Nor with any man; since if love has not taken root deep enough to cause it to shoot out into declaration, if an opportunity be fairly given for it, there is little room to expect, that the blighting winds of anger or resentment will bring it forward. Then my poor sister is not naturally good-humoured.
This is too well-known a truth for me to endeavor to conceal it, especially from you. She must therefore, I doubt, have appeared to great disadvantages when she aimed to be worse tempered than ordinary. How they managed it in their next conversation I know not. One would be tempted to think by the issue, that Mr.
Lovelace was ungenerous enough to seek the occasion given, 2 and to improve it.
Yet he thought fit to put the question too:—But, she says, it was not till, by some means or other she knew not how he had wrought her up to such a pitch of displeasure with him, that it was impossible for her to recover herself at the instant. Nevertheless he re-urged his question, as expecting a definitive answer, without waiting for the return of her temper, or endeavouring to mollify her; so that she was under a necessity of persisting in her denial: yet gave him reason to think she did not dislike his address, only the manner of it; his court being rather made to her mother than to herself, as if he was sure of her consent at any time.
A good encouraging denial, I must own: as was the rest of her plea; to wit, 'A disinclination to change her state. Exceedingly happy as she was: she never could be happier! Miss Biddulph's answer to a copy of verse from a gentleman, reproaching our sex as acting in disguise, is not a bad one, although you may perhaps think it too acknowledging for the female character. And thus, as Mr. Lovelace thought fit to take it, had he his answer from my sister. It was with very great regret, as he pretended, [I doubt the man is an hypocrite, my dear] that he acquiesced in it. He waited on my mother after he had taken leave of Bella, and reported his ill success in so respectful a manner, as well with regard to my sister, as to the whole family, and with so much concern that he was not accepted as a relation to it, that it left upon them all my brother being then, as I have said, in Scotland impressions in his favour, and a belief that this matter would certainly be brought on again.
But Mr. Lovelace going up directly to town, where he staid a whole fortnight, and meeting there with my uncle Antony, to whom he regretted his niece's cruel resolution not to change her state; it was seen that there was a total end of the affair. My sister was not wanting to herself on this occasion. She made a virtue of necessity; and the man was quite another man with her. Too well knowing his advantages: yet those not what she had conceived them to be! A steady man, a man of virtue, a man of morals, was worth a thousand of such gay flutterers.
Her sister Clary might think it worth her while perhaps to try to engage such a man: she had patience: she was mistress of persuasion: and indeed, to do the girl justice, had something of a person: But as for her, she would not have a man of whose heart she could not be sure for one moment; no, not for the world: and most sincerely glad was she that she had rejected him. But when Mr. Lovelace returned into the country, he thought fit to visit my father and mother; hoping, as he told them, that, however unhappy he had been in the rejection of the wished-for alliance, he might be allowed to keep up an acquaintance and friendship with a family which he should always respect.
And then unhappily, as I may say, was I at home and present. It was immediately observed, that his attention was fixed on me. My sister, as soon as he was gone, in a spirit of bravery, seemed desirous to promote his address, should it be tendered. My aunt Hervey was there; and was pleased to say, we should make the finest couple in England—if my sister had no objection. My mother declared, that her only dislike of his alliance with either daughter, was on account of his reputed faulty morals.
My uncle Harlowe, that his daughter Clary, as he delighted to call me from childhood, would reform him if any woman in the world could. My uncle Antony gave his approbation in high terms: but referred, as my aunt had done, to my sister. She repeated her contempt of him; and declared, that, were there not another man in England, she would not have him.
She was ready, on the contrary, she could assure them, to resign her pretensions under hand and seal, if Miss Clary were taken with his tinsel, and if every one else approved of his address to the girl. My father indeed, after a long silence, being urged by my uncle Antony to speak his mind, said, that he had a letter from his son, on his hearing of Mr. Lovelace's visits to his daughter Arabella; which he had not shewn to any body but my mother; that treaty being at an end when he received it: that in this letter he expressed great dislike to an alliance with Mr.
Lovelace on the score of his immoralities: that he knew, indeed, there was an old grudge between them; but that, being desirous to prevent all occasions of disunion and animosity in his family, he would suspend the declaration of his own mind till his son arrived, and till he had heard his further objections: that he was the more inclined to make his son this compliment, as Mr. Lovelace's general character gave but too much ground for his son's dislike of him; adding, that he had hear so, he supposed, had every one, that he was a very extravagant man; that he had contracted debts in his travels: and indeed, he was pleased to say, he had the air of a spendthrift.
These particulars I had partly from my aunt Hervey, and partly from my sister; for I was called out as soon as the subject was entered upon. When I returned, my uncle Antony asked me, how I should like Mr. Every body saw, he was pleased to say, that I had made a conquest.
Clarissa Harlowe; Or the History of a Young Lady, Vol. 1 on Apple Books
I immediately answered, that I did not like him at all: he seemed to have too good an opinion both on his person and parts, to have any regard to his wife, let him marry whom he would. Most critics agree that it is one of the greatest European novels whose influence casts a long shadow.
I first read Clarissa , in France, in a gold-tooled library edition of many volumes. In the house where I was staying there was nothing else to read in English; I picked it up quite ignorant of its reputation and importance. Perhaps that's the best way to approach a classic — unawares. Soon, I was swept up in the headlong drama of Clarissa Harlowe's fate — a novel with the simplicity of myth. Clarissa is a tragic heroine, pressured by her unscrupulous nouveau-riche family to marry a wealthy man she detests.
When she is tricked into fleeing from her family's designs with the dashing and witty Robert Lovelace, she inadvertently places herself in the power of an inveterate rake, perhaps the most charming villain in English literature. It's the magic of Clarissa that the lovers seduce the readers' imagination as much as any in our literature, including Romeo and Juliet. From this we have Dr Johnson's famous verdict, noted by Boswell: "Why, sir, if you were to read Richardson for the story… you would hang yourself… you must read him for the sentiment.
The genius of Richardson's narration is not simply the innovative use of epistolary fiction — the novel is told through a complex web of letters — but also the subtlety with which he unfolds the dark tragedy of Clarissa's fatal attraction to Lovelace. All too human in her capacity for self-deception in matters of sex, she finds his charm impossible to resist. It's the unique spell of the book that her fiercely protested virtue is tinged with intimations of unacknowledged desire.
Clarissa Harlowe also sets the gold standard for English fictional heroines. Download cover art Download CD case insert. Clarissa Harlowe, the tragic heroine of Clarissa, is a beautiful and virtuous young lady whose family has become very wealthy only in recent years and is now eager to become part of the aristocracy by acquiring estates and titles through advantageous pairings.
Clarissa's relatives attempt to force her to marry a rich but heartless man Roger Solmes against her will and, more importantly, against her own sense of virtue. Desperate to remain free, she is tricked by a young gentleman of her acquaintance, Lovelace, into escaping with him. However, she refuses to marry him, longing — unusual for a girl in her time — to live by herself in peace. Summary by Wikipedia. Play Letter I. Letter II.
Clarissa Harlowe; or the history of a young lady - Volume 1
Letter III. Letter IV. Letter V.
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Letter VI. Letter VII.