LETTER 195: MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE TO MISS HOWE

Friday, May 19

The Lady, in her next letter, dated Friday, May 19. acquaints her friend, that her prospects are once more mended; and that she has known four-and-twenty hours together, since her last, not unhappy

ones, her situation considered. ‘How willing am I, says she, to compound for tolerable appearances! how desirous to turn the sunny side of things towards me, and to hope, where reason for hope offers! and this, not only for my own sake, but for yours, who take such generous concern in all that befalls me.’

She then gives the particulars of the conversation which she had overheard between Mr. Lovelace, Mrs. Sinclair, and Miss Martin; but accounts more minutely than he had done, for the opportunity she had of overhearing it, unknown to them.

She gives the reason she has to be pleased with what she heard from each: But is shocked at the measure he is resolved to take, if he misses her but for one day. Yet is pleased, that he proposes to avoid aggressive violence, if her brother and he meet in town.

She thought herself obliged, she says, from what passed between them on Wednesday, and from what she overheard him say, to consent to go with him to the play; especially, as he had the discretion to propose one of the nieces to accompany her.

She expresses herself pleased, that he has actually written to Lord M.

She tells her, that she has promised to give him an answer to his proposals, as soon as she has heard from her on the subject: And hopes, that in her future letter she shall have reason to confirm these favourable appearances. ‘Favourable, says she, I must think them in the wreck I have suffer’d.’

She thinks it not amiss, however, that she should perfect her scheme with Mrs. Townsend. He is certainly, she says, a deep and dangerous man; and it is therefore but prudence to be watchful, and to provide against the worst.

She is certain, she tells her, that her letters are safe.

He would never be out of her company by his good-will; otherwise she has no doubt that she is mistress of her goings-out and comings-in; and did she think it needful, and were she not afraid of her brother, and Capt. Singleton, would oftener put it to trial.

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