She reigns more
fully in my soul than ever;
She garrisons my breast, and mans against me
Ev’n my own rebel thoughts, with thousand graces,
Ten thousand charms, and new-discovered beauties!
Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford, Esq.
A letter is put into my hands by Wilson himself.—Such a letter!
A letter from Miss Howe to her cruel friend!—
I made no scruple to open it.
It is a miracle that I fell not into fits at the reading of it; and at the thought of what might have been the consequence, had it come into the hands of this Clarissa Harlowe. Let my justly-excited rage excuse my irreverence.
Collins, though not his day, brought it this afternoon to Wilson’s, with a particular desire that it might be sent with all speed to Miss Beaumont’s lodgings, and given, if possible, into her own hands. He had before been here (at Mrs. Sinclair’s with intent to deliver it to the lady with his own hand; but was told [too truly told!] that she was abroad; but that they would give her any thing he should leave for her the moment she returned.) But he cared not to trust them with his business, and went away to Wilson’s, (as I find by the description of him at both places,) and there left the letter; but not till he had a second time called here, and found her not come in.
The letter [which I shall enclose; for it is too long to transcribe] will account to thee for Collins’s coming hither.
O this devilish Miss Howe;—something must be resolved upon and done with that little fury!
Thou wilt see the margin of this cursed letter crowded with indices [>>>]. I put them to mark the places which call for vengeance upon the vixen writer, or which require animadversion. Return thou it to me the moment thou hast perused it.
Read it here; and avoid trembling for me, if thou canst.
My dearest friend,
will perhaps think that I have been too
long silent. But I had begun two letters at differ-
ent times since my last, and written a great deal
>>> each time; and with spirit enough, I assure you;
incensed as I was against the abominable wretch you
are with; particularly on reading your’s of the 21st
of the past month.*
* See Vol. IV. Letter XLVI.
>>> The first I intended to keep open till
give you some account of my proceedings with Mrs.
Townsend. It was some days before I saw her:
and this intervenient space giving me time to re-
peruse what I had written, I thought it proper to lay
>>> that aside, and to write in a style a little