Letter VI


I will now resume my narrative of proceedings here.--My brother being

in a good way, although you may be sure that his resentments are

rather heightened than abated by the galling disgrace he has received,

my friends (my father and uncles, however, if not my brother and

sister) begin to think that I have been treated unkindly. My mother

been so good as to tell me this since I sent away my last.

Nevertheless I believe they all think that I receive letters from Mr.

Lovelace. But Lord M. being inclined rather to support than to blame

his nephew, they seem to be so much afraid of Mr. Lovelace, that they

do not put it to me whether I do or not; conniving on the contrary, as

it should seem, at the only method left to allay the vehemence of a

spirit which they have so much provoked: For he still insists upon

satisfaction from my uncles; and this possibly (for he wants not art)

as the best way to be introduced again with some advantage into our

family. And indeed my aunt Hervey has put it to my mother, whether it

were not best to prevail upon my brother to take a turn to his

Yorkshire estate (which he was intending to do before) and to stay

there till all is blown over.

But this is very far from being his intention: For he has already

began to hint again, that he shall never be easy or satisfied till I

am married; and, finding neither Mr. Symmes nor Mr. Mullins will be

accepted, has proposed Mr. Wyerley once more, on the score of his

great passion for me. This I have again rejected; and but yesterday

he mentioned one who has applied to him by letter, making high offers.

This is Mr. Solmes; Rich Solmes you know they call him. But this

application has not met with the attention of one single soul.

If none of his schemes of getting me married take effect, he has

thoughts, I am told, of proposing to me to go to Scotland, that as the

compliment is, I may put his house there in such order as our own is

in. But this my mother intends to oppose for her own sake; because

having relieved her, as she is pleased to say, of the household cares

(for which my sister, you know, has no turn) they must again devolve

upon her if I go. And if she did not oppose it, I should; for,

believe me, I have no mind to be his housekeeper; and I am sure, were

I to go with him, I should be treated rather as a servant than a

sister:--perhaps, not the better because I am his sister. And if Mr.

Lovelace should follow me, things might be worse than they are now.

But I have besought my mother, who is apprehensive of Mr. Lovelace's

visits, and for fear of whom my uncles never stir out without arms and

armed servants (my brother also being near well enough to go abroad),

to procure me permission to be your guest for a fortnight, or so.-- Will your mother, think you, my dear, give me leave?

I dare not ask to go to my dairy-house, as my good grandfather would

call it: for I am now afraid of being thought to have a wish to enjoy

that independence to which his will has entitled me: and as matter are

situated, such a wish would be imputed to my regard to the man to whom

they have now so great an antipathy. And indeed could I be as easy

and happy here as I used to be, I would defy that man and all his sex;

and never repent that I have given the power of my fortune into my

father's hands.


Just now, my mother has rejoiced me with the news that my requested

permission is granted. Every one thinks it best that I should go to

you, except my brother. But he was told, that he must not expect to

rule in every thing. I am to be sent for into the great parlour,

where are my two uncles and my aunt Hervey, and to be acquainted with

this concession in form.

You know, my dear, that there is a good deal of solemnity among us.

But never was there a family more united in its different branches

than ours. Our uncles consider us as their own children, and declare

that it is for our sakes that they live single. So that they are

advised with upon every article relating to us, or that may affect us.

It is therefore the less wonder, at a time when they understand that

Mr. Lovelace is determined to pay us an amicable visit, as he calls

it, (but which I am sure cannot end amicably,) that they should both

be consulted upon the permission I had desired to attend you.


I will acquaint you with what passed at the general leave given me to

be your guest. And yet I know that you will not love my brother the

better for my communication. But I am angry with him myself, and

cannot help it. And besides, it is proper to let you know the terms I

go upon, and their motives for permitting me to go.

Clary, said my mother, as soon as I entered the great parlour, your

request to go to Miss Howe's for a few days has been taken into

consideration, and granted--

Much against my liking, I assure you, said my brother, rudely

interrupting her.

Son James! said my father, and knit his brows.

He was not daunted. His arm was in a sling. He often has the mean

art to look upon that, when any thing is hinted that may be supposed

to lead toward the least favour to or reconciliation with Mr.

Lovelace.--Let the girl then [I am often the girl with him] be

prohibited seeing that vile libertine.

Nobody spoke.

Do you hear, sister Clary? taking their silence for approbation of

what he had dictated; you are not to receive visits from Lord M.'s


Every one still remained silent.

Do you so understand the license you have, Miss? interrogated he.

I would be glad, Sir, said I, to understand that you are my brother;-- and that you would understand that you are only my brother.

O the fond, fond heart! with a sneer of insult, lifting up his hands.

Sir, said I, to my father, to your justice I appeal: If I have

deserved reflection, let me be not spared. But if I am to be

answerable for the rashness--

No more!--No more of either side, said my father. You are not to

receive the visits of that Lovelace, though.--Nor are you, son James,

to reflect upon your sister. She is a worthy child.

Sir, I have done, replied he:--and yet I have her honour at heart, as

much as the honour of the rest of the family.

And hence, Sir, retorted I, your unbrotherly reflections upon me?

Well, but you observe, Miss, said he, that it is not I, but your

father, that tells you, that you are not to receive the visits of that


Cousin Harlowe, said my aunt Hervey, allow me to say, that my cousin

Clary's prudence may be confided in.

I am convinced it may, joined my mother.

But, aunt, but, madam (put in my sister) there is no hurt, I presume,

in letting my sister know the condition she goes to Miss Howe upon;

since, if he gets a nack of visiting her there--

You may be sure, interrupted my uncle Harlowe, he will endeavour to

see her there.

So would such an impudent man here, said my uncle Antony: and 'tis

better done there than here.

Better no where, said my father.--I command you (turning to me) on

pain of displeasure, that you see him not at all.

I will not, Sir, in any way of encouragement, I do assure you: not at

all, if I can properly avoid it.

You know with what indifference, said my mother, she has hitherto seen

him.--Her prudence may be trusted to, as my sister Hervey says.

With what appa--rent indifference, drawled my brother.

Son James! said my father sternly.

I have done, Sir, said he. But again, in a provoking manner, he

reminded me of the prohibition.

Thus ended the conference.

Will you engage, my dear, that the hated man shall not come near your

house?--But what an inconsistence is this, when they consent to my

going, thinking his visits here no otherwise to be avoided!--But if he

does come, I charge you never to leave us alone together.

As I have no reason to doubt a welcome from your good mother, I will

put every thing in order here, and be with you in two or three days.

Mean time, I am Your most affectionate and obliged, CLARISSA HARLOWE.