Sunday, February 05, 2012

Bad habits

Clarissa to Anna Howe, letter dated "Sat. night, Mar. 18" (the Penguin edition edited by Angus Ross seems to be no longer in print, which is dismaying to me!):
 You see, my dear, he scruples not to speak of himself, as his enemies speak of him.  I can’t say, but his openness in these particulars gives a credit to his other professions.  I should easily, I think, detect a hypocrite: and this man particularly, who is said to have allowed himself in great liberties, were he to pretend to instantaneous lights and convictions—at his time of life too: habits, I am sensible, are not so easily changed.  You have always joined with me in remarking that he will speak his mind with freedom, even to a degree of unpoliteness sometimes; and that his very treatment of my family is a proof that he cannot make a mean court to anybody for interest-sake.  What pity, where there are such laudable traces, that they should have been so mired, and choked up, as I may say!—We have heard that the man’s head is better than his heart: but do you really think Mr Lovelace can have a very bad heart?  Why should not there by something in blood in the human creature, as well as in the ignobler animals?

1 comment:

  1. Be not dismayed: