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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.
Miss Harlowe, and that upon the justest grounds, to all the women in the world:  and I wonder that there should be any difficulty to believe, from what I have signed, and from what I have promised to my relations, and enabled them to promise for me, that I should be glad to marry that excellent creature upon her own terms.  I acknowledge to you, Mr. Hickman, that I have basely injured her.  If she will honour me with her hand, I declare that is my intention to make her the best of husbands.—­ But, nevertheless, I must say that if she goes on appealing her case, and exposing us both, as she does, it is impossible to think the knot can be knit with reputation to either.  And although, Mr. Hickman, I have delivered my apprehensions under so ludicrous a figure, I am afraid that she will ruin her constitution:  and, by seeking Death when she may shun him, will not be able to avoid him when she would be glad to do so.

This cool and honest speech let down his stiffened muscles into complacence.  He was my very obedient and faithful humble servant several times over, as I waited on him to his chariot:  and I was his almost as often.

And so exit Hickman.

LETTER XXIX

Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford, ESQ. [In answer to letters XXII.  XXVI.  XXVII.  Of this volume.] Friday night, July 21.

I will throw away a few paragraphs upon the contents of thy last shocking letters just brought me; and send what I shall write by the fellow who carries mine on the interview with Hickman.

Reformation, I see, is coming fast upon thee.  Thy uncle’s slow death, and thy attendance upon him through every stage towards it, prepared thee for it.  But go thou on in thine own way, as I will in mine.  Happiness consists in being pleased with what we do:  and if thou canst find delight in being sad, it will be as well for thee as if thou wert merry, though no other person should join to keep thee in countenance.

I am, nevertheless, exceedingly disturbed at the lady’s ill health.  It is entirely owing to the cursed arrest.  She was absolutely triumphant over me and the whole crew before.  Thou believest me guiltless of that:  so, I hope, does she.—­The rest, as I have often said, is a common case; only a little uncommonly circumstanced; that’s all:  Why, then, all these severe things from her, and from thee?

As to selling her clothes, and her laces, and so forth, it has, I own, a shocking sound to it.  What an implacable as well as unjust set of wretches are those of her unkindredly kin, who have money of her’s in their hands, as well as large arrears of her own estate; yet with-hold both, avowedly to distress her!  But may she not have money of that proud and saucy friend of her’s, Miss Howe, more than she wants?—­And should not I be overjoyed, thinkest thou, to serve

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