Letter XXXII


I now send you copies of my letters to my uncles: with their answers.

Be pleased to return the latter by the first deposit. I leave them

for you to make remarks upon. I shall make none.


Allow me, my honoured second Papa, as in my happy days you taught me

to call you, to implore your interest with my Papa, to engage him to

dispense with a command, which, if insisted upon, will deprive me of

my free-will, and make me miserable for my whole life.

For my whole life! let me repeat: Is that a small point, my dear

Uncle, to give up? Am not I to live with the man? Is any body else?

Shall I not therefore be allowed to judge for myself, whether I can,

or cannot, live happily with him?

Should it be ever so unhappily, will it be prudence to complain or

appeal? If it were, to whom could I appeal with effect against a

husband? And would not the invincible and avowed dislike I have for

him at setting out, seem to justify any ill usage from him, in that

state, were I to be ever so observant of him? And if I were to be at

all observant of him, it must be from fear, not love.

Once more, let me repeat, That this is not a small point to give up:

and that it is for life. Why, I pray you, good Sir, should I be made

miserable for life? Why should I be deprived of all comfort, but that

which the hope that it would be a very short one, would afford me?

Marriage is a very solemn engagement, enough to make a young

creature's heart ache, with the best prospects, when she thinks

seriously of it!--To be given up to a strange man; to be engrafted

into a strange family; to give up her very name, as a mark of her

becoming his absolute and dependent property; to be obliged to prefer

this strange man to father, mother--to every body:--and his humours to

all her own--or to contend, perhaps, in breach of avowed duty, for

every innocent instance of free-will. To go no where; to make

acquaintance; to give up acquaintance; to renounce even the strictest

friendships, perhaps; all at his pleasure, whether she thinks it

reasonable to do so or not. Surely, Sir, a young creature ought not

to be obliged to make all these sacrifices but for such a man as she

can love. If she be, how sad must be the case! How miserable the

life, if it can be called life!

I wish I could obey you all. What a pleasure would it be to me, if I

could!--Marry first, and love will come after, was said by one of my

dearest friends! But this is a shocking assertion. A thousand thing

may happen to make that state but barely tolerable, where it is

entered into with mutual affections: What must it then be, where the

husband can have no confidence in the love of his wife: but has reason

rather to question it, from the preference he himself believes she

would have given to somebody else, had she had her own option? What

doubts, what jealousies, what want of tenderness, what unfavourable

prepossessions, will there be, in a matrimony thus circumstanced! How

will every look, every action, even the most innocent, be liable to

misconstruction!--While, on the other hand, an indifference, a

carelessness to oblige, may take place; and fear only can constrain

even an appearance of what ought to be the effect of undisguised love!

Think seriously of these things, dear, good Sir, and represent them to

my father in that strong light which the subject will bear; but in

which my sex, and my tender years and inexperience, will not permit me

to paint it; and use your powerful interest, that your poor niece may

not be consigned to a misery so durable.

I offered to engage not to marry at all, if that condition may be

accepted. What a disgrace is it to me to be thus sequestered from

company, thus banished my papa's and mamma's presence; thus slighted

and deserted by you, Sir, and my other kind uncle! And to be hindered

from attending at that public worship, which, were I out of the way of

my duty, would be most likely to reduce me into the right path again! --Is this the way, Sir; can this be thought to be the way to be taken

with a free and open spirit? May not this strange method rather

harden than convince? I cannot bear to live in disgrace thus. The

very servants so lately permitted to be under my own direction, hardly

daring to speak to me; my own servant discarded with high marks of

undeserved suspicion and displeasure, and my sister's maid set over


The matter may be too far pushed.--Indeed it may.--And then, perhaps,

every one will be sorry for their parts in it.

May I be permitted to mention an expedient?--'If I am to be watched,

banished, and confined; suppose, Sir, it were to be at your house?'-- Then the neighbouring gentry will the less wonder, that the person of

whom they used to think so favourably, appear not at church here; and

that she received not their visits.

I hope there can be no objection to this. You used to love to have me

with you, Sir, when all went happily with me: And will you not now

permit me, in my troubles, the favour of your house, till all this

displeasure is overblown?--Upon my word, Sir, I will not stir out of

doors, if you require the contrary of me: nor will I see any body,

but whom you will allow me to see; provided Mr. Solmes be not brought

to persecute me there.

Procure, then, this favour for me; if you cannot procure the still

greater, that of a happy reconciliation (which nevertheless I presume

to hope for, if you will be so good as to plead for me); and you will

then add to those favours and to that indulgence, which have bound me,

and will for ever bind me to be

Your dutiful and obliged niece, CLARISSA HARLOWE.




It grieves me to be forced to deny you any thing you ask. Yet it must

be so; for unless you can bring your mind to oblige us in this one

point, in which our promises and honour were engaged before we

believed there could be so sturdy an opposition, you must never expect

to be what you have been to us all.

In short, Niece, we are in an embattled phalanx. Your reading makes

you a stranger to nothing but what you should be most acquainted with.

So you will see by that expression, that we are not to be pierced by

your persuasions, and invincible persistence. We have agreed all to

be moved, or none; and not to comply without one another. So you know

your destiny; and have nothing to do but to yield to it.

Let me tell you, the virtue of obedience lies not in obliging when you

can be obliged again. But give up an inclination, and there is some

merit in that.

As to your expedient; you shall not come to my house, Miss Clary;

though this is a prayer I little thought I ever should have denied

you: for were you to keep your word as to seeing nobody but whom we

please, yet can you write to somebody else, and receive letters from

him. This we too well know you can, and have done--more is the shame

and the pity!

You offer to live single, Miss--we wished you married: but because you

may not have the man your heart is set upon, why, truly, you will have

nobody we shall recommend: and as we know, that somehow or other you

correspond with him, or at least did as long as you could; and as he

defies us all, and would not dare to do so, if he were not sure of you

in spite of us all, (which is not a little vexatious to us, you must

think,) we are resolved to frustrate him, and triumph over him, rather

than that he should triumph over us: that's one word for all. So

expect not any advocateship from me: I will not plead for you; and

that's enough. From

Your displeased uncle, JOHN HARLOWE.

P.S. For the rest I refer to my brother Antony.




As you have thought fit to favour Mr. Solmes with your particular

recommendation, and was very earnest in his behalf, ranking him (as

you told me, upon introducing him to me) among your select friends;

and expecting my regards to him accordingly; I beg your patience,

while I offer a few things, out of many that I could offer, to your

serious consideration, on occasion of his address to me, if I am to

use that word.

I am charged with prepossession in another person's favour. You will

be pleased, Sir, to remember, that till my brother returned from

Scotland, that other person was not absolutely discouraged, nor was I

forbid to receive his visits. I believe it will not be pretended,

that in birth, education, or personal endowments, a comparison can be

made between the two. And only let me ask you, Sir, if the one would

have been thought of for me, had he not made such offers, as, upon my

word, I think, I ought not in justice to accept of, nor he to propose:

offers, which if he had not made, I dare say, my papa would not have

required them of him.

But the one, it seems, has many faults:--Is the other faultless?--The

principal thing objected to Mr. Lovelace (and a very inexcusable one)

is that he is immoral in his loves--Is not the other in his hatreds?-- Nay, as I may say, in his loves too (the object only differing) if the

love of money be the root of all evil.

But, Sir, if I am prepossessed, what has Mr. Solmes to hope for?--Why

should he persevere? What must I think of the man who would wish me

to be his wife against my inclination?--And is it not a very harsh

thing for my friends to desire to see me married to one I cannot love,

when they will not be persuaded but that there is one whom I do love?

Treated as I am, now is the time for me to speak out or never.--Let me

review what it is Mr. Solmes depends upon on this occasion. Does he

believe, that the disgrace which I supper on his account, will give

him a merit with me? Does he think to win my esteem, through my

uncles' sternness to me; by my brother's contemptuous usage; by my

sister's unkindness; by being denied to visit, or be visited; and to

correspond with my chosen friend, although a person of unexceptionable

honour and prudence, and of my own sex; my servant to be torn from me,

and another servant set over me; to be confined, like a prisoner, to

narrow and disgraceful limits, in order avowedly to mortify me, and to

break my spirit; to be turned out of that family-management which I

loved, and had the greater pleasure in it, because it was an ease, as

I thought, to my mamma, and what my sister chose not; and yet, though

time hangs heavy upon my hands, to be so put out of my course, that I

have as little inclination as liberty to pursue any of my choice

delights?--Are these steps necessary to reduce me to a level so low,

as to make me a fit wife for this man?--Yet these are all he can have

to trust to. And if his reliance is on these measures, I would have

him to know, that he mistakes meekness and gentleness of disposition

for servility and baseness of heart.

I beseech you, Sir, to let the natural turn and bent of his mind and

my mind be considered: What are his qualities, by which he would hope

to win my esteem?--Dear, dear Sir, if I am to be compelled, let it be

in favour of a man that can read and write--that can teach me

something: For what a husband must that man make, who can do nothing

but command; and needs himself the instruction he should be qualified

to give?

I may be conceited, Sir; I may be vain of my little reading; of my

writing; as of late I have more than once been told I am. But, Sir,

the more unequal the proposed match, if so: the better opinion I have

of myself, the worse I must have of him; and the more unfit are we for

each other.

Indeed, Sir, I must say, I thought my friends had put a higher value

upon me. My brother pretended once, that it was owing to such value,

that Mr. Lovelace's address was prohibited.--Can this be; and such a

man as Mr. Solmes be intended for me?

As to his proposed settlements, I hope I shall not incur your great

displeasure, if I say, what all who know me have reason to think (and

some have upbraided me for), that I despise those motives. Dear, dear

Sir, what are settlements to one who has as much of her own as she

wishes for?--Who has more in her own power, as a single person, than

it is probable she would be permitted to have at her disposal, as a

wife?--Whose expenses and ambition are moderate; and who, if she had

superfluities, would rather dispense them to the necessitous, than lay

them by her useless? If then such narrow motives have so little

weight with me for my own benefit, shall the remote and uncertain view

of family-aggrandizements, and that in the person of my brother and

his descendents, be thought sufficient to influence me?

Has the behaviour of that brother to me of late, or his consideration

for the family (which had so little weight with him, that he could

choose to hazard a life so justly precious as an only son's, rather

than not ratify passions which he is above attempting to subdue, and,

give me leave to say, has been too much indulged in, either with

regard to his own good, or the peace of any body related to him;) Has

his behaviour, I say, deserved of me in particular, that I should make

a sacrifice of my temporal (and, who knows? of my eternal) happiness,

to promote a plan formed upon chimerical, at least upon unlikely,

contingencies; as I will undertake to demonstrate, if I may be

permitted to examine it?

I am afraid you will condemn my warmth: But does not the occasion

require it? To the want of a greater degree of earnestness in my

opposition, it seems, it is owing, that such advances have been made,

as have been made. Then, dear Sir, allow something, I beseech you,

for a spirit raised and embittered by disgraces, which (knowing my own

heart) I am confident to say, are unmerited.

But why have I said so much, in answer to the supposed charge of

prepossession, when I have declared to my mamma, as now, Sir, I do to

you, that if it be not insisted upon that I shall marry any other

person, particularly this Mr. Solmes, I will enter into any

engagements never to have the other, nor any man else, without their

consents; that is to say, without the consents of my father and my

mother, and of you my uncle, and my elder uncle, and my cousin Morden,

as he is one of the trustees for my grandfather's bounty to me?--As to

my brother indeed, I cannot say, that his treatment of me has been of

late so brotherly, as to entitle him to more than civility from me:

and for this, give me leave to add, he would be very much my debtor.

If I have not been explicit enough in declaring my dislike to Mr.

Solmes (that the prepossession which is charged upon me may not be

supposed to influence me against him) I do absolutely declare, That

were there no such man as Mr. Lovelace in the world, I would not have

Mr. Solmes. It is necessary, in some one of my letters to my dear

friends, that I should write so clearly as to put this matter out of

all doubt: and to whom can I better address myself with an

explicitness that can admit of no mistake, than to that uncle who

professes the highest regard for plain-dealing and sincerity?

Let me, for these reasons, be still more particular in some of my

exceptions to him.

Mr. Solmes appears to me (to all the world, indeed) to have a very

narrow mind, and no great capacity: he is coarse and indelicate; as

rough in his manners as in his person: he is not only narrow, but

covetous: being possessed of great wealth, he enjoys it not; nor has

the spirit to communicate to a distress of any kind. Does not his own

sister live unhappily, for want of a little of his superfluities? And

suffers not he his aged uncle, the brother of his own mother, to owe

to the generosity of strangers the poor subsistence he picks up from

half-a-dozen families?--You know, Sir, my open, free, communicative

temper: how unhappy must I be, circumscribed in his narrow, selfish

circle! out of which being with-held by this diabolical parsimony, he

dare no more stir, than a conjurer out of his; nor would let me.

Such a man, as this, love!--Yes, perhaps he may, my grandfather's

estate; which he has told several persons (and could not resist

hinting the same thing tome, with that sort of pleasure which a low

mind takes, when it intimates its own interest as a sufficient motive

for it to expect another's favour) lies so extremely convenient for

him, that it would double the value of a considerable part of his own.

That estate, and an alliance which would do credit to his obscurity

and narrowness, they make him think he can love, and induce him to

believe he does: but at most, he is but a second-place love. Riches

were, are, and always will be, his predominant passion. His were left

him by a miser, on this very account: and I must be obliged to forego

all the choice delights of my life, and be as mean as he, or else be

quite unhappy. Pardon, Sir, this severity of expression--one is apt

to say more than one would of a person one dislikes, when more is said

in his favour than he can possibly deserve; and when he is urged to my

acceptance with so much vehemence, that there is no choice left me.

Whether these things be perfectly so, or not, while I think they are,

it is impossible I should ever look upon Mr. Solmes in the light he is

offered to me. Nay, were he to be proved ten times better than I have

represented him, and sincerely think him; yet would he be still ten

times more disagreeable to me than any other man I know in the world.

Let me therefore beseech you, Sir, to become an advocate for your

niece, that she may not be made a victim to a man so highly disgustful

to her.

You and my other uncle can do a great deal for me, if you please, with

my papa. Be persuaded, Sir, that I am not governed by obstinacy in

this case; but by aversion; an aversion I cannot overcome: for, if I

have but endeavoured to reason with myself, (out of regard to the duty

I owe to my father's will,) my heart has recoiled, and I have been

averse to myself, for offering but to argue with myself, in behalf of

a man who, in the light he appears to me, has no one merit; and who,

knowing this aversion, could not persevere as he does, if he had the

spirit of a man.

If, Sir, you can think of the contents of this letter reasonable, I

beseech you to support them with your interest. If not--I shall be

most unhappy!--Nevertheless, it is but just in me so to write, as that

Mr. Solmes may know what he has to trust to.

Forgive, dear Sir, this tedious letter; and suffer it to have weight

with you; and you will for ever oblige

Your dutiful and affectionate niece,





You had better not write to us, or to any of us. To me, particularly,

you had better never to have set pen to paper, on the subject whereon

you have written. He that is first in his own cause, saith the wise

man, seemeth just: but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him. And

so, in this respect, I will be your neighbour: for I will search your

heart to the bottom; that is to say, if your letter be written from

your heart. Yet do I know what a task I have undertaken, because of

the knack you are noted for at writing. But in defence of a father's

authority, in behalf of the good, and honour, and prosperity of the

family one comes of, what a hard thing it would be, if one could not

beat down all the arguments a rebel child (how loth I am to write down

that word of Miss Clary Harlowe!) can bring, in behalf of her


In the first place, don't you declare (and that contrary to your

declarations to your mother, remember that, girl!) that you prefer the

man we all hate, and who hates us as bad!--Then what a character have

you given of a worthy man! I wonder you dare write so freely of one

we all respect--but possibly it may be for that very reason.

How you begin your letter!--Because I value Mr. Solmes as my friend,

you treat him the worse--That's the plain dunstable of the matter,

Miss!--I am not such a fool but I can see that.--And so a noted

whoremonger is to be chosen before a man who is a money-lover!--Let me

tell you, Niece, this little becomes so nice a one as you have been

always reckoned. Who, think you, does more injustice, a prodigal man

or a saving man?--The one saves his own money; the other spends other

people's. But your favourite is a sinner in grain, and upon record.

The devil's in your sex! God forgive me for saying so--the nicest of

them will prefer a vile rake and wh--I suppose I must not repeat the

word:--the word will offend, when the vicious denominated by that word

will be chosen!--I had not been a bachelor to this time, if I had not

seen such a mass of contradictions in you all.--Such gnat-strainers

and camel-swallowers, as venerable Holy Writ has it.

What names will perverseness call things by!--A prudent man, who

intends to be just to every body, is a covetous man!--While a vile,

profligate rake is christened with the appellation of a gallant man;

and a polite man, I'll warrant you!

It is my firm opinion, Lovelace would not have so much regard for you

as he professes, but for two reasons. And what are these?--Why, out

of spite to all of us--one of them. The other, because of your

independent fortune. I wish your good grandfather had not left what

he did so much in your own power, as I may say. But little did he

imagine his beloved grand-daughter would have turned upon all her

friends as she has done!

What has Mr. Solmes to hope for, if you are prepossessed! Hey-day!

Is this you, cousin Clary!--Has he then nothing to hope for from your father's, and mother's, and our recommendations?--No, nothing at all, it seems!--O brave!--I should think that this, with a dutiful child,

as we took you to be, was enough. Depending on this your duty, we

proceeded: and now there is no help for it: for we will not be balked:

neither shall our friend Mr. Solmes, I can tell you that.

If your estate is convenient for him, what then? Does that (pert

cousin) make it out that he does not love you? He had need to expect

some good with you, that has so little good to hope for from you; mind

that. But pray, is not this estate our estate, as we may say? Have

we not all an interest in it, and a prior right, if right were to have

taken place? And was it not more than a good old man's dotage, God

rest his soul! that gave it you before us all?--Well then, ought we

not to have a choice who shall have it in marriage with you? and would

you have the conscience to wish us to let a vile fellow, who hates us

all, run away with it?--You bid me weigh what you write: do you weigh

this, Girl: and it will appear we have more to say for ourselves than

you was aware of.

As to your hard treatment, as you call it, thank yourself for that.

It may be over when you will: so I reckon nothing upon that. You was

not banished and confined till all entreaty and fair speeches were

tried with you: mind that. And Mr. Solmes can't help your obstinacy:

let that be observed too.

As to being visited, and visiting; you never was fond of either: so

that's a grievance put into the scale to make weight.--As to disgrace,

that's as bad to us as to you: so fine a young creature! So much as

we used to brag of you too!--And besides, this is all in your power,

as the rest.

But your heart recoils, when you would persuade yourself to obey your

parent--Finely described, is it not!--Too truly described, I own, as

you go on. I know that you may love him if you will. I had a good

mind to bid you hate him; then, perhaps, you would like him the

better: for I have always found a most horrid romantic perverseness in

your sex.--To do and to love what you should not, is meat, drink, and

vesture, to you all.

I am absolutely of your brother's mind, That reading and writing,

though not too much for the wits of you young girls, are too much for

your judgments.--You say, you may be conceited, Cousin; you may be

vain!--And so you are, to despise this gentleman as you do. He can

read and write as well as most gentlemen, I can tell you that. Who

told you Mr. Solmes cannot read and write? But you must have a

husband who can learn you something!--I wish you knew but your duty as

well as you do your talents--that, Niece, you have of late days to

learn; and Mr. Solmes will therefore find something to instruct you

in. I will not shew him this letter of yours, though you seem to

desire it, lest it should provoke him to be too severe a schoolmaster,

when you are his'n.

But now I think of it, suppose you are the reader at your pen than he --You will make the more useful wife to him; won't you? For who so

good an economist as you?--And you may keep all of his accounts, and

save yourselves a steward.--And, let me tell you, this is a fine

advantage in a family: for those stewards are often sad dogs, and

creep into a man's estate before he knows where he is; and not seldom

is he forced to pay them interest for his own money.

I know not why a good wife should be above these things. It is better

than lying a-bed half the day, and junketing and card-playing all the

night, and making yourselves wholly useless to every good purpose in

your own families, as is now the fashion among ye. The duce take you

all that do so, say I!--Only that, thank my stars, I am a bachelor.

Then this is a province you are admirably versed in: you grieve that

it is taken from you here, you know. So here, Miss, with Mr. Solmes

you will have something to keep account of, for the sake of you and

your children: with the other, perhaps you will have an account to

keep, too--but an account of what will go over the left shoulder; only

of what he squanders, what he borrows, and what he owes, and never

will pay. Come, come, Cousin, you know nothing of the world; a man's

a man; and you may have many partners in a handsome man, and costly

ones too, who may lavish away all you save. Mr. Solmes therefore for

my money, and I hope for yours.

But Mr. Solmes is a coarse man. He is not delicate enough for your

niceness; because I suppose he dresses not like a fop and a coxcomb,

and because he lays not himself out in complimental nonsense, the

poison of female minds. He is a man of sense, that I can tell you.

No man talks more to the purpose to us: but you fly him so, that he

has no opportunity given him, to express it to you: and a man who

loves, if he have ever so much sense, looks a fool; especially when he

is despised, and treated as you treated him the last time he was in

your company.

As to his sister; she threw herself away (as you want to do) against

his full warning: for he told her what she had to trust to, if she

married where she did marry. And he was as good as his word; and so

an honest man ought: offences against warning ought to be smarted for.

Take care this be not your case: mind that.

His uncle deserves no favour from him; for he would have circumvented

Mr. Solmes, and got Sir Oliver to leave to himself the estate he had

always designed for him his nephew, and brought him up in the hope of

it. Too ready forgiveness does but encourage offences: that's your

good father's maxim: and there would not be so many headstrong

daughters as there are, if this maxim were kept in mind.--Punishments

are of service to offenders; rewards should be only to the meriting:

and I think the former are to be dealt out rigourously, in willful


As to his love; he shews it but too much for your deservings, as they

have been of late; let me tell you that: and this is his misfortune;

and may in time perhaps be yours.

As to his parsimony, which you wickedly call diabolical, [a very free

word in your mouth, let me tell ye], little reason have you of all

people for this, on whom he proposes, of his own accord, to settle all

he has in the world: a proof, let him love riches as he will, that he

loves you better. But that you may be without excuse on this score,

we will tie him up to your own terms, and oblige him by the marriage- articles to allow you a very handsome quarterly sum to do what you

please with. And this has been told you before; and I have said it to

Mrs. Howe (that good and worthy lady) before her proud daughter, that

you might hear of it again.

To contradict the charge of prepossession to Lovelace, you offer never

to have him without our consents: and what is this saying, but that

you will hope on for our consents, and to wheedle and tire us out?

Then he will always be in expectation while you are single: and we are

to live on at this rate (are we?) vexed by you, and continually

watchful about you; and as continually exposed to his insolence and

threats. Remember last Sunday, Girl!--What might have happened, had

your brother and he met?--Moreover, you cannot do with such a spirit

as his, as you can with worthy Mr. Solmes: the one you make tremble;

the other will make you quake: mind that--and you will not be able to

help yourself. And remember, that if there should be any

misunderstanding between one of them and you, we should all interpose;

and with effect, no doubt: but with the other, it would be self-do,

self-have; and who would either care or dare to put in a word for you?

Nor let the supposition of matrimonial differences frighten you:

honey-moon lasts not now-a-days above a fortnight; and Dunmow flitch,

as I have been informed, was never claimed; though some say once it

was. Marriage is a queer state, Child, whether paired by the parties

or by their friends. Out of three brothers of us, you know, there was

but one had courage to marry. And why was it, do you think? We were

wise by other people's experience.

Don't despise money so much: you may come to know the value of it:

that is a piece of instruction that you are to learn; and which,

according to your own notions, Mr. Solmes will be able to teach you.

I do indeed condemn your warmth. I will not allow for disgraces you

bring upon yourself. If I thought them unmerited, I would be your

advocate. But it was always my notion, that children should not

dispute their parents' authority. When your grandfather left his

estate to you, though his three sons, and a grandson, and your elder

sister, were in being, we all acquiesced: and why? Because it was our

father's doing. Do you imitate that example: if you will not, those

who set it you have the more reason to hold you inexcusable: mind

that, Cousin.

You mention your brother too scornfully: and, in your letter to him,

are very disrespectful; and so indeed you are to your sister, in the

letter you wrote to her. Your brother, Madam, is your brother; and

third older than yourself, and a man: and pray be so good as not to

forget what is due to a brother, who (next to us three brothers) is

the head of the family, and on whom the name depends--as upon your

dutiful compliance laid down for the honour of the family you are come

of. And pray now let me ask you, If the honour of that will not be an

honour to you?--If you don't think so, the more unworthy you. You

shall see the plan, if you promise not to be prejudiced against it

right or wrong. If you are not besotted to that man, I am sure you

will like it. If you are, were Mr. Solmes an angel, it would signify

nothing: for the devil is love, and love is the devil, when it gets

into any of your heads. Many examples have I seen of that.

If there were no such man as Lovelace in the world, you would not have

Mr. Solmes.--You would not, Miss!--Very pretty, truly!--We see how

your spirit is embittered indeed.--Wonder not, since it is come to

your will not's, that those who have authority over you, say, You

shall have the other. And I am one: mind that. And if it behoves YOU

to speak out, Miss, it behoves US not to speak in. What's sauce for

the goose is sauce for the gander: take that in your thought too.

I humbly apprehend, that Mr. Solmes has the spirit of a man, and a

gentleman. I would admonish you therefore not to provoke it. He

pities you as much as he loves you. He says, he will convince you of

his love by deeds, since he is not permitted by you to express it by

words. And all his dependence is upon your generosity hereafter. We

hope he may depend upon that: we encourage him to think he may. And

this heartens him up. So that you may lay his constancy at your

parents' and your uncles' doors; and this will be another mark of your

duty, you know.

You must be sensible, that you reflect upon your parents, and all of

us, when you tell me you cannot in justice accept of the settlements

proposed to you. This reflection we should have wondered at from you

once; but now we don't.

There are many other very censurable passages in this free letter of

yours; but we must place them to the account of your embittered

spirit. I am glad you mentioned that word, because we should have

been at a loss what to have called it.--I should much rather

nevertheless have had reason to give it a better name.

I love you dearly still, Miss. I think you, though my niece, one of

the finest young gentlewomen I ever saw. But, upon my conscience, I

think you ought to obey your parents, and oblige me and my brother

John: for you know very well, that we have nothing but your good at

heart: consistently indeed with the good and honour of all of us.

What must we think of any one of it, who would not promote the good of

the whole? and who would set one part of it against another?--Which

God forbid, say I!--You see I am for the good of all. What shall I

get by it, let things go as they will? Do I want any thing of any

body for my own sake?--Does my brother John?--Well, then, Cousin

Clary, what would you be at, as I may say?

O but you can't love Mr. Solmes!--But, I say, you know not what you

can do. You encourage yourself in your dislike. You permit your

heart (little did I think it was such a froward one) to recoil. Take

it to task, Niece; drive it on as fast as it recoils, [we do so in all

our sea-fights, and land-fights too, by our sailors and soldiers, or

we should not conquer]; and we are all sure you will overcome it. And

why? Because you ought. So we think, whatever you think: and whose

thoughts are to be preferred? You may be wittier than we; but, if you

were wiser, we have lived some of us, let me tell you, to very little

purpose, thirty or forty years longer than you.

I have written as long a letter as yours. I may not write in so

lively, or so polite a style as my Niece: but I think I have all the

argument on my side: and you will vastly oblige me, if you will shew

me, by your compliance with all our desires, that you think so too.

If you do not, you must not expect an advocate, or even a friend, in

me, dearly as I love you. For then I shall be sorry to be called

Your uncle, ANT. HARLOWE.


You must send me no more letters: but a compliable one you may send.

But I need not have forbid you; for I am sure this, by fair argument,

is unanswerable--I know it is. I have written day and night, I may

say, ever since Sunday morning, only church-time, or the like of that:

but this is the last, I can tell you, from