And so much, my beloved Miss Howe, for this subject now, and I dare say, for ever!
I will begin another letter by-and-by, and send both together. Mean time, I am, &c.
MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE, TO MISS HOWE
[In this letter, the Lady acquaints Miss Howe with
Mr. Brand’s report;
with her sister’s proposals either that she will go abroad, or
prosecute Mr. Lovelace. She complains of the severe letters of
her uncle Antony and her sister; but in milder terms than they
She sends her Dr. Lewen’s letter, and the copy of her answer to it.
She tells her of the difficulties she had been under
to avoid seeing Mr.
Lovelace. She gives her the contents of the letter she wrote to
him to divert him from his proposed visit: she is afraid, she says,
that it is a step that is not strictly right, if allegory or
metaphor be not allowable to one in her circumstances.
She informs her of her cousin Morden’s arrival
and readiness to take her
part with her relations; of his designed interview with Mr.
Lovelace; and tells her what her apprehensions are upon it.
She gives her the purport of the conversation between
her aunt Hervey and
Mrs. Norton. And then add:]
But were they ever so favourably inclined to me now, what can they do for me? I wish, and that for their sakes more than for my own, that they would yet relent—but I am very ill—I must drop my pen—a sudden faintness overspreads my heart—excuse my crooked writing!—Adieu, my dear!—Adieu!
Once more I resume my pen. I thought I had taken my last farewell to you. I never was so very oddly affected: something that seemed totally to overwhelm my faculties—I don’t know how to describe it—I believe I do amiss in writing so much, and taking too much upon me: but an active mind, though clouded by bodily illness, cannot be idle.
I’ll see if the air, and a discontinued attention, will help me. But, if it will not, don’t be concerned for me, my dear. I shall be happy. Nay, I am more so already than of late I thought I could ever be in this life. —Yet how this body clings!—How it encumbers!
I could not send this letter away with so melancholy an ending, as you would have thought it. So I deferred closing it, till I saw how I should be on my return from my airing: and now I must say I am quite another thing: so alert! that I could proceed with as much spirit as I began, and add more preachment to your lively subject, if I had not written more than enough upon it already.
I wish you would let me give you and Mr. Hickman joy. Do, my dear. I should take some to myself, if you would.