Monday last was your birth-day. Think, poor ungrateful wretch, as you are! how we all used to keep it; and you will not wonder to be told, that we ran away from one another that day. But God give you true penitence, if you have it not already! and it will be true, if it be equal to the shame and the sorrow you have given us all.
Your afflicted sister,
Your cousin Morden is every day expected in England.
He, as well as
others of the family, when he comes to hear what a blessed piece of
work you have made of it, will wish you never had had a being.
Miss Clarissa Harlowe, to miss
Sunday, July 30.
You have given me great pleasure, my dearest friend, by your approbation of my reasonings, and of my resolution founded upon them, never to have Mr. Lovelace. This approbation is so right a thing, give me leave to say, from the nature of the case, and from the strict honour and true dignity of mind, which I always admired in my Anna Howe, that I could hardly tell to what, but to my evil destiny, which of late would not let me please any body, to attribute the advice you gave me to the contrary.
But let not the ill state of my health, and what that may naturally tend to, sadden you. I have told you, that I will not run away from life, nor avoid the means that may continue it, if God see fit: and if He do not, who shall repine at His will!
If it shall be found that I have not acted unworthy of your love, and of my own character, in my greater trials, that will be a happiness to both on reflection.
The shock which you so earnestly advise me to try to get above, was a shock, the greatest that I could receive. But, my dear, as it was not occasioned by my fault, I hope I am already got above it. I hope I am.
I am more grieved (at times however) for others, than for myself. And so I ought. For as to myself, I cannot but reflect that I have had an escape, rather than a loss, in missing Mr. Lovelace for a husband—even had he not committed the vilest of all outrages.
Let any one, who knows my story, collect his character from his behaviour to me before that outrage; and then judge whether it was in the least probable that such a man should make me happy. But to collect his character from his principles with regard to the sex in general, and from his enterprizes upon many of them, and to consider the cruelty of his nature, and the sportiveness of his invention, together with the high opinion he has of himself, it will not be doubted that a wife of his must have been miserable; and more miserable if she loved him, than she could have been were she to be indifferent to him.