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ford, I know, will be desirous to set out to prepare for the last office for your late friend: so I wish you a good journey, and hope to see you when that is per
She then retired with a cheerful and serene air. The two gentlemen went away together. I went down to the women, and, inquiring, found, that Mrs. Lovick was this day to bring her twenty guineas more, for some other of her apparel.
The widow told me that she had taken the liberty to expostulate with her upon the occasion she had for raising this money, to such great disadvantage; and it produced the following short and affecting conversation between them.
None of my friends will wear any thing of mine, said she. I shall leave a great many good things behind me.— And as to what I want the money for-don't be sur. prised:-But suppose I want it to purchase a house?
You are all mystery, Madam. I don't comprehend you.
Why, then Mrs. Lovick, I will explain myself.—I have a man, not a woman, for my executor: and think you that I will leave to his care any thing that concerns my own person?—Now, Mrs. Lovick, smiling, do you com prehend me ?
Mrs. Lovick wept.
O fie! proceeded the Lady, drying up her tears with her own handkerchief, and giving her a kiss-Why this kind weakness for one with whom you have been so little awhile acquainted? Dear, good Mrs. Lovick, don't be concerned for me on a prospect with which I have occasion to be pleased; but go to-morrow to your friends, and bring me the money they have agreed to give you.
Thus, Lovelace, it is plain that she means to bespeak her last house! Here's presence of mind; here's tranquillity of heart, on the most affecting occasion-This is magnanimity indeed!-Couldst thou, or could I, with all our boisterous bravery, and offensive false courage, act thus?-Poor Belton! how unlike was thy behaviour!
Mrs. Lovick tells me that the lady spoke of a letter she had received from her favourite divine Dr. Lewen, in the time of my absence; and of an answer she had returned to it. But Mrs. Lovick knows not the contents of
When thou receivest the letter I am now writing, thou wilt see what will soon be the end of all thy injuries to this divine lady. I say when thou receivest it; for I will delay it for some little time, lest thou shouldest take it into thy head (under pretence of resenting the disappointment her letter must give thee) to molest her again.
This letter having detained me by its length, I shall not now set out for Epsom till to-morrow.
I should have mentioned that the lady explained to me what the one thing was that she was afraid might happen to ruffle her. It was the apprehension of what may result from a visit which Col. Morden, as she is informed, designs to make you.
THE REV. DR. LEWEN, TO MISS CL. HARLOWE.
Friday, Aug. 18. PRESUMING, dearest and ever-respectable young lady, upon your former favour, and upon your opinion of my judgment and sincerity, I cannot help addressing you by
few lines on your present unhappy situation.
I will not look back upon the measures into which you have either been led or driven. But will only say as to those, that I think you are the least to blame of any young lady that was ever reduced from happy to unhappy circumstances; and I have not been wanting to say as much, where I hoped my freedom would have been better received than I have had the mortification to find it to be.
What I principally write for now is, to put you upon doing a piece of justice to yourself, and to your sex, in the prosecuting for his life (I am assured his life is in your power) the most profligate and abandoned of men, as he must be, who could act so basely, as I understand Mr. Lovelace has acted by you.
I am very ill; and am now forced to write upon my pillow; my thoughts confused; and incapable of method: I shall not therefore aim at method: but to give you in general my opinion-and that is, that your religion, your duty to your family, the duty you owe to your honour, and even charity to your sex, oblige you to give public evidence against this very wicked man.
And let me add another consideration: The prevention, by this means, of the mischiefs that may otherwise happen between your brother and Mr. Lovelace, or between the
latter and your cousin Morden, who is now, I hear, arrived, and resolves to have justice done you.
A consideration which ought to affect your conscience, [forgive me, dearest young lady, I think I am now in the way of my duty ;] and to be of more concern to you, than that hard pressure upon your modesty which I know the appearance against him in an open court must be of to such a lady as you; and which, I conceive, will be your great difficulty. But I know, Madam, that you have dignity enough to become the blushes of the most naked truth, when necessity, justice, and honour, exact it from you. Rakes and ravishers would meet with encouragement indeed, and most from those who had the greatest abhorrence of their actions, if violated modesty were never to complain of the injury it received from the vil lanous attempters of it.
In a word, the reparation of your family dishonour now rests in your own bosom: and which only one of these two alternatives can repair; to wit, either to marry the offender, or to prosecute him at law. Bitter expedients for a soul so delicate as your's!
He, and all his friends, I understand, solicit you to the first and it is certainly, now, all the amends within his power to make. But I am assured that you have rejected their solicitations, and his, with the indignation and contempt that his foul actions have deserved: but yet, that you refuse not to extend to him the christian forgiveness he has so little reason to expect, provided he will not disturb you farther.
But, Madam, the prosecution I advise, will not let your present and future exemption from fresh disturbance from so vile a molester depend upon his courtesy: I should
think so noble and so rightly-guided a spirit as your's would not permit that it should, if you could help it.
And can indignities of any kind be properly pardoned till we have it in our power to punish them? To pretend to pardon, while we are labouring under the pain or dishonour of them, will be thought by some to be but the vaunted mercy of a pusillanimous heart, trembling to re. sent them. The remedy I propose is a severe one: But what pain can be more severe than the injury? Or how will injuries be believed to grieve us, that are never honourably complained of?
I am sure Miss Clarissa Harlowe, however injured and oppressed, remains unshaken in her sentiments of honour and virtue: and although she would sooner die than deserve that her modesty should be drawn into question; yet she will think no truth immodest that is to be uttered in the vindicated cause of innocence and chastity. Little, very little difference is there, my dear young lady, between a suppressed evidence, and a false one.
It is a terrible circumstance, I once more own, for a young lady of your delicacy to be under the obligation of telling so shocking a story in public court: but it is still a worse imputation, that she should pass over so mortal an injury unresented.
Conscience, honour, justice, are on your side: and modesty would, by some, be thought but an empty name, should you refuse to obey their dictates.
I have been consulted, I own, on this subject. I have given it as my opinion, that you ought to prosecute the abandoned man-but without my reasons. These I re. served, with a resolution to lay them before you unknown to any body, that the result, if what I wish, may be your