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Clarissa - Letter 507 detailing Clarissa's will dated September 16th Summary & Analysis

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Letter 507 detailing Clarissa's will dated September 16th Summary

John Belford refuses to relinquish his executorship because he performs the office as an honor to Clarissa's memory. He promises to work through Colonel Morden to avoid offending the Harlowes. Clarissa explains that her will is very minute to contribute to the peace of the living. She desires that no man touch her corpse and her coffin remain unopened. Her last request is to be buried in the family vault at her grandfather's feet, in which case she leaves ten pounds to the poor of the parish and names the subject of her funeral discourse to be the deception in vanity. If this is refused, she asks to be buried in the parish that she dies in and leaves five pounds to the parish poor and asks for the usual service to be said over her. She forbids anyone but her family to see her corpse, specifically Mr. Lovelace. In case Mr. Lovelace insists, she leaves a note for him to read at the viewing.

Clarissa bequeaths her real estate to her father and requests that Mrs. Norton be given the job of housekeeper and allowed to live in the housekeeper's apartments, which were Clarissa's apartments when her grandfather was alive. She states that the accrual from the estate will be used for the rest of her bequeaths. She reimburses her father for her quarterly allowances. She leaves the family portraits, except one of Clarissa at fourteen years old, to Uncle Harlowe and the family plate to Uncle Antony. She leaves Mrs. Norton six hundred pounds plus thirty guineas for mourning apparel. She bequeaths her watch, equipage, clothes, harpsichord, chamber-organ & music books, library and twenty-five guineas for a memorial ring to Dolly. She leaves fifty guineas to Aunt Hervey for a ring and the portrait of Clarissa done in the Vandyke style, unless Mrs. Harlowe decides to keep it. She bequeaths a needlework piece of flowers, a miniature of Clarissa and a rose diamond ring to Colonel Morden, all of which were either praised by or given to Clarissa by Colonel Morden's father. She leaves Mrs. Howe twenty-five guineas for a ring, and Mr. Hickman receives Clarissa's miniature of Miss Howe and a ring with Clarissa's hair. Clarissa bequeaths the portrait of herself at fourteen years old to Miss Howe, along with her best diamond ring, all her letters, a ring with Clarissa's hair and her needlework, except the piece left to Colonel Morden and one piece her mother may choose. She urges Miss Howe to marry Mr. Hickman soon and forbids her to wear mourning. She leaves twenty guineas each for enameled rings with "Cl.H" engraved in crystal for Lord M, Lady Betty, Lady Sarah, Charlotte and Cousin Montague. Clarissa leaves money for rings for four female friends, Dr. Lewen, the Smiths, Widow Lovick and everyone who attended her in town. She leaves fifty pounds to Hannah and money for all of the Harlowes' and Howes' servants. She leaves her remaining clothes to Mrs. Norton, charging her boxes only be opened in the presence of Mrs. Norton and Widow Lovick. She bequeaths her linens to Mrs. Smith and Widow Lovick. She also leaves all her books at her lodgings to Widow Lovick. Clarissa gives Widow Lovick permission to make a copy of her book of meditations and leaves the original to Mrs. Norton.

Clarissa ordains Mr. Belford as her executor, stating that Miss Howe knows her reasons. She charges Mr. Belford to promote peace and suppress resentment. She urges him to cultivate a friendship with Colonel Morden. She trusts that justice will be done to her reputation by Mr. Lovelace. Clarissa requests the Mr. Belford collect all correspondence relating to Clarissa's story and make two copies, one for Miss Howe and one for himself, which will be lent to Aunt Hervey if the Harlowes request it. She leaves one hundred guineas to Mr. Belford for his office as executor, twenty guineas for a remembrance ring and charges him to reimburse himself for expenses incurred in carrying out her will. Clarissa wants her grandmother's jewels to be valued and her personal jewelry to be sold and that money, along with any remainder, to be combined into a fund to be distributed by Mrs. Norton to her honest, industrious, laboring poor. She requests that Miss Howe take over the distribution in the event of Mrs. Norton's death. She asks Colonel Morden and Mr. Belford to concur to settle anything that may be omitted and refers them to Miss Howe in case of doubt. Clarissa appeals to God for redemption.

Letter 507 detailing Clarissa's will dated September 16th Analysis

Clarissa's character is revealed in her will. She does not condemn anyone, and she is very minute in her reasons for every bequeath. She demonstrates her piety, her charity and her love for everyone. It is ironic that she leaves everyone something except James, Arabella and Mr. Lovelace. Although she does not explicitly condemn them, her resentment is felt through their exclusion when everyone else in her life is mentioned.

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