Clarissa Harlowe LETTERS OF VOLUME VIII

LETTER I. Miss Howe, from the Isle of Wight.— In answer to her’s, No. LXI. of Vol. VII. Approves not of her choice of Belford for her executor; yet thinks she cannot appoint for that office any of her own family. Hopes she will live many years.

LETTER II. Clarissa to Miss Howe.— Sends her a large packet of letters; but (for her relations’ sake) not all she has received. Must now abide by the choice of Mr. Belford for executor; but farther refers to the papers she sends her, for her justification on this head.

LETTER III. Antony Harlowe to Clarissa.— A letter more taunting and reproachful than that of her other uncle. To what owing.

LETTER IV. Clarissa. In answer.— Wishes that the circumstances of her case had been inquired into. Concludes with a solemn and pathetic prayer for the happiness of the whole family.

LETTER V. Mrs. Norton to Clarissa.— Her friends, through Brand’s reports, as she imagines, intent upon her going to the plantations. Wishes her to discourage improper visiters. Difficult situations the tests of prudence as well as virtue. Dr. Lewen’s solicitude for her welfare. Her cousin Morden arrived in England. Farther pious consolations.

LETTER VI. Clarissa. In answer.— Sends her a packet of letters, which, for her relations’ sake, she cannot communicate to Miss Howe. From these she will collect a good deal of her story. Defends, yet gently blames her mother. Afraid that her cousin Morden will be set against her; or, what is worse, that he will seek to avenge her. Her affecting conclusion on her Norton’s divine consolations.

LETTER VII. Lovelace to Belford.— Is very ill. The lady, if he die, will repent her refusal of him. One of the greatest felicities that can befal a woman, what. Extremely ill. His ludicrous behaviour on awaking, and finding a clergyman and his friends praying for him by his bedside.

LETTER VIII. Belford to Lovelace.— Concerned at his illness. Wishes that he had died before last April. The lady, he tells him, generously pities him; and prays that he may meet with the mercy he has not shown.

LETTER IX. Lovelace to Belford.— In raptures on her goodness to him. His deep regrets for his treatment of her. Blesses her.

LETTER X. Belford to Lovelace.— Congratulates him on his amendment. The lady’s exalted charity to him. Her story a fine subject for tragedy. Compares with it, and censures, the play of the Fair Penitent. She is very ill; the worse for some new instances of the implacableness of her relations. A meditation on the subject. Poor Belton, he tells him, is at death’s door; and desirous to see him.

LETTER XI. Belford to Clarissa.— Acquaints her with the obligation he is under to go to Belton, and (lest she should be surprised) with Lovelace’s resolution (as signified in the next letter) to visit her.

LETTER XII. Lovelace to Belford.— Resolves to throw himself at the lady’s feet. Lord M. of opinion that she ought to admit of one interview.

LETTER XIII. From the same.— Arrived in London, he finds the lady gone abroad. Suspects Belford. His unaccountable freaks at Smith’s. His motives for behaving so ludicrously there. The vile Sally Martin entertains him with her mimicry of the divine lady.

LETTER XIV. From the same.— His frightful dream. How affected by it. Sleeping or waking, his Clarissa always present with him. Hears she is returned to her lodgings. Is hastening to her.

LETTER XV. From the same.— Disappointed again. Is affected by Mrs. Lovick’s expostulations. Is shown a meditation on being hunted after by the enemy of her soul, as it is entitled. His light comments upon it. Leaves word that he resolves to see her. Makes several other efforts for that purpose.

LETTER XVI. Belford to Lovelace.— Reproaches him that he has not kept his honour with him. Inveighs against, and severely censures him for his light behaviour at Smith’s. Belton’s terrors and despondency. Mowbray’s impenetrable behaviour.

LETTER XVII. From the same.— Mowbray’s impatience to run from a dying Belton to a too-lively Lovelace. Mowbray abuses Mr. Belton’s servant in the language of a rake of the common class. Reflection on the brevity of life.

LETTER XVIII. Lovelace to Belford.— Receives a letter from Clarissa, written by way of allegory to induce him to forbear hunting after her. Copy of it. He takes it in a literal sense. Exults upon it. Will now hasten down to Lord M. and receive the gratulations of all his family on her returning favour. Gives an interpretation of his frightful dream to his own liking.

LETTER XIX. XX. From the same.— Pities Belton. Rakishly defends him on the issue of a duel, which now adds to the poor man’s terrors. His opinion of death, and the fear of it. Reflections upon the conduct of play-writers with regard servants. He cannot account for the turn his Clarissa has taken in his favour. Hints at one hopeful cause of it. Now matrimony seems to be in his power, he has some retrograde motions.

LETTER XXI. Belford to Lovelace.— Continuation of his narrative of Belton’s last illness and impatience. The poor man abuses the gentlemen of the faculty. Belford censures some of them for their greediness after fees. Belton dies. Serious reflections on the occasion.

LETTER XXII. Lovelace to Belford.— Hopes Belton is happy; and why. He is setting out for Berks.

LETTER XXIII. Belford to Lovelace.— Attends the lady. She is extremely ill, and receives the sacrament. Complains of the harasses his friend had given her. Two different persons (from her relations, he supposes) inquire after her. Her affecting address to the doctor, apothecary, and himself. Disposes of some more of her apparel for a very affecting purpose.

LETTER XXIV. Dr. Lewen to Clarissa.— Writes on his pillow, to prevail upon her to prosecute Lovelace for his life.

LETTER XXV. Her pathetic and noble answer.

LETTER XXVI. Miss Arabella Harlowe to Clarissa.— Proposes, in a most taunting and cruel manner, the prosecution of Lovelace; or, if not, her going to Pensylvania.

LETTER XXVII. Clarissa’s affecting answer.

LETTER XXVIII. XXIX. Mrs. Norton to Clarissa.— Her uncle’s cruel letter to what owing. Colonel Morden resolved on a visit to Lovelace.—Mrs. Hervey, in a private conversation with her, accounts for, yet blames, the cruelty of her family. Miss Dolly Hervey wishes to attend her.

LETTER XXX. Clarissa. In answer.— Thinks she has been treated with great rigour by her relations. Expresses more warmth than usual on this subject. Yet soon checks herself. Grieves that Colonel Morden resolves on a visit to Lovelace. Touches upon her sister’s taunting letter. Requests Mrs. Norton’s prayers for patience and resignation.

LETTER XXXI. Miss Howe to Clarissa.— Approves now of her appointment of Belford for an executor. Admires her greatness of mind in despising Lovelace. Every body she is with taken with Hickman; yet she cannot help wantoning with the power his obsequious love gives her over him.

LETTER XXXII. XXXIII. Clarissa to Miss Howe.— Instructive lessons and observations on her treatment of Hickman.— Acquaints her with all that has happened since her last. Fears that all her allegorical letter is not strictly right. Is forced by illness to break off. Resumes. Wishes her married.

LETTER XXXIV. Mr. Wyerley to Clarissa.— A generous renewal of his address to her now in her calamity; and a tender of his best services.

LETTER XXXV. Her open, kind, and instructive answer.

LETTER XXXVI. Lovelace to Belford.— Uneasy, on a suspicion that her letter to him was a stratagem only. What he will do, if he find it so.

LETTER XXXVII. Belford to Lovelace.— Brief account of his proceedings in Belton’s affairs. The lady extremely ill. Thought to be near her end. Has a low-spirited day. Recovers her spirits; and thinks herself above this world. She bespeaks her coffin. Confesses that her letter to Lovelace was allegorical only. The light in which Belford beholds her.

LETTER XXXVIII. Belford to Lovelace.— An affecting conversation that passed between the lady and Dr. H. She talks of death, he says, and prepares for it, as if it were an occurrence as familiar to her as dressing and undressing. Worthy behaviour of the doctor. She makes observations on the vanity of life, on the wisdom of an early preparation for death, and on the last behaviour of Belton.

LETTER XXXIX. XL. XLI. Lovelace to Belford.— Particulars of what passed between himself, Colonel Morden, Lord M., and Mowbray, on the visit made him by the Colonel. Proposes Belford to Miss Charlotte Montague, by way of raillery, for an husband.—He encloses Brand’s letter, which misrepresents (from credulity and officiousness, rather than ill-will) the lady’s conduct.

LETTER XLII. Belford to Lovelace.— Expatiates on the baseness of deluding young creatures, whose confidence has been obtained by oaths, vows, promises. Evil of censoriousness. People deemed good too much addicted to it. Desires to know what he means my his ridicule with regard to his charming cousin.

LETTER XLIII. From the same.— A proper test of the purity of writing. The lady again makes excuses for her allegorical letter. Her calm behaviour, and generous and useful reflections, on his communicating to her Brand’s misrepresentations of her conduct.

LETTER XLIV. Colonel Morden to Clarissa.— Offers his assistance and service to make the best of what has happened. Advises her to marry Lovelace, as the only means to bring about a general reconciliation. Has no doubt of his resolution to do her justice. Desires to know if she has.

LETTER XLV. Clarissa. In answer.

LETTER XLVI. Lovelace to Belford.— His reasonings and ravings on finding the lady’s letter to him only an allegorical one. In the midst of these, the natural gayety of his heart runs him into ridicule on Belford. His ludicrous image drawn from a monument in Westminster Abbey. Resumes his serious disposition. If the worst happen, (the Lord of Heaven and Earth, says he, avert that worst!) he bids him only write that he advises him to take a trip to Paris; and that will stab him to the heart.

LETTER XLVII. Belford to Lovelace.— The lady’s coffin brought up stairs. He is extremely shocked and discomposed at it. Her intrepidity. Great minds, he observes, cannot avoid doing uncommon things. Reflections on the curiosity of women.

LETTER XLVIII. From the same.— Description of the coffin, and devices on the lid. It is placed in her bed-chamber. His serious application to Lovelace on her great behaviour.

LETTER XLIX. From the same.— Astonished at his levity in the Abbey-instance. The lady extremely ill.

LETTER L. Lovelace to Belford.— All he has done to the lady a jest to die for; since her triumph has ever been greater than her sufferings. He will make over all his possessions and all his reversions to the doctor, if he will but prolong her life for one twelvemonth. How, but for her calamities, could her equanimity blaze out as it does! He would now love her with an intellectual flame. He cannot bear to think that the last time she so triumphantly left him should be the last. His conscience, he says, tears him. He is sick of the remembrance of his vile plots.

LETTER LI. Belford to Lovelace.— The lady alive, serene, and calm. The more serene for having finished, signed, and sealed her last will; deferred till now for reasons of filial duty.

LETTER LII. Miss Howe to Clarissa.— Pathetically laments the illness of her own mother, and of her dear friend. Now all her pertness to the former, she says, fly in her face. She lays down her pen; and resumes it, to tell her, with great joy, that her mother is better. She has had a visit form her cousin Morden. What passed in it.

LETTER LIII. From the same.— Displeased with the Colonel for thinking too freely of the sex. Never knew a man that had a slight notion of the virtue of women in general, who deserved to be valued for his morals. Why women must either be more or less virtuous than men. Useful hints to young ladies. Is out of humour with Mr. Hickman. Resolves to see her soon in town.

LETTER LIV. Belford to Lovelace.— The lady writes and reads upon her coffin, as upon a desk. The doctor resolves to write to her father. Her intense, yet cheerful devotion.

LETTER LV. Clarissa to Miss Howe.— A letter full of pious reflections, and good advice, both general and particular; and breathing the true spirit of charity, forgiveness, patience, and resignation. A just reflection, to her dear friend, upon the mortifying nature of pride.

LETTER LVI. Mrs. Norton to Clarissa.— Her account of an interesting conversation at Harlowe-place between the family and Colonel Morden; and of another between her mother and self. The Colonel incensed against them all. Her advice concerning Belford, and other matters. Miss Howe has obtained leave, she hears, to visit her. Praises Mr. Hickman. Gently censures Miss Howe on his account. Her truly maternal and pious comfortings.

LETTER LVII. Belford to Lovelace.— The lady’s sight begins to fail her. She blesses God for the serenity she enjoys. It is what, she says, she had prayed for. What a blessing, so near to her dissolution, to have her prayers answered! Gives particular directions to him about her papers, about her last will and apparel. Comforts the women and him on their concern for her. Another letter brought her from Colonel Morden. The substance of it. Belford writes to hasten up the Colonel. Dr. H. has also written to her father; and Brand to Mr. John Harlowe a letter recanting his officious one.

LETTER LVIII. Dr. H. to James Harlowe, Senior, Esq.

LETTER LIX. Copy of Mr. Belford’s letter to Colonel Morden, to hasten him up.

LETTER LX. Lovelace to Belford.— He feels the torments of the damned, in the remorse that wrings his heart, on looking back on his past actions by this lady. Gives him what he calls a faint picture of his horrible uneasiness, riding up and down, expecting the return of his servant as soon as he had dispatched him. Woe be to the man who brings him the fatal news!

LETTER LXI. Belford to Lovelace.— Farther particulars of the lady’s pious and exemplary behaviour. She rejoices in the gradual death afforded her. Her thankful acknowledgments to Mr. Belford, Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Lovick, for their kindness to her. Her edifying address to Mr. Belford.

LETTER LXII. Clarissa to Mrs. Norton. In answer to her’s, No. LVI.— Afflicted only for her friends. Desires not now to see her cousin Morden, nor even herself, or Miss Howe. God will have no rivals, she says, in the hearts of those whom HE sanctifies. Advice to Miss Howe. To Mr. Hickman. Blesses all her relations and friends.

LETTER LXIII. Lovelace to Belford.— A letter of deep distress, remorse, and impatience. Yet would he fain lighten his own guilt by reflections on the cruelty of her relations.

LETTER LXIV. Belford to Lovelace The lady is disappointed at the Doctor’s telling her that she may yet live two or three days. Death from grief the slowest of deaths. Her solemn forgiveness of Lovelace, and prayer for him. Owns that once she could have loved him. Her generous concern for his future happiness. Belford’s good resolutions.

LETTER LXV. Mr. Brand to Mr. John Walton.

LETTER LXVI. Mr. Brand to John Harlowe, Esq.; in excuse of his credulity, and of the misreports founded upon it.

LETTER LXVII. Lovelace to Belford.— Blesses him for sending him word the lady is better. Her charity towards him cuts him to the heart. He cannot bear it. His vehement self reproaches. Curses his contriving genius, and his disbelief that there could be such virtue in woman. The world never saw such an husband as he will make, if she recover, and will be his.

LETTER LXVIII. Belford to Lovelace.— The lady’s pious frame. The approaches of death how supportable to her; and why. She has no reason, she says, to grieve for any thing but the sorrow she has given to her friends.

LETTER LXIX. Lovelace to Belford.— Never prayed in his life, put all the years of it together, as he has done for this fortnight. Has repented of all his baseness: And will nothing do? Conjures him to send him good news in his next, as he would not be answerable for consequences.

LETTER LXX. Belford to Lovelace.— Solemn leave taken of her by the doctor and apothecary; who tell her she will hardly see the next night. The pleasure with which she receives the intimation. How unlike poor Belton’s behaviour her’s! A letter from Miss Howe. Copy of it. She cannot see to read it. Her exalted expressions on hearing it read. Tries to write an answer to it; but cannot. Dictates to Mrs. Lovick. Writes the superscriptive part herself on her knees. Colonel Morden arrives in town.

LETTER LXXI. From the same.— What passes on Colonel Morden’s visit to his cousin. She enjoins the Colonel not to avenge her.