‘Her daughter,’ (Miss Dolly,) she said, ’had been frequently earnest with her on the same subject; and renewed her request with the greatest fervour when your first letter came to hand.’
Your aunt says, ’That she then being very ill, wrote to your mother upon it, hoping it would not be taken amiss if she permitted Dolly to go; but that your sister, as from your mother, answered her, That now you seemed to be coming-to, and to have a due sense of your faults, you must be left entirely to their own management.
‘Miss Dolly,’ she said, ’had pined ever since she had heard of Mr. Lovelace’s baseness, being doubly mortified by it: first, on account of your sufferings; next, because she was one who rejoiced in your getting off, and vindicated you for it; and had incurred censure and ill-will on that account; especially from your brother and sister; so that she seldom went to Harlowe-place.’
Make the best use of these intelligences, my dearest young lady, for your consolation.
I will only add, that I am, with the most fervent prayers for your recovery and restoration to favour,
Miss CL. Harlowe, to Mrs.
Thursday, Aug. 24.
The relation of such a conversation as passed between my aunt and you would have given me pleasure, had it come some time ago; because it would have met with a spirit more industrious than mine now is, to pick out remote comfort in the hope of a favourable turn that might one day have rewarded my patient duty.
I did not doubt my aunt’t good-will to me. Her affection I did not doubt. But shall we wonder that kings and princes meet with so little controul in their passions, be they every so violent, when, in a private family, an aunt, nay, even a mother in that family, shall choose to give up a once-favoured child against their own inclinations, rather than oppose an aspiring young man, who had armed himself with the authority of a father, who, when once determined, never would be expostulated with?
And will you not blame me, if I say, that good sense, that kindred indulgence, must be a little offended at the treatment I have met with; and if I own, that I think that great rigour has been exercised towards me! And yet I am now authorized to call it rigour by the judgment of two excellent sisters, my mother and my aunt, who acknowledge (as you tell me from my aunt) that they have been obliged to join against me, contrary to their inclinations; and that even in a point which might seem to concern my eternal welfare.
But I must not go on at this rate. For may not the inclination my mother has given up be the effect of a too-fond indulgence, rather than that I merit the indulgence? And yet so petulantly perverse am I, that I must tear myself from the subject.