Clarissa Harlowe LETTER XLVII

MR. MOWBRAY, TO ROBERT LOVELACE, ESQ. WEDNESDAY, TWELVE O’CLOCK.

DEAR LOVELACE,

I have plaguy news to acquaint thee with. Miss Harlowe is gone off!—Quite gone, by soul!—I have no time for particulars, your servant being gone off. But if I had, we are not yet come to the bottom of the matter. The ladies here are all blubbering like devills, accusing one another most confoundedly: whilst Belton and I damn them all together in thy name.

If thou shouldst hear that thy fellow Will. is taken dead out of some horse-pond, and Dorcas cut down from her bed’s teaster, from dangling in her own garters, be not surprised. Here’s the devil to pay. Nobody serene but Jack Belford, who is taking minutes of examinations, accusations, and confessions, with the significant air of a Middlesex Justice; and intends to write at large all particulars, I suppose.

I heartily condole with thee: so does Belton. But it may turn out for the best: for she is gone away with thy marks, I understand. A foolish little devill! Where will she mend herself? for nobody will look upon her. And they tell me that thou wouldst certainly have married her, had she staid. But I know thee better.

Dear Bobby, adieu. If Lord M. will die now, to comfort thee for this loss, what a seasonable exit would he make! Let’s have a letter from thee. Pr’ythee do. Thou can’st write devill-like to Belford, who shews us nothing at all. Thine heartily,

RD. MOWBRAY.