CLARISSA - VOLUME 1
CLARISSA - VOLUME 1
Produced by Julie C. Sparks
HISTORY OF A YOUNG LADY
The most Important Concerns of Private Life.
And particularly shewing
The Distresses that may attend the Misconduct
Both of Parents and Children
In Relation to Marriage.
The following History is given in a series of letters written
Principally in a double yet separate correspondence;
Between two young ladies of virtue and honor bearing an inviolable
friendship for each other and writing not merely for amusement but
upon the most interesting subjects; in which every private family
more or less may find itself concerned; and
Between two gentlemen of free lives; one of them glorying in his
talents for stratagem and invention and communicating to the other
in confidence all the secret purposes of an intriguing head and
But here it will be proper to observe for the sake of such as may
apprehend hurt to the morals of youth from the more freely-written
letters that the gentlemen though professed libertines as to the
female sex and making it one of their wicked maxims to keep no
faith with any of the individuals of it who are thrown into their
power are not however either infidels or scoffers; nor yet such
as think themselves freed from the observance of those other moral
duties which bind man to man.
On the contrary it will be found in the progress of the work that
they very often make such reflections upon each other and each upon
himself and his own actions as reasonable beings must make who
disbelieve not a future state of rewards and punishments and who one
day propose to reform--one of them actually reforming and by that
means giving an opportunity to censure the freedoms which fall from
the gayer pen and lighter heart of the other.
And yet that other although in unbosoming himself to a select friend
he discover wickedness enough to entitle him to general detestation
preserves a decency as well in his images as in his language which
is not always to be found in the works of some of the most celebrated
modern writers whose subjects and characters have less warranted
the liberties they have taken.
In the letters of the two young ladies it is presumed will be found
not only the highest exercise of a reasonable and practicable
friendship between minds endowed with the noblest principles of
virtue and religion but occasionally interspersed such delicacy of
sentiments particularly with regard to the other sex; such instances
of impartiality each freely as a fundamental principle of their
friendship blaming praising and setting right the other as are
strongly to be recommended to the observation of the younger part
(more specially) of female readers.
The principle of these two young ladies is proposed as an exemplar to
her sex. Nor is it any objection to her being so that she is not in
all respects a perfect character. It was not only natural but it was
necessary that she should have some faults were it only to show the
reader how laudably she could mistrust and blame herself and carry to
her own heart divested of self-partiality the censure which arose
from her own convictions and that even to the acquittal of those
because revered characters whom no one else would acquit and to
whose much greater faults her errors were owing and not to a
weak or reproachable heart. As far as it is consistent with human
frailty and as far as she could be perfect considering the people
she had to deal with and those with whom she was inseparably
connected she is perfect. To have been impeccable must have left
nothing for the Divine Grace and a purified state to do and carried our
idea of her from woman to angel. As such is she often esteemed by
the man whose heart was so corrupt that he could hardly believe
human nature capable of the purity which on every trial or
temptation shone out in her's [sic].
Besides the four principal person several others are introduced
whose letters are characteristic: and it is presumed that there will
be found in some of them but more especially in those of the chief
character among the men and the second character among the women
such strokes of gayety fancy and humour as will entertain and divert
and at the same time both warn and instruct.
All the letters are written while the hearts of the writers must be
supposed to be wholly engaged in their subjects (the events at the
time generally dubious): so that they abound not only in critical
situations but with what may be called instantaneous descriptions and
reflections (proper to be brought home to the breast of the youthful
reader;) as also with affecting conversations; many of them written in
the dialogue or dramatic way.
'Much more lively and affecting' says one of the principal character
'must be the style of those who write in the height of a present
distress; the mind tortured by the pangs of uncertainty (the events
then hidden in the womb of fate;) than the dry narrative unanimated
style of a person relating difficulties and danger surmounted can be;
the relater perfectly at ease; and if himself unmoved by his own
story not likely greatly to affect the reader.'
What will be found to be more particularly aimed at in the following
work is--to warn the inconsiderate and thoughtless of the one sex
against the base arts and designs of specious contrivers of the other
--to caution parents against the undue exercise of their natural
authority over their children in the great article of marriage--
to warn children against preferring a man of pleasure to a man of
probity upon that dangerous but too-commonly-received notion that a
reformed rake makes the best husband--but above all to investigate
the highest and most important doctrines not only of morality but of
christianity by showing them thrown into action in the conduct of the
worthy characters; while the unworthy who set those doctrines at
defiance are condignly and as may be said consequentially
From what has been said considerate readers will not enter upon the
perusal of the piece before them as if it were designed only to divert
and amuse. It will probably be thought tedious to all such as dip
into it expecting a light novel or transitory romance; and look upon
story in it (interesting as that is generally allowed to be) as its
sole end rather than as a vehicle to the instruction.
Different persons as might be expected have been of different
opinions in relation to the conduct of the Heroine in particular
situations; and several worthy persons have objected to the general
catastrophe and other parts of the history. Whatever is thought
material of these shall be taken notice of by way of Postscript at
the conclusion of the History; for this work being addressed to the
public as a history of life and manners those parts of it which are
proposed to carry with them the force of an example ought to be as
unobjectionable as is consistent with the design of the whole and
with human nature.
NAMES OF THE PRINCIPAL PERSONS
MISS CLARISSA HARLOWE a young lady of great beauty and merit.
ROBERT LOVELACE ESQ. her admirer.
JAMES HARLOWE ESQ. father of Clarissa.
MRS. HARLOWE his lady.
JAMES HARLOWE their only son.
ARABELLA their elder daughter.
JOHN HARLOWE ESQ. elder brother of James Harlowe sen.
ANTONY HARLOWE third brother.
ROGER SOLMES ESQ. an admirer of Clarissa favoured by her friends.
MRS. HERVEY half-sister of Mrs. Harlowe.
MISS DOLLY HERVEY her daughter.
MRS. JUDITH NORTON a woman of great piety and discretion who had a
principal share in the education of Clarissa.
COL. WM. MORDEN a near relation of the Harlowes.
MISS HOWE the most intimate friend companion and correspondent of
MRS. HOWE her mother.
CHARLES HICKMAN ESQ. an admirer of Miss Howe.
LORD M. uncle to Mr. Lovelace.
LADY SARAH SADLEIR LADY BETTY LAWRANCE half-sisters of Lord M.
MISS CHARLOTTE MONTAGUE MISS PATTY MONTAGUE nieces of the same
DR. LEWEN a worthy divine.
MR. ELIAS BRAND a pedantic young clergyman.
DR. H. a humane physician.
MR. GODDARD an honest and skilful apothecary.
JOHN BELFORD ESQ. Mr. Lovelace's principal intimate and confidant.
RICHARD MOWBRAY THOMAS DOLEMAN JAMES TOURVILLE THOMAS BELTON
ESQRS. libertine friends of Mr. Lovelace.
MRS. MOORE a widow keeping a lodging-house at Hampstead.
MISS RAWLINS a notable young gentlewoman there.
MRS. BEVIS a lively young widow of the same place.
MRS. SINCLAIR the pretended name of a private brothel-keeper in
CAPTAIN TOMLINSON the assumed name of a vile pander to the
debaucheries of Mr. Lovelace.
SALLY MARTIN POLLY HORTON assistants of and partners with the
DORCAS WYKES an artful servant at the vile house.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME I
LETTER I. Miss Howe to Miss Clarissa Harlowe.--
Desires from her the particulars of the rencounter between Mr.
Lovelace and her brother; and of the usage she receives upon it: also
the whole of her story from the time Lovelace was introduced as a
suitor to her sister Arabella. Admires her great qualities and
glories in the friendship between them.
LETTER II. III. IV. Clarissa to Miss Howe.--
Gives the requested particulars. Together with the grounds of her
brother's and sister's il-will to her; and of the animosity between
her brother and Lovelace.--Her mother connives at the private
correspondence between her and Lovelace for the sake of preventing
greater evils. Character of Lovelace from an enemy.--Copy of the
preamble to her grandfather's will.
LETTER V. From the same.--
Her father mother brother briefly characterized. Her brother's
consequence in the family. Wishes Miss Howe had encouraged her
brother's address. Endeavors to find excuses for her father's ill
temper and for her mother's passiveness.
LETTER VI. From the same.--
Mr. Symmes Mr. Mullins Mr. Wyerley in return proposed to her in
malice to Lovelace; and on their being rejected Mr. Solmes. Leave
given her to visit Miss Howe for a few days. Her brother's insolent
behaviour upon it.
LETTER VII. From the same.--
The harsh reception she meets with on her return from Miss Howe.
Solmes's first visit.
LETTER VIII. From the same.--
All her family determined in Solmes's favour. Her aversion to him.
She rejects him and is forbid going to church visiting receiving
visits or writing to any body out of the house.
LETTER IX. Clarissa to Miss Howe.--
Her expedient to carry on a private correspondence with Miss Howe.
Regrets the necessity she is laid under to take such a clandestine
LETTER X. Miss Howe to Clarissa.--
Inveighs against the Harlowe family for proposing such a man as
Solmes. Characterizes them. Is jealous of Antony Harlowe's visits to
her mother. Rallies her friend on her supposed regard to Lovelace.
LETTER XI. Clarissa to Miss Howe.--
Is nettled and alarmed at her raillery. Her reasons for not giving
way to a passion for Lovelace.
LETTER XII. Miss Howe in reply.--
Continues her raillery. Gives Lovelace's character from Mrs.
LETTER XIII. XIV. Clarissa to Miss Howe.--
The views of her family in favouring the address of Solmes. Her
brother's and sister's triumph upon the difficulties into which they
have plunged her.
LETTER XV. Miss Howe to Clarissa.--
She accounts for Arabella's malice. Blames her for having given up
the power over the estate left her by her grandfather.
LETTER XVI. XVII. Clarissa to Miss Howe.--
Offends her father by her behaviour to Solmes in his presence. Tender
conversation between her mother and her.--Offers to give up all
thoughts of Lovelace if she may be freed from Solmes's address.
Substance of one of Lovelace's letters of her answer and of his reply.
Makes a proposal. Her mother goes down with it.
LETTER XVIII. From the same.--
The proposal rejected. Her mother affects severity to her. Another
interesting conversation between them.
LETTER XIX. From the same.--
Her dutiful motives for putting her estate into her father's power.
Why she thinks she ought not to have Solmes. Afflicted on her
LETTER XX. XXI. From the same.--
Another conference with her mother who leaves her in anger.--She goes
down to beg her favour. Solmes comes in. She offers to withdraw; but
is forbid. What follows upon it.
LETTER XXII. Clarissa to Miss Howe.--
Substance of a letter from Lovelace. She desires leave to go to
church. Is referred to her brother and insultingly refused by him.
Her letter to him. His answer.
LETTER XXIII. XXIV. XXV. From the same.--
Her faithful Hannah disgracefully dismissed. Betty Barnes her
sister's maid set over her. A letter from her brother forbidding her
to appear in the presence of any of her relations without leave. Her
answer. Writes to her mother. Her mother's answer. Writes to her
father. His answer.
LETTER XXVI. From the same.--
Is desirous to know the opinion Lord M.'s family have of her.
Substance of a letter from Lovelace resenting the indignities he
receives from her relations. She freely acquaints him that he has
nothing to expect from her contrary to her duty. Insists that his
next letter shall be his last.
LETTER XXVII. Miss Howe to Clarissa.--
Advises her to resume her estate. Her satirical description of
Solmes. Rallies her on her curiosity to know what opinion Lord M. and
his family have of her. Ascribes to the difference in each of their
tempers their mutual love. Gives particulars of a conversation
between her mother and her on Clarissa's case. Reflects on the
Harlowe family and particularly on Mrs. Harlowe for her passiveness.
LETTER XXVIII. Clarissa. In answer.--
Chides her for the liberties she takes with her relations.
Particularly defends her mother. Chides her also for her lively airs to her own mother. Desires her to treat her freely; but wishes not
that she should impute love to her; and why.
LETTER XXIX. From the same.--
Her expostulatory letter to her brother and sister. Their answers.
LETTER XXX. From the same.--
Exceedingly angry with Lovelace on his coming to their church.
Reflections on pride &c.
LETTER XXXI. Mr. Lovelace to John Belford Esq.--
Pride revenge love ambition or a desire of conquest his avowedly
predominant passions. His early vow to ruin as many of the fair sex
as he can get into his power. His pretences for it. Breathes revenge
against the Harlowe family. Glories in his contrivances. Is
passionately in love with Clarissa. His high notions of her beauty
and merit. Yet is incensed against her for preferring her own
relations to him. Clears her however of intentional pride scorn
haughtiness or want of sensibility. What a triumph over the sex and
over her whole family if he can carry off a lady so watchful and so
prudent! Is resolved if he cannot have the sister to carry off the
brother. Libertine as he is can have no thoughts of any other woman
but Clarissa. Warns Belford Mowbray Tourville and Belton to hold
themselves in readiness to obey his summons on the likelihood there
is of room for what he calls glorious mischief.
LETTER XXXII. XXXIII. Clarissa to Miss Howe.--
Copies of her letters to her two uncles; and of their characteristic
answer.--Her expostulatory letter to Solmes. His answer.--An insolent
letter from her brother on her writing to Solmes.
LETTER XXXIV. Lovelace to Belford.--
He directs him to come down to him. For what end. Description of the
poor inn he puts up at in disguise; and of the innocent daughter
there whom he calls his Rosebud. He resolves to spare her. Pride
and policy his motives and not principle. Ingenuous reflections on
his own vicious disposition. He had been a rogue he says had he
been a plough-boy. Resolves on an act of generosity for his Rosebud
by way of atonement as he calls it for some of his bad actions; and
for other reasons which appear in the sequel.
LETTER XXXV. From the same.--
His artful contrivances and dealings with Joseph Leman. His revenge
and his love uppermost by turns. If the latter succeeds not he vows
that the Harlowes shall feel the former although for it he become an
exile from his country forever. He will throw himself into Clarissa's
presence in the woodhouse. If he thought he had no prospect of her
favour he would attempt to carry her off: that he says would be a
rape worthy of a Jupiter. The arts he is resolved to practise when he
sees her in order to engage her future reliance upon his honour.
LETTER XXXVI. Clarissa to Miss Howe.--
Lovelace in disguise surprises her in the woodhouse. Her terrors on
first seeing him. He greatly engages her confidence (as he had
designed) by his respectful behaviour.
LETTER XXXVII. Miss Howe to Clarissa.--
After rallying her on her not readily owning the passion which she
supposes she has for Lovelace she desires to know how far she thinks
him eligible for his best qualities how far rejectable for his worst.
LETTER XXXVIII. XXXIX. Clarissa to Miss Howe.--
She disclaims tyranny to a man who respects her. Her unhappy
situation to be considered in which the imputed love is held by her
parents to be an undutiful and therefore a criminal passion and
where the supposed object of it is a man of faulty morals. Is
interrupted by a visit from Mrs. Norton who is sent up to her to
influence her in Solmes's favour. An affecting conversation between
them. What passes upon it and after it.
LETTER XL. From the same.--
Resumes the requested subject. What sort of man she could have
preferred to Mr. Lovelace. Arguments she has used to herself in his
favour and in his disfavour. Frankly owns that were he now a moral
man she would prefer him to all the men she ever saw. Yet is
persuaded that she could freely give up the one man to get rid of the
other as she had offered to her friends. Her delicacy affected by
Miss Howe's raillery; and why. Gives her opinion of the force which
figure or person may be allowed to have upon her sex.
LETTER XLI. From the same.--
A letter from her mother (with patterns of rich silks) in which she
entreats her to comply with all their wishes. What ought to be the
principal view of a good wife in adorning her person. Her distress.
Begs leave to wait upon her mother alone. Her father's angry letter
ordering her to prepare for her wedding-day. Solmes requests to see
her. She refuses. All in tumults below upon it. Her brother and her
sister desire that she may be left to their management.
LETTER XLII. From the same.--
A very warm dialogue between her sister and her. Her sister's envy
unnatural behaviour and violence. Clarissa sends down proposals in
writing to her friends and a letter to her brother. His insolent
answer; in which he tells her that her proposal will be considered in
full assembly next morning; but that if they shall be complied with
he will retire to Scotland and never more return to Harlowe-place.
LETTER XLIII. Clarissa to Miss Howe.--
Hardly doubts but her proposals will be accepted. Paints to herself
as her relations arrive one by one what their deliberations and the
result of them will be when they are all assembled. Her proposals
rejected. Her sister's cruel insults on the occasion produce another
warm dialogue between them. Her sister leaves her in a fury. She is
greatly disturbed at the contents of a letter from Lovelace.
LETTER XLIV. From the same.--
Her aunt Hervey accompanied by her sister makes her a visit.
Farther insults from her sister. Her aunt's fruitless pleas in