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Thus it was. The sun being upon my closet, and Mr. Lovelace abroad She then gives Miss Howe an account of his coming in
by surprise upon her: of his fluttering speech : of his bold address : of her struggle with him for the
letter, &c. And now, my dear, proceeds she, I am more and more convinced, that I am too much in his power to make it prudent to stay with him. And if my friends will but give me hope, I will resolve to abandon him for ever.
Adieu, my dearest friend !-May your heart never know the hundredth part of the pain mine at present feels ! prays
Your CLARISSA HARLOWE.
won of age to disto a man, am
of whom no
MISS HOWE, TO MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE.
Wednesday, May 10. Fo. WILL write! No man shall write for me. No
woman shall hinder me from writing. Surely I
am of age to distinguish between reason and caprice. I am not writing to a man, am I ?—If I were carrying on a correspondence with a fellow, of whom my mother disapproved, and whom it might be improper for me to encourage, my own honour and my duty would engage my obedience. But as the case is so widely different, not a word more on this subject, I beseech you !
I much approve of your resolution to leave this wretch, if you can make up with your uncle.
I hate the man-most heartily do I hat him, for his teazing ways. The very reading of your nt of them teazes me almost as much as they ca May уот have encouragement to fly the foolish
I have other reasons to wish you made an acquaintance with one wł his private history. The man is re
MISS HOWE TO MRS. JUDITH NORTON.
Thursday, May 11. OOD MRS. NORTON,—Cannot you, without
naming me as an adviser, who am hated by the L A family, contrive a way to let Mrs. Harlowe know, that in an accidental conversation with me, you had been assured, that my beloved friend pines after a reconciliation with her relations ? That she has hitherto, in hopes of it, refused to enter into any obligation that shall be in the least an hindrance to it: that she would fain avoid giving Mr. Lovelace a right to make her family uneasy in relation to her grandfather's estate : that all she wishes for still, is to be indulged in her choice of a single life, and, on that condition, would make her father's pleasure hers with regard to that estate : that Mr. Lovelace is continually pressing her to marry him ; and all his friends likewise : but that I am sure, she has so little liking to the man, because of his faulty morals, and of the antipathy of her relations to him, that if she, had any hope given her of a reconciliation, she would forego all thoughts. of him, and put herself into her father's protection. But that their resolution must be speedy; for otherwise she would find herself obliged to give way to his pressing entreaties; and it might then be out of her power to prevent disagreeable litigations.
I do assure you, Mrs. Norton, upon my honour, that our dearest friend knows nothing of this procedure of mine.
Pray acquaint me by a line of the result of your interposition. If it prove not such as may be reasonably hoped for, our dear friend shall know nothing of this step from me; and pray let her not from you. For, in that case, it would only give deeper grief to a heart already too much afflicted. I am, dear and worthy Mrs. Norton,
Your true friend,
MRS. NORTON TO MISS HOWE.
Saturday, May 13. EAR MADAM,—My heart is almost broken to be
obliged to let you know, that such is the situaLa tion of things in the family of my ever dear Miss Harlowe, that there can be at present no success expected from any application in her favour. Her poor mother is to be pitied. I have a most affecting letter from her ; but must not communicate it to you ; and she forbids me to let it be known that she writes upon the subject; although she is compelled, as it were, to do it, for the ease of her own heart. I mention it therefore, in confidence.
I hope in God that my beloved young lady has preserved her honour inviolate. I hope there is not a man breathing who could attempt a sacrilege so detestable. I have no apprehension of a failure in a virtue so established. God for ever keep so pure a heart out of the reach of surprises and violence ! Ease, dear madam, I beseech you, my overanxious heart, by one line, by the bearer, although but by one line, to acquaint me (as surely you can) that her honour is unsullied.—If it be not, adieu to all the comforts this life can give : Since none will it be able to afford
To the poor JUDITH NORTON.
MISS HOWE TO MRS. JUDITH NORTON.
Saturday Evening, May 13. TOTEAR GOOD WOMAN,– Your beloved's honour
is inviolate !-Must be inviolate! And will be
so, in spite of men and devils. Could I have had hope of a reconciliation, all my view was, that she should not have had this man.-All that can be said now, is, she must run the risk of a bad husband : she, of whom no man living is worthy!
You pity her mother-So do not I! I pity no mother, that puts it out of her power to show maternal love, and humanity, in order to patch up for herself a precarious and sorry quiet, which every blast of wind shall disturb.
I repeat that I pity none of them. Our beloved friend only deserves pity. She had never been in the hands of this man, but for them. She is quite blameless. You don't know all her story. Were I to tell you that she had no intention to go off with this man, it would avail her nothing. It would only serve to condemn, with those who drove her to extremities, him, who now must be her refuge. I am Your sincere friend and servant,
MISS HOWE TO MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE
Sunday, May 14. TOW it is now, my dear, between you and Mr.
P Lovelace, I cannot tell. But wicked as the man Leheer is, I am afraid he must be your lord and master.
I called him by several very hard names in my last. I had but just heard of some of his vilenesses, when I sat down to write; so my indignation was raised. But on inquiry, and recollection, I find that the facts laid to his charge were all of them committed some time ago—not since he has had strong hopes of your favour.
Yet his teasing ways are intolerable : his acquiescence with your slight delays, and his resignedness to the distance you now keep him at (for a fault so much slighter as he must think, than the punishment) are unaccountable : he doubts your love of him, that is very probable ; but you have reason to be surprised at his want of ardour; a blessing so great within his reach, as I may say.
There is yet, to a person of your fortune and indepenupon it; and now who knows when such a vapourish creature will come to a resolution ? This, madam, has been an unhappy week; for had I not stood upon such bad terms with you, you might have been now mistress of that house; and probably had my cousin Montague, if not Lady Betty, actually with you.
And so, sir, taking all you say for granted, your cousin Montague cannot come to Mrs. Sinclair's ? What, pray, is her objection to Mrs. Sinclair's ? Is this house fit for me to live in a month or two, and not fit for any of your relations for a few days ? And Mrs. Fretchville has taken more time too !—Then, pushing by him, I hurried down stairs.
Dorcas just then bringing him his sword and hat, he opened the street door, and taking my reluctant hand, led me, in a very obsequious manner, to the coach. People passing by, stopped, stared, and whispered—But he is so graceful in his person and dress, that he generally takes every eye.
I was uneasy to be so gazed at; and he stepped in after me, and the coachman drove to St. Paul's.
He was very full of assiduities all the way; while I was as reserved as possible : and when I returned, dined, as I had done the greatest part of the week, by myself.
He told me, upon my resolving to do so, that although he would continue his passive observance till I knew the issue of my application ; yet I must expect, that then I should not rest one moment till I had fixed his happy day : for that his very soul was fretted with my slights, resentments, and delays.
A wretch! when I can say, to my infinite regret, on a double account, that all he complains of is owing to himself! O that I may have good tidings from my uncle ! Your