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censure which arose from her own convictions. As far as is consistent with human frailty, and as far as she could be perfect, considering the people she had to deal with, and those with whom she was inseparably connected, she is perfect. To have been impeccable, must have left nothing for the divine grace and a purified state to do, and carried our idea of her from woman to angel. As such is she often esteemed by the man whose heart was so corrupt, that he could hardly believe human nature capable of the purity, which, on every trial or temptation, shone out in hers.
Besides the four principal persons, several others are introduced, wbose letters are characteristic: and it is presumed that there will be found in some of them, but more especially in those of the chief character among the men, and the second character among the women, such strokes of gaiety, fancy, and humour, as will entertain and divert, and at the same time both warn and instruct.
All the letters are written while the hearts of the writers must be supposed to be wholly engaged in their subjects (the events at the time generally dubious) : so that they abound not only with critical situations, but with what may be called instantaneous descriptions and reflections (proper to be brought home to the breast of the youthful reader); as also with affecting conversations, many of them written in the dialogue or dramatic way.
"Much more lively and affecting,” says one of the principal characters, “must be the style of those who write in the height of a present distress; the mind tortured by the pangs of uncertainty (the events then hidden in the womb of fate); than the dry, narrative, unanimated style of a person relating difficulties and dangers surmounted, can be; the relater perfectly at ease; and if himself unmoved by his own story, not likely greatly to affect the
What will be found to be more particularly aimed at in the following work, is—to warn the inconsiderate and thoughtless of the one sex, against the base arts and designs of specious contrivers of the other—to caution parents against the undue exercise of their natural authority over their children in the great article of marriageto warn children against preferring a man of pleasure to a man of probity, upon that dangerous but too commonly received notion, that a reformed rake makes the best husband—but above all, to investigate the highest and most important doctrines not only of morality, but of Christianity, by showing them thrown into action in the conduct of the worthy characters; while the unworthy, who set those doctrines at defiance, are condignly, and, as may be said, consequentially, punished.
From what has been said, considerate readers will not enter upon the perusal of the piece before them, as if it were designed only to divert and amuse. It will probably be thought tedious to all such as dip into it, expecting a light novel, or transitory romance; and look upon story in it (interesting as that is generally allowed to be) as its sole end, rather than as a vehicle to the instruction.
Different persons, as might be expected, have been of different opinions in relation to the conduct of the heroine in particular situations; and several worthy persons have objected to the general catastrophe, and other parts of the history. Whatever is thought material of these shall be taken notice of by way of postscript, at the conclusion of the history; for this work being addressed to the public as a history of life and manners, those parts of it which are proposed to carry with them the force of an example, ought to be as unobjectible as is consistent with the design of the whole, and with human nature.
NAMES OF THE PRINCIPAL PERSONS.
Miss CLARISSA HARLOWE .. A young lady of great beauty and merit.
Their elder daughter.
s An admirer of CLARISSA, favoured by her
1 friends. MRS. HERVEY . . ..
Half-sister of MRS. HARLOWE. Miss Dolly HERVEY . . Her daughter.
( A woman of great piety and discretion, MRS. JUDITH NORTON . .] who had a principal share in the
education of CLARISSA. COLONEL WM. MORDEN . A near relation of the HARLOWES.
| The most intimate friend, companion, and Miss HOWE .
correspondent of CLARISSA.
Uncle to MR. LOVELACE.
A worthy divine.
A pedantic young clergyman.
. . An humane physician.
MR. LOVELACE's principal intimate and John BEDFORD, Esq. .
confidant. RICHARD MOWBRAY THOMAS DOLEMAN
• Esqs., libertine friends of Mr. LOVELACE. JAMES TOURVILLE . . . THOMAS BELTON . . .) Mrs. MOORE .
SA widow, keeping a lodging-house at .
Hampstead. Miss RAWLINGS.
.. A notable young gentlewoman there. MRS. BEVIS . .. A lively young widow there. MRS. SINCLAIR .
The pretended name of a private brothel. 1 keeper in London.
The assumed name of a vile pander to the CAPTAIN TOMLINSON
debaucheries of MR. LOVELACE. SALLY MARTIN . . . | Assistants of, and partners with, the infaPOLLY HORTON . . )
mous SINCLAIR. DORCAS WYKES
. An artful servant at the vile house.