Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE TO MISS HARLOWE.

(unprotected as I have long been) as his pro- be now solicitous for a last blessing; and that perty.

is all I shall presume to petition for. My sister's Now, Mr Belford, as I have already men- letter, communicating this grace, is a severe tioned, knows everything that has passed. He one; but as she writes to me as from everybody, is a man of spirit, and, it seems, as fearless as how could I expect it to be otherwise ? the other, with more humane qualities. You If you set out to-morrow, this letter cannot don't know, my dear, what instances of sincere reach you till you get to your aunt Harman's. humanity this Mr Belford has shewn, not only I shall therefore direct it thither, as Mr Hickon occasion of the cruel arrest, but on several man instructed me. occasions since. And Mrs Lovick has taken I hope you will have met with no inconvepains to inquire after his general character; niencies in your little journey and voyage; and and hears a very good one of him, for justice that you will have found in good health all whom and generosity in all his concerns of meum and you wish to see well. tuum, as they are called; he has a knowledge If your relations in the little island join their of law-matters; and has two executorships upon solicitations with your mother's commands, to him at this time, in the discharge of which his have your nuptials celebrated before you leave honour is unquestioned.

them, let me beg of you, my dear, to oblige All these reasons have already in a manner them. How grateful will the notification that determined me to ask this favour of him; als you have done so be to though it will have an odd sound with it to Your ever faithful and affectionate make an intimate friend of Mr Lovelace my

Cl. Harlowe. executor.

This is certain ; my brother will be more acquiescent a great deal in such a case with the LETTER CCLXXXVII. articles of my will, as he will see that it will be to no purpose to controvert some of them, which else, I dare say, he would controvert, or persuade my other friends to do so. And who

Saturday, July 29. would involve an executor in a law-suit, if they I REPINE not, my dear sister, at the severity could help it? Which would be the case, if you have been pleased to express in the letter anybody were left, whom my brother could you favoured me with ; because that severity hope to awe or control ; since my father has was accompanied with the grace I had petitionpossession of all, and is absolutely governed by ed for; and because the reproaches of mine him. [Angry spirits, my dear, as i have often own heart are stronger than any other person's seen, will be overcome by more angry ones, as reproaches can be ; and yet I am not half so well as sometimes be disarmed by the meek.] culpable as I am imagined to be; as would be -Nor would I wish, you may believe, to have allowed, if all the circumstances of my unhappy effects torn out of my father's hands; while Mr story were known; and which I shall be ready Belford, who is a man of fortune, (and a good to communicate to Mrs Norton, if she be comeconomist in his own affairs,) would have no missioned to inquire into them; or to you, my interest but to do justice.

sister, if you can have patience to hear them. Then he exceedingly presses for some occa- I remembered with a bleeding heart what sion to shew his readiness to serve me; and he day the 24th of July was. I began with the would be able to manage his violent friend, over eve of it; and I passed the day itself-as it was whom he has more influence than any other per- fit I should pass it. Nor have I any comfort to son.

give to my dear and ever-honoured father and But, after all, I know not if it were not more mother, and to you, my Bella, but this—that, eligible by far, that my story, and myself, too, as it was the first unhappy anniversary of my should be forgotten as soon as possible. And birth, in all probability it will be the last. of this I shall have the less doubt, if the cha- Believe me, my dear sister, I say not this racter of my parents [you will forgive me, my merely to move compassion, but from the best dear] cannot be guarded against the unqualified grounds. And as, on that account, I think it bitterness which, from your affectionate zeal for of the highest importance to my peace of mind me, has sometimes mingled with your ink-a to obtain one farther favour, I would choose to point that ought, and (I insist upon it) must be owe to your intercession, as my sister, the leave well considered of, if anything be done which I beg, to address half a dozen lines (with the your mother and you are desirous to have done. hope of having them answered as I wish) to The generality of the world is too apt to op- either or to both my honoured parents, to beg pose a duty-and general duties, my dear, ought their last blessing. not to be weakened by the justification of a This blessing is all the favour I have now to single person, however unhappily circumstanced. ask; it is all I dare to ask; yet am I afraid to

My father has been so good as to take off the rush at once, though by letter, into the presence heavy malediction he laid me under. I must of either. And if I did not ask it, it might

MRS NORTON TO MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE.

seem to be owing to stubbornness and want of He is a very officious young man; and, but duty, when my heart is all humility and peni- that your uncle Harlowe (who has chosen him tence. Only, be so good as to embolden me to for this errand) regards him as an oracle, your attempt this task-write but this one line, mother had rather anybody else had been sent. • Clary Harlowe, you are at liberty to write as He is one of those puzzling, over-doing genyou desire. This will be enough-and shall, tlemen, who think they see farther into matters to my last hour, be acknowledged as the great than anybody else, and are fond of discovering est favour, by

mysteries where there are none, in order to be Your truly penitent sister, thought shrewd men. CLARISSA HARLOWE. I can't say I like him, either in the pulpit or

out of it: I, who had a father one of the soundest divines and finest scholars in the kingdom ;

who never made an ostentation of what he knew; LETTER CCLXXXVIII. but loved and venerated the gospel he taught,

preferring it to all other learning; to be ob liged to hear a young man depart from his text

as soon as he has named it, (so contrary, too, to

Monday, July 31. the example set him by his learned and worthy MY DEAREST YOUNG LADY,

principal," when his health permits him to I must indeed own that I took the liberty to preach ;) and throwing about, to a christian and write to your mother, offering to enclose to her, country audience, scraps of Latin and Greek if she gave me leave, yours of the 24th : by from the pagan classics ; and not always brought which I thought she would see what was the state in with great propriety neither, (if I am to judge of your mind ; what the nature of your last by the only way given me to judge of them, by troubles was from the wicked arrest; what the the English he puts them into,) is an indicapeople are where you lodge; what proposals tion of something wrong, either in his head were made you from Lord M.'s family; also your or his heart, or both; for, otherwise, his edusincere penitence; and how much Miss Howe's cation at the university must have taught him writing to them, in the terms she wrote in, dis- better. You know, my dear Miss Clary, the turbed you—but, as you have taken the matter honour I have for the cloth: it is owing to that, into your own hands, and forbid me, in your that I say what I do. last, to act in this nice affair unknown to you, I I know not the day he is to set out; and, as his am glad the letter was not required of me—and inquiries are to be private, be pleased to take no indeed it may be better that the matter lie wholnotice of this intelligence. I have no doubt that ly between you and them; since my affection your life and conversation are such as may defy for you is thought to proceed from partiality. the scrutinies of the most officious inquirer.

They would choose, no doubt, that you should I am just now told that you have written a owe to themselves, and not to my humble me- second letter to your sister ; but am afraid they diation, the favour for which you so earnestly will wait for Mr Brand's report, before farther sue, and of which I would not have you des- favour will be obtained from them ; for they will pair : for I will adventure to assure you, that not believe you are so ill as I fear you are. your mother is ready to take the first opportu- But you would soon find that you have an innity to shew her maternal tenderness: and this dulgent mother, were she at liberty to act acI gather from several hints I am not at liberty cording to her own inclination. And this gives to explain myself upon.

me great hopes that all will end well at last: for I long to be with you, now I am better, and I verily think you are in the right way to a renow my son is in a fair way of recovery. But conciliation. God give a blessing to it, and reis it not hard to have it signified to me that at store your health, and you to all your friends, present it will not be taken well if I go?-I prays suppose, while the reconciliation, which I hope

Your ever affectionate will take place, is negotiating by means of the

JUDITH NORTON. correspondence so newly opened between you and your sister. But if you would have me Your good mother has privately sent me five come, I will rely on my good intentions, and guineas ; she is pleased to say to help us in risk every one's displeasure.

the illness we have been afflicted with ; but, Mr Brand has business in town; to solicit for more likely, that I might send them to you, a benefice which it is expected the incumbent as from myself. I hope, therefore, I may will be obliged to quit for a better preferment: send them up, with ten more I have still left. and, when there, he is to inquire privately af. I will send you word of Mr Morden's arrival, ter your way of life, and of your health.

the moment I know it.

• Dr Lewen.

MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE TO MRS NORTON.

It agreeable, I should be glad to know all that languid acquitter-not that I am afraid of what passes between your relations and you. he, or anybody in the world, can hear as to my

conduct. You may, my revered and dear friend,

indeed you may, rest satisfied, that that is such LETTER CCLXXXIX.

as may warrant me to challenge the inquiries of the most officious.

I will send you copies of what passes, as you

desire, when I have an answer to my second let. Wednesday, Aug. 2. ter. I now begin to wish that I had taken the You give me, my dear Mrs Norton, great heart to write to my father himself; or to my pleasure in hearing of yours and your son's re- mother, at least; instead of to my sister; and covery. May you continue, for many, many yet I doubt my poor mother can do nothing for years, a blessing to each other!

me of herself. A strong confederacy, my dear You tell me that you did actually write to my Mrs Norton, (a strong confederacy indeed!) mother, offering to enclose to her mine of the against a poor girl, their daughter, sister, niece! 24th past: and you say it was not required of My brother, perhaps, got it renewed before he you. That is to say, although you cover it over left them. He needed not-his work is done ; as gently as you could, that your offer was re- and more than done. jected; which makes it evident that no plea will Don't afflict yourself about money-matters on be made for me. Yet, you bid me hope, that my account. I have no occasion for money. I the

grace I sued for would, in time, be granted. am glad my mother was so considerate to you. The grace I then sued for was indeed granted; I was in pain for you on the same subject. But but you are afraid, you say, that they will wait Heaven will not permit so good a woman to want for Mr Brand's report, before favour will be ob- the humble blessings she was always satisfied tained in return to the second letter which I with. I wish every individual of our family were wrote to my sister ; and you add, that I have an but as rich as you !-O my mamma Norton, indulgent mother, were she at liberty to act ac- you are rich! you are rich'indeed !-the true cording to her own inclination; and that all will riches are such content as you are blessed with. end well at last.

-And I hope in God that I am in the way to be But what, my dear Mrs Norton, what is the rich too. grace I sue for in my second letter?-It is not Adieu, my ever-indulgent friend. You say that they will receive me into favour-If they all will be at last happy-and I know it will — think it is--they are mistaken. I do not, I can- I confide that it will, with as much security as not expect that. Nor, as I have often said, should you may, that I will be, to my last hour, I, if they would receive me, bear to live in the

Your ever grateful and affectionate eye of those dear friends whom I have so grie

CL. HARLOWE. vously offended. 'Tis only, simply, a blessing I ask: a blessing to die with ; not to live with. -Do they know that? and do they know that

LETTER CCXC. their unkindness will perhaps shorten my date ; so that their favour, if ever they intend to grant MR LOVELACE TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. it, may come too late? Once more, I desire you not to think of co

Tuesday, Aug. 1. ming to me. I have no uneasiness now, but I am most confoundedly chagrined and disapwhat proceeds from the apprehension of seeing a pointed: for here, on Saturday, arrived a mesman I would not see for the world, if I could senger from Miss Howe, with a letter to my help it; and from the severity of my nearest and cousins ;* which I knew nothing of till yesterdearest relations: a severity entirely their own, day; when Lady Sarah and Lady Betty were I doubt ; for you tell me that my brother is at procured to be here, to sit in judgment upon it' Edinburgh! You would therefore heighten their with the old peer, and my two kinswomen. And severity, aud make yourself enemies besides, if never was bear so miserably baited as thy poor you were to come to memDon't you see that you friend !-And for what?-why for the cruelty would ?

of Miss Harlowe: For have I committed any Mr Brand may come, if he will. He is a new offence? and would I not have reinstated clergyman, and 'must mean well : or I must myself in her favour upon her own terms, if I think so, let him say of me what he will. All could? And is it fair to punish me for what is my fear is, that, as he knows I am in disgrace my misfortune, and not my fault? Such eventwith a family whose esteem he is desirous to judging fools as I have for my relations! I am cultivate; and as he has obligations to my uncle ashamed of them all. Harlowe and to my father; he will be but a In that of Miss Howe was enclosed one to

• See Letter CCLXXX. of this Vol.

her from Miss Harlowe, * to be transmitted to even Lady Sarah and Lady Betty; and my Lord my cousins, containing a final rejection of me; M. in person shall give her to me. and that in very vehement and positive terms; Or, if it be still more agreeable to her, I will yet she pretends that, in this rejection, she is undertake that either Lady Sarah or Lady Betgoverned more by principle than passion- ty, or both, shall go to town and attend her

D- -d lie, as ever was told !J and, as a proof down; and the marriage shall be celebrated in that she is, says, that she can forgive me, and their presence, and in that of Lord M., either does, on this one condition, that I will never here or elsewhere, at her own choice. molest her more the whole letter so written as Do not play me booty, Belford; but sinto make herself more admired, me more detested. cerely and warmly use all the eloquence thou

What we have been told of the agitations and art master of, to prevail upon her to choose one workings, and sighings and sobbings, of the of these three methods. One of them she must French prophets among us formerly, was no- choose by my soul, she must. thing at all to the scene exhibited by these Here is Charlotte tapping at my closet-door maudlin souls, at the reading of these letters; for admittance. What a devil wants Charlotte ? and of some affecting passages extracted from - I will hear no more reproaches -Come in, another of my fair implacable's to Miss Howe- girl! such lamentations for the loss of so charming a relation ! such applaudings of her virtue, of her exaltedness of soul and sentiments ! such me- My cousin Charlotte, finding me writing on naces of disinherisons ! I not needing their re- with too much earnestness to have any regard proaches to be stung to the heart with my own for politeness to her, and guessing at my subreflections, and with the rage of disappointment, ject, besought me to let her see what I had writand as sincerely as any of them admiring her- ten. “ What the devil,” cried I, “is all this for? Is I obliged her. And she was so highly pleait not enough to be despised and rejected ? Can sed on seeing me so much in earnest, that she I help her implacable spirit? Would I not re- offered, and I accepted her offer, to úrite a letpair the evils I have made her suffer ?”—Then ter to Miss Harlowe; with permission to treat was I ready to curse them all, herself and Miss me in it as she thought fit. Howe for coinpany ; and heartily swore that she I shall enclose a copy of her letter. should yet be mine.

When she had written it, she brought it to I now swear it over again to thee-“ Were me, with apologies for the freedom taken with her death to follow in a week after the knot is me in it; but I excused it; and she was ready tied, by the Lord of Heaven, it shall be tied, to give me a kiss for joy of my approbation; and and she shall die a Lovelace !”-Tell her so, if I gave her two for writing it, telling her I had thou wilt: but, at the same time, tell her that hopes of success from it, and that I thought I have no view to her fortune ; and that I will she had luckily hit it off. solemnly resign that, and all pretensions to it, Every one approves of it, as well as I ; and is in whose favour she pleases, if she resign life is- pleased with me for so patiently submitting to sueless.- I am not so low-minded a wretch, as be abused, and undertaken for.-If it do not to be guilty of any sordid views to her fortune. succeed, all the blame will be thrown upon the -Let her judge for herself, then, whether it dear creature's perverseness ; her charitable or be not for her honour rather to leave this world forgiving disposition, about which she makes a Lovelace than a Harlowe.

such a parade, will be justly questioned ; and But do not think I will entirely rest a cause the pity, of which she is now in full possesso near my heart upon an advocate who so much sion will be transferred to me. more admires his client's adversary than his Putting, therefore, my whole confidence in client. I will go to town, in a few days, in or- this letter, I postpone all my other alternatives, der to throw myself at her feet: and I will car- as also my going to town, till my empress send ry with me, or have at hand, a resolute, well- an answer to my cousin Montague. prepared parson; and the ceremony shall be But if she persist, and will not promise to performed, let what will be the consequence.

take time to consider of the matter, thou mayest But if she will permit me to attend her for communicate to her what I had written, as above, this purpose at either of the churches mention before my cousin entered ; and, if she be still ed in the licence, (which she has by her, and, perverse, assure her, that I must and will see thank Heaven! has not returned me with my her-but this with all honour, all humility ; letters,) then will I not disturb her; but meet and, if I cannot move her in my favour, I will her at the altar in either church, and will en- then go abroad, and perhaps never more return gage to bring my two cousins to attend her, and to England.

See Letter CCLXVI. of this Vol.

MISS MONTAGUE TO MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE.

I am sorry thou art, at this critical time, so most audacious men in it; and you will infibusily employed, as thou informest me thou nitely oblige us all; and particularly her, who art,

in thy Watford affairs, and in preparing to repeatedly presumes to style herself do Belton justice. If thou wantest my assist- Your affectionate cousin, and obliged servant, ance in the latter, command me. Though en

CHARLOTTE MONTAGUE. grossed by this perverse beauty, and plagued as I am, I will obey thy first summons.

I have great dependence upon thy zeal and thy friendship; hasten back to her, therefore,

LETTER CCXCII. and resume a task so interesting to me, that it is equally the subject of my dreams, as of my MR BELFORD TO ROBERT LOVELACE, ESQ. waking hours.

Thursday Morn., Aug. 3, Six o'clock.
I have been so much employed in my own

and Belton's affairs, that I could not come to LETTER CCXCI.

town till last night; having contented myself with sending to Mrs Lovick, to know, from time to time, the state of the lady's health ; of

which I received but very indifferent accounts,

Tuesday, Aug. 1. owing, in a great measure, to letters or advices DEAREST MADAM,

brought her from her implacable family. All our family is deeply sensible of the in- I have now completed my own affairs; and, juries you have received at the hands of one of next week, shall go to Epsom, to endeavour to it, whom you only can render in any manner put Belton's sister into possession of his own worthy of the relation he stands in to us all ; and house for him ; after which, I shall devote myif, as an act of mercy and charity, the greatest self wholly to your service, and to that of the your pious heart can shew, you will be pleased lady. to look over his past wickedness and ingratitude, I was admitted to her presence last night; and suffer yourself to be our kinswoman, you and found her visibly altered for the worse. will make us the happiest family in the world; When I went hom I had your letter of Tuesand I can engage, that Lord M., and Lady Sa- day last put into my hands. Let me tell thee, rah Sadleir, and Lady Betty Lawrence, and my Lovelace, that I insist upon the performance of sister, who are all admirers of your virtues, and thy engagement to me that thou wilt not perof your nobleness of mind, will for ever love sonally molest her. and reverence you, and do everything in all their powers to make you amends for what you [Mr Belford dates again on Thursday morning, have suffered from Mr Lovelace. This, ma- ten o'clock; and gives an account of a condam, we should not, however, dare to petition versation which he had just held with the for, were we not assured, that Mr Lovelace is Lady upon the subject of Miss Montague's most sincerely sorry for his past vileness to yon; letter to her, preceding, and upon Mr Loveand that he will, on his knees, beg your pardon, lace's alternatives, as mentioned in Letter and vow eternal love and honour to you.

CCXC., which Mr Belford supported with Wherefore, my dearest cousin, (how you will the utmost earnestness. But, as the result of charm us all, if this agreeable style may be per- this conversation will be found in the subsemitted !] for all our sakes, for his soul's sake, quent letters, Mr Belford's pleas and argu[you must, I am sure, be so good a lady, as to ments in favour of his friend, and the lady's wish to save a soul!) and allow me to say, for answers, are omitted.] your own fame's sake, condescend to our joint request; and if, by way of encouragement, you will but say you will be glad to see, and to be as much known personally, as you are by fame,

LETTER CCXCIII. to Charlotte Montague, I will, in two days' time from the receipt of your permission, wait upon you, with or without my sister, and receive your farther commands.

Thursday, August 3. Let me, our dearest cousin, [we cannot deny DEAR MADAM, ourselves the pleasure of calling you so ; let me] I am infinitely obliged to you for

kind entreat you to give me your permission for my and condescending letter. Å letter, however, journey to London; and put it in the power of which heightens my regrets, as it gives me a Lord M. and of the ladies of the family, to new instance of what a happy creature I might make you what reparation they can make you, have been in an alliance so much approved of for the injuries which a person of the greatest by such worthy ladies; and which, on their merit in the world has received from one of the accounts, and on that of Lord M., would have

your

MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE TO MISS MONTAGUE.

« НазадПродовжити »