Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

Although Mrs Norton, as I have hinted, knows « Let not her that is deceived trust in vanity ; for vamy whole mind in this respect; yet it may

be nity shall be her recompence. It shall be accomproper to mention, in this last solemn act, that plished before her time; and her branch shall not my intention is, that this fund be entirely set

be green. She shall shake off her unripe grape az apart and appropriated to relieve temporarily,

the vine, and shall cast off her flower as the olive." from the interest thereof, (as I dare say it will be put out to the best advantage,) or even from But if I am to be interred in town, let only the principal, if need be, the honest, industri- the usual burial-service be read over my corpse. ous, labouring poor only; when sickness, lame- If my body be permitted to be carried down, ness, unforeseen losses, or other accidents, dis- I bequeath ten pounds to be given to the poor able them from following their lawful callings; of the parish, at the discretion of the churchor to assist such honest people of large families wardens, within a fortnight after my interment. as shall have a child of good inclinations to put If any necessary matter be omitted in this my out to service, trade, or husbandry.

will, or if anything appear doubtful or contraIt has always been a rule with me, in my lit- dictory, as possibly may be the case ; since betle donations, to endeavour to aid and set for. sides my inexperience in these matters, I am ward the sober and industrious poor. Small now, at this time, very weak and ill, having put helps, if seasonably afforded, will do for such ; off the finishing hand a little too long, in hopes and so the fund may be of more extensive be- of obtaining the last forgiveness of my honefit; an ocean of wealth will not be sufficient noured friends; in which case I should have acfor the idle and dissolute : whom, therefore, knowledged the favour with suitable warmth since they will be always in want, it will be no of duty, and filled up some blanks which I left charity to relieve, if worthier creatures would, to the very last,t in a more agreeable manner by relieving the others, be deprived of such as- to myself, than now I have been enabled to do sistance as may set the wheels of their industry-in case of such omissions and imperfections, going, and put them in a sphere of useful action. I desire that my cousin Morden will be so good

But it is my express will and direction, that as to join with Mr Belford in considering them, let this fund come out to be ever so considera- and in comparing them with what I have more ble, it shall be applied only in support of the explicitly written: and if, after that, any doubt temporary exigencies of the persons I have de- remain, that they will be pleased to apply to scribed ; and that no one family or person re- Miss Howe, who knows my whole heart: and ceive from it, at one time, or in one year, more

I desire that the construction of these three may than the sum of twenty pounds.

be established : and I hereby establish it, proIt is my will and desire, that the set of jew- vided it be unanimous, and direct it to be put els which was my grandmother's, and presented in force, as if I had so written and determined to me, soon after her death, by my grandfather, myself. be valued; and the worth of them paid to my And now, O my blessed REDEEMER, do I, with executor, if any of my family choose to have a lively faith, humbly lay hold of thy merithem; or otherwise, that they be sold, and go torious death and sufferings; hoping to be to the augmentation of my poor's fund.-But

if washed clean in thy precious blood from all they may be deemed an equivalent for the sums my sins: in the bare hope of the happy conmy father was pleased to advance to me since the sequences of which, how light do those sufdeath of my grandfather, I desire that they may ferings seem (grievous as they were at the be given up to him.

time) which, I confidently trust, will be a I presume that the diamond necklace, soli- mean, by thy grace, to work out for me a more taire, and buckles, which were properly my own, exceeding and eternal weight of glory! presented by my mother's uncle, Sir Josias

CLARISSA HARLOWE. Brookland, will not be purchased by any one of my family, for a too obvious reason: in this Signed, sealed, published, and declared, the day case I desire that they may be sent to my exe- and year above-written, by the said Clarissa cutor, and that he will dispose of them to the Harlowe, as her last will and testament; conbest advantage, and apply the money to the uses tained in seven sheets of paper, all written of my will.

with her own hand, and every sheet signed In the beginning of this tedious writing, I re- and sealed by herself, in the presence of us, ferred to the latter part of it, the naming of the

JOHN WILIJAMS, subject of the discourse which I wished might

ARTHUR BEDALL, be delivered at my funeral, if permitted to be

ELIZABETH SwanTON, interred with my ancestors. I think the following will be suitable to my case. I hope the alteration of the words her and she, for him and he, may be allowable.

• Job xv. 31, 32, 33.

† See Letter CCCLXI. of this Vol.

tants.

to the father the grandfather's estate, and the LETTER CCCCXV.

reason assigned for it, (so generous and so dutiful,) the father could sit no longer ; but with

drew, wiping his eyes, and lifting up his spread COLONEL MORDEN TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. hands at Mr James Harlowe; who rose to attend

him to the door, as Arabella likewise did — All

Sat. Sept. 16. he could say-0 son! son !-O girl! girl!- as I have been employed in a most melancholy if he reproached them for the parts they had task : in reading the will of the dear deceased. acted, and put him upon acting:

The unhappy mother and Mrs Norton chose But yet, on some occasions, this brother and to be absent on the affecting occasion. But Mrs sister shewed themselves to be true will-dispuHarlowe made it her earnest request that every article of it should be fulfilled.

Let tongue and eyes express what they will, They were all extremely touched with the Mr Belford, the first reading of a will, where a preamble.

person dies worth anything considerable, geneThe first words of the will—“I, Clarissa Har- rally affords a true test of the relations' love to lowe, now by strange, melancholy accidents, the deceased. lodging,” &c. drew tears from some, sighs from The clothes, the thirty guineas for mourning all.

to Mrs Norton, with the recommendation of the The directions for her funeral, in case she good woman for housekeeper at The Grore, were were or were not permitted to be carried down; thought sufficient, had the article of 6001. which the mention of her orders having been given for was called monstrous, been omitted. Some other the manner of her being laid out, and the pre- passages in the will were called flights, and suck sence of mind so visible throughout the whole, whimsies as distinguish people of imagination obtained their admiration, expressed by hands from those of judgment. and eyes lifted up, and by falling tears.

My cousin Dolly Hervey was grudged the liWhen I read the direction, “ That her body brary. Miss Harlowe said, That as she and her was not to be viewed, except any of her relations sister never bought the same books, she would should vouchsafe, for the last time, to look upon take that to herself, and would make it up to her her;" they turned away, and turned to me, three cousin Dolly one way or other. or four times alternately. Mrs Hervey and Miss I intend, Mr Belford, to save you the trouble Arabella sobbed; the uncles wiped their eyes; of interposing—the library shall be my cousin the brother looked down; the father wrung his Dolly's. hands.

Mrs Hervey could hardly keep her seat. On I was obliged to stop at the words, “ That she this occasion, however, she only said, That her was nobody's.

late dear and ever-dear niece, was too good to her But when I came to the address to be made to and hers. But, at another time, she declared, the accursed man, “if he were not to be diverted with tears, that she could not forgive herself for from seeing her dead, whom ONCE before he had a letter she wrote, * looking at Miss Arabella, seen in a manner dead~"execration, and either whom, it seems, unknown to anybody, she had vows or wishes of revenge, filled every mouth. consulted before she wrote it, and which, she

These were still more fervently renewed, when said, must have wounded a spirit, that now she they came to hear read her forgiveness of even saw had been too deeply wounded before. this man.

O my aunt, said Arabella, no more of that!You remember, sir, on our first reading of the Who would have thought that the dear creature will in town, the observations I made on the foul had been such a penitent? play which it is evident the excellent creature Mr John and Mr Antony Harlowe were so met with from this abandoned man, and what I much affected with the articles in their favour, said upon the occasion. I am not used to repeat (bequeathed to them without a word or hint of things of that nature.

reproach or recrimination,) that they broke out The dear creature's noble contempt of the no- into self-accusations; and lamented that their thing, as she as nobly calls it, about which she sweet niece, as they called her, was now got above had been giving such particular directions, to wit, all grateful acknowledgment and returns. Inher body; and her apologizing for the particu- deed, the mutual upbraidings and grief of all larity of those directions from the circumstances present, upon those articles in which every one she was in-had the same, and as strong an ef- was remembered for good, so often interrupted fect upon me, as when I first read the animated me, that the reading took up above six hours paragraph; and, pointed by my eye, (by turns But curses upon the accursed man were a refuge cast upon them all,) affected them all.

to which they often resorted to exonerate thuaWhen the article was read which bequeathed selves.

See Letter LI. of this Vol.

MR BELFORD TO THE RIGHT HON. LORD M.

How wounding a thing, Mr Belford, is a generous and well-distinguished forgiveness ! What

LETTER CCCCXVI. revenge can be more effectual, and more noble, were revenge intended, and were it wished to strike remorse into a guilty or ungrateful heart ! But my dear cousin's motives were all duty and love. She seems, indeed, to have been, as much

London, Sept. 14. as mortal could be, love itself. Love sublimed My Lord, by a purity, by a true delicacy, that hardly any I am very apprehensive that the affair between woman before her could boast of. O Mr Bel- Mr Lovelace and the late excellent Miss Clarissa ford, what an example would she have given in Harlowe will be attended with farther bad conevery station of life, (as wife, mother, mistress, sequences, notwithstanding her dying injuncfriend,) had her lot fallen upon a man blessed tions to the contrary. I would, therefore, humwith a mind like her own!

bly propose that your lordship, and his other reThe 6001. bequeathed to Mrs Norton, the li- lations, will forward the purpose your kinsman brary to Miss Hervey, and the remembrances to lately had to go abroad ; where I hope he will Miss Howe, were not the only articles grudged. stay till all is blown over. But as he will not Yet to what purpose did they regret the pecu- stir, if he know the true motives of your wishes, niary bequests, when the poor's fund, and not the avowed inducement, as I hinted once to Mr themselves, would have had the benefit, had not Mowbray, may be such as respects his own those legacies been bequeathed ?

health both of person and mind. To Mr MowBut enough passed to convince me that my bray and Mr Tourville all countries are alike; cousin was absolutely right in her choice of an and they perhaps will accompany him. executor out of the family. Had she chosen one I am glad to hear that he is in a way of recoin it, I dare say that her will would have been very; but this the rather induces me to press the no more regarded than if it had been the will of matter. I think no time should be lost. a dead king; than that of Louis XIV. in parti- Your lordship has heard that I have the hocular; so flagrantly broken through by his ne- nour to be the executor of this admirable lady's phew the Duke of Orleans before he was cold. last will. I transcribe from it the following paThe only will of that monarch, perhaps, which ragraph. was ever disputed.

But little does Mr James Harlowe think that, [He then transcribes the article which so gratewhile he is grasping at hundreds, he will, most fully mentions this nobleman, and the ladies probably, lose thousands, if he be my survivor. of his family, in relation to the rings she beA man of a spirit so selfish and narrow shall not queaths them, about which he desires their be my heir.

commands. ] You will better conceive, Mr Belford, than I can express, how much they were touched at the hint that the dear creature had been obliged to

LETTER CCCCXVII. part with some of her clothes.

Silent reproach seized every one of them when MISS MONTAGUE TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. I came to the passage where she mentions that she deferred filling up some blanks, in hopes of

M. Hall, Friday, Sept. 15. receiving their last blessing and forgiveness.

Sir, I will only add, that they could not bear to My lord having the gout in his right hand, hear read the concluding part, so solemnly ad- his lordship, and Lady Sarah, and Lady Betty, dressed to her Redeemer. They all arose from have commanded me to inform you, that, before their seats, and crowded out of the apartment your letter came, Mr Lovelace was preparing for we were in; and then, as I afterwards found, a foreign tour. We shall endeavour to hasten separated, in order to seek that consolation in him away on the motives you suggest. solitary retirement, which, though they could We are all extremely affected with the dear not hope for from their own reflections, yet, at lady's death. Lady Betty and Lady Sarah have the time, they had less reason to expect in each been indisposed ever since they heard of it. other's company. I am, sir,

They had pleased themselves, as had my sister Your faithful and obedient servant, and self, with the hopes of cultivating her acWILLIAM MORDEN. quaintance and friendship after he was gone

abroad, upon her own terms. Her kind remembrance of each of us has renewed, though it could not heighten, our regrets for so irreparable a loss. We shall order Mr Finch, our goldsmith, to wait on you. He has our directions about the rings. They will be long, long worn in memory of the dear testatrix.

Everybody is assured that you will do all in concerned at it, whatever it be. I went to him your power to prevent farther ill consequences prepared to expect odd behaviour from him; and from this melancholy affair. My lord desires his was not disappointed. I argue to myself, in all compliments to you. I am, sir,

such cases as this, as Miss Howe, from her everYour humble servant,

dear friend, argues, That if the reflections throun CH. MONTAGUE. upon me are just, I ought not only to forgive them,

but endeavour to profit by them ; if unjust, that

I ought to despise them, and the reflector too, This collection having run into a much great- since it would be inexcusable to strengthen by aner length than was wished, it is thought proper ger an enemy whose malice might be disarmed by to omit several letters that passed between Co- contempt. And, moreover, I should be almost lonel Morden, Miss Howe, Mr Belford, and Mr sorry to find myself spoken well of by a man Hickman, in relation to the execution of the who could treat, as he treated, a lady who was laly's will, &c.

an ornament to her sex and to human nature. It is, however, necessary to observe, on this I thank you, however, sir, for your considesubject, that the unhappy mother, being sup; ration for me in this particular, and for your ported by the two uncles, influenced the afflicted whole letter, which gives me so desirable an infather to over-rule all his son's objections, and stance of the friendship which you assured me of to direct a literal observation of the will; and at when I was last in town; and which I as corthe same time to give up all the sums which he dially embrace as wish to cultivate. was empowered by it to reimburse himself; as Miss Howe, in hers of the 20th, acknowledgalso to take upon himself to defray the funeral ing the receipt of the letters, and papers, and leexpenses.

gacies, sent with Mr Belford's letter to Mr Hicks Mr Belford so much obliges Miss Howe by man, assures him, That no use shall be made of his steadiness, equity, and dispatch, and by his his communications, but what he shall approve readiness to contribute to the directed collection, of. that she voluntarily entered into a correspond- He had mentioned, with compassion, the disence with him, as the representative of her be- tresses of the Harlowe family-Persons of a piloved friend. In the course of which, he com- tiful nature, says she, may pity them. I am not municated to her (in confidence) the letters one of those. You, I think, pity the infernal which passed between him and Mr Lovelace, man likewise ; while I, from my heart, grudge and, by Colonel Morden's consent, those which him his frenzy, because it deprives him of that passed between that gentleman and himself. remorse, which, I hope, on his recovery, will

He sent, with the first parcel of letters which never leave him. At times, sir, let me tell you, he had transcribed out of short-hand for Miss that I hate your whole sex for his sake; eveni Howe, a letter to Mr Hickman, dated the 16th men of unblamable characters, whom, at those of September, in which he expresses himself as times, I cannot but look upon as persons I have follows:

not yet found out. But I ought, sir, in this parcel to have kept If my dear creature's personal jewels be sent out one letter. It is that which relates to the up to you for sale, I desire that I may be the interview between yourself and Mr Lovelace, at purchaser of them, at the highest price—of the Mr Dormer's,* in which Mr Lovelace treats you necklace and solitaire particularly. with an air of levity, which neither your person,

Oh! what tears did the perusal of my beloyour character, nor your commission, deserved; vel's will cost me !~But I must not touch upbut which was his usual way of treating every on the heart-piercing subject. I can neither take me whose business he was not pleased with. I it up, nor quit it, but with execration of the man hope, sir, you have too much greatness of mind whom all the world must execrate. to be disturbed at the contents of this letter, Mr Belford, in his answer, promises that she should Miss Ilowe communicate them to you; shall be the purchaser of the jewels, if they come and the rather, as it is impossible that you should into his hands. suffer with her on that account.

He acquaints her that the family had given Mr Belford then excuses Mr Lovelace as a Colonel Morden the keys of all that belonged to good-naturel man with all his faults; and gives the clear departed ; that the unhappy mother instances of his still greater freedoms with him, had (as the will allows) ordered a piece of needleself.

work to be set aside for her, and had desired To this Mr Hickman answers, in his letter of Mrs Norton to get the little book of meditations the 18th :

transcribed, and to let her have the original, as As to Mr Lovelace's treatment of me in the it was all of her dear daughter's hand-writing; letter you are pleased to mention, I shall not be and as it might, when she could bear to look

• See Letter of CCLIII. of this Vol.

TO MR LOVELACE.

to

into it, administer consolation to herself. And duty till they knew you !-Not one good action that she had likewise reserved for herself her in the hour of languishing to recollect, not one picture in the Vandyke taste.

worthy intention to revolve, it will be all reproach Mr Belford sends with this letter to Miss and horror; and you will wish to have it in your Howe the lady's memorandum-book, and pro- power to compound for annihilation, mises to send her copies of the several posthu. Reflect, sir, that I can have no other motive, mous letters. He tells her that Mr Lovelace in what I write, than your good, and the safety being upon the recovery, he had enclosed the of other innocent creatures, who may be drawn posthumous letter directed for him to Lord M. in by your wicked arts and perjuries. You have that his lordship might give it to him, or not, as not, in my wishes for your future welfare, the he should find he could bear it. The following wishes of a suppliant wife, endeavouring, for is a copy of that letter :

her own sake, as well as for yours, to induce you to reform those ways. They are wholly as disinterested as undeserved. But I should mistrust my own penitence, were I capable of wishing to

recompense evil for evil--if, black as your ofThursday, Aug. 24. fences have been against me, I could not forgive, I told you, in the letter I wrote to you on as I wish to be forgiven. Tuesday last,* that you should have another I repeat, therefore, that I do forgive you. And sent you when I had got into my father's house. may the Almighty forgive you too ! Nor have

I presume say, that I am now, at your re- I, at the writing of this, any other essential receiving of this, arrived there ; and I invite you grets than what are occasioned by the grief I to follow me, as soon as you can be prepared for have given to parents, who, till I knew you, so great a journey.

were the most indulgent of parents; by the Not to allegorize farther--my fate is now, at scandal given to the other branches of my fayour perusal of this, accomplished. My doom mily; by the disreputation brought upon my is unalterably fixed; and I am either a miserable sex; and by the offence given to virtue in my or a happy being to all eternity. If happy, I owe fall. it solely to the Divine mercy ; if miserable, to As to myself, you have only robbed me of your undeserved cruelty.–And consider now, what once were my favourite expectations in the for your own sake, gay, cruel, futtering, un- transient life I shall have quitted when you rehappy man! consider, whether the barbarous ceive this. You have only been the cause that and perfidious treatment I have met with from I have been cut off in the bloom of youth, and you was worthy the hazard of your immortal of curtailing a life that might have been agreesoul ; since your wicked views were not to be able to myself, or otherwise, as had suited the effected but by the wilful breach of the most designs and ends of Providence. I have reason solemn vows that ever were made by man; and to be thankful for being taken away from the those aided by a violence and baseness unworthy evil of supporting my part of a yoke with a man of a human creature.

so unhappy ; I will only say, that, in all probaIn time then, once more, I wish you to con- bility, every hour I had lived with him might sider your ways. Your golden dream cannot long have brought with it some new trouble. And I last. Your present course can yield you plea- am (indeed, through sharp afflictions and dissure no longer than you can keep off thought or tresses) indebted to you, secondarily, as I humreflection. A hardened insensibility is the only bly presume to hope, for so many years of glory, foundation on which your inward tranquillity as might have proved years of danger, temptais built. When once a dangerous sickness seizes tion, and anguish, had they been added to my you; wl:en once effectual remorse breaks in upon mortal life. you; how dreadful will be your condition ! How So, sir, though no thanks to your intention, poor a triumph will you then find it, to have you have done me real service; and, in return, been able, by a series of black perjuries, and I wish you happy. But such has been your

lite studied baseness, under the name of gallantry hitherto, that you can have no time to lose in or intrigue, to betray poor unexperienced young setting about your repentance. Repentance to creatures, who perhaps knew nothing but their such as have lived only carelessly, and in the

See her letter, enclosed in Mr Lovelace's, No. CCLXXIX. of this Vol. The reader may observe, by the date of this letter, that it was written within two days of the allegorical one, to which it refers, and while the lady was labouring under the increased illness occasioned by the hurries and terrors into which Mr Lovelace had thrown her, in order to avoid the visit he was so earnest to make her at Mr Smith's; so early written, perhaps, that she might not be surprised by death into a seeming breach of her word.

High as her Christian spirit soars in this letter, the reader has seen, in Letter CCCLXXIV. of this Vol. and in other places, that that exalted spirit carried her to still more divine elevations, as she drew nearer to her end.

« НазадПродовжити »