madam, did you call? – Sup- a great hurry, and as if frighted) posing her in her closet.

with a little parcel tied up in a “Having no answer, she stept handkerchief, in her hand : that forward, and was astonished to he took notice to his fellow, who find she was not there. She plied her without her answering, hastily ran into the dining-room, that she was a fine young lady: then into my apartments; searched that he'd warrant, she had either every closet; dreading all the a bad husband, or very cross time to behold some sad cata- parents; for that her eyes seemed strophe.

swelled with crying, upon which, “Not finding her any where, a third fellow replied, that it might she ran down to the old creature, be a doe escaped from mother and her nymphs, with a Have you Damnable's park. This Mrs. Sinseen my lady? — Then she's gone! clair told me with a curse, and a - She's no where above!

wish that she knew the saucy vil“They were sure she could not lain. — She thought truly, that be gone out.

she had abetter reputation; so hand“The whole house was in an somely as she lived, and so justly as uproar in an instant! some run- she paid every body for what she ning up stairs, some down, from bought; her house visited by the best the upper rooms to the lower; and and civilest of gentlemen; and no all screaming, how should they noise or brawls ever heard, or look me in the face!

known in it. " Will cried out, he was a dead “From these appearances, the man: he blamed them; they him; fellow who gave this information, and every one was an accuser, and had the curiosity to follow her, an excuser, at the same time. unperceived. She often looked

“When they had searched the back. Every body who passed whole house, and every closet in her, turned to look after her; it, ten times over to no purpose, passing their verdict upon her they took it into their heads to tears, her hurry, and her charmsend to all the porters, chairmen, ing person; till coming to a stand and hackney-coachmen, that had of coaches, a coachman plied her; been near the house for two hours was accepted; alighted; opened past to inquire if any of them saw the coach door in a hurry, seeing such a young lady; describing her hurry; and in it she stumbled her.

for haste, and, as the fellow be" This brought them some light: lieved, hurt her shin with the the only dawning for hope, that I stumble.” can have, and which keeps me The devil take me, Belford, if from absolute despair. One of the my generous heart is not moved for chairmen gave them this account: her, notwithstanding her wicked that he saw such a one come out deceit, to think what must be her of the house a little before four (in reflections and apprehensions at the time. – A mind so delicate, intelligence, speeded away in heeding no censures; yet pro- hopes to trace her out; declaring, bably afraid of being laid hold of that he would neverthink of seeing by a Lovelace in every one she me, till he had heard some tidings saw! At the same time, not know- of his lady." ing to what dangers she was about And now, Belford, all my hope to expose herself; nor of whom is, that this fellow (who attended she could obtain shelter;a stranger us in our airing to Hampstead, to to the town, and to all its ways; Highgate, to Muswell Hill, to the afternoon far gone: but little Kentish Town) will hear of her at money; and no clothes but those some one or other of those places, she had on!

And on this I the rather build, as It is impossible, in this little I remember she was once, after interval since last night, that Miss our return, very inquisitive about Howe's Townsend could be co- the stages, and their prices; praisoperating.

ing the conveniency to passengers But how she must abhor me, to in their going off every hour; and run all these risks; how heartily this in Will's hearing, who was must she detest me, for my free- then in attendance. Woe be to doms of last night! O that I had the villain, if he recollect not given her greater reason for a re- this. sentment so violent! — As to her

* * * virtue, I am too much enraged to I HAVE been traversing her give her the merit due to that. To room, meditating, or taking up virtue it cannot be owing that she every thing she but touched or should fly from the charming used: the glass she dressed at, I prospects that were before her; was ready to break, for not giving but to malice, hatred, contempt, me the personal image it was wont Harlowe - pride, (the worst of to reflect of her, whose idea is for pride) and to all the deadly pas- ever present with me. I call for sions that ever reigned in a female her, now in the tenderest, now in breast — and if I can but recover the most reproachful terms, as if her -- but be still, be calm, be within hearing: wanting her, I hushed, my stormy passions; for want my own soul, at least every is it not Clarissa (Harlowe must I thing dear to it. What a void in say?) that thus I rave against? my heart! what a chilness in my

The fellow heard her say, blood, as if its circulation were Drive fast! Very fast! Where, arrested! From her room to my madam? To Holborn Bars, an- own; in the dining-room, and in swered she; repeating, Drive very and out of every place where I fast! — And up she pulled both have seen the beloved of my heart, the windows: and he lost sight of do I hurry; in none can I tarry; the coach in a minute.

her lovely image in every one, in Will, as soon as he had this some lively attitude, rushing

cruelly upon me, in differently re-|And as the sting of this reflection membered conversations. will sharpen upon me, if I recover

But when in my first fury, at her not, how shall I be able to my return, I went up two pair of bear it? stairs, resolved to find the locked- If ever — up Dorcas, and beheld the vainly

y Here Mr. Lovelace lays himself burnt window board, and recollected my baffled contrivances,

under a curse, too shocking to be baffled by my own weak folly, I

repeated, if he revenge not himthought my distraction com

self upon the lady, should he pleted; and down I ran as one

once more get her into his hands. frighted at a spectre, ready to howl for vexation; my head and I HAVE just now dismissed the my temples shooting with a sniveling toad Dorcas, who was violence I had never felt before, introduced to me for my pardon and my back aching as if the by the whining mother. I gave vertebræ were disjointed and fall- her a kind of negative and uning in pieces.

gracious forgiveness. Yet I shall But now that I have heard the as violently curse the two nymphs, mother's story, and contemplated by-and-by, for the consequences the dawning hopes given by the of my own folly: and this will be chairman's information, I am a a good way too, to prevent their good deal easier, and can make ridicule upon me, for losing so cooler reflections. Most heartily glorious an opportunity as I bad pray I for Will's success, every last night, or rather this morning. four or five minutes. If I lose her, I have collected from the result all my rage will return with re- of the inquiries made of the chairdoubled fury. The disgrace to man, and from Dorcas's obserbe thus outwitted by a novice, an vations before the cruel creature infant in stratagem and contri-escaped, a description of her vance, added to the violence of dress; and am resolved, if I canmy passion for her, will either not otherwise hear of her, to adbreak my heart, or (what saves vertise her in the Gazette, as an many an heart, in evils insup- eloped wife, both by her maiden portable) turn my brain. What and acknowledged name; for her had I to do to go out a licence hunt- elopement will soon be known by ing, at least till I had seen her, every enemy: why then should not and made up matters with her? my friends be made acquainted And indeed, were it not the privi- with it, from whose inquiries and lege of a principal to lay all his informations I may expect some own faults upon his underlings, tidings of her? and never be to blame himself, il “She had on a brown lustring should be apt to reflect, that I night-gown, fresh, and looking am more in fault than any body. like new, as every thing she wears does, whether new or not, from How does this d-n'd love unan elegance natural to her. A man me! — but nobody ever loved beaver hat, a black ribband about as I love! - It is even increased her neck, and blue knots on her by her unworthy flight, and my breast. A quilted petticoat of disappointment. Ingrateful crea. carnation-coloured satin; a rose ture, to fly from a passion thus diamond ring, supposed on her ardently flaming! which, like the finger; and in her whole person palm, rises the more for being and appearance, as I shall express depressed and slighted. it, a dignity, as well as beauty, I will not give thee a copy of that commands the repeated at- this letter. I owe her not so much tention of every one who sees service. her."

But wouldst thou think, that The description of her person I this haughty promise-breaker could shall take a little more pains about. resolve as she does, absolutely My mind must be more at ease, and for ever to renounce me for before I can undertake that. And what passed last night? That she I shall threaten, “that if, after a could resolve to forego all her certain period given for her volun- opening prospects of reconciliatary return, she be not heard of, tion; that reconciliation with a I will prosecute any person who worthless family, on which she presumes to entertain, harbour, had set her whole heart? – Yet abet, or encourage her, with all she does — she acquits me of all the vengeance that an injured obligation to her, and herself of gentleman and husband may be all expectations from me — and warranted to take by law, or other- for what? – 0 that indeed I had wise.”

given her real cause! D-n'd

confounded niceness, prudery, afFRESH cause of aggravation!- fectation, or pretty ignorance, if But for this scribbling vein, or I not affectation! - By my soul, should still run mad.

Belford, I told thee all — I was Again going into her chamber, more indebted to her struggles, because it was hers, and sighing than to my own forwardness. I over the bed, and every piece of cannot support my own reflections furniture in it, I cast my eye to- upon a decency so ill-requited. — wards the drawers of the dressing. She could not, she would not have glass, and saw peep out, as it been so much a Harlowe in her were, in one of the half-drawn resentment, had I deserved, as I drawers, the corner of a letter. I ought to have done, her resentsnatched it out, and found it ment. All she feared, had then superscribed, by her, To Mr. been over; and her own good Lovelace. The sight of it made sense, and even modesty, would my heart leap, and I trembled so, have taught her to make the best that I could hardly open the seal. of it. Clarissa. III.

But if ever again I get her into; been the consequence, had it my hands, art and more art and come to the hands of this Clarissa compulsion too, if she make it ne- Harlowe. Let my justly excited cessary (and 'tis plain that nothing rage excuse my irreverence. else will do] shall she experience Collins, though not his day, from the man whose fear of her brought it this afternoon to Wil. has been above even his passion son's, with a particular desire, for her; and whose gentleness that it might be sent with all and forbearance she has thus per- speed to Miss Beaumont's lodgfidiously triumphed over. Well ings, and given, if possible, into says the poet,

her own hands. He had before

been here (at Mrs. Sinclair's) with 'Tis nobler like a lion to invade

intent to deliver it to the lady When appetite directs, and seize my with his own hand: but was told

prey, Than to wait tamely, like a begging do Till dull consent throws out the scraps of love.

her any thing he should leave for Thou knowest what I have so

her, the moment she returned. lately vowed - and yet at times;

But he cared not to trust them

S with his business, and went away scruel creature, ingrateful as

to Wilson's (as I find by the decruel! I can subscribe with too

scription of him at both places) much truth to those lines of an

and there left the letter, but not other poet:

till he had a second time called She reigns more fully in my soul than

here, and found her not come in. ever;

The letter (which I shall inclose; She garrisons my breast, and mans for it is too long to transcribe will

against me Ev'n my own rebel thoughts, with thou-li

hou. account to thee for Collins's coming sand graces,

hither. Ten thousand charms, and new dis O this devilish Miss Howe; cover'd beauties!

something must be resolved upon

and done with that little fury! LETTER IV. Mr. Lovelace to John Belford, Esq. I

Thou wilt see the margin of this

cursed letter crowded with indices A LETTER is put into my hands (IKS). I put them to mark the by Wilson himself - such a places which call for vengeance letter!

upon the vixen writer, or which A letter from Miss Howe to her require animadversion. Return cruel friend!

thou it to me the moment thou I made no scruple to open it. bast perused it.

It is a miracle that I fell not Read it here; and avoid trem. into fits at the reading of it; and bling for me, if thou canst. at the thought of what might havel

« VorigeDoorgaan »