My brother, upon my aunt's report, brought me, in authoritative terms, the prohibition.

Not to Miss Howe ? said I.

No, not to Miss Howe, madam, tauntingly : for have you not acknowledged, that Lovelace is a favourite there?

And do you think, brother, this is the way

Do you look to that.—But your letters will be stopt, I can tell you.—And away he flung.

My sister came to me soon after: Sister Clary, you are going on in a fine way, I understand. But as there are people who are supposed to harden you against your duty, I am to tell you, that it will be taken well if you avoid visits or visitings for a week or two till further order.

Can this be from those who have authority, Ask them; ask them, child—with a twirl of her finger. -I have delivered my message. Your father will be obeyed.

I know my duty, said I; and hope I shall not find impossible conditions annexed to it.

A pert young creature, she called me.

Dear Bella, said I ! hands and eyes lifted up—why all this ?-Dear, dear Bella, why—

None of your dear, dear Bella's to me. I tell you, I see through your witchcrafts. And away she flung ; adding, as she went, And so will everybody else very quickly, I dare say.

February 25 (in the Evening). What my brother and sister have said against me I cannot tell :—but I am in heavy disgrace with my father.

I was sent for down to tea. I went with a very cheerful aspect : but had occasion soon to change it.

Such a solemnity in every-body's countenance !--My mother's eyes were fixed upon the tea-cups ; and when she looked up, it was heavily, as if her eyelids had weights upon them; and then not to me. My father sat half-aside in his elbow-chair, that his head might be turned from

me; his hands clasped, and waving, as it were, up and down ; his fingers, poor dear gentleman ! in motion, as if angry to the very ends of them. My sister sat swelling. My brother looked at me with scorn, having measured me, as I may say, with his eyes as I entered, from head to foot. My aunt was there, and looked upon me as if with kindness restrained, bending coldly to my compliment to her as she sat; and then cast an eye first on my brother, then on my sister, as if to give the reason of her unusual stiffness.—Bless me, my dear! that they should choose to intimidate rather than invite a mind, till now, not thought either unpersuadable or ungenerous !

I took my seat. Shall I make tea, madam, to my mother ?-I always used, you know, to make tea.

No! a very short sentence, in one very short word, was the expressive answer. And she was pleased to take the canister in her own hand.

My brother bid the footman who attended leave the room. I, said he, will pour out the water.

My heart was up at my mouth. I did not know what to do with myself. What is to follow ? thought I.

Just after the second dish, out stept my mother-A word with you, sister Hervey ! taking her in her hand. Presently my sister dropt away. Then my brother. So I was left alone with my father.

He looked so very sternly, that my heart failed me as twice or thrice I would have addressed myself to him : nothing but solemn silence on all hands having passed before.

At last, I asked, if it were his pleasure that I should pour him out another dish ?

He answered me with the same angry monosyllable, which I had received from my mother before ; and then arose, and walked about the room. I arose too, with intent to throw myself at his feet; but was too much over-awed by his sternness, even to make such an ex


pression of my duty to him as my heart overflowed with.

At last, as he supported himself, because of his gout, on the back of a chair, I took a little more courage ; and approaching him, besought him to acquaint me in what I had offended him ?

He turned from me, and in a strong voice, Clarissa Harlowe, said he, know, that I will be obeyed.

God forbid, sir, that you should not !-I have never yet opposed your will

Nor I your whimsies, Clarissa Harlowe, interrupted he.—Don't let me run the fate of all who show indulgence to your sex ; to be the more contradicted for mine to you.

I was going to make protestations of duty-No protestations, girl! I will not be prated to ! I will be obeyed ! I have no child, I will have no child, but an obedient one.

Sir, you never had reason, I hope

Tell me not what I never had, but what I have, and what I shall have.

Good sir, be pleased to hear me—my brother and my sister, I fear

Your brother and sister shall not be spoken against, girl !—they have a just concern for the honour of my


And I hope, sir

Hope nothing.--Tell me not of hopes, but of facts. I ask nothing of you but what is in your power to comply with, and what it is your duty to comply with.

Then, sir, I will comply with it—but yet I hope from your goodness—

No but's, girl ! I will be obeyed, I tell you; and cheerfully too !-or you are no child of mine !

I wept.

Let me beseech you, my dear and ever-honoured papa {and I dropt down on my knees) that I may have only yours and my mamma's will, and not my brothers to obey.

I was going on ; but he was pleased to withdraw, leaving me on the floor; saying, that he would not hear me thus by subtilty and cunning aiming to distinguish away my duty; repeating, that he would be obeyed. My heart is too full ;-I will lay down my pen !

February 26. I find, by a few words which dropt unawares from my aunt, that they have all an absolute dependence upon what they suppose to be a meekness in my temper. But in this they may be mistaken ; for I verily think, upon a strict examination of myself, that I have almost as much in me of my father's as of my mother's family.

My uncle Harlowe it seems is against driving me upon extremities: but my brother has engaged, that the regard I have for my reputation, and my principles, will bring me round to my duty ; that's the expression.

My aunt advises me to submit for the present to the interdicts they have laid me under; and indeed to encourage Mr. Solmes's address. I have absolutely refused the latter, let what will (as I have told her) be the consequence. The visiting prohibition I will conform to. But as to that of not corresponding with you, nothing but the menace that our letters shall be intercepted can engage my observation of it.

But can you, my dear Miss Howe, condescend to carry on a private correspondence with me ?—if you can, there is one way I have thought of, by which it may be done.

You must remember the green lane, as we call it, that runs by the side of the wood-house and poultry-yard where I keep my bantams, pheasants, and peahens.

The lane is lower than the floor of the wood-house; and in the side of the wood-house the boards are rotted away down to the floor for half an ell together in several places. Hannah can step into the lane, and make a mark with

chalk where a letter or parcel may be pushed in, under some sticks.

I have been just now to look at the place, and find it will answer. So your faithful Robert may, without coming near the house, and as only passing through the green lane which leads to two or three farm-houses (out of livery, if you please] very easily take from thence my letters, and deposit yours.

Try, my dear, the success of a letter this way; and give me your opinion and advice what to do in this disgraceful situation.

But before-hand I will tell you, that your advice must not run in favour of this Solmes.

Yet, on second thoughts, if you incline to that side of the question, I would have you write your whole mind. For my regards are not so much engaged (upon my word they are not; I know not myself if they be) to another person as some of my friends suppose ; and as you, giving way to your lively vein, upon his last visits, affected to suppose. What preferable favour I may have for him to any other person, is owing more to the usage he has received, and for my sake borne, than to any personal consideration.

I write a few lines of grateful acknowledgment to your good mother for her favours to me in the late happy period. I fear I shall never know such another. I hope she will forgive me, that I did not write sooner.

The bearer, if suspected and examined, is to produce that as the only one he carries.


February 27. I HAT old heads some people have — Miss Clarissa

Harlowe to be sacrificed in marriage to Mr.

Roger Solmes !— Astonishing ! I must not, you say, give my advice in favour of this

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