Letter The First

 

     Madam,

 

     I sit down to give you an undeniable proof of my con-

sidering your desires as indispensable orders.  Ungracious

then as the task may be, I shall recall to view those scan-

dalous stages of my life, out of which I emerg'd, at length,

to the enjoyment of every blessing in the power of love,

health, and fortune to bestow; whilst yet in the flower of

youth, and not too late to employ the leisure afforded me by

great ease and affluence, to cultivate an understanding,

naturally not a despicable one, and which had, even amidst

the whirl of loose pleasures I had been tost in, exerted

more observation on the characters and manners of the world

than what is common to those of my unhappy profession, who

looking on all thought or reflection as their capital enemy,

keep it at as great a distance as they can, or destroy it

without mercy.

 

     Hating, as I mortally do, all long unnecessary preface,

I shall give you good quarter in this, and use no farther

apology, than to prepare you for seeing the loose part of my

life, wrote with the same liberty that I led it.

 

     Truth! stark, naked truth, is the word; and I will not

so much as take the pains to bestow the strip of a gauze

wrapper on it, but paint situations such as they actually

rose to me in nature, careless of violating those laws of

decency that were never made for such unreserved intimacies

as ours; and you have too much sense, too much knowledge of

the ORIGINALS themselves, to sniff prudishly and out of

character at the PICTURES of them.  The greatest men, those

of the first and most leading taste, will not scruple adorning

their private closets with nudities, though, in compliance

with vulgar prejudices, they may not think them decent deco-

rations of the staircase, or salon.

 

     This, and enough, premised, I go souse into my personal

history.  My maiden name was Frances Hill.  I was born at a

small village near Liverpool, in Lancashire, of parents ex-

tremely poor, and, I piously believe, extremely honest.

 

     My father, who had received a maim on his limbs that

disabled him from following the more laborious branches of

country-drudgery, got, by making of nets, a scanty subsis-

tence, which was not much enlarg'd by my mother's keeping

a little day-school for the girls in her neighbourhood.

They had had several children; but none lived to any age

except myself, who had received from nature a constitution

perfectly healthy.

 

     My education, till past fourteen, was no better than

very vulgar; reading, or rather spelling, an illegible

scrawl, and a little ordinary plain work composed the whole

system of it; and then all my foundation in virtue was no

other than a total ignorance of vice, and the shy timidity

general to our sex, in the tender stage of life when objects

alarm or frighten more by their novelty than anything else.

But then, this is a fear too often cured at the expence of

innocence, when Miss, by degrees, begins no longer to look

on a man as a creature of prey that will eat her.

 

     My poor mother had divided her time so entirely be-

tween her scholars and her little domestic cares, that she

had spared very little of it to my instruction, having,

from her own innocence from all ill, no hint or thought of

guarding me against any.

 

     I was now entering on my fifteenth year, when the

worst of ills befell me in the loss of my tender fond par-

ents, who were both carried off by the small-pox, within a

few days of each other; my father dying first, and thereby

hastening the death of my mother; so that I was now left an

unhappy friendless orphan (for my father's coming to settle

there was accidental, he being originally a Kentishman). 

That cruel distemper which had proved so fatal to them, had

indeed seized me, but with such mild and favourable symptoms,

that I was presently out of danger, and, what I then did not

know the value of, was entirely unmark'd.  I skip over here

an account of the natural grief and affliction which I felt

on this melancholy occasion.  A little time, and the giddi-

ness of that age dissipated, too soon, my reflections on

that irreparable loss; but nothing contributed more to recon-

cile me to it, than the notions that were immediately put

into my head, of going to London, and looking out for a

service, in which I was promised all assistance and advice

from one Esther Davis, a young woman that had been down to

see her friends, and who, after the stay of a few days, was

to return to her place.

 

     As I had now nobody left alive in the village who had

concern enough about what should become of me to start any

objections to this scheme, and the woman who took care of

me after my parents; death rather encouraged me to pursue

it, I soon came to a resolution of making this launch into

the wide world, by repairing to London, in order to SEEK

MY FORTUNE, a phrase which, by the bye, has ruined more

adventurers of both sexes, from the country, than ever it

made or advanced.

 

     Nor did Esther Davis a little comfort and inspirit me

to venture with her, by piquing my childish curiosity with

the fine sights that were to be seen in London: the Tombs,

the Lions, the King, the Royal Family, the fine Plays and

Operas, and, in short, all the diversions which fell within

her sphere of life to come at; the detail of all which per-

fectly turn'd the little head of me.

 

     Nor can I remember, without laughing, the innocent ad-

miration, not without a spice of envy, with which we poor

girls, whose church-going clothes did not rise above dowlass

shifts and stuff gowns, beheld Esther's scowered satin gowns,

caps border'd with an inch of lace, taudry ribbons, and shoes

belaced with silver: all which we imagined grew in London,

and entered for a great deal into my determination of trying

to come in for my share of them.

 

     The idea however of having the company of a townswoman

with her, was the trivial, and all the motives that engaged

Esther to take charge of me during my journey to town, where

she told me, after her manner and style, "as how several

maids out of the country had made themselves and all their

kin for ever: that by preserving their VIRTUE, some had taken

so with their masters, that they had married them, and kept

them coaches, and lived vastly grand and happy; and some,

may-hap, came to be Duchesses; luck was all, and why not I,

as well as another?"; with other almanacs to this purpose,

which set me a tip-toe to begin this promising journey, and

to leave a place which, though my native one, contained no

relations that I had reason to regret, and was grown insup-

portable to me, from the change of the tenderest usage into

a cold air of charity, with which I was entertain'd even at

the only friend's house that I had the least expectation of

care and protection from.  She was, however, so just to me,

as to manage the turning into money of the little matters

that remained to me after the debts and burial charges were

accounted for, and, at my departure, put my whole fortune

into my hands; which consisted of a very slender wardrobe,

pack'd up in a very portable box, and eight guineas, with

seventeen shillings in silver; stowed up in a spring-pouch,

which was a greater treasure than ever I had yet seen to-

gether, and which I could not conceive there was a possi-

bility of running out; and indeed, I was so entirely taken

up with the joy of seeing myself mistress of such an im-

mense sum, that I gave very little attention to a world of

good advice which was given me with it.

 

     Places, then, being taken for Esther and me in the

London waggon, I pass over a very immaterial scene of

leavetaking, at which I dropt a few tears betwixt grief and

joy; and, for the same reasons of insignificance, skip over

all that happened to me on the road, such as the waggoner's

looking liquorish on me, the schemes laid for me by some of

the passengers, which were defeated by the vigilance of my

guardian Esther; who, to do her justice, took a motherly

care of me, at the same time that she taxed me for her pro-

tection by making me bear all travelling charges, which I

defrayed with the utmost cheerfulness, and thought myself

much obliged to her into the bargain.

 

     She took indeed great care that we were not over-rated,

or imposed on, as well as of managing as frugally as possible;

expensiveness was not her vice.

 

     It was pretty late in a summer evening when we reached

London-town, in our slow conveyance, though drawn by six at

length.  As we passed through the greatest streets that led

to our inn, the noise of the coaches, the hurry, the crowds

of foot passengers, in short, the new scenery of the shops

and houses, at once pleased and amazed me.

 

     But guess at my mortification and surprize when we

came to the inn, and our things were landed and deliver'd

to us, when my fellow traveller and protectress, Esther

Davis, who had used me with the utmost tenderness during

the journey, and prepared me by no preceding signs for the

stunning blow I was to receive, when I say, my only depend-

ence and friend, in this strange place, all of a sudden

assumed a strange and cool air towards me, as if she dreaded

my becoming a burden to her.

 

     Instead, then, of proffering me the continuance of her

assistance and good offices, which I relied upon, and never

more wanted, she thought herself, it seems, abundantly ac-

quitted of her engagements to me, by having brought me safe

to my journey's end; and seeing nothing in her procedure

towards me but what was natural and in order, began to em-

brace me by way of taking leave, whilst I was so confounded,

so struck, that I had not spirit or sense enough so much as

to mention my hopes or expectations from her experience, and

knowledge of the place she had brought me to.

 

     Whilst I stood thus stupid and mute, which she doubt-

less attributed to nothing more than a concern at parting,

this idea procured me perhaps a slight alleviation of it,

in the following harangue:  That now we were got safe to

London, and that she was obliged to go to her place, she

advised me by all means to get into one as soon as possible;

that I need not fear getting one; there were more places

than parish-churches; that she advised me to go to an

intelligence office; that if she heard of any thing stirring,

she would find me out and let me know; that in the meantime,

I should take a private lodging, and acquaint her where to

send to me; that she wish'd me good luck, and hoped I should

always have the grace to keep myself honest, and not bring a

disgrace on my parentage.  With this, she took her leave of

me, and left me, as it were, on my own hands, full as

lightly as I had been put into hers.

 

     Left thus alone, absolutely destitute and friendless,

I began then to feel most bitterly the severity of this

separation, the scene of which had passed in a little room

in the inn; and no sooner was her back turned, but the af-

fliction I felt at my helpless strange circumstances burst

out into a flood of tears, which infinitely relieved the

oppression of my heart; though I still remained stupefied,

and most perfectly perplex'd how to dispose of myself.

 

     One of the waiters coming in, added yet more to my

uncertainty by asking me, in a short way, if I called for

anything? to which I replied innocently:  "No."  But I

wished him to tell me where I might get a lodging for that

night.  He said he would go and speak to his mistress, who

accordingly came, and told me drily, without entering in

the least into the distress she saw me in, that I might have

a bed for a shilling, and that, as she supposed I had some

friends in town (here I fetched a deep sigh in vain!) I

might provide for myself in the morning.

 

     'Tis incredible what trifling consolations the human

mind will seize in its greatest afflictions.  The assurance

of nothing more than a bed to lie on that night, calmed my

agonies; and being asham'd to acquaint the mistress of the

inn that I had no friends to apply to in town, I proposed

to myself to proceed, the very next morning, to an intelli-

gence office, to which I was furnish'd with written direc-

tions on the back of a ballad Esther had given me.  There I

counted on getting information of any place that such a

country girl as I might be fit for, and where I could get

into any sort of being, before my little stock should be

consumed; and as to a character, Esther had often repeated

to me that I might depend on her managing me one; nor, how-

ever affected I was at her leaving me thus, did I entirely

cease to rely on her, as I began to think, good-naturedly,

that her procedure was all in course, and that it was only

my ignorance of life that had made me take it in the light

I at first did.

 

     Accordingly, the next morning I dress'd myself as clean

and as neat as my rustic wardrobe would permit me; and

having left my box, with special recommendation, with the

landlady, I ventured out by myself, and without any more

difficulty than can be supposed of a young country girl,

barely fifteen, and to whom every sign or shop was a gazing

trap, I got to the wish'd-for intelligence office.

 

     It was kept by an elderly woman, who sat at the

receipt of custom, with a book before her in great form and

order, and several scrolls, ready made out, of directions

for places.

 

     I made up then to this important personage, without

lifting up my eyes or observing any of the people round me,

who were attending there on the same errand as myself, and

dropping her curtsies nine-deep, just made a shift to

stammer out my business to her.

 

     Madam having heard me out, with all the gravity and

brow of a petty minister of State, and seeing at one glance

over my figure what I was, made me no answer, but to ask

me the preliminary shilling, on receipt of which she told

me places for women were exceedingly scarce, especially as

I seemed too slight built for hard work; but that she

would look over her book, and see what was to be done for

me, desiring me to stay a little till she had dispatched

some other customers.

 

     On this I drew back a little, most heartily mortified

at a declaration which carried with it a killing uncertainty

that my circumstances could not well endure.

 

     Presently, assuming more courage, and seeking some di-

version from my uneasy thoughts, I ventured to lift up my

head a little, and sent my eyes on a course round the room,

wherein they met full tilt with those of a lady (for such

my extreme innocence pronounc'd her) sitting in a corner of

the room, dress'd in a velvet mantle (nota bene, in the

midst of summer), with her bonnet off; squab-fat, red-faced,

and at least fifty.

 

     She look'd as if she would devour me with her eyes,

staring at me from head to foot, without the least regard

to the confusion and blushes her eyeing me so fixedly put

me to, and which were to her, no doubt, the strongest re-

commendation and marks of my being fit for her purpose.

After a little time, in which my air, person and whole

figure had undergone a strict examination, which I had, on

my part, tried to render favourable to me, by primming,

drawing up my neck, and setting my best looks, she advanced

and spoke to me with the greatest demureness:

 

     "Sweet-heart, do you want a place?"

 

     "Yes, and please you" (with a curtsy down to the

ground).

 

     Upon this she acquainted me that she was actually

come to the office herself to look out for a servant; that

she believed I might do, with a little of her instructions;

that she could take my very looks for a sufficient character;

that London was a very wicked, vile place; that she hoped I

would be tractable, and keep out of bad company; in short,

she said all to me that an old experienced practitioner in

town could think of, and which was much more than was neces-

sary to take in an artless inexperienced country-maid, who

was even afraid of becoming a wanderer about the streets,

and therefore gladly jump'd at the first offer of a shelter,

especially from so grave and matron-like a lady, for such my

flattering fancy assured me this new mistress of mine was;

I being actually hired under the nose of the good woman that

kept the office, whose shrewd smiles and shrugs I could not

help observing, and innocently interpreted them as marks of

her being pleased at my getting into place so soon; but, as

I afterwards came to know, these BELDAMS understood one an-

other very well, and this was a market where Mrs. Brown, my

mistress, frequently attended, on the watch for any fresh

goods that might offer there, for the use of her customers,

and her own profit.

 

     Madam was, however, so well pleased with her bargain,

that fearing, I presume, lest better advice or some accident

might occasion my slipping through her fingers, she would

officiously take me in a coach to my inn, where, calling

herself for my box, it was, I being present, delivered with-

out the least scruple or explanation as to where I was going.

 

     This being over, she bid the coachman drive to a shop

in St. Paul's Churchyard, where she bought a pair of gloves,

which she gave me, and thence renewed her directions to the

coachman to drive to her house in *** street, who accord-

ingly landed us at her door, after I had been cheer'd up and

entertain'd by the way with the most plausible flams, without

one syllable from which I could conclude anything but that I

was, by the greatest good luck, fallen into the hands of the

kindest mistress, not to say friend, that the varsal world

could afford; and accordingly I enter'd her doors with most

compleat confidence and exultation, promising myself that,

as soon as I should be a little settled, I would acquaint

Esther Davis with my rare good fortune.

 

     You may be sure the good opinion of my place was not

lessen'd by the appearance of a very handsome back parlour,

into which I was led and which seemed to me magnificently

furnished, who had never seen better rooms than the ordi-

nary ones in inns upon the road.  There were two gilt pier-

glasses, and a buffet, on which a few pieces of plates, set

out to the most shew, dazzled, and altogether persuaded me

that I must be got into a very reputable family.

 

     Here my mistress first began her part, with telling me

that I must have good spirits, and learn to be free with

her; that she had not taken me to be a common servant, to

do domestic drudgery, but to be a kind of companion to her;

and that if I would be a good girl, she would do more than

twenty mothers for me; to all which I answered only by the

profoundest and the awkwardest curtsies, and a few mono-

syllables, such as "yes! no! to be sure!"

 

     Presently my mistress touch'd the bell, and in came a

strapping maid-servant, who had let us in.  "Here, Martha,"

said Mrs. Brown--"I have just hir'd this young woman to

look after my linen; so step up and shew her her chamber;

and I charge you to use her with as much respect as you

would myself, for I have taken a prodigious liking to her,

and I do not know what I shall do for her."

 

     Martha, who was an arch-jade, and, being used to this

decoy, had her cue perfect, made me a kind of half curtsy,

and asked me to walk up with her; and accordingly shew'd

me a neat room, two pair of stairs backwards, in which

there was a handsome bed, where Martha told me I was to

lie with a young gentlewoman, a cousin of my mistress's,

who she was sure would be vastly good to me.  Then she ran

out into such affected encomiums on her good mistress! her

sweet mistress! and how happy I was to light upon her!

that I could not have bespoke a better; with other the

like gross stuff, such as would itself have started sus-

picions in any but such an unpractised simpleton, who was

perfectly new to life, and who took every word she said in

the very sense she laid out for me to take it; but she

readily saw what a penetration she had to deal with, and

measured me very rightly in her manner of whistling to me,

so as to make me pleased with my cage, and blind to the

wires.

 

     In the midst of these false explanations of the nature

of my future service, we were rung for down again, and I was

reintroduced into the same parlour, where there was a table

laid with three covers; and my mistress had now got with her

one of her favourite girls, a notable manager of her house,

and whose business it was to prepare and break such young

fillies as I was to the mounting-block; and she was accord-

ingly, in that view, allotted me for a bed-fellow; and, to

give her the more authority, she had the title of cousin con-

ferr'd on her by the venerable president of this college.

 

     Here I underwent a second survey, which ended in the full

approbation of Mrs. Phoebe Ayres, the name of my tutoress

elect, to whose care and instructions I was affectionately

recommended.

 

     Dinner was now set on table, and in pursuance of treating

me as a companion, Mrs. Brown, with a tone to cut off all

dispute, soon over-rul'd my most humble and most confused

protestations against sitting down with her LADYSHIP, which

my very short breeding just suggested to me could not be

right, or in the order of things.

 

     At table, the conversation was chiefly kept up by the

two madams, and carried on in double-meaning expressions,

interrupted every now and then by kind assurance to me, all

tending to confirm and fix my satisfaction with my present

condition: augment it they could not, so very a novice was

I then.

 

     It was here agreed that I should keep myself up and

out of sight for a few days, till such cloaths could be

procured for me as were fit for the character I was to

appear in, of my mistress's companion, observing withal,

that on the first impressions of my figure much might

depend; and, as they well judged, the prospect of ex-

changing my country cloaths for London finery, made the

clause of confinement digest perfectly well with me.  But

the truth was, Mrs. Brown did not care that I should be

seen or talked to by any, either of her customers, or her

DOES (as they call'd the girls provided for them), till

she had secured a good market for my maidenhead, which I

had at least all the appearances of having brought into her

LADYSHIP'S service.

 

     To slip over minutes of no importance to the main of my

story, I pass the interval to bed-time, in which I was more

and more pleas'd with the views that opened to me, of an

easy service under these good people; and after supper being

shew'd up to bed, Miss Phoebe, who observed a kind of reluc-

tance in me to strip and go to bed, in my shift, before her,

now the maid was withdrawn, came up to me, and beginning with

unpinning my handkerchief and gown, soon encouraged me to go

on with undressing myself; and, still blushing at now seeing

myself naked to my shift, I hurried to get under the bed-

cloaths out of sight.  Phoebe laugh'd and was not long before

she placed herself by my side.  She was about five and twenty,

by her most suspicious account, in which, according to all

appearances, she must have sunk at least ten good years;

allowance, too, being made for the havoc which a long course

of hackneyship and hot waters must have made of her consti-

tution, and which had already brought on, upon the spur,

that stale stage in which those of her profession are re-

duced to think of SHOWING company, instead of SEEING it.

 

     No sooner then was this precious substitute of my

mistress's laid down, but she, who was never out of her way

when any occasion of lewdness presented itself, turned to

me, embraced and kiss'd me with great eagerness.  This was

new, this was odd; but imputing it to nothing but pure kind-

ness, which, for aught I knew, it might be the London way

to express in that manner, I was determin'd not to be behind

hand with her, and returned her the kiss and embrace, with

all the fervour that perfect innocence knew.

 

     Encouraged by this, her hands became extremely free,

and wander'd over my whole body, with touches, squeezes,

pressures, that rather warm'd and surpriz'd me with their

novelty, than they either shock'd or alarm'd me.

 

     The flattering praises she intermingled with these in-

vasions, contributed also not a little to bribe my passive-

ness; and, knowing no ill, I feared none, especially from

one who had prevented all doubt of her womanhood by conduct-

ing my hands to a pair of breasts that hung loosely down,

in a size and volume that full sufficiently distinguished

her sex, to me at least, who had never made any other com-

parison...

 

     I lay then all tame and passive as she could wish, whilst

her freedom raised no other emotions but those of a strange,

and, till then, unfelt pleasure.  Every part of me was open

and exposed to the licentious courses of her hands, which,

like a lambent fire, ran over my whole body, and thaw'd all

coldness as they went.

 

     My breasts, if it is not too bold a figure to call so

two hard, firm, rising hillocks, that just began to shew them-

selves, or signify anything to the touch, employ'd and amus'd

her hands a-while, till, slipping down lower, over a smooth

track, she could just feel the soft silky down that had but a

few months before put forth and garnish'd the mount-pleasant

of those parts, and promised to spread a grateful shelter over

the seat of the most exquisite sensation, and which had been,

till that instant, the seat of the most insensible innocence.

Her fingers play'd and strove to twine in the young tendrils

of that moss, which nature has contrived at once for use and

ornament.

 

     But, not contented with these outer posts, she now

attempts the main spot, and began to twitch, to insinuate,

and at length to force an introduction of a finger into the

quick itself, in such a manner, that had she not proceeded

by insensible gradations that inflamed me beyond the power of

modesty to oppose its resistance to their progress, I should

have jump'd out of bed and cried for help against such strange

assaults.

 

     Instead of which, her lascivious touches had lighted up

a new fire that wanton'd through all my veins, but fix'd with

violence in that center appointed them by nature, where the

first strange hands were now busied in feeling, squeezing,

compressing the lips, then opening them again, with a finger

between, till an "Oh!" express'd her hurting me, where the

narrowness of the unbroken passage refused it entrance to any

depth.

 

     In the meantime, the extension of my limbs, languid

stretchings, sighs, short heavings, all conspired to assure

that experienced wanton that I was more pleased than offended

at her proceedings, which she seasoned with repeated kisses

and exclamations, such as "Oh! what a charming creature thou

art! . . . What a happy man will he be that first makes a

woman of you! . . . Oh! that I were a man for your sake! ...

with the like broken expressions, interrupted by kisses as

fierce and fervent as ever I received from the other sex.

 

     For my part, I was transported, confused, and out of

myself; feelings so new were too much for me.  My heated

and alarm'd senses were in a tumult that robbed me of all

liberty of thought; tears of pleasure gush'd from my eyes,

and somewhat assuaged the fire that rag'd all over me.

 

     Phoebe, herself, the hackney'd, thorough-bred Phoebe,

to whom all modes and devices of pleasure were known and

familiar, found, it seems, in this exercise of her art to

break young girls, the gratification of one of those arbi-

trary tastes, for which there is no accounting.  Not that

she hated men, or did not even prefer them to her own sex;

but when she met with such occasions as this was, a satiety

of enjoyments in the common road, perhaps too, a secret

bias, inclined her to make the most of pleasure, wherever

she could find it, without distinction of sexes.  In this

view, now well assured that she had, by her touches, suf-

ficiently inflamed me for her purpose, she roll'd down

the bed-cloaths gently, and I saw myself stretched nak'd,

my shift being turned up to my neck, whilst I had no power

or sense to oppose it.  Even my glowing blushes expressed

more desire than modesty, whilst the candle, left (to be

sure not undesignedly) burning, threw a full light on my

whole body.

 

     "No!" says Phoebe, "you must not, my sweet girl, think

to hide all these treasures from me.  My sight must be

feasted as well as my touch . . . I must devour with my

eyes this springing BOSOM . . . Suffer me to kiss it . . .

I have not seen it enough . . . Let me kiss it once more

. . . What firm, smooth, white flesh is here! . . . How

delicately shaped! . . . Then this delicious down!  Oh!

let me view the small, dear, tender cleft! . . . This is

too much, I cannot bear it! . . . I must . . . I must . . ."

Here she took my hand, and in a transport carried it where

you will easily guess.  But what a difference in the state

of the same thing! . . . A spreading thicket of bushy curls

marked the full-grown, complete woman.  Then the cavity to

which she guided my hand easily received it; and as soon as

she felt it within her, she moved herself to and fro, with

so rapid a friction that I presently withdrew it, wet and

clammy, when instantly Phoebe grew more composed, after two

or three sighs, and heart-fetched Oh's! and giving me a

kiss that seemed to exhale her soul through her lips, she

replaced the bed-cloaths over us.  What pleasure she had

found I will not say; but this I know, that the first sparks

of kindling nature, the first ideas of pollution, were

caught by me that night; and that the acquaintance and

communication with the bad of our own sex, is often as fatal

to innocence as all the seductions of the other.  But to go

on.  When Phoebe was restor'd to that calm, which I was far

from the enjoyment of myself, she artfully sounded me on all

the points necessary to govern the designs of my virtuous

mistress on me, and by my answers, drawn from pure undis-

sembled nature, she had no reason but to promise herself all

imaginable success, so far as it depended on my ignorance,

easiness, and warmth of constitution.

 

     After a sufficient length of dialogue, my bedfellow left

me to my rest, and I fell asleep, through pure weariness from

the violent emotions I had been led into, when nature (which

had been too warmly stir'd and fermented to subside without

allaying by some means or other) relieved me by one of those

luscious dreams, the transports of which are scarce inferior

to those of waking real action.  

 

     We breakfasted, and the tea things were scarce removed,

when in were brought two bundles of linen and wearing apparel:

in short, all the necessaries for rigging me out, as they

termed it, completely.

 

     In the morning I awoke about ten, perfectly gay and

refreshed.  Phoebe was up before me, and asked me in the

kindest manner how I did, how I had rested, and if I was

ready for breakfast, carefully, at the same time, avoiding

to increase the confusion she saw I was in, at looking her

in the face, by any hint of the night's bed scene.  I told

her if she pleased I would get up, and begin any work she

would be pleased to set me about.  She smil'd; presently

the maid brought in the tea-equipage, and I had just hud-

dled my cloaths on, when in waddled my mistress.  I expected

no less than to be told of, if not chid for, my late rising,

when I was agreeably disappointed by her compliments on my

pure and fresh looks.  I was "a bud of beauty" (this was her

style), "and how vastly all the fine men would admire me!"

to all which my answer did not, I can assure you, wrong my

breeding; they were as simple and silly as they could wish,

and, no doubt, flattered them infinitely more than had they

proved me enlightened by education and a knowledge of the

world.

 

     Imagine to yourself, Madam, how my little coquette

heart flutter'd with joy at the sight of a white lute-string,

flower'd with silver, scoured indeed, but passed on me for

spick-and-span new, a Brussels lace cap, braided shoes, and

the rest in proportion, all second-hand finery, and procured

instantly for the occasion, by the diligence and industry of

the good Mrs. Brown, who had already a chapman for me in the

house, before whom my charms were to pass in review; for he

had not only, in course, insisted on a previous sight of the

premises, but also on immediate surrender to him, in case of

his agreeing for me; concluding very wisely that such a place

as I was in was of the hottest to trust the keeping of such

a perishable commodity in as a maidenhead.

 

     The care of dressing, and tricking me out for the

market, was then left to Phoebe, who acquitted herself, if

not well, at least perfectly to the satisfaction of every

thing but my impatience of seeing myself dress'd.  When it

was over, and I view'd myself in the glass, I was, no doubt,

too natural, too artless, to hide my childish joy at the

change; a change, in the real truth, for much the worse,

since I must have much better become the neat easy simplicity

of my rustic dress than the awkward, untoward, taudry finery

that I could not conceal my strangeness to.

 

     Phoebe's compliments, however, in which her own share

in dressing me was not forgot, did not a little confirm me

in the first notions I had ever entertained concerning my

person; which, be it said without vanity, was then tolerable

to justify a taste for me, and of which it may not be out of

place here to sketch you an unflatter'd picture.

 

     I was tall, yet not too tall for my age, which, as I

before remark'd, was barely turned of fifteen; my shape

perfectly straight, thin waisted, and light and free, without

owing any thing to stays; my hair was a glossy auburn, and

as soft as silk, flowing down my neck in natural buckles, and

did not a little set off the whiteness of a smooth skin; my

face was rather too ruddy, though its features were delicate,

and the shape a roundish oval, except where a pit on my chin

had far from a disagreeable effect; my eyes were as black as

can be imagin'd, and rather languishing than sparkling, ex-

cept on certain occasions, when I have been told they struck

fire fast enough; my teeth, which I ever carefully perserv'd,

were small, even and white; my bosom was finely rais'd, and

one might then discern rather the promise, than the actual

growth, of the round, firm breasts, that in a little time

made that promise good.  In short, all the points of beauty

that are most universally in request, I had, or at least my

vanity forbade me to appeal from the decision of our sove-

reign judges the men, who all, that I ever knew at least,

gave it thus highly in my favour; and I met with, even in

my own sex, some that were above denying me that justice,

whilst others praised me yet more unsuspectedly, by endea-

vouring to detract from me, in points of person and figure

that I obviously excelled in.  This is, I own, too strong of

self praise; but should I not be ungrateful to nature, and

to a form to which I owe such singular blessings of pleasure

and fortune, were I to suppress, through and affectation of

modesty, the mention of such valuable gifts?

 

     Well then, dress'd I was, and little did it then enter

into my head that all this gay attire was no more than deck-

ing the victim out for sacrifice, whilst I innocently attri-

buted all to mere friendship and kindness in the sweet good

Mrs. Brown; who, I was forgetting to mention, had, under

pretence of keeping my money safe, got from me, without the

least hesitation, the driblet (so I now call it) which re-

mained to me after the expences of my journey.

 

     After some little time most agreeably spent before the

glass, in scarce self-admiration, since my new dress had by

much the greatest share in it, I was sent for down to the

parlour, where the old lady saluted me, and wished me joy

of my new cloaths, which she was not asham'd to say, fitted

me as if I had worn nothing but the finest all my life-time;

but what was it she could not see me silly enough to swallow?

At the same time, she presented me to another cousin of her

own creation, an elderly gentleman, who got up, at my entry

into the room, and on my dropping a curtsy to him, saluted

me, and seemed a little affronted that I had only presented

my cheek to him; a mistake, which, if one, he immediately

corrected, by glewing his lips to mine, with an ardour which

his figure had not at all disposed me to thank him for; his

figure, I say, than which nothing could be more shocking or

detestable: for ugly, and disagreeable, were terms too gentle

to convey a just idea of it.

 

     Imagine to yourself a man rather past threescore, short

and ill-made, with a yellow cadaverous hue, great goggling

eyes that stared as if he was strangled; and out-mouth from

two more properly tusks than teeth, livid-lips, and breath

like a jake's: then he had a peculiar ghastliness in his grin

that made him perfectly frightful, if not dangerous to women

with child; yet, made as he was thus in mock of man, he was

so blind to his own staring deformities as to think himself

born for pleasing, and that no woman could see him with im-

punity: in consequence of which idea, he had lavish'd great

sums on such wretches as could gain upon themselves to pre-

tend love to his person, whilst to those who had not art or

patience to dissemble the horror it inspir'd, he behaved

even brutally.  Impotence, more than necessity, made him

seek in variety the provocative that was wanting to raise

him to the pitch of enjoyment, which too he often saw him-

self baulked of, by the failure of his powers: and this

always threw him into a fit of rage, which he wreak'd, as

far as he durst, on the innocent objects of his fit of

momentary desire.

 

     This then was the monster to which my conscientious

benefactress, who had long been his purveyor in this way,

had doom'd me, and sent for me down purposely for his ex-

amination.  Accordingly she made me stand up before him,

turn'd me round, unpinn'd my handkerchief, remark'd to him

the rise and fall, the turn and whiteness of a bosom just

beginning to fill; then made me walk, and took even a han-

dle from the rusticity of my gait, to inflame the inventory

of my charms: in short, she omitted no point of jockeyship;

to which he only answer'd by gracious nods of approbation,

whilst he look'd goats and monkies at me: for I sometimes

stole a corner glance at him, and encountering his fiery,

eager stare, looked another way from pure horror and af-

fright, which he, doubtless in character, attributed to

nothing more than maiden modesty, or at least the affec-

tation of it.

 

     However, I was soon dismiss'd, and reconducted to my

room by Phoebe, who stuck close to me, not leaving me alone

and at leisure to make such reflections as might naturally

rise to any one, not an idiot, on such a scene as I had just

gone through; but to my shame be it confess'd, such was my

invincible stupidity, or rather portentous innocence, that

I did not yet open my eyes to Mrs. Brown's designs, and saw

nothing in this titular cousin of hers but a shocking hide-

ous person which did not at all concern me, unless that my

respect to all her cousinhood.

 

     Phoebe, however, began to sift the state and pulses of

my heart towards this monster, asking me how I should approve

of such a fine gentleman for a husband?  (fine gentleman, I

suppose she called him, from his being daubed with lace).  I

answered her very naturally, that I had no thoughts of a hus-

band, but that if I was to choose one, it should be among my

own degree, sure!  So much had my aversion to that wretch's

hideous figure indisposed me to all "fine gentlemen," and

confounded my ideas, as if those of that rank had been neces-

sarily cast in the same mould that he was!  But Phoebe was

not to be beat off so, but went on with her endeavours to

melt and soften me for the purposes of my reception into that

hospitable house: and whilst she talked of the sex in general,

she had no reason to despair of a compliance, which more than

one reason shewed her would be easily enough obtained of me;

but then she had too much experience not to discover that my

particular fix'd aversion to that frightful cousin would be a

block not so readily to be removed, as suited the consum-

mation of their bargain, and sale of me.

 

     Mother Brown had in the mean time agreed the terms with

this liquorish old goat, which I afterwards understood were

to be fifty guineas peremptory for the liberty of attempting

me, and a hundred more at the compleat gratification of his

desires, in the triumph over my virginity: and as for me, I

was to be left entirely at the discretion of his liking and

generosity.  This unrighteous contract being thus settled,

he was so eager to be put in possession, that he insisted

on being introduc'd to drink tea with me that afternoon,

when we were to be left alone; nor would he hearken to the

procuress's remonstrances, that I was not sufficiently pre-

pared and ripened for such an attack; that I was too green

and untam'd, having been scarce twenty-four hours in the

house: it is the character of lust to be impatient, and his

vanity arming him against any supposition of other than the

common  resistance of a maid on those occasions, made him

reject all proposals of a delay, and my dreadful trial was

thus fix'd, unknown to me, for that very evening.

 

     At dinner, Mrs. Brown and Phoebe did nothing but run

riot in praises of this wonderful cousin, and how happy

that woman would be that he would favour with his addresses;

in short my two gossips exhausted all their rhetoric to

persuade me to accept them: "that the gentleman was violently

smitten with me at first sight . . . that he would make my

fortune if I would be a good girl and not stand in my own

light . . . that I should trust his honour . . . that I

should be made for ever, and have a chariot to go abroad in

. . . ," with all such stuff as was fit to turn the head of

such a silly ignorant girl as I then was: but luckily here

my aversion had taken already such deep root in me, my heart

was so strongly defended from him by my senses, that wanting

the art to mask my sentiments, I gave them no hopes of their

employer's succeeding, at least very easily, with me.  The

glass too march'd pretty quick, with a view, I suppose, to

make a friend of the warmth of my constitution, in the

minutes of the imminent attack.

 

     Thus they kept me pretty long at table, and about six

in the evening, after I was retired to my own apartment, and

the tea board was set, enters my venerable mistress, follow'd

close by that satyr, who came in grinning in a way peculiar

to him, and by his odious presence confirm'd me in all the

sentiments of detestation which his first appearance had

given birth to.

 

     He sat down fronting me, and all tea time kept ogling

me in a manner that gave me the utmost pain and confusion,

all the marks of which he still explained to be my bash-

fulness, and not being used to see company.

 

     Tea over, the commoding old lady pleaded urgent busi-

ness (which indeed was true) to go out, and earnestly desir'd

me to entertain her cousin kindly till she came back, both

for my own sake and her's; and then with a "Pray, sir, be

very good, be very tender of the sweet child," she went out

of the room, leaving me staring, with my mouth open, and un-

prepar'd, by the suddenness of her departure, to oppose it.

 

     We were now alone; and on that idea a sudden fit of

trembling seiz'd me.  I was so afraid, without a precise

notion of why, and what I had to fear, that I sat on the

settee, by the fire-side, motionless, and petrified, with-

out life or spirit, not knowing how to look or how to stir.

 

     But long I was not suffered to remain in this state of

stupefaction: the monster squatted down by me on the settee,

and without farther ceremony or preamble, flings his arms

about my neck, and drawing me pretty forcibly towards him,

oblig'd me to receive, in spite of my struggles to disengage

from him, his pestilential kisses, which quite overcame me.

Finding me then next to senseless, and unresisting, he tears

off my neck handkerchief, and laid all open there to his

eyes and hands: still I endur'd all without flinching, till

embolden'd by my sufferance and silence, for I had not the

power to speak or cry out, he attempted to lay me down on

the settee, and I felt his hand on the lower part of my

naked thighs, which were cross'd, and which he endeavoured

to unlock . . . Oh then!  I was roused out of my passive

endurance, and springing from him with an activity he was

not prepar'd for, threw myself at his feet, and begg'd him,

in the most moving tone, not to be rude, and that he would

not hurt me:--"Hurt you, my dear?" says the brute; "I intend

you no harm . . . has not the old lady told you that I love

you? . . . that I shall do handsomely by you?"  "She has

indeed, sir," said I; "but I cannot love you, indeed I can

not! . . . pray let me alone . . .  yes! I will love you

dearly if you will let me alone, and go away . . . "  But I

was talking to the wind; for whether my tears, my attitude,

or the disorder of my dress prov'd fresh incentives, or

whether he was not under the dominion of desires he could

not bridle, but snorting and foaming with lust and rage, he

renews his attack, seizes me, and again attempts to extend

and fix me on the settee: in which he succeeded so far as to

lay me along, and even to toss my petticoats over my head,

and lay my thighs bare, which I obstinately kept close, nor

could he, though he attempted with his knee to force them

open, effect it so as to stand fair for being master of the

main avenue; he was unbuttoned, both waistcoat and breeches,

yet I only felt the weight of his body upon me, whilst I lay

struggling with indignation, and dying with terror; but he

stopped all of a sudden, and got off, panting, blowing, curs-

ing, and repeating "old and ugly!" for so I had very natur-

ally called him in the heat of my defence.

 

     The brute had, it seems, as I afterwards understood,

brought on, by his eagerness and struggle, the ultimate

period of his hot fit of lust, which his power was too short

liv'd to carry him through the full execution of; of which

my thighs and linen received the effusion.

 

     When it was over he bid me, with a tone of displeasure,

get up, saying that he would not do me the honour to think

of me any more . . . that the old bitch might look out for

another cully . . . that he would not be fool'd so by e'er

a country mock modesty in England . . . that he supposed I

had left my maidenhead with some hobnail in the country,

and was come to dispose of my skin-milk in town, with a

volley of the like abuse; which I listened to with more

pleasure than ever fond woman did to protestations of love

from her darling minion: for, incapable as I was of re-

ceiving any addition to my perfect hatred and aversion to

him, I look'd on this railing as my security against his

renewing his most odious caresses.

 

     Yet, plain as Mrs. Brown's views were now come out, I

had not the heart or spirit to open my eyes to them: still

I could not part with my dependence on that beldam, so

much did I think myself her's, soul and body: or rather, I

sought to deceive myself with the continuation of my good

opinion of her, and chose to wait the worst at her hands

sooner than be turn'd out to starve in the streets, with-

out a penny of money or a friend to apply to: these fears

were my folly.

 

     Whilst this confusion of ideas was passing in my head,

and I sat pensive by the fire, with my eyes brimming with

tears, my neck still bare, and my cap fall'n off in the

struggle, so that my hair was in the disorder you may guess,

the villain's lust began, I suppose, to be again in flow, at

the sight of all that bloom of youth which presented itself

to his view, a bloom yet unenjoy'd, and of course not yet

indifferent to him.

 

     After some pause, he ask'd me, with a tone of voice

mightily softened, whether I would make it up with him

before the old lady returned and all should be well; he

would restore me his affections, at the same time offering

to kiss me and feel my breasts.  But now my extreme aver-

sion, my fears, my indignation, all acting upon me, gave me

a spirit not natural to me, so that breaking loose from him,

I ran to the bell and rang it, before he was aware, with

such violence and effect as brought up the maid to know what

was the matter, or whether the gentleman wanted any thing;

and before he could proceed to greater extremities, she

bounc'd into the room, and seeing me stretch'd on the floor,

my hair all dishevell'd, my nose gushing out blood, which

did not a little tragedize the scene, and my odious per-

secutor still intent of pushing his brutal point, unmoved by

all my cries and distress, she was herself confounded and

did not know what to say.

 

     As much, however, as Martha might be prepared and

hardened to transactions of this sort, all womanhood must

have been out of her heart, could she have seen this un-

mov'd.  Besides that, on the face of things, she imagined

that matters had gone greater lengths than they really

had, and that the courtesy of the house had been actually

consummated on me, and flung me into the condition I was

in: in this notion she instantly took my part, and advis'd

the gentleman to go down and leave me to recover myself,

and "that all would be soon over with me . . . that when

Mrs. Brown and Phoebe, who were gone out, were return'd,

they would take order for every thing to his satisfaction

. . . that nothing would be lost by a little patience with

the poor tender thing . . . that for her part she was . . .

frighten'd . . . she could not tell what to say to such

doings . . . but that she would stay by me till my mistress

came home."  As the wench said all this in a resolute tone,

and the monster himself began to perceive that things would

not mend by his staying, he took his hat and went out of

the room, murmuring, and pleating his brows like an old ape,

so that I was delivered from the horrors of his detestable

presence.

 

     As soon as he was gone, Martha very tenderly offered

me her assistance in any thing, and would have got me some

hartshorn drops, and put me to bed; which last, I at first

positively refused, in the fear that the monster might re-

turn and take me at that advantage.  However, with much

persuasion, and assurances that I should not be molested

that night, she prevailed on me to lie down; and indeed I

was so weakened by my struggles, so dejected by my fearful

apprehensions, so terror-struck, that I had not power to

sit up, or hardly to give answers to the questions with

which the curious Martha ply'd and perplex'd me.

 

     Such too, and so cruel was my fate, that I dreaded

the sight of Mrs. Brown, as if I had been the criminal

and she the person injur'd; a mistake which you will not

think so strange, on distinguishing that neither virtue

nor principles had the least share in the defence I had

made, but only the particular aversion I had conceiv'd

against the first brutal and frightful invader of my

tender innocence.

 

     I pass'd then the time till Mrs. Brown's return home,

under all the agitations of fear and despair that may

easily be guessed.

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     You may guess how a woman of her turn of address and

experience humour'd the jest, and played him off with mixed

exclamations of shame, anger, compassion for me, and of her

being pleased that all was so well over: in which last, I

believe, she was certainly sincere.  And now, as the objec-

tion which she had represented as an invincible one, to my

lying the first night at his lodgings (which were studiously

calculated for freedom of intrigues), on the account of my

maiden fears and terrors at the thoughts of going to a

gentleman's chambers, and being alone with him in bed, was

surmounted, she pretended to persuade me, in favour to him,

that I should go there to him whenever he pleas'd, and still

keep up all the necessary appearances of working with her,

that I might not lose, with my character, the prospect of

getting a good husband, and at the same time her house would

be kept the safer from scandal.  All this seem'd so reason-

able, so considerate to Mr. Norbert, that he never once per-

ceived that she did not want him to resort to her house, lest

he might in time discover certain inconsistencies with the

character she had set out with to him: besides that, this

plan greatly flattered his own ease, and views of liberty.

 

     Leaving me then to my much wanted rest, he got up, and

Mrs. Cole, after settling with him all points relating to me,

got him undiscovered out of the house.  After which, as I was

awake, she came in and gave me due praises for my success.

Behaving too with her usual moderation and disinterestedness,

she refus'd any share of the sum I had thus earned, and put

me into such a secure and easy way of disposing of my af-

fairs, which now amounted to a kind of little fortune, that

a child of ten years old might have kept the account and

property of them safe in its hands.

 

     I was now restor'd again to my former state of a kept

mistress, and used punctually to wait on Mr. Norbert at his

chambers whenever he sent a messenger for me, which I con-

stantly took care to be in the way of, and manag'd with so

much caution that he never once penetrated the nature of my

connections with Mrs. Cole; but indolently given up to ease

and the town dissipations, the perpetual hurry of them hin-

der'd him from looking into his own affairs, much less to

mine.

 

     In the mean time, if I may judge from my own experience,

none are better paid, or better treated, during their reign,

than the mistresses of those who, enervate by nature, debauc-

heries, or age, have the least employment for the sex: sen-

sible that a woman must be satisfy'd some way, they ply her

with a thousand little tender attentions, presents, caresses,

confidences, and exhaust their inventions in means and de-

vices to make up for the capital deficiency; and even towards

lessening that, what arts, what modes, what refinements of

pleasure have they not recourse to, to raise their languid

powers, and press nature into the service of their sensu-

ality?  But here is their misfortune, that when by a course

of teasing, worrying, handling, wanton postures, lascivious

motions, they have at length accomplish'd a flashy enervate

enjoyment, they at the same time lighted up a flame in the

object of their passion, that, not having the means them-

selves to quench, drives her for relief into the next per-

son's arms, who can finish their work; and thus they become

bawds to some favourite, tried and approv'd of, for a more

vigourous and satisfactory execution; for with women, of our

turn especially, however well our hearts may be dispos'd,

there is a controlling part, or queen seat in us, that

governs itself by its own maxims of state, amongst which not

one is stronger, in practice with it, than, in the matter of

its dues, never to accept the will for the deed.

 

     Mr. Norbert, who was much in this ungracious case,

though he profess'd to like me extremely, could but seldom

consummate the main-joy itself with me, without such a length

and variety of preparations, as were at once wearisome and

inflammatory.

 

     Sometimes he would strip me stark naked on a carpet, by

a good fire, when he would contemplate me almost by the hour,

disposing me in all the figures and attitudes of body that it

was susceptible of being viewed in; kissing me in every part,

the most secret and critical one so far from excepted that it

received most of that branch of homage.  Then his touches

were so exquisitely wanton, so luxuriously diffus'd and pene-

trative at times, that he had made me perfectly rage with

titillating fires, when, after all, and with much ado, he had

gained a short-lived erection, he would perhaps melt it away

in a washy sweat, or a premature abortive effusion that pro-

vokingly mock'd my eager desires: or, if carried home, how

falter'd and unnervous the execution! how insufficient the

sprinkle of a few heat-drops to extinguish all the flames he

had kindled!

 

     One evening, I cannot help remembering that returning

home from him, with a spirit he had raised in a circle his

wand had prov'd too weak to lay, as I turn'd the corner of a

street, I was overtaken by a young sailor.  I was then in

that spruce, neat, plain dress which I ever affected, and

perhaps might have, in my trip, a certain air of restless-

ness unknown to the composure of cooler thoughts.  However,

he seiz'd me as a prize, and without farther ceremony threw

his arms round my neck and kiss'd me boisterously and

sweetly.  I looked at him with a beginning of anger and

indignation at his rudeness, that softened away into other

sentiments as I viewed him: for he was tall, manly carri-

aged, handsome of body and face, so that I ended my stare

with asking him, in a tone turn'd to tenderness, what he

meant; at which, with the same frankness and vivacity as he

had begun with me, he proposed treating me with a glass of

wine.  Now, certain it is, that had I been in a calmer state

of blood than I was, had I not been under the dominion of

unappeas'd irritations and desires, I should have refused

him without hesitation; but I do not know how it was, my

pressing calls, his figure, the occasion, and if you will,

the powerful combination of all these, with a start of

curiosity to see the end of an adventure, so novel too as

being treated like a common street-plyer, made me give a

silent consent; in short, it was not my head that I now

obeyed, I suffered myself to be towed along as it were by

this man-of-war, who took me under his arm as familiarly as

if he had known me all his life-time, and led me into the

next convenient tavern, where we were shewn into a little

room on one side of the passage.  Here, scarce allowing him-

self patience till the waiter brought in the wine call'd for,

he fell directly on board me: when, untucking my handker-

chief, and giving me a snatching buss, he laid my breasts

bare at once, which he handled with that keenness of lust

that abridges a ceremonial ever more tiresome than pleasing

on such pressing occasions; and now, hurrying towards the

main point, we found no conveniency to our purpose, two or

three disabled chairs and a rickety table composing the whole

furniture of the room.  Without more ado, he plants me with

my back standing against the wall, and my petticoats up; and

coming out with a splitter indeed, made it shine, as he

brandished it in my eyes; and going to work with an impetu-

osity and eagerness, bred very likely by a long fast at sea,

went ot give me a taste of it.  I straddled, I humoured my

posture, and did my best in short to buckle to it; I took

part of it in too, but still things did not go to his thor-

ough liking: changing then in a trice his system of battery,

he leads me to the table and with a master-hand lays my head

down on the edge of it, and, with the other canting up my

petticoats and shift, bares my naked posteriours to his blind

and furious guide; it forces its way between them, and I

feeling pretty sensibly that it was not going by the right

door, and knocking desperately at the wrong one, I told him

of it: -"Pooh!" says he, "my dear, any port in a storm."

Altering, however, directly his course, and lowering his

point, he fixed it right, and driving it up with a delicious

stiffness, made all foam again, and gave me the tout with

such fire and spirit, that in the fine disposition I was in

when I submitted to him, and stirr'd up so fiercely as I

was, I got the start of him, and went away into the melting

swoon, and squeezing him, whilst in the convulsive grasp of

it, drew from him such a plenteous bedewal as, join'd to my

own effusion, perfectly floated those parts, and drown'd in

a deluge all my raging conflagration of desire.

 

     When this was over, how to make my retreat was my con-

cern; for, though I had been so extremely pleas'd with the

difference between this warm broadside, pour'd so briskly

into me, and the tiresome pawing and toying to which I had

owed the unappeas'd flames that had driven me into this step,

now I was grown cooler, I began to apprehend the danger of

contracting an acquaintance with this, however agreeable,

stranger; who, on his side, spoke of passing the evening with

me and continuing our intimacy, with an air of determination

that made me afraid of its being not so easy to get away from

him as I could wish.  In the mean time I carefully conceal'd

my uneasiness, and readily pretended to consent to stay with

him, telling him I should only step to my lodgings to leave

a necessary direction, and then instantly return.  This he

very glibly swallowed, on the notion of my being one of those

unhappy street-errants who devote themselves to the pleasure

of the first ruffian that will stoop to pick them up, and of

course, that I would scarce bilk myself of my hire, by my not

returning to make the most of the job.  Thus he parted with

me, not before, however, he had order'd in my hearing a

supper, which I had the barbarity to disappoint him of my

company to.

 

     But when I got home and told Mrs. Cole my adventure, she

represented so strongly to me the nature and dangerous conse-

quences of my folly, particularly the risks to my health, in

being so open-legg'd and free, that I not only took resolu-

tions never to venture so rashly again, which I inviolably

preserv'd, but pass'd a good many days in continual uneasi-

ness lest I should have met with other reasons, besides the

pleasure of that encounter, to remember it; but these fears

wronged my pretty sailor, for which I gladly make him this

reparation.

 

     I had now liv'd with Mr. Norbert near a quarter of a

year, in which space I circulated my time very pleasantly

between my amusements at Mrs. Cole's, and a proper attendance

on that gentleman, who paid me profusely for the unlimited

complaisance with which I passively humoured every caprice of

pleasure, and which had won upon him so greatly, that find-

ing, as he said, all that variety in me alone which he had

sought for in a number of women, I had made him lose his

taste for inconstancy, and new faces.  But what was yet at

least agreeable, as well as more flattering, the love I had

inspir'd him with bred a deference to me that was of great

service to his health: for having by degrees, and with most

pathetic representations, brought him to some husbandry of

it, and to insure the duration of his pleasures by moderat-

ing their use, and correcting those excesses in them he was

so addicted to, and which had shatter'd his constitution and

destroyed his powers of life in the very point for which he

seemed chiefly desirous, to live, he was grown more delicate,

more temperate, and in course more healthy; his gratitude

for which was taking a turn very favourable for my fortune,

when once more the caprice of it dash'd the cup from my lips.

 

     His sister, Lady L . . ., for whom he had a great affec-

tion, desiring him to accompany her down to Bath for her

health, he could not refuse her such a favour; and accord-

ingly, though he counted on staying away from me no more than

a week at farthest, he took his leave of me with an ominous

heaviness of heart, and left me a sum far above the state of

his fortune, and very inconsistent with the intended short-

ness of his journey; but it ended in the longest that can be,

and is never but once taken: for, arriv'd at Bath, he was not

there two days before he fell into a debauch of drinking with

some gentlemen, that threw him into a high fever and carry'd

him off in four days time, never once out of a delirium.  Had

he been in his senses to make a will, perhaps he might have

made favourable mention of me in it.  Thus, however, I lost

him; and as no condition of life is more subject to revolu-

tions than that of a woman of pleasure, I soon recover'd my

cheerfulness, and now beheld myself once more struck off the

list of kept-mistresses, and returned into the bosom of the

community from which I had been in some manner taken.

 

     Mrs. Cole still continuing her friendship, offered me

her assistance and advice towards another choice; but I was

now in ease and affluence enough to look about me at lei-

sure; and as to any constitutional calls of pleasure, their

pressure, or sensibility, was greatly lessen'd by a consci-

ousness of the ease with which they were to be satisfy'd at

Mrs. Cole's house, where Louisa and Emily still continu'd in

the old way; and by great favourite Harriet used often to

come and see me, and entertain me, with her head and heart

full of the happiness she enjoy'd with her dear baronet,

whom she loved with tenderness, and constancy, even though

he was her keeper, and what is yet more, had made her inde-

pendent, by a handsome provision for her and hers.  I was

then in this vacancy from any regular employ of my person, in

my way of business, when one day, Mrs. Cole, in the course of

the constant confidence we lived in, acquainted me that there

was one Mr. Barville, who used her house, just come to town,

whom she was not a little perplex'd about providing a suit-

able companion for; which was indeed a point of difficulty,

as he was under the tyranny of a cruel taste: that of an

ardent desire, not only of being unmercifully whipp'd him-

self, but of whipping others, in such sort, that tho' he paid

extravagantly those who had the courage and complaisance to

submit to his humour, there were few, delicate as he was in

the choice of his subjects, who would exchange turns with him

so terrible at the expense of their skin.  But, what yet in-

creased the oddity of this strange fancy was the gentleman

being young; whereas it generally attacks, it seems, such as

are, through age, obliged to have recourse to this experi-

ment, for quickening the circulation of their sluggish

juices, and determining a conflux of the spirits of pleasure

towards those flagging, shrivelly parts, that rise to life

only by virtue of those titillating ardours created by the

discipline of their opposites, with which they have so sur-

prising a consent.

 

     This Mrs. Cole could not well acquaint me with, in any

expectation of my offering my service: for, sufficiently easy

as I was in my circumstances, it must have been the tempta-

tion of an immense interest indeed that could have induced me

to embrace such a job; neither had I ever express'd, nor in-

deed felt, the least impulse or curiosity to know more of a

taste that promis'd so much more pain than pleasure to those

that stood in no need of such violent goads: what then should

move me to subscribe myself voluntarily to a party of pain,

foreknowing it such?  Why, to tell the plain truth, it was a

sudden caprice, a gust of fancy for trying a new experiment,

mix'd with the vanity of proving my personal courage to Mrs.

Cole, that determined me, at all risks, to propose myself to

her, and relieve her from any farther lookout.  Accordingly,

I at once pleas'd and surpris'd her with a frank and unre-

served tender of my person to her, and her friend's absolute

disposal on this occasion.

 

     My good temporal mother was, however, so kind as to use

all the arguments she could imagine to dissuade me: but, as

I found they only turn'd on a motive of tnederness to me, I

persisted in my resolution, and thereby acquitted my offer of

any suspicion of its not having been sincerely made, or out

of compliment only.  Acquiescing then thankfully in it, Mrs.

Cole assur'd me that bating the pain I should be put to, she

had no scruple to engage me to this party, which she assur'd

me I should be liberally paid for, and which, the secrecy of

the transaction preserved safe from the ridicule that other-

wise vulgarly attended it; that for her part, she considered

pleasure, of one sort or other, as the universal port of

destination, and every wind that blew thither a good one,

provided it blew nobody any harm; that she rather compas-

sionated, than blam'd, those unhappy persons who are under a

subjection they cannot shake off, to those arbitrary tastes

that rule their appetites of pleasures with an unaccountable

control: tastes, too, as infinitely deversify'd, as superior

to, and independent of, all reasoning as the different re-

lishes or palates of mankind in their viands, some delicate

stomachs nauseating plain meats, and finding no savour but in

high-seasoned, luxurious dishes, whilst others again pique

themselves upon detesting them.

 

     I stood now in no need of this preamble of encourage-

ment, of justification: my word was given, and I was deter-

min'd to fulfil my engagements.  Accordingly the night was

set, and I had all the necessary previous instructions how to

act and conduct myself.  The dining-room was duly prepared

and lighted up, and the young gentleman posted there in wait-

ing, for my introduction to him.

 

     I was then, by Mrs. Cole, brought in, and presented to

him, in a loose dishabille fitted, by her direction, to the

exercise I was to go through, all in the finest linen and a

thorough white uniform: gown, petticoat, stockings, and satin

slippers, like a victim led to sacrifice; whilst my dark

auburn hair, falling in drop-curls over my neck, created a

pleasing distinction of colour from the rest of my dress.

 

     As soon as Mr. Barville saw me, he got up, with a visi-

ble air of pleasure and surprize, and saluting me, asked Mrs.

Cole if it was possible that so fine and delicate a creature

would voluntarily submit to such sufferings and rigours as

were the subject of his assignation.  She answer'd him pro-

perly, and now, reading in his eyes that she could not too

soon leave us together, she went out, after recommending to

him to use moderation with so tender a novice.

 

     But whilst she was employing his attention, mine had

been taken up with examining the figure and person of this

unhappy young gentleman, who was thus unaccountably condemn'd

to have his pleasure lashed into him, as boys have their

learning.

 

     He was exceedingly fair, and smooth complexion'd, and

appeared to me no more than twenty at most, tho' he was three

years older than what my conjectures gave him; but then he

ow'd this favourable mistake to a habit of fatness, which

spread through a short, squab stature, and a round, plump,

fresh-coloured face gave him greatly the look of a Bacchus,

had not an air of austerity, not to say sternness, very un-

suitable even to his shape of face, dash'd that character of

joy, necessary to complete the resemblance.  His dress was

extremely neat, but plain, and far inferior to the ample for-

tune he was in full possession of; this too was a taste in

him, and not avarice.

 

     As soon as Mrs. Cole was gone, he seated me near him,

when now his face changed upon me into an expression of the

most pleasing sweetness and good humour, the more remarkable

for its sudden shift from the other extreme, which, I found

afterwards, when I knew more of his character, was owing to

a habitual state of conflict with, and dislike of himself,

for being enslaved to so peculiar a gust, by the fatality of

a constitutional ascendant, that render'd him incapable of

receiving any pleasure till he submitted to these extraordi-

nary means of procuring it at the hands of pain, whilst the

constancy of this repining consciousness stamp'd at length

that cast of sourness and severity on his features: which

was, in fact, very foreign to the natural sweetness of his

temper.

 

     After a competent preparation by apologies, and en-

couragement to go through my part with spirit and constancy,

he stood up near the fire, whilst I went to fetch the in-

struments of discipline out of a closet hard by: these were

several rods, made each of two or three strong twigs of birch

tied together, which he took, handled, and view'd with as

much pleasure, as I did with a kind of shuddering presage.

 

     Next we took from the side of the room a long broad

bench, made easy to lie at length on by a soft cushion in a

callico-cover; and every thing being now ready, he took his

coat and waistcoat off; and at his motion and desire, I un-

button'd his breeches, and rolling up his shirt rather above

his waist, tuck'd it in securely there: when directing natur-

ally my eyes to that humoursome master-movement, in whose

favour all these dispositions were making, it seemed almost

shrunk into his body, scarce shewing its tip above the sprout

of hairy curls that cloathed those parts, as you may have

seen a wren peep its head out of the grass.

 

     Stooping then to untie his garters, he gave them me for

the use of tying him down to the legs of the bench: a cir-

cumstance no farther necessary than, as I suppose, it made

part of the humour of the thing, since he prescribed it to

himself, amongst the rest of the ceremonial.

 

     I led him then to the bench, and according to my cue,

play'd at forcing him to lie down: which, after some little

shew of reluctance, for form-sake, he submitted to; he was

straightway extended flat upon his belly, on the bench, with

a pillow under his face; and as he thus tamely lay, I tied

him slightly hand and foot, to the legs of it; which done,

his shirt remaining truss'd up over the small of his back, I

drew his breeches quite down to his knees; and now he lay,

in all the fairest, broadest display of that part of the

back-view; in which a pair of chubby, smooth-cheek'd and

passing white posteriours rose cushioning upwards from two

stout, fleshful thighs, and ending their cleft, or separa-

tion by an union at the small of the back, presented a bold

mark, that swell'd, as it were, to meet the scourge.

 

     Seizing now one of the rods, I stood over him, and

according to his direction, gave him in one breath, ten

lashes with much good-will, and the utmost nerve and vigour

of arm that I could put to them, so as to make those fleshy

orbs quiver again under them; whilst he himself seem'd no

more concern'd, or to mind them, than a lobster would a flea-

bite.  In the mean time, I viewed intently the effects of

them, which to me at least appear'd surprisingly cruel: every

lash had skimmed the surface of those white cliffs, which

they deeply reddened, and lapping round the side of the fur-

thermost from me, cut specially, into the dimple of it such

livid weals, as the blood either spun out from, or stood in

large drops on; and, from some of the cuts, I picked out even

the splinters of the rod that had stuck in the skin.  Nor was

this raw work to be wonder'd at, considering the greenness of

the twigs and the severity of the infliction, whilst the

whole surface of his skin was so smooth-stretched over the

hard and firm pulp of flesh that fill'd it, as to yield no

play, or elusive swagging under the stroke: which thereby

took place the more plum, and cut into the quick.

 

     I was however already so mov'd at the piteous sight,

that I from my heart repented the undertaking, and would

willingly have given over, thinking he had full enough; but,

he encouraging and beseeching me earnestly to proceed, I gave

him ten more lashes; and then resting, survey'd the increase

of bloody appearances.  And at length, steel'd to the sight

by his stoutness in suffering, I continued the discipline, by

intervals, till I observ'd him wreathing and twisting his

body, in a way that I could plainly perceive was not the

effect of pain, but of some new and powerful sensation: curi-

ous to dive into the meaning of which, in one of my pauses of

intermission, I approached, as he still kept working, and

grinding his belly against the cushion under him; and, first

stroking the untouched and unhurt side of the flesh-mount

next me, then softly insinuating my hand under his thigh,

felt the posture things were in forwards, which was indeed

surprizing: for that machine of his, which I had, by its ap-

pearance, taken for an impalpable, or at best a very diminu-

tive subject, was now, in virtue of all that smart and havoc

of his skin behind, grown not only to a prodigious stiffness

of erection, but to a size that frighted even me: a non-

pareil thickness indeed! the head of it alone fill'd the ut-

most capacity of my grasp.  And when, as he heav'd and wrig-

gled to and fro, in the agitation of his strange pleasure,

it came into view, it had something of the air of a round

fillet of the whitest veal, and like its owner, squab, and

short in proportion to its breadth; but when he felt my hand

there, he begg'd I would go on briskly with my jerking, or he

should never arrive at the last stage of pleasure.

 

     Resuming then the rod and the exercise of it, I had

fairly worn out three bundles, when, after an increase of

struggles and motion, and a deep sigh or two, I saw him lie

still and motionless; and now he desir'd me to desist, which

I instantly did; and proceeding to untie him, I could not but

be amazed at his passive fortitude, on viewing the skin of

his butcher'd, mangled posteriours, late so white, smooth and

polish'd, now all one side of them a confused cut-work of

weals, livid flesh, gashes and gore, insomuch that when he

stood up, he could scarce walk; in short, he was in sweet-

briars.

 

     Then I plainly perceived, on the cushion, the marks of a

plenteous effusion, and already had his sluggard member run

up to its old nestling-place, and enforced itself again, as

if ashamed to shew its head; which nothing, it seems, could

raise but stripes inflicted on its opposite neighbours, who

were thus constantly obliged to suffer for his caprice.

 

 

                          Part 9

 

     My gentleman had now put on his clothes and recomposed

himself, when giving me a kiss, and placing me by him, he sat

himself down as gingerly as possible, with one side off the

cushion, which was too sore for him to bear resting any part

of his weight on.

 

     Here he thank'd me for the extreme pleasure I had pro-

cured him, and seeing, perhaps, some marks in my countenance

of terror and apprehension of retaliation on my own skin, for

what I had been the instrument of his suffering in his, he

assured me, that he was ready to give up to me any engagement

I might deem myself under to stand him, as he had done me,

but if that proceeded in my consent to it, he would consider

the difference of my sex, its greater delicacy and incapacity

to undergo pain.  Rehearten'd at which, and piqu'd in honour,

as I thought, not to flinch so near the trial, especially as

I well knew Mrs. Cole was an eye-witness, from her stand of

espial, to the whole of our transactions, I was now less

afraid of my skin than of his not furnishing me with an oppor-

tunity of signalizing my resolution.

 

     Consonant to this disposition was my answer, but my

courage was still more in my head, than in my heart; and as

cowards rush into the danger they fear, in order to be the

sooner rid of the pain of that sensation, I was entirely

pleas'd with his hastening matters into execution.

 

     He had then little to do, but to unloose the strings of

my petticoats, and lift them, together with my shift, navel-

high, where he just tuck'd them up loosely girt, and might be

slipt up higher at pleasure.  Then viewing me round with

great seeming delight, he laid me at length on my face upon

the bench, and when I expected he would tie me, as I had done

him, and held out my hands, not without fear and a little

trembling, he told me he would by no means terrify me un-

necessarily with such a confinement; for that though he meant

to put my constancy to some trial, the standing it was to be

completely voluntary on my side, and therefore I might be at

full liberty to get up whenever I found the pain too much for

me.  You cannot imagine how much I thought myself bound, by

being thus allow'd to remain loose, and how much spirit this

confidence in me gave me, so that I was even from my heart

careless how much my flesh might suffer in honour of it.

 

     All by back parts, naked half way up, were now fully at

his mercy: and first, he stood at a convenient distance, de-

lighting himself with a gloating survey of the attitude I lay

in, and of all the secret stores I thus expos'd to him in

fair display.  Then, springing eagerly towards me, he cover'd

all those naked parts with a fond profusion of kisses; and

now, taking hold of the rod, rather wanton'd with me, in gen-

tle inflictions on those tender trembling masses of my flesh

behind, than in any way hurt them, till by degrees, he began

to tingle them with smarter lashes, so as to provoke a red

colour into them, which I knew, as well by the flagrant glow

I felt there, as by his telling me, they now emulated the

native roses of my other cheeks.  When he had thus amus'd

himself with admiring and toying with them, he went on to

strike harder, and more hard; so that I needed all my patience

not to cry out, or complain at least.  At last, he twigg'd me

so smartly as to fetch blood in more than one lash: at sight

of which he flung down the rod, flew to me, kissed away the

starting drops, and sucking the wounds eased a good deal of my

pain.  But now raising me on my knees, and making me kneel

with them straddling wide, that tender part of me, naturally

the province of pleasure, not of pain, came in for its share

of suffering: for now, eyeing it wistfully, he directed the

rod so that the sharp ends of the twigs lighted there, so

sensibly, that I could not help wincing, and writhing my

limbs with smart; so that my contortions of body must neces-

sarily throw it into infinite variety of postures and points

of view, fit to feast the luxury of the eye.  But still I

bore every thing without crying out: when presently giving me

another pause, he rush'd, as it were, on that part whose lips,

and round-about, had felt this cruelty, and by way of repara-

tion, glews his own to them; then he opened, shut, squeez'd

them, pluck'd softly the overgrowing moss, and all this in a

style of wild passionate rapture and enthusiasm, that ex-

press'd excess of pleasure; till betaking himself to the rod

again, encourag'd by my passiveness, and infuriated with this

strange taste of delight, he made my poor posteriours pay for

the ungovernableness of it; for now shewing them no quarter

the traitor cut me so, that I wanted but little of fainting

away, when he gave over.  And yet I did not utter one groan,

or angry expostulation; but in heart I resolv'd nothing so

seriously, as never to expose myself again to the like ser-

verities.

 

     You may guess then in what a curious pickle those soft

flesh-cushions of mine were, all sore, raw, and in fine, ter-

ribly clawed off; but so far from feeling any pleasure in it,

that the recent smart made me pout a little, and not with the

greatest air of satisfaction receive the compliments, and

after-caresses of the author of my pain.

 

     As soon as my cloaths were huddled on in a little de-

cency, a supper was brought in by the discreet Mrs. Cole her-

self, which might have piqued the sensuality of a cardinal,

accompanied with a choice of the richest wines: all which she

set before us, and went out again, without having, by a word

or even by a smile, given us the least interruption or confu-

sion, in those moments of secrecy, that we were not yet ripe

to the admission of a third to.

     I sat down then, still scarce in charity with my butch-

er, for such I could not help considering him, and was more-

over not a little piqued at the gay, satisfied air of his

countenance, which I thought myself insulted by.  But when

the now necessary refreshment to me of a glass of wine, a

little eating (all the time observing a profound silence) had

somewhat cheer'd and restor'd me to spirits, and as the smart

began to go off, my good humour return'd accordingly: which

alteration not escaping him, he said and did everything that

could confirm me in, and indeed exalt it.

 

     But scarce was supper well over, before a change so in-

credible was wrought in me, such violent, yet pleasingly irk-

some sensations took possession of me that I scarce knew how

to contain myself; the smart of the lashes was now converted

into such a prickly heat, such fiery tinglings, as made me

sigh, squeeze my thighs together, shift and wriggle about my

seat, with a furious restlessness; whilst these itching ar-

dours, thus excited in those parts on which the storm of dis-

cipline had principally fallen, detach'd legions of burning,

subtile, stimulating spirits, to their opposite spot and cen-

tre of assemblage, where their titillation rag'd so furiously,

that I was even stinging mad with them.  No wonder then, that

in such a taking, and devour'd by flames that licked up all

modesty and reserve, my eyes, now charg'd brimful of the most

intense desire, fired on my companion very intelligible sig-

nals of distress: my companion, I say, who grew in them every

instant more amiable, and more necessary to my urgent wishes

and hopes of immediate ease.

 

     Mr. Barville, no stranger by experience to these situa-

tions, soon knew the pass I was brought to, soon perceiv'd my

extreme disorder; in favour of which, removing the table out

of the way, he began a prelude that flatter'd me with instant

relief, to which I was not, however, so near as I imagin'd:

for as he was unbuttoned to me, and tried to provoke and

rouse to action his unactive torpid machine, he blushingly

own'd that no good was to be expected from it unless I took

it in hand to re-excite its languid loitering powers, by just

refreshing the smart of the yet recent blood-raw cuts, seeing

it could, no more than a boy's top, keep up without lashing.

Sensible then that I should work as much for my own profit as

his, I hurried my compliance with his desire, and abridging

the ceremonial, whilst he lean'd his head against the back of

a chair, I had scarce gently made him feel the lash, before I

saw the object of my wishes give signs of life, and presently,

as it were with a magic touch, it started up into a noble size

and distinction indeed!  Hastening then to give me the benefit

of it, he threw me down on the bench; but such was the re-

fresh'd soreness of those parts behind, on my leaning so hard

on them, as became me to compass the admission of that stupen-

dous head of his machine, that I could not possibly bear it.

I got up then, and tried, by leaning forwards and turning the

crupper on my assailant, to let him at the back avenue: but

here it was likewise impossible to stand his bearing so

fiercely against me, in his agitations and endeavours to enter

that way, whilst his belly battered directly against the

recent sore.  What should we do now? both intolerably heated;

both in a fury; but pleasure is ever inventive for its own

ends: he strips me in a trice, stark naked, and placing a

broad settee-cushion on the carpet before the fire, oversets

me gently, topsy-turvy, on it; and handling me only at the

waist, whilst you may be sure I favour'd all my dispositions,

brought my legs round his neck; so that my head was kept from

the floor only by my hands and the velvet cushion, which was

now bespread with my flowing hair: thus I stood on my head

and hands, supported by him in such manner, that whilst my

thighs clung round him, so as to expose to his sight all my

back figure, including the theatre of his bloody pleasure,

the centre of my fore part fairly bearded the object of its

rage, that now stood in fine condition to give me satisfaction

for the injuries of its neighbours.  But as this posture was

certainly not the easiest, and our imaginations, wound up to

the height, could suffer no delay, he first, with the utmost

eagerness and effort, just lip-lodg'd that broad acorn-fas-

hion'd head of his instrument; and still frenzied by the fury

with which he had made that impression, he soon stuffed in

the rest; when now, with a pursuit of thrusts, fiercely urg'd,

he absolutely overpower'd and absorb'd all sense of pain and

uneasiness, whether from my wounds behind, my most untoward

posture, or the oversize of his stretcher, in an infinitely

predominant delight; when now all my whole spirits of life

and sensation, rushing impetuously to the cock-pit, where the

prize of pleasure was hotly in dispute and clustering to a

point there, I soon receiv'd the dear relief of nature from

these over-violent strains and provocations of it; harmoniz-

ing with which, my gallant spouted into me such a potent over-

flow of the balsamic injection, as soften'd and unedg'd all

those irritating stings of a new species of titillation, which

I had been so intolerably madden'd with, and restor'd the fer-

ment of my senses to some degree of composure.

 

     I had now achiev'd this rare adventure ultimately much

more to my satisfaction than I had bespoken the nature of it

to turn out; nor was it much lessen'd, you may think, by my

spark's lavish praises of my constancy and complaisance, which

he gave weight to by a present that greatly surpassed my ut-

most expectation, besides his gratification to Mrs. Cole.

 

     I was not, however, at any time, re-enticed to renew

with him, or resort again to the violent expedient of lashing

nature into more haste than good speed: which, by the way, I

conceive acts somewhat in the manner of a dose of Spanish

flies; with more pain perhaps, but less danger; and might be

necessary to him, but was nothing less so than to me, whose

appetite wanted the bridle more than the spur.

 

     Mrs. Cole, to whom this adventurous exploit had more and

more endear'd me, looked on me now as a girl after her own

heart, afraid on nothing, and, on a good account, hardy enough

to fight all the weapons of pleasure through.  Attentive then,

in consequence of these favourable conceptions, to promote

either my profit or pleasure, she had special regard for the

first, in a new gallant of a very singular turn, that she pro-

cur'd for and introduced to me.

 

     This was a grave, staid, solemn, elderly gentleman whose

peculiar humour was a delight in combing fine tresses of hair;

and as I was perfectly headed to his taste, he us'd to come

constantly at my toilette hours, when I let down my hair as

loose as nature, and abandon'd it to him to do what he pleased    

with it; and accordingly he would keep me an hour or more in

play with it, drawing the comb through it, winding the curls

round his fingers, even kissing it as he smooth'd it; and all

this led to no other use of my person, or any other liberties

whatever, any more than if a distinction of sexes had not

existed.

 

     Another peculiarity of taste he had, which was to present

me with a dozen pairs of the whitest kid gloves at a time:

these he would divert himself with drawing on me, and then

biting off the fingers' ends; all which fooleries of a sickly

appetite, the old gentleman paid more liberally for than most

others did for more essential favours.  This lasted till a

violent cough, seizing and laying him up, deliver'd me from

this most innocent and insipid trifler, for I never heard more

of him after his first retreat.

 

     You may be sure a by-job of this sort interfer'd with no

other pursuit, or plan of life; which I led, in truth, with a

modesty and reserve that was less the work of virtue than of

exhausted novelty, a glut of pleasure, and easy circumstances,

that made me indifferent to any engagements in which pleasure

and profit were not eminently united; and such I could, with

the less impatience, wait for at the hands of time and for-

tune, as I was satisfy'd I could never mend my pennyworths,

having evidently been serv'd at the top of market, and even

been pamper'd with dainties: besides that, in the sacrifice

of a few momentary impulses, I found a secret satisfaction in

respecting myself, as well as preserving the life and fresh-

ness of my complexion.  Louisa and Emily did not carry indeed

their reserve so high as I did; but still they were far from

cheap or abandon'd tho' two of their adventures seem'd to con-

tradict this general character, which, for their singularity,

I shall give you in course, beginning first with Emily's:

 

     Louisa and she went one night to a ball, the first in

the habit of a shepherdess, Emily in that of a shepherd:  I

saw them in their dresses before they went, and nothing in

nature could represent a prettier boy than this last did,

being so fair and well limbed.  They had kept together for

some time, when Louisa, meeting an old acquaintance of hers,

very cordially gives her companion the drop, and leaves her

under the protection of her boy's habit, which was not much,

and of her discretion, which was, it seems, still less.

Emily, finding herself deserted, sauntered thoughtless about

a-while, and, as much for coolness and air as anything else,

at length pull'd off her mask and went to the sideboard;

where, eyed and mark'd out by a gentleman in a very handsome

domino, she was accosted by, and fell into chat with him.

The domino, after a little discourse, in which Emily doubt-

less distinguish'd her good nature and easiness more than her

wit, began to make violent love to her, and drawing her in-

sensibly to some benches at the lower end of the masquerade

room, for her to sit by him, where he squeez'd her hands,

pinch'd her cheeks, prais'd and played with her fine hair,

admired her complexion, and all in a style of courtship dash'd

with a certain oddity, that not comprehending the mystery of,

poor Emily attributed to his falling in with the humour of her

disguise; and being naturally not the cruellest of her profes-

sion, began to incline to a parley on those essentials.  But

here was the stress of the joke: he took her really for what

she appear'd to be, a smock-fac'd boy; and she, forgetting her

dress, and of course ranging quite wide of his ideas, took all

those addresses to be paid to herself as a woman, which she

precisely owed to his not thinking her one.  However, this

double error was push'd to such a height on both sides, that

Emily, who saw nothing in him but a gentleman of distinction

by those points of dress to which his disguise did not extend,

warmed too by the wine he had ply'd her with, and the caresses

he had lavished upon her, suffered herself to be persuaded to

go to a bagnio with him; and thus, losing sight of Mrs. Cole's

cautions, with a blind confidence, put herself into his hands,

to be carried wherever he pleased.  For his part, equally

blinded by his wishes, whilst her egregious simplicity favour-

ed his deception more than the most exquisite art could have

done, he supposed, no doubt, that he had lighted on some soft

simpleton, fit for his purpose, or some kept minion broken to

his hand, who understood him perfectly well and enter'd into

his designs.  But, be that as it would, he led her to a coach,

went into it with her, and brought her to a very handsome

apartment, with a bed in it; but whether it was a bagnio or

not, she could not tell, having spoken to nobody but himself.

But when they were alone together, and her enamorato began to

proceed to those extremities which instantly discover the sex,

she remark'd that no description could paint up to the life

the mixture of pique, confusion and disappointment that ap-

peared in his countenance, joined to the mournful exclamation:

"By heavens, a woman!"  This at once opened her eyes, which

had hitherto been shut in downright stupidity.  However, as if

he had meant to retrieve that escape, he still continu'd to

toy with and fondle her, but with so staring an alteration

from extreme warmth into a chill and forced civility, that

even Emily herself could not but take notice of it, and now

began to wish she had paid more regard to Mrs. Cole's premon-

itions against ever engaging with a stranger.  And now and

excess of timidity succeeded to an excess of confidence, and

she thought herself so much at his mercy and discretion, that

she stood passive throughout the whole progress of his pre-

lude: for now, whether the impressions of so great a beauty

had even made him forgive her her sex, or whether her appear-

ance of figure in that dress still humour'd his first illu-

sion, he recover'd by degrees a good part of his first warmth,

and keeping Emily with her breeches still unbuttoned, stript

them down to her knees, and gently impelling her to lean down,

with her face against the bed-side, placed her so, that the

double way, between the double rising behind, presented the

choice fair to him, and he was so fairly set on a mis-direc-

tion, as to give the girl no small alarms for fear of losing

a maidenhead she had not dreamt of.  However, her complaints,

and a resistance, gentle, but firm, check'd and brought him

to himself again; so that turning his steed's head, he drove

him at length in the right road, in which his imagination

having probably made the most of those resemblances that

flatter'd his taste, he got, with much ado, to his journey's

end: after which, he led her out himself, and walking with

her two or three streets' length, got her a chair, when mak-

ing her a present not any thing inferior to what she could

have expected, he left her, well recommended to the chairman, 

who, on her directions, brought her home.

 

     This she related to Mrs. Cole and me the same morning,

not without the visible remains of the fear and confusion she

had been in still stamp'd on her countenance.  Mrs. Cole's

remark was that her indescretion proceeding from a constitu-

tional facility, there were little hopes of any thing curing

her of it, but repeated severe experience.  Mine was that I

could not conceive how it was possible for mankind to run

into a taste, not only universally odious, but absurd, and

impossible to gratify; since, according to the notions and

experience I had of things, it was not in nature to force

such immense disproportions.  Mrs. Cole only smil'd at my

ignorance, and said nothing towards my undeception, which was

not affected but by ocular demonstration, some months after,

which a most singular accident furnish'd me, and which I will

here set down, that I may not return again to so disagreeable

a subject.

 

     I had, on a visit intended to Harriet, who had taken

lodgings at Hampton-court, hired a chariot to go out thither,

Mrs. Cole having promis'd to accompany me; but some indis-

pensable business intervening to detain her, I was obliged to

set out alone; and scarce had I got a third of my way, before

the axle-tree broke down, and I was well off to get out, safe

and unhurt, into a publick-house of a tolerable handsome ap-

pearance, on the road.  Here the people told me that the

stage would come by in a couple of hours at farthest; upon

which, determining to wait for it, sooner than lose the jaunt

I had got so far forward on, I was carried into a very clean

decent room, up one pair of stairs, which I took possession of

for the time I had to stay, in right of calling for sufficient

to do the house justice.

 

     Here, whilst I was amusing myself with looking out of the

window, a single horse-chaise stopt at the door, out of which

lightly leap'd two gentlemen, for so they seem'd, who came in

only as it were to bait and refresh a little, for they gave

their horse to be held in readiness against they came out. 

And presently I heard the door of the next room, where they

were let in, and call'd about them briskly; and as soon as

they were serv'd, I could just hear that they shut and fast-

ened the door on the inside.

 

     A spirit of curiosity, far from sudden, since I do not

know when I was without it, prompted me, without any parti-

cular suspicion, or other drift or view, to see what they

were, and examine their persons and behaviour.  The partition

of our rooms was one of those moveable ones that, when taken

down, serv'd occasionally to lay them into one, for the con-

veniency of a large company; and now, my nicest search could

not shew me the shadow of a peep-hole, a circumstance which

probably had not escap'd the review of the parties on the

other side, whom much it stood upon not to be deceived in it;

but at length I observed a paper patch of the same colour as

the wainscot, which I took to conceal some flaw: but then it

was so high, that I was obliged to stand upon a chair to

reach it, which I did as softly as possibly, and, with a point

of a bodkin, soon pierc'd it.  And now, applying my eye close,

I commanded the room perfectly, and could see my two young

sparks romping and pulling one another about, entirely, to my

imagination, in frolic and innocent play.

 

     The eldest might be, on my nearest guess, towards nine-

teen, a tall comely young man, in a white fustian frock, with

a green velvet cape, and a cut bob-wig.

 

     The youngest could not be above seventeen, fair, ruddy,

compleatly well made, and to say the truth, a sweet pretty

stripling: he was--I fancy, too, a country-lad, by his dress,

which was a green plush frock and breeches of the same, white

waistcoat and stockings, a jockey cap, with his yellowish

hair, long and loose, in natural curls.

 

     But after a look of circumspection, which I saw the

eldest cast every way round the room, probably in too much

hurry and heat not to overlook the very small opening I was

posted at, especially at the height it was, whilst my eye

close to it kept the light from shining through and betraying

it, he said something to his companion and presently chang'd

the face of things.

 

     For now the elder began to embrace, to press and kiss the

younger, to put his hands into his bosom, and give him such

manifest signs of an amorous intention, as made me conclude

the other to be a girl in disguise: a mistake that nature kept

me in countenance for, for she had certainly made one, when

she gave him the male stamp.

 

     In the rashness then of their age, and bent as they were

to accomplish their project of preposterous pleasure, at the

risk of the very worst of consequences, where a discovery was

nothing less than improbable, they now proceeded to such

lengths as soon satisfied me what they were.

 

     The criminal scene they acted, I had the patience to see

to an end, purely that I might gather more facts and certainly

against them in my design to do their deserts instance jus-

tice; and accordingly, when they had readjusted themselves,

and were preparing to go out, burning as I was with rage and

indignation, I jumped down from the chair, in order to raise

the house upon them, but with such an unlucky impetuosity,

that some nail or ruggedness in the floor caught my foot, and

flung me on my face with such violence that I fell senseless

on the ground, and must have lain there some time e'er any

one came to my relief: so that they, alarmed, I suppose, by

the noise of my fall, had more than the necessary time to

make a safe retreat.  This they effected, as I learnt, with a

precipitation nobody could account for, till, when come to

myself, and compos'd enough to speak, I acquainted those of

the house with the whole transaction I had been evidence to.

 

     When I came home again, and told Mrs. Cole this adven-

ture, she very sensibly observ'd to me that there was no doubt

of due vengeance one time of other overtaking these miscre-

ants, however they might escape for the present; and that, had

I been the temporal instrument of it, I should have been at

least put to a great deal more trouble and confusion that I

imagined; that, as to the thing itself, the less said of it

was the better; but that though she might be suspected of

partiality, from its being the common cause of woman-kind, out

of whose mouths this practice tended to take something more

than bread, yet she protested against any mixture of passion,

with a declaration extorted from her by pure regard to truth;

which was that whatever effect this infamous passion had in

other ages and other countries, it seem'd a peculiar blessing

on our air and climate, that there was a plague-spot visibly

imprinted on all that are tainted with it, in this nation at

least; for that among numbers of that stamp whom she had

known, or at least were universally under the scandalous sus-

picion of it, she would not name an exception hardly of one

of them, whose character was not, in all other respects, the

most worthless and despicable that could be, stript of all

the manly virtues of their own sex, and fill'd up with only

the worst vices and follies of ours: that, in fine, they were

scarce less execrable than ridiculous in their monstrous in-

consistence, of loathing and condemning women, and all at the

same time apeing all their manners, air, lips, skuttle, and,

in general, all their little modes of affectation, which be-

come them at least better than they do these unsex'd male-

misses.

 

     But here, washing my hands of them, I re-plunge into the

stream of my history, into which I may very properly ingraft

a terrible sally of Louisa's, since I had some share in it

myself, and have besides engag'd myself to relate it, in point

of countenance to poor Emily.  It will add, too, one more

example to thousands, in confirmation of the maxim that when

women get once out of compass, there are no lengths of licen-

tiousness that they are not capable of running.

 

     One morning then, that both Mrs. Cole and Emily were gone

out for the day, and only Louisa and I (not to mention the

house-maid) were left in charge of the house, whilst we were

loitering away the time in looking through the shop windows,

the son of a poor woman, who earned very hard bread indeed by

mending stockings, in a stall in the neighbourhood, offer'd us

some nosegays, ring'd round a small basket; by selling of

which the poor boy eked out his mother's maintenance of them

both: nor was he fit for any other way of livelihood, since he

was not only a perfect changeling, or idiot, but stammer'd so

that there was no understanding even those sounds his half-

dozen, at most, animal ideas prompted him to utter.

 

     The boys and servants in the neighbourhood had given him

the nick-name of Good-natured Dick, from the soft simpleton's

doing everything he was bid at the first word, and from his

naturally having no turn to mischief; then, by the way, he

was perfectly well made, stout, clean-limb'd, tall of his age,

as strong as a horse and, withal, pretty featur'd; so that he

was not, absolutely, such a figure to be snuffled at neither,

if your nicety could, in favour of such essentials, have dis-

pens'd with a face unwashed, hair tangled for want of comb-

ing, and so ragged a plight, that he might have disputed

points of shew with e'er a heathen philosopher of them all.

 

     This boy we had often seen, and bought his flowers, out

of pure compassion, and nothing more; but just at this time

as he stood presenting us his basket, a sudden whim, a start

of wayward fancy, seiz'd Louisa; and, without consulting me,

she calls him in, and beginning to examine his nosegays,

culls out two, one for herself, another for me, and pulling

out half a crown, very currently gives it him to change, as

if she had really expected he could have changed it: but the

boy, scratching his head, made his signs explaining his in-

ability in place of words, which he could not, with all his

struggling, articulate.

 

     Louisa, at this, says:  "Well, my lad, come up-stairs

with me, and I will give you your due," winking at the same

time to me, and beckoning me to accompany her, which I did,

securing first the street-door, that by this means, together

with the shop, became wholly the care of the faithful house-

maid.

 

     As we went up, Louisa whispered to me that she had con-

ceiv'd a strange longing to be satisfy'd, whether the general

rule held good with regard to this changeling, and how far

nature had made him amends, in her best bodily gifts, for her

denial of the sublimer intellectual ones; begging, at the

same time, my assistance in procuring her this satisfaction.

A want of complaisance was never my vice, and I was so far

from opposing this extravagant frolic, that now, bit with the

same maggot, and my curiosity conspiring with hers, I enter'd

plum into it, on my own account.

 

     Consequently, as soon as we came into Louisa's bed-

chamber, whilst she was amusing him with picking out his

nosegays, I undertook the lead, and began the attack.  As it

was not then very material to keep much measures with a mere

natural, I made presently very free with him, though at my

first motion of meddling, his surprize and confusion made

him receive my advances but aukwardly: nay, insomuch that he

bashfully shy'd, and shy'd back a little; till encouraging

him with my eyes, plucking him playfully by the hair, sleeking

his cheeks, and forwarding my point by a number of little

wantonness, I soon turn'd him familiar, and gave nature her

sweetest alarm: so that arous'd, and beginning to feel him-

self, we could, amidst all the innocent laugh and grin I had

provoked him into, perceive the fire lighting in his eyes,

and, diffusing over his cheeks, blend its glow with that of

his blushes.  The emotion in short of animal pleasure glar'd

distinctly in the simpleton's countenance; yet, struck with

the novelty of the scene, he did not know which way to look

or move; but tame, passive, simpering, with his mouth half

open in stupid rapture, stood and tractably suffer'd me to

do what I pleased with him.  His basket was dropt out of his

hands, which Louisa took care of.

 

     I had now, through more than one rent, discovered and

felt his thighs, the skin of which seemed the smoother and

fairer for the coarseness, and even dirt of his dress, as

the teeth of Negroes seem the whiter for the surrounding

black; and poor indeed of habit, poor of understanding, he

was, however, abundantly rich in personal treasures, such as

flesh, firm, plump, and replete with the juices of youth,

and robust well-knit limbs.  My fingers too had now got with-

in reach of the true, the genuine sensitive plant, which,

instead of shrinking from the touch, joys to meet it, and

swells and vegetates under it: mine pleasingly informed me

that matters were so ripe for the discovery we meditated,

that they were too mighty for the confinement they were ready

to break.  A waistband that I unskewer'd, and a rag of a shirt

that I removed, and which could not have cover'd a quarter of

it, revealed the whole of the idiot's standard of distinction,

erect, in full pride and display: but such a one! it was posi-

tively of so tremendous a size, that prepared as we were to

see something extraordinary, it still, out of measure, sur-

pass'd our expectation, and astonish'd even me, who had not

been used to trade in trifles.  In fine, it might have answer-

ed very well the making a show of; its enormous head seemed,

in hue and size, not unlike a common sheep's heart; then you

might have troll'd dice securely along the broad back of the

body of it; the length of it too was prodigious; then the rich

appendage of the treasure-bag beneath, large in proportion,

gather'd adn crisp'd up round in shallow furrows, helped to

fill the eye, and complete the proof of his being a natural,

not quite in vain; since it was full manifest that he inherit-

ed, and largely too, the prerogative of majesty which distin-

guishes that otherwise most unfortunate condition, and gives

rise to the vulgar saying "A fool's bauble is a lady's play-

fellow."  Not wholly without reason: for, generally speaking,

it is in love as it is in war, where longest weapon carries

it.  Nature, in short, had done so much for him in those

parts, that she perhaps held herself acquitted in doing so

little for his head.

 

     For my part, who had sincerely no intention to push the

joke further than simply satisfying my curiosity with the

sight of it alone, I was content, in spite of the temptation

that star'd me in the face, with having rais'd a May-pole

for another to hang a garland on: for, by this time, easily

reading Louisa's desires in her wishful eyes, I acted the

commodious part and made her, who sought no better sport,

significant terms of encouragement to go through-stitch with

her adventure; intimating too that I would stay and see fair

play: in which, indeed, I had in view to humour a new-born

curiosity, to observe what appearances active nature would put

on in a natural, in the course of this her darling operation.

 

     Louisa, whose appetite was up, and who, like the indus-

trious bee, was, it seems, not above gathering the sweets of

so rare a flower, tho' she found it planted on a dunghill,

was but too readily disposed to take the benefit of my

cession.  Urg'd then strongly by her own desires, and em-

bolden'd by me, she presently determined to risk a trial of

parts with the idiot, who was by this time nobly inflam'd

for her purpose, by all the irritations we had used to put

the principles of pleasure effectually into motion, and to

wind up the springs of its organ to their supreme pitch; and

it stood accordingly stiff and straining, ready to burst with

the blood and spirits that swelled it . . . to a bulk!  No!

I shall never forget it.

 

     Louisa then, taking and holding the fine handle that

so invitingly offer'd itself, led the ductile youth by that

master-tool of his, as she stept backward towards the bed;

which he joyfully gave way to, under the incitations of in-

stinct and palpably deliver'd up to the goad of desire.

 

     Stopped then by the bed, she took the fall she lov'd,

and lean'd to the most, gently backward upon it, still hold-

ing fast what she held, and taking care to give her cloaths

a convenient toss up, so that her thighs duly disclos'd, and

elevated, laid open all the outward prospect of the treasury

of love: the rose-lipt overture presenting the cock-pit so

fair, that it was not in nature even for a natural to miss it.

Nor did he, for Louisa, fully bent on grappling with it, and

impatient of dalliance or delay, directed faithfully the point

of the battering-piece, and bounded up with a rage of so vora-

cious appetite, to meet and favour the thrust of insertion,

that the fierce activity on both sides effected it with such

pain of distention, that Louisa cry'd out violently that she

was hurt beyond bearing, that she was killed.  But it was too

late: the storm was up, and force was on her to give way to

it; for now the man-machine, strongly work'd upon by the sen-

sual passion, felt so manfully his advantages and superiority,

felt withal the sting of pleasure so intolerable, that madden-

ing with it, his joys began to assume a character of furious-

ness which made me tremble for the too tender Louisa.  He

seemed, at this juncture, greater than himself; his counten-

ance, before so void of meaning, or expression, now grew big

with the importance of the act he was upon.  In short, it was

not now that he was to be play'd the fool with.  But, what is

pleasant enough, I myself was aw'd into a sort of respect for

him, by the comely terrors his motions dressed him in: his

eyes shooting sparks of fire; his face glowing with ardours

that gave another life to it; his teeth churning; his whole

frame agitated with a raging ungovernable impetuosity: all

sensibly betraying the formidable fierceness with which the

genial instinct acted upon him.  Butting then and goring all

before him, and mad and wild like an over-driven steer, he

ploughs up the tender furrow, all insensible to Louisa's com-

plaints; nothing can stop, nothing can keep out a fury like

his: with which, having once got its head in, its blind rage

soon made way for the rest, piercing, rending, and breaking

open all obstructions.  The torn, split, wounded girl cries,

struggles, invokes me to her rescue, and endeavours to get

from under the young savage, or shake him off, but alas! in

vain: her breath might as soon have still'd or stemm'd a storm

in winter, as all her strength have quell'd his rough assault,

or put him out of his course.  And indeed, all her efforts and

struggles were manag'd with such disorder, that they serv'd

rather to entangle, and fold her the faster in the twine of

his boisterous arms; so that she was tied to the stake, and

oblig'd to fight the match out, if she died for it.  For his

part, instinct-ridden as he was, the expressions of his animal

passion, partaking something of ferocity, were rather worrying

than kisses, intermix'd with eager ravenous love-bites on her

cheeks and neck, the prints of which did not wear out for some

days after.

     Poor Louisa, however, bore up at length better than could

have been expected; and though she suffer'd, and greatly too,

yet, ever true to the good old cause, she suffer'd with plea-

sure and enjoyed her pain.  And soon now, by dint of an en-

rag'd enforcement, the brute-machine, driven like a whirl-

wind, made all smoke again, and wedging its way up, to the

utmost extremity, left her, in point of penetration, nothing

to fear or to desire: and now,

 

     "Gorg'd with the dearest morsel of the earth,"

                                         (Shakespeare.)

 

Louisa lay, pleas'd to the heart, pleas'd to her utmost capa-

city of being so, with every fibre in those parts, stretched

almost to breaking, on a rack of joy, whilst the instrument

of all this overfulness searched her senses with its sweet

excess, till the pleasure gained upon her so, its point stung

her so home, that catching at length the rage from her fur-

ious driver and sharing the riot of his wild rapture, she

went wholly out of her mind into that favourite part of her

body, the whole intenseness of which was so fervously fill'd,

and employ'd: there alone she existed, all lost in those de-

lirious transports, those extasies of the senses, which her

winking eyes, the brighten'd vermilion of her lips and cheeks,

and sighs of pleasure deeply fetched, so pathetically ex-

press'd.  In short, she was now as mere a machine as much

wrought on, and had her motions as little at her own command

as the natural himself, who thus broke in upon her, made her

feel with a vengeance his tempestuous tenderness, and the

force of the mettle he battered with; their active loins

quivered again with the violence of their conflict, till the

surge of pleasure, foaming and raging to a height, drew down

the pearly shower that was to allay this hurricane.  The

purely sensitive idiot then first shed those tears of joy that

attend its last moments, not without an agony of delight and

even almost a roar of rapture, as the gush escaped him; so

sensibly too for Louisa, that she kept him faithful company,

going off, in consent, with the old symptoms: a delicious

delirium, a tremulous convulsive shudder, and the critical

dying Oh!  And now, on his getting off, she lay pleasure-

drench'd, and re-gorging its essential sweets; but quite

spent, and gasping for breath, without other sensation of

life than in those exquisite vibrations that trembled yet on

the strings of delight, which had been too intensively

touched, and which nature had been so intensly stirred with,

for the senses to be quickly at peace from.

 

     As for the changeling, whose curious engine had been

thus successfully played off, his shift of countenance and

gesture had even something droll, or rather tragi-comic in

it: there was now an air of sad repining foolishness, super-

added to his natural one of no-meaning and idiotism, as he

stood with his label of manhood, now lank, unstiffen'd, be-

calm'd, and flapping against his thighs, down which it reach'd

half-way, terrible even in its fall, whilst under the dejec-

tion of spirit and flesh, which naturally followed, his eyes,

by turns, cast down towards his struck standard, or piteously

lifted to Louisa, seemed to require at her hands what he had

so sensibly parted from to her, and now ruefully miss'd.  But

the vigour of nature, soon returning, dissipated the blast of

faintness which the common law of enjoyment had subjected him

to; and now his basket re-became his main concern, which I

look'd for, and brought him, whilst Louisa restor'd his dress

to its usual condition, and afterwards pleased him perhaps

more by taking all his flowers off his hands, and paying him,

at his rate, for them, than if she had embarrass'd him by a

present that he would have been puzzled to account for, and

might have put others on tracing the motives of.

 

     Whether she ever return'd to the attack I know not, and,

to say the truth, I believe not.  She had had her freak out,

and had pretty plentifully drown'd her curiosity in a glut of

pleasure, which, as it happened, had no other consequence

than that the lad, who retain'd only a confused memory of the

transaction, would, when he saw her, for some time after,

express a grin of joy and familiarity, after his idiot manner,

and soon forgot her in favour of the next woman, tempted, on

the report of his parts, to take him in.

 

 

                         Part 10

 

     Louisa herself did not long outstay this adventure at

Mrs. Cole's (to whom, by-the-bye, we took care not to boast

of our exploit, till all fear of consequences were clearly

over): for an occasion presenting itself of proving her

passion for a young fellow, at the expense of her discretion,

proceeding all in character, she pack'd up her toilet at half

a day's warning and went with him abroad, since which I

entirely lost sight of her, and it never fell in my way to

hear what became of her.

 

     But a few days after she had left us, two very pretty

young gentlemen, who were Mrs. Cole's especial favourites,

and free of her academy, easily obtain'd her consent for

Emily's and my acceptance of a party of pleasure at a little

but agreeable house belonging to one of them, situated not

far up the river Thames, on the Surry side.

 

     Everything being settled, and it being a fine summer-

day, but rather of the warmest, we set out after dinner, and

got to our rendez-vous about four in the afternoon; where,

landing at the foot of a neat, joyous pavillion, Emily and I

were handed into it by our squires, and there drank tea with

a cheerfulness and gaiety that the beauty of the prospect,

the serenity of the weather, and the tender politeness of our

sprightly gallants naturally led us into.

 

     After tea, and taking a turn in the garden, my particu-

lar, who was the master of the house, and had in no sense

schem'd this party of pleasure for a dry one, propos'd to us,

with that frankness which his familiarity at Mrs. Cole's

entitled him to, as the weather was excessively hot, to bathe

together, under a commodious shelter that he had prepared

expressly for that purpose, in a creek of the river, with

which a side-door of the pavilion immediately communicated,

and where we might be sure of having our diversion out, safe

from interruption, and with the utmost privacy.

 

     Emily, who never refus'd anything, and I, who ever

delighted in bathing, and had no exception to the person who

propos'd it, or to those pleasures it was easy to guess it

implied, took care, on this occasion, not to wrong our

training at Mrs. Cole's, and agreed to it with as good a

grace as we could.  Upon which, without loss of time, we

return'd instantly to the pavilion, one door of which open'd

into a tent, pitch'd before it, that with its marquise,

formed a pleasing defense against the sun, or the weather,

and was besides as private as we could wish.  The lining of

it, imbossed cloth, represented a wild forest-foliage, from

the top down to the sides, which, in the same stuff, were

figur'd with fluted pilasters, with their spaces between

fill'd with flower-vases, the whole having a gay effect upon

the eye, wherever you turn'd it.

 

     Then it reached sufficiently into the water, yet con-

tain'd convenient benches round it, on the dry ground, either

to keep our cloaths, or . . ., or . . ., in short, for more

uses than resting upon.  There was a side-table too, loaded

with sweetmeats, jellies, and other eatables, and bottles of

wine and cordials, by way of occasional relief from any raw-

ness, or chill of the water, or from any faintness from what-

ever cause; and in fact, my gallant, who understood chere

entiere perfectly, and who, for taste (even if you would not

approve this specimen of it) might have been comptroller of

pleasures to a Roman emperor, had left no requisite towards

convenience or luxury unprovided.

 

     As soon as we had look'd round this inviting spot, and

every preliminary of privacy was duly settled, strip was the

word: when the young gentlemen soon dispatch'd the undressing

each his partner and reduced us to the naked confession of

all those secrets of person which dress generally hides, and

which the discovery of was, naturally speaking, not to our

disadvantage.  Our hands, indeed, mechanically carried towards

the most interesting part of us, screened, at first, all from

the tufted cliff downwards, till we took them away at their

desire, and employed them in doing them the same office, of

helping off with their cloaths; in the process of which, there

pass'd all the little wantonnesses and frolicks that you may

easily imagine.

 

     As for my spark, he was presently undressed, all to his

shirt, the fore-lappet of which as he lean'd languishingly on

me, he smilingly pointed to me to observe, as it bellied out,

or rose and fell, according to the unruly starts of the mo-

tion behind it; but it was soon fix'd, for now taking off his

shirt, and naked as a Cupid, he shew'd it me at so upright a

stand, as prepar'd me indeed for his application to me for

instant ease; but, tho' the sight of its fine size was fit

enough to fire me, the cooling air, as I stood in this state

of nature, joined to the desire I had of bathing first, en-

abled me to put him off, and tranquillize him, with the re-

mark that a little suspense would only set a keener edge on

the pleasure.  Leading then the way, and shewing our friends

an example of continency, which they were giving signs of

losing respect to, we went hand in hand into the stream, till

it took us up to our neck, where the no more than grateful

coolness of the water gave my senses a delicious refreshment

from the sultriness of the season, and made more alive, more

happy in myself, and, in course, more alert, and open to

voluptuous impressions.

 

     Here I lav'd and wanton'd with the water, or sportively

play'd with my companion, leaving Emily to deal with hers at

discretion.  Mine, at length, not content with making me take

the plunge over head and ears, kept splashing me, and provok-

ing me with all the little playful tricks he could devise,

and which I strove not to remain in his debt for.  We gave,

in short, a loose to mirth; and now, nothing would serve him

but giving his hands the regale of going over every part of

me, neck, breast, belly, thighs, and all the et cetera, so

dear to the imagination, under the pretext of washing and

rubbing them; as we both stood in the water, no higher now

than the pit of our stomachs, and which did not hinder him

from feeling, and toying with that leak that distinguishes

our sex, and it so wonderfully water-tight: for his fingers,

in vain dilating and opening it, only let more flame than

water into it, be it said without a figure.  At the same time

he made me feel his own engine, which was so well wound up,

as to stand even the working in water, and he accordingly

threw one arm round my neck, and was endeavouring to get the

better of that harsher construction bred by the surrounding

fluid; and had in effect won his way so far as to make me

sensible of the pleasing stretch of those nether-lips, from

the in-driving machine; when, independent of my not liking

that aukward mode of enjoyment, I could not help interrupt-

ing him, in order to become joint spectators of a plan of

joy, in hot operation between Emily and her partner; who

impatient of the fooleries and dalliance of the bath, had led

his nymph to one of the benches on the green bank, where he

was very cordially proceeding to teach her the difference be-

twixt jest and earnest.

 

     There, setting her on his knee, and gliding one hand over

the surface of that smooth polish'd snow-white skin of hers,

which now doubly shone with a dew-bright lustre, and presented

to the touch something like what one would imagine of animated

ivory, especially in those ruby-nippled globes, which the

touch is so fond of and delights to make love to, with the

other he was lusciously exploring the sweet secret of nature,

in order to make room for a stately piece of machinery, that

stood uprear'd, between her thighs, as she continued sitting

on his lap, and pressed hard for instant admission, which the

tender Emily, in a fit of humour deliciously protracted, af-

fecting to decline, and elude the very pleasure she sigh'd

for, but in a style of waywardness so prettily put on, and

managed, as to render it ten times more poignant; then her

eyes, all amidst the softest dying languishment, express'd at

once a mock denial and extreme desire, whilst her sweetness

was zested with a coyness so pleasingly provoking, her moods

of keeping him off were so attractive, that they redoubled

the impetuous rage with which he cover'd her with kisses: and

the kisses that, whilst she seemed to shy from or scuffle for,

the cunning wanton contrived such sly returns of, as were

doubtless the sweeter for the gust she gave them, of being

stolen ravished.

 

     Thus Emily, who knew no art but that which nature itself,

in favour of her principal end, pleasure, had inspir'd her

with, the art of yielding, coy'd it indeed, but coy'd it to

the purpose; for with all her straining, her wrestling, and

striving to break from the clasp of his arms, she was so far

wiser yet than to mean it, that in her struggles, it was

visible she aim'd at nothing more than multiplying points of

touch with him, and drawing yet closer the folds that held

them every where entwined, like two tendrils of a vine inter-

curling together: so that the same effect, as when Louisa

strove in good earnest to disengage from the idiot, was now

produced by different motives.

 

     Mean while, their emersion out of the cold water had

caused a general glow, a tender suffusion of heighten'd

carnation over their bodies; both equally white and smooth-

skinned; so that as their limbs were thus amorously inter-

woven, in sweet confusion, it was scarce possible to distin-

guish who they respectively belonged to, but for the brawnier,

bolder muscles of the stronger sex.

 

     In a little time, however, the champion was fairly in

with her, and had tied at all points the true lover's knot;

when now, adieu all the little refinements of a finessed re-

luctance; adieu the friendly feint!  She was presently driven

forcibly out of the power of using any art; and indeed, what

art must not give way, when nature, corresponding with her

assailant, invaded in the heart of her capital and carried by

storm, lay at the mercy of the proud conqueror who had made

his entry triumphantly and completely?  Soon, however, to be-

come a tributary: for the engagement growing hotter and

hotter, at close quarters, she presently brought him to the

pass of paying down the dear debt to nature; which she had no

sooner collected in, but, like a duellist who has laid his

antagonist at his feet, when he has himself received a mortal

wound, Emily had scarce time to plume herself upon her vic-

tory, but, shot with the same discharge, she, in a loud ex-

piring sigh, in the closure of her eyes, the stretch-out of

her limbs, and a remission of her whole frame, gave manifest

signs that all was as it should be.

 

     For my part, who had not with the calmest patience stood

in the water all this time, to view this warm action, I lean'd

tenderly on my gallant, and at the close of it, seemed'd to

ask him with my eyes what he thought of it; but he, more eager

to satisfy me by his actions than by words or looks, as we

shoal'd the water towards the shore, shewed me the staff of

love so intensely set up, that had not even charity beginning

at home in this case, urged me to our mutual relief, it would

have been cruel indeed to have suffered the youth to burst

with straining, when the remedy was so obvious and so near at

hand.

 

     Accordingly we took to a bench, whilst Emily and her

spark, who belonged it seems to the sea, stood at the side-

board, drinking to our good voyage: for, as the last observ'd,

we were well under weigh, with a fair wind up channel, and

full-freighted; nor indeed were we long before we finished our

trip to Cythera, and unloaded in the old haven; but, as the

circumstances did not admit of much variation, I shall spare

you the description.

 

     At the same time, allow me to place you here an excuse

I am conscious of owing you, for having, perhaps, too much

affected the figurative style; though surely, it can pass no-

where more allowably than in a subject which is so properly

the province of poetry, nay, is poetry itself, pregnant with

every flower of imagination and loving metaphors, even were

not the natural expressions, for respects of fashion and

sound, necessarily forbid it.

 

     Resuming now my history, you may please to know that

what with a competent number of repetitions, all in the same

strain (and, by-the-bye, we have a certain natural sense that

those repetitions are very much to the taste), what with a

circle of pleasures delicately varied, there was not a moment

lost to joy all the time we staid there, till late in the

night we were re-escorted home by our squires, who delivered

us safe to Mrs. Cole, with generous thanks for our company.

 

     This too was Emily's last adventure in our way: for

scarce a week after, she was, by an accident too trivial to

detail to you the particulars, found out by her parents, who

were in good circumstances, and who had been punish'd for

their partiality to their son, in the loss of him, occasion'd

by a circumstance of their over-indulgence to his appetite;

upon which the so long engross'd stream of fondness, running

violently in favour of this lost and inhumanly abandon'd child

whom if they had not neglected enquiry about, they might long

before have recovered.  They were now so overjoyed at the re-

trieval of her, that, I presume, it made them much less strict

in examining the bottom of things: for they seem'd very glad

to take for granted, in the lump, everything that the grave

and decent Mrs. Cole was pleased to pass upon them; and soon

afterwards sent her, from the country, a handsome acknowledge-

ment.

 

     But it was not so easy to replace to our community the

loss of so sweet a member of it: for, not to mention her

beauty, she was one of those mild, pliant characters that if

one does not entirely esteem, one can scarce help loving,

which is not such a bad compensation neither.  Owing all her

weakness to good-nature, and an indolent facility that kept

her too much at the mercy of first impressions, she had just

sense enough to know that she wanted leading-strings, and

thought herself so much obliged to any who would take the

pains to think for her, and guide her, that with a very little

management, she was capable of being made a most agreeable,

nay, a most virtuous wife: for vice, it is probable, had never

been her choice, or her fate, if it had not been for occasion,

or example, or had she not depended less upon herself than

upon her circumstances.  This presumption her conduct after-

wards verified: for presently meeting with a match that was

ready cut and dry for her, with a neighbour's son of her own

rank, and a young man of sense and order, who took her as the

widow of one lost at sea (for so it seems one of her gallants,

whose name she had made free with, really was), she naturally

struck into all the duties of their domestic life with as much

constancy and regularity, as if she had never swerv'd from a

state of undebauch'd innocence from her youth.

 

     These desertions had, however, now so far thinned Mrs.

Cole's brood that she was left with only me like a hen with

one chicken; but tho' she was earnestly entreated and encou-

rag'd to recruit her corps, her growing infirmities, and,

above all, the tortures of a stubborn hip-gout, which she

found would yield to no remedy, determin'd her to bread up her

business and retire with a decent pittance into the country,

where I promis'd myself nothing so sure, as my going down to

live with her as soon as I had seen a little more of life and

improv'd my small matters into a competency that would create

in me an independence on the world: for I was, now, thanks to

Mrs. Cole, wise enough to keep that essential in view.

 

     Thus was I then to lose my faithful preceptress, as did

the Philosophers of the town the White Crow of her profession.

For besides that she never ransacked her customers, whose

taste too she ever studiously consulted, besides that she

never racked her pupils with unconscionable extortions, nor

ever put their hard earnings, as she call'd them, under the

contribution of poundage.  She was a severe enemy to the

seduction for innocence, and confin'd her acquisitions solely

to those unfortunate young women, who, having lost it, were

but the juster objects of compassion: among these, indeed,

she pick'd but such as suited her views and taking them under

her protection, rescu'd them from the danger of the publick

sinks of ruin and misery, to place, or do for them, well or

ill, in the manner you have seen.  Having then settled her

affairs, she set out on her journey, after taking the most

tender leave of me, and at the end of some excellent instruc-

tions, recommending me to myself, with an anxiety perfectly

maternal.  In short, she affected me so much, that I was not

presently reconcil'd to myself for suffering her at any rate

to go without me; but fate had, it seems, otherwise dispos'd

of me.

 

     I had, on my separation from Mrs. Cole, taken a pleasant

convenient house at Marybone, but easy to rent and manage from

its smallness, which I furnish'd neatly and modestly.  There,

with a reserve of eight hundred pounds, the fruit of my defer-

ence to Mrs. Cole's counsels, exclusive of cloaths, some

jewels, some plate, I saw myself in purse for a long time, to

wait without impatience for what the chapter of accidents

might produce in my favour.

 

     Here, under the new character of a young gentle-woman

whose husband was gone to sea, I had mark'd me out such lines

of life and conduct, as leaving me at a competent liberty to

pursue my views either out of pleasure or fortune, bounded me

nevertheless strictly within the rules od decency and discre-

tion: a disposition in which you cannot escape observing a

true pupil of Mrs. Cole.

 

     I was scarce, however, well warm in my new abode, when

going out one morning pretty early to enjoy the freshness of

it, in the pleasing outlet of the fields, accompanied only by

a maid, whom I had newly hired, as we were carelessly walking

among the trees we were alarmed with the noise of a violent

coughing: turning our heads towards which, we distinguish'd a

plain well-dressed elderly gentleman, who, attack'd with a

sudden fit, was so much overcome as to be forc'd to give way

to it and sit down at the foot of a tree, where he seemed

suffocating with the severity of it, being perfectly black in

the face: not less mov'd than frighten'd with which, I flew

on the instant to his relief, and using the rote of practice

I had observ'd on the like occasion, I loosened his cravat

and clapped him on the back; but whether to any purpose, or

whether the cough had had its course, I know not, but the fit

immediately went off; and now recover'd to his speech and

legs, he returned me thanks with as much emphasis as if I had

sav'd his life.  This naturally engaging a conversation, he

acquainted me where he lived, which was at a considerable

distance from where I met with him, and where he had stray'd

insensibly on the same intention of a morning walk.

 

     He was, as I afterwards learn'd in the course of the

intimacy which this little accident gave birth to, an old

bachelor, turn'd of sixty, but of a fresh vigorous complexion,

insomuch that he scarce marked five and forty, having never

rack'd his constitution by permitting his desires to overtax

his ability.

 

     As to his birth and condition, his parents, honest and

fail'd mechanicks, had, by the best traces he could get of

them, left him an infant orphan on the parish; so that it was

from a charity-school, that, by honesty and industry, he made

his way into a merchant's counting-house; from whence, being

sent to a house in CADIZ, he there, by his talents and acti-

vity, acquired a fortune, but an immense one, with which he

returned to his native country; where he could not, however,

so much as fish out one single relation out of the obscurity

he was born in.  Taking then a taste for retirement, and

pleas'd to enjoy life, like a mistress in the dark, he flowed

his days in all the ease of opulence, without the least parade

of it; and, rather studying the concealment than the shew of a

fortune, looked down on a world he perfectly knew; himself, to

his wish, unknown and unmarked by.

 

     But, as I propose to devote a letter entirely to the

pleasure of retracing to you all the particulars of my ac-

quaintance with this ever, to me, memorable friend, I shall,

in this, transiently touch on no more than may serve, as

mortar to cement, to form the connection of my history, and

to obviate your surprize that one of my high blood and relish

of life should count a gallant of threescore such a catch.

 

     Referring then to a more explicit narrative, to explain

by what progressions our acquaintance, certainly innocent at

first, insensibly changed nature, and ran into unplatonic

lengths, as might well be expected from one of my condition

of life, and above all, from that principle of electricity

that scarce ever fails of producing fire when the sexes meet.

I shall only her acquaint you, that as age had not subdued

his tenderness for our sex, neither had it robbed him of the

power of pleasing, since whatever he wanted in the bewitching

charms of youth, he aton'd for, or supplemented with the ad-

vantages of experience, the sweetness of his manners, and

above all, his flattering address in touching the heart, by

an application to the understanding.  From him it was I first

learn'd, to any purpose, and not without infinite pleasure,

that I had such a portion of me worth bestowing some regard

on; from him I received my first essential encouragement, and

instructions how to put it in that train of cultivation, which

I have since pushed to the little degree of improvement you

see it at; he it was, who first taught me to be sensible that

the pleasures of the mind were superior to those of the body;

at the same time, that they were so far from obnoxious to, or

incompatible with each other, that, besides the sweetness in

the variety and transition, the one serv'd to exalt and per-

fect the taste of the other to a degree that the senses alone

can never arrive at.

 

     Himself a rational pleasurist, as being much too wise to

be asham'd of the pleasures of humanity, loved me indeed, but

loved me with dignity; in a mean equally remov'd from the

sourness, of forwardness, by which age is unpleasingly char-

acteriz'd, and from that childish silly dotage that so often

disgraces it, and which he himself used to turn into ridicule,

and compare to an old goat affecting the frisk of a young kid.

 

     In short, everything that is generally unamiable in his

season of life was, in him, repair'd by so many advantages,

that he existed a proof, manifest at least to me, that it is

not out of the power of age to please, if it lays out to

please, and if, making just allowances, those in that class

do not forget that it must cost them more pains and attention

than what youth, the natural spring-time of joy, stands in

need of: as fruits out of season require proportionably more

skill and cultivation, to force them.

 

     With this gentleman then, who took me home soon after

our acquaintance commenc'd, I lived near eight months; in

which time, my constant complaisance and docility, my atten-

tion to deserve his confidence and love, and a conduct, in

general, devoid of the least art and founded on my sincere

regard and esteem for him, won and attach'd him so firmly to

me, that, after having generously trusted me with a genteel,

independent settlement, proceeding to heap marks of affection

on me, he appointed me, by an authentick will, his sole

heiress and executrix: a disposition which he did not outlive

two months, being taken from me by a violent cold that he

contracted as he unadvisedly ran to the window on an alarm of

fire, at some streets distance, and stood there naked-breast-

ed, and exposed to the fatal impressions of a damp night-air.

 

     After acquitting myself of my duty towards my deceas'd

benefactor, and paying him a tribute of unfeign'd sorrow,

which a little time chang'd into a most tender, grateful

memory of him that I shall ever retain, I grew somewhat com-

forted by the prospect that now open'd to me, if not of hap-

piness at least of affluence and independence.

 

     I saw myself then in the full bloom and pride of youth

(for I was not yet nineteen) actually at the head of so large

a fortune, as it would have been even the height of impudence

in me to have raised my wishes, much more my hopes, to; and

that this unexpected elevation did not turn my head, I ow'd

to the pains my benefactor had taken to form and prepare me

for it, as I ow'd his opinion of my management of the vast

possessions he left me, to what he had observ'd of the pru-

dential economy I had learned under Mrs. Cole, of which the

reserve he saw I had made was a proof and encouragement to

him.

 

     But, alas! how easily is the enjoyment of the greatest

sweets in life, in present possession, poisoned by the regret

of an absent one! but my regret was a mighty and just one,

since it had my only truly beloved Charles for its object.

 

     Given him up I had, indeed, compleatly, having never once

heard from him since our separation; which, as I found after-

wards, had been my misfortune, and not his neglect, for he

wrote me several letters which had all miscarried; but for-

gotten him I never had.  Amidst all my personal infidelities,

not one had made a pin's point impression on a heart impene-

trable to the true love-passion, but for him.

 

     As soon, however, as I was mistress of this unexpected

fortune, I felt more than ever how dear he was to me, from

its insufficiency to make me happy, whilst he was not to

share it with me.  My earliest care, consequently, was to

endeavour at getting some account of him; but all my re-

searches produc'd me no more light than that his father had

been dead for some time, not so well as even with the world;

and that Charles had reached his port of destination in the

South-Seas, where, finding the estate he was sent to recover

dwindled to a trifle, by the loss of two ships in which the

bulk of his uncle's fortune lay, he was come away with the

small remainder, and might, perhaps, according to the best

advice, in a few months return to England, from whence he

had, at the time of this my inquiry, been absent two years

and seven months.  A little eternity in love!

 

     You cannot conceive with what joy I embraced the hopes

thus given me of seeing the delight of my heart again.  But,

as the term of months was assigned it, in order to divert

and amuse my impatience for his return, after settling my

affairs with much ease and security, I set out on a journey

for Lancashire, with an equipage suitable to my fortune, and

with a design purely to revisit my place of nativity, for

which I could not help retaining a great tenderness; and might

naturally not be sorry to shew myself there, to the advantage

I was now in pass to do, after the report Esther Davis had

spread of my being spirited away to the plantations; for on

no other supposition could she account for the suppression of

myself to her, since her leaving me so abruptly at the inn.

Another favourite intention I had, to look out for my rela-

tions, though I had none besides distant ones, and prove a

benefactress to them.  Then Mrs. Cole's place of retirement

lying in my way, was not amongst the least of the pleasures I

had proposed to myself in this expedition.

 

     I had taken nobody with me but a discreet decent woman,

to figure it as my companion, besides my servants, and was

scarce got into an inn, about twenty miles from London, where

I was to sup and pass the night, when such a storm of wind

and rain sprang up as made me congratulate myself on having

got under shelter before it began.

 

     This had continu'd a good half hour, when bethinking me

of some directions to be given to the coachman, I sent for

him, and not caring that his shoes should soil the very clean

parlour, in which the cloth was laid, I stept into the hall-

kitchen, where he was, and where, whilst I was talking to him,

I slantingly observ'd two horsemen driven in by the weather,

and both wringing wet; one of whom was asking if they could

not be assisted with a change, while their clothes were dried.

But, heavens! who can express what I felt at the sound of a

voice, ever present to my heart, and that is now rebounded at!

or when pointing my eyes towards the person it came from, they

confirm'd its information, in spite of so long an absence, and

of a dress one would have imagin'd studied for a disguise: a

horseman's great coat, with a stand-up cape, and his hat

flapp'd . . . but what could escape the piercing alertness of

a sense surely guided by love?  A transport then like mine was

above all consideration, or schemes of surprize; and I, that

instant, with the rapidity of the emotions that I felt the

spur of, shot into his arms, crying out, as I threw mine round

his neck:  "My life! . . . my soul! . . . my Charles! . . ."

and without further power of speech, swoon'd away, under the

pressing agitations of joy and surprize.

 

     Recover'd out of my entrancement, I found myself in my

charmer's arms, but in the parlour, surrounded by a crowd

which this event had gather'd round us, and which immediately,

on a signal from the discreet landlady, who currently took him

for my husband, clear'd the room, and desirably left us alone

to the raptures of this reunion; my joy at which had like to

have prov'd, at the expense of my life, power superior to that

of grief at our fatal separation.

 

     The first object then, that my eyes open'd on, was their

supreme idol, and my supreme wish Charles, on one knee, hold-

ing me fast by the hand and gazing on me with a transport of

fondness.  Observing my recovery, he attempted to speak, and

give vent to his patience of hearing my voice again, to

satisfy him once more that it was me; but the mightiness and

suddenness of the surprize, continuing to stun him, choked

his utterance: he could only stammer out a few broken, half

formed, faltering accents, which my ears greedily drinking

in, spelt, and put together, so as to make out their sense;

"After so long! . . . so cruel . . . an absence! . . . my

dearest Fanny! . . . can it? . . . can it be you? . . ."

stifling me at the same time with kisses, that, stopping my

mouth, at once prevented the answer that he panted for, and

increas'd the delicious disorder in which all my senses were

rapturously lost.  Amidst however, this crowd of ideas, and

all blissful ones, there obtruded only one cruel doubt, that

poison'd nearly all the transcendent happiness: and what was

it, but my dread of its being too excessive to be real?  I

trembled now with the fear of its being no more than a

dream, and of my waking out of it into the horrors of find-

ing it one.  Under this fond apprehension, imagining I could

not make too much of the present prodigious joy, before it

should vanish and leave me in the desert again, nor verify

its reality too strongly, I clung to him, I clasp'd him, as

if to hinder him from escaping me again:  "Where have you

been? . . . how could you . . . could you leave me? . . .

Say you are still mine . . . that you still love me . . .

and thus! thus!" (kissing him as if I would consolidate lips

with him!)  "I forgive you . . . forgive my hard fortune in

favour of this restoration."

 

     All these interjections breaking from me, in that wild-

ness of expression that justly passes for eloquence in love,

drew from him all the returns my fond heart could wish or

require.  Our caresses, our questions, our answers, for some

time observ'd no order; all crossing, or interrupting one

another in sweet confusion, whilst we exchang'd hearts at our

eyes, and renew'd the ratifications of a love unbated by time

or absence: not a breath, not a motion, not a gesture on

either side, but what was strongly impressed with it.  Our

hands, lock'd in each other, repeated the most passionate

squeezes, so that their fiery thrill went to the heart again.

 

     Thus absorbed, and concentre'd in this unutterable de-

light, I had not attended to the sweet author of it, being

thoroughly wet, and in danger of catching cold; when, in good

time, the landlady, whom the appearance of my equipage (which,

by-the-bye, Charles knew nothing of) had gain'd me an interest

in, for me and mine, interrupted us by bringing in a decent

shift of linen and cloaths, which now, somewhat recover'd into

a calmer composure by the coming in of a third person, I prest

him to take the benefit of, with a tender concern and anxiety

that made me tremble for his health.

 

     The landlady leaving us again, he proceeded to shift; in

the act of which, tho' he proceeded with all that modesty

which became these first solemner instants of our re-meeting

after so long an absence, I could not contain certain snatches

of my eyes, lured by the dazzling discoveries of his naked

skin, that escaped him as he chang'd his linen, and which I

could not observe the unfaded life and complexion of without

emotions of tenderness and joy, that had himself too purely

for their object to partake of a loose or mistim'd desire.

 

     He was soon drest in these temporary cloaths, which

neither fitted him now became the light my passion plac'd

him in, to me at least; yet, as they were on him, they look'd

extremely well, in virtue of that magic charm which love put

into everything that he touch'd, or had relation to him: and

where, indeed, was that dress that a figure like this would

not give grace to?  For now, as I ey'd him more in detail, I

could not but observe the even favourable alteration which

the time of his absence had produced in his person.

 

     There were still the requisite lineaments, still the

same vivid vermilion and bloom reigning in his face: but now

the roses were more fully blown; the tan of his travels, and

a beard somewhat more distinguishable, had, at the expense

of no more delicacy than what he could well spare, given it

an air of becoming manliness and maturity, that symmetriz'd

nobly with that air of distinction and empire with which

nature had stamp'd it, in a rare mixture with the sweetness

of it; still nothing had he lost of that smooth plumpness of

flesh, which, glowing with freshness, blooms florid to the

eye, and delicious to the touch; then his shoulders were

grown more square, his shape more form'd, more portly, but

still free and airy.  In short, his figure show'd riper,

greater, and perfecter to the experienced eye than in his

tender youth; and now he was not much more than two and

twenty.

 

     In this interval, however, I pick'd out of the broken,

often pleasingly interrupted account of himself, that he was,

at that instant, actually on his road to London, in not a

very paramount plight or condition, having been wreck'd on

the Irish coast for which he had prematurely embark'd, and

lost the little all he had brought with him from the South

Seas; so that he had not till after great shifts and hard-

ships, in the company of his fellow-traveller, the captain,

got so far on his journey; that so it was (having heard of

his father's death and circumstances) he had now the world

to begin again, on a new account: a situation which he

assur'd me, in a vein of sincerity that, flowing from his

heart, penetrated mine, gave him to farther pain, than that

he had it not in his power to make me as happy as he could

wish.  My fortune, you will please to observe, I had not

enter'd upon any overture of, reserving to feast myself with

the surprize of it to him, in calmer instants.  And, as to

my dress, it could give him no idea of the truth, not only

as it was mourning, but likewise in a style of plainness and

simplicity that I had ever kept to with studied art.  He

press'd me indeed tenderly to satisfy his ardent curiosity,

both with regard to my past and present state of life since

his being torn away from me: but I had the address to elude

his questions by answers that, shewing his satisfaction at

no great distance, won upon him to waive his impatience, in

favour of the thorough confidence he had in my not delaying

it, but for respects I should in good time acquaint him with.

 

     Charles, however, thus returned to my longing arms,

tender, faithful, and in health, was already a blessing too

mighty for my conception: but Charles in distress! . . .

Charles reduc'd, and broken down to his naked personal merit,

was such a circumstance, in favour of the sentiments I had

for him, as exceeded my utmost desires; and accordingly I

seemed so visibly charm'd, so out of time and measure pleas'd

at his mention of his ruin'd fortune, that he could account

for it no way, but that the joy of seeing him again had swal-

low'd up every other sense, or concern.

 

     In the mean time, my woman had taken all possible care

of Charles's travelling companion; and as supper was coming

in, he was introduc'd to me, when I receiv'd him as became my

regard for all of Charles's acquaintance or friends.

 

     We four then supp'd together, in the style of joy, con-

gratulation, and pleasing disorder that you may guess.  For

my part, though all these agitations had left me not the

least stomach but for that uncloying feast, the sight of my

ador'd youth, I endeavour'd to force it, by way of example

for him, who I conjectur'd must want such a recruit after

riding; and, indeed, he ate like a traveller, but gaz'd at,

and addressed me all the time like a lover.

 

     After the cloth was taken away, and the hour of repose

came on, Charles and I were, without further ceremony, in

quality of man and wife, shewn up together to a very handsome

apartment, and, all in course, the bed, they said, the best

in the inn.

 

     And here, Decency, forgive me! if once more I violate

thy laws and keeping the curtains undrawn, sacrifice thee for

the last time to that confidence, without reserve, with which

I engaged to recount to you the most striking circumstances

of my youthful disorders.

 

     As soon, then, as we were in the room together, left to

ourselves, the sight of the bed starting the remembrance of

our first joys, and the thought of my being instantly to

share it with the dear possessor of my virgin heart, mov'd

me so strongly, that it was well I lean'd upon him, or I

must have fainted again under the overpowering sweet alarm.

Charles saw into my confusion, and forgot his own, that was

scarce less, to apply himself to the removal of mine.

 

     But now the true refining passion had regain'd thorough

possession of me, with all its train of symptoms: a sweet

sensibility, a tender timidity, love-sick yearnings temper'd

with diffidence and modesty, all held me in a subjection of

soul, incomparably dearer to me than the liberty of heart

which I had been long, too long! the mistress of, in the

course of those grosser gallantries, the consciousness of

which now made me sigh with a virtuous confusion and regret.

No real virgin, in view of the nuptial bed, could give more

bashful blushes to unblemish'd innocence than I did to a

sense of guilt; and indeed I lov'd Charles too truly not to

feel severely that I did not deserve him.

 

     As I kept hesitating and disconcerted under this soft

distraction, Charles, with a fond impatience, took the pains

to undress me; and all I can remember amidst the flutter and

discomposure of my senses was some flattering exclamations of

joy and admiration, more specially at the feel of my breasts,

now set at liberty form my stays, and which panting and ris-

ing in tumultuous throbs, swell'd upon his dear touch, and

gave it the welcome pleasure of finding them well form'd, and

unfail'd in firmness.

 

     I was soon laid in bed, and scarce languish'd an instant

for the darling partner of it, before he was undress'd and

got between the sheets, with his arms clasp'd round me, giv-

ing and taking, with gust inexpressible, a kiss of welcome,

that my heart rising to my lips stamp'd with its warmest

impression, concurring to by bliss, with that delicate and

voluptuous emotion which Charles alone had the secret to

excite, and which constitutes the very life, the essence of

pleasure.

 

     Meanwhile, two candles lighted on a side-table near us,

and a joyous wood-fire, threw a light into the bed that took

from one sense, of great importance to our joys, all pretext

for complaining of its being shut out of its share of them;

and indeed, the sight of my idolized youth was alone, from

the ardour with which I had wished for it, without other cir-

cumstance, a pleasure to die of.

 

     But as action was now a necessity to desires so much on

edge as ours, Charles, after a very short prelusive dalliance,

lifting up my linen and his own, laid the broad treasures of

his manly chest close to my bosom, both beating with the

tenderest alarms: when now, the sense of his glowing body, in

naked touch with mine, took all power over my thoughts out of

my own disposal, and deliver'd up every faculty of the soul

to the sensiblest of joys, that affecting me infinitely more

with my distinction of the person than of the sex, now

brought my conscious heart deliciously into play: my heart,

which eternally constant to Charles, had never taken any part

in my occasional sacrifices to the calls of constitution,

complaisance, or interest.  But ah! what became of me, when

as the powers of solid pleasure thickened upon me, I could

not help feeling the stiff stake that had been adorn'd with

the trophies of my despoil'd virginity, bearing hard and

inflexible against one of my thighs, which I had not yet

opened, from a true principle of modesty, reviv'd by a pas-

sion too sincere to suffer any aiming at the false merit of

difficulty, or my putting on an impertinent mock coyness.

     I have, I believe, somewhere before remark'd, that the

feel of that favourite piece of manhood has, in the very na-

ture of it, something inimitably pathetic.  Nothing can be

dearer to the touch, nor can affect it with a more delicious

sensation.  Think then! as a love thinks, what must be the

consummate transport of that quickest of our senses, in their

central seat too! when, after so long a deprival, it felt

itself re-inflam'd under the pressure of that peculiar scep-

ter-member which commands us all: but especially my darling,

elect from the face of the whole earth.  And now, at its

mightiest point of stiffness, it felt to me something so

subduing, so active, so solid and agreeable, that I know not

what name to give its singular impression: but the sentiment

of consciousness of its belonging to my supremely beloved

youth, gave me so pleasing an agitation, and work'd so

strongly on my soul, that it sent all its sensitive spirits

to that organ of bliss in me, dedicated to its reception. 

There, concentreing to a point, like rays in a burning glass,

they glow'd, they burnt with the intensest heat; the springs

of pleasure were, in short, wound up to such a pitch, I

panted now, with so exquisitely keen an appetite for the emi-

nent enjoyment that I was even sick with desire, and unequal

to support the combination of two distinct ideas, that de-

lightfully distracted me: for all the thought I was capable

of, was that I was now in touch, at once, with the instrument

of pleasure, and the great-seal of love.  Ideas that, ming-

ling streams, pour'd such an ocean of intoxicating bliss on

a weak vessel, all too narrow to contain it, that I lay over-

whelm'd, absorbed, lost in an abyss of joy, and dying of

nothing but immoderate delight.

 

     Charles then rous'd me somewhat out of this extatic dis-

traction with a complaint softly murmured, amidst a crowd of

kisses, at the position, not so favourable to his desires, in

which I receiv'd his urgent insistance for admission, where

that insistance was alone so engrossing a pleasure that it

made me inconsistently suffer a much dearer one to be kept

out; but how sweet to correct such a mistake!  My thighs, now

obedient ot the intimations of love and nature, gladly dis-

close, and with a ready submission, resign up the soft gate-

way to the entrance of pleasure: I see, I feel the delicious

velvet tip! . . . he enters me might and main, with . . . oh!

my pen drops from me here in the extasy now present to my

faithful memory!  Description too deserts me, and delivers

over a task, above its strength of wing, to the imagination:

but it must be an imagination exalted by such a flame as mine

that can do justice to that sweetest, noblest of all sensa-

tions, that hailed and accompany'd the stiff insinuation all

the way up, till it was at the end of its penetration, send-

ing up, through my eyes, the sparks of the love-fire that

ran all over me and blaz'd in every vein and every pore of

me: a system incarnate of joy all over.

 

     I had now totally taken in love's true arrow from the

point up to the feather, in that part, where making now new

wound, the lips of the original one of nature, which had

owed its first breathing to this dear instrument, clung, as

if sensible of gratitude, in eager suction round it, whilst

all its inwards embrac'd it tenderly with a warmth of gust,

a compressive energy, that gave it, in its way, the hearti-

est welcome in nature; every fibre there gathering tight

round it, and straining ambitiously to come in for its share

of the blissful touch.

 

     As we were giving them a few moments of pause to the

delectation of the senses, in dwelling with the highest

relish on this intimatest point of re-union, and chewing the

cud of enjoyment, the impatience natural to the pleasure soon

drove us into action.  Then began the driving tumult on his

side, and the responsive heaves on mine, which kept me up to

him; whilst, as our joys grew too great for utterance, the

organs of our voices, voluptuously intermixing, became organs

of the touch . . . and oh, that touch! how delicious! . . .

how poignantly luscious! . . . And now! now I felt to the

heart of me! I felt the prodigious keen edge with which love,

presiding over this act, points the pleasure: love! that may

be styled the Attic salt of enjoyment; and indeed, without

it, the joy, great as it is, is still a vulgar one, whether

in a king or a beggar; for it is, undoubtedly, love alone

that refines, ennobles and exalts it.

 

     Thus happy, then, by the heart, happy by the senses, it

was beyond all power, even of thought, to form the conception

of a greater delight than what I was now consummating the

fruition of.

 

     Charles, whose whole frame was convulsed with the agita-

tion of his rapture, whilst the tenderest fires trembled in

his eyes, all assured me of a prefect concord of joy, pene-

trated me so profoundly, touch'd me so vitally, took me so

much out of my own possession, whilst he seem'd himself so

much in mine, that in a delicious enthusiasm, I imagin'd such

a transfusion of heart and spirit, as that coalescing, and

making one body and soul with him, I was he, and he, me.

 

     But all this pleasure tending, like life from its first

instants, towards its own dissolution, liv'd too fast not to

bring on upon the spur its delicious moment of mortality; for

presently the approach of the tender agony discover'd itself

by its usual signals, that were quickly follow'd by my dear

love's emanation of himself that spun our, and shot, feel-

ingly indeed! up the ravish'd in-draught: where the sweetly

soothing balmy titillation opened all the juices of joy on my

side, which extatically in flow, help'd to allay the prurient

glow, and drown'd our pleasure for a while.  Soon, however,

to be on float again!  For Charles, true to nature's laws, in

one breath expiring and ejaculating, languish'd not long in

the dissolving trance, but recovering spirit again, soon gave

me to feel that the true-mettle springs of his instrument of

pleasure were, by love, and perhaps by a long vacation, wound

up too high to be let down by a single explosion: his stiff-

ness still stood my friend.  Resuming then the action afresh,

without dislodging, or giving me the trouble of parting from

my sweet tenant, we play'd over again the same opera, with

the same delightful harmony and concert: our ardours, like

our love, knew no remission; and, all as the tide serv'd my

lover, lavish of his stores, and pleasure milked, over-flowed

me once more from the fulness of his oval reservoirs of the

genial emulsion: whilst, on my side, a convulsive grasp, in

the instant of my giving down the liquid contribution, ren-

der'd me sweetly subservient at once to the increase of his

joy, and of its effusions: moving me so, as to make me exert

all those springs of the compressive exsuction with which the

sensitive mechanism of that part thirstily draws and drains

the nipple of Love; with much such an instinctive eagerness

and attachment as, to compare great with less, kind nature

engages infants at the breast by the pleasure they find in

the motion of their little mouths and cheeks, to extract the

milky stream prepar'd for their nourishment.

 

     But still there was no end of his vigour: this double

discharge had so far from extinguish'd his desires, for that

time, that it had not even calm'd them; and at his age, de-

sires are power.  He was proceeding then amazingly to push it

to a third triumph, still without uncasing, if a tenderness,

natural to true love, had not inspir'd me with self-denial

enough to spare, and not overstrain him: and accordingly,

entreating him to give himself and me quarter, I obtain'd,

at length, a short suspension of arms, but not before he had

exultingly satisfy'd me that he gave out standing.

 

     The remainder of the night, with what we borrow'd upon

the day, we employ'd with unweary'd fervour in celebrating

thus the festival of our re-meeting; and got up pretty late

in the morning, gay, brisk and alert, though rest had been a

stranger to us: but the pleasures of love had been to us,

what the joy of victory is to an army; repose, refreshment,

everything.

 

     The journey into the country being now entirely out of

the question, and orders having been given over-night for

turning the horses' heads towards London, we left the inn as

soon as we had breakfasted, not without a liberal distribu-

tion of the tokens of my grateful sense of the happiness I

had met with in it.

 

     Charles and I were in my coach; the captain and my com-

panion in a chaise hir'd purposely for them, to leave us the

conveniency of a tete-a-tete.

 

     Here, on the road, as the tumult of my senses was toler-

ably compos'd, I had command enough to head to break properly

to him the course of life that the consequence of my separa-

tion from him had driven me into: which, at the same time

that he tenderly deplor'd with me, he was the less shocked

at; as, on reflecting how he had left me circumstanc'd, he

could not be entirely unprepar'd for it.

 

     But when I opened the state of my fortune to him, and

with that sincerity which, from me to him, was so much a

nature in me, I begg'd of him his acceptance of it, on his

own terms.  I should appear to you perhaps too partial to my

passion, were I to attempt the doing his delicacy justice.

I shall content myself then with assuring you, that after

his flatly refusing the unreserv'd, unconditional donation

that I long persecuted him in vain to accept, it was at

length, in obedience to his serious commands (for I stood

out unaffectedly, till he exerted the sovereign authority

which love had given him over me), that I yielded my consent

to waive the remonstrance I did not fail of making strongly

to him, against his degrading himself, and incurring the

reflection, however unjust, of having, for respects of for-

tune, barter'd his honour for infamy and prostitution, in

making one his wife, who thought herself too much honour'd

in being but his mistress.

 

     The plea of love then over-ruling all objections,

Charles, entirely won with the merit of my sentiments for

him, which he could not but read the sincerity of in a heart

ever open to him, oblig'd me to receive his hand, by which

means I was in pass, among other innumerable blessings, to

bestow a legal parentage on those fine children you have

seen by this happiest of matches.

 

     Thus at length, I got snug into port, where, in the

bosom of virtue, I gather'd the only uncorrupt sweets: where,

looking back on the course of vice I had run, and comparing

its infamous blandishments with the infinitely superior joys

of innocence, I could not help pitying, even in point of

taste, those who, immers'd in gross sensuality, are insen-

sible to the so delicate charms of VIRTUE, than which even

PLEASURE has not a greater friend, nor than VICE a greater

enemy.  Thus temperance makes men lords over those pleasures

that intemperance enslaves them to: the one, parent of

health, vigour, fertility, cheerfulness, and every other

desirable good of life; the other, of diseases, debility,

barrenness, self-loathing, with only every evil incident to

human nature.

 

     You laugh, perhaps, at this tail-piece of morality, ex-

tracted from me by the force of truth, resulting from com-

par'd experiences: you think it, no doubt, out of place, out

of character; possibly too you may look on it as the paltry

finesse of one who seeks to mask a devotee to Vice under a

rag of a veil, impudently smuggled from the shrine of Virtue:

just as if one was to fancy one's self compleatly disguised

at a masquerade, with no other change of dress than turning

one's shoes into slippers; or, as if a writer should think to

shield a treasonable libel, by concluding it with a formal

prayer for the King.  But, independent of my flattering my-

self that you have a juster opinion of my sense and sincerity,

give me leave to represent to you, that such a supposition is

even more injurious to Virtue than to me: since, consistently

with candour and good-nature, it can have no foundation but

in the falsest of fears, that its pleasures cannot stand in

comparison with those of Vice; but let truth dare to hold it

up in its most alluring light: then mark, how spurious, how

low of taste, how comparatively inferior its joys are to those

which Virtue gives sanction to, and whose sentiments are not

above making even a sauce for the senses, but a sauce of the

highest relish; whilst Vices are the harpies that infect and

foul the feast.  The paths of Vice are sometimes strew'd with

roses, but then they are for ever infamous for many a thorn,

for many a canker-worm: those of Virtue are strew'd with roses

purely, and those eternally unfading ones.

 

     If you do me then justice, you will esteem me perfectly

consistent in the incense I burn to Virtue.  If I have painted

Vice in all its gayest colours, if I have deck'd it with flow-

ers, it has been solely in order to make the worthier, the

solemner sacrifice of it, to Virtue.

 

     You know Mr. C*** O***, you know his estate, his worth,

and good sense: can you, will you pronounce it ill meant, at

least of him, when anxious for his son's morals, with a view

to form him to virtue, and inspire him with a fix'd, a

rational contempt for vice, he condescended to be his master

of the ceremonies, and led him by the hand thro' the most

noted bawdy-houses in town, where he took care he should be

familiarized with all those scenes of debauchery, so fit to

nauseate a good taste?  The experiment, you will cry, is

dangerous.  True, on a fool: but are fools worth so much

attention?

 

     I shall see you soon, and in the mean time think

candidly of me, and believe me ever,

                           MADAM,

 

     Yours, etc., etc., etc.,

 

                           THE END

 

 

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.

 

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.

 

Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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