Study Guide

Clarissa Letters 151-180

By Samuel Richardson

Letters 151-180

  • Clarissa writes to Anna from her new lodgings in London.
  • Everything's cool, but old widow who's renting the place out has an "odd winking eye." BAD SIGN.
  • The widow Sinclair has a relative who will be filling in as a servant until Clarissa can get her old servant Hannah back. This servant has the best name ever: Dorcas.
  • Okay, so Mrs. Sinclair's place is actually a whorehouse. Whoopsies!
  • Besides Dorcas, the prostitutes who live there are named Polly Horton and Sally Morton. It's like they're straight out of a Dr. Seuss book.
  • Polly, Sally, and Dorcas are nice enough, but they're definitely giving Lovelace some funny looks.
  • At least they seem to be readers of moral literature. Oh, wait, Lovelace planted some second-hand books around to make them look like they read moral books. That's not sketchy at all.
  • Y'know those funny looks the girls seem to be giving Lovelace? Well, they've all slept with him.
  • Actually, they used to be fine upstanding citizens before Lovelace came along.
  • All of this makes Clarissa pretty uneasy, but it's even worse that Lovelace is insisting that they're "married." No separate room for you, Clarissa!
  • Lovelace invites all his bros over for some fun times at the brothel. No, not like that. It's about as innocent of a brothel party as possible.
  • Clarissa still leaves the group, disgusted, but she manages to check out all of Lovelace's buddies.
  • The guys are Mowbray, Belton, Tourville, and a classy heiress named Miss Partington. Don't even ask what she's doing with this band of misfits.
  • Oh, and there's Belford, who's been corresponding with Lovelace. Clarissa notices that he seems like the most decent dude.
  • Lovelace is up to his tricks again. He gets a buddy of his to pretend he's a house broker named Captain Mennell.
  • It's extra sketchy because Lovelace has no intentions of finding Clarissa a decent place outside of the brothel.
  • In the meantime, Clarissa's cousin writes her a letter. That would be Colonel Morden, who is pretty much one of the only trustworthy men in Clarissa's life at this point.
  • Groan. Looks like Morden thinks Clarissa's option is to—say it with us now—marry Solmes. So he's not much help.
  • Looks like Mommy's mad. That would be Anna's mom, who forbids Clarissa from writing to Anna.
  • Ever the good girl, Clarissa agrees. But Anna doesn't plan to lie down.
  • Using her beau, Mr. Hickman, as a front, Anna continues writing to Clarissa. She also calls Lovelace Beelzebub. Guess the bloom is off the rose?
  • Even though most of Lovelace's friends are jerks, they still think Clarissa is getting a raw deal.
  • They write Lovelace to tell him to cut it out, but he's not really paying attention.
  • Anna to the rescue, once again. She writes to Clarissa's old nurse, Mrs. Norton, to beg her to reconcile Clarissa and her family.
  • Mrs. Norton is like, "Nope." But she also writes back to Anna to say that she hopes Clarissa is still a virgin.