Merrily, however, as we pass our time, my reflections upon the injuries done to this noble creature bring a qualm upon my heart very often. But I know she will permit me to make her amends, after she has plagued me heartily; and that’s my consolation.
An honest fellow still—clap thy wings, and crow, Jack!——
Miss Howe, to miss Clarissa
Thursday Morn. June* 20.
* Text error: should be July.
What, my dearest creature, have been your sufferings!—What must have been your anguish on so disgraceful an insult, committed in the open streets, and in the broad day!
No end, I think, of the undeserved calamities of a dear soul, who had been so unhappily driven and betrayed into the hands of a vile libertine! —How was I shocked at the receiving of your letter written by another hand, and only dictated by you!—You must be very ill. Nor is it to be wondered at. But I hope it is rather from hurry, and surprise, and lowness, which may be overcome, than from a grief given way to, which may be attended with effects I cannot bear to think of.
But whatever you do, my dear, you must not despond! Indeed you must not despond! Hitherto you have been in no fault: but despair would be all your own: and the worst fault you can be guilty of.
I cannot bear to look upon another hand instead of your’s. My dear creature, send me a few lines, though ever so few, in your own hand, if possible.—For they will revive my heart; especially if they can acquaint me of your amended health.
I expect your answer to my letter of the 13th. We all expect it with impatience.
His relations are persons of so much honour—they are so very earnest to rank you among them—the wretch is so very penitent: every one of his family says he is—your own are so implacable—your last distress, though the consequence of his former villany, yet neither brought on by his direction nor with his knowledge; and so much resented by him—that my mother is absolutely of opinion that you should be his—especially if, yielding to my wishes, as expressed in my letter, and those of all his friends, you would have complied, had it not been for this horrid arrest.
I will enclose the copy of the letter I wrote to Miss Montague last Tuesday, on hearing that nobody knew what was become of you; and the answer to it, underwritten and signed by Lord M., Lady Sarah Sadleir, and Lady Betty Lawrance, as well as by the young Ladies; and also by the wretch himself.