The first likelihood that appears to me of encouragement, I dismiss Hickman, that’s certain. If my mother disoblige me in so important an article, I shan’t think of obliging her in such another. It is impossible, surely, that the desire of popping me off to that honest man can be with such a view.
I repeat, that it cannot come to any thing. But these widows—Then such a love in us all, both old and young, of being courted and admired!—and so irresistible to their elderships to be flattered, that all power is not over with them; but that they may still class and prank it with their daughters.—It vexed me heartily to have her tell me of this proposal with self-complaisant simperings; and yet she affected to speak of it as if she had no intention to encourage it.
These antiquated bachelors (old before they believe themselves to be so) imagine that when they have once persuaded themselves to think of the state, they have nothing more to do than to make their minds known to the woman.
Your uncle’s overgrown fortune is indeed a bait; a tempting one. A saucy daughter to be got rid of! The memory of the father of that daughter not precious enough to weigh much!—But let him advance if he dare—let her encourage—but I hope she won’t.
Excuse me, my dear. I am nettled. They have fearfully rumpled my gorget. You’ll think me faulty. So, I won’t put my name to this separate paper. Other hands may resemble mine. You did not see me write it.
Miss Clarissa Harlowe, to miss
Monday afternoon, may 15.
Now indeed it is evident, my best, my only friend, that I have but one choice to make. And now I do find that I have carried my resentment against this man too far; since now I am to appear as if under an obligation to his patience with me for a conduct, which perhaps he will think (if not humoursome and childish) plainly demonstrative of my little esteem of him; of but a secondary esteem at least, where before, his pride, rather than his merit, had made him expect a first. O my dear! to be cast upon a man that is not a generous man; that is indeed a cruel man! a man that is capable of creating a distress to a young creature, who, by her evil destiny is thrown into his power; and then of enjoying it, as I may say! [I verily think I may say so, of this savage!]—What a fate is mine!
You give me, my dear, good advice, as to the peremptory manner in which I ought to treat him: But do you consider to whom it is that you give it?— And then should I take it, and should he be capable of delay, I unprotected, desolate, nobody to fly to, in what a wretched light must I stand in his eyes; and, what is still as bad, in my own! O my dear, see you not, as I do, that the occasion for this my indelicate, my shocking situation should never have