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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 315 pages of information about Clarissa Harlowe; or the history of a young lady Volume 7.

Believe me to be, with a high sense of your merits,

Dear Ladies,
Your most obedient and humble servant,
Anna Howe.

LETTER LVI

Mrs. Norton, to miss Clarissa Harlowe
Friday, July 28.

MY DEAREST YOUNG LADY,

I have the consolation to tell you that my son is once again in a hopeful way, as to his health.  He desires his duty to you.  He is very low and weak.  And so am I. But this is the first time that I have been able, for several days past, to sit up to write, or I would not have been so long silent.

Your letter to your sister is received and answered.  You have the answer by this time, I suppose.  I wish it may be to your satisfaction:  but am afraid it will not:  for, by Betty Barnes, I find they were in a great ferment on receiving your’s, and much divided whether it should be answered or not.  They will not yet believe that you are so ill, as [to my infinite concern] I find you are.  What passed between Miss Harlowe and Miss Howe has been, as I feared it would be, an aggravation.

I showed Betty two or three passages in your letter to me; and she seemed moved, and said, She would report them favourably, and would procure me a visit from Miss Harlowe, if I would promise to show the same to her.  But I have heard no more of that.

Methinks, I am sorry you refuse the wicked man:  but doubt not, nevertheless, that your motives for doing so are more commendable than my wishes that you would not.  But as you would be resolved, as I may say, on life, if you gave way to such a thought; and as I have so much interest in your recovery; I cannot forbear showing this regard to myself; and to ask you, If you cannot get over your just resentments?—­ But I dare say no more on this subject.

What a dreadful thing indeed was it for my dearest tender young lady to be arrested in the streets of London!—­How does my heart go over again and again for you, what your’s must have suffered at that time!—­Yet this, to such a mind as your’s, must be light, compared to what you had suffered before.

O my dearest Miss Clary, how shall we know what to pray for, when we pray, but that God’s will may be done, and that we may be resigned to it!  —­When at nine years old, and afterwards at eleven, you had a dangerous fever, how incessantly did we grieve, and pray, and put up our vows to the Throne of Grace, for your recovery!—­For all our lives were bound up in your life—­yet now, my dear, as it has proved, [especially if we are soon to lose you,] what a much more desirable event, both for you and for us, would it have been, had we then lost you!

A sad thing to say!  But as it is in pure love to you that I say it, and in full conviction that we are not always fit to be our own choosers, I hope it may be excusable; and the rather, as the same reflection will naturally lead both you and me to acquiesce under the dispensation; since we are assured that nothing happens by chance; and the greatest good may, for aught we know, be produced from the heaviest evils.

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