LETTER 147: MISS ARABELLA HARLOWE, TO MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE

Harlowe-Place, Sat. April 15. 

Sister that was,
For I know not what name you are permitted, or choose to go by.

You have filled us all with distraction. My father, in the first agitations of his mind, on discovering your wicked, your shameful elopement, imprecated, on his knees, a fearful curse upon yon. Tremble at the recital of it! —No less, than ‘that you may meet your punishment, bothhere and hereafter, by means of the very wretch, in whom you have chosen to place your wicked confidence.”

Your cloaths will not be sent you. You seem, by leaving them behind you, to have been secure of them, whenever you demanded them. But perhaps you could think of nothing but meeting your fellow: — Nothing but how to get off your forward self! —For every-thing seems to have been forgot, but what was to contribute to your wicked flight. —Yet, you judged right, perhaps, that you would have been detected, had you endeavour’d to get off your cloaths! —Cunning creature! not to make one step that we could guess at you by! —Cunning to effect your own ruin, and the disgrace of all the family!

But does the wretch put you upon writing for your things, for fear you should be too expensive to him? —That’s it, I suppose.

Was there ever a giddier creature? —Yet this is the celebrated, the blazing Clarissa–Clarissa what ? — Harlowe, no doubt! —And Harlowe it will be, to the disgrace of us all!—

Your drawings and your pieces are all taken down; as is also your own whole-length picture, in the Vandyke taste, from your late parlour: They are taken down, and thrown into your closet, which will be

nailed up, as if it were not a part of the house; there to perish together: For who can bear to see them? Yet, how did they use to be shewn to every-body; the former, for the magnifying of your dainty finger-works; the latter, for the imputed dignity [dignity now in the dust!] of your boasted figure ( a ) ; and this by those fond parents whom you have run away from with so much, yet with so little contrivance!

My brother vows revenge upon your libertine— For the family’s sake he vows it—Not for yours ! — For he will treat you, he declares, like a common creature, if ever he sees you: And doubts not, that this will be your fate.

My uncle Harlowe renounces you for ever.

So does my uncle Antony.

So does my aunt Hervey.

So do I, base unworthy creature! —The disgrace of a good family, and the property of an infamous rake, as questionless you will soon find yourself, if you are not already!

Your books, since they have not taught you what belongs to your family, to your sex, and to your education, will not be sent you. Your money neither. Nor yet the jewels so undeservedly made yours! For it is wished you may be seen a beggar along London streets!

If all this is heavy, lay your hand to your heart, and ask yourself, why you have deserved it?

Every gentleman, whom your pride taught you to reject with scorn (Mr. Solmes excepted, who, however, has reason to rejoice that he missed you), triumphs in your shameful elopement; and now knows how to account for his being refused.

Your worthy Norton is ashamed of you, and mingles her tears with your mamma’s; both reproaching

themselves for their shares in you, and in so fruitless an education.

Every-body, in short, is ashamed of you: But none more than

Arabella Harlowe.

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