LETTER I. Clarissa to Miss Howe.—Likes her lodgings; but not greatly the widow. Chides Miss Howe for her rash, though friendly vow. Catalogue of good books she finds in her closet. Utterly dissatisfied with him for giving out to the women below that they were privately married. Has a strong debate with him on this subject. He offers matrimony to her, but in such a manner that she could not close with his offer. Her caution as to doors, windows, and seals of letters.

LETTER II. Miss Howe to Clarissa.—Her expedient to correspond with each other every day. Is glad she had thoughts of marrying him had he repeated his offer. Wonders he did not.

LETTER III. Clarissa to Miss Howe.—Breakfasts with him and the widow, and her two nieces. Observations upon their behaviour and looks. He makes a merit of leaving her, and hopes,ON HIS RETURN, that she will name his happy day. She is willing to make the best constructions in his favour. In his next letter (extracts from which are only given) he triumphs on the points he has carried. Stimulated by the women, he resumes his resolution to try her to the utmost.

LETTER IV. Clarissa to Miss Howe.—Lovelace returns the next day. She thinks herself meanly treated, and is angry. He again urges marriage; but before she can return his answer makes another proposal; yet she suspects not that he means a studied delay. He is in treaty for Mrs. Fretchville’s house. Description of it. An inviting opportunity offers for him to propose matrimony to her. She wonders he let it slip. He is very urgent for her company at a collation he is to give to four of his select friends, and Miss Partington. He gives an account who Miss Partington is. In Mr. Lovelace’s next letter he invites Belford, Mowbray, Belton, and Tourville, to his collation. His humourous instructions for their behaviour before the lady. Has two views in getting her into their company.

LETTER V. Lovelace to Belford.—Has been at church with Clarissa. The sabbath a charming institution. The text startles him. Nathan the prophet he calls a good ingenious fellow. She likes the women better than she did at first. She reluctantly consents to honour his collation with her presence. Longs to have their opinions of his fair prize. Describes her to great advantage.

LETTER VI. Clarissa to Miss Howe.—She praises his good behaviour at St. Paul’s. Is prevailed on to dine with Mrs. Sinclair and her nieces. Is better pleased with them than she thought she should be. Blames herself for her readiness to censure,where reputation is concerned. Her charitable allowances on this head. This day an agreeable day. Interprets ever thing she can fairly interpret in Mr. Lovelace’s favour. She could prefer him to all the men she ever knew, if he would always be what he had been that day. Is determined, as much as possible, by true merit, and by deeds. Dates again, and is offended at Miss Partington’s being introduced to her, and at his making her yield to be present at his intended collation.

LETTER VII. From the same.—Disgusted wit her evening. Characterizes his four companions. Likes not Miss Partington’s behaviour.

LETTER VIII. From the same.—An attempt to induce her to admit Miss Partington to a share in her bed for that night. She refuses. Her reasons. Is highly dissatisfied.

LETTER IX. From the same.—Has received an angry letter from Mrs. Howe, forbidding her to correspond with her daughter. She advises compliance, though against herself; and,to induce her to it, makes the best of her present prospects.

LETTER X. Miss Howe. In answer.—Flames out upon this step of her mother. Insists upon continuing the correspondence. Her menaces if Clarissa write not. Raves against Lovelace. But blames her for not obliging Miss Partington: and why. Advises her to think of settlements. Likes Lovelace’s proposal of Mrs. Fretchville’s house.

LETTER XI. Clarissa. In reply.—Terrified at her menaces, she promises to continue writing. Beseeches her to learn to subdue her passions. Has just received her clothes.

LETTER XII. Mr. Hickman to Clarissa.—Miss Howe, he tells her, is uneasy for the vexation she has given her. If she will write on as before, Miss Howe will not think of doing what she is so apprehensive of. He offers her his most faithful services.

LETTER XIII. XIV. Lovelace to Belford.—Tells him how much the lady dislikes the confraternity; Belford as well as the rest. Has a warm debate with her in her behalf. Looks upon her refusing a share in her bed to Miss Partington as suspecting and defying him. Threatens her.—Savagely glories in her grief, on receiving Miss Howe’s prohibitory letter: which appears to be instigated by himself.

LETTER XV. Belford to Lovelace.—His and his compeer’s high admiration of Clarissa. They all join to entreat him to do her justice.

LETTER XVI. XVII. Lovelace. In answer.—He endeavours to palliate his purposes by familiar instances of cruelty to birds, &c.—Farther characteristic reasonings in support of his wicked designs. The passive condition to which he wants to bring the lady.

LETTER XVIII. Belford. In reply.—Still warmly argues in behalf of the lady. Is obliged to attend a dying uncle: and entreats him to write from time to time an account of all his proceedings.

LETTER XIX. Clarissa to Miss Howe.—Lovelace, she says, complains of the reserves he gives occasion for. His pride a dirty low pride, which has eaten up his prudence. He is sunk in her opinion. An afflicting letter sent her from her cousin Morden. Encloses the letter. In which her cousin (swayed by the representations of her brother) pleads in behalf of Solmes, and the family-views; and sets before her, in strong and just lights, the character of a libertine. Her heavy reflections upon the contents. Her generous prayer.

LETTER XX. Clarissa to Miss Howe.—He presses her to go abroad with him; yet mentions not the ceremony that should give propriety to his urgency. Cannot bear the life she lives. Wishes her uncle Harlowe to be sounded by Mr. Hickman, as to a reconciliation. Mennell introduced to her. Will not take another step with Lovelace till she know the success of the proposed application to her uncle. Substance of two letters from Lovelace to Belford; in which he tells him who Mennell is, and gives an account of many new contrivances and precautions. Women’s pockets ballast-bags. Mrs. Sinclair’s wardrobe. Good order observed in her house. The lady’s caution, he says, warrants his contrivances.

LETTER XXI. Lovelace to Belford.—Will write a play. The title of it, The Quarrelsome Lovers. Perseverance his glory; patience his hand-maid. Attempts to get a letter the lady had dropt as she sat. Her high indignation upon it. Farther plots. Paul Wheatly, who; and for what employed. Sally Martin’s reproaches. Has overplotted himself. Human nature a well-known rogue.

LETTER XXII. Clarissa to Miss Howe.—Acquaints her with their present quarrel. Finds it imprudent to stay with him. Re-urges the application to her uncle. Cautions her sex with regard to the danger of being misled by the eye.

LETTER XXIII. Miss Howe. In answer.—Approves of her leaving Lovelace. New stories of his wickedness. Will have her uncle sounded. Comforts her. How much her case differs from that of any other female fugitive. She will be an example, as well as a warning. A picture of Clarissa’s happiness before she knew Lovelace. Brief sketches of her exalted character. Adversity her shining time.

LETTER XXIV. Clarissa. In reply.—Has a contest with Lovelace about going to church. He obliges her again to accept of his company to St. Paul’s.

LETTER XXV. Miss Howe to Mrs. Norton.—Desiring her to try to dispose Mrs. Harlowe to forward a reconciliation.

LETTER XXVI. Mrs. Norton. In answer.

LETTER XXVII. Miss Howe. In reply.

LETTER XXVIII. Mrs. Harlowe’s pathetic letter to Mrs. Norton.

LETTER XXIX. Miss Howe to Clarissa.—Fruitless issue of Mr. Hickman’s application to her uncle. Advises her how to proceed with, and what to say to, Lovelace. Endeavours to account for his teasing ways. Who knows, she says, but her dear friend was permitted to swerve, in order to bring about his reformation? Informs her of her uncle Antony’s intended address to her mother.

LETTER XXX. Clarissa to Miss Howe.—Hard fate to be thrown upon an ungenerous and cruel man. Reasons why she cannot proceed with Mr. Lovelace as she advises. Affecting apostrophe to Lovelace.

LETTER XXXI. From the same.—Interesting conversation with Lovelace. He frightens her. He mentions settlements. Her modest encouragements of him. He evades. True generosity what. She requires his proposals of settlements in writing. Examines herself on her whole conduct to Lovelace. Maidenly niceness not her motive for the distance she has kept him at. What is. Invites her correction if she deceive herself.

LETTER XXXII. From the same.—With Mr. Lovelace’s written proposals. Her observations on the cold conclusion of them. He knows not what every wise man knows, of the prudence and delicacy required in a wife.

LETTER XXXIII. From the same.—Mr. Lovelace presses for the day; yet makes a proposal which must necessarily occasion a delay. Her unreserved and pathetic answer to it. He is affected by it. She rejoices that he is penetrable. He presses for her instant resolution; but at the same time insinuates delay. Seeing her displeased, he urges for the morrow: but, before she can answer, gives her the alternative of other days. Yet, wanting to reward himself, as if he had obliged her, she repulses him on a liberty he would have taken. He is enraged. Her melancholy reflections on her future prospects with such a man. The moral she deduces from her story. [A note, defending her conduct from the censure which passed upon her as over nice.] Extracts from four of his letters: in which he glories in his cruelty. Hardheartedness he owns to be an essential of the libertine character. Enjoys the confusion of a fine woman. His apostrophe to virtue. Ashamed of being visibly affected. Enraged against her for repulsing him. Will steel his own heart, that he may cut through a rock of ice to her’s. The women afresh instigate him to attempt her virtue.

LETTER XXXIV. Miss Howe to Clarissa.—Is enraged at his delays. Will think of some scheme to get her out of his hands. Has no notion that he can or dare to mean her dishonour. Women do not naturally hate such men as Lovelace.

LETTER XXXV. Belford to Lovelace.—Warmly espouses the lady’s cause. Nothing but vanity and nonsense in the wild pursuits of libertines. For his own sake, for his family’s sake,and for the sake of their common humanity, he beseeches him to do this lady justice.

LETTER XXXVI. Lord M. to Mr. Belford.—A proverbial letter in the lady’s favour.

LETTER XXXVII. Lovelace to Belford.—He ludicrously turns Belford’s arguments against him. Resistance inflames him. Why the gallant is preferred to the husband. Gives a piece of advice to married women. Substance of his letter to Lord M. desiring him to give the lady to him in person. His view in this letter. Ridicules Lord M. for his proverbs. Ludicrous advice to Belford in relation to his dying uncle. What physicians should do when a patient is given over.

LETTER XXXVIII. Belford to Lovelace.—Sets forth the folly, the inconvenience, the impolicy of KEEPING, and the preference of MARRIAGE, upon the foot of their own principles, as libertines.

LETTER XXXIX. Lovelace to Belford.—Affects to mistake the intention of Belford’s letter, and thanks him for approving his present scheme. The seduction progress is more delightful to him, he says, than the crowning act.

LETTER XL. From the same.—All extremely happy at present. Contrives a conversation for the lady to overhear. Platonic love, how it generally ends. Will get her to a play;likes not tragedies. Has too much feeling. Why men of his cast prefer comedy to tragedy. The nymphs, and Mrs. Sinclair, and all their acquaintances, of the same mind. Other artifices of his. Could he have been admitted in her hours of dishabille and heedlessness, he had been long ago master of his wishes. His view in getting her to a play: a play, and a collation afterwards, greatly befriend a lover’s designs; and why. She consents to go with him to see the tragedy of Venice Preserved.

LETTER XLI. Clarissa to Miss Howe.—Gives the particulars of the overheard conversation. Thinks her prospects a little mended. Is willing to compound for tolerable appearances, and to hope, when reason for hope offers.

LETTER XLII. Miss Howe to Clarissa.—Her scheme of Mrs. Townsend. Is not for encouraging dealers in prohibited goods; and why. Her humourous treatment of Hickman on consulting him upon Lovelace’s proposals of settlements.

LETTER XLIII. From the same.—Her account of Antony Harlowe’s address to her mother, and of what passed on her mother’s communicating it to her. Copy of Mrs. Howe’s answer to his letter.

LETTER XLIV. XLV. Lovelace to Belford.—Comes at several letters of Miss Howe. He is now more assured of Clarissa than ever; and why. Sparkling eyes, what they indicate. She keeps him at distance. Repeated instigations from the women. Account of the letters he has come at. All rage and revenge upon the contents of them. Menaces Hickman. Wishes Miss Howe had come up to town, as she threatened.

LETTER XLVI. Clarissa to Miss Howe.—Is terrified by him. Disclaims prudery. Begs of Miss Howe to perfect her scheme, that she may leave him. She thinks her temper changed for the worse. Trembles to look back upon his encroachments. Is afraid, on the close self-examination which her calamities have caused her to make, that even in the best actions of her past life she has not been quite free from secret pride, &c. Tears almost in two the answer she had written to his proposals. Intends to go out next day, and not to return. Her farther intentions.

LETTER XLVII. Lovelace to Belford.—Meets the lady at breakfast. Flings the tea-cup and saucer over his head. The occasion. Alarms and terrifies her by his free address. Romping, the use of it by a lover. Will try if she will not yield to nightly surprises. A lion-hearted lady where her honour is concerned. Must have recourse to his master-strokes. Fable of the sun and north wind. Mrs. Fretchville’s house an embarrass. He gives that pretended lady the small-pox. Other contrivances in his head to bring Clarissa back, if she should get away. Miss Howe’s scheme of Mrs. Townsend is, he says, a sword hanging over his head. He must change his measures to render it abortive. He is of the true lady-make. What that is. Another conversation between them. Her apostrophe to her father. He is temporarily moved. Dorcas gives him notice of a paper she has come at,and is transcribing. In order to detain the lady, he presses for the day. Miss Howe he fancies in love with him; and why. He sees Clarissa does not hate him.

LETTER XLVIII. From the same.—Copy of the transcribed paper. It proves to be her torn answer to his proposals. Meekness the glory of a woman. Ludicrous image of a termagant wife. He had better never to have seen this paper. Has very strong remorses. Paints them in lively colours. Sets forth the lady’s transcendent virtue, and greatness of mind. Surprised into these arguments in her favour by his conscience. Puts it to flight.

LETTER XLIX. From the same.—Mennell scruples to aid him farther in his designs. Vapourish people the physical tribe’s milch-cows. Advice to the faculty. Has done with the project about Mrs. Fretchville’s house. The lady suspects him. A seasonable letter for him from his cousin Charlotte. Sends up the letter to the lady. She writes to Miss Howe, upon perusing it, to suspend for the present her application to Mrs. Townsend.

LETTER L. From the same.—An interview all placid and agreeable. Now is he in a train. All he now waits for is a letter from Lord M. Inquires after their marriage by a stranger of good appearance. The lady alarmed at them.

LETTER LI. Lovelace to Belford.—Curses his uncle for another proverbial letter he has sent him. Permits the lady to see it. Nine women in ten that fall, fall, he says, through their own fault.

LETTER LII. Lord M.’s characteristic letter.

LETTER LIII. Lovelace to Belford.—The lady now comes to him at the first word. Triumphs in her sweetness of temper, and on her patience with him. Puts his writings into counsellor Williams’s hands, to prepare settlements. Shall now be doubly armed. Boasts of his contrivances in petto. Brings patterns to her. Proposes jewels. Admires her for her prudence with regard to what he puts her upon doing for her Norton. What his wife must do and be. She declines a public wedding. Her dutiful reasons. She is willing to dispense with Lord M.’s presence. He writes to Lord M. accordingly. Extract from a letter from Clarissa.—After giving Miss Howe an account of the present favourable appearances,she desires her to keep herself all such of the particulars which she has communicated to her as may discredit Mr. Lovelace.

LETTER LIV. Lovelace to Belford.—His projected plot to revenge himself upon Miss Howe.

LETTER LV. From the same.—Fresh contrivances crowd in upon him. He shall be very sick on the morrow; and why. Women below impertinently reproachful. He will be no man’s successor. Will not take up with harlots.—History of the French marquis.