Letter 129: Miss Clarissa Harlowe to Miss Howe

Wedn. Morn. April 19. 

I am glad, my dear friend, that you approve of my removal to London.


The disagreement between your mamma and you, gives me inexpressible affliction. I hope I think you both more unhappy than you are. But I beseech you let me know the particulars of the debate you call a very pretty one . I am well acquainted with your dialect. When you acquaint me with the whole, be your mamma ever so severe upon me, I shall be easier a great deal. —Faulty people should rather deplore the occasion, than resent the anger that is but the consequence of their fault.


If I am to be obliged to any-body in England for money, it shall be to you. Your mother need not know of your kindness to me, you say—But shemust know it, if it be done, and if she challenge my beloved friend upon it—For would you either falsify or prevaricate? —I wish your mamma could be made easy on this head. —Forgive me, my dear—But I know—Yet once she had a better opinion of me. —O my inconsiderate rashness! —Excuse me once more, I pray you. —Pride, when it is native, will shew itself sometimes, in the midst of mortifications! —But my stomach is down already!



I am unhappy that I cannot have my worthy Hannah! —I am as sorry for the poor creature’s illness as for my own disappointment by it. Come, my dear Miss Howe, since you press me to be beholden to you; and would think me proud, if I absolutely refused your favour, pray be so good as to send her two guineas in my name.


If I have nothing for it, as you say, but matrimony, it yields a little comfort, that his relations do not despise the fugitive, as persons of their rank and quality-pride might be supposed to do, for having been a fugitive.


But O my cruel, thrice cruel uncle! to suppose— But my heart checks my pen, and will not let it proceed, on an intimation so extremely shocking as that which he supposes! —Yet, if thus they have been persuaded, no wonder if they are irreconcileable. This is all my hard-hearted brother’s doings! —His surmisings! —God forgive him! —Pray his injured sister, and

Your ever-obliged and affectionate friend,
Cl. H.

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