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MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE TO MISS HOWE.
When I have had such a face and such a heart must own too, that I half grudge Johnny this as I have described to deal with, I have been all blooming maiden ! for, in truth, I think a fine calm and serene, and left it to the friends of the woman too rich a jewel to hang about a poor blusterer (as I have done to the Harlowes) to do man's neck. my work for me.
Surely, Jack, if I am guilty of a fault in my I am about mustering up in my memory, all universal adorations of the sex, the women in gethat I have ever done, that has been thought neral ought to ve me the better for it. praise-worthy, or but barely tolerable. I am And so they do, I thank them heartily; exafraid thou canst not help me to many remem- cept here and there a covetous little rogue comes brances of this sort; because I never was so bad cross me, who, under the pretence of loving viras since I have known thee.
tue for its own sake, wants to have me all to herHave I not had it in my heart to do some good self. that thou canst remind me of ? Study for me, I have rambled enough. Jack. I have recollected some instances which I
Adieu, for the present. think will tell in—but see if thou canst not help me to some which I may have forgot. This I may venture to say, that the principal
LETTER XIV. blot in my escutcheon is owing to these girls, these confounded girls. But for them, I could go to church with a good conscience ; but when I do, there they are. Every where does Satan
Thursday Night, April 13. spread his snares for me! But, now I think of I always loved writing, and my unhappy siit, what if our governor should appoint church- tuation gives me now enough of it, and you, I es for the women only, and others for the men ? fear, too much. I have had another very warm -Full as proper, I think, for the promoting of debate with Mr Lovelace. It brought on the subtrue piety in both, [much better than the syna- ject which you advised me not to decline, when gogue-lattices, 7 as separate boarding-schools for it handsomely offered. And I want to have either their education.
your acquittal or blame for having suffered it to There are already male and female dedications go off without effect. of churches.
The impatient wretch sent up to me several St Swithin's, St Stephen's, St Thomas's, St times, while I was writing my last to you, to de George's, and so forth, might be appropriated to sire my company; yet his business nothing parthe men ; and Santa Catharina's, Santa Anna's, ticular ; only to hear him talk. The man seems Santa Maria's, Santa Margaretta's, for the wo- pleased with his own volubility; and whenever
he has collected together abundance of smooth Yet were it so, and life to be the forfeiture of things, he wants me to find an ear for them ! being found at the female churches, I believe Yet he need not; for I don't often gratify him that 1, like a second Clodius, should change my either with giving him the praise for his verbosedress, to come at my Portia or Pompeia, though ness, or shewing the pleasure in it, that he would one the daughter of a Cato, the other the wife be fond of. of a Cæsar.
When I had finished the letter, and given it But how I excurse !-Yet thou usedst to say, to Mr Hickman's friend, I was going up again, thou likedst my excursions. If thou dost, thou’lt and had got up half-a-dozen stairs, when he behave enow of them ; for I never had a subject sought me to stop, and hear what he had to say. I so much adored, and with which I shall pro- Nothing, as I said, to any new purpose had bably be compelled to have so much patience be- he to offer, but complainings; and those in a fore I strike the blow, if the blow I do strike. manner, and with an air, as I thought, that bor
But let me call myself back to my recordation- dered upon insolence. He could not live, he told subject.—Thou needest not remind me of my me, unless he had more of my company, and of Rosebud. I have her in my head ; and moreover my indulgence too, than I had yet given him. have contrived to give my fair-one an hint of Hereupon I stept down, and into the parlour, that affair, by the agency of honest Joseph Le- not a little out of humour with him; and the man ;* although I have not reaped the hoped- more, as he has very quietly taken up his quarters for credit of her acknowledgment.
here, without talking of removing, as he had That's the devil ; and it was always my hard promised. fate–every thing I do that is good, is but as I We began instantly our angry conference. He ought ! - Everything of a contrary nature is provoked me; and I repeated several of the plainbrought into the most glaring light against me est things I had said in our former conversations;
- Is this fair ? Ought not a balance to be struck, and particularly told him, that I was every hour and the credit carried to my account? Yet I more and more dissatisfied with myself, and with
. See Letter LXXI. Vol. VI.
him ; that he was not a man, who, in my opi- your opinion, I shall believe all you say to be nion, improved upon acquaintance; and that I just; and that I have nothing to do but to goshould not be easy till he had left me to myself. vern myself for the future by your example, and
He might be surprised at my warmth, per- by the standard you shall be pleased to give me. haps ; but really the man looked so like a sim- I know better, sir, replied I, than to value mypleton, hesitating, and having nothing to say for self upon your volubility of speech. As you prehimself, or that should excuse the peremptori- tend to pay so preferable a regard to sincerity, ness of his demand upon me, (when he knew I you shall confine yourself to the strict rules of had been writing a letter which a gentleman truth, when you speak of me, to myself; and waited for,) that I flung from him, declaring, then, although you shall be so kind as to imathat I would be mistress of my own time, and gine you have reason to make me a compliment, of my own actions, and not be called to account you will have much more to pride yourself in for either.
those arts which have made so extraordinary a He was very uneasy till he could again be ad- young creature so great a fool. mitted into my company, and when I was obli- Really, my dear, the man deserves not politer sed to see him, which was sooner than I liked treatment.-And then has he not made a fool, never did man put on a more humble and re- an egregious fool, of me? I am afraid he himspectful demeanour.
self thinks he has. He told me, that he had, upon this occasion, I am surprised ! I am amazed, madam, rebeen entering into himself, and had found a great turned he, at so strange a turn upon me!- I am deal of reason to blame himself for an impa- very unhappy, that nothing I can do or say will tieney and inconsideration, which, although he give you a good opinion of me!-Would to Heameant nothing by it, must be very disagreeable ven that I knew what I can do to obtain the hoto one of my delicacy. That having always aim- nour of your confidence. el at a manly sincerity and openness of heart, he I told him that I desired his absence, of all had not till now discovered, that both were very things. I saw not, I said, that my friends thought consistent with that true politeness, which he fear- it worth their while to give me disturbance ; ed he had too much disregarded, while he sought therefore, if he would set out for London, or to avoid the contrary extreme ; knowing, that in Berkshire, or whither he pleased, it would be me he had to deal with a lady, who despised an most agreeable to me, and most reputable too. hypocrite, and who was above all flattery. But He would do so, he said, he intended to do so, from this time forth, I should find such an al- the moment I was in a place to my liking—in a teration in his whole behaviour, as might be ex- place convenient for me. pected from a man who knew himself to be ho- This, sir, will be so, said I, when you are not noured with the presence and conversation of a here to break in upon me, and make the apart. person who had the most delicate mind in the ments inconvenient. sporld that was his flourish.
He did not think this place safe, he replied ; I said, that he might perhaps expect congra- and as I intended not to stay here, he had not tulation upon the discovery he had just now been so solicitous, as otherwise he should have made, to wit, that true politeness and sincerity been, to enjoin privacy to his servants, nor to were reconeilable ; but that I, who had, by a Mrs Greme at her leaving me; that there were perverse fate, been thrown into his company, had two or three gentlemen in the neighbourhood, abundant reason to regret that he had no soon- he said, with whose servants his gossiping feler found this out.-Since, I believed, very few lows had scraped acquaintance ; so that he could men of birth and education were strangers to it. not think of leaving me here unguarded and un
He knew not, neither, he said, that he had so attended.-But fix upon any place in England badly behaved himself, as to deserve so very se- where I could be out of danger, and he would vere a rebuke.
go to the furthermost part of the king's domiPerhaps not, I replied; but he might, if so, nions, if by doing so he could make me easy. make another discovery from what I had said; I told him plainly that I should never be in which might be to my own disadvantage ; since, humour with myself for meeting him ; nor with if he had so much reason to be satisfied with him, for seducing me away: that my regrets inhimself, he would see what an ungenerous per- creased, instead of diminished; that my repuson he spoke to, who, when he seemed to give tation was wounded ; that nothing I could do himsel airs of humility, which, perhaps, he would now retrieve it; and that he must not thought beneath him to assume, had not the ci- wonder, if I every hour grew more and more unvility to make him a compliment upon them; easy both with myself and him; that upon the but was ready to take him at his word. whole, I was willing to take care of myself ; and
He had long, with infinite pleasure, the pre- when he had left me, I should best know what tended flattery-hater said, admired my superior to resolve upon, and whither to go. talents, and a wisdom in so young 'a lady, per- He wished, he said, he were at liberty, withfeetly surprising.
out giving me offence, or being thought to inLet me, madam, said he, stand ever so low in tend to infringe the articles I had stipulated and
prove of it.
insisted upon, to make one humble proposal to me. But the sacred regard he was determined to
LETTER XV. pay to all my injunctions, (reluctantly as I had on Monday last put it into his power to serve me) would not permit him to make it, unless I MR LOVELACE, TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. would promise to excuse him, if I did not ap
Thursday, April 13. I asked, in some confusion, what he would say? Why, Jack, thou needest not make such a
He prefaced and paraded on; and then out wonderment, as the girls say, if I should have came, with great diffidence, and many apologies, taken large strides already towards reformation: and a bashfulness which sat very awkward up- for dost thou not see, that while I have been so on him, a proposal of speedy solemnization; assiduously, night and day, pursuing this single which, he said, would put all right; and make charmer, I have infinitely less to answer for, my first three or four months, (which otherwise than otherwise I should have had ? Let me see, must be passed in obscurity and apprehension) how many days and nights ?-Forty, I believe, a round of visits and visitings to and from all after open trenches, spent in the sap only, and his relations; to Miss Howe; to whom I plea- never a mine sprung yet! sed ; and would pave the way to the reconcilia- By a moderate computation, a dozen kites tion I had so much at heart.
might have fallen, while I have been only tryYour advice had great weight with me justing to ensnare this single lark. Nor yet do I see then, as well as his reasons, and the considera- when I shall be able to bring her to my lure : tions of my unhappy situation : But what could more innocent days yet, therefore !—But reforI say? I wanted somebody to speak for me. mation for my stalking-horse, I hope, will be a
The man saw I was not angry at his motion. sure, though a slow method to effect all my purI only blushed ; and that I am sure I did up to poses. the ears; and looked silly, and like a fool. Then, Jack, thou wilt have a merit too in en
He wants not courage. Would he have had gaging my pen, since thy time would be otherme catch at his first, at his very first word ?-I wise worse employed : and, after all, who knows was silent too-and do not the bold sex take si- but by creating new habits, at the expense of lence for a mark of favour?—Then, so lately in the old, a reformation may be brought about ? my father's house! Having also declared to him I have promised it; and I believe there is a in my letters, before I had your advice, that I pleasure to be found in being good, reversing would not think of marriage till he had passed that of Nat. Lee's madman, through a state of probation, as I may call it, How was it possible I could encourage,
_Which none but good men know. ready signs of approbation, such an early proposal; especially so soon after the free treatment By all this, seest thou not how greatly preferhe had provoked from me? If I were to die, I able it is, on twenty accounts, to pursue a difcould not.
ficult rather than an easy chase? I have a deHe looked at me with great confidence ; as if sire to inculcate this pleasure upon thee, and to (notwithstanding his contradictory bashfulness) teach thee to fly at nobler game than daws, crows, he would look me through ; while my eye but and wigeons : I have a mind to shew thee from now-and-then could glance at him.—He begged time to time, in the course of the correspondmy pardon with great humility: he was afraid ence thou hast so earnestly wished me to begin I would think he deserved no other answer, but on this illustrious occasion, that these exalted that of a contemptuous silence. True love was ladies may be abased, and to obviate one of the fearful of offending. [Take care, Mr Lovelace, objections that thou madest to me, when we thought I, how yours is tried by that rule. were last together, that the pleasure which atIndeed so sacred a regard [foolish man!) would tends these nobler aims, remunerates not the he have to all my declarations made before I ho- pains they bring with them ; since, like a palnoured him
try fellow as thou wert, thou assertedst that all I would hear him no further ; but withdrew women are alike. in a confusion too visible, and left him to make Thou knowest nothing, Jack, of the delicacies his nonsensical flourishes to himself.
of intrigue : nothing of the glory of outwitting I will only add, that, if he really wishes for the witty and the watchful: of the joys that fili a speedy solemnization, he never could have had the mind of the inventive or contriving genius, a luckier time to press for my consent to it. But ruminating which to use of the different webs he let it go off; and indignation has taken place that offer to him for the entanglement of a haughof it. And now it shall be a point with me, to ty charmer, who in her day has given him unget him at a distance from me.
numbered torments. Thou, Jack, who, like a I am, my dearest friend,
dog at his ease, contentest thyself to growl over Your ever faithful and obliged a bone thrown out to thee, dost not know the
Cl. H. joys of a chase, and in pursuing a winding game: these I will endeavour to rouse thee to, and then Is it prudent, thinkest thou, in her circumthou wilt have reason doubly and trebly to thank stances, to tell me, repeatedly to tell me,
« That me, as well because of thy present delight, as she is every hour more and more dissatisfied with regard to thy prospect beyond the moon. with herself and me? That I am not one who
To this place I had written, purely to amuse improve upon her in my conversation and admyself
, before I was admitted to my charmer. dress ?" Couldst thou, Jack, bear this from a But now I have to tell thee, that I was quite captive ?T“ That she shall not be easy
while right in my conjecture, that she would set up for she is with me? That she was thrown upon me herself, and dismiss me: for she has declared in by a perverse fate? That she knows better than so many words that such was her resolution : to value herself upon my volubility ? That if I And why? Because, to be plain with me, the think she deserves the compliments I make her, more she saw of me, and of my ways, the less she I may pride myself in those arts, by which I liked of either.
have made a fool of so extraordinary a person ? This cut me to the heart ! I did not cry, in- That she shall never forgive herself for meeting deed! Had I been a woman, I should though, me, nor me for seducing her away?” (Her very and that most plentifully; but I pulled out a words. ] “ That her regrets increase instead of white cambric handkerchief ; that I could com- diminish? That she will take care of herself ; mand, but not my tears.
and, since her friends think it not worth while she finds fault with my protestations, with to pursue her, she will be left to her own care? my professions, with my vows: I cannot curse That I shall make Mrs Sorlings's house more a servant, the only privilege a master is known agreeable by my absence ? And go to Berks, to by, but I am supposed to be a trooper * -I must town, or wherever I will,” [to the devil, I supDot say, By my soul! nor, As I hope to be saved! pose, ] "with all her heart?” Why, Jack, how particular this is ! Would she The impolitic charmer !—To a temper so vinnot have me think I have a precious soul, as dictive as she thinks mine! To a free-liver, as well as she? If she thinks my salvation hope- she believes me to be, who has her in his power ! less, what a devil [another exceptionable word!] I was before, as thou knowest, balancing ; now does she propose to reform me for? So I have this scale, now that, the heaviest. I only waited not an ardent expression left me.
to see how her will would work, how mine would lead me on. Thou seest what bias hers takesand wilt thou doubt that mine will be deter
mined by it? Were not her faults, before this, What can be done with a woman who is numerous enough? Why will she put me upon above flattery, and despises all praise but that looking back ? which flows from the approbation of her own I will sit down to argue with myself by and by, heart?
and thou shalt be acquainted with the result. Well, Jack, thou seest it is high time to change If thou didst but know, if thou hadst but bemy measures. I must run into the pious a little held, what an abject slave she made me look faster than I had designed.
like !--I had given myself high airs, as she callWhat a sad thing would it be, were 1, after ed them; but they were airs that shewed my all
, to lose her person, as well as her opinion! love for her that shewed I could not live out the only time that further acquaintance, and no of her company. But she took me down with a blow struck, nor suspicion given, ever lessened vengeance ! She made me look about me. me in a lady's favour ! A cursed mortification ! much advantage had she over me; such severe "Tis certain' I can have no pretence for holding turns upon me; by my soul, Jack, I had hardly her, if she will go. No such thing as force to be a word to say for myself. I am ashamed to tell used, or so much as hinted at: Lord send us thee what a poor creature she made me look safe at London !—That's all I have for it now; like! But I could have told her something that and yet it must be the least part of my speech. would have humbled her pretty pride at the in
But why will this admirable creature urge stant, had she been in a proper place, and proher destiny? Why will she defy the power she per company about her. is absolutely dependant upon Why will she To such a place then—and where she cannot still wish to my face that she had never left her fly me—And then to see how my will works, father's house? Why will she deny me her com- and what can be done by the amorous see-saw ; pany, till she makes me lose my patience, and now humble, now proud ; now expecting, or lay myself open to her resentment? And why, demanding ; now submitting, or acquiescingwhen she is offended, does she carry her indig- till I have tired resistance. nation to the utmost length that a scornful beau- But these hints are at present enough. I may ty, in the very height of her power and pride, can further explain myself as I go along; and as I go?
confirm or recede in my future motions. If she
• See Letter V.
will revive past disobligations ! If she will.—But to insist so rigorously upon my absence, in order no more, no more, as I said, at present, of to bring me closer to thee, and make the blessthreatenings.
ing dear! Well do thy arts justify mine; and
encourage me to let loose my plotting genius LETTER XVI.
But let me tell thee, charming maid, if thy
wishes are at all to be answered, that thou hast MR LOVELACE TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. yet to account to me for thy reluctance to go off
with me, at a crisis when thy going off was ne[In continuation.]
cessary to avoid being forced into the nuptial
fetters with a wretch, that, were he not thy averAnd do I not see that I shall need nothing sion, thou wert no more honest to thy own merit but patience, in order to have all power with than to me. me? For what shall we say, if all these com- I am accustomed to be preferred, let me tell plaints of a character wounded ; these declara- thee, by thy equals in rank too, though thy intions of increasing regrets for meeting me; offeriors in merit: But who is not so ? And shall resentments never to be got over for my seducing I marry a woman, who has given me reason to her away; these angry commands to leave her : doubt the preference she has for me? -What shall we say, if all were to mean nothing No, my dearest love, I have too sacred a rebut MATRIMONY? And what if my forbearing gard for thy injunctions, to let them be broken to enter upon that subject come out to be the through, even by thyself. Nor will I take in thy true cause of her petulance and uneasiness? full meaning by blushing silence only. Nor shalt
I had once before played about the skirts of thou give me room to doubt, whether it be nethe irrevocable obligation ; but thought myself cessity or love, that inspires this condescending obliged to speak in clouds, and to run away from impulse. the subject, as soon as she took my meaning, Upon these principles, what had I to do but lest she should imagine it to be ungenerously to construe her silence into contemptuous disurged, now she was in some sort in my power, pleasure ? And I begged her pardon for making as she had forbid me beforehand, to touch upon à motion which I had so much reason to fear it, till I were in a state of visible reformation, would offend her ; for the future I would pay & and till a reconciliation with her friends were sacred regard to her previous injunctions, and probable. But now, out-argued, out-talented, prove to her by all my conduct the truth of that and pushed so vehemently to leave one whom observation, That true love is always fearful of I had no good pretence to hold, if she would go; offending: and who could so easily, if I had given her cause And what could the lady say to this ? meto doubt, have thrown herself into other protec- thinks thou askest. tion, or have returned to Harlowe-Place and Say !-Why she looked vexed, disconcerted, Solmes ; I spoke out upon the subject, and of, teazed ; was at a loss, as I thought, whether to fered reasons, although with infinite doubt and be more angry with herself, or with me. She hesitation, [lest she should be offended at me, turned about, however, as if to hide a starting Belford !] why she should assent to the legal tear; and drew a sigh into two or three but just tie, and make me the happiest of men. And o audible quavers, trying to suppress it, and withhow the mantling cheek, the downcast eye, the drew, leaving me master of the field. silent yet trembling lip, and the heaving bosom, Tell me not of politeness ; tell me not of gea sweet collection of heightened beauties, gave nerosity; tell me not of compassion-Is she not evidence that the tender was not mortally offen, a match for me? More than a match? Does sive!
she not outdo me at every fair weapon ? Has she Charming creature ! thought I, [but I charge not made me doubt her love ? Has she not thee, that thou let not any of thy sex know my ex- taken officious pains to declare that she was not ultation, *) Is it so soon come to this ? Am I averse to Solmes for any respect she had to me? already lord of the destiny of a Clarissa Har- and her sorrow for putting herself out of his lowe? Am I already the reformed man thou re- reach ; that is to say, for meeting me? solvedst I should be, before I had the least encou- Then what a triumph would it be to the Har ragement given me ? Is it thus, that the more lowe pride, were I now to marry this lady? A thou knowest me, the less thou seest reason to ap- family beneath my own! No one in it worthy prove of me?-_And can art and design enter into of an alliance with but her ! My own estate not a breast so celestial ? To banish me from thee, contemptible! Living within the bounds of it,
Mr Lovelace might have spared this caution on this occasion, since many of the sex, [we mention it with regret,] who, on the first publication, had read thus far, and even to the lady's first escape, have been rea; dier to censure her for over-niceness, as we have observed in a former note, page 16, than him for artifices and exultations, not less cruel and ungrateful, than ungenerous and unmanly.