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.I write a few lines of grateful acknowledgement to your good mother for her favours to me in the late happy period.I fear I shall never know such another.I hope she will forgive me, that I did not write sooner.The bearer, if suspected and examined, is to produce that as the only one he carries.How do needless watchfulness and undue restraint produce artifice and contrivance! I should abhor these clandestine correspondences, were they not forced upon me.They have so mean, so low an appearance to myself, that I think I ought not to expect that you should take part in them.But why (as I have also expostulated with my aunt) must I be pushed into a state, which I have no wish to enter into, although I reverence it?--Why should not my brother, so many years older, and so earnest to see me engaged, be first engaged?--And why should not my sister be first provided for?But here I conclude these unavailing expostulations, with the assurance, that I am, and ever will be,Your affectionate, CLARISSA HARLOWE.LETTER XMISS HOWE, TO MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE FEB.27What odd heads some people have!--Miss Clarissa Harlowe to be sacrificed in marriage to Mr.Roger Solmes!--Astonishing!I must not, you say, give my advice in favour of this man!--You now convince me, my dear, that you are nearer of kin than I thought you, to the family that could think of so preposterous a match, or you would never have had the least notion of my advising in his favour.Ask for his picture.You know I have a good hand at drawing an ugly likeness.But I'll see a little further first: for who knows what may happen, since matters are in such a train; and since you have not the courage to oppose so overwhelming a torrent?You ask me to help you to a little of my spirit.Are you in earnest? But it will not now, I doubt, do you service.--It will not sit naturally upon you.You are your mother's girl, think what you will; and have violent spirits to contend with.Alas! my dear, you should have borrowed some of mine a little sooner;--that is to say, before you had given the management of your estate into the hands of those who think they have a prior claim to it.What though a father's!--Has not the father two elder children?--And do they not both bear more of his stamp and image than you do?--Pray, my dear, call me not to account for this free question; lest your application of my meaning, on examination, prove to be as severe as that.Now I have launched out a little, indulge me one word more in the same strain--I will be decent, I promise you.I think you might have know, that Avarice and Envy are two passions that are not to be satisfied, the one by giving, the other by the envied person's continuing to deserve and excel.--Fuel, fuel both, all the world over, to flames insatiate and devouring.But since you ask for my opinion, you must tell me all you know or surmise of their inducements.And if you will not forbid me to make extracts from your letters for the entertainment of my aunt and cousin in the little island, who long to hear more of your affairs, it will be very obliging.But you are so tender of some people who have no tenderness for any body but themselves, that I must conjure you to speak out.Remember, that a friendship like ours admits of no reserves.You may trust my impartiality.It would be an affront to your own judgment, if you did not: For do you not ask my advice? And have you not taught me that friendship should never give a bias against justice?--Justify them, therefore, if you can.Let us see if there be any sense, whether sufficient reason or not in their choice.At present I cannot (and yet I know a good deal of your family) have any conception how all of them, your mother and your aunt Hervey in particular, can join with the rest against judgments given.As to some of the others, I cannot wonder at any thing they do, or attempt to do, where self is concerned [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]