Clarissa Harlowe LETTER LXXX

MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE, TO LORD M. AND TO THE LADIES OF HIS HOUSE [IN REPLY TO MISS MONTAGUE’S OF AUG. 7. SEE LETTER LXXVI. OF THIS VOLUME.] TUESDAY, AUG. 8.

Excuse me, my good Lord, and my ever-honoured Ladies, from accepting of your noble quarterly bounty; and allow me to return, with all grateful acknowledgement, and true humility, the enclosed earnest of your goodness to me. Indeed I have no need of the one, and cannot possibly want the other: but, nevertheless have such a sense of your generous favour, that, to my last hour, I shall have pleasure in contemplating upon it, and be proud of the place I hold in the esteem of such venerable persons, to whom I once had the ambition to hope to be related.

But give me leave to express my concern that you have banished your kinsman from your presence and favour: since now, perhaps, he will be under less restraint than ever; and since I in particular, who had hoped by your influence to remain unmolested for the remainder of my days, may again be subjected to his persecutions.

He has not, my good Lord, and my dear Ladies, offended against you, as he has against me; yet you could all very generously intercede for him with me: and shall I be very improper, if I desire, for my own peace-sake; for the sake of other poor creatures, who may still be injured by him, if he be made quite desperate; and for the sake of all your worthy family; that you will extend to him that forgiveness which you hope for from me? and this the rather, as I presume to think, that his daring and impetuous spirit will not be subdued by violent methods; since I have no doubt that the gratifying of a present passion will be always more prevalent with him than any future prospects, however unwarrantable the one, or beneficial the other.

Your resentments on my account are extremely generous, as your goodness to me is truly noble: but I am not without hope that he will be properly affected by the evils he has made me suffer; and that, when I am laid low and forgotten, your whole honourable family will be enabled to rejoice in his reformation; and see many of those happy years together, which, my good Lord, and my dear Ladies, you so kindly wish to

Your ever-grateful and obliged CLARISSA HARLOWE.