Clarissa Harlowe LETTER LIX



I am under a kind of necessity to write to you, having no one among my relations to whom I dare write, or hope a line from if I did. It is but to answer a question. It is this:

Whether you know any such man as Captain Tomlinson? and, if you do, whether he be very intimate with my uncle Harlowe?

I will describe his person lest, possibly, he should go by another name among you; although I know not why he should.

‘He is a thin, tallish man, a little pock-fretten, of a sallowish complexion. Fifty years of age, or more. Of good aspect when he looks up. He seems to be a serious man, and one who knows the world. He stoops a little in the shoulders. Is of Berkshire. His wife of Oxfordshire; and has several children. He removed lately into your parts form Northamptonshire.’

I must desire you, Mrs. Hodges, that you will not let my uncle, nor any of my relations, know that I write to you.

You used to say, that you would be glad to have it in your power to serve me. That, indeed, was in my prosperity. But, I dare say, you will not refuse me in a particular that will oblige me, without hurting yourself.

I understand that my father, mother, and sister, and I presume, my brother, and my uncle Antony, are to be at my uncle Harlowe’s this day. God preserve them all, and may they rejoice in many happy birth-days! You will write six words to me concerning their healths.

Direct, for a particular reason, to Mrs. Dorothy Salcombe, to be left till called for, at the Four Swans Inn, Bishopsgate-street.

You know my hand-writing well enough, were not the contents of the letter sufficient to excuse my name, or any other subscription, than that of

Your friend.