Friday, Aug. 11
I WILL send you a large packet, as you desire and expect; since I can do it by so safe a conveyance: but not all that is come to my hand—for I must own that my friends are very severe; too severe for anybody who loves them not, to see their letters. You, my dear, would not call them my friends , you said long ago; but my relations : indeed I cannot call them my relations , I think!—But I am ill; and therefore perhaps more peevish than I should be. It is difficult to go out of ourselves to give a judgement against ourselves; and yet oftentimes to pass a just judgement, we ought.
I thought I should alarm you in the choice of my executor. But the sad necessity I am reduced to must excuse me.
I shall not repeat anything I have said before on that subject: but if your objections will not be answered to your satisfaction by the papers and letters I shall enclose, marked 1, 2, 3, 4, to 9, I must think myself in another instance unhappy; since I am engaged too far (and with my own judgement too) to recede.
As I have the accompanying transcripts from Mr Belford in confidence from his friend’s letters to him, I must insist that you suffer no soul but yourself to peruse them; and that you return them by the very first opportunity; that so no use may be made of them that may do hurt either to the original writer, or to the communicator. You’ll observe I am bound by promise to this care. If through my means any mischief should arise between this humane and that inhuman libertine, I should think myself utterly inexcusable.
I subjoin a list of the. papers or letters I shall enclose. You must return them all when perused.
I am very much tired and fatigued—with—I don’t know what—with writing, I think—but most with myself, and with a situation I cannot help aspiring to get out of, and above!
Oh, my dear, ’tis a sad, a very sad world!—While under our parents’ protecting wings, we know nothing at all of it. Book-learned and a scribbler, and looking at people as I saw them as visitors or visiting, I thought I knew a great deal of it. Pitiable ignorance!—Alas! I knew nothing at all!
With zealous wishes for your happiness, and the happiness of every one dear to you, I am, and will ever be,
Your gratefully, affectionate CL. HARLOWE
You will see by these several letters, written and received in so little a space of time (to say nothing of what I have received and written, which Icannot show you), how little opportunity or leisure I can have for writing my own story.