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So turning from me, she spoke with quickness, Whither now, Clary Harlowe ?
You commanded me, madam, to go to my chamber.
I could hold no longer; but threw myself at her feet : O my dearest mamma! Let me know all I am to suffer. I will bear it, if I can bear it: but your displeasure I cannot bear!
Leave me, leave me, Clary Harlowe !—No kneeling! -Limbs so supple; will so stubborn !-Rise, I tell you.
I cannot rise! I will disobey my mamma, when she bids me leave her without being reconciled to me! No sullens, my mamma : no perverseness : but, worse than either : this is direct disobedience !-Yet tear not yourself from me! (wrapping my arms about her as I kneeled ; she struggling to get from me; my face lifted up to hers, with eyes running over, that spoke not my heart if they were not all humility and reverence)-you must not, must not, tear yourself from me! (for still the dear lady struggled, and looked this way and that, in a sweet disorder, as if she knew not what to do).-I will neither rise, nor leave you, nor let you go, till you say you are not angry with me.
0 thou ever-moving child of my heart ! (folding her dear arms about my neck, as mine embraced her knees) why was this talk-But leave me !—You have discomposed me beyond expression! Leave me, my dear !—I won't be angry with you—if I can help it-if you'll be
I arose trembling, and hardly knowing what I did, or how I stood or walked, withdrew to my chanuber. My Hannah followed me as soon as she heard me quit my mother's presence, and with salts and spring water just kept me from fainting; and that was as much as she could do. It was near two hours before I could so far recover myself as to take up my pen, to write to you how unhappily my hopes have ended.
My mother went down to breakfast. I was not fit to appear: but if I had been better, I suppose I should not have been sent for; since the permission for my attending her down, was given by my father (when in my chamber) only on condition that she found me worthy of the name of daughter.
Saturday, March 4. Hannah informs me, that she heard my father high and angry with my mother, at taking leave of her: I suppose for being too favourable to me; for Hannah heard her say, as in tears, “ Indeed, Mr. Harlow, you greatly distress me!
-The poor girl does not deserve—” Hannah heard no more, but that he said, he would break somebody's heart -mine, I supposenot my mother's, I hope.
As only my sister dines with my mother, I thought I should have been commanded down : but she sent me up a plate from her table. I could not touch a morsel. I ordered Hannah, however, to eat of it, that I might not be thought sullen.
I have made, said my mother, as she entered my room, a short as well as early dinner, on purpose to confer with you : and I do assure you, that it will be the last conference I shall either be permitted or inclined to hold with you on the subject, if you should prove refractory.
Your father both dines and sups at your uncle's, on purpose to give us this opportunity; and according to the report I shall make on his return he will take his measures with you.
I was offering to speak-Hear, Clarissa, what I have to tell you, said she, before you speak, unless what you have to say will signify to me your compliance—Say—will it ? -if it will, you may speak.
I was silent; looking down; the tears in my eyes.
O thou determined girl !—But say-speak out—are you resolved to stand in opposition to us all, in a point our hearts are set upon ?
May I, madam, be permitted to expostulate ?
To what purpose expostulate with me, Clarissa ? Your father is determined.
I wept. I knew not what to say; or rather how to express what I had to say.
Take notice, that there are flaws in your grandfather's will : not a shilling of that estate will be yours, if you do not yield. Your grandfather left it to you, as a reward of your duty to him and to us—you will justly forfeit it, if
Permit me, good madam, to say, that, if it were unjustly bequeathed me, I ought not to wish to have it. But I hope Mr. Solmes will be apprised of these flaws.
This is very pertly said, Clarissa : but reflect, that the forfeiture of that estate through your opposition will be attended with the total loss of your father's favour.
I must accommodate myself, madam, in the latter case, to my circumstances.
You are sullen, Clarissa : I see you are sullen.- And she walked about the room in anger. Then turning to me, you can bear the imputation of sullenness, I see !-You have no concern to clear yourself of it. I was afraid of telling you all I was enjoined to tell you, in case you were to be unpersuadable : but I find that I had a greater opinion of your delicacy, of your gentleness, than I needed to have-It cannot discompose so steady, so inflexible a young creature, to be told, as I now tell you, that the settlements are actually drawn ; and that you will be called down in a very few days to hear them read, and to sign them.
I was speechless, absolutely speechless. Although my heart was ready to burst, yet could I neither weep nor
I am sorry, said she, for your averseness to this match. (Match she was pleased to call it !): but there is no help.
I was still speechless.
She folded the warm statue, as she was pleased to call me, in her arms ; and entreated me, for heaven's sake, and for her sake, to comply.
Speech and tears were lent me at the same time.—You have given me life, madam, said I, clasping my uplifted hands together, and falling on one knee; a happy one, till now, has your goodness, and my papa's, made it! O do not, do not, make all the remainder of it miserable !
Your father, replied she, is resolved not to see you, till he sees you as obedient a child as you used to be. You have never been put to a test till now, that deserved to be called a test. This is, this must be, my last effort with you. Give me hope, my dear child : my peace is concerned : I will compound with you but for hope : and yet. your father will not be satisfied without an implicit, and even a cheerful obedience-Give me but hope, my child !
To give you hope, my dearest, my most indulgent. mamma, is to give you everything. Can I be honest, if I give a hope that I cannot confirm ?
She was very angry. She again called me perverse : she upbraided me with regarding only my own prepossessions, and respecting not either her peace of mind, or my own duty.
She went on, “ Your father has declared, that your unexpected opposition, and Mr. Lovelace's continued menaces and insults, more and more convince him, that a short day is necessary in order to put an end to all that man's hopes, and to his own apprehensions resulting from the disobedience of a child so favoured. He has therefore actually ordered patterns of the richest silks to be sent for from London—"
I started—I was out of breath—I gasped, at this frightful precipitance--I was going to open with warmth against it. I knew whose the happy expedient must be : female minds, I once heard my brother say, that could but be brought to balance on the change of their state, might easily be determined by the glare and splendour of the nuptial preparations, and the pride of becoming the mistress of a family.
Save me, said I, save me, O my dearest mamma, save your child, from this heavy, from this insupportable evil !-
Never was there a countenance that expressed so significantly, as my mother's did, an anguish, which she struggled to hide, under an anger she was compelled to assume.
I then, half franticly I believe, laid hold of her gownHave patience with me, dearest madamı ! said 1-do not you renounce me totally !—My uncles may be hard-hearted
—my father may be immovable—I may suffer from my brother's ambition, and from my sister's envy !—but let me not lose my mamma's love ; at least, her pity.
She turned to me with benigner rays-You have my love! You have my pity! But, O my dearest girl-I have not yours.
Indeed, indeed, madam, you have : and all my reverence, all my gratitude, you have !-But in this one point -Cannot I be this once obliged ?—will no expedient be accepted ? Have I not made a very fair proposal as to Mr. Lovelace ?
I wish, for both our sakes, my dear unpersuadable girl, that the decision of this point lay with me. But why, when you know it does not, why should you thus perplex and urge me ?—To renounce Mr. Lovelace is now but half what is aimed at. Nor will anybody else believe you in earnest in the offer, if I would. While you remain single, Mr. Lovelace will have hopes—and you, in the opinion of others, inclinations.