Clarissa Harlowe LETTER LXXIV

MISS AR. HARLOWE, TO MISS CL. HARLOWE [IN ANSWER TO HER’S OF JULY 29. SEE LETTER LXII. OF THIS VOLUME.] THURSDAY MORN. AUG. 3.

SISTER CLARY,

I wish you would not trouble me with any more of your letters. You had always a knack at writing; and depended upon making every one do what you would when you wrote. But your wit and folly have undone you. And now, as all naughty creatures do, when they can’t help themselves, you come begging and praying, and make others as uneasy as yourself.

When I wrote last to you, I expected that I should not be at rest.

And so you’d creep on, by little and little, till you’ll want to be received again.

But you only hope for forgiveness and a blessing, you say. A blessing for what, sister Clary? Think for what!—However, I read your letter to my father and mother.

I won’t tell you what my father said—one who has the true sense you boast to have of your misdeeds, may guess, without my telling you, what a justly-incensed father would say on such an occasion.

My poor mother—O wretch! what has not your ungrateful folly cost my poor mother!—Had you been less a darling, you would not, perhaps, have been so graceless: But I never in my life saw a cockered favourite come to good.

My heart is full, and I can’t help writing my mind; for your crimes have disgraced us all; and I am afraid and ashamed to go to any public or private assembly or diversion: And why?—I need not say why, when your actions are the subjects either of the open talk, or of the affronting whispers, of both sexes at all such places.

Upon the whole, I am sorry I have no more comfort to send you: but I find nobody willing to forgive you.

I don’t know what time may do for you; and when it is seen that your penitence is not owing more to disappointment than to true conviction: for it is too probable, Miss Clary, that, had not your feather-headed villain abandoned you, we should have heard nothing of these moving supplications; nor of any thing but defiances from him, and a guilt gloried in from you. And this is every one’s opinion, as well as that of

Your afflicted sister, ARABELLA HARLOWE.

I send this by a particular hand, who undertakes to give it you or leave

it for you by to-morrow night.