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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 307 pages of information about Clarissa Harlowe; or the history of a young lady Volume 5.

But I must return to the scene of action.  I must keep the women steady.  I had no opportunity to talk to my worthy Mrs. Bevis in private.

Tomlinson, a dog, not come yet!

LETTER XXXIII

Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford, Esq
From my apartments at Mrs. Moore’s.

Miss Rawlins at her brothers; Mrs. Moore engaged in household matters; widow Bevis dressing; I have nothing to do but write.  This cursed Tomlinson not yet arrived!—­Nothing to be done without him.

I think he shall complain in pretty high language of the treatment he met with yesterday.  ’What are our affairs to him?  He can have no view but to serve us.  Cruel to send back to town, un-audienced, unseen, a man of his business and importance.  He never stirs a-foot, but something of consequence depends upon his movements.  A confounded thing to trifle thus humoursomely with such a gentleman’s moments!—­These women think, that all the business of the world must stand still for their figaries [a good female word, Jack!] the greatest triflers in the creation, to fancy themselves the most important beings in it—­marry come up! as I have heard goody Sorlings say to her servants, when she has rated at them with mingled anger and disdain.’

After all, methinks I want those tostications [thou seest how women, and women’s words, fill my mind] to be over, happily over, that I may sit down quietly, and reflect upon the dangers I have passed through, and the troubles I have undergone.  I have a reflecting mind, as thou knowest; but the very word reflecting implies all got over.

What briars and thorns does the wretch rush into (a scratched face and tattered garments the unavoidable consequence) who will needs be for striking out a new path through overgrown underwood; quitting that beaten out for him by those who have travelled the same road before him!

***

A visit from the widow Bevis, in my own apartment.  She tells me, that my spouse had thoughts last night, after I was gone to my lodgings, of removing from Mrs. Moore’s.

I almost wish she had attempted to do so.

Miss Rawlins, it seems, who was applied to upon it, dissuaded her from it.

Mrs. Moore also, though she did not own that Will. lay in the house, (or rather set up in it, courting,) set before her the difficulties, which, in her opinion, she would have to get clear off, without my knowledge; assuring her, that she could be no where more safe than with her, till she had fixed whither to go.  And the lady herself recollected, that if she went, she might miss the expected letter from her dear friend Miss Howe! which, as she owned, was to direct her future steps.

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