upon you, at the nature of the case, and from the strict honour first hearing of your wicked flight, so far as it is and true dignity of mind, which I always adin his power to do it; and hopes that your pre- mired in my Anna Howe, that I could hardly sent punishment may be all that you will meet tell to what, but to my evil destiny, which of with. For the rest, he will never own you, nor late would not let me please anybody, to attriforgive you; and grieves he has such a daugh- bute the advice you gave me to the contrary. ter in the world."

But let not the ill state of my health, and All this, and more, you have deserved from what that may naturally tend to, sadden you. I him, and from all of us : But what have you have told you, that I will not run away from done to this abandoned libertine, to deserve what life, nor avoid the means that may continue it, you have met with at his hands ? _I fear, I fear, if God see fit; and if He do not, who shall resister !-But no more !—A blessed four months' pine at his will ! work have you made of it.

If it shall be found that I have not acted unMy brother is now at Edinburgh, sent thither worthy of your love, and of my own character, by my father, [though he knows not this to be in my greater trials, that will be a happiness to the motive,] that he may not meet your tri- both on reflection. umphant deluder.

The shock which you so earnestly advise me We are told he would be glad to marry you: to try to get above, was a shock, the greatest that But why, then, did he abandon you? He had I could receive. But, my dear, as it was not occ3kept you till he was tired of you, no question; sioned by my fault, I hope I am already got and it is not likely he would wish to have you above it. I hope I am.


I am more grieved (at times, however) for value, will not easily let you come into this way others, than for myself. And so I ought. For as of thinking. But only, my dear, be pleased to to myself, I cannot but reflect that I have had consider the matter in the following light :an escape, rather than a loss, in missing Mr “Here was my mother, one of the most pruLovelace for a husband-even had he not com- dent persons of her sex, married into a family, mitted the vilest of all outrages.

not perhaps so happily tempered as herself; but Let any one, who knows my story, collect his every one of which she had the address, for a character from his behaviour to me before that great while, absolutely to govern as she pleased outrage; and then judge whether it was in the by her directing wisdom, at the same time that least probable that such a man should make me they knew not but her prescriptions were the happy. But to collect his character from his dictates of their own hearts ; such a sweet art principles with regard to the sex in general, and had she of conquering by seeming to yield. from his enterprizes upon many of them, and to Think, my dear, what must be the pride and the consider the cruelty of his nature, and the sport, pleasure of such a mother, that in my brother iveness of his invention, together with the high she could give a son to the family she distinopinion he has of himself, it will not be doubted guished with their love, not unworthy of their that a wife of his must have been miserable ; and wishes ; a daughter, in my sister, of whom she more miserable if she loved him, than she could had no reason to be ashamed ; and in me a sehave been were she to be indifferent to him. cond daughter, whom everybody complimented

A twelvemonth might very probably have put (such was their partial favour to me) as being a period to my life; situated as I was with my the still more immediate likeness of herself! friends ; persecuted and harassed as I had been How, self-pleased, could she smile round upon by my brother and sister ; and my very heart a family she had so blessed! What compliments torn in pieces by the wilful, and (as it is now were paid her upon the example she had given apparent) premeditated suspenses of the man, us, which was followed with such hopeful efwhose gratitude I wished to engage, and whose fects! With what a noble confidence could she protection I was the more entitled to expect, as look upon her dear Mr Harlowe, as a person he had robbed me of every other, and reduced made happy by her; and he delighted to think me to an absolute dependence upon himself. In- that nothing but purity streamed from a foundeed I once thought that it was all his view to tain so pure! bring me to this, (as he hated my family,) and Now, my dear, reverse, as I daily do, this uncomfortable enough for me, if it had been all. charming prospect. See my dear mother, sorrow

Can it be thought, my dear, that my heart was ing in her closet; endeavouring to suppress her not more than half broken (happy as I was be- sorrow at her table, and in those retirements fore I knew Mr Lovelace) by such a grievous where sorrow was before a stranger ; hanging change in my circumstances ?-Indeed it was. down her pensive head ; smiles no more beamNor perhaps was the wicked violence wanting to ing

over her benign aspect ; her virtue made to have cut short, though possibly not so very short, suffer for faults she could not be guilty of; her a life that he has sported with.

patience continually tried (because she has more Had I been his but a month, he must have of it than any other) with repetitions of faults possessed the estate on which my relations had she is as much wounded by, as those can be from set their hearts; the more to their regret, as they whom she so often hears of them ; taking to herhated him as much as he hated them.

self, as the fountain-head, a taint which only Have I not reason, these things considered, had infected one of the under-currents ; afraid to think myself happier without Mr Lovelace to open her lips (were she willing) in my fathan I could have been with him ?--My will too vour, lest it should be thought she has any bias unviolated ; and very little, nay, not anything in her own mind to failings that never could as to him, to reproach myself with ?

have been suspected in her ; robbed of that But with my relations it is otherwise. They pleasing merit, which the mother of well-nurindeed deserve to be pitied. They are, and no tured and hopeful children may glory in : every doubt will long be, unhappy.

one who visits her, or is visited by her, by dumb To judge of their resentments, and of their show, and looks that mean more than words can conduct, we must put ourselves in their situa- express, condoling where they used to congration :--and while they think me more in fault tulate ; the affected silence wounding; the comthan themselves, (whether my favourers are of passionating look reminding ; the half-suppresstheir opinion or not,) and have a right to judge ed sigh in them, calling up deeper sighs from for themselves, they ought to have great allow- her ; and their averted eyes, while they endeaances made for them; my parents especially. vour to restrain the rising tear, provoking tears They stand at least self-acquitted, (that I can- from her, that will not be restrained. not ;) and the rather, as they can recollect, to “ When I consider these things, and, added their pain, their past indulgences to me, and to these, the pangs that tear in pieces the strongtheir unquestionable love.

er heart of my father, because it cannot relieve Your partiality for the friend you so much itself by those tears which carry the torturing


grief to the eyes of softer spirits ; the overboil. honour in one point than in another, scruple not ing tumults of my impatient and uncontrollable to make her weakness a part of their triumph to BROTHER, piqued to the heart of his honour, in their brother libertines. the fall of a sister, in whom he once gloried ; I have nothing to apprehend of this sort, if I the pride of an ELDER SISTER, who had given have the justice done me in his letters which Mr unwilling way to the honours paid over her head Belford assures me I have ; and therefore the to one born after her ; and lastly, the dishonour particulars of my story, and the base arts of this I have brought upon two UNCLES, who each con- vile man, will, I think, be best collected from tended which should most favour their then those very letters of his, (if Mr Belford can be happy niece :—When, I say, I reflect upon my prevailed upon to communicate them;) to which fault in these strong, yet just lights, what room I dare appeal with the same truth and fervour as can there be to censure anybody but my unhap- he did, who says-0 that one would hear me ! py self? and how much reason have I to say, If and that mine adversary had written a book !I justify myself, mine own heart shall condemn Surely, I would take it upon my shoulders, and me : if I say I am perfect, it shall also prove me bind it to me as a crown : for I covered not my

transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity Here permit me to lay down my pen for a few in my bosom! moments.

There is one way which may be fallen upon to induce Mr Belford to communicate these let

ters, since he seems to have (and declares he alYou are very obliging to me, intentionally, I ways had) a sincere abhorrence of his friend's know, when you tell me, it is in my power to baseness to me; but that you'll say, when you hasten the day of Mr Hickman's happiness. But hear it, is a strange one. Nevertheless, I am yet, give me leave to say, that I admire this kind very earnest upon it at present. assurance less than any other paragraph of your It is no other than this :letter.

I think to make Mr Belford the executor of In the first place, you know it is not in my my last will : [don't be surprised) and with power to say when I can dismiss my physician'; this view I permit his visits with the less scruple; and you should not put the celebration of a mar- and every time I see him, from his concern for riage intended by yourself, and so desirable to me, am more and more inclined to do so. If I your mother, upon so precarious an issue. Nor hold in the same mind, and if he accept the trust, will I accept of a compliment, which must mean and will communicate the materials in his power, a slight to her.

those, joined with what you can furnish, will anIf anything could give me a relish for life, af- swer the whole end. ter what I have suffered, it would be the hopes I know you will start at my notion of such an of the continuance of the more than sisterly love, executor: but pray, my dear, consider, in my which has, for years, uninterruptedly bound us present circumstances, what I can do better, as together as one mind.-And why, my dear, I am empowered to make a will, and have conshould

you defer giving (by a tie still stronger) siderable matters in my own disposal. another friend to one who has so few?

Your mother, I am sure, would not consent I am glad you have sent my letter to Miss that you should take this office upon you. It Montague. I hope I shall hear no more of this might subject Mr Hickman to the insults of unhappy man.

that violent man. Mrs Norton cannot, for se I had begun the particulars of my tragical veral reasons respecting herself. My brother story; but it is so painful a task, and I have so looks upon what I ought to have as his right. many more important things to do, and, as I ap- My uncle Harlowe is already one of my trustees prehend, so little time to do them in, that, could (as my cousin Morden is the other) for the estate I avoid it, I would go no farther in it.

my grandfather left me; but you see I could not Then, to this hour, I know not by what means get from my own family the few guineas I left several of his machinations to ruin me were behind me at Harlowe-Place; and my uncle brought about; so that some parts of my sad Antonyonce threatened to have my grandfather's story must be defective, if I were to sit down to will controverted. My father ? – To be sure, my write it. But I have been thinking of a way that dear, I could not expect that my father would will answer the end wished for by your mother do all I wish should be done; and a will to be and you full as well, perhaps better.

executed by a father for a daughter, (parts of it

, Mr Lovelace, it seems, has communicated to perhaps, absolutely against

his own judgments

) his friend Mr Belford all that has passed between carries somewhat daring and prescriptive in the himself and me, as he went on. Mr Belford has · very word. not been able to deny it. So that (as we may ob- If, indeed, my cousin Morden were to come serve by the way) a poor young creature, whose in time, and would undertake this trust-but indiscretion has given a libertine power over her, even him it might subject to hazards; and the has a reason she little thinks of, to regret her more, as he is a man of great spirit; and as folly ; since these wretches, who have no more the other man (of as great) looks upon me

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