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that of Mowbray, Tourville, and the rest of us-For what are ten, fifteen, twenty, or thirty years, to look back to ; in the longest of which periods forward we shall all perhaps be mingled with the dust from which we sprung?
MR. LOVELACE, TO JOHN BELFORD, ESQ.
Wednesday Morn. Aug. 23.
ALL alive, dear Jack, and in ecstasy!-Likely to be once more a happy man! For I have received a letter from my beloved Miss HARLOWE; in consequence, I suppose, of that which I mentioned in my last to be left for her from her sister. And I am setting out for Berks directly, to show the contents to my Lord M. and to re. ceive the congratulations of all my kindred upon it.
I went, last night, as I intended, to Smith's: but the dear creature was not returned at near ten o'clock. And, lighting upon Tourville, I took him home with me, and made him sing me out of my megrims. I went to bed tolerably easy at two; had bright and pleasant dreams; (not such a frightful one as that I gave thee an account of ;) and at eight this morning, as I was dressing, to be in readiness against the return of my fellow, whom I had sent to inquire after the lady, I had the following letter brought me by a chairman:
TO ROBERT LOVELACE, ESQ.
Tuesday Night, 11 o'clock (Aug. 22.) I HAVE good news to tell you. I am setting out with all diligence for my father's house, I am bid to hope that he will receive his poor penitent with a goodness peculiar to himself; for I am overjoyed with the assurance of a thorough reconciliation, through the interposition of a dear, blessed friend, whom I always loved and honoured. I am so taken up with my preparation for this joyful and Jong-wished-for journey, that I cannot spare one moment for any other business, having several matters of the last importance to settle first. So, pray, Sir, don't disturb or interrupt me-I beseech you don't. You may possibly in time see me at my father's; at least if it be not your own fault.
I will write a letter, which shall be sent you when I am got thither and received: till when, I am, &c.
I dispatched instantly a letter to the dear creature, as. suring her, with the most thankful joy, That I would 'directly set out for Berks, and wait the issue of the happy reconciliation, and the charming hopes she had filled me with. I poured out upon her a thousand 'blessings. I declared that it should be the study of my whole life to merit such transcendent goodness: and that there was nothing which her father or friends should ' require at my hands, that I would not for her sake 'comply with, in order to promote and complete so desirable a reconciliation.'
I hurried it away without taking a copy of it; and I
have ordered the chariot-and-six to be got ready; and hey for M. Hall! Let me but know how Belton does. I hope a letter from thee is on the road. And if the poor fellow can spare thee, make haste, I command thee, to attend this truly divine lady. Thou mayest not else see her of months perhaps; at least, not while she is Miss HARLOWE. And oblige me, if possible, with one letter before she sets out, confirming to me and accounting for this generous change.
But what accounting for it is necessary? The dear creature cannot receive consolation herself but she must communicate it to others. How noble! She would not see me in her adversity; but no sooner does the sun of prosperity begin to shine upon her than she forgives me.
I know to whose mediation all this is owing. It is to Colonel Morden's. She always, as she says, loved and honoured him! And he loved her above all his relations.
I shall now be convinced that there is something in dreams. The opening cloud is the reconciliation in view. The bright form, lifting up my charmer through it to a firmament stuck round with golden cherubims and seraphims, indicates the charming little boys and girls, that will be the fruits of this happy reconciliation. The welcomes, thrice repeated, are those of her family, now no more to be deemed implacable. Yet are they a family, too, that my soul cannot mingle with.
But then what is my tumbling over and over through the floor into a frightful hole, descending as she ascends? Ho! only this! it alludes to my disrelish to matrimony : Which is a bottomless pit, a gulph, and I know not what, And I suppose, had I not awoke in such a plaguy fright, I had been soused into some river at the bottom of the hole, and then been carried (mundified or purified from
my past iniquities,) by the same bright form (waiting for me upon the mossy banks,) to my beloved girl; and we should have gone on cherubiming of it and carolling to the end of the chapter.
But what are the black sweeping mantles and robes of Lord M. thrown over my face? And what are those of the ladies? O Jack! I have these too: They indicate nothing in the world but that my Lord will be so good as to die, and leave me all he has. So, rest to thy good na
tured soul, honest Lord M.
Lady Sarah Sadleir and Lady Betty Lawrance, will also die, and leave me swinging legacies.
Miss Charlotte and her sister-what will become of them?-Oh! they will be in mourning, of course, for their uncle and aunts-that's right!
As to Morden's flashing through the window, and cry. ing, Die, Lovelace, and be d-d, if thou wilt not repair my cousin's wrongs! That is only, that he would have sent me a challenge, had I not been disposed to do the lady justice.
All I dislike is this part of the dream: for, even in a dream, I would not be thought to be threatened into any measure, though I liked it ever so well.
And so much for my prophetic dream.
Dear charming creature! What a meeting will there be between her and her father and mother and uncles! What transports, what pleasure, will this happy, long-wishedfor reconciliation give her dutiful heart! And indeed now methinks I am glad she is so dutiful to them; for her duty to her parents is a conviction to me that she will be as dutiful to her husband: since duty upon principle is an uniform thing.
Why pr'ythee, now, Jack, I have not been so much
to blame as thou thinkest: for had it not been for me, who have led her into so much distress, she could neither have received nor given the joy that will now overwhelm them all. So here rises great and durable good out of temporary evil.
I knew they loved her (the pride and glory of their fa mily,) too well to hold out long!
I wish I could have seen Arabella's letter. She has al ways been so much eclipsed by her sister, that I dare say she has signified this reconciliation to her with intermingled phlegm and wormwood; and her invitation most certainly runs all in the rock-water style.
I shall long to see the promised letter too when she is got to her father's, which I hope will give an account of the reception she will meet with.
There is a solemnity, however, I think, in the style of her letter, which pleases and affects me at the same time. But as it is evident she loves me still, and hopes soon to see me at her father's, she could not help being a little solemn, and half-ashamed, [dear blushing pretty rogue !] to own her love, after my usage of her.
And then her subscription: Till when, I am, CLARISSA HARLOWE as much as to say, after that, I shall be, if not your own fault, CLARISSA LOVELACE!
O my best love! My ever-generous and adorable creature! How much does this thy forgiving goodness exalt us both!--Me, for the occasion given thee! Thee, for turning it so gloriously to thy advantage, and to the honour of
And if, my beloved creature, you will but connive at the imperfections of your adorer, and not play the wife upon me if, while the charms of novelty have their force with me, I should happen to be drawn aside by the love