Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford,
This debate between the Captain and
me was hardly over when the three women, led by Miss
Rawlins, entered, hoping no intrusion, but very desirous,
the maiden said, to know if we were likely to accommodate.
O yes, I hope so. You know,
Ladies, that your sex must, in these cases, preserve
their forms. They must be courted to comply with
their own happiness. A lucky expedient we have
hit upon. The uncle has his doubts of our marriage.
He cannot believe, nor will any body, that it is
possible that a man so much in love, the lady so desirable
They all took the hint. It was
a very extraordinary case, the two widows allowed.
Women, Jack, [as I believe I have observed elsewhere,]
have a high opinion of what they can do for us.
Miss Rawlins desired, if I pleased, to let them know
the expedient; and looked as if there was no need
to proceed in the rest of my speech.
I begged that they would not let the
lady know I had told them what this expedient was;
and they should hear it.
It was this: that to oblige and
satisfy Mr. Harlowe, the ceremony was to be again
performed. He was to be privately present, and
to give his niece to me with his own hands and
she was retired to consider of it.
Thou seest, Jack, that I have provided
an excuse, to save my veracity to the women here,
in case I should incline to marriage, and she should
choose to have Miss Rawlins’s assistance at the
ceremony. Nor doubted I to bring my fair-one
to save my credit on this occasion, if I could get
her to consent to be mine.
A charming expedient! cried the widow.
They were all three ready to clap their hands for
joy upon it. Women love to be married twice at
least, Jack; though not indeed to the same man.
And all blessed the reconciliatory scheme and the
proposer of it; and, supposing it came from the Captain,
they looked at him with pleasure, while his face shined
with the applause implied. He should think himself
very happy, if he could bring about a general reconciliation;
and he flourished with his head like my man Will.
on his victory over old Grimes; bridling by turns,
like Miss Rawlins in the height of a prudish fit.
But now it was time for the Captain
to think of returning to town, having a great deal
of business to dispatch before morning. Nor was
he certain that he should be able again to attend
us at Hampstead before he went home.
And yet, as every thing was drawing
towards a crisis, I did not intend that he should
leave Hampstead that night.
A message to the above effect was
carried up, at my desire, by Mrs. Moore; with the
Captain’s compliments, and to know if she had
any commands for him to her uncle?
But I hinted to the women, that it
would be proper for them to withdraw, if the lady
did come down; lest she should not care to be so free
before them on a proposal so particular, as she would
be to us, who had offered it to her consideration.
Mrs. Moore brought down word that
the lady was following her. They all three withdrew;
and she entered at one door, as they went out at the
The Captain accosted her, repeating
the contents of the message sent up; and desired that
she would give him her commands in relation to the
report he was to make to her uncle Harlowe.
I know not what to say, Sir, nor what
I would have you to say, to my uncle perhaps
you may have business in town perhaps you
need not see my uncle till I have heard from Miss
Howe; till after Lady Betty I don’t
know what to say.
I implored the return of that value
which she had so generously acknowledged once to have
had for me. I presumed, I said, to flatter myself
that Lady Betty, in her own person, and in the name
of all my family, would be able, on my promised reformation
and contrition, to prevail in my favour, especially
as our prospects in other respects with regard to
the general reconciliation wished for were so happy.
But let me owe to your own generosity, my dearest
creature, said I, rather than to the mediation of
any person on earth, the forgiveness I am an humble
suitor for. How much more agreeable to yourself,
O best beloved of my soul, must it be, as well as
obliging to me, that your first personal knowledge
of my relations, and theirs of you, (for they will
not be denied attending you) should not be begun in
recriminations, in appeals? As Lady Betty will
be here soon, it will not perhaps be possible for you
to receive her visit with a brow absolutely serene.
But, dearest, dearest creature, I beseech you, let
the misunderstanding pass as a slight one as
a misunderstanding cleared up. Appeals give pride
and superiority to the persons appealed to, and are
apt to lessen the appellant, not only in their eye,
but in her own. Exalt not into judges those
who are prepared to take lessons and instructions from
you. The individuals of my family are as proud
as I am said to be. But they will cheerfully
resign to your superiority you will be the
first woman of the family in every one’s eyes.
This might have done with any other
woman in the world but this; and yet she is the only
woman in the world of whom it may with truth be said.
But thus, angrily, did she disclaim the compliment.
Yes, indeed! [and there
she stopt a moment, her sweet bosom heaving with a
noble disdain] cheated out of myself from
the very first! A fugitive from my own
family! Renounced by my relations! Insulted
by you! Laying humble claim to the protection
of your’s! Is not this the light in
which I must appear not only to the ladies of your
family, but to all the world? Think you,
Sir, that in these circumstances, or even had I been
in the happiest, that I could be affected by this plea
of undeserved superiority? You are a stranger
to the mind of Clarissa Harlowe, if you think her
capable of so poor and so undue a pride!
She went from us to the farther end of the room.
The Captain was again affected Excellent
creature! I called her; and, reverently approaching
her, urged farther the plea I had last made.
It is but lately, said I, that the
opinions of my relations have been more than indifferent
to me, whether good or bad; and it is for your sake,
more than for my own, that I now wish to stand well
with my whole family. The principal motive of
Lady Betty’s coming up, is, to purchase presents
for the whole family to make on the happy occasion.
This consideration, turning to the
Captain, with so noble-minded a dear creature, I know,
can have no weight; only as it will show their value
and respect. But what a damp would their worthy
hearts receive, were they to find their admired new
niece, as they now think her, not only not their niece,
but capable of renouncing me for ever! They love
me. They all love me. I have been guilty
of carelessness and levity to them, indeed; but of
carelessness and levity only; and that owing to a pride
that has set me above meanness, though it has not done
every thing for me.
My whole family will be guaranties
for my good behaviour to this dear creature, their
niece, their daughter, their cousin, their friend,
their chosen companion and directress, all in one. Upon
my soul, Captain, we may, we must be happy.
But, dearest, dearest creature, let
me on my knees [and down I dropt, her face all the
time turned half from me, as she stood at the window,
her handkerchief often at her eyes] on my knees let
me plead your promised forgiveness; and let us not
appear to them, on their visit, thus unhappy with
each other. Lady Betty, the next hour that she
sees you, will write her opinion of you, and of the
likelihood of our future happiness, to Lady Sarah
her sister, a weak-spirited woman, who now hopes to
supply to herself, in my bride, the lost daughter
she still mourns for!
The Captain then joined in, and re-urged
her uncle’s hopes and expectations, and his
resolution effectually to set about the general reconciliation;
the mischief that might be prevented; and the certainty
that there was that her uncle might be prevailed on
to give her to me with his own hand, if she made it
her choice to wait for his coming up. but, for his
own part, he humbly advised, and fervently pressed
her, to make the very next day, or Monday at farthest,
my happy day.
Permit me, dearest lady, said he,
and I could kneel to you myself, [bending his knee,]
though I have no interest in my earnestness, but the
pleasure I should have to be able to serve you all,
to beseech you to give me an opportunity to assure
your uncle that I myself saw with my own eyes the
happy knot tied! All misunderstandings,
all doubts, all diffidences, will then be at an end.
And what, Madam, rejoined I, still
kneeling, can there be in your new measures, be they
what they will, that can so happily, so reputably,
I will presume to say, for all around, obviate the
Miss Howe herself, if she love you,
and if she love your fame, Madam, urged the Captain,
his knee still bent, must congratulate you on such
Then turning her face, she saw the
Captain half-kneeling O Sir! O Capt.
Tomlinson! Why this undue condescension?
extending her hand to his elbow, to raise him.
I cannot bear this! Then casting her eye
on me, Rise, Mr. Lovelace kneel not to
the poor creature whom you have insulted! How
cruel the occasion for it! And how mean
Not mean to such an angel! Nor
can I rise but to be forgiven!
The Captain then re-urged once more
the day he was amazed, he said, if she
ever valued me
O Captain Tomlinson, interrupted she,
how much are you the friend of this man! If
I had never valued him, he never would have had it
in his power to insult me; nor could I, if I had never
regarded him, have taken to heart as I do, the insult
(execrable as it was) so undeservedly, so ungratefully
given but let him retire for
a moment let him retire.
I was more than half afraid to trust
the Captain by himself with her. He gave me
a sign that I might depend upon him. And then
I took out of my pocket his letter to me, and Lady
Betty’s and Miss Montague’s, and Lord
M.’s letters (which last she had not then seen);
and giving them to him, procure for me, in the first
place, Mr. Tomlinson, a re-perusal of these three
letters; and of this from Lord M. And I beseech you,
my dearest life, give them due consideration:
and let me on my return find the happy effects of
I then withdrew; with slow feet, however,
and a misgiving heart.
The Captain insisted upon this re-perusal
previously to what she had to say to him, as he tells
me. She complied, but with some difficulty; as
if she were afraid of being softened in my favour.
She lamented her unhappy situation;
destitute of friends, and not knowing whither to go,
or what to do. She asked questions, sifting-questions,
about her uncle, about her family, and after what he
knew of Mr. Hickman’s fruitless application
in her favour.
He was well prepared in this particular;
for I had shown him the letters and extracts of letter
of Miss Howe, which I had so happily come at. Might
she be assured, she asked him, that her brother, with
Singleton and Solmes, were actually in quest of her?
He averred that they were.
She asked, if he thought I had hopes
of prevailing on her to go back to town?
He was sure I had not.
Was he really of opinion that Lady Betty would pay
her a visit?
He had no doubt of it.
But, Sir; but, Captain Tomlinson [impatiently
turning from him, and again to him] I know not what
to do but were I your daughter, Sir were
you my own father Alas! Sir, I have
neither father nor mother!
He turned from her and wiped his eyes.
O Sir! you have humanity! [She wept
too.] There are some men in the world, thank Heaven,
that can be moved. O Sir, I have met with hard-hearted
men in my own family too or I
could not have been so unhappy as I am but
I make every body unhappy!
His eyes no doubt ran over.
Dearest Madam! Heavenly Lady! Who
can who can hesitated and blubbered
the dog, as he owned. And indeed I heard some
part of what passed, though they both talked lower
than I wished; for, from the nature of their conversation,
there was no room for altitudes.
Them, and both, and they! How
it goes against me to include this angel of a creature,
and any man on earth but myself, in one world!
Capt. Who can forbear being
affected? But, Madam, you can be no other
Cl. Nor would I be. But
he is so sunk with me! To fire the house! An
artifice so vile! contrived for the worst
of purposes! Would you have a daughter
of your’s But what would I say? Yet
you see that I have nobody in whom I can confide! Mr.
Lovelace is a vindictive man! He could not
love the creature whom he could insult as he has insulted
She paused. And then resuming in
short, I never, never can forgive him, nor he me. Do
you think, Sir, I never would have gone so far as I
have gone, if I had intended ever to draw with him
in one yoke? I left behind me such a letter
You know, Madam, he has acknowledged
the justice of your resentment
O Sir, he can acknowledge, and he
can retract, fifty times a day but do not
think I am trifling with myself and you, and want to
be persuaded to forgive him, and to be his.
There is not a creature of my sex, who would have
been more explicit, and more frank, than I would have
been, from the moment I intended to be his, had I
a heart like my own to deal with. I was always
above reserve, Sir, I will presume to say, where I
had no cause of doubt. Mr. Lovelace’s
conduct has made me appear, perhaps, over-nice, when
my heart wanted to be encouraged and assured! and when,
if it had been so, my whole behaviour would have been
governed by it.
She stopt; her handkerchief at her eyes.
I inquired after the minutest part
of her behaviour, as well as after her words.
I love, thou knowest, to trace human nature, and more
particularly female nature, through its most secret
The pitiful fellow was lost in silent
admiration of her. And thus the noble creature
It is the fate in unequal unions,
that tolerable creatures, through them, frequently
incur censure, when more happily yoked they might be
entitled to praise. And shall I not shun a union
with a man, that might lead into errors a creature
who flatters herself that she is blest with an inclination
to be good; and who wishes to make every one happy
with whom she has any connection, even to her very
She paused, taking a turn about the
room the fellow, devil fetch him, a mummy
all the time: Then proceeded.
Formerly, indeed, I hoped to be an
humble mean of reforming him. But, when I have
no such hope, is it right [you are a serious man, Sir]
to make a venture that shall endanger my own morals?
Still silent was the varlet.
If my advocate had nothing to say for me, what hope
of carrying my cause?
And now, Sir, what is the result of
all? It is this that you will
endeavour, if you have that influence over him which
a man of your sense and experience ought to have,
to prevail upon him, and that for his own sake, as
well as for mine, to leave me free, to pursue my own
destiny. And of this you may assure him, that
I will never be any other man’s.
Impossible, Madam! I know that
Mr. Lovelace would not hear me with patience on such
a topic. And I do assure you that I have some
spirit, and should not care to take an indignity from
him or from any man living.
She paused then resuming and
think you, Sir, that my uncle will refuse to receive
a letter from me? [How averse, Jack, to concede a
tittle in my favour!]
I know, Madam, as matters are circumstanced,
that he would not answer it. If you please I
will carry one down from you.
And will he not pursue his intentions
in my favour, nor be himself reconciled to me, except
I am married?
From what your brother gives out,
and effects to believe, on Mr. Lovelace’s living
with you in the same
No more, Sir I am an unhappy creature!
He then re-urged, that it would be
in her power instantly, or on the morrow, to put an
end to all her difficulties.
How can that be? said she: the
license still to be obtained? The settlements
still to be signed? Miss Howe’s answer
to my last unreceived? And shall I, Sir,
be in such a hurry, as if I thought my honour
in danger if I delayed? Yet marry the man from
whom only it can be endangered! Unhappy,
thrice unhappy Clarissa Harlowe! In how
many difficulties has one rash step involved thee! And
she turned from him and wept.
The varlet, by way of comfort, wept
too: yet her tears, as he might have observed,
were tears that indicated rather a yielding than a
There is a sort of stone, thou knowest,
so soft in the quarry, that it may in manner be cut
with a knife; but if the opportunity not be taken,
and it is exposed to the air for any time, it will
become as hard as marble, and then with difficulty
it yields to the chisel. So this lady, not taken
at the moment, after a turn or two across the room,
gained more resolution! and then she declared, as
she had done once before, that she would wait the
issue of Miss Howe’s answer to the letter she
had sent her from hence, and take her measures accordingly leaving
it to him, mean time, to make what report he thought
fit to her uncle the kindest that truth
could bear, she doubted not from Captain Tomlinson:
and she should be glad of a few lines from him, to
hear what that was.
The nature of the Bath stone, in particular.
She wished him a good journey.
She complained of her head; and was about to withdraw:
but I stept round to the door next the stairs, as if
I had but just come in from the garden (which, as
I entered, I called a very pretty one) and took her
reluctant hand as she was going out: My dearest
life, you are not going? What hopes, Captain? Have
you not some hopes to give me of pardon and reconciliation?
She said she would not be detained.
But I would not let her go till she had promised
to return, when the Captain had reported to me what
her resolution was.
And when he had, I sent up and claimed
her promise; and she came down again, and repeated
(as what she was determined upon) that she would wait
for Miss Howe’s answers to the letter she had
written to her, and take her measures according to
I expostulated with her upon it, in
the most submissive and earnest manner. She
made it necessary for me to repeat many of the pleas
I had before urged. The Captain seconded me
with equal earnestness. At last, each fell down
on our knees before her.
She was distressed. I was afraid
at one time she would have fainted. Yet neither
of us would rise without some concessions. I
pleaded my own sake; the Captain, his dear friend,
her uncle’s; and both re-pleaded the prevention
of future mischief; and the peace and happiness of
the two families.
She owned herself unequal to the conflict.
She sighed. She sobbed. She wept.
She wrung her hands.
I was perfectly eloquent in my vows
and protetations. Her tearful eyes were cast
down upon me; a glow upon each charming cheek; a visible
anguish in every lovely feature at last,
her trembling knees seemed to fail her, she dropt
into the next chair; her charming face, as if seeking
for a hiding place (which a mother’s bosom would
have best supplied) sinking upon her own shoulder.
I forgot at the instant all my vows
of revenge. I threw myself at her feet, as she
sat; and, snatching her hand, pressed it with my lips.
I besought Heaven to forgive my past offences, and
prosper my future hopes, as I designed honourably
and justly by the charmer of my heart, if once more
she should restore me to her favour. And I thought
I felt drops of scalding water [could they be tears?]
trickle down upon my cheeks; while my cheeks, glowing
like fire, seemed to scorch up the unwelcome strangers.
I then arose, not doubting of an implied
pardon in this silent distress. I raised the
Captain. I whispered him by my soul,
man, I am in earnest. Now talk of
reconciliation, of her uncle, of the license, of settlement
and raising my voice, If now at last, Captain
Tomlinson, my angel will give me leave to call so
great a blessing mine, it will be impossible that
you should say too much to her uncle in praise of my
gratitude, my affection, and fidelity to his charming
niece; and he may begin as soon as he pleases his
kind schemes for effecting the desirable reconciliation! Nor
shall he prescribe any terms to me that I will not
The Captain blessed me with his eyes
and hands Thank God! whispered he.
We approached the lady together.
Capt. What hinders, dearest
Madam, what now hinders, but that Lady Betty Lawrance,
when she comes, may be acquainted with the truth of
every thing? And that then she may assist privately
at your nuptials? I will stay till they are
celebrated; and then shall go down with the happy
tidings to my dear Mr. Harlowe. And all will,
all must, soon be happy.
I must have an answer from Miss Howe,
replied the still trembling fair-one. I cannot
change my new measures but with her advice. I
will forfeit all my hopes of happiness in this world,
rather than forfeit her good opinion, and that she
should think me giddy, unsteady, or precipitate.
All I shall further say on the present subject is
this, that when I have her answer to what I have written,
I will write to her the whole state of the matter,
as I shall then be enabled to do.
Lovel. Then must I despair
for ever! O Captain Tomlinson, Miss Howe
hates me! Miss Howe
Capt. Not so, perhaps when
Miss Howe knows your concern for having offended,
she will never advise that, with such prospects of
general reconciliation, the hopes of so many considerable
persons in both families should be frustrated.
Some little time, as this excellent lady had foreseen
and hinted, will necessarily be taken up in actually
procuring the license, and in perusing and signing
the settlements. In that time Miss Howe’s
answer may be received; and Lady Betty may arrive;
and she, no doubt, will have weight to dissipate the
lady’s doubts, and to accelerate the day.
It shall be my part, mean time, to make Mr. Harlowe
easy. All I fear is from Mr. James Harlowe’s
quarter; and therefore all must be conducted with
prudence and privacy: as your uncle, Madam, has
She was silent, I rejoiced in her
silence. The dear creature, thought I, has actually
forgiven me in her heart! But why will she
not lay me under obligation to her, by the generosity
of an explicit declaration? And yet, as
that would not accelerate any thing, while the license
is not in my hands, she is the less to be blamed (if
I do her justice) for taking more time to descend.
I proposed, as on the morrow night,
to go to town; and doubted not to bring the license
up with me on Monday morning; would she be pleased
to assure me, that she would not depart form Mrs.
She should stay at Mrs. Moore’s
till she had an answer from Miss Howe.
I told her that I hoped I might have
her tacit consent at least to the obtaining if the
I saw by the turn of her countenance
that I should not have asked this question.
She was so far from tacitly consenting, that she declared
to the contrary.
As I never intended, I said, to ask
her to enter again into a house, with the people of
which she was so much offended, would she be pleased
to give orders for her clothes to be brought up hither?
Or should Dorcas attend her for any of her commands
on that head?
She desired not ever more to see any
body belonging to that house. She might perhaps
get Mrs. Moore or Mrs. Bevis to go thither for her,
and take her keys with them.
I doubted not, I said, that Lady Betty
would arrive by that time. I hoped she had no
objection to my bringing that lady and my cousin Montague
up with me?
She was silent.
To be sure, Mr. Lovelace, said the
Captain, the lady can have no objection to this.
She was still silent. So silence in this case
Would she be pleased to write to Miss Howe?
Sir! Sir! peevishly interrupting no
more questions; no prescribing to me you
will do as you think fit so will I, as I
please. I own no obligation to you. Captain
Tomlinson, your servant. Recommend me to my
uncle Harlowe’s favour. And was going.
I took her reluctant hand, and besought
her only to promise to meet me early in the morning.
To what purpose meet you? Have
you more to say than has been said? I have had
enough of vows and protestations, Mr. Lovelace.
To what purpose should I meet you to-morrow morning?
I repeated my request, and that in
the most fervent manner, naming six in the morning.
’You know that I am always stirring
before that hour, at this season of the year,’
was the half-expressed consent.
She then again recommended herself
to her uncle’s favour; and withdrew.
And thus, Belford, has she mended
her markets, as Lord M. would say, and I worsted mine.
Miss Howe’s next letter is now the hinge on
which the fate of both must turn. I shall be
absolutely ruined and undone, if I cannot intercept