I know not what to write upon his reporting to them that you are actually married. His reasons for it are plausible. But he delights in odd expedients and inventions.
Whether you like the people or not, do not, by your noble sincerity and plain dealing, make yourself enemies. You are in the real world now you know.
I am glad you had thoughts of taking him at his offer, if he had re-urged it. I wonder he did not. But if he do not soon, and in such a way as you can accept of it, don’t think of staying with him.
Depend upon it, my dear, he will not leave you, either night or day, if he can help it, now he has got footing.
I should have abhorred him for his report of your marriage, had he not made it with such circumstances as leave it still in your power to keep him at distance. If once he offer at the least familiarity—but this is needless to say to you. He can have, I think, no other design but what he professes; because he must needs think, that his report of being married to you must increase your vigilance.
You may depend upon my looking narrowly into the sealings of your letters. If, as you say, he be base in that point, he will be so in every thing. But to a person of your merit, of your fortune, of your virtue, he cannot be base. The man is no fool. It is his interest, as well with regard to his expectations from his own friends, as from you, to be honest. Would to Heaven, however, you were really married! This is now the predominant wish of
Miss Clarissa Harlowe, to miss
Thursday morning, eight o’clock.
I am more and more displeased with Mr. Lovelace, on reflection, for his boldness in hoping to make me, though but passively, as I may say, testify to his great untruth. And I shall like him still less for it, if his view in it does not come out to be the hope of accelerating my resolution in his favour, by the difficulty it will lay me under as to my behaviour to him. He has sent me his compliments by Dorcas, with a request that I will permit him to attend me in the dining-room,—meet him in good humour, or not: but I have answered, that as I shall see him at breakfast-time I desired to be excused.
I tried to adjust my countenance, before I went down, to an easier air than I had a heart, and was received with the highest tokens of respect by the widow and her two nieces: agreeable young women enough in their persons; but they seemed to put on an air of reserve; while Mr. Lovelace was easy and free to all, as if he were of long acquaintance with them: gracefully enough, I cannot but say; an advantage which travelled gentlemen have over other people.