Clarissa Harlowe; or the history of a young lady — Volume 7 eBook

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.

Your mother can’t ask, and your sister knows not in modesty how to ask; and so I ask you, if you have any reason to think yourself with child by this villain?—­You must answer this, and answer it truly, before any thing can be resolved upon about you.

You may well be touched with a deep remorse for your misdeeds.  Could I ever have thought that my doting-piece, as every one called you, would have done thus?  To be sure I loved you too well.  But that is over now.  Yet, though I will not pretend to answer for any body but myself, for my own part I say God forgive you! and this is all from

Your afflicted uncle,
John Harlowe.

***

The following meditation was stitched to the bottom of this letter with black silk.

MEDITATION

O that thou wouldst hide me in the grave! that thou wouldst keep me secret, till thy wrath be past!

My face is foul with weeping; and on my eye-lid is the shadow of death.

My friends scorn me; but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.

A dreadful sound is in my ears; in prosperity the destroyer came upon me!

I have sinned! what shall I do unto thee, O thou Preserver of men! why hast thou set me as a mark against thee; so that I am a burden to myself!

When I say my bed shall comfort me; my couch shall ease my complaint;

Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions.

So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than life.

I loath it!  I would not live always!—­Let me alone; for my days are vanity!

He hath made me a bye-word of the people; and aforetime I was as a tabret.

My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart.

When I looked for good, then evil came unto me; and when I waited for light, then came darkness.

And where now is my hope?—­

Yet all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.

LETTER LXXXV

Miss Clarissa Harlowe, to John Harlowe, ESQ. 
Thursday, Aug. 10.

HONOURED SIR,

It was an act of charity I begged:  only for a last blessing, that I might die in peace.  I ask not to be received again, as my severe sister [Oh! that I had not written to her!] is pleased to say, is my view.  Let that grace be denied me when I do.

I could not look forward to my last scene with comfort, without seeking, at least, to obtain the blessing I petitioned for; and that with a contrition so deep, that I deserved not, were it known, to be turned over from the tender nature of a mother, to the upbraiding pen of an uncle! and to be wounded by a cruel question, put by him in a shocking manner:  and which a little, a very little time, will better answer than I can:  for I am not either a hardened or shameless creature:  if I were, I should not have been so solicitous to obtain the favour I sued for.

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Clarissa Harlowe; or the history of a young lady — Volume 7 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.