Clarissa Harlowe; or the history of a young lady — Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 384 pages of information about Clarissa Harlowe; or the history of a young lady — Volume 4.

Every thing of this nature, the dear creature answered, (with a downcast eye, and a blushing cheek,) she left to me.

I proposed my Lord’s chapel for the celebration, where we might have the presence of Lady Betty, Lady Sarah, and my two cousins Montague.

She seemed not to favour a public celebration! and waved this subject for the present.  I doubted not but she would be as willing as I to decline a public wedding; so I pressed not this matter farther just then.

But patterns I actually produced; and a jeweller was to bring as this day several sets of jewels for her choice.  But the patterns she would not open.  She sighed at the mention of them:  the second patterns, she said, that had been offered to her:* and very peremptorily forbid the jeweller’s coming; as well as declined my offer of causing my mother’s to be new-set, at least for the present.

* See Vol.  I. Letter XLI.

I do assure thee, Belford, I was in earnest in all this.  My whole estate is nothing to me, put in competition with her hoped-for favour.

She then told me, that she had put into writing her opinion of my general proposals; and there had expressed her mind as to clothes and jewels:  but on my strange behaviour to her (for no cause that she knew of) on Sunday night, she had torn the paper in two.

I earnestly pressed her to let me be favoured with a sight of this paper, torn as it was.  And, after some hesitation, she withdrew, and sent it to me by Dorcas.

I perused it again.  It was in a manner new to me, though I had read it so lately:  and, by my soul, I could hardly stand it.  An hundred admirable creatures I called her to myself.  But I charge thee, write not a word to me in her favour, if thou meanest her well; for, if I spare her, it must be all ex mero motu.

You may easily suppose, when I was re-admitted to her presence, that I ran over in her praises, and in vows of gratitude, and everlasting love.  But here’s the devil; she still receives all I say with reserve; or if it be not with reserve, she receives it so much as her due, that she is not at all raised by it.  Some women are undone by praise, by flattery.  I myself, a man, am proud of praise.  Perhaps thou wilt say, that those are most proud of it who least deserve it; as those are of riches and grandeur who are not born to either.  I own, that to be superior to these foibles, it requires a soul.  Have I not then a soul?—­Surely, I have.—­ Let me then be considered as an exception to the rule.

Now have I foundation to go upon in my terms.  My Lord, in the exuberance of his generosity, mentions a thousand pounds a year penny-rents.  This I know, that were I to marry this lady, he would rather settle upon her all he has a mind to settle, than upon me.  He has event threatened, that if I prove not a good husband to her, he will leave all he can at his death from me to her.  Yet considers not that a woman so perfect can never be displeased with her husband but to his disgrace:  For who will blame her?  —­Another reason why a Lovelace should not wish to marry a Clarissa.

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Clarissa Harlowe; or the history of a young lady — Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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