’I will only add, that if I have omitted any thing, that would have given you farther satisfaction; or if the above terms be short of what you would wish; you will be pleased to supply them as you think fit. And when I know your pleasure, I will instantly order articles to be drawn up comformably, that nothing in my power may be wanting to make you happy.
’You will now, dearest Madam, judge, how far all the rest depends upon yourself.’
You see, my dear, what he offers. You see it is all my fault, that he has not made these offers before. I am a strange creature!—to be to blame in every thing, and to every body; yet neither intend the ill at the time, nor know it to be the ill too late, or so nearly too late, that I must give up all the delicacy he talks of, to compound for my fault!
I shall now judge how far the rest depends upon myself! So coldly concludes he such warm, and, in the main, unobjectionably proposals: Would you not, as you read, have supposed, that the paper would conclude with the most earnest demand of a day?—I own, I had that expectation so strong, resulting naturally, as I may say, from the premises, that without studying for dissatisfaction, I could not help being dissatisfied when I came to the conclusion.
But you say there is no help. I must perhaps make further sacrifices. All delicacy it seems is to be at an end with me!—but, if so, this man knows not what every wise man knows, that prudence, and virtue, and delicacy of mind in a wife, do the husband more real honour in the eye of the world, than the same qualities (were she destitute of them) in himself, do him: as the want of them in her does him more dishonour: For are not the wife’s errors the husband’s reproach? how justly his reproach, is another thing.
I will consider this paper; and write to it, if I am able: for it seems now, all the rest depends upon myself.
Miss Clarissa Harlowe, to miss
Wednesday morning, may 17.
Mr. Lovelace would fain have engaged me last night. But as I was not prepared to enter upon the subject of his proposals, (intending to consider them maturely,) and was not highly pleased with his conclusion, I desired to be excused seeing him till morning; and the rather, as there is hardly any getting from him in tolerable time overnight.
Accordingly, about seven o’clock we met in the dining-room.
I find he was full of expectation that I should meet him with a very favourable, who knows but with a thankful, aspect? and I immediately found by his sullen countenance, that he was under no small disappointment that I did not.
My dearest love, are you well? Why look you so solemn upon me? Will your indifference never be over? If I have proposed terms in any respect short of your expectation—