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desire me to tarry, as sometimes she does, when I make a motion to depart.
I had some hints, as I went away, froin Mrs. Smith, that she had appropriated that evening to some offices, that were to save trouble, as she called it, after her de. parture; and had been giving orders to her nurse, and to Mrs. Lovick, and Mrs. Smith, about what she would have done when she was gone; and I believe they were of a very delicate and affecting nature; but Mrs. Smith descended not to particulars.
The doctor had been with her, as well as Mr. God. dard ; and they both joined with great earnestness to persuade her to have her house removed out of her sight; but she assured them that it gave her pleasure and spi. rits; and, being a necessary preparation, she wondered they should be surprised at it, when she had not any of her family about her, or any old acquaintance, on whose care and exactness in these punctilios, as she called them, she could rely.
The doctor told Mrs. Smith, that he believed she would hold out long enough for any of her friends to have notice of her state, and to see her; and hardly longer; and since he could not find that she had any certainty of seeing her cousin Morden, (which made it plain that her relations continued inflexible,) he would go home, and write a letter to her father, take it as she would.
She had spent great part of the day in intense devo tions; and to-morrow morning she is to have with her the same clergyman who has often attended her; from whose hands she will again receive the sacrament.
Thou seest, Lovelace, that all is preparing, that all will be ready ; and I am to attend her to.morrow after. noon, to take some instructions from her in relation to my part in the office to be performed for her. And thus, omitting the particulars of a fine conversation between her and Mrs. Lovick, which the latter acquainted me with, as well as another between her and the doctor and apo. thecary, which I had a design this evening to give you, they being of a very affecting nature, I have yielded to your impatience.
I shall dispatch Harry to-morrow morning early with her
letter to Miss Howe: an offer she took very kindly; as she is extremely solicitous to lessen that young lady's apprehensions for her on not hearing from her by Sa. turday's post: and yet, if she write truth, as no doubt but she will, how can her apprehensions be lessened?
MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE, TO MISS HOWE,
Saturday, Sept. 2. I
WRITE, my beloved Miss Howe, though very ill still : but I could not by the return of your messenger ; for I was then unable to hold a pen.
Your mother's illness (as mentioned in the first part of your letter,) gave me great distress for you, till I read farther. You bewailed it as became a daughter so sen. sible. May you be blessed in each other for many, very many, happy years to come! I doubt not, that even this sudden and grievous indisposition, by the frame it has put you in, and the apprehension it has given you of losing so dear a mother, will contribute to the happiness I wish you : for, alas! my dear, we seldom know how to value the blessings we enjoy, till we are in danger of losing them, or have actually lost them: and then, what would we give to have them restored to us!
What, I wonder, has again happened between you and Mr. Hickman? Although I know not, I dare say it is owing to some pretty petulance, to some half-ungenerous advantage taken of his obligingness and assiduity. Will you never, my dear, give the weight you and all our sex ought to give to the qualities of sobriety and regula. rity of life and manners in that sex? Must bold creatures, and forward spirits, for ever, and by the best and wisest of us, as well as by the indiscreetest, be the most kindly treated ?
: My dear friends know not that I have actually suf. fered within less than an inch of my life.
Poor Mr. Brand! he meant well, I believe. afraid all will turn heavily upon him, when he probably imagined that he was taking the best method to oblige. But were he not to have been so light of belief, and so weakly officious ; and had given a more favourable, and, it would be strange if I could not say, a juster report; things would have been, nevertheless, exactly as they are. I must lay down my pen.
I am very ill. I believe I shall be better by-and-by. The bad writing would betray me, although I had a mind to keep from you what the event must soon
Now I resume my trembling pen.
Excuse the un. steady writing. It will be so
I have wanted no money: so don't be angry about such a trifle as money. Yet am I glad of what you
inclined me to hope, that my friends will give up the produce of my grandfather's estate since it has been in their hands : because, knowing it to be my right, and that they could not want it, I had already disposed of a good part of it; and could only hope they would be willing to give it up at my last request. And now how rich shall I think myself in this my last stage !--And yet I did not want before indeed I did not-for who, that has many superfluities, can be said to want!
Do not, my dear friend, be concerned that I call it my last stage; For what is even the long life which in high health we wish for? What, but, as we go along, a life of apprehension, sometimes for our friends, oftener for our. selves? And at last, when arrived at the old age we coret, one heavy loss or deprivation having succeeded another, we see ourselves stript, as I may say, of every one we loved; and find ourselves exposed, as uncompanionable poor creatures, to the slights, to the contempts, of josta ling youth, who want to push us off the stage, in hopes to possess what we have :-and, superadded to all, our own infirmities every day increasing : of themselves enough to make the life we wished for the greatest disease of all ! Don't you remember the lines of Howard, which once you read to me in my ivy-bower* ?
In the disposition of what belongs to me, I have endea
These are the lines the lady refers to :
From death we rose to life: 'tis but the same,
voured to do every thing in the justest and best manner I could think of; putting myself in my relations' places, and, in the greater points, ordering my matters as if no misunderstanding had happened.
I hope they will not think much of some bequests where wanted, and where due from my gratitude: but if they should, what is done, is done; and I cannot now help it. Yet I must repeat, that I hope, I hope, I have pleased every one of them. For I would not; on any aca count, have it thought that, in my last disposition, any thing undaughterly, unsisterly, or unlike a kinswoman, should have had place in a mind that is so truly free (as I will presume to say, from all resentment, that it now over. flows with gratitude and blessings for the good (I have re. ceived, although it be not all that my heart wished to re. ceive. Were it even an hardship that I was not favoured with more, what is it but an hardship of half a year, against the most indulgent goodness of eighteen years and an half, that ever was shown to a daughter ?
My cousin, you tell me, thinks I was off my guard, and that I was taken at some advantage. Indeed, my dear, I was not. Indeed I gave no room for advantage to be taken of me. I hope, one day, that will be seen, if I have the justice done me which Mr. Belford assures me of.
I should hope that my cousin has not taken the liber, ties which you (by an observation not, in general, unjust) seem to charge him with. For it is sad to think, that the generality of that sex should make so light of crimes, which they justly hold so unpardonable in their own most intimate relations of our's—yet cannot commit them with. out doing such injuries to other families as they think themselves obliged to resent unto death, when offered to their own.
But we women are too often to blame on this head;