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.
me, when I thought I did not?  And what must be that love, that has not some degree of purity for its object?  I am afraid of recollecting some passages in my cousin Morden’s letter.***—­And yet why fly I from subjects that, duly considered, might tend to correct and purify my heart?  I have carried, I doubt, my notions on this head too high, not for practice, but for my practice.  Yet think me not guilty of prudery neither; for had I found out as much of myself before; or, rather, had he given me heart’s ease enough before to find it out, you should have had my confession sooner.

* See Vol.  IV.  Letter XXXIV. ** See Vol.  I. Letter XII. *** See Vol.  IV.  Letter XIX, & seq.

Nevertheless, let me tell you (what I hope I may justly tell you,) that if again he give me cause to resume distance and reserve, I hope my reason will gather strength enough from his imperfections to enable me to keep my passions under.—­What can we do more than govern ourselves by the temporary lights lent us?

You will not wonder that I am grave on this detection—­Detection, must I call it?  What can I call it?—­

Dissatisfied with myself, I am afraid to look back upon what I have written:  yet know not how to have done writing.  I never was in such an odd frame of mind.—­I know not how to describe it.—­Was you ever so?—­ Afraid of the censure of her you love—­yet not conscious that you deserve it?

Of this, however, I am convinced, that I should indeed deserve censure, if I kept any secret of my heart from you.

But I will not add another word, after I have assured you, that I will look still more narrowly into myself:  and that I am

Your equally sincere and affectionate
ClHarlowe.

LETTER IV

Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford, Esq
SatEvening.

I had a charming airing.  No return of my malady.  My heart was perfectly easy, how could my stomach be otherwise?

But when I came home, I found that my sweet soul had been alarmed by a new incident—­The inquiry after us both, in a very suspicious manner, and that by description of our persons, and not by names, by a servant in a blue livery turn’d up and trimm’d with yellow.

Dorcas was called to him, as the upper servant; and she refusing to answer any of the fellow’s questions, unless he told his business, and from whom he came, the fellow (as short as she) said, that if she would not answer him, perhaps she might answer somebody else; and went away out of humour.

Dorcas hurried up to her Lady, and alarmed her, not only with the fact, but with her own conjectures; adding, that he was an ill-looking fellow, and she was sure could come for no good.

The livery and the features of the servant were particularly inquired after, and as particularly described—­Lord bless her! no end of her alarms, she thought!  And then did her apprehensions anticipate every evil that could happen.

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