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been so reputable to myself, and was once so desirable.

TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. But indeed, indeed, madam, my heart sincerely repulses the man, who, descended from such a

August 3. family, could be guilty, first, of such premedita- Sir, ted violence as he has been guilty of; and, as You have frequently offered to oblige me in he knows, farther intended me, on the night anything that shall be within your power ; and previous to the day he set out for Berkshire; I have such an opinion of you, as to be willing and, next, pretending to spirit, could be so mean to hope, that, at the times you made these offers, as to wish to lift into that family a person he you meant more than mere compliment. was capable of abasing into a companionship I have therefore two requests to make to you; with the most abandoned of her sex.

the first I will now mention; the other, if this Allow me then, dear madam, to declare with shall be complied with, otherwise not. fervour, that I think I never could deserve to It behoves me to leave behind me such an acbe ranked with the ladies of a family so splen- count as may clear up my conduct to several of did and so noble, if, by vowing love and honour my friends, who will not at present concern at the altar to such a violator, I could sanctify, themselves about me; and Miss Howe, and her as I may say, his unprecedented and elaborate mother, are very solicitous that I will do so. wickedness.

I am apprehensive that I shall not have time Permit me, however, to make one request to to do this ; and you will not wonder that I have my good Lord M., and to Lady Betty, and less and less inclination to set about such a painLady Sarah, and to your kind self, and your ful task; especially as I find myself unable to sister-It is, that you will all be pleased to join look back with patience on what I have sufferyour authority and interests to prevail upon Mr ed; and shall be too much discomposed by the Lovelace not to molest me farther.

retrospection, were I obliged to make it, to proBe pleased to tell him, that, if I am designed ceed with the requisite temper in a task of still for life, it will be very cruel in him to attempt greater importance which I have before me. to hunt me out of it; for I am determined It is very evident to me that your wicked never to see him more, if I can help it. The friend has given you, from time to time, a cir. more cruel, because he knows that I have no- cumstantial account of all his behaviour to me, body to defend me from him ; nor do I wish and devices against me; and you have more than to engage anybody to his hurt, or to their own. once assured me, that he has done my character

If I am, on the other hand, destined for death, all the justice I could wish for, both by writing it will be no less cruel, if he will not permit me

and speech. to die in peace—since a peaceable and happy Now, sir, if I may have a fair, a faithful spe end I wish him ; indeed I do.

cimen from his letters or accounts to you, writEvery worldly good attend you, dear madam, ten upon some of the most interesting occasions, and every branch of the honourable family, is I shall be able to judge whether there will or the wish of one, whose misfortune it is that she will not be a necessity for me, for my honour's is obliged to disclaim any other title than that sake, to enter upon the solicited task. of,

You may be assured, from my enclosed anDear madam,

swer to the letter which Miss Montague has Your and their obliged and faithful servant, honoured me with, (and which you'll be pleaCLARISSA HARLOWE. sed to return me as soon as read,) that it is

impossible for me ever to think of your friend in the way I am importuned to think of him;

he cannot, therefore, receive any detriment from LETTER CCXCIV.

the requested specimen ; and I give you my ho

nour, that no use shall be made of it to his preMR BELFORD TO ROBERT LOVELACE, ESQ. judice, in law, or otherwise. And that it may

not, after I am no more, I assure you, that it is Thursday Afternoon, August 3. a main part of my view that the passages you I am just now agreeably surprised by the fol shall oblige me with shall be always in your lowing letter, delivered into my hands by a mes- own power, and not in that of any other persenger from the lady. The letter she mentions, as enclosed, * I have returned, without taking a If, sir, you think fit to comply with my recopy of it. The contents of it will soon be com- quest, the passages I would wish to be transcribmunicated to you, I presume, by other hands. ed, (making neither better nor worse of the matThey are an absolute rejection of theem Poorter,) are those which he has written to you, on Lovelace!

or about the 7th and 8th of June, when I was


• See the preceding Letter.

alarmed by the wicked pretence of a fire; and cate nature, as they may seem to affect the sea what he has written from Sunday, June 11, to crets of private friendship; but as I know you the 19th. And in doing this you will much are not capable of a view, the motives to which oblige

you will not own; and as I think the communiYour humble servant, cation may do some credit to my unhappy CLARISSA HARLOWE. friend's character, as an ingenuous man; though

his actions by the most excellent woman in the world have lost him all title to that of an ho

nourable one ; I obey you with the greater cheerNow, Lovelace, since there are no hopes for fulness. thee of her returning favour-since some praise may lie for thy ingenuousness, having never of- [He then proceeds with his extracts, and confered [as more diminutive-minded libertines cludes them with an address to her in his would have done] to palliate thy crimes, by

friend's behalf, in the following words :-) aspersing the lady, or her sex—since she may

be made easier by it-since thou must fare better “And now, madam, I have fulfilled your comfrom thine own pen than from hers—and, fin- mands; and, I hope, have not dis-served my ally, since thy actions have manifested that thy friend with you; since you will hereby see the letters are not the most guilty part of what she justice he does to your virtue in every line he knows of thee-I see not why I may not oblige writes. He does the same in all his letters, her, upon her honour, and under the restric- though to his own condemnation ; and give me tions, and for the reasons she has given ; and leave to add, that if this ever-amiable sufferer this without breach of the confidence due to can think it in any manner consistent with her friendly communication ; especially, as I might honour to receive his vows at the altar, on his have added, since thou gloriest in thy pen and truly penitent turn of mind, I have not the least in thy wickedness, and canst not be ashamed. doubt but that he will make her the best and

But, be this as it may, she will be obliged be- tenderest of husbands. What obligation will fore thy remonstrances or clamours against it not the admirable lady hereby lay upon all his can come ; so, pr’ythee now, make the best of noble family, who so greatly admire her! and, it, and rave not ; except for the sake of a pre- I will presume to say, upon her own, when the tence against me, and to exercise thy talent of unhappy family aversion (which certainly has execration :-and, if thou likest to do so for been carried to an unreasonable height against these reasons, rave and welcome.

him) shall be got over, and a general reconciliI long to know what the second request is; ation takes place! For who is it that would not but this I know, that if it be anything less than give these two admirable persons to each other, cutting thy throat, or endangering my own neck, were not his morals an objection?” I will certainly comply; and be proud of having However this be, I would humbly refer to it in my power to oblige her.

you, madam, whether, as you will be mistress And now I am actually going to be busy in of

very delicate partieulars from me his friend, the extracts.

you should not in honour think yourself concerned to pass them by, as if you had never seen

them; and not to take any advantage of the LETTER CCXCV.

communication, not even in argument, as some, perhaps, might lie, with respect to the premeditated design he seems to have had, not against

you, as you; but as against the sex; over whom

Aug. 3, 4. (I am sorry I can bear witness myself) it is the Madam,

villainous aim of all libertines to triumph ; and You have engaged me to communicate to you, I would not, if any misunderstanding should upon honour, (making neither better nor worse arise between him and me, give him room to reof the matter,) what Mr Lovelace has written proach me that his losing of you, and, (through to me, in relation to yourself, in the period pre- his


of you,) of his own friends, were owceding your going to Hampstead, and in that ing to what, perhaps, he would call breach of between the 11th and 19th of June; and you trust, were he to judge rather by the event than assure me you have no view in this request, but by my intention. to see if it be necessary for you, from the ac- I am, madam, with the most profound venercount he gives, to touch the painful subjects ation, yourself, for the sake of your own character.

Your most faithful humble servant, Your commands, madam, are of a very deli




2 M


overwhelmed the fatherless, and digged a pit for his friend ; fatherless may she well be called, and motherless too, who has been denied all paternal protection, and motherly forgiveness.



Friday, Aug. 4. Sir,

And now, sir, acknowledging gratefully your I hold myself extremely obliged to you for favour in the extracts, I come to the second reyour communications. I will make no use of quest I had to make you; which requires a great them, that you shall have reason to reproach ei- deal of courage to mention ; and which courage ther yourself or me with. I wanted no new nothing but a great deal of distress, and a very lights to make the unhappy man's premeditated destitute condition, can give. But, if improper, baseness to me unquestionable, as my answer to I can but be denied; and dare to say I shall be Miss Montague's letter might convince you.* at least excused. Thus, then, I preface it :

I must own, in his favour, that he has obser- You see, sir, that I am thrown absolutely inved some decency in his accounts to you of the to the hands of strangers, who, although as kind most indecent and shocking actions. And if and compassionate as strangers can be wished to all his strangely-communicative narrations are be, are, nevertheless, persons from whom I canequally decent, nothing will be rendered crimi- not expect anything more than pity and good nally odious by them, but the vile heart that wishes; nor can my memory receive from them could meditate such contrivances as were much any more protection than my person, if either stronger evidences of his inhumanity than of his should need it. wit ; since men of very contemptible parts and If, then, I request it, of the only person posunderstanding may suceeed in the vilest at- sessed of materials that will enable him to do my tempts, if they can once bring themselves to character justice; trample on the sanctions which bind man to And who has courage, independence, and abiman; and sooner upon an innocent person than lity to oblige me; upon any other ; because such a one is apt to To be the protector of my memory, as I may judge of the integrity of others' hearts by its say ;

And to be my executor ; and to see some of I find I have had great reason to think my- my dying requests performed ; self obliged to your intention in the whole pro- And if I leave it to him to do the whole in gress of my sufferings. It is, however, impos- his own way, manner, and time; consulting, sible, sir, to miss the natural inference on this however, in requisite cases, my dear Miss occasion that lies against his predetermined Howe; baseness. But I say the less, because you shall I presume to hope that this my second request not think I borrow, from what you have com- may be granted. municated, aggravations that are not needed. And if it may, these satisfactions will accrue

And now, sir, that I may spare you the trouble to me from the favour done me, and the office of offering any future arguments in his favour, undertaken: let me tell you that I have weighed everything It will be an honour to my memory, with all thoroughly-all that human vanity could sug- those who shall know that I was so well satisfied gest-all that a desirable reconciliation with my of my innocence, that, having not time to write friends, and the kind respects of his own, could my own story, I could intrust it to the relation bid me hope for—the enjoyment of Miss Howe's which the destroyer of my fame and fortunes friendship, the dearest consideration to me, now, has given of it. of all worldly ones—all these I have weighed ; I shall not be apprehensive of involving any and the result is, and was before you

favoured one in troubles or hazards by this task, either me with these communications, that I have more with my own relations, or with your friend; satisfaction in the hope that, in one month, there having dispositions to make, which, perhaps, my will be an end of all with me, than in the most own friends will not be so well pleased with as agreeable things that could happen from an al- it were to be wished they would be, as I intend liance with Mr Lovelace, although I were to be not unreasonable ones; but you know, sir, assured he would make the best and tenderest where self is judge, matters, even with good pero of husbands. But as to the rest ; if, satisfied pie, will not be rightly judged of. with the evils he has brought upon me, he will I shall also be freed from the pain of recolforbear all farther persecutions of me, I will, to lecting things that my soul is vexed at ; and this my last hour, wish him good ; although he hath at a time when its tumults should be allayed, in

See Letter CCXCIII. of this Vol.

order to make way for the most important pre- science, but that friendship, could oblige me to paration.

make. I have changed or omitted some free And who knows, but that Mr Belford, who words. The warm description of her person in already, from a principle of humanity, is touched the fire-scene, as I may call it, I have omitted. at my misfortunes, when he comes to revolve the I have told her, that I have done justice to you, whole story, placed before him one strong in the justice you have done to her unexampled light; and when he shall have the catastrophe virtue. But take the very words which I wrote likewise before him ; and shall become in a man- to her immediately following the extracts :ner interested in it ; who knows, but that, from a still higher principle, he may so regulate his “ And now, madam,”- See the paragraph future actions as to find his own reward in the marked with inverted commas, [thus “ ] Letter everlasting welfare which is wished him by his CCXCV. of this volume.

Obliged servant,
CLARISSA HARLOWE. The lady is extremely uneasy at the thoughts

of your attempting to visit her. For Heaven's
sake, (your word being given,) and for pity's

sake, (for she is really in a very weak and lanLETTER CCXCVII.

guishing way,) let me beg of you not to think


Yesterday afternoon she received a cruel let

ter, (as Mrs Lovick supposes it to be, by the ef

Friday, Aug. 4. fect it had upon her,) from her sister, in answer MADAM,

to one written last Saturday, entreating a blessI am so sensible of the honour done me in ing and forgiveness from her parents. yours of this day, that I would not delay for one She acknowledges, that if the same decency moment the answering of it. I hope you will and justice are observed in all your letters, as live to see many happy years; and to be your in the extracts I have obliged her with, (as I own executrix in those points which your heart have assured her they are, she shall think heris most set upon. But, in case of survivorship, self freed from the necessity of writing her own I most cheerfully accept of the sacred office you story; and this is an advantage to thee which are pleased to offer me; and

you may absolutely thou oughtest to thank me for. rely upon my fidelity, and, if possible, upon the But what thinkest thou is the second request literal performance of every article you shall en- she had to make to me? no other than that I join me.

would be her executor !-Her motives will apThe effect of the kind wish you conclude with, pear before thee in proper time; and then, I has been my concern ever since I have been ad- dare to answer, will be satisfactory. mitted to the honour of your conversation. It You cannot imagine how proud I am of this shall be my whole endeavour that it be not vain. trust. I am afraid I shall too soon come into The happiness of approaching you, which this the execution of it. As she is always writing, trust, as I presume, will give me frequent op- what a melancholy pleasure will the perusal and portunities of doing, must necessarily promote disposition of her papers afford me! such a sweetthe desirable end; since it will be impossible to ness of temper, so much patience and resignabe a witness of your piety, equanimity, and other tion, as she seems to be mistress of ; yet writing virtues, and not aspire to emulate you. All I of, and in the midst of present distresses ! how beg is, that you will not suffer any future can- much more lively and affecting, for that reason, didate, or event, to displace me ; unless some must her style be; her mind tortured by the new instances of unworthiness appear either in pangs of uncertainty, (the events then hidden the morals or behaviour of,

in the womb of fate,) than the dry, narrative, Madam,

unanimated style of persons relating difficulties Your most obliged and faithful servant, and dangers surmounted; the relater perfectly

J. BELFORD. at ease; and if himself unmoved by his own

story, not likely greatly to affect the reader ! LETTER CCXCVIII.


Saturday Morning, Aug. 5.

I am just returned from visiting the lady, and Friday Night, Aug. 4. thanking her in person for the honour she has I HAVE actually delivered to the lady the ex- done me; and assuring her, if called to the satracts she requested me to give her from your cred trust, of the utmost fidelity and exactness. letters. I do assure you that I have made the I found her very ill. I took notice of it. She very best of the matter for you, not that con- said, she had received a second hard-hearted let


ter from her sister ; and she had been writing a letter, (and that on her knees,) directly to her

LETTER CCXCIX. mother; which, before, she had not had the courage to do. It was for a last blessing and forgiveness. No wonder, she said, that I saw her affected. Now that I had accepted of the

[In answer to hers of July 29. See Letter last charitable office for her, (for which, as well

CCLXXXVII.] as for complying with her other request, she thanked me,) I should one day have all these

Thursday Morn. Aug. 3. letters before me; and could she have a kind SISTER CLARY, one in return to that she had been now writing, I wish you would not trouble me with any to counterbalance the unkind one she had from more of your letters. You had always a knack her sister, she might be induced to shew me at writing; and depended upon making every one both together-otherwise, for her sister's sake, do what you would when you wrote. But your it were no matter how few saw the poor Bella's wit and folly have undone you. And now, as letter.

all naughty creatures do, when they can't help I knew she would be displeased if I had cen- themselves, you come begging and praying, and sured the cruelty of her relations ; I, therefore, make others as uneasy as yourself. only said, that surely she must have enemies, When I wrote last to you, I expected that I who hoped to find their account in keeping up should not be at rest. the resentments of her friends against her. And so you'd creep on, by little and little, It

may be so, Mr Belford, said she ; the un- till you'll want to be received again ! happy never want enemies. One fault, wilfully But you only hope for forgiveness and a blesscommitted, authorizes the imputation of many ing, you say. A blessing for what, sister Clary? more. Where the ear is opened to accusations, Think for what !-However, I read your letter accusers will not be wanting ; and every one will to my father and mother. officiously come with stories against a disgraced I won't tell you what my father said-one child, where nothing dare be said in her favour. who has the true sense you boast to have of your I should have been wise in time, and not have misdeeds, may guess, without my telling you, needed to be convinced, by my own misfortunes, what a justly-incensed father would say on such of the truth of what common experience daily an occasion. demonstrates. Mr Lovelace's baseness, my fa- My poor mother-O wretch ! what has not ther's inflexibility, my sister's reproaches, are your ungrateful folly cost my poor mother ! the natural consequences of my own rashness; Had you been less a darling, you would not, so I must make the best of my hard lot. Only, perhaps, have been so graceless : But I never in as these consequences follow one another so my life saw a cockered favourite come to good. closely, while they are new, how can I help be- My heart is full, and I can't help writing my ing anew affected?

mind; for your crimes have disgraced us all; I asked, if a letter written by myself, by her and I am afraid and ashamed to go to any pubdoctor or apothecary, to any of her friends, re- lic or private assembly or diversion : And why? presenting her low state of health, and great -I need not say why, when your actions are the humility, would be acceptable ? or if a journey subjects either of the open talk, or of the affrontto any of them would be of service, I would ing whispers, of both sexes at all such places. gladly undertake it in person, and strictly con- Upon the whole, I am sorry I have no more form to her orders, to whomsoever she should comfort to send you: but I find nobody willing direct me to apply.

to forgive you. She earnestly desired that nothing of this sort I don't know what time may do for you ; and might be attempted, especially without her when it is seen that your penitence is not owing knowledge and consent. Miss Howe, she said, more to disappointment than to true conviction: had done harm by her kindly-intended zeal; for it is too probable, Miss Clary, that, had you and if there were room to expect favour by me- gone on as swimmingly as you expected, and diation, she had ready at hand a kind friend, had not your feather-headed villain abandoned Mrs Norton, who for piety and prudence had you, we should have heard nothing of these few equals; and who would let Slip no oppor- moving supplications; nor of anything but detunity to endeavour to do her service.

fiances from him, and a guilt gloried in from I let her know that I was going out of town you. And this is every one's opinion, as well as till Monday ; she wished me pleasure ; and said that of she should be glad to see me on my return.

Your afflicted sister,
Adieu !


I send this by a particular hand, who under

takes to give it you, or leave it for you, by tomorrow night.

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