Clarissa Harlowe; or the history of a young lady — Volume 5 eBook

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.

Then, with a faintish, but angry voice, begone from my door!—­Wretch! inhuman, barbarous, and all that is base and treacherous! begone from my door!  Nor tease thus a poor creature, entitled to protection, not outrage.

I see, Madam, how you keep your word with me—­if a sudden impulse, the effects of an unthought-of accident, cannot be forgiven—­

O the dreadful weight of a father’s curse, thus in the very letter of it—­

And then her voice dying away in murmurs inarticulate, I looked through the key-hole, and saw her on her knees, her face, though not towards me, lifted up, as well as hands, and these folded, depreciating, I suppose, that gloomy tyrant’s curse.

I could not help being moved.

My dearest life! admit me to your presence but for two minutes, and confirm your promised pardon; and may lightning blast me on the spot, if I offer any thing but my penitence, at a shrine so sacred!—­I will afterwards leave you for a whole day; till to-morrow morning; and then attend you with writings, all ready to sign, a license obtained, or if it cannot, a minister without one.  This once believe me!  When you see the reality of the danger that gave occasion for this your unhappy resentment, you will think less hardly of me.  And let me beseech you to perform a promise on which I made a reliance not altogether ungenerous.

I cannot see you!  Would to Heaven I never had!  If I write, that’s all I can do.

Let your writing then, my dearest life, confirm your promise:  and I will withdraw in expectation of it.

PAST ELEVEN O’CLOCK.

She rung her bell for Dorcas; and, with her door in her hand, only half opened, gave her a billet for me.

How did the dear creature look, Dorcas?

She was dressed.  She turned her face quite from me; and sighed, as if her heart would break.

Sweet creature:—­I kissed the wet wafer, and drew it from the paper with my breath.

These are the contents.—­No inscriptive Sir!  No Mr. Lovelace!

I cannot see you:  nor will I, if I can help it.  Words cannot express the anguish of my sou on your baseness and ingratitude.

If the circumstances of things are such, that I can have no way for reconciliation with those who would have been my natural protectors from such outrages, but through you, [the only inducement I have to stay a moment longer in your knowledge,] pen and ink must be, at present, the only means of communication between us.

Vilest of men, and most detestable of plotters! how have I deserved from you the shocking indignities—­but no more—­only for your own sake, wish not, at least for a week to come, to see

The undeservedly injured and insulted
Clarissa Harlowe

***

So thou seest, nothing could have stood me in stead, but this plot of Tomlinson and her uncle!  To what a pretty pass, nevertheless, have I brought myself!—­Had Caesar been such a fool, he had never passed the rubicon.  But after he had passed it, had he retreated re infecta, intimidated by a senatorial edict, what a pretty figure would he have made in history!—­I might have known, that to attempt a robbery, and put a person in bodily fear, is as punishable as if the robbery had been actually committed.

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Clarissa Harlowe; or the history of a young lady — Volume 5 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.