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< ence continually tried (because she has more of it than 6 any other) with repetitions of faults she is as much ' wounded by, as those can be from whom she so often
hears of them: taking to herself, as the fountain-head, a 'taint which only had infected one of the under-currents: 'afraid to open her lips (were she willing) in my favour,
lest it should be thought she has any bias in her own 'mind to failings that never could have been suspected in her: robbed of that pleasing merit, which the mother of well-nurtured and hopeful children may glory in: 6 every one who visits her, or is visited by her, by dumb ، show, and looks that mean more than words can express, condoling where they used to congratulate: the affected silence wounding: the compassionating look reminding: the half-suppressed sigh in them, calling up deeper sighs 'from her; and their averted eyes, while they endeavour to restrain the rising tear, provoking tears from her, that will not be restrained.
When I consider these things, and, added to these, 'the pangs that tear in pieces the stronger heart of my FATHER, because it cannot relieve itself by those tears ' which carry the torturing grief to the eyes of softer spirits: the overboiling tumults of my impatient and un'controulable BROTHER, piqued to the heart of his honour,
in the fall of a sister, in whom he once gloried: the 6 pride of an ELDER SISTER, who had given unwilling way 'to the honours paid over her head to one born after her: 6 and, lastly, the dishonour I have brought upon two UN
CLES, who each contended which should most favour their then happy niece :-When, I say, I reflect upon
my fault in these strong, yet just lights, what room can there be to censure any body but my unhappy self?
and how much reason have I to say, If I justify myself, • mine own heart shall condemn me: if I say I am per< fect, it shall also prove me perverse ?'
Here permit me to lay down my pen for a few moments.
You are very obliging to me, intentionally, I know, when you tell me, it is in my power to hasten the day of Mr. Hickman's happiness. But yet, give me leave to say, that I admire this kind assurance less than any other paragraph of your letter.
In the first place you know it is not in my power to say when I can dismiss my physician; and you should not put the celebration of a marriage intended by yourself, and so desirable to your mother, upon so precarious an issue. Nor will I accept of a compliment, which must mean a slight to her.
If any thing could give me a relish for life, after what I have suffered, it would be the hopes of the continuance of the more than sisterly love, which has, for years, uninterruptedly bound us together as one mind.—And why, my dear, should you defer giving (by a tie still stronger) another friend to one who has so few?
I am glad you have sent my letter to Miss Montague. I hope I shall hear no more of this unhappy man.
I had begun the particulars of my tragical story: but it is so painful a task, and I have so many more important things to do, and, as I apprehend, so little time to do them in, that, could I avoid it, I would go no farther in it.
Then, to this hour, I know not by what means several of his machinations to ruin me were brought about; so that some material parts of my sad story must be defective, if I were to sit down to write it. But I have been thinking
of a way
Mr. Lovelace, it seems, has communicated to his friend Mr. Belford all that has passed between himself and me, as he went on. Mr. Belford has not been able to deny it. So that (as we may observe by the way) a poor young creature, whose indiscretion has given a libertine power over her, has a reason she little thinks of, to regret her folly; since these wretches, who have no more honour in one point than in another, scruple not to make her weakness a part of their triumph to their brother libertines.
that will answer the end wished for by your mo.
I have nothing to apprehend of this sort, if I have the the justice done me in his letters which Mr. Belford assures me I have: and therefore the particulars of my story, and the base arts of this vile man, will, I think, be best collected from those very letters of his, (if Mr. Belford can be prevailed upon to communicate them;) to which I dare appeal with the same truth and fervour as he did, who says— O that one would hear me ! and that mine adversary had written a book!-Surely, I would take it upon my shoulders, and bind it to me as a crown! for I covered not my trangressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity my
There is one way which may be fallen upon to induce Mr. Belford to communicate these letters; since he seems to have (and declares he always had) a sincere abhorrence of his friend's baseness to me: but that, you'll say, when you hear it, is a strange one. Nevertheless, I am very earnest upon it at present.
It is no other than this:
I think to make Mr. Belford the executor of my last will: [don't be surprised:] and with this view I permit his visits with the less scruple: and every time I see him,
from his concern for me, am more and more inclined to do so. If I hold in the same mind, and if he accept the trust, and will communicate the materials in his power, those, joined with what you can furnish, will answer the whole end.
I know you will start at my notion of such an executor; but pray, my dear, consider, in my present circumstances, what I can do better, as I am empowered to make a will, and have considerable matters in my own disposal.
Your mother, I am sure, would not consent that you should take this office upon you. It might subject Mr. Hickman to the insults of that violent man. Mrs. Norton cannot, for several reasons respecting herself. My brother looks upon what I ought to have as his right. My uncle Harlowe is already one of my trustees (as my cousin Morden is the other) for the estate my grandfather left me: but you see I could not get from my own family the few guineas I left behind me at Harlowe-place; and my uncle Antony once threatened to have my grandfather's will controverted. My father!-To be sure, my dear, I could not expect that my father would do all I wish should be done; and a will to be executed by a father for a daughter, (parts of it, perhaps, absolutely against his own judgment,) carries somewhat daring and prescriptive in the very word.
If indeed my cousin Morden were to come in time, and would undertake this trust-but even him it might subject to hazards; and the more, as he is a man of great spirit ; and as the other man (of as great) looks upon me (unpro tected as I have long been) as his property.
Now Mr. Belford, as I have already mentioned, knows every thing that has passed. He is a man of spirit, and, it seems, as fearless as the other, with more humane qualities,
You don't know, my dear, what instances of sincere humanity this Mr. Belford has shown, not only on occasion of the cruel arrest, but on several occasions since. And Mrs. Lovick has taken pains to inquire after his general character; and hears a very good one of him, for justice and generosity in all his concerns of meum and tuum, as they are called: he has a knowledge of law-matters; and has two executorships upon him at this time, in the discharge of which his honour is unquestioned.
All these reasons have already in a manner determined me to ask this favour of him; although it will have an odd sound with it to make an intimate friend of Mr. Lovelace my executor.
This is certain my brother will be more acquiescent a great deal in such a case with the articles of my will, as he will see that it will be to no purpose to controvert some of them, which else, I dare say, he would controvert, or persuade my other friends to do so. And who would involve an executor in a law-suit, if they could help it?Which would be the case, if any body were left, whom my brother could hope to awe or controul; since my father has possession of all, and is absolutely governed by him. [Angry spirits, my dear, as I have often seen, will be overcome by more angry ones, as well as sometimes be disarmed by the meek.]-Nor would I wish, you may believe, to have effects torn out of my father's hands: while Mr. Belford, who is a man of fortune, (and a good economist in his own affairs,) would have no interest but to do justice.
Then he exceedingly presses for some occasion to show his readiness to serve me: and he would be able to manage his violent friend, over whom he has more influence than any other person.