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omission of their regular duties, and who never Whenever you shall be inclined to consult aimed to draw any poor creatures into evil, is the sacred oracles, from whence the above threatnot so easy a task, nor so much in our own power, enings are extracted, you will find doctrines and as some imagine. How difficult a grace, then, to texts which a truly penitent and contrite heart be obtained, where the guilt is premeditated, may lay hold of for its consolation. wilful, and complicated !
May yours, Mr Lovelace, become such ! and To say I once respected you with a preference, may you be enabled to escape the fate denounced is what I ought to blush to own, since, at the against the abandoned man, and be entitled to very time, I was far from thinking you even a the mercies of a long-suffering and gracious God, moral man; though I little thought that you,
is the sincere prayer of or, indeed, that any man breathing, could be
CLARISSA HARLOWE. what
you have proved yourself to be. But, indeed, sir, I have long been greatly above you ; for from my heart I have despised you, and all
LETTER CCCCXVIII. your ways, ever since I saw what manner of man you were.
MR LOVELACE TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. Nor is it to be wondered that I should be able so to do, when that preference was not grounded
M. Hall, Thursday, Sept. 14. on ignoble motives. For I was weak enough, and Ever since the fatal seventh of this month, I presumptuous enough, to hope to be a mean, in have been lost to myself, and to all the joys of the hand of Providence, to reclaim a man whom life. I might have gone farther back than that I thought worthy of the attempt.
fatal seventh, which, for the future, I will never Nor have I yet, as you will see by the pains see anniversarily revolve but in sables ; only till I take, on this solemn occasion, to awaken you that cursed day I had some gleams of hope now out of your sensual dream, given over all hopes and then darting in upon me. of this nature.
They tell me of an odd letter I wrote to you." Hear me, therefore, O Lovelace! as one speak- I remember I did write. But very little of the ing from the dead.—Lose 110 time—set about contents of what I wrote do I remember. your repentance instantly—be no longer the in- I have been in a cursed way. Methinks somestrument of Satan, to draw poor souls into those thing has been working strangely retributive. subtile snares, which at last shall entangle your I never was such a fool as to disbelieve a Proown feet. Seek not to multiply your offences, vidence; yet am I not for resolving into judgtill they become beyond the power, as I may say, ments everything that seems to wear an avengof the Divine mercy to forgive; since justice, no ing face. Yet, if we must be punished, either less than mercy,
an attribute of the Almighty. here or hereafter, for our misdeeds, better here, Tremble and reform, when you read what is say I, than hereafter. Have I not then an intethe portion of the wicked man from God. Thus rest to think my punishment already not only it is written :
begun, but completed; since what I have suf. “ The triumphing of the wicked is short, and fered, and do suffer, passes all description ? the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment. He To give but one instance of the retributireis cast into a net by his own feet-he walketh here I, who was the barbarous cause of the loss upon a snare. Terrors shall make him afraid on
of senses, for a week together, to the most ini. every side, and shall drive him to his feet. His mitable of women, have been punished with the strength shall be hunger-bitten, and destruction loss of my own-preparative to—who knows shall be ready at his side. The first-born of death what?-When, Oh! when, shall I know a joyshalldevour his strength. His remembrance shall ful hour? perish from the earth; and he shall have no name I am kept excessively low; and excessively in the streets. He shall be chased out of the low I am. This sweet creature's posthumous world. He shall have neither son nor nephew letter sticks close to me. All her excellencies among his people. They that have seen him rise up hourly to my remembrance. shall say, Where is he? He shall fly away as a Yet dare I not indulge in these melancholy dream: He shall be chased away as a vision of reflections. I find my head strangely working the night. His meat is the gall of asps within again- Pen, begone! him. He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through. A fire
Friday, Sept. 15. not blown shall consume him. The heaven shall I RESUME, in a sprightly vein, I hope-Mowreveal his iniquity, and the earth shall rise up bray and Tourville have just now, against him. The worm shall feed sweetly on But what of Mowbray and Tourville ? him. He shall be no more remembered.-- This What's the world ?-What's anybody in it?is the fate of him that knoweth not God." Yet they are highly exasperated against thee,
* Sce his delirious Letter, No. CCCCIV. of this Vol.
for the last letter thou wrotest to them*_such was denied all forgiveness from relations the an unfriendly, such a merciless
most implacable ? But it won't do !-I must again lay down my Exalted creature !-And couldst thou, at such pen.-0 Belford ! Belford ! I am still, I am still a time, and so early, and in such circumstances, most miserably absent from myself !--Shall ne- bave so far subdued thy own just resentments, ver, never more be what I was !
as to wish happiness to the principal author of all thy distresses?-Wish happiness to him who had robbed thee “ of all thy favourite expecta
tions in this life?” To him who had been the SATURDAY-Sunday-Nothing done. Inca- cause “ that thou wert cut off in the bloom of pable of anything.
Heavenly aspirer !—What a frame must thou
Monday, Sept. 18. be in, to be able to use the word only, in menHeavy, d-n-y heavy and sick at soul, by tioning these important deprivations !- And as Jupiter ! I must come into their expedient. Í this was before thou puttedst off mortality, may must see what change of climate will do. I not presume that thou now,
You tell these fellows, and you tell me, of repenting and reforming ; but I can do neither.
with pitying eye, He who can, must not have the extinction of a Not derogating from thy perfect bliss, Clarissa Harlowe to answer for.-Harlowe !-- Survey'st all Heav'n around, and wishest for me? Curse upon the name !—and curse upon myself for not changing it, as I might have done ! “ Consider my ways.”—Dear life of my life! Yet I have no need of urging a curse upon my- Of what avail is consideration now, when I have self-I have it effectually.
lost the dear creature, for whose sake alone it “ To say I once respected you with a prefe- was worth while to have consideration ?-Lost rence !"+-In what stiff language does maidenly her beyond retrieving-swallowed up by the modesty, on these nice occasions, express itself! greedy grave—for ever lost her—that, that's the --To say I once loved you, is the English ; and sting—matchless woman, how does this reflecthere is truth and ease in the expression.—“To tion wound me! say I once loved you,” then let it be, “ is what “ Your golden dream cannot long last.”I ought to blush to own.”
Divine prophetess! my golden dream is already And dost thou own it, excellent creature?
Thought and reflection are no longer and dost thou then own it ?-What music in to be kept off.”—No longer continues that “harthese words from such an angel !- What would dened insensibility” thou chargest upon me. ReI give that my Clarissa were in being, and could, morse has broken in upon me. Dreadful is my and would, own that she loved me!
condition ;-it is all reproach and horror with “ But, indeed, sir, I have long been greatly me!-A thousand vultures in turn are preying above you.” Long, my blessed charmer!-Long upon my heart! indeed ; for you have been ever greatly above But no more of these fruitless reflectionsme, and above your sex, and above all the world. since I am incapable of writing anything else ;
“ That preference was not grounded on ig since my pen will slide into this gloomy subject, noble motives."
whether I will or not; I will once more quit it; What a wretch was I, to be so distinguished nor will I again resume it, till I can be more its by her, and yet to be so unworthy of her hope master, and my own. to reclaim me !
All I took pen to write for is, however, unwritThen, how generous her motives ! Not for ten. It was, in few words, to wish you to proher oum sake merely, not altogether for mine, ceed with your communications, as usual. And did she hope to reclaim me; but equally for the why should you not?—since, in her ever-to-besake of innocents who might otherwise be ruined lamented death, I know everything shocking and by me.
grievous—acquaint me, then, with all thou knowAnd now, why did she write this letter, and est, which I do not know; how her relations, her why direct it to be given me when an event the cruel relations, take it; and whether now the most deplorable had taken place, but for my barbed dart of after-reflection sticks not in their good, and with a view to the safety of innocents hearts, as in mine, up to the very feathers. she knew not? And when was this letter written? Was it not at the time, at the very time, that I had been pursuing her, as I may say, from place to place ; when her soul was bowed I will soon quit this kingdom. For, now my down by calamity and persecution ; and herself Clarissa is no more, what is there in it (in the
• This Letter appears not.
+ See Letter CCCCXVII. of this Vol.
world, indeed) worth living for? But shall I not first, by some masterly mischief, avenge her and myself upon her cursed family?
LETTER CCCCXIX. The accursed woman, they tell me, has broken her leg. Why was it not her neck ?--All, MR LOVELACE TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. all, but what is owing to her relations, is the fault of that woman, and of her hell-born
Wednesday, Sept. 20. nymphs. The greater the virtue, the nobler the I WRITE to demand back again my last letter. triumph, was a sentence for ever in their mouths. I own it was my mind at the different times I -I have had it several times in my head to set wrote it ; and, whatever ailed me, I could not fire to the execrable house; and to watch at the help writing it. Such a gloomy impulse came doors and windows, that not a devil in it escape upon me, and increased as I wrote, that, for my the consuming flames. Had the house stood by soul, I could not forbear running into the mic itself, I had certainly done it.
serable. But, it seems, the old wretch is in the way to 'Tis strange, very strange, that a man's conbe rewarded, without my help. A shocking let- science should be able to force his fingers to ter is received of somebody's, in relation to her write, whether he will or not; and to run him -yours, I suppose—too shocking for me, they into a subject he more than once, at the very say, to see at present. *
time, resolved not to think of. They govern me as a child in strings; yet did Nor is it less strange, that (no new reason I suffer so much in my fever, that I am willing occurring) he should, in a day or two more, so to bear with them, till I can get tolerably well. totally change his mind; have his mind, I should
At present I can neither eat, drink, nor sleep. rather say, so wholly illuminated by gay hopes Yet are my disorders nothing to what they were; and rising prospects, as to be ashamed of what for, Jack, my brain was on fire day and night; he had written. and had it not been of the asbestos kind, it had For, on reperusal of a copy of my letter, which all been consumed.
fell into my hands by accident, in the handwriI had no distinct ideas, but of dark and con- ting of my cousin Charlotte, who, unknown to fused misery; it was all remorse and horror in- me, had transcribed it, I find it to be such a letdeed !--Thoughts of hanging, drowning, shoot- ter as an enemy would rejoice to see. ing—then rage, violence, mischief, and despair, This I know, that were I to have continued took their turns with me. My lucid intervals but one week more in the way I was in when I still worse, giving me to reflect upon what I was wrote the latter part of it, I should have been the hour before, and what I was likely to be the confined, and in straw, the next ; for I now renext, and perhaps for life--the sport of enemies! collect, that all my distemper was returning upon -the laughter of fools !—and the hanging- me with irresistible violence—and that in spite sleeved, go-carted property of hired slaves, who of water-gruel and soup-meagre. were, perhaps, to find their account in manac- I own that I am still excessively grieved at ling, and abhorred thought!) in personally the disappointment this admirable woman Ipade abusing me by blows and stripes!
it so much her whimsical choice to give me. Who can bear such reflections as these? To But, since it has thus fallen out; since she be made to fear only, to such a one as me, and was determined to leave the world ; and since to fear such wretches too?-What a thing was she actually ceases to be ; ought I, who have this, but remotely to apprehend ! And yet for a such a share of life and healtă in hand, to inman to be in such a state, as to render it neces- dulge gloomy reflections upon an event that is sary for his dearest friends to suffer this to be passed ; and, being passed, cannot be recalled? done for his own sake, and in order to prevent -Have I not had a specimen of what will be farther mischief !—There is no thinking of these my case, if I do? things!
For, Belford, ('tis a folly to deny it,) I have I will not think of them, therefore ; but will been, to use an old word, quite bestraught. either get a train of cheerful ideas, or hang my- Why, why did my mother bring me up to bear self by to-morrow morning.
no control? Why was I so educated, as that to
my very tutors it was a request that I should not - To be a dog, and dead,
know what contradiction or disappointment was? Were paradise, to such a life as mine. -Ought she not to have known what cruelty
there was in her kindness?
What a punishment, to have my first very great disappointment touch my intellect !- And intellects, once touched—but that I cannot bear
See letter CCCCVI. of this Vol.
to think of-only thus far; the very repentance and amendment, wished me so heartily by my kind and cross dear, have been invalidated and
LETTER CCCCXX. postponed, and who knows for how long ?-the amendment at least ; can a madman be capable MR LOVELACE TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. of either?
Once touched, therefore, I must endeavour to I am preparing to leave this kingdom. Mowbanish those gloomy reflections, which might bray and Tourville promise to give me their comotherwise have brought on the right turn of pany in a month or two. mind; and this, to express myself in Lord M.'s I'll give thee my route. style, that my wits may not be sent a wool-ga- I shall first to Paris; and, for amusement and thering
diversion-sake, try to renew some of my old For, let me moreover own to thee, that Dr friendships : thence to some of the German Hale, who was my good Astolfo, [you read courts: thence, perhaps, to Vienna: thence deAriosto, Jack,) and has brought me back my scend through Bavaria and the Tyrol to Venice, wit-jar, had much ado, by starving diet, by where I shall keep the carnival: thence to Floprofuse phlebotomy, by flaying-blisters, eyelet- rence and Turin: thence again over Mount Cehole-cupping, a dark room, a midnight solitude nis to France: and, when I return again to Pain a mid-day sun, to effect my recovery. And ris, shall expect to see my friend Belford, who, now, for my comfort, he tells me, that I may by that time, I doubt not, will be all crusted still have returns upon full moons-horrible! and bearded over with penitence, self-denial, most horrible !—and must be as careful of my- and mortification ; a very anchoret, only an itiself at both equinoctials, as Cæsar was warned nerant one, journeying over in hope to cover a to be of the Ides of March.
multitude of his own sins, by proselyting his How my heart sickens at looking back upon old companions. what I was ! Denied the sun, and all comfort: But let me tell thee, Jack, if stock rises on, all my visitors low-born, tip-toe attendants : as it has done since I wrote my last letter, I am even those tip-toe slaves never approaching me afraid thou wilt find a difficult task in succeedbut periodically, armed with gallipots, boluses, ing, should such be thy purpose. and cephalic draughts; delivering their orders Nor, I verily think, can thy own penitence to me in hated whispers ; and answering other and reformation hold. Strong habits are not so curtain-holding impertinents, inquiring how I easily rooted out. Old Satan has had too much was, and how I took their execrable potions, benefit from thy faithful services, for a series of whisperingly too! What a cursed still life was years, to let thee so easily get out of his clutches. this !--Nothing active in me, or about me, but He knows what will do with thee. A fine strapthe worm that never dies.
ping Bona Roba, in the Charters-taste, but wellAgain I hasten from the recollection of scenes, Iimbed, clear-complexioned, and Turkish-eyed; which will, at times, obtrude themselves upon thou the first man with her, or made to believe me.
so, which is the same thing; how will thy frosty Adieu, Belford !
face shine upon such an object ! How will thy But return me my last letter--and build no- tristful visage be illuminated by it! A compothing upon its contents. I must, I will, I have sition will be made between thee and the grand already, overcome these fruitless gloominesses. tempter; thou wilt promise to do him suit and Every hour my constitution rises stronger and service, till old age and inability come. And then stronger to befriend me; and, except a tribu- will he, in all probability, be sure of thee for tary sigh now and then to the memory of my ever. For, wert thou to outlive thy present reignheart's beloved, it gives me hope that I shall ing appetites, he will trump up some other darquickly be what I was—life, spirit, gaiety, and ling sin, or make a now-secondary one darling, once more the plague of a sex, that has been my in order to keep thee firmly attached to his inplague, and will be every man's plague, at one fernal interests. Thou wilt continue resolving time or other of his life. I repeat my desire, to amend, but never amending, till, grown old however, that you will write to me as usual. í before thou art aware, (a dozen years after thou hope you have good store of particulars by you art old with everybody else,) thy for-tiine-built to communicate, when I can better bear to hear tenement having lasted its allotted period, he of the dispositions that were made for all that claps down upon thy grizzled head the univerwas mortal of my beloved Clarissa.
sal trap-door: and then all will be over with But it will be the joy of my heart to be told thee in his own way. that her implacable friends are plagued with Thou wilt think these hints uncharacteristic remorse. Such things as those you may now from me. But yet I cannot help warning thee send me; for company in misery is some relief, of the danger thou art actually in ; which is the especially when a man can think those he hates greater, as thou seemest not to know it. A few as miserable as himself.
words more, therefore, on this subject. Once more adieu, Jack !
Thou hast made good resolutions. If thou keepest them not, thou wilt never be able to [Mr Belford then gives an account of the wretchkeep any. But, nevertheless, the devil and thy ed Sinclair's terrible exit, which he had just time of life are against thee; and six to one then received.] thou failest. Were it only that thou hast re- If this move thee not, I have news to acquaint solved, six to one thou failest. And if thou dost, thee with, of another dismal catastrophe that is thou wilt become the scoff of men, and the tri- but within this hour come to my ear, of another umph of devils.—Then how will I laugh at thee! of thy blessed agents. Thy Tomlinson ! DyFor this warning is not from principle. Perhaps ing, and, in all probability, before this can reach I wish it were: but I never lied to man, and thee, dead, in Maidstone gaol. As thou sayest hardly ever said truth to woman. The first is in thy first letter, something strangely retribuitive what all free-livers cannot say; the second what seems to be working. every one can.
This is his case. He was at the head of a gang I am mad again, by Jupiter !—But, thank of smugglers, endeavouring to carry off run goods, my stars, not gloomily so !-Farewell, farewell
, landed last Tuesday, when a party of dragoons farewell, for the third or fourth time, concludes came up with them in the evening. Some of his Thy
comrades fled. M‘Donald, being surrounded, LOVELACE. attempted to fight his way through, and wound
ed his man; but, having received a shot in his I believe Charlotte and you are in private league neck, and being cut deeply in the head by a
together. Letters, I find, have passed between broadsword, he fell from his horse, was taken, her and you, and Lord M. I have been kept and carried to Maidstone gaol ; and there my strangely in the dark of late ; but will soon informant left him, just dying, and assured of break upon you all, as the sun upon a mid- hanging if he recover. night thief.
Absolutely destitute, he got a kinsman of his Remember that you never sent me the copy of to apply to me, and, if in town, to the rest of my beloved's will.
the confraternity, for something, not to support him was the word, (for he expected not to live
till the fellow returned,) but to bury him. LETTER CCCCXXI.
I never employed him but once, and then he
ruined my project. I now thank Heaven that he MR BELFORD TO ROBERT LOVELACE, ESQ. did. But I sent him five guineas, and promised
him more, as from you, and Mowbray, and
Friday, Sept. 22. Tourville, if he live a few days, or to take his Just as I was sitting down to answer yours trial. And I put it upon you to make farther of the 14th to the 18th, in order to give you all inquiry of him, and to give him what you think the consolation in my power, came your revoking fit. letter of Wednesday.
His messenger tells me that he is very peniI am really concerned and disappointed, that tent; that he weeps continually. He cries out, your first was so soon followed by one so con- that he has been the vilest of men; yet palliates,
that his necessities made him worse than he The shocking letter you mention, which your should otherwise have been ; [an excuse which friends withhold from you, is indeed from me. none of us can plead :) but that which touches They may now, I see, shew you anything. Ask him most of all, is a vile imposture he was put them, then, for that letter, if you think it worth upon, to serve a certain gentleman of fortune to while to read aught about the true mother of the ruin of the most excellent woman that ever your mind.
lived; and who, he had heard, was dead of grief.
Let me consider, Lovelace-Whose turn can
be next? I will suppose that thou hast just read the I wish it may not be thine. But since thou letter thou callest shocking, and which I in- givest me one piece of advice, (which I should tended to be so. And let me ask what thou indeed have thought out of character, hadst thou thinkest of it? Dost thou not tremble at the not taken pains to convince me that it proceeds horrors the vilest of women labours with, on not from principle,) I will give thee another ; the apprehensions of death, and future judg- and that is, prosecute, as fast as thou canst, thy ment? -How sit the reflections that must have intended tour. Change of scene, and of climate, been raised, by the perusal of this letter, upon may establish thy health : while this gross air, thy yet unclosed eyelet-holes? Will not some and the approach of winter, may thicken thy serious thoughts mingle with thy melilot, and blood ; and with the help of a conscience that tear off the callus of thy mind, as that may flay is upon the struggle with thee, and, like a cunthe leather from thy back, and as thy epispas- ning wrestler, watches its opportunity to give tics may strip the parchinent from thy plotting thee another fall, may make thee miserable for head ? ' If not, then indeed is thy conscience thy life. scared, and no hopes will lie for thee.
I return your revoked letter. Don't destroy it,
trary to it.