LETTER 156: MISS HOWE, TO MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE

[With her two last Letters 150 and 151 enclosed.] 

Thursday Night, April 27.

 

I have yours, just brought me. Mr. Hickman has help’d me to a lucky expedient, which, with the assistance of the post, will enable me to correspond with you every day. An honest higgler (Simon Collins his name), by whom I shall send this, and the two inclosed (now I have your direction where), goes to town constantly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and can bring back to me from Wilson’s what you shall have caused to be left for me.

 

I congratulate you on your arrival in town, so much amended in spirits. I must be brief. I hope you’ll have no cause to repent returning my Norris. It is forth-coming on demand.

 

I am sorry your Hannah can’t be with you. She is very ill still; but not in danger.

 

I long for your account of the women you are with. If they are not right people, you’ll find them out in one breakfasting.

 

I know not what to write upon his reporting to them, that you are actually married. His reasons for it are plausible. But he delights in odd expedients and inventions.

 

Whether you like the people or not, don’t, by your noble sincerity and plain-dealing, make yourself enemies. You are in the world now, you know.

 

I am glad you had thoughts of taking him at his offer, if he had re-urged it. I wonder he did not. But if he don’t soon, and in such a way as you can accept of it, don’t think of staying with him.

 

Depend upon it, my dear, he will not leave you, either night or day, if he can help it, now he has got footing.

 

I should have abhorred him for his report of your marriage, had he not made it with such circumstances, as leave it still in your power to keep him at distance. If once he offer at the least familiarity—But this is needless to say to you. He can have, I think, no other design, but what he professes; because he must needs think, that his report must increase your vigilance.

 

You may depend upon my looking narrowly into the sealings of your letters. If, as you say, he be base in that point, he will be so in every-thing. But to one of your merit, of your fortune, of your virtue, he cannot be base. The man is no fool. It is his interest, as well with regard to his expectations from his own friends, as from you, to be honest. Would to heaven, however, that you were really married! This is the predominant with of

Your Anna Howe .

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