But if you will not agree to this, I have another proposal to make to you, and that in the name of every one in the family; which is, that you will think of going to Pensylvania to reside there for some few years till all is blown over: and, if it please God to spare you, and your unhappy parents, till they can be satisfied that you behave like a true and uniform penitent; at least till you are one-and-twenty; you may then come back to your own estate, or have the produce of it sent you thither, as you shall choose. A period which my father fixes, because it is the custom; and because he thinks your grandfather should have fixed it; and because, let me add, you have fully proved by your fine conduct, that you were not at years of discretion at eighteen. Poor doting, though good old man!—Your grandfather, he thought—But I would not be too severe.
Mr. Hartley has a widow-sister at Pensylvania, with whom he will undertake you may board, and who is a sober, sensible, well-read woman. And if you were once well there, it would rid your father and mother of a world of cares, and fears, and scandal; and that I think is what you should wish for of all things.
Mr. Hartley will engage for all accommodations in your passage suitable to your rank and fortune; and he has a concern in a ship, which will sail in a month; and you may take your secret-keeping Hannah with you, or whom you will of your newer acquaintance. ’Tis presumed that your companions will be of your own sex.
These are what I had to communicate to you; and if you’ll oblige me with an answer, (which the hand that conveys this will call for on Wednesday morning,) it will be very condescending.
Miss CL. Harlowe, to miss
Tuesday, Aug. 22.
Write to me, my hard-hearted Sister, in what manner you please, I shall always be thankful to you for your notice. But (think what you will of me) I cannot see Mr. Ackland and the counselor on such a business as you mention.
The Lord have mercy upon me indeed! for none else will.
Surely I am believed to a creature past all shame, or it could not be thought of sending two gentlemen to me on such an errand.
Had my mother required of me (or would modesty have permitted you to inquire into) the particulars of my sad story, or had Mrs. Norton been directed to receive them from me, methinks it had been more fit: and I presume to think that it would have been more in every one’s character too, had they been required of me before such heavy judgment had been passed upon me as has been passed.
I know that this is Dr. Lewen’s opinion. He has been so good as to enforce it in a kind letter to me. I have answered his letter; and given such reasons as I hope will satisfy him. I could wish it were thought worth while to request of him a sight of my answer.*