LETTER 304: MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE TO MRS HODGES

Enfield, June 29.

 

Mrs. Hodges,

I am under a kind of necessity to write to you, having no one among my relations to whom I dare write, or hope a line from, if I did. It is but to answer a question. It is this:

 

Whether you know such a man as Captain Tomlinson? And, if you do, whether he be very intimate with my uncle Harlowe?

 

I will describe his person, lest, possibly, he should go by another name among you; altho’ I know not why he should.

 

“He is a thin, tallish man, a little pock-fretten; of a sallowish complexion. Fifty years of age, or more. Of a good aspect, when he looks up. He seems to be a serious man, and one who

 

knows the world. He stoops a little in the shoulders. Is of Berkshire. His wife of Oxfordshire; and has several children. He removed lately into your parts from Northamptonshire.”

I must desire you, Mrs. Hodges, that you will not let my uncle, nor any of my relations, know that I write to you.

You used to say, that you would be glad to have it in your power to serve me. That, indeed, was in my prosperity. But, I dare say, you will not refuse me in a particular that will oblige me, without hurting yourself.

 

I understand, that my father, mother, and sister, and, I presume, my brother, and my uncle Antony, are to be at my uncle Harlowe’s this day. God preserve them all, and may they rejoice in many happy birth-days! You will write six words to me concerning their healths.

 

Direct, for a particular reason, To Mrs. Dorothy Salcomb; To be left, till call’d for, at the Four Swans Inn, Bishopsgate-street.

 

You know my hand-writing well enough, were not the contents of the letter sufficient to excuse my name, or any other subscription, than that of

 

Your Friend.

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