Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

his good name was much the same there as it || that she could or ought to bear with such treatwas on our side ; so that, though he might have ment, and if he did not see that she did not want had wives enough, yet it did not happen among || those who thought it worth their whiie to come the women that had good fortunes, which was ) farther to her than he did, meaning the gentle. what he wanted.

man who she had brought to visit her by way of But this was not all; she very ingeniously il a sham. managed another thing herself, for she got a | She brought him by these tricks to submit to young gentleman, who was a relation, and was, l| all possible measures to satisfy her, as well of his indeed, a married man, to come and visit her two circumstances as of his behaviour. He brought or three times a week in a fine chariot and good her undeniable evidence of his having paid for liveries; and her two agents, and I also, pre- his part of the ship; he brought her certificates sently spread a report all over that this gentle from his owners, that the report of their intendman came to court her; that he was a gentle ing to remove him from the command of the man of a thousand pounds a year, and that he ship, and put his chief mate in, was false and was fallen in love with her; and that she was groundless, in short, he was quite the reverse of going to her aunt's in the city, because it was what he was before. inconvenient for the gentleman to come to her Thus I convinced her, that if the men made with his coach in Redriff, the strects being so their advantage of our sex in the affair of mar. narrow and difficult.

riage, upon the supposition of there being such This took immediately; the captain was choice to be had, and of the women being so laughed at in all companics, and was ready to | easy, it was only owing to this, that the women hang himself; he tried all the ways possible to wanted courage to maintain their ground, and come at her again, and wrote the most passionate to play their part; and that, according to my letters to her in the world, excusing his former | Lord Rochester,rashness; and, in short, by great application, ob " A woman's ne'ır so ruin'd but she can tained leave to wait on her again, as he said, to

Revenge herself on ber undoer, man." clear his reputation.

After these things, this young lady played her At this meeting she had her full revenge of part so well, that though she resolved to have him, hiin; for she told him she wondered what he and that indeed having him was the main bent of took her to be, that she should admit any man her design, yet she made his obtaining her be to to a treaty of so much consequence as that of him the most difficult thing in the world; and marriage, without inquiring very well into his this she did, not by a haughty, reserved carriage, circumstances; that if he thought she was to be but by a just policy, turning the tables upon huffed into wedlock, and that she was in the him, and playing back upon him his own game; same circumstances her neighbours might be in, || for, as he pretended, by a kind of lofty carriage, viz. to take up with the first good Christian that to place himself above the occasion of a characcame, he was mistaken; that, in a word, his cha- ||ter, and to make inquiring into his character a racter was really bad, or he was very ill be kind of an affront to him, she broke with him holding to his neighbours; and that unless he upon that subject; and at the same time that could clear up some points, in which she had she made him submit to all possible inquiry after justly been prejudiced, she had no more to say his affairs, she apparently shut the door against to him, but to do herself justice, and give him his looking into her own. the satisfaction of knowing that she was not It was enough to him to obtain her for a wife: afraid to say no to him or any other man.

as to what she had, she told him plainly, that as With that she told him what she had heard, he knew her circumstances, it was but just she or rather raised herself by my means, of his cha should know his; and though at the same time racter; his not having paid for the part he pre he had only known her circumstances by comtended to own of the ship he commanded; of mon fame, yet he had made so many protestathe resolution of his owners to put him out of tions of his passion for her, that he could ask the command, and to put his mate in his stead; no more but her hand to his grand request, and and of the scandal raised on his morals; his the like ramble, according to the custom of having been reproached with such and such lovers. In short, he left himself no room to ask women; and his having a wife at Plymouth, and any more questions about her estate, and she another in the West Indies, and the likc; and took the advantage of it like a prudent woman, she asked him, whether he could deny that she for she placed part of her fortune so in trustees, had good reason, if these things were not cleared | without letting him know anything of it, that it up, to refuse him, and in the meantime insist was quite out of his reach, and made him very upon having satisfaction in points so significant well content with the rest. as they were?

It is true, she was pretty well besides, that He was so confounded at her discourse, that is to say, she had about 1,400L in money, which he could not answer a word, and she almost she gave him; and the other, after some time, began to believe that all was true, by his disor she brought to light, as a perquisite to herself, der, though at the same time she knew that she which he was to accept as a nighty favour, selhad been the raiser of all those reports herself. |ing, though it was not to be his, it might ease

After some time he recovered himself a little, him in the article of her particular expenses; and from that time became the most humble, the and I must add, that by this conduct the gentlemost modest, and most importunate man alive in man himself became not only the more bumble his courtship.

in his applications to her to obtain her, but also She carried her jest on a great way; she asked | was much the more an obliging husband to her him if he thought she was so at her last shift, when he had her. I cannot but remind the

ladies here, how much they place themselves || and, to me, they look like people that venture below the common station of a wife, which, if I | their whole estates in a lottery where there is a may be allowed not to be partial, is low enough || hundred thousand blanks to a prize. already ;-I say, they place themselves below No man of common sense will value a womac their common station, and prepare their own the less for not giving up herself at the first mortifications, by their submitting so to be in. attack, or for not accepting his proposal without sulted by the men beforehand, which I confess 1|| inquiring into his person or character; on the see no necessity of.

contrary, he must think her the weakest of all This relation may serve, therefore, to let the creatures in the world, as the rate of men now ladies see that the advantage is not so much on goes, in short, he must have a very contemptible the other side as the men think it is; and though opinion of her capacities, nay, even of her underit may be true that the men have but too much standing, that, having but one cast for her life, choice among us, and that some women may be shall cast that life away at once, and make ma. found who will dishonour themselves, be cheap, trimony, like death, be a leap in the dark. and easy to come at, and will scarce wait to be I would fain have the conduct of my sex a asked ; yet if they will have women, as I may little regulated in this particular, which is the say, worth having, they may find them as un. thing in which, of all the parts of life, I think at matable as ever; and that those that are other this time we suffer most in. It is nothing but wise are a sort of people that have such defi lack of courage, the fear of not being married at ciencies, when had, as rather recommend the all, and of that frightful state of life called an old ladies that are difficult, than encourage the men maid, of which I have a story to tell by itself; to go on with their easy courtship, and expect this I say is the woman's snare, but would the wives equally valuable that will come at first ladies once but get above that fear and manage call.

rightly, they would more certainly avoid it by Nothing is more certain than that the ladies standing their ground in a casc so absolutely nem always gain of the men by keeping their ground, cessary to their felicity, than by exposing them. and letting their pretended lovers see that they selves as they do; and if they did not marry can resent being slighted, and that they are not so soon as they may do otherwise, they would afraid of saying no. They, I observe, insult us make themselves amends by marrying safer. mightily with telling us of the number of women; She is always married too soon who gets a bad that the wars and the sea, and trade, and other husband ; and she is never married too late who incidents have carried the men so much away gets a good one : in a word, there is no woman, that there is no proportion between the numbers || deformity or lost reputation excepted, but if she of the sexes, and therefore the women have the manages well, may be married safely one time disadvantage ; but I am far from granting that or another ; but if she precipitates herself it is ten the number of women is so great, or the number||thousand to one but she is undone. of men so small; but if they will have me tell But I come now to my own case, in which the truth, the disadvantage of the women is a there was at this time no little nicety. The cirterrible scandal upon the men, and it lies here cumstances I was in made the offer of a good and herc only; namely, that the age is so wicked, husband the most necessary thing in the world and the sex so debauched, that, in short, the to me, but I found soon that to be made cheap number of such men as an honest woman ought and easy was not the way. It soon began to be to meddle with is small indeed, and it is but here found that the widow had no fortune, and to say and there that a man is to be found who is fit this, was to say all that was ill of me, for I began for an honest woman to venture upon.

to be dropt in all the discourses of matrimony. But the consequence even of that too amounts Being well-bred, handsome, witty, modest, and to no more than this, that women ought to be agreeable, all which I had allowed to my chathe more nice, for how do we know the just|racter, whether justly or no, is not to the pur. character of the man that makes the offer? Tol pose: I say all these would not do without the say the woman should be the more casy on this dross, which was now become more valuable than occasion is to say we should be the forwarder to | virtue itself. In short, the widow, they said, had venture because of the greatness of the danger, || no money. which in my way of reasoning is very absurd. I resolved, therefore, as to the state of my pre

On the contrary, the women have ten thou- sent circumstances, that it was absolutely necessand times the more reason to be wary and back- ||sary to change my station, and make a new ward, by how much the hazard of being betrayed appearance in some other place where I was not is the greater ; and would the ladies consider || known, and even to pass by another name if I this and act the wary part, they would discover found occasion. every cheat that offered; for, in short, the lives I communicated my tnoughts to my intimate of very few men now-a-days will bear a character, friend, the captain's lady, who I so faithfully and if the ladies do but make a little inquiry served in her casc with the captain, and who they will soon be able to distinguish the men, was as ready to serve me in the same kind as I and deliver themselves. As for women that do could desire : I made no scruple to lay my cirnot think their own safety worth their thought, cumstances open to her, my stock was but low, that, impatient of their present state, resolve, as for I had made but about 5401. at the close of they call it, to take the first good Christian that my last affair, and I had wasted some of that; comes, that runs into matrimony as a horse rushes however, I had about 4601. left, a great many into the battle, I can say nothing to them but very rich clothes, a gold watch, and some jewels, this, that they are a sort of ladies that are to be though of no extraordinary value, and about 301. prayed for among the rest of distempered people;ll or 401. left in linen not disposed of.

thus :

My dear and faithful friend, the captain's wife, / enough; all which I knew was upon supposition was so sensible of the service I had done her in nay, it was upon a full satisfaction, that I was the above affair, that she was not only a steady very rich, though I never told him a word of it friend to me, but, knowing my circumstances' myself. she frequently made me presents as money came This was my man, but I was to try him to the into her hands, such as amounted to a mainten- i bottom, and indeed in that consisted my safety, ance, so that I spent none of my own; and at for if he baulked I knew I was undone, as sure as last she made this happy proposal to me, viz. || he was undone if he took me; and if I did not that as we had observed, as above, how the men make some scruple about his fortune it was the made no scruple to set themselves out as persons way to lead

way to lead him to raise some about minc; and meriting a woman of fortune, when they had || | first, therefore, I pretended on all occasions to really no fortune of their own, it was but just doubt his sincerity, and told him perhaps he only to deal with them in their own way and if it courted me for my fortune; he stopped my was possible, to deceive the deceiver.

mouth in that part with the thunder of his proThe captain's lady, in short, put this project testations as above, but still I pretended to into my head, and told me if I would be ruled by doubt. her I should certainly get a husband of fortune, One morning he pulls off his diamond ring without leaving him any room to reproach me

and writes upon the glass of the sash in my with want of my own; I told her, as I had rea

chamber this line : son to do, that I would give up myself wholly to

- You I love, and only you alone." her directions, and that I would have neither tongue to speak, or feet to step in that affair but

I read it, and asked him to lend me his ring, as she should direct me; depending that she

with which I wrote under it thus : would extricate one out of every difficulty that

“And so in love says every one." she brought me into, which she said she would || He takes his ring again, and writes another line answer for. The first step she put me upon was to call her

“ Virtue alone is an Estate." cousin, and go to a relation's house of hers in I borrowed it again, and I wrote under it, the country, where she directed me, and where

" But money's virtue; gold is Fate." she brought her husband to visit me, and calling || He coloured as red as fire to see me turn 30 me cousin, she worked matters so about that her quick upon him, and in a kind of rage told me husband and she together invited me most pas-ll he would conquer me, and writes again thus: sionately to come to town and be with them,

" I scorn your gold, and yet I love." for they now lived in quite a different place from where they were before. In the next place she

I ventured all upon the last cast of poetry, as you tells her husband that I had at least 15001. for.

| will see, for I wrote boldly under his last, tune, and that after the death of some of my re

“ I'm poor: let's see how kind you'll prove." lations I was likely to have a great deal more.

This was a sad truth to me, whether he believed It was enough to tell her husband this; there

me or no I could not tell ; I supposed then that ceded nothing on my side: I was but to sit still ll he did not. However he flew to me, took me in and wait the event, for it presently went all over || his arms, and kissing me very eagerly, and with the neighbourhood that the young widow at Capt. the greatest passion imaginable he held me fast - 's was a fortune, that she had at least 15001. till he called for a pen and ink, and then told me and perhaps a great deal more, and that the l| he could not wait the tedious writing on the captain said so: and if the captain was asked at glass, but pulling out a piece of paper, he began any time about me he made no scruple to affirm and wrote again, it, though he knew not one word of the matter

“Be mine, with all your poverty." other than that his wife had told him so; and in I took the pen and followed him immediately this he thought no harm, for he really believed it to be so because he had it from his wife; so

" Yet secretly you hope I lie." Elender a foundation will those fellows build upon

He told me that was unkind, because it was if they do but think there is a fortune in the

not just, and that I put him upon contradicting game. With the reputation of this fortune I

me, which did not consist with good manners, presently found myself blessed with admirers

any more than with his affection, and therefore, enough, and that I had my choice of men, as

since I had insensibly drawn him into this poeti. scarce as they said they were, which, by the way,

cal scribble, he begged I would not oblige him confirms what I was saying before. This being

to break it off, so he writes again, my case, I who had a subtle game to play, had nothing now to do but to single out from them

"Let love alone be our debate.” all the properest man that might be for my pur

I wrote again, pose; that is to say, the man who was most

“ She loves enough that does not hate." likely to depend upon the hearsay of a fortune, || This he took for a favour, and so laid down the and not inquire too far into the particulars; and cudgels, that is to say, the pen; I say he took unless I did this I did nothing, for my case could 'for a favour, and a mighty one it was, if he had not bear much inquiry.

known all. However he took it as I meant it, I picked out my man without much difficulty ll that is, to let him think I was inclined to go on by the judgment I made of his way of courting ll with him, as indeed I had all the reason in the me; I had let him run on with his protestations || world to do, for he was the best huinoured merry and oaths that he loved me above all the world; ll sort of fellow that I ever met with; and Tollen that if I would make him happy that was l reflected on myself how doubly criminal it wi

thus :

deceive such a man ; but that necessity which! He replied generously he did not ask what my pressed me to a settlement suitable to my con. fortune was, he had told me from the beginning dition, was my authority for it, and certainly his he would not, and he would be as good as his affection to me, and the goodness of his temper, word; but whatever it was, he assured me he however they might argue against using him ill, would never desire me to go to Virginia with yet they strongly argued to me that he would him, or go thither himself without me, unless I better take the disappointment than some fiery- || was perfectly willing and made it my choice. tempered wretch, who might have nothing to All this, you may be sure, was as I wished, recommend them but those passions which would and indeed nothing could have happened more serve only to make a woman miserable all her days. perfectly agreeable; I carried it on so far as this

Besides, though I had jested with him, as he with a sort of indifference that he often wondered supposed it, so often about my poverty, yet when at more than at first, but which was the only he found it to be true, he had foreclosed all support of his courtship, and I mention it the manner of objection, seeing whether he was in rather to intimate again to the ladies, that jest or in earnest, he had declared he took me nothing but want of courage for such an indifferwithout any regard to my portion; and whether ence makes our sex so cheap, and prepares them I was in jest or in earnest, I had declared myself to be ill used as they are. Would they venture to be very poor; so that in word I had him fast the loss of a pretending fop now and then, who both ways, and though he might say afterwards carries it high upon the point of his own merit, he was cheated, yet he could never say that I they would certainly be slighted less and courted had cheated him.

more. Had I discovered really and truly what He pursued me close after this, and as I saw my great fortune was, and that in all I had not there was no need to fear losing him, I played full 5001. when he expected 1,5001., yet I had the indifferent part with him longer than pru. hooked him so fast, and played him so long, that dence might otherwise have dictated to me. I was satisfied he would have had me in my But I considered how much this caution and worst circumstances; as indeed it was less a sur. indifference would give me the advantage over prise to him, when he learnt the truth, than it him when I should come to be under the neces. would have been, because having not the least sity of owning my own circumstances to him ; blame to lay on me, who had carried it with an and I managed it the more warily, because I air of indifference to the last, he could not say found he inferred from thence, as indeed he ought one word, except that indeed he thought it had to do, that I either had the more money, or the been more, but that if it had been less he did not more judgment, and would not venture at all. I repent his bargain, only that he should not be

I took the freedom one day, after we had able to maintain me so well as he intended. talked pretty close to the subject, to tell him In short we were married, and very happily that it was true I had received the compliment married on my side I assure you, as to the man, of a lover from him; namely, that he would take for he was the best-humoured man that ever a me without inquiring into my fortune, and I woman had; but his circumstances were not so would make him a suitable return in this, viz. good as I imagined, as, on the other hand, he had that I should make as little inquiry into his as not bettered himself by marrying so much as he consisted with reason, but I hoped he would expected. allow me to ask a few questions, which he should l! When we were married I was shrewdly put to answer or not as he thought fit; and that I it to bring him that little stock I had, and to let would not be offended if he did not answer me at him see it was no more ; but there was a necesall; one of these questions related to our manner | sity for it, so I took my opportunity one day of living, and the place where, because I had || when we were alone, to enter into a short diahcard he had a great plantation in Virginia, and logue with him about it. “My dear,” said I, that he had talked of going to live there, and I “ we have been married a fortnight; is it not timetold him I did not care to be transported.

to let you know whether you have got a wife He began from this discourse to let me volun- l with something or with nothing ?" tarily into all his affairs, and to tell me in a frank “ Your own time for that, my dear,” says he. open way all his circumstances, by which I found | “ I am satisfied that I have got the wife I love; I he was very well to pass in the world ; but that have not troubled you much,” says he “with. great part of his estate consisted of three plan my inquiries after it."

tations which he had in Virginia, which brought ** That is true," said I, “but I have a great diffi11 him in a very good income, generally speaking, culty upon me about it, which I scarce know how

to the tune of 3001. a year; but that, if he was to manage." to live upon them, would bring him in four times “ What is that, my dear ?" says he. as much. Very well, thought I, you shall carry “ Why," says i, “it is a little hard upon me, me thither as soon as you please, though I won't and it is harder upon you. I am told that Captell you so beforehand.

tain — (meaning my friend's husband) has I jested with him extremely about the figure told you I had a great deal more money than I he would make in Virginia, but I found he would ever pretended to have, and I am sure I never do anything I desired, though he did not seem employed him to do so." glad to have me undervalue his plantations ; so « Well,” says he, “ Captain may have I turned my tale; I told him I had good reason I told me so, but what then? if you have not so not to desire to go there to live, because if his much, that may lie at his door ; but you never plantations were worth so much there, I had not I told me what you had, so I have no reason to a fortune suitable to a gentleman of 1,2001. a | blame you if you have nothing at all." year, as he said his estate would be.

“ That is so just,'said I, “and so generous, that

it makes my having but a little a double affliction || pared to what it would do if he lived upon the to me."

spot, and that I found he had a mind to go and " The less you have, my dear,” says he, “the live there; and I added, that I was sensible he worse for us both; but I hope your affliction had been disappointed in a wife; and that, finding you speak of, is not caused for fear I should be his expectations not answered that way, I could unkind to you for want of a portion; no, no; if do no less to make him amends than tell him you have nothing, tell me plainly and at once : 1 | that I was very willing to go over to Virginia may perhaps tell the Captain he has cheated me, with him and live there. but I can never say you have cheated me, for did | He said a thousand kind things to me upon you not give it under your hand that you were the subject of my making such a proposal to poor, and so I ought to expect you to be ?" bim. He told me, that however he was disap

“Well," said I, “ my dear, I am glad I have pointed in his expectations of a fortune, he was not been concerned in deceiving you before mar not disappointed in a wife, and that I was all to riage; if I deceive you since, it's never the worse. him that a wife could be, and he was more than That I am poor is too true, but not so poor as satisfied in the whole when the particulars were to have nothing, neither;" so I pulled out some I put together; but that this offer was so kind that bank-bills and gave him about a hundred and sixty it was more than he could express. pounds. “ There is something, my dear,” says I, To bring the story short, we agreed to go. *. and not quite all neither.”

He told me that he had a very good house there, I had brought him so near to expecting nothing that it was well-furnished, that his mother was by what I said before, that the money, though alive and lived in it, and one sister, which was the sum was small in itself, was doubly welcome all the relations he had ; that as soon as he came to him ; he owned it was more than he looked there his mother would remove to another house for, and that he did not question by my discourse which was her own for life, and his after her to him, but that my fine clo:hes, gold watch, and decease, so that I should have all the house to a diamond ring or two, had been all my fortune. myself; and I found all this to be exactly as he

I let him please himself with that 1601. two or had said. three days, and having been abroad that day, To make this part of the story short, we put and as if I had been to fetch it, I brought him a on board the ship which we went in a large hundred pounds more home in gold, and told him quantity of good furniture for our house, with there was a little more portion for him; and in stores of linen and other necessaries, and a good short, in about a week more I brought him 1801. cargo for sale, and away we went. more, and about 601. in linen, which I made him To give an account of the manner of our voy. believe I had been obliged to take with the 1001. age, which was long and full of dangers, is out which I gave him in gold, as a composition for a of my way. I kept no journal, neither did my debt of 6001., being little more than five shillings husband; all that I can say is, that after a terriin the pound, and overvalued too.

ble passage, frightened twice with dreadful storms, “ And now my dear,” says I to him, “I am and once with what was still more terrible, I very sorry to tell you, that there is all, and that mean a pirate, who came on board and took I have given you my whole fortune. I added, away almost all our provisions, and which would that if the person who had my 6001. had not havc been beyond all to me, they having taken abused me, I had been worth 1,0001. to him, but my husband to go along with them, but by enthat as it was, I had been faithful to him, and treatics were prevailed with to leave him. I say, reserved nothing to myself, but if it had been after all these terrible things, we arrived in York more he should have had it.

River, in Virginia, and coming to our plantation, He was so obliged by the manner, and so we were received with all the demonstrations of pleased with the sum, for he had been in a ter- | tenderness and affection by my husband's mother rible fright lest it had been nothing at all, that that were possible to be expressed. he accepted it very thankfully. And thus I got We lived here altogether, my mother-in-law, over the fraud of passing for a fortune without at my entreaty, continuing in the house, for she money, and cheating a man into marrying me was too kind a mother to be parted with : my on pretence of a fortune; which, by the way, I husband likewise continued the same as at first, take to be one of the most dangerous steps all and I thought myself the happiest creature alive, woman can take, and in which she runs the most when an odd and surprising event put an end to hazard of being ill- used afterwards.

all that felicity in a moment, and rendered my My husband, to give him his due, was a man | condition the most uncomfortable, if not the most of infinite good nature, but he was no fool ; and miserable, in the world. finding his income not suited to the manner of My mother was a mighty cheerful, good-hu. living which he had intended, if I had brought | moured old woman-I may call her old woman, him what he expected, and being under a disap for her son was above thirty-.I say, she was pointment in his return of his plantation in Vir very pleasant, good company, and used to enterginia, he discovered many times his inclination tain me in particular with abundance of stories of going over to Virginia to live upon his own; to divert me, as well of the country we were in and often would be magnifying the way of living ll as of the people. there, how cheap, how plentiful, how pleasant, Among the rest she often told me how the and the like.

greatest part of the inhabitants of the colony I began presently to understand his meaning, came thither in very indifferent circumstances and I took him up very plainly one morning, and from England; that, generally speaking, they told him that I did so; that I found his estate were of two sorts, either, first, such as were turned to no account at this distance com-Il brought over by masters of ships to be sold as

« VorigeDoorgaan »