Friday, February 08, 2008


The paragraphs in this past week's Clarissa reading that most desperately made me want to write an over-the-top epistolary novel myself:
I have been frighted out of my wits--still am in a manner out of breath--thus occasioned--I went down under the usual pretence in hopes to find something from you. Concerned at my disappointment I was returning from the woodhouse, when I heard a rustling, as of somebody behind a stack of wood. I was extremely surprised: but still more, to behold a man coming from behind the furthermost stack. Oh thought I, at that moment, the sin of a prohibited correspondence!

In the same point of time that I saw him, he besought me not to be frighted: and still nearer approaching me, threw open a horseman's coat: and who should it be but Mr Lovelace! I could not scream out (yet attempted to scream, the moment I saw a man; and again when I saw who it was) for I had no voice: and had I not caught hold of a prop, which supported the old roof, I should have sunk.

I had hitherto, as you know, kept him at a distance: and now, as I recovered myself, judge of my first emotions when I recollected his character from every mouth of my family; his enterprising temper; and found myself alone with him in a place so near a by-lane and so remote from the house. (Letter 36)


  1. Heh. She'll have a heart attack if she undergoes too many of those experiences in a short period.

    I read a description of Clarrissa last week that convinced me it was one of those books I'd never get around to. This amusing excerpt is making me reconsider.

  2. Perhaps you could just dump your e-mail outbox to a printer....