LETTER 32: CLARISSA HARLOWE TO JOHN HARLOWE

 

Tuesday, March 14.

I now send you copies of my letters to my uncles: With their answers. Be pleased to return the latter, by the first deposite. I leave them for you, to make remarks upon. I shall make none.

 

To John Harlowe, Esq;

Sat. March 11.

Allow me, my honoured Second Papa, as in my happy days you taught me to call you, to implore your interest with my papa, to engage him to dispense with a command, which, if insisted upon, will deprive me of my free-will, and make me miserable for my whole life.

 

 

For my whole life ! let me repeat: Is that a small point, my dear uncle, to give up? Am not I to live with the man? Is any-body else? Shall I not therefore be allow’d to judge for myself, whether I can, or can- not live happily, with him?

 

 

Should it be ever so un -happily, will it be prudence to complain, or appeal? If it were, to whom could I appeal with effect against a husband? And would  not the invincible and avow’d dislike I have for him at setting out, justify, as it might seem, any ill usage from him, in that state ; were I to be ever so observant of him? And if I were to be at all so, it must be from Fear, not Love.—

 

 

Once more, let me repeat, That this is not a small point to give up: And that it is for life . Why, I pray you, good Sir, should I be made miserable forlife ? Why should I be deprived of all comfort, but that which the hope, that it would be a very short one, would afford me?

 

 

Marriage is a very solemn engagement, enough to make a young creature’s heart ake, with the best prospects, when she thinks seriously of it! —To be given up to a strange man; To be ingrafted into a strange family; To give up her very name, as a mark of her becoming his absolute and dependent property: To be obliged to prefer this strange man, to father, mother,—to every body: —And his humours to all her own—Or to contend, perhaps, in breach of a vow’d duty, for every innocent instance of free-will: To go no whither: To make acquaintance: To give up acquaintance: —To renounce even the strictest friendships perhaps; all at his pleasure, whether she think it reasonable to do so or not: —Surely, Sir, a young creature ought not to be obliged to make all these sacrifices, but for such a man as she can approve. —If she is, how sad must be the case! —How miserable the life, if to be called life !

 

 

I wish I could obey you all. What a pleasure would it be to me, if I could! Marry first, and Love will come after, was said by one of my dearest friends! But, ’tis a shocking assertion! A thousand things may happen to make that state but barely tolerable, where it is entered into with mutual affection:What must it then be, where the husband can have no confidence in the love of his wife; but has reason rather  to question it, from the preference he himself believes she would have given to somebody else, had she been at her own option? What doubt, what jealousies, what want of tenderness, what unfavourable prepossessions, will there be, in a matrimony thus circumstanced? How will every look, every action, even the most innocent, be liable to misconstruction? — While, on the other hand, an indifference, a carelessness to oblige, may take place; and Fear only can constrain even an appearance of what ought to be the real effect of undisguised Love?

 

 

Think seriously of these things, dear good Sir, and represent them to my papa, in that strong light which the subject will bear; but in which my sex, and my tender years and inexperience, will not permit me to paint it; and use your powerful interest, that your poor niece may not be consigned to a misery so durable.

 

 

I have offer’d to engage not to marry at all, if that condition may be accepted. What a disgrace is it to me to be thus sequester’d from company, thus banish’d my papa’s and mamma’s presence, thus slighted and deserted by you, Sir, and my other kind uncle! And to be hinder’d from attending at that public worship, which, were I out of the way of my duty, would be most likely to reduce me into the right path again! —Is this the way, Sir, can it be thought, to be taken with a free and open spirit? —May not this strange method rather harden than convince? —I cannot bear to live in disgrace thus: The very servants, so lately permitted to be under my own direction, hardly daring to speak to me; my own servant discarded with high marks of undeserved suspicion and displeasure, and my sister’s maid set over me.

 

 

The matter may be too far push’d: Indeed it may: And then, perhaps, every one will be sorry for their parts in it.

 

 

May I be suffered to mention an expedient?— If  I am to be watch’d, banish’d, and confin’d; Suppose, Sir, it were to be at your house? —Then the neighbouring gentry will the less wonder, that the person of whom they used to think so favourably, appeared not at church here; and that she received not their visits.

 

 

I hope, there can be no objection to This. You used to love to have me with you, Sir, when all went happily with me: And will you not now permit me, in my troubles, the favour of your house, till all this displeasure be overblown? —Upon my word, Sir, I will not stir out of doors, if you require the contrary of me: Nor will I see any body, but whom you’ll allow me to see; provided you will not bring Mr. Solmes to persecute me there.

 

 

Procure, then, this favour for me; if you cannot procure the still greater, that of a happy reconciliation; which nevertheless I presume to hope for, ifyou will be so good as to plead for me: And you will then add to those favours, and to that indulgence, which have bound me, and then will for ever bind me, to be

Your dutiful and obliged Niece,
Cl. Harlowe .

 

The Answer .

Sunday night.

My dear Niece,
It grieves me to be forced to deny you any thing you ask. Yet it must be so; for unless you can bring your mind to oblige us in this one point, in which our promises and honour were engaged before we believed there could be so sturdy an opposition, you must never expect to be what you have been to us all.

 

 

In short, niece, we are an embattel’d phalanx ; your reading makes you a stranger to nothing, but what you should be most acquainted with—So you will see  by that expression, that we are not to be pierced by your persuasions, and invincible persistence. We have agreed all to be moved, or none ; and not to comply without one another: So you know your destiny; and have nothing to do but to yield to it.

 

 

Let me tell you, the virtue of obedience lies not in obliging when you can be obliged again: —But give up an inclination, and there is some merit in That.

 

 

As to your expedient: You shall not come to my house, Miss Clary; tho’ this is a prayer I little thought I ever should have deny’d you: For were you to keep your word as to seeing no-body but whom we please, yet can you write to somebody else, and receive letters from him: This we too well know you can, and have done—More is the shame and the pity!

 

 

You offer to live single, Miss— We wish you marry’d: But because you mayn’t have the man your heart is set upon, why, truly, you’ll have no-body we shall recommend: And as we know, that some how or other you correspond with him, or at least did, as long as you could; and as he defies us all, and would not dare to do it, if he were not sure of you in spite of us all (which is not a little vexatious to us, you must think); we are resolv’d to frustrate him, and triumph over him, rather than he over us: That’s one word for all. So expect not any advocateship from me: I will not plead for you; and that’s enough. From

Your displeased Uncle,
John Harlowe .

P. S. For the rest, I refer to my brother Antony.

 

To Antony Harlowe, Esq;.

Saturday, March 11.

 

Honoured Sir,
As you have thought fit to favour Mr. Solmes with your particular recommendation, and was very  earnest in his behalf, ranking him (as you told me, upon introducing him to me) amongst your select friends; and expecting my regards to him accordingly; I beg your patience, while I offer a few things, out of many that I could offer, to your serious consideration, on occasion of his address to me, if I am to use that word.

 

 

I am charged with prepossession in another person’s favour: You will be pleased, Sir, to consider, that, till my brother returned from Scotland, that other person was not discouraged, nor was I forbid to receive his visits: And is it such a crime in me, if I should prefer an acquaintance of Twelve months to one of Two? —I believe it will not be pretended, that in birth, education, or personal endowments, a comparison can be made between the two. And only let me ask you, Sir, if the one would have been thought of for me, had he not made such offers, as, upon my word, I think, I ought not in justice to accept, nor he to propose: Offers, which if he had not made, I dare say, my papa would not have required them of him.

 

 

But the one, it seems, has many faults: —Is the other fault- less ? —The principal thing objected to Mr. Lovelace (and a very inexcusable one) is, that he is immoral in his Loves: —Is not the other in his Hatreds? —Nay, as I may say, in his Loves too (the object only differing), if the love of money bethe root of all evil ?

 

 

But, Sir, if I am prepossessed, what has Mr. Solmes to hope for? —Why should he persevere? What must I think of the man who would wish me to be his against my inclination? —And is it not a very harsh thing for my friends to desire to see me marry’d to one I cannot love, when they will not be persuaded but that there is one I do love?

 

 

Treated as I am, now is the time for me to speak out, or never. —Let me review what it is Mr. Solmes depends upon on this occasion. Does he believe, that the disgrace which I suffer on his account, will give  him a merit with me? Does he think to win my esteem, thro’ my uncles sternness to me; by my brother’s contemptuous usage; by my sister’s unkindness; by being deny’d to visit, or be visited; and to correspond with my chosen friend, altho’ a person of unexceptionable honour and prudence, and of my own sex; my servant to be torn from me, and another servant set over me; to be confined, like a prisoner, to narrow and disgraceful limits, in order avowedly to mortify me, and to break my spirit; to be turn’d out of that family-management which I loved, and had the greater pleasure in it, because it was an ease, as I thought, to my mamma, and what my sister chose not; and yet, tho’ time hangs heavy upon my hands, to be so put out of my course, that I have as little inclination as liberty to pursue any of the choice delights of my life—Are these steps necessary to reduce me to a standard so low, as to make me a fit wife for this man? —Yet these are all he can have to trust to— And if his reliance is on these measures, I would have him to know, that he mistakes meekness and gentleness of disposition for servility and baseness of heart.

 

 

I beseech you, Sir, to let the natural turn and bent of his mind, and my mind be considered: What are his qualities, by which he would hope to win my esteem? —Dear, dear Sir, if I am to be compelled, let it be in favour of a man that can read and write— That can teach me something: For what a husband must that man make, who can do nothing but command; and needs himself the instruction he should be qualified to give?

 

 

I may be conceited, Sir; I may be vain of my little reading; of my writing; as of late I have more than once been told I am—But, Sir, the more unequal the proposed match, if so: The better opinion I have of myself, the worse I must have of him; and the more unfit are we for each other.

 

 

Indeed, Sir, I must say, I thought my friends had  put a higher value upon me. My brother pretended once, that it was owing to such value, that Mr. Lovelace’s address was prohibited. —Can this be; and such a man as Mr. Solmes be intended for me?

 

 

As to his proposed settlements, I hope I shall not incur your greater displeasure, if I say what all who know me have reason to think, and some have upbraided me for, that I despise those motives. Dear, dear Sir, what are settlements to one who has as much of her own as she wishes for? —Who has more in her own power, as a single person, than it is probable she would be permitted to have at her disposal, as a wife! —Whose expences and ambition are moderate; and, if she had superfluities, would rather dispense them to the necessitous, than lay them by her useless? If then such narrow motives have so little weight with me for my own benefit, shall the remote and uncertain view of family-aggrandizement, and that in the person of my brother and his descendants, be thought sufficient to influence me?

 

 

Has the behaviour of that brother to me of late, or his consideration for the family (which had so little weight with him, that he could choose to hazard a life so justly precious as an only son’s, rather than not gratify passions which he is above attempting to subdue, and, give me leave to say, has been too much indulged in, either for his own good, or the peace of any-body related to him; Has his behaviour, I say) deserved of me in particular, that I should make a sacrifice of my temporal (and, who knows? of my eternal) happiness, to promote a plan, that, if I might be permitted to examine it, I will venture to engage to demonstrate it to be, if not absurd, very precarious, and what must depend upon improbable contingencies?

 

 

I am afraid you will condemn my warmth: But does not the occasion require it? To the want of a greater degree of earnestness in my opposition, it seems, it is owing, that such advances have been made, as  have been made. Then, dear Sir, allow something, I beseech you, for a spirit raised and imbittered by disgraces, which (knowing my own heart) I am confident to say, are unmerited.

 

 

But why have I said so much, in answer to the supposed charge of prepossession, when I have declared to my mamma, as now, Sir, I do to you, that if it be not insisted upon that I shall marry any other person, particularly this Mr. Solmes, I will enter into any engagements never to have the other, nor any man else, without their consents; that is to say, without the consents of my Father and Mother, and of you my Uncle, and my eldest Uncle, and my cousin Morden, as he is one of the trustees for my grandfather’s bounty to me. —As to my Brother indeed, I cannot say, that his treatment of me has been, of late, so brotherly, as to intitle him to more than civility from me: And for this, give me leave to add, he would be very much my debtor.

 

 

If I have not been explicit enough in declaring my dislike to Mr. Solmes, that the charge of prepossession may not be supposed to influence me against him, I do declare solemnly, That, were there no such man as Mr. Lovelace in the world, I would not have him . It is necessary, in some one of my letters to my dear friends, that I should write so clearly as to put this out of all doubt: And to whom can I better address myself, with an explicitness that can admit of no mistake, than to a gentleman who professes the highest regard for plain-dealing and sincerity?

 

Let me then, for these reasons, be still more particular in some of my exceptions to him.

 

 

Mr. Solmes appears to me (to all the world indeed) to have a very narrow mind, and no great capacity: He is coarse and indelicate; as rough in his manners as in his person: He is not only narrow, but covetous: Being possessed of great wealth, he enjoys it not; nor has the spirit to communicate to a distress of any  kind. Does not his own sister live unhappily, for want of a little of his superfluities? And suffers he not his aged uncle, the brother of his own mother, to owe to the generosity of strangers the poor subsistence he picks up from half-a-dozen families? —You know, Sir, my open, free, communicative temper: How unhappy must I be, circumscribed in his narrow, selfish circle? out of which, being with-held by this diabolical parsimony, he dare no more stir, than a conjurer out of his; nor would let me.

 

 

Such a man as this, love ! —Yes, perhaps he may, my grandfather’s estate; which he has told several persons (and could not resist hinting it to me, with that sort of pleasure which a low mind takes, when it intimates its own interest as a sufficient motive for it to expect another’s favour) lies so extremely convenient for him, that it would double the value of a considerable part of his own. That estate, and an alliance which would do credit to his obscurity and narrowness, may make him think he can love, and induce him to believe he does : But, at most, it is but a second-place Love. Riches were, are, and always will be, his predominant passion. His were left him by a miser, on this very account: And I must be obliged to forego all the choice delights of my life, and be as mean as he, or else be quite unhappy! Pardon, Sir, this severity of expression! —One is apt to say more than one would, of a person one dislikes, when more is said in his favour than he can possibly deserve; and when he is urged to my acceptance with so much vehemence, that there is no choice left me.

 

 

Whether these things be perfectly so, or not, while I think they are, it is impossible I should ever look upon him in the light he is offered to me. Nay, were he to be proved ten times better than I have represented him, and sincerely think him; yet would he be still ten times more disagreeable to me than  any other man I know in the world. Let me therefore beseech you, Sir, to become an advocate for your niece, that she may not be made a victim of, to a man so highly disgustful to her.

 

 

You, and my other uncle, can do a great deal for me, if you please, with my papa. Be persuaded, Sir, that it is not obstinacy I am governed by: It is aversion; an aversion I cannot overcome: For, if I have but endeavoured to reason with myself (out of regard to the duty I owe to my papa’s will), my heart has recoiled, and I have been averse to myself, for offering but to argue with myself, in behalf of a man who, in the light he appears to me, has no one merit; and who, knowing this aversion, could not persevere as he does, if he had the spirit of a man, and a gentleman.

 

 

If, Sir, you can think the contents of this letter reasonable, I beseech you to support them with your interest: If not—I shall be most unhappy! —Nevertheless, it is but just in me so to write, as that Mr. Solmes may know what he has to trust to.

 

Forgive, dear Sir, this tedious letter; and suffer it to have weight with you; and you will for ever oblige

Your dutiful and affectionate Niece,
Cl. Harlowe .

 

Mr. Antony Harlowe, To Miss Clarissa Harlowe .

Niece Clary,
You had better not write to us, or to any of us. To me, particularly, you had better never to have set pen to paper, on the subject whereupon you have written. He that is first in his own cause, saith the wise man, seemeth just : But his neighbour cometh, and searcheth him. And so, in this respect, will I be your neighbour ; for I will search your heart to the bottom; that is to say, if your letter be written from
your heart. Yet do I know what a task I have undertaken, because of the knack you are noted for at writing: But in defence of a father’s authority, in behalf of the good, and honour, and prosperity of a family one comes of, what a hard thing would it be, if one could not beat down all the arguments a rebel child (how loth I am to write down that word of Miss Clary Harlowe!) can bring, in behalf of her obstinacy?

 

 

In the first place, don’t you declare (and that contrary to your declarations to your mother) that you prefer the man we all hate, and who hates us as bad? —Then what a character have you given of a worthy gentleman! I wonder you dare write so freely of a man we all respect. But possibly it may be for that very reason.

 

 

How you begin your letter! —Because I value Mr. Solmes as my friend, you treat him the worse—That’s the plain Dunstable of the matter, Miss! —I am not such a fool but I can see That. —And so a noted whore-monger is to be chosen before a man who is a money-lover! Let me tell you, niece, this little becomes so nice a one as you have been always reckon’d. Who, think you, does most injustice, a prodigal man, or a saving man? —The one saves his own money; the other spends other people’s: But your favourite is a sinner in grain, and upon record.

 

 

The devil’s in your sex! God forgive me for saying so—The nicest of them will prefer a vile rake and Wh— I suppose I must not repeat the word: — The Word will offend when the Vicious denominated by that word will be chosen! —I had not been a bachelor to this time, if I had not seen such a mass of contradictions in you all. —Such gnat-strainers and camel-swallowers, as venerable Holy Writ has it. What names will perverseness call things by—A prudent man, who intends to be just to every-body, is a covetous man! —While a vile, profligate rake is christen’d  with the appellation of a gallant man, and a polite man, I’ll warrant you!

 

 

It is my firm opinion, Lovelace would not have so much regard for you as he professes; but for two reasons. And what are these? —Why out of spite to all of us—one of them: The other, because of your independent fortune. I wish your good grandfather had not left what he did so much in your own power, as I may say. But little did he imagine his beloved grand-daughter would have turned upon all her friends as she has done!

 

 

What has Mr. Solmes to hope for, if you are prepossess’d! Hey-day! Is this you, cousin Clary! —Has he then nothing to hope for from your father’s, and mother’s, and our recommendations? —No nothing at all, it seems! —O brave! —I should think that this, with a dutiful child, as we took you to be, was enough . Depending on this your duty, we proceeded: And now there is no help for it: For we won’t be balked: Neither shall our friend Mr. Solmes, I can tell you that.

 

 

If your estate is convenient for him, what then? Does that, pert cousin, make it out that he does not love you? He had need to expect some goodwith you, that has so little good to hope for from you; mind that. But pray, is not this estate our estate, as we may say? Have we not all an interest in it, and a prior right, if right were to have taken place? And was it more than a good old man’s dotage, God rest his soul! that gave it you before us all? —Well then, ought we not to have a choice who shall have it in marriage with you? And would you have the conscience to wish us to let a vile fellow who hates us all, run away with it? —You bid me weigh what you write: Do you weigh this, girl: And it will appear we have more to say for ourselves than you were aware of.

 

 

As to your hard treatment, as you call it, thank  yourself for That: It may be over when you will: So I reckon nothing upon that: You was not banish’d and confin’d till all intreaty and fair speeches were try’d with you: Mind that. And Mr. Solmes can’t help your obstinacy: —Let that be observ’d too.

 

 

As to being visited, and visiting, you never was fond of either: So that’s a grievance put into the scale to make weight. —As to disgrace, that’s as bad to us as to you: So fine a young creature! —So much as we used to brag of you! —And too, besides, this is all in your power, as the rest. —But your heart recoils, when you would persuade yourself to obey your parents —Finely describ’d, i’n’t it! —Too truly described, I own, as you go on. I know, that you may love him if you will. —I had a good mind to bid you hate him; then, perhaps, you’d like him the better: For I have always found a most horrid romantic perverseness in your sex. To do and to love what you should not, is meat, drink, and vesture, to you all.

 

 

I am absolutely of your brother’s mind, That reading and writing, tho’ not too much for the wits of you young girls, are too much for your judgments. — You say, you may be conceited, cousin; you may be vain! —And so you are, to despise this gentleman as you do. He can read and write as well as most gentlemen, I can tell you that . Who told you Mr. Solmes can’t read and write? But you must have a husband who can learn you something! —I wish you knew but your duty as well as you do your talents—That, niece, you have of late to learn; and Mr. Solmes will therefore find something to instruct you in. I won’t shew him this letter of yours, tho’ you seem to desire it, lest it should provoke him to be too severe a school-master, when you are his’n.

 

 

But now I think of it, suppose you are readier at your pen than he—You will make the more useful wife to him; won’t you? For who so good an oeconomist as you? —And you may keep all his accompts, and save yourselves a steward. —And, let me tell you,  this is a fine advantage in a family: For those stewards are often sad dogs, and creep into a man’s estate, before he knows where he is; and not seldom is he forced to pay them interest for his own money. I know not why a good wife should be above these things. —‘Tis better than lying abed half the day, and junketing and card-playing all the night, and making yourselves wholly useless to every good purpose in your own families, as is now the fashion among ye— The duce take ye all that do so, say I! —Only that, thank my stars, I am a bachelor! —Then this is a province you are admirably vers’d in: You grieve that it is taken from you here, you know. So here, Miss, with Mr. Solmes you will have something to keep account of, for the sake of you and your children: With t’other, perhaps, you’ll have an account to keep, too— But an account of what will go over the left shoulder: only of what he squanders, what he borrows, and what he owes, and never will pay. Come, come, cousin, you know nothing of the world; a man’s a man, and you may have many partners in a handsome man, and costly ones too, who may lavish away all you save. Mr. Solmes therefore for my money, and I hope for yours!

 

 

But Mr. Solmes is a coarse man, he is not delicate enough for your niceness, because I suppose he dresses not like a fop and a coxcomb, and because he lays not himself out in complimental nonsense, the poison of female minds. He is a man of sense, I can tell you. No man talks more to the purpose to us : —But you fly him so, that he has no opportunity given him, to express it to you : And a man who loves, if he have ever so much sense, looks like a fool; especially when he is despised, and treated as you treated him the last time he was in your company.

 

 

As to his sister; she threw herself away, (as you want to do) against his full warning: For he told her what she had to trust to, if she married where she did marry. And he was as good as his word; and so an honest man ought: Offences against warning ought to be smarted for. Take care This be not your case. Mind that.

 

 

His uncle deserves no favour from him, for he would have circumvented him, and got Sir Oliver to leave to himself the estate he had always designed for him his nephew; and brought him up in the hope of it. Too ready forgiveness does but encourage offences: That’s your good father’s maxim: And there would not be so many headstrong daughters as there are, if this maxim were kept in mind. —Punishments are of service to offenders; Rewards should be only to the meriting: And I think the former are to be dealt out rigorously, in wilful cases.

 

 

As to his love ; he shews it but too much for your deservings, as they have been of late; let me tell you That: And This is his misfortune; and may in time perhaps be yours .

 

 

As to his parsimony, which you wickedly call diabolical —a very free word in your mouth, let me tell ye—Little reason have you of all people for this, on whom he proposes, of his own accord, to settle all he has in the world: A proof, let him love riches as he will, that he loves you better. But that you may be without excuse on this score, we will tie him up to your own terms, and oblige him, by the marriage articles, to allow you a very handsome quarterly sum, to do what you please with. And this has been told you before; and I have said it to Mrs. Howe, that good and worthy lady, before her proud daughter, that you might hear of it again.

 

 

To contradict the charge of prepossession to Lovelace, you offer never to have him without our consents: And what is This saying, but that you will hope on for our consents, and to wheedle and tire us out: Then he will always be in expectation, while you are single: And we are to live on at this rate  (are we?), vexed by you, and continually watchful about you; and as continually exposed to his insolence and threats. Remember last Sunday, girl! — What might have happen’d, had your brother and he met? —Moreover, you can’t do with such a spirit as his, as you can with worthy Mr. Solmes: The one you make tremble; the other will make you quake. Mind that: And you will not be able to help yourself. And remember, that if there should be any misunderstanding between one of them and you, we should all interpose; and with effect, no doubt: But with the other, it would be self-do self-have, and who would either care or dare to put in a word for you? Nor let the supposition of matrimonial differences frighten you: Honey-moon lasts not now-a-days above a fortnight; and Dunmow flitch, as I have been informed, was never claimed; tho’ some say once it was. Marriage is a queer state, child, whether pair’d by the parties or by their friends. Out of three brothers of us, you know, there was but one had courage to marry. And why was it, do you think? We were wise by other people’s experience.

 

 

Don’t despise money so much; you may come to know the value of it: That is a piece of instruction that you are to learn ; and which, according to your own notions, Mr. Solmes will be able to teach you .

 

 

I do indeed condemn your warmth . I won’t allow for disgraces you bring upon yourself . If I thought them unmerited, I would be your advocate. But it was always my notion, that children should not dispute their parents authority. When your grandfather left his estate to you, tho’ his three sons, and a grandson, and your elder sister were in being, we all acquiesced: And why? Because it was our father’s doing. Do you imitate that example: If you will not, those who set it you have the more reason to hold you inexcusable. Mind that, Cousin.

 

 

You mention your brother too scornfully: And, in  your letter to him, are very disrespectful, as well as in your sister’s, to her. He is your brother; a third older than yourself: And a man : And while you can pay so much regard to one man of a twelve month’s acquaintance only, pray be so good as not to forget what is due to a brother, who (next to us three brothers) is the head of the family; and on whom the name depends: As upon your dutiful compliance depends the success of the noblest plan that ever was laid down for the honour of the family you are come of. And pray now let me ask you, If the honour of That will not be an honour to you? —If you don’t think so, the more unworthy you. You shall see the plan, if you promise not to be prejudiced against it, right or wrong. If you are not besotted to that man, I am sure you will like it. If you are, were Mr. Solmes an angel, it would signify nothing: For the devil is Love, and Love is the devil, when it gets into any of your heads. Many examples have I seen of that.

 

 

If there were no such man as Lovelace in the world, you would not have Mr. Solmes. —You would not, Miss! —Very pretty, truly! —We see how your spirit is imbitter’d indeed. —Wonder not, since it is come to your will nots, that those who have authority over you, say, You shall have the other . And I am one. Mind that. And if it behoves You to speak out, Miss, it behoves US not to speak in . What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander: Take that in your thought too.

 

 

I humbly apprehend, that Mr. Solmes has the spirit of a man, and a gentleman . I would admonish you therefore not to provoke it. He pities you as much as he loves you. He says, He will convince you of his love by deeds, since he is not permitted by you to express it by words. And all his dependance is upon your generosity hereafter. We hope he may depend upon That: We encourage him to think he  may. And this heartens him up. So that you may lay his constancy at your parents and your uncles doors; and This will be another mark of your duty, you know.

 

 

You must be sensible, that you reflect upon your parents, and all of us, when you tell me you cannot in justice accept of the settlements proposed to you. This reflection we should have wonder’d at from you once; but now we don’t.

 

 

There are many other very censurable passages in this free letter of yours; but we must place them to the account of your imbittered spirit: I am glad you mention’d that word, because we should have been at a loss what to have call’d it: —Much rather have had reason to give it a better name.

 

 

I love you dearly still, Miss. I think you, tho’ my niece, one of the finest young gentlewomen I ever saw. But, upon my conscience, I think you ought to obey your parents, and oblige me, and my brother John: For you know very well, that we have nothing but your good at heart; consistently, indeed, with the good and honour of all of us. What must we think of any one of it, who would not promote the good of the whole? and who would set one part of it against another? —Which God forbid, say I! —You see I am for the good of all . What shall I get by it, let things go as they will? Do I want any thing of any body for my own sake? Does my brother John? —Well, then, cousin Clary, What would you be at, as I may say?

 

 

O but, You can’t love Mr. Solmes! —But, I say, you know not what you can do. You encourage yourself in your dislike. You permit your heart (little did I think it was such a froward one) to recoil . Take it to task, niece; drive it on as fast as it recoils (we do so in all our sea-fights, and land-fights too, by our sailors and soldiers, or we should not conquer); and we are all sure you will overcome it. And  why? Because you ought . So we think, whatever you think: And whose thoughts are to be preferred? You may be wittier than we; but, if you are wiser, we have lived some of us, let me tell you, to very little purpose thirty or forty years longer than you.

 

 

I have written as long as letter as yours. I may not write in so lively, or so polite a style as my niece: But I think I have all the argument on my side: And you will vastly oblige me, if you will shew me, by your compliance with all our desires, that you think so too. If you do not, you must not expect an advocate, or even a friend, in me, dearly as I love you. For then I shall be sorry to be called

Tuesday, Two in the morning.

Your Uncle,
Anthony Harlowe .

 

Postscript.

You must send me no more letters: But a compliable one you may send. But I need not have forbid you; for I am sure, this, by fair argument, is unanswerable: I know it is. I have written day and night, I may say, ever since Sunday morning, only church-time, or the like of that: But this is the last, I can tell you, from

A. H.

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