LETTER 146: MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE, TO MISS HOWE

Saturday, P.M. April 23. 

O my best, my only friend! Now indeed is my heart broken! —It has received a blow it never will recover! Think not of corresponding with a wretch who now seems absolutely devoted! How can it be otherwise, if a parent’s curses have the weight I always attributed to them, and have heard so many instances of their being follow’d by! —Yes, my dear Miss Howe, superadded to all my afflictions, I have the consequences of a father’s curse to struggle with! How shall I support this reflection! —My past and my present situation so much authorizing my apprehensions!

I have, at last, a letter from my unrelenting sister. Would to heaven I had not provoked it, by my second

letter to my aunt Hervey. It lay ready for me, it seems. The thunder slept, till I awaken’d it. I inclose the letter itself. Transcribe it I cannot. There is no bearing the thoughts of it: For (shocking reflection!) the curse extends to the life beyond this.

I am in the depth of vapourish despondency. I can only repeat, Shun, fly, correspond not with a wretch so devoted, as

Your Clarissa Harlowe.

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