Clarissa Harlowe LETTER XLV

TO CAPTAIN TOMLINSON [ENCLOSED IN THE PRECEDING; TO BE SHOWN TO THE LADY AS IN CONFIDENCE.] M. HALL, TUESDAY MORN., JUNE 27.

DEAR CAPTAIN TOMLINSON,

An unhappy misunderstanding has arisen between the dearest lady in the world and me (the particulars of which she perhaps may give you, but I will not, because I might be thought partial to myself;) and she refusing to answer my most pressing and respectful letters; I am at a most perplexing uncertainty whether she will meet us or not next Thursday to solemnize.

My Lord is so extremely ill, that if I thought she would not oblige me, I would defer going up to town for two or three days. He cares not to have me out of his sight: yet is impatient to salute my beloved as his niece before he dies. This I have promised to give him an opportunity to do: intending, if the dear creature will make me happy, to set out with her for this place directly from church.

With regret I speak it of the charmer of my soul, that irreconcilableness is her family-fault—the less excusable indeed for her, as she herself suffers by it in so high a degree from her own relations.

Now, Sir, as you intended to be in town some time before Thursday, if it be not too great an inconvenience to you, I could be glad you would go up as soon as possible, for my sake: and this I the more boldly request, as I presume that a man who has so many great affairs of his own in hand as you have, would be glad to be at a certainty as to the day.

You, Sir, can so pathetically and justly set before her the unhappy consequences that will follow if the day be postponed, as well with regard to her uncle’s disappointment, as to the part you have assured me her mother is willing to take in the wished-for reconciliation, that I have great hopes she will suffer herself to be prevailed upon. And a man and horse shall be in waiting to take your dispatches and bring them to me.

But if you cannot prevail in my favour, you will be pleased to satisfy your friend, Mr. John Harlowe, that it is not my fault that he is not obliged. I am, dear Sir,

Your extremely obliged and faithful servant, R. LOVELACE.