« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
go, I wish you happy. And in this I mean to include every good wish.
And now having, with great reluctance I own, complied with one of your compulsatory alternatives, I expect the fruits of it.
MR. JOHN HARLOWE, TO MISS CL. HARLOWE.
[In answer to her's to her mother. See Letter XXXII. of this volume.]
Monday, Aug. 7.
POOR UNGRATEFUL, NAUGHTY KINSWOMAN!
YOUR mother neither caring, nor being permitted, to write, I am desired to set pen to paper, though I had resolved against it.
And so I am to tell you, that your letters, joined to the occasion of them, almost break the hearts of us all.
Were we sure you had seen your folly, and were truly penitent, and, at the same time, that you were so very ill as you pretend, I know not what might be done for you. But we are all acquainted with your moving ways when you want to carry a point.
Unhappy girl! how miserable have you made us all! We, who used to visit with so much pleasure, now cannot endure to look upon one another.
If you had not known, upon an hundred occasions, how dear you once was to us, you might judge of it now,
were you to know how much your folly has unhinged us all.
Naughty, naughty girl! You see the fruits of prefering a rake and libertine to a man of sobriety and morals. against full warning, against better knowledge. And such a modest creature, too, as you were! How could you think of such an unworthy preference ?
Your mother can't ask, and your sister knows not in modesty how to ask; and so I ask you, if you have any reason to think yourself with child by this villain?—You must answer this, and answer it truly, before any thing can be resolved upon about you.
You may well be touched with a deep remorse for your misdeeds. Could I ever have thought that my doting-piece, as every one called you, would have done thus? To be sure I loved you too well. But that is over now. Yet, though I will not pretend to answer for any body but myself, for my own part I say God forgive you! and this is all from Your afflicted uncle,
The following MEDITATION was stitched to the bottom of this letter with black silk.
O that thou wouldst hide me in the grave! that thou wouldst keep me secret, till thy wrath be past!
My face is foul with weeping; and on my eye-lid is the shadow of death.
My friends scorn me; but my mine eye poureth out tears unto God.
A dreadful sound is in my ears; in prosperity the destroyer came upon me!
I have sinned! what shall I do unto thee, O thou Preserver of men! why hast thou set me as a mark against thee; so that I am a burden to myself!
When I say my bed shall comfort me; my couch shall ease my complaint;
Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions.
So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than life.
I loath it! I would not live alway!-Let me alone; for my days are vanity!
He hath made me a bye-word of the people; and aforetime I was as a tabret.·
My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart.
When I looked for good, then evil came unto me; and when I waited for light, then came darkness.
And where now is my hope ?—
Yet all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.
MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE, TO JOHN HARLOWE, ESQ.
Thursday, Aug. 10.
IT was an act of charity I begged: only for a last blessing, that I might die in peace. I ask not to be received again, as my severe sister [Oh! that I had not written to her!] is pleased to say, is my view. Let that grace be denied me when I do.
I could not look forward to my last scene with comfort, without seeking, at least, to obtain the blessing I petitioned for; and that with a contrition so deep, that 1 deserved not, were it known, to be turned over from the tender nature of a mother, to the upbraiding pen of an uncle! and to be wounded by a cruel question, put by him in a shocking manner: and which a little, a very little time, will better answer than I can: for I am not either a hardened or shameless creature: if I were, I should not have been so solicitous to obtain, the favour I sued
And permit me to say that I asked it as well for my father and mother's sake, as for my own; for I am sure they at least will be uneasy, after I am gone, that they re. fused it to me.
I should still be glad to have theirs, and your's, Sir, and all your blessings, and your prayers: but, denied in such a manner, I will not presume again to ask it: relying entirely on the Almighty's; which is never denied, when supplicated for with such true penitence as I hope mine is. God preserve my dear uncle, and all my honoured friends! prays
MISS HOWE, TO MISS CLARISSA HARLowe.
Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, Monday, Aug. 7.
MY DEAREST CREATURE,
I CAN write but just now a few lines. I cannot tell how to bear the sound of that Mr. Belford for your executor, cogent as your reasons for that measure are: and yet I am firmly of opinion, that none of your relations should be named for the trust. But I dwell the less upon this subject, as I hope (and cannot bear to apprehend the contrary) that you will still live many, many years.
Mr. Hickman, indeed, speaks very handsomely of Mr. Belford. But he, poor man! has not much penetration. -If he had, he would hardly think so well of me as he does.
I have a particular opportunity of sending this by a friend of my aunt Harman's; who is ready to set out for London, (and this occasions my hurry,) and is to returu out of hand. I expect, therefore, by him a large packet from you; and hope and long for news of your amended health: which Heaven grant to the prayers of