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to King Street, and the fore-right one, to Bedford Street, crowded, she started—any where—any where, said she, but to the woman's! and stepping into the chair, threw herself on the seat, in the utmost distress and confusion—carry me, carry me
out of sight—cover me cover me up for
ever were her words.
Thy villain drew the curtain: she had not power: and they went away with her through a vast crowd of people.
Here I must rest. I can write no more at present.
Only, Lovelace, remember, all this u>as to a Clarissa!
* * *
The unhappy lady fainted away when she was taken out of the chair at the officer's house.
Several people followed the chair to the very house, which is in a wretched court. Sally was there; and satisfied some of the inquirers, that the young gentlewoman would be exceedingly well used: and they soon dispersed.
Dorcas was also there; but came not in her sight. Sally, as a favour, offered to carry her to her former lodgings: hut she declared they should carry her thither a corpse, if they did.
Very gentle usage the women boast of: so would a vulture, could it speak, with the entrails of its prey upon its rapacious talons. Of this you'll judge from what I have to recite.
She asked, what was meant by this.usage of her? People told me, said she, that I must go with the men :—that they had authority to take me: so I submitted. But now, what is to be the end of this disgraceful violence?
The end, said the vile Sally Martin, is, for honest people to come at their own.
Bless me! have I taken away any thing that belongs to those who have obtained this power over me?—I have left very valuable things behind me: but have taken nothing away that is not my own.
And who do you think, Miss Harlowe; for I understand, said the cursed creature, you are not married; who do you think is to pay for your board and your lodgings? such handsome lodgings! for so long a time as yours were at Mrs. Sinclair's.
Lord have mercy upon me!—Miss Martin! (I think you are Miss Martin)—And is this the cause of such a disgraceful insult upon me in the open streets?
And cause enough, Miss Harlowe (fond of gratifying her jealous revenge, by calling her Miss J— one hundred and fifty guineas, or pounds, is no small sum to lose—and by a young creature who would have bilked her lodgings.
You amaze me, Miss Martin !—What language do you talk in ?—Bilk my lodgings !—What is that?
She stood astonished, and silent for a few moments.
But recovering herself, and turning from her to the window, she wrung her hands, [the cursed
Sally shewed me how!] and lifting them up
Now, Lovelace: now indeed do I think I ought to forgive thee !—But who shall forgive Clarissa Harlowe !—O my sister !—O my brother !—Tender mercies were your cruelties to this!
After a pause, her handkerchief drying up her falling tears, she turned to Sally: now, have I nothing to do but acquiesce—only let me say, that if this aunt of yours, this Mrs. Sinclair, or this man, this Mr. Lovelace, come near me; or if I am carried to the horrid house (for that, I suppose, is the design of this new outrage); God be merciful to the poor Clarissa Harlowe !—Look to the
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consequence! Look, I charge you, to the consequence!
The vile wretch tolii her, it was not designed to carry her any whither against her will: but, if it were, they should take care not to be frighted again by a penknife.
She cast up her eyes to heaven, and was silent— and went to the furthest corner of the room, and, Bitting down, threw her handkerchief over her face.
Sally asked her several questions! but not answering her, she told her, she would wait upon her by-and-by, when she had found her speech.
She ordered the people to press her to eat and drink. She must be fasting.—Nothing but her prayers and tears, poor thing !—were the merciless devil's words, as she owned to me.—Dost think I did not curse her?
She went away; and, after her own dinner, returned.
The unhappy lady, by this devil's account of her, then seemed either mortified into meekness, or to have made a resolution not to be provoked by the insults of this cursed creature.
Sally inquired, in her presence, whether she had eat or drank any thing; and being told by the woman, that she could not prevail upon her to taste a morsel, or drink a drop, she said, This is wrong, Miss Harlowe! very wrong!—Your religion, I think, should teach you, that starving yourself is self-murder.
She answered not.
The wretch owned, she was resolved to make her speak.
She asked, if Mabell should attend her, till it were seen what her friends would do for her, in discharge of the debt? Mabell, said she, has not yet earned the clothes you were so good as to give* her.
Am I not worthy an answer, Miss Harlowe?
I would answer you (said the sweet sufferer, without any emotion) if I knew how.
I have ordered pen, ink, and paper, to be brought you, Miss Harlowe. There they are. I know you love writing. You may write to whom you please. Your friend, Miss Howe, will expect to hear from you.
I have no friend, said she, I deserve none.
Rowland, for that's the officer's name, told her, she had friends enow to pay the debt, if she would write.
She would trouble nobody; she had no friends; was all they could get from her, while Sally staid: but yet spoken with a patience of spirit, as if she enjoyed her griefs.
The insolent creature went away, ordering them, in the lady's hearing, to be very civil to her, and to let her want for nothing. Now had she, she owned, the triumph of her heart over this haughty beauty, who kept them all at such a distance in their own house!
What thinkest thou, Lovelace, of this?—This Wretch's triumph was over a Clarissa!
About six in the evening, Rowland's wife pressed her to drink tea. She said, she had rather have a glass of water; for her tongue was ready to cleave to the roof of her mouth.
The woman brought her a glass, and some bread' and butter. She tried to taste the latter: but could not swallow it: but eagerly drank the water; lifting up her eyes in thankfulness for that!!!
The divine Clarissa, Lovelace—reduced to rejoice' for a cup of cold water/—By whom reduced I
About nine o'clock she asked if any body were to be her bedfellow.
Their maid, if she pleased; or, as she was so weak and ill, the girl should sit up with her, if she chose she should.
She chose to be alone both night and day, she said. But might she not be trusted with the keys of the room where she was to lie down; for she should not put off her clothes!
That, they told her, could not be.
She was afraid not, she said.—But indeed she would not get away, if she could.
They told me, that they had but one bed, besides that they lay in themselves, (which they would fain have had her accept of) and besides that their maid lay in, in a garret, which they called a hole of a garret: and that that one bed was the prisoner's bed; which they made several apologies to me about. I suppose it is shocking enough.
But the lady would not lie in theirs. Was she not a prisoner? she said—let her have the prisoner's room.
Yet they owned that she started, when she was conducted thither. But recovering herself, Very well, said she—why should not all be of a piece? —why should not my wretchedness be complete?
She found fault, that all the fastenings were on the outside, and none within; and said, she could not trust herself in a room, where others could come in at their pleasure, and she not go out. She had not been used to it!!!
Dear, dear soul!—My tears flow as I write !— Indeed, Lovelace, she had not been used to such treatment.
They assured her, that it was as much their duty