Clarissa Harlowe LETTER XLIX



Having not had the favour of an answer to a letter I took the liberty to write to you on the 14th, I am in some hopes that it may have miscarried: for I had much rather it should, than to have the mortification to think that my aunt Hervey deemed me unworthy of the honour of her notice.

In this hope, having kept a copy of it, and not become able to express myself in terms better suited to the unhappy circumstances of things, I transcribe and enclose what I then wrote.* And I humbly beseech you to favour the contents of it with your interest.

* The contents of the Letter referred to are given in Letter XXIV. of

this volume.

Hitherto it is in my power to perform what I undertake for in this letter; and it would be very grievous to me to be precipitated upon measures, which may render the desirable reconciliation more difficult.

If, Madam, I were permitted to write to you with the hopes of being answered, I could clear my intention with regard to the step I have taken, although I could not perhaps acquit myself to some of my severest judges, of an imprudence previous to it. You, I am sure, would pity me, if you knew all I could say, and how miserable I am in the forfeiture of the good opinion of all my friends.

I flatter myself, that their favour is yet retrievable: but, whatever be the determination at Harlowe-place, do not you, my dearest Aunt, deny me the favour of a few lines to inform me if there can be any hope of a reconciliation upon terms less shocking than those heretofore endeavoured to be imposed upon me; or if (which God forbid!) I am to be for ever reprobated.

At least, my dear Aunt, procure for me the justice of my wearing apparel, and the little money and other things which I wrote to my sister for, and mention in the enclosed to you; that I may not be destitute of common conveniencies, or be under a necessity to owe an obligation for such, where, at present, however, I would least of all owe it.

Allow me to say, that had I designed what happened, I might (as to the money and jewels at least) have saved myself some of the mortification which I have suffered, and which I still further apprehend, if my request be not complied with.

If you are permitted to encourage an eclaircissment of what I hint, I will open my whole heart to you, and inform you of every thing.

If it be any pleasure to have me mortified, be pleased to let it be known, that I am extremely mortified. And yet it is entirely from my own reflections that I am so, having nothing to find fault with in the behaviour of the person from whom every evil was to be apprehended.

The bearer, having business your way, will bring me your answer on Saturday morning, if you favour me according to my hopes. I knew not that I should have this opportunity till I had written the above.

I am, my dearest Aunt, Your ever dutiful, CL. HARLOWE.

Be pleased to direct for me, if I am to be favoured with a few lines, to be left at Mr. Osgood’s, near Soho-square; and nobody shall ever know of your goodness to me, if you desire it to be kept a secret.