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confined so long to one object? Thou knowest nothing of this charming creature, that thou canst put such questions to me; or thinkest thou knowest me better than thou dost. All that's excellent in her sex is this lady until by matrimonial, or equal intimacies, I have found her less than angel, it is impossible to think of any other. Then there are so many stimulatives to such a spirit as mine in this affair, besides love: such a field for stratagem and contrivance, which thou knowest to be the delight of my heart. Then the rewarding end of all ?– To carry off such a girl as this, in spite of all her watchful and implacable friends; and in spite of a prudence and reserve that I never met with in any of the sex :- What a triumph ! What a triumph over the whole sex !- And then such a revenge to gratify; which is only at present politically reined-in, eventually to break forth with the greater fury—Is it possible, thinkest thou, that there can be room for a thought that is not of her, and devoted to her ?
By the advices I have this moment received, I have reason to think, that I shall have occasion for thee here. Hold thyself in readiness to come down upon the first summons.
Let Belton, and Mowbray, and Tourville, likewise prepare themselves. I have a great mind to contrive a method to send James Harlowe to travel for improvement. Never was there booby 'squire that more wanted it. Contrive it, did I say? I have already contrived it; could I but put it in execution without being suspected to have a hand in it. This I am resolved upon; if I have not his sister, I will have him.
But be this as it may, there is a present likelihood of room for glorious mischief. A confederacy had been for some time formed against me; but the uncles and the nephew are now to be double-servanted (single-servanted they were before); and those servants are to be doublearmed when they attend their masters abroad. This indicates their resolute enmity to me, and as resolute favour to Solmes.
The reinforced orders for this hostile apparatus are owing it seems to a visit I made yesterday to their church—they were filled with terror it seems at my entrance; a terror they could not get over. I saw it indeed in their countenances; and that they all expected something extraordinary to follow.—And so it should have done, had I been more sure than I am of their daughter's favour. Yet not a hair of any of their stupid heads do I intend to hurt.
You shall all have your directions in writing, if there be occasion. But after all, I dare say there will be no need but to show your faces in my company.
Such faces never could four men show-Mowbray's so fierce and so fighting : Belton's so pert and so pimply: Tourville's so fair and so foppish: thine so rough and so resolute : and I your leader !—What hearts, although meditating hostility, must those be which we shall not appal ?—Each man occasionally attended by a servant or two, long ago chosen for qualities resembling those of his master. · Thus, Jack, as thou desirest, have I written.—Written upon something ; upon nothing ; upon revenge, which I love; upon love, which I hate, and upon the devil knows what besides :-For, looking back, I am amazed at the length of it. Thou may’st read it : I would not for a king's ransom—But so as I do but write, thou sayest thou wilt be pleased. Farewell.
MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE TO MISS HOWE.
Tuesday, March 14. BAO. NOW send you copies of my letters to my uncles:
with their answers. Be pleased to return the
latter by the first deposit. I leave them for you to make remarks upon. I shall make none.'
Thursday, March 16. Having met with such bad success in my application to my relations, I have taken a step that will surprise you. It is no other than writing a letter to Mr. Solmes himself. I sent it; and have his answer. He had certainly help in it. For I have seen a letter of his; as indifferently worded, as poorly spelt. Yet the superscription is of his dictating, I dare say; for he is a formal wretch. With these, I shall enclose one from my brother to me, on occasion of mine to Mr. Solmes. I did think that it was possible to discourage this man from proceeding; and if I could have done that, it would have answered all my wishes. It was worth the trial. But you'll see nothing will do. My brother has taken his measures too securely.
MR. LOVELACE TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ.
- Friday, March 17. WOULD have thee, Jack, come down, as soon as thou canst. I believe I shall not want the
others so soon. Yet they may come down to Lord M's. I will be there, if not to receive them, to satisfy my lord, that there is no new mischief in hand, which will require his second intervention.
For thyself, thou must be constantly with me: not for my security : the family dare do nothing but bully : they bark only at a distance: but for my entertainment: that thou mayst, from the Latin and the English classics, keep my love-sick soul from drooping.
Thou hadst best come to me here, in thy old corporal's coat: thy servant out of livery; and to be upon a familiar foot with me, as a distant relation, to be provided for by thy interest above—I mean not in heaven, thou mayst be sure. Thou wilt find me at a little alehouse ; they call it an inn: the White Hart; most terribly wounded (but by the weather only) the sign :-In a sorry village ; within five miles from Harlowe-Place ; for, like Versailles, it is · VOL. I.
sprung up from a dunghill, within every elderly person's remembrance. Every poor body, particularly, knows it : but that only a few years past, since a certain angel has appeared there among the sons and daughters of men.
The people here at the Hart are poor, but honest; and have gotten into their heads, that I am a man of quality in disguise ; and there is no reining in their officious respect. Here is a pretty little smirking daughter; seventeen six days ago. I call her my rosebud. Her grandmother (for there is no mother) a good neat old woman, as ever filled a wicker-chair in a chimney-comer, has besought me to be merciful to her.
This is the right way with me. Many and many a pretty rogue had I spared, whom I did not spare, had my power been acknowledged, and my mercy in time implored. But the debellare superbos should be my motto, were I to have a new one.
But I charge thee, that thou do not crop my rosebud.
I never was so honest for so long together since my matriculation. It behoves me so to be—Some way or other, my recess at this little inn may be found out; and it will then be thought that my rosebud has attracted me. A report in my favour, from simplicities so amiable, may establish me ; for the grandmother's relation to my rosebud may be sworn to: and the father is an honest poor man: has no joy, but in his rosebud.—0 Jack ! spare thou therefore (for I shall leave thee often alone with her, spare thou) my rosebud ! Unsuspicious of her danger, the lamb’s throat will hardly shun thy knife— be not thou the butcher of my lambkin !
The gentle heart is touched by love: Her soft bosom heaves with a passion she has not yet found a name for. I once caught her eye following a young carpenter, a widow neighbour's son, living (to speak in her dialect) at the little white house over the way. A gentle youth he also seems to be, about three years older than herself: play
mates from infancy, till his eighteenth and her fifteenth year furnished a reason for a greater distance in show, while their hearts gave a better for their being nearer than ever-for I soon perceived the love reciprocal. A scrape and a bow at first seeing his pretty mistress ; turning often to salute her following eye; and, when a winding lane was to deprive him of her sight, his whole body turned round, his hat more reverently doffed, than before. This answered (for, unseen, I was behind her) by a low curtsey, and a sigh, that Johnny was too far off to hear !-Happy whelp! said I to myself !-I withdrew; and in tripped my rosebud, as if satisfied with the dumb show, and wishing nothing beyond it.
I have examined the little heart. She has made me her confidant. She owns, she could love Johnny Barton very well : and Johnny Barton has told her, he could love her better than any maiden he ever saw—but, alas ! it must not be thought of. Why not be thought of ?-She don't know !-And then she sighed: but Johnny has and aunt, who will give him a hundred pounds, when his time is out; and her father cannot give her but a few things, or so, to set her out with : and though Johnny's mother says, she knows not where Johnny would have a prettier, or notabler wife, yet—and then she sighed again—what signifies talking ?—I would not have Johnny be unhappy and poor for me !-For what good would that do me, you know, sir !
Mean time, as I make it my rule, whenever I have committed a very capital enormity, to do some good by way of atonement; and as I believe I am a pretty deal indebted on that score; I intend, before I leave these parts (successfully shall I leave them I hope, or I shall be tempted to double the mischief by way of revenge, though not to my rosebud any) to join a hundred pounds to Johnny's aunt's hundred pounds, to make one innocent couple happy.—I repeat therefore, and for half-a-dozen more therefores, spare thou my rosebud.