« VorigeDoorgaan »
came from you. As they already think you too partial in her favour, your going up would confirm it, and do yourself prejudice, and her no good. And as everybody values you here, I advise you not to interest yourself too warmly in her favour, especially before my Bella's Betty, till I can let you know a proper time. Yet to forbid you to love the dear naughty creature, who can? O my Norton! you must love her !-And so must I !
I send you five guineas, to help you in your present illness, and your son's ; for it must have lain heavy upon you.
Perhaps I may find an opportunity to pay you a visit, as in your illness; and then may weep over the letter you mention, with you. But, for the future, write nothing to me about the poor girl that you think may not be communicated to us all.
And I charge you, as you value my friendship, as you wish my peace, not to say anything of a letter you have from me, either to the naughty one, or to anybody else. It was some little relief (the occasion given) to write to you, who must, in so particular a manner, share my affliction. A mother, Mrs. Norton, cannot forget her child, though that child could abandon her mother; and, in so doing, run away with all her mother's comforts as I can truly say, is the case of
Your unhappy Friend,
MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE TO MRS. JUDITH NORTON..
Saturday, July 29. 0 CONGRATULATE you, my dear Mrs. Norton,
with all my heart, on your son's recovery; which 1. I pray to God, with your own health, to perfect. I write in some hurry, being apprehensive of the consequence of the hints you give of some method you pro
pose to try in my favour (with my relations, I presume, you mean): but you will not tell me what, you say, if it prove unsuccessful.
Now I must beg of you, that you will not take any step in my favour, with which you do not first acquaint me.
I have but one request to make to them, besides what is contained in my letter to my sister; and I would not, methinks, for the sake of their own future peace of mind, that they should be teazed so, by your well-meant kindness, and that of Miss Howe, as to be put upon denying me that. And why should more be asked for me than I can partake of? More than is absolutely necessary for my own peace ?
You suppose I should have my sister's answer to my letter by the time yours reached my hand. I have it : and a severe one, a very severe one, it is. Yet, considering my fault in their eyes, and the provocations I am to suppose they so newly had from my dear Miss Howe, I am to look upon it as a favour, that it was answered at all. I will send you a copy of it soon; as also of mine, to which it is an answer.
I have reason to be very thankful, that my father has withdrawn that heavy malediction, which affected me so much—A parent's curse, my dear Mrs. Norton! What child could die in peace under a parent's curse ? So literally fulfilled too as this has been in what relates to. this life !
My heart is too full: to touch upon the particulars of my sister's letter. I can make but one atonement for my fault. May that be accepted! And may it soon be forgotten, by every dear relation, that there was such an unhappy daughter, sister, or niece, as Clarissa Harlowe !
My cousin Morden was one of those, who was so earnest in prayers for my recovery, at nine and eleven years of age, as you mention. My sister thinks he will be one of those, who will wish I never had had a being. But práy, when he does come, let me hear of it with the first.
You think, that were it not or that unhappy notion of my moring talent, my mother would relent. What would I give to see her once more, ani, although unknown to her, to kiss but the hem of her garment:
But I can write nothing but what must give you trouble. I will therefore, after repeating my desire that you will not intercede for me but with my previous consent, conclude with the assurance, that I am, and ever will be, Your most affectionate and dutiful,
WISS ARABELLA BARLOWE TO YOSS CLARISSA HARLOWE.
NY UNHAPPY LOST SISTER –What a miserable hand have you made of your romantic
and giddy expedition : -I pity you at my heart. You may well grieve and repent —Lovelace has left you -In what way or circumstances, you know best.
My poor mother:-Your rashness and folly have made her more miserable than you can be-Yet she has besought my father to grant your request.
My uncles joined with her; for they thought there was a little more modesty in your letter, than in the letters of your pert advocate : and my father is pleased to give me leave to write ; but only these wordis for him, and no more : That he withdraws the curse he laid upon you, at the first hearing of your wicked fight, so far as it is in his power to do it; and hopes that your present punishment may be all that you will meet with. For the rest, he will never own you, nor forgive you ; and grieves he has such a daughter in the world.
All this, and more, you have deserved from him, and from all of us : But what have you done to this abandoned libertine, to deserve what you have met with at his bands I fear, I fear, sister-But no more -A blessed four months work hare you made of it.
My brother is now at Edinburgh, sent thither by my father (though he knows not this to be the motive) that he may not meet your triumphant deluder.
We are told he would be glad to marry you : But why, then, did he abandon you ? He had kept you till he was tired of you, no question; and it is not likely he would wish to have you but upon the terms you have already without all doubt been his.
You ought to advise your friend Miss Howe to concern herself less in your matters than she does, except she could do it with more decency. She has written three letters to me: very insolent ones. Your favourer, poor Mrs. Norton, thinks you know nothing of the pert creature's writing. I hope you don't. But then the more impertinent the writer. But, believing the fond woman, I sat down the more readily to answer your letter; and I write with less severity I can tell you, than otherwise I should have done, if I had answered it at all.
Monday last was your birth-day. Think, poor ungrateful wretch, as you are ! how we all used to keep it; and you will not wonder to be told, that we ran away from one another that day. But God give you true penitence, if you have it not already! And it will be true, if it be equal to the shame and the sorrow you have given us all.
Your afflicted Sister,
ARABELLA HARLOWE. Your cousin Morden is every day expected in England. He, as well as others of the family, when he comes to hear what a blessed piece of work you have made of it, will wish you never had had a being.
MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE TO MISS HOWE.
Tuesday, July 30. OU have given me great pleasure, my dearest
friend, by your approbation of my reasonings,
and of my resolution founded upon them, never to have Mr. Lovelace. This approbation is so right a thing, give me leave to say, from the nature of the case, and from the strict honour and true dignity of mind, which I always admired in my Anna Howe, that I could nardly tell to what, but to my evil destiny, which of late would not let me please anybody, to attribute the advice you gave me to the contrary.
You are very obliging to me, intentionally, I know, when you tell me, it is in my power to hasten the day of Mr. Hickman's happiness. But yet, give me leave to say, that I admire this kind assurance less than any other paragraph of your letter.
In the first place you know it is not in my power to say when I can dismiss my physician; and you should not put the celebration of a marriage intended by yourself, and so desirable to your mother, upon so precarious an issue. Nor will I accept of a compliment, which must mean a slight to her.
If anything could give me a relish for life, after what I have suffered, it would be the hopes of the continuanceof the more than sisterly love, which has, for years, unin-terruptedly bound us together as one mind.—And why, my dear, should you defer giving (by a tie still stronger) another friend to one, who has so few ?
I am glad you have sent my letter to Miss Montague. I hope I shall bear no more of this unhappy man.
I had begun the particulars of my tragical story : but it is so painful a task, and I have so many more impor-tant things to do, and, as I apprehend, so little time to