Study Guide

Clarissa Letters 458-537

By Samuel Richardson

Letters 458-537

  • Clarissa writes one last letter to Anna, and this one is a tear-jerker.
  • Luckily, Morden makes it to Clarissa before it's too late.
  • Clarissa just wants one thing from her cousin: she has a miniature portrait of Anna that she wants sent to Mr. Hickman. All together now: Awww.
  • Lovelace is going nuts waiting for news of Clarissa.
  • When he finally gets it, it's not good. She's welcomed death with open arms.
  • And predictably, the Harlowes send over a letter that she's to be welcomed back in the family. The timing here is atrocious.
  • Belford makes funeral arrangements. Weirdly enough, Clarissa has asked to be buried at her grandfather's feet.
  • If we know Clarissa, she's got some letters saved up. Just like clockwork, Belford distributes eleven letters to the people in Clarissa's life.
  • One of the letters is to Lovelace. Belford pockets it, although he tells Lovelace that it exists.
  • Belford also lets Lovelace know that Mrs. Sinclair is not doing so hot. She's broken her leg and is dying of a resulting infection.
  • (Brain Snack: yes. People used to die all the time from infections in broken limbs. Aren't you happy we discovered antibiotics? Good. Now stop abusing them.)
  • The doc has to amputate the leg, and the scene is not so pretty.
  • Lovelace is totally out of it. He wants Clarissa to be embalmed and given over to him, to which Belford is like, "Definitely not."
  • The Harlowe family is totally devastated by Clarissa's death. They want to execute her will, but Belford stands his ground.
  • Here's a smart idea, says Belford: get Lovelace out of the country before all the Clarissa groupies kill him.
  • It's too late, though, because Morden has challenged him to a duel.
  • Meanwhile, Lovelace is finally reading Clarissa's letter.
  • It's about what you would expect: she tells him it's his fault, but ultimately forgives him,
  • Morden tracks Belford down at Trent and dominates him.
  • Lovelace dies dramatically, but not before speaking in French to Morden about his guilt.