Зображення сторінки


not very good; and so I am the less obliged to her hand as he quitted my mother's) tell me, you.

tell me, is Miss Arabella Harlowe here? Or will He turned, with an unconcerned air, to Miss she be here? I was informed she would-and Playford, and made her some genteel compli- this, and the opportunity of paying my compliments. I believe you know her not. She visits ments to your friend Miss Howe, were great inhis cousins Montague. Indeed, he had some- ducements with me to attend the colonel. thing in his specious manner to say to every- Superlative assurance ! was it not, my dear? body; and this too soon quieted the disgust each Miss Arabella Harlowe, excuse me, sir, said person had at his entrance.

Miss Lloyd, would be very little inclined to I still kept my seat, and he either saw me not, meet you here, or anywhere else. or would not yet see me; and addressing him- Perhaps so, my dear Miss Lloyd ; but, perself to my mother, taking her unwilling hand, haps, for that very reason, I am more desirous with an air of high assurance, I am glad to see to see her. you here, madam, I hope Miss Howe is well. I Miss Harlowe, sir, said Miss Biddulph, with have reason to complain greatly of her ; but a threatening air, will hardly be here without hope to owe to her the highest obligation that her brother. I imagine, if one comes, both will can be laid on man. My daughter, sir, is accustomed to be too

Heaven grant they both may! said the wretch. warm and too zealous in her friendships, for ei- Nothing, Miss Biddulph, shall begin from me ther my tranquillity or her own.

to disturb this assembly, I assure you, if they There had, indeed, been some late occasion do. One calm half-hour's conversation with that given for mutual displeasure between my mo- brother and sister, would be a most fortunate ther and me; but I think she might have spared opportunity to me, in presence of the colonel this to him ; though nobody heard it, I believe, and his lady, or whom else they should choose. but the person to whom it was spoken, and the Then turning round, as if desirous to find lady who told it me; for my mother spoke it out the one or the other, or both, he spied me, low.

and, with a very low bow, approached me. We are not wholly, madam, to live for our- I was all in a flutter, you may suppose. He selves, said the vile hypocrite ; it is not every would have taken my hand; I refused it, all glowone who has a soul capable of friendship; and ing with indignation, everybody's eyes upon us. what a heart must that be, which can be insen- I went from him to the other end of the sible to the interests of a suffering friend ? room, and sat down, as I thought, out of his

This sentiment from Mr Lovelace's mouth! hated sight; but presently I heard his odious said my mother-forgive me, sir ; but you can voice whispering behind my chair, (he leaning have no end, surely, in endeavouring to make upon the back of it with impudent unconcern,) me think as well of you as some innocent crea- Charming Miss Howe ! looking over my shoultures have thought of you to their cost. der-one request-[I started up from my seat,

She would have flung from him. But, de- but could hardly stand, neither, for very indigtaining her hand-Less severe, dear madam, nation]-0 this sweet, but becoming disdain ! said he, be less severe in this place, I beseech whispered on the insufferable creature-I am you. You will allow, that a very faulty person sorry to give you all this emotion ; but either may see his errors ; and when he does, and owns here, or at your own house, let me entreat you them, and repents, should he not be treated for one quarter of an hour's audience.--I bemercifully?

seech you, madam, but one quarter of an hour, Your air, sir, seems not to be that of a peni- in any of the adjoining apartments. tent. But the place may as properly excuse this Not for a kingdom, (Huttering my fan.) I knew subject, as what you call my severity.

not what I did. But I could have killed him. But, dearest madam, permit me to say, that We are so much observedelse, on my knees, I hope for your interest with your charming my dear Miss Howe, would I beg your interest daughter, (was his sycophant word,) to have it with your charming friend. put in my power to convince all the world that

She'll have nothing to say to you. there never was a truer penitent. And why, (I had not then your letters, my dear.) why this anger, dear madam, (for she struggled Killing words !--But indeed I have deserved to get her hand out of his,) these violent airs- them, and a dagger in my heart besides. I am so maidenly! [impudent fellow !7-May I not so conscious of my demerits, that I have no ask, if Miss Howe be here?

hope but in your interposition—could I owe She would not have been here, replied my that favour to Miss Howe's mediation, which I mother, had she known whom she had been to cannot hope for on any other account

My mediation, vilest of men !-My mediaAnd is she here, then ?-Thank Heaven - tion - I abhor you !-From my soul, I abhor he disengaged her hand, and stept forward into you, vilest of men! Three or four times I rethe company.

peated these words, stammering too. I was exDear Miss Lloyd, said he, with an air, (taking cessively futtered.


You can call me nothing, madam, so bad as I even with her too: Where, good madam, could will call myself. I have been, indeed, the vi- Miss Howe get all this spirit ? lest of men, but now I am not so. Permit me

The company around smiled, for I need not -everybody's eyes are upon us !—but one mo- tell you that my mother's high spiritedness is ment's audience

to exchange but ten words pretty well known ; and she, sadly vexed, said, with you, dearest Miss Howe-in whose pre- Sir, you treat me as you do the rest of the world sence you please for your dear friend's sake -butbut ten words with you, in the next apartment. I beg pardon, madam, interrupted he ;-I

It is an insult upon me to presume that I might have spared my question—and instantly would exchange one with you, if I could help (I retiring to the other end of the hall) he turnit -Out of my way!-Out of my sight, fellow! ed to Miss Playford-What would I give, maAnd

away I would have flung, but he took dam, to hear you sing that song you obliged us my hand. I was excessively disordered-every- with at Lord M.'s! body's eyes more and more intent upon us. He then, as if nothing had happened, fell

Mr Hickman, whom my mother had drawn into a conversation with her and Miss D'Ollyffe, on one side to enjoin him a patience, which per- upon music, and whisperingly sung to Miss haps needed not to have been enforced, came Playford, holding her two hands, with such airs up just then with my mother, who had him by of genteel unconcern, that it vexed me not a his leading-strings-by his sleeve, I should say. little to look round, and see how pleased half

Mr Hickman, said the bold wretch, be my the giddy fools of our sex were with him, notadvocate but for ten words in the next apart withstanding his notorious wicked character. ment with Miss Howe, in your presence ; and To this it is that such vile fellows owe much of in yours, madam, to my mother.

their vileness; whereas, if they found themHear, Nancy, what he has to say to you. To selves shunned and despised, and treated as get rid of him, hear his ten words.

beasts of prey, as they are, they would run to Excuse me, madam! his very breath-Un- their caverns, there howl by themselves, and hand me, sir!

none but such as sad accident, or unpitiable He sighed and looked-O how the practised presumption, threw in their way, would suffer villain sighed and looked! He then let go my by them. hand, with such a reverence in his manner, as He afterwards talked very seriously, at times, brought blame upon me from some, that I would to Mr Hickman; at times, I say, for it was with not hear him; and this incensed me the more. such breaks and starts of gaiety, turning to this O my dear, this man is a devil! This man is lady, and to that, and then to Mr Hickman indeed a devil !So much patience when he again, resuming a serious or a gay air at pleapleases ! So much gentleness !—Yet so resolute, sure, that he took everybody's eye, the women's so persisting, so audacious !

especially, who were full of their whispering I was going out of the assembly in great dis- admirations of him, qualified with if's, and order. He was at the door as soon as I. but's, and what pity's, and such sort of stuff,

How kind this is ! said the wretch, and, ready that shewed in their very dispraises too much to follow me, opened the door for me.

liking. I turned back upon this, and not knowing Well may our sex be the sport and ridicule what I did, snapped my fan just in his face, as of such libertines ! Unthinking eye-governed he turned short upon me, and the powder flew creatures !—Would not a little reflection teach from his hair.

us, that a man of merit must be a man of moEverybody seemed as much pleased as I was desty, because a diffident one ? and that such a vexed.

wretch as this must have taken his degrees in He turned to Mr Hickman, nettled at the wickedness, and gone through a course of vilepowder flying, and at the smiles of the company ness, before he could arrive at this impenetrable upon him—Mr Hickman, you will be one of effrontery? an effrontery which can proceed the happiest men in the world, because you are only from the light opinion he has of us, and a good man, and will do nothing to provoke this the high one of himself. passionate lady, and because she has too much

But our sex are generally modest and bashgood sense to be provoked without reason ; but ful themselves, and are too apt to consider that else, the Lord have mercy upon you!

which, in the main, is their principal grace, as This man, this Mr Hickman, my dear, is too a defect; and finely do they judge, when they meek for a man. Indeed he is ; but my patient think of supplying that defect by choosing a mother twits me that her passionate daughter man that cannot be ashamed. ought to like him the better for that. But meek His discourse to Mr Hickman turned upon men abroad are not always meek men at home. you, and his acknowledged injuries of you, I have observed that in more instances than one; though he could so lightly start from the suband if they were, I should not, I verily think, ject, and return to it. like them the better for being so.

I have no patience with such a devil man He then turned to my mother, resolved to be he cannot be called. To be sure, he would behave in the same manner anywhere, or in any honour. I know your power with the dear creapresence, even at the altar itself, if a woman ture. My cousins told me you gave them hopes were with him there.

you would use it in my behalf. My Lord M., It shall be ever a rule with me, that he who and his two sisters are impatiently expecting does not regard a woman with some degree of the fruits of it. You must have heard from her reverence, will look upon her, and occasionally before now; I hope you have. And will you be treat her, with contempt.

so good as to tell me if I may have any hopes ? He had the confidence to offer to take me If I must speak on this subject, let me tell out, but I absolutely refused him, and sinunned you that you have broken her heart. You him all I could, putting on the most contemp- know not the value of the lady you have injutuous airs; but nothing could mortify him. red. You deserve her not; and she despises

I wished twenty times I had not been there. you, as she ought.

The gentlemen were as ready as I to wish he Dear Miss Howe, mingle not passion with dehad broken his neck, rather than been present, nunciations so severe. I must know my fate. I believe ; for nobody was regarded but he. So I will go abroad once more, if I find her absolittle of the fop, yet so elegant and rich in his lutely irreconcileable ; but I hope she will give dress ; his person so specious; his air so intre- me leave to attend upon her, to know my doom pid ; so much meaning and penetration in his from her own mouth. face; so much gaiety, yet so little of the mon- It would be death immediate for her to see key ; though a travelled gentleman, yet no af- you. And what must you be, to be able to look fectation; no mere toupet-man, but all manly; her in the face? and his courage and wit, the one so known, the I then reproached him (with vehemence other so dreaded, that you must think the pe- enough, you may believe,) on his baseness, and tits maîtres, (of which there were four or five the evils he had made you suffer; the distress present) were most deplorably off in his com- he had reduced you to; all your friends made pany; and one grave gentleman observed to your enemies ; the vile house he had carried me, (pleased to see me shun him as I did) that you to ; hinted at his villainous arts; the dreadthe poet's observation was too true, that the ge- ful arrest; and told him of your present denerality of ladies were rakes in their hearts, or plorable illness, and resolution to die rather they could not be so much taken with a man than have him. who had so notorious a character.

He vindicated not any part of his conduct but I told him the reflection both of the poet and that of the arrest; and so solemnly protested his applier was much too general, and made with sorrow for his usage of you, accusing himself in more ill nature than good manners.

the freest manner, and by deserved appellations, When the wretch saw how industriously I that I promised to lay before you this part of avoided him, (shifting from one part of the hall our conversation. And now you have it. to another,) he at last boldly stepped up to me, My mother, as well as Mr Hickman, believes, as my mother and Mr Hickman were talking from what passed on this occasion, that he is to me, and thus before them accosted me:- touched in conscience for the wrongs he has

I beg your pardon, madam ; but, by your done you ; but, by his whole behaviour, I must mother's leave, I must have a few moments' own, it seems to me that nothing can touch him conversation with you, either here or at your for half an hour together. Yet I have no doubt own house ; and I beg you will give me the op- that he would willingly marry you, and it piques portunity.

his pride, I could see, that he should be denied ; Nancy, said my mother, hear what he has to as it did mine, that such a wretch had dared to say to you. In my presence you may, and bet- think it in his power to have such a woman ter in the adjoining apartment, if it must be, whenever he pleased, and that it must be acthan to come to you at our own house. counted a condescension, and matter of obliga

I retired to one corner of the hall, my mother tion (by all his own family at least) that he following me, and he, taking Mr Hickman un- would vouchsafe to think of marriage. der his arm, following her-Well, sir, said I, Now, my dear, you have before you the reawhat have you to say ? - Tell me here. son why I suspend the decisive negative to the

I have been telling Mr Hickman, said he, ladies of his family. My mother, Miss Lloyd, how much I am concerned for the injuries i and Miss Biddulph, who were inquisitive after have done to the most excellent woman in the the subject of our retired conversation, and world, and yet that she obtained such a glorious whose curiosity I thought it was right, in some , triumph over me the last time I had the honour degree, to gratify, (especially as these young to see her, as, with my penitence, ought to have ladies are of our select acquaintance,) are all of abated her former resentments; but that I will, opinion that you should be his. with all my soul, enter into any measures to You will let Mr Hickman know your whole obtain her forgiveness of me. My cousins Mon- mind, and when he acquaints me with it, I will tague have told you this. Lady Betty, and La- tell you all my own. dy Sarah, and my Lord M., are engaged for my Meantime, may the news he will bring me of



the state of your health, be favourable ! prays, as to excuse me, that I shall not accept of it, with the utmost fervency,

even should I be able to remove.

I will give Your ever faithful and affectionate

you my reasons for declining it; and so I ought, ANNA Howe. when both my love and my gratitude would

make a visit now and then from my dear Miss

Howe, the most consolate thing in the world to LETTER CCLXXV.

You must know then, that this great town, wicked as it is, wants not opportunities of being

better, having daily prayers at several churches Thursday, July 27. in it, and I am desirous, as my strength will MY DEAREST Miss Howe,

permit, to embrace those opportunities. The After I have thankfully acknowledged your method I have proposed to myself (and was befavour in sending Mr Hickman to visit me be- ginning to practise when that cruel arrest deprifore you set out upon your intended journey, I ved me both of freedom and strength) is this: must chide you (in the sincerity of that faith. When I was disposed to gentle exercise, I took ful love, which could not be the love it is if it a chair to St Dunstan's Church, in Fleet Street, would not admit of that cementing freedom) for where are prayers at seven in the morning ; ! suspending the decisive negative, which, úpon proposed, if the weather favoured, to walk (if such full deliberation, I had entreated you to not, to take chair) to Lincoln's-Inn Chapel, give to Mr Lovelace's relations.

where, at eleven in the morning, and at five in I am sorry that I am obliged to repeat to you, the afternoon, are the same desirable opportumy dear, who know me so well, that, were I sure nities ; and at other times to go no farther than I should live many years, I would not have Mr Covent-Garden Church, where are early mornLovelace ; much less can I think of him, as it is ing prayers likewise. probable I may not live one.

This method pursued, I doubt not, will greatAs to the world and its censures, you know, ly help, as it has already done, to calm my dismy dear, that however desirous I always was of turbed thoughts, and to bring me to that perfect a fair fame, yet I never thought it right to give resignation after which I aspire ; for I must more than a second place to the world's opinion. own, my dear, that som nes still my griefs The challenges made to Mr Lovelace by Miss and my reflections are too heavy for me, and all D'Oyly, in public company, are a fresh proof the aid I can draw from religious duties is hardthat I have lost my reputation; and what ad- ly sufficient to support my staggering reason. vantage would it be to me, were it retrievable, I am a very young creature, you know, my and were I to live long, if I could not acquit dear, to be left to my own conduct in such cirmyself to myself?

cumstances as I am in. Having in my former said so much on the Another reason why I choose not to go down freedoms you have taken with my friends, I into your neighbourhood, is the displeasure that shall say the less now; but your hint, that might arise, on my account, between your mosomething else has newly passed between somether and you. of them and you, gives me great concern, and If indeed you were actually married, and the that as well for my own sake as for theirs, since worthy man, who would then have a title to all it must necessarily incense them against me. I your regard, were earnestly desirous of near wish, my dear, that I had been left to my own neighbourhood, I know not what I might do; course on an occasion so very interesting to my- for although I might not perhaps intend to give self. But, since what is done cannot be helped, up my other important reasons at the time I I must abide the consequences; yet I dread, should make you a congratulatory visit, yet I more than before, what may be my sister's an- might not know how to deny myself the pleaswer, if an answer will be at all vouchsafed.

sure of continuing near you when there. Will you give me leave, my dear, to close this I send you enclosed the copy of my letter to subject with one remark?-Ít is this : That my my sister. I hope it will be thought to be writbeloved friend, in points where her own lau- ten with a true penitent spirit, for indeed it is. dable zeal is concerned, has ever seemed more I desire that you will not think I stoop too low ready to fly from the rebuke, than from the in it, since there can be no such a thing as that fault. If you will excuse this freedom, I will in a child to parents whom she has unhappily acknowledge thus far in favour of your way of offended. thinking, as to the conduct of some parents in But if still (perhaps more disgusted than bethese nice cases, that indiscreet opposition does fore at your freedom with them) they should frequently as much mischief as giddy love. pass it by with the contempt of silence-for I

As to the invitation you are so kind as to give have not yet been favoured with an answer me to remove privately into your neighbour- I must learn to think it right in them to do so, hood, I have told Mr Hickman that I will con- especially as it is my first direct application ; sider of it; but believe, if you will be so good for I have often censured the boldness of those


who, applying for a favour which it is in a person's option to grant or to refuse, take the li. berty of being offended, if they are not grati

LETTER CCLXXVI. fied, as if the petitioned had not as good a right to reject, as the petitioner to ask.

But if my letter should be answered, and that in such terms as will make me loath to com

(Enclosed in the preceding.) municate it to so warm a friend, you must not, my dear, take upon you to censure my relations,

Thursday, July 27. but allow for them, as they know not what I MY DEAREST Miss Howe, have suffered, as being filled with just resent- Since you seem loath to acquiesce in


dements against me, (just to them if they think termined resolution, signified to you as soon as them just,) and as not being able to judge of I was able to hold a pen, I beg the favour of the reality of my penitence.

you, by this, or by any other way you think And after all, what can they do for me?- most proper, to acquaint the worthy ladies, They can only pity me, and what will that do, but who have applied to you in behalf of their reaugment their own grief, to which, at present, lation, that, although I am infinitely obliged to their resentment is an alleviation ? For can they, their generous opinion of me, yet I cannot conby their pity, restore to me my lost reputation? sent to sanctify, as I may say, Mr Lovelace's Can they, by it, purchase a spunge that will repeated breaches of all moral sanctions, and wipe out from the year the past fatal four months hazard my future happiness by an union with of my life?*

a man, through whose premeditated injuries, in Your account of the gay unconcerned beha- a long train of the basest contrivances, I have viour of Mr Lovelace, at the colonel's, does not forfeited my temporal hopes. surprise me at all, after I am told that he had He himself, when he reflects upon his own acthe intrepidity to go there, knowing who were tions, must surely bear testimony to the justice invited and expected. Only this, my dear, I as well as fitness of my determination. The lareally wonder at, that Miss Howe could ima- dies, I dare say, would, were they to know the gine that I could have a thought of such a man whole of my unhappy story; for a husband.

Be pleased to acquaint them that I deceive Poor wretch! I pity him, to see him flutter- myself, if my resolution on this head (however ing about, abusing talents that were given him ungratefully, and even inhumanly he has treatfor excellent purposes, taking inconsideration ed me) be not owing more to principle than for courage, and dancing, fearless of danger, on passion. Nor can I give a stronger proof of the edge of a precipice !

the truth of this assurance, than by declaring But, indeed, his threatening to see me, most that I can and will forgive him, on this one sensibly alarms and shocks me. I cannot but easy condition, that he will never molest me hope that I never, never more shall see him in more. this world.

In whatever way you choose to make this deSince you are loath, my dear, to send the de- claration, be pleased to let my most respectful sired negative to the ladies of his family, I will compliments to the ladies of that noble family, only trouble you to transmit the letter I shall and to my Lord M., accompany it. And do enclose for that purpose ; directed indeed to you, my dear, believe that I shall be, to the last yourself, because it was to you that those ladies moment of my life, applied themselves on this occasion, but to be Your ever obliged and affectionate sent by you to any of the ladies, at your own


I commend myself, my dearest Miss Howe, to your prayers; and conclude with repeated

LETTER CCLXXVII. thanks for sending Mr Hickman to me; and with wishes for your health and happiness, and MR LOVELACE TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ. for the speedy celebration of your nuptials. Your ever affectionate and obliged

Friday, July 28. CLARISSA HARLOWE. I have three letters of thine to take notice

of :t but am divided in my mind, whether to quarrel with thee on thy unmerciful reflections, or to thank thee for thy acceptable particularity and diligence. But several of my sweet dears

[merged small][ocr errors]
« НазадПродовжити »