Study Guide

Clarissa Quotes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 130 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Clarissa.
This section contains 2,627 words
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"If a man could not make a lady in courtship own herself please with him, it was as much and oftentimes more to his purpose to make her angry with him." Mr. Lovelace, letter 3, p. 48

"Our flatterers will tell us any thing sooner than our faults, or what they know we do not like to hear." Clarissa, letter 5, p. 54

"They have all an absolute dependence upon what they suppose to be a meekness in my temper." Clarissa, letter 9, p. 65

"Miss Clarissa Harlowe is an admirable young lady: wherever she goes, she confers a favour: whomever she leaves, she fills with regret. O my Nancy, that you had a little of her sweet obligingness!" Mrs. Howe, letter 10, p. 69

"A pity, that such a man were not uniformly good!" Clarissa, letter 13, p. 79

"But still obedience without reserve, reason what I will, is the burden of my mamma's song; and this, for my sake, as well as yours." Miss Howe, letter 27, p. 132

"How charmingly might you and I live together and despite them all!-But to be cajoled, wire-drawn, and ensnared, like silly birds, into a state of bondage or vile subordination: to be courted as princesses for a few weeks, in order to be treated as slaves for the rest of our lives." Miss Howe, letter 27, p. 133

"Marriage is a very solemn engagement, enough to make a young creature's heart ache, with the best prospects, when she thinks seriously of it!—To be given up to a strange man; to be engrafted into a strange family; to give up her very name, as a mark of her becoming his absolute and dependent property; to be obliged to prefer this strange man to father, mother—to every body:—and his humours to all her own—or to contend, perhaps, in breach of avowed duty, for every innocent instance of free-will." Uncle John Harlowe, letter 32, p. 150

"Reading and writing, though not too much for the wits of you young girls, are too much for your judgments." Uncle Antony Harlowe, letter 32, p. 155

"And I will own to you, from whom I should be really blamable to conceal any thing, that his arguments (drawn from the disgraceful treatment I meet with) of what I am to expect, make me begin to apprehend that I shall be under an obligation to be either the one man's or the other's." Clarissa, letter 36, p. 172

"In a word, I will frankly own (since you cannot think any thing I say too explicit) that were he now but a moral man, I would prefer him to all the men I ever saw." Clarissa, letter 38, p. 176

"How true is the observation, That unrequited love turns to deepest hate!" Clarissa, letter 42, p. 193

"No woman uses ill the man she does not absolutely reject, but she has it in her heart to make him amends, when her tyranny has had its run, and he has completed the measure of his services and patience." Clarissa, letter 59, p. 250

"All my fear is, that, when she comes to the point, the over-niceness of her principles will make her waver, and want to go back: although her honour is my honour, you know, and mine is her's." Mr. Lovelace, letter 95, p. 383

"Be pleased, howsomever, if it like your Honner, not to call me honest Joseph, so often. For, althoff I think myself verry honnest, and all that, yet I am touched a littel, for fear I should not do the quite right thing: and too besides, your Honner has such a fesseshious way with you, as that I hardly know whether you are in jest or earnest, when your Honner calls me honnest so often." Joseph, letter 95, p. 385

"But let me, nevertheless, examine, whether the acquittal be owing to her merit, or to my weakness—Weakness the true name of love!" Mr. Lovelace, letter 110, p. 428

"But, sir, I see what a man I am with. Your rattle warns me of the snake." Clarissa, letter 114, p. 439

"And, indeed, for what now should she plot? when I am become a reformed man, and am hourly improving in my morals?—Nevertheless, I must contrive some way or other to get at their correspondence—only to see the turn of it; that's all." Mr. Lovelace, letter 127, p. 463

"You have erected an altar to me; and I hope you will not refuse to bow to it." Miss Howe, letter 128, p. 466

"Your books, since they have not taught you what belongs to your family, to your sex, and to your education, will not be sent to you. Your money neither. Nor yet the jewels so undeservedly made yours. For it is wished you may be seen a beggar along London-streets." Arabella, letter 147, p. 510

"A man to love praise; yet to be content to draw it from such contaminated springs!" Clarissa, letter 161, p. 545

"God forgive her! If I do, nobody else will." Mrs. Harlowe, letter 182, p. 585

"How vain, how contemptible, is that pride, which shows itself in standing upon diminutive observances; and gives up, and makes a jest of, the most important!" Clarissa, letter 202, p. 654

"I would be the subject of her dreams, as well as of her waking thoughts. I would have her think every moment lost that is not passed with me: sing to me, read to me, play to me when I pleased: no joy so great as in obeying me." Mr. Lovelace, letter 207, p. 669

"We have held that women have no souls: I am a very Jew in this point, and willing to believe they have not. And if so, to whom shall I be accountable for what I do to them? Nay, if souls they have, as there is no sex in ethereals, nor need of any, what plea can a lady hold of injuries done her in her lady-state, when there is an end of her lady-ship?" Mr. Lovelace, letter 219, p. 704

"I have often thought it very unhappy for us both, that so excellent a creature sprung up a little to late for my setting out, and a little too early in my progress, before I can think of returning. And yet, as I have picked up the sweet traveler in my way, I cannot help wishing that she would bear me company in the rest of my journey, although she were to step out of her own path to oblige me. And then, perhaps, we could put up in the evening at the same inn; and be very happy in each other's conversation; recounting the difficulties and dangers we had passed in our way to it." Mr. Lovelace, letter 253, p. 870

"At least, somehow, neglecting to satisfy its hungry maw, or having otherwise disobliged it on some occasion, it resumed its nature; and on a sudden fell upon her, and tore her in pieces- And who was most to blame, I pray? The brute, or the lady? The lady, surely!- For what she did, was out of nature, out of character at least; what it did, was in its own nature." Clarissa, letter 261, p. 891

"Destitute as thou hast made me both of friends and fortune, I too much despise the wretch who could rob himself of his wife's virtue, to endure the thoughts of thee in the light thou seemest to hope I will accept thee in!" Clarissa, letter 263, p. 901

"My honor, sir! Alas!-Alas!-You have robbed me of my honor!" Clarissa, letter 267, p. 912

"With what pleasure, at that moment, could I have given up my own life, could I but first have avenged this charming creature, and cut the throat of her destroyer, as she emphatically calls thee, though the friend that I best love!" John Belford, letter 334, p. 1066

"Yet I was willing to give you a part of my mind. Call for more of it; it shall be at your service: from one, who, though she thanks God she is not your sister, is not your enemy: but that she is not the latter, is withheld but by two considerations; one that you bear, though unworthily, a relation to a sister so excellent; the other, that you are not of consequence enough to engage any thing but the pity and contempt of A.H." Miss Howe, letter 355, p. 1111

"Oh that I had the eye the basilisk is reported to have, thought I, and that his life were within the power of it-directly would I kill him!" Miss Howe, letter 367, p. 1133

"Be pleased to acquaint them that I deceive myself, if my resolution on this head (however ungratefully, and even inhumanly, he has treated me) be not owing more to principle that passion. Nor can I give a stronger proof of the truth of this assurance than by declaring that I can and will forgive him on this one easy condition, that he will never molest me more." Clarissa, letter 369, p. 1141

"And my mother has put me in mind to press you to it, with a view that one day, if it might be published under feigned names, it would be of as much use as honour to the sex... And then, she says, your noble conduct throughout your trials and calamities will afford not only a shining example to your sex; but, at the same time (those calamities befalling such a person), a fearful warning to the inconsiderate young creatures of it." Miss Howe, letter 372, p. 1152

"If I am, on the other hand, destined for death, it will be no less cruel if he will not permit me to die in peace- since a peaceable and happy end I wish him." Clarissa, letter 386, p. 1172

"Miss Harlowe is a penitent indeed! I think, if I am not guilty of a contradiction in terms, a penitent without a fault; her parents conduct towards her from the first considered." John Belford, letter 413, p. 1205

"As to the resolution you so solemnly make not to marry while I live, I should be concerned were I not morally sure that you may keep it and yet not be detrimented by it." Clarissa, letter 438, p. 1268

"The date April 10 [on her casket] she accounted for, as not being able to tell what her closing-day would be; and as that was the fatal day of her leaving her father's house." Clarissa, letter 451, p. 1306

"I believe, sir, I believe, madam, we need not trouble my cousin to read any more. It does but grieve and disturb you. My sister Clary seems to be ill: I think if Mrs. Norton were permitted to go up to her it would be right. Wickedly as she has acted, if she be truly penitent-" Arabella, letter 459, p. 1322

"I leave ye all fit company for one another. I will never open my lips to any of you more upon this subject. I will instantly make my will, and in me shall the dear creature have the father, uncle, brother, she has lost. I will prevail upon her to take the tour of France and Italy with me; nor shall she return till ye know the value of such a daughter." Colonel Morden, letter 459, p. 1324

"Poor man! I once could have loved him. This is saying more than ever I could say of any other man out of my own family! Would he have permitted me to have been a humble instrument to have made him good, I think I could have made him happy!" Clarissa, letter 467, p. 1341

"Dressed, as I told you before, in her virgin white, she was sitting in her elbow-chair, Mrs. Lovick close by her in another chair, with her left arm round her neck, supporting it as it were; for it seems the lady had bid her do so, saying she had been a mother to her, and she would delight herself in thinking she was in her mamma's arms; for she found herself drowsy; perhaps, she said, for the last time she should ever be so." John Belford, letter 474, p. 1351

"She waved her hand to us both, and bowed her head six several times, as we have since recollected, as if distinguishing every person present; not forgetting the nurse and the maid-servant; the latter having approached the bed, weeping, as if crowding in for the divine lady's blessing; and she spoke faltering and inwardly—Bless—bless—bless—you all—and—now—and now—[holding up her almost lifeless hands for the last time] come—O come—blessed Lord—JESUS!" John Belford (concerning Clarissa's last words), letter 481, p. 1362

"At length, my best beloved Miss Clary, everything is in the wished train- for all your relations are unanimous in your favour-Even you brother and sister are with the foremost to be reconciled to you... And now, all our hopes, all our prayers are that this good news may restore you to spirits and health; and that (so long withheld) it may not come too late." Mrs. Norton, letter 483, p. 1364

"Justly, does she call me [the sister of her heart]; for we had but one heart, but one soul, between us: and now my better half is torn from me-what shall I do?" Miss Howe, letter 503, p. 1404

"Oh my aunt, no more of that!-Who would have thought that the dear creature had been such a penitent?" Arabella, letter 508, p. 1421

"A thief, Sir that steals what is and ought to be dearer to me than my life, deserves less to be forgiven than he who murders me." Miss Charlotte Montague, letter 515, p. 1438

"When [Clarissa] was last with me, three happy weeks together! In every visit [Mr. Lovelace] made her, her left her more dissatisfied with him than before. In obedience to her friends' commands on her coming to me, she never would see him out of my company; and would often say, when he was gone, 'Oh my Nancy, this is not the man'-At other times, 'Gay, giddy creature! He has always something to be forgiven for.' At others, 'This man will much sooner excite one's fears, than attract one's love'. And then would she repeat, 'This is not the man-All that the world says of him cannot be untrue-But what title have I to charge him, who intend not to have him?" Clarissa, letter 529, p. 1467

"I do not think all I do necessary for another to do: nor even for myself: but when it is more pleasant for me to keep such an account than to let it alone; why may I not proceed in my supererogatories?- There can be no harm in it. It keeps up my attention to accounts; which one day may be of use to me in more material instances. Those who will not keep a strict account, seldom long keep any. I neglect not more useful employments for it. And it teaches me to be covetous of time; the only thing of which we can be allowably covetous; since we live but once in this world; and when gone, are gone from it for ever." Clarissa, letter 529, p. 1472

"For looking into the account-book for other particulars, I met with a most affecting memorandum; which, being written on the extreme edge of the paper, with a fine pen, and in the dear creature's smallest hand, I saw not before-That it is; written, I suppose, at some calamitous period after the day named in it-Help me to a curse to blast the monster who gave occasion for it!- 'April 10. The account concluded!-And with it, all my worldly hopes and prospects!!!'" Miss Howe, letter 529, p. 1472

"Tomorrow is to be the Day, that will in all probability send either one or two ghosts to attend the manes of my Clarissa." Mr. Lovelace, letter 536, p. 1484

"The luck is yours, sir-Oh my beloved Clarissa!-Now art thou-" Mr. Lovelace, letter 537, p. 1486

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