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be dd, if in earnest thou repairest not by marriage 6 my cousin's wrongs!
I was rising to resent this insult, I thought, when Lord M. ran between us with his great black mantle, and threw it over my face: and instantly my charmer, 'with that sweet voice which has so often played upon my ' ravished ears, wrapped her arms round me, muffled as was in my Lord's mantle: O spare, spare my Lovelace! and spare, O Lovelace, my beloved cousin Morden! 'Let me not have my distresses augmented by the fall of either or both of those who are so dear to me!
At this, charmed with her sweet mediation, I thought 'I would have clasped her in my arms: when immediately C the most angelic form I had ever beheld, all clad in "transparent white, descended in a cloud, which, opening,
discovered a firmament above it, crowded with golden ❝ cherubs and glittering seraphs, all addressing her with 'Welcome, welcome, welcome! and, encircling my charmer, ascended with her to the region of seraphims; and instantly, the opened cloud closing, I lost sight of her, and of the bright form together, and found wrapt • in my arms her azure robe (all stuck thick with stars of "embossed silver) which I had caught hold of in hopes of 'detaining her; but was all that was left me of my beloved 'Clarissa. And then, (horrid to relate!) the floor sinking under me, as the firmament had opened for her, I dropt into a hole more frightful than that of Elden; and, tumbling over and over down it, without view of a botC tom, I awaked in a panic; and was as effectually disor❝dered for half an hour, as if my dream had been a reality.'
Wilt thou forgive me troubling thee with such visionary stuff? Thou wilt see by it only that, sleeping or waking, my Clarissa is always present with me.
But here this moment is Will. come running hither to tell me that his lady actually returned to her lodgings last night between eleven and twelve ; and is now there, though very ill.
I hasten to her. But, that I may not add to her indisposition, by any rough or boisterous behaviour, I will be as soft and gentle as the dove herself in my addresses to her.
That I do love her, O all ye host of Heaven,
I fly to my beloved.
The chair is come.
MR. LOVELACE, TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ.
CURSE upon my stars!-Disappointed again! It was about eight when I arrived at Smith's.-The woman was iu the shop.
I know my
So, old acquaintance, how do you now? love is above. Let her be acquainted that I am here, waiting for admission to her presence, and can take no denial. Tell her, that I will approach her with the most respectful duty, and in whose company she pleases; and I will not touch the hem of her garment, without her leave.
Indeed, Sir, you are mistaken. The lady is not in this house, nor near it.
I'll see that.
Will.! beckoning him to me, and whispering, see if thou canst any way find out (without losing sight of the door, lest she should be below stairs) if she be in the neighbourhood, if not within.
Will. bowed, and went off. Up went I, without further ceremony; attended now only by the good woman.
I went into each apartment, except that which was locked before, and was now also locked: and I called to my Clarissa in the voice of love; but, by the still silence, was convinced she was not there. Yet, on the strength of my intelligence, I, doubted not but she was in the
I then went up two pair of stairs, and looked round the first room: but no Miss Harlowe.
And who, pray, is in this room? stopping at the door of another.
A widow gentlewoman, Sir.-Mrs. Lovick.
O my dear Mrs. Lovick! said I.—I am intimately acquainted with Mrs. Lovick's character, from my cousin John Belford. I must see Mrs. Lovick by all means. -Good Mrs. Lovick, open the door.
Your servant, Madam. Be so good as to excuse me.You have heard my story. You are an admirer of the most excellent woman in the world. tell me what is become of her?
Dear Mrs. Lovick,
The poor lady, Sir, went out yesterday, on purpose to avoid you.
How so? she knew not that I would be here.
She was afraid you would come, when she heard you were recovered from your illness. Ah! Sir, what pity it is that so fine a gentleman should make such ill returns for God's goodness to him!
You are an excellent woman, Mrs. Lovick: I know that, by my cousin John Belford's account of you: and Miss Clarissa Harlowe is an angel.
Miss Harlowe is indeed an angel, replied she; and soon will be company for angels.
No jesting with such a woman as this, Jack.
Tell me of a truth, good Mrs. Lovick, where I may see this dear lady. Upon my soul, I will neither fright nor offend her. I will only beg of her to hear me speak for one half-quarter of an hour; and, if she will have it So, I will never trouble her more.
Sir, said the widow, it would be death for her to see you. She was at home last night; I'll tell you truth: but fitter to be in bed all day. She came home, she said, to die; and, if she could not avoid your visit, she was unable to fly from you; and believed she should die in your presence.
And yet go out again this morning early? How can that be, widow ?
Why, Sir, she rested not two hours, for fear of you. Her fear gave her strength, which she'll suffer for, when that fear is over. And finding herself, the more she thought of your visit, the less able to stay to receive it, she took chair, and is gone nobody knows whither. But, I believe, she intended to be carried to the water-side, in order to take boat; for she cannot bear a coach. It extremely incommoded her yesterday.
But before we talk any further, said I, if she be gone abroad, you can have no objection to my looking into every apartment above and below; because I am told she is actually in the house.
Indeed, Sir, she is not. You may satisfy yourself, if you please but Mrs. Smith and I waited on her to her
chair. We were forced to support her, she was so weak. She said, Whither can I go, Mrs. Lovick? whither can I go, Mrs. Smith ?-Cruel, cruel man!-tell him I called him so, if he come again !-God give him that peace which he denies me!
Sweet creature! cried I; and looked down, and took out my handkerchief.
The widow wept. I wish, said she, I had never known so excellent a lady, and so great a sufferer! I love her as my own child!
Mrs. Smith wept.
I then gave over the hope of seeing her for this time. I was extremely chagrined at my disappointment, and at the account they gave of her ill health.
Would to Heaven, said I, she would put it in my power to repair her wrongs! I have been an ungrateful wretch to her. I need not tell you, Mrs. Lovick, how much I have injured her, nor how much she suffers by her relations' implacableness. 'Tis that, Mrs. Lovick, 'tis that implacableness, Mrs. Smith, that cuts her to the heart. Her family is the most implacable family on earth; and the dear creature, in refusing to see me, and to be reconciled to me, shows her relation to them a little too plainly.
O Sir, said the widow, not one syllable of what you say belongs to this lady. I never saw so sweet a creature! so edifying a piety! and one of so forgiving a temper! she is always accusing herself, and excusing her relations. And, as to you, Sir, she forgives you: she wishes you well; and happier than you will let her be. Why will you not, Sir, why will you not, let her die in peace? 'tis all she wishes for. You don't look like a hard-hearted gen. tleman!-How can you thus hunt and persecute a poor