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· this point, for as I had no so I had no manner of acole house, and so no tempther; I kept no company i here I lodged, and with a next door'; so that when he d nobody, nor did he ever find mber or parlour whenever he went anywhere to take the air h him. this manner with him, and his rtainly the most undesigned thing he often protested to me, that me first acquainted with me, and ery night when we first broke in S, he never had the least design of le; that he always had a sincere me, but not the least real inclination he had done. I assured him I never him; that if I had, I should not so yielded to the freedoms which brought that it was all a surprise, and was the accident of our having yielded too ur mutual inclinations that night ; and
I have often observed since, and leave it caution to the readers of this story, that
ht to be cautious of gratifying our inclias in loose and lewd freedoms, lest we
our resolutions of virtue fail us in the ture when their assistance should be most essary. it is true, and I have confessed it before, that, om the first hour I began to converse with him, - resolved to let him lie with me, if he offered it; but it was because I wanted his help and assist
ince, and I knew no other way of securing him than that. But when we were that night together, and, as I have said, had gone such a length, I
then I got a pailet bed into his room and lay in how just I will be to you, and that I can keep it just at his bed's feet.
my word, and away he comes to my bed." I was indeed sensibly atfected with his condi. I resisted a little, but I must confess I should tion, and with the apprehension of losing such a not have resisted him much, if he had not made friend as he was, and was like to be, to me, and I those promises at all; so after a little struggle, used to sit and cry by him many hours together. as I said, I lay still, and let him come to bed; However, at last he grew better, and gave hopes when he was there he took me in his arms, and that he would recover, as indeed he did, though so I lay all night with him, but he had no more very slowly.
to do with me, or offered anything to me other Were it otherwise than what I am going to than embracing me, as I say, in his arms, no, say, I should not be backward to disclose it, as it not the whole night, but rose up and dressed is apparent I have done in other cases in this him in the morning, and left me as innocent for account; but I affirm, that through all the con- || him as I was the day I was born. versation, abating the freedom of coming into ll. This was a surprising thing to me, and perhaps the chamber when he or I was in bed, and abating In
, and abating may be so to others who know how the laws of the necessary offices of attending him night and nature work ; for he was a strong, vigorous, brisk day when he was sick, there had not passed the person ; nor did he act thus on a principle of releast immodest word or action between us. O! ligion at all, but of mere affection; insisting on that it had been so to the last.
it, that though I was to him the most agreeable After some time he gathered strength, and grew woman in the world, yet because he loved me he well apace, and I would have removed my pallet could not injure me. bed, but he would not let ine till he was able to | I own it was a noble principle; but as it was venture himself without anybody to sit up with what I never understood before, so it was to me him, and then I removed to my own chamber. | perfectly amazing. We travelled the rest of the
He took many occasions to express his sense Il journey as we did before, and came back to the of my tenderness and concern for him; and when | Bath, where, as he had opportunity to come to he grew quite well he made me a present of fifty me when he would, he often repeated the moguineas for my care, and, as he called it, for ha deration, and I frequently lay with him, and he zarding my life to save his.
with me ; and although all the familiarities beAnd now he made deep protestations of a sin tween man and wife were common to us, yet he cere, inviolable affection for me; but all along never once offered to go any farther, and be attested it to be with the utmost reserve for my valued himself mucn upon it; I do not say that I virtue, and his own. I told him I was fully satis was so wholly pleased with it as he thought I fied of it; he carried it that length that he pro was ; for I own I was much wickeder than he,' tested to me, that if he was naked in bed with as you shall hear presently. me, he would as sacredly preserve my virtue, as We lived thus near two years, only with this he would defend it if I was assaulted by a ra || exception, that he went three times to London visher ; I believed him, and told him I did so ; in that time, and once he continued there four but this did not satisfy him ; he would, he said, months; but, to do him justice, he always supwait for some opportunity to give me an un plied me with money to subsist me very handdoubted testimony of it.
somely. It was a great while after this that I had occa Had we continued thus, I confess we had had sion, on my own business, to go to Bristol, upon much to boast of; but, as wise men say, it is ill which he hired me a coach, and would go with venturing too near the brink of a command, so me, and did so; and now indeed our intimacy in we found it; and here again I must do him the creased; from Bristol he carried me to Glouces. I justice to own that the first breach was not on ter, which was merely a journey of pleasure to his part; it was one night that we were in bed take the air; and here it was our hap to bave no l together warm and merry, and having drank, I lodging in the inn but in one large chamber with think a little more wine that night, both of us than two beds in it. The master of the house going // usual, though not in the least to disorder either up with us to show his rooms, and coming into ll of us, when after some other follies, which I can. that room, said very frankly to him-“Sir, it is not name, and being clasped close in his arms, none of my business to inquire whether the lady I told him (I repeat it with shame and horror of be your spouse or no, but if not, you may lie | soul) that I could find in my heart to discharge as honestly in these two beds as if you were him of his engagement for one night and no more, in two chambers;" and with that he pulls all. He took me at my word immediately; and great curtain which drew quite across the room, l after that there was no resisting him. Neither, and effectually divided the beds. “Well,” says indeed, had I any mind to resist him any inere, my friend, very readily, “these beds will do, and let what would come of it. as for the rest, we are too near akin to lie Thus the government of our virtue was broken, together, though we may lodge near one an and I exchanged the place of friend for that another;" and this put an honest face on the thing musical, harsh-sounding title of whore. In the too. When we came to go to bed he decently morning we were both at our penitentials. 1 went out of the room till I was in bed, and then cried very heartily; he expressed himself very went to bed in the bed on his own side of the sorry ; but that was all either of us could do at room, but lay there talking to me a great while. Il that time; and the way being thus cleared, and the
At last, repeating his usual saying, that he 1 bars of virtue and conscience being thus removed could lie in the bed naked with me and not offer ll we had the less difficulty afterwards to struga me the least injury; he starts out of his bed with. “ And now, my dear,” says he, "you shall see it It was but a dull kind of conversation that *9.
had together for all the rest of that week; I was up and well; that he had provided apartlooked on him with blushes, and every now andments for me at Hammersmith, as if I came then started that melancholy objection, what if thither only from London, and that after a little I should be with child now? What will become while I should go back to the Bath, and he would of me then? He encouraged me by telling me go with me. that as long as I was true to him he would be so I liked this offer very well, and accordingly to me; and since it was gone such a length | hired a coach on purpose, and taking my child (which indeed he never intended), yet if I was and a wet nurse to tend and suckle it, and a maid with child he would take care of that and of me I serv
t and of me ll servant with me, away I went for London. too. This hardened us both: I assured him if I He met me at Reading in his own chariot, and was with child, I would die for want of a mid | taking me into that, left the servant and the wife rather than name him as the father of it ; | child in the hired coach, and so he brought me and he assured me I should never want if I should to my new lodgings at Hammersmith; with which be with child. These mutual assurances har I had abundance of reason to be very well pleased, | dened us in the thing; and after this we re for they were very handsome rooms, and I was | peated the crime as often as we pleased, till at very well accommodated. length, as I had feared, so it came to pass, and I
And now I was indeed in the height of what I was indeed with child.
might call my prosperity, and I wanted nothing After I was sure it was so, and I had satisfied but to be a wife, which however could not be in him of it too, we began to think of taking mea this case, there was no room for it; and theresures for the managing it, and I proposed trust. fore on all occasions I studied to save what I ing the secret to my landlady, and asking her could, as I have said above, against a time of advice, which he agreed to; a woman (as I found) scarcity; knowing well enough that such things as who was used to such things, and made light of these do not always continue, that men that keep it. She said she knew it would come to that at mistresses often change them, grow weary of them, last, and made us very merry about it. As I or jealous of them, or something or other hapsaid above, we found her an experienced old lady pens to make them withdraw their bounty ; and at such work; she undertook every thing, en sometimes the ladies that are thus well used are gaged to procure a midwife and nurse; to sa not careful by a prudent conduct to preserve the tisfy all inquiries ; and bring us off with reputa esteem of their persons, or the nice article of tion, and she did so very dexterously indeed. their fidelity, and then they are justly cast off
When I grew near my time she desired my with contempt. gentleman to go away to London, or make as if But I was secured in this point, for as I had no he did so; when he was gone, she acquainted | inclination to change, so I had no manner of acthe parish officers that there was a lady ready to quaintance in the whole house, and so no temp. lie in at her house, but that she knew her hus tation to look any farther; I kept no company band very well, and gave them, as she pretended, but in the family where I lodged, and with a an account of his name, which she called Sir clergyman's lady at next door ; so that when he Walter Clcave ; telling them, that he was a very was absent I visited nobody, nor did he ever find worthy gentleman, and that she would answer me out of my chamber or parlour whenever he for all inquiries and the like. This satisfied || came down ; if I went anywhere to take the air the parish officers presently, and I lay in with || | it was always with him. as much credit as I could have done if I had The living in this manner with him, and his been my Lady Cleave; and was assisted in my with me, was certainly the most undesigned thing travail by three or four of the best citizens' in the world ; he often protested to me, that wives of Bath, who lived in the neighbour when he became first acquainted with me, and hood, which, however, made me a little the even to the very night when we first broke in more expensive to him. I often expressed my upon our rules, he never had the least design of concern to him about it, but he bid me not be | lying with me ; that he always had a sincere concerned at it.
affection for me, but not the least real inclination As he had furnished me very sufficiently with to do what he had done. I assured him I never money for the extraordinary expenses of my suspected him; that if I had, I should not so lying in, I had every thing very handsome about easily have yielded to the freedoms which brought me; but I did not affect to be gay or extrava | it on, but that it was all a surprise, and was gant neither; besides, knowing my own circum. owing to the accident of our having yielded too stances, and knowing the world as I have done, far to our mutual inclinations that night ; and and that such kind of things do not often last indeed I have often observed since, and leave it long, I took care to lay up as much money as I as a caution to the readers of this story, that could for a wet day, as I called it, making we ought to be cautious of gratifying our inclihim believe it was all spent upon the extraordi nations in loose and lewd freedoms, lest we dary appearance of things in my lying-in.
find our resolutions of virtue fail us in the By this means, and including what he had juncture when their assistance should be most given me as above, I had at the end of my lying. necessary. in about two hundred guineas by me, including it is true, and I have confessed it before, that, also what was left of my own.
from the first hour I began to converse with him, I was brought to bed of a fine boy indeed, and I resolved to let him lie with me, if he offered it; a charming child it was ; and when he heard of it but it was because I wanted his help and assisthe wrote me a very kind obliging letter about it, | ance, and I knew no other way of securing him and then told me he thought it would look bet than that. But when we were that night together, ter for me to come away for London as soon as Ill and, as I have said, had gone such a length, I
found my weakness; the inclination was not tom and went to the door, as sent by a lady of his be rezisted, but I was obliged to yield up all even neighbourhood where he lived before, and giving before he asked it.
her master and mistress's service, I said I was However, he was so just to me that he never sent to know how Mr d id, and how be upbraided me with that ; nor did he ever express had rested that night. In delivering this mesthe least dislike to my conduct on any occasion, sage I got the opportunity I desired ; for, speakbut always protested he was as much delighted ing with one of the maids, I held a gossip's tale with my company as he was the first hour we with her, and heard all the particulars of his illcame together; I mean came together as bed ness, which I found was a pleurisy, attended with fellows.
a cough and fever. She told me also who was It is true that he had no wife, that is to say, in the house, and how his wife was, who, by her she was no wife to him, and so I was in no danger relation, they were in hopes would recover her that way; but the just reflections of conscience understanding ; but as to the gentleman himself, oftentimes snatch a man, especially a man of in short, she told me, the doctors said, there was sense, from the arms of a mistress, as it did him very little hope of him ; that in the morning at last, though on another occasion.
they thought he had been dying, and that he was On the other hand, though I was not without but little better then, for they did not expect he secret reproaches of my own conscience for the would live over the next night. life I led, and tbat even in the greatest height of This was heavy news for me, and I began now the satisfaction I ever took, yet I had a terrible to see an end to my prosperity, and to see that prospect of poverty and starving, which lay on it was well I had played the good housewife, and me as a frightful spectre, so that there was no saved something while he was alive, for I had no looking behind me. But as poverty brought view of my own living before me. me into it, so fear of poverty kept me in it, and I | It lay very heavy upon my mind, too, that I frequently resolved to leave it quite off, if I could had a son, a fine lovely boy, above five years old, but come to lay up money enough to maintain me. and no provision made for it, at least that I knew But these were thoughts of no weight, and of. With these considerations, and a sad heart, whenever he came to me they vanished; for his I went home that evening, and began to cast company was so delightful that there was no with myself how I should live, and in wbat manner being melancholy when he was there. The re to bestow myself for the residue of my life. Alections were all the subjects of those hours il You may be sure I could not rest without when I was alone.
inquiring very quickly what was become of him; I lived six years in this happy but unhappy and not venturing to go myself, I sent several condition, in which time I brought him three sham messengers, till, after a fortnight's waiting children, but only the first of them lived ; and longer, I found there was hopes of his life, though though I removed twice in those six years, yet I he was still very ill; then I abated my sending came back the sixth year to my first lodgings at any more to the house, and in some time after i ! Hammersmith. Here it was that I was one learnt in the neighbourhood that he was about li morning surprised with a kind but melancholy house, and then he was abroad again. letter from my gentleman ; intimating that he 1 I made no doubt then but that I should soon was very ill, and was afraid he should have an hear of him, and began to comfort myself with my other fit of sickness, but that his wife's relations circumstances being, as I thought, recovered; but being in 'the house with him, it would not be with much surprise and amazement I waited near practicable to have me with him, which, however, two months and heard nothing but that, being he expressed his great dissatisfaction in, and that recovered, he was gone into the country for the he wished I could be allowed to tend and nurse air, and for the better recovery after his distemhim as I did before.
per. After this it was yet two months more, I was very much concerned at this account, and then I understood he was come to his city and was very impatient to know how it was with house again, but still I heard nothing from him. him. I waited a fortnight or thereabout, and I had written several letters for bim, and diheard nothing, which surprised me, and I began rected them as usual, but found two or three of to be very uneasy indeed. I think, I may say, them had been called for, but not the rest. I that for the next fortnight I was near to distracted. wrote again in a more pressing manner than ever, It was my particular difficulty, that I did not and in one of them let him know that I must be know directly where he was ; for I understood forced to wait on him myself, representing my at first he was in the lodgings of his wife's mo circumstances, the rent of lodgings to pay, ther; but having removed myself to London, I and the provision for the child wanting, and my soon found, by the help of the direction I had for own deplorable condition, destitute of subsistence writing my letters to him, how to inquire after after his most solemn engagement to take care him, and there I found he was at a house in of and provide for me. I took a copy of this Bloomsbury, whither he had, a little before he letter, and finding it lay at the house near a fell sick, removed his whole family ; and that his month, and was not called for, I found means to wife and wife's mother were in the same house, have the copy of it put into his own hands at a ' though the wife was not suffered to know that coffee-house, where I had by inquiry found he she was in the same house with her husband. used to yo.
Here I also soon understood that he was at This letter forced an answer from him, by which, the last extremity, which made me almost at the though I found I was to be abandoned, yet I last extretnity too, to have a true account. One | found he had sent a letter to me some time before, pight I had the curiosity to disguise myself 'as a il desiring me to go down to the Bath again, its servant-maid, in a round cap and straw bonnet, 'contents I shall come to presently.
It is true that sick-beds are the times when linen draper, who, though he had left me by the such correspondence as this is looked on with dif- | necessity of his circumstances, had no power to ferent countenance, and seen with other eyes than discharge me from the marriage contract which we saw them with, or than they appeared with be was between us, or to give me a legal liberty to fore. My lover had been at the gates of death, at marry again ; so that I had been no less than a the very brink of eternity; and it seems had been whore and an adultress all this while; I then struck with a due remorse, and with sad reflections reproached myself with the liberties I had taken, upon his past life of gallantry and levity; and and how I had been a snare to this gentleman, among the rest, this criminal correspondence and that, indeed, I was principal in the crime; with me, which was neither more or less than a that now he was mercifully snatched out of the long continued life of adultery had represented gulph by a convincing work upon his mind, but itself, as it really was, and not as it had been that I was left as if I was forsaken of God's formerly thought by him to be, and he looked grace, and abandoned by heaven to a continuing upon it now with a just and a religious abhor in my wickedness. rence.
Under these reflections I continued very penI cannot but observe also, and leave it for the sive and sad for near a month, and did not go direction of my sex in such cases of pleasure, down to the Bath, having no inclination to be that whenever sincere repentance succeeds such with the woman who I was with before ; lest, as a crime as this, there never fails to attend a | I thought, she should prompt me to some wicked hatred of the object; and the more the affection course of life again, as she had done ; and bemight seem to be before, the hatred will be the sides, I was very loath she should know I was cast more in proportion. It will always be so, indeed off as above. it can be Do Otherwise ; for there cannot be a true And now I was greatly perplexed about my and sincere abhorrence of the offence and the little boy ; it was death to me to part with the love to the cause of it remain, there will with an child, and yet when I remembered the danger of abhorrence of the sin be found a detestation of being one time or other left with him to keep, the fellow sinner; you can expect no other. without a maintenance to support him, I then
I found it so here, thouglı good manners and resolved to leave him where he was ; but then I justice in this gentleman kept him from carry concluded also to be near him myself too, that ing it to any extreme ; but the short history of I might have the satisfaction of seeing him withhis part in this affair was thus; he perceived by out the care of providing for him. my last letter, and by all the rest, which he went I sent my gentleman a short letter therefore, for after, that I was not gone to the Bath, and that I had obeyed his orders in all things but that his first letter had not come to my hand, that of going back to the Bath, which I could upon which he writes me this following:
not think of for many reasons. That, however, “Madam,
parting from him was a wound to me that I “ I am surprised that my letter, dated the 8th could never recover, and yet that I was fully sa. of last month, did not come to your hand; Itisfied his reflections were just, and would be give you my word it was delivered at your lodg-li very far from desiring to obstruct his reformation ings, and to the hands of your maid.
or repentance. " I need not acquaint you with what has been | Then I represented my own circumstances my condition for some time past, and how Ill to him in the most moving terms that I was able. hare been at the edge of the grave: I am, oy the || I told him that that those unhappy distresses unexpected and undeserved mercy of heaven, re- which first moved him to a generous and an stored again. In the condition I have been in, I honest friendship for me, would, I hoped, move it cannot be strange to you that our unhappy || him to a little concern for me now; though the correspondence has not been the least of the || criminal part of our correspondence, which I burthens which lay upon my conscience; I need || believed neither of us intended to fall into at that say no more, those things that must be repented || time, was broken off ; that I desired to repent as of, must be also reformed.
sincerely as he had done, but entreated him to “I wish you would think of going back to the put me in some condition, that I might not be Bath. I inclose you here a bill for 501. for clearing exposed to the temptations which the devil never yourself at your lodgings, and carrying you down, fails to excite us to, from the frightful prospect and hope it will be no surprise to you to add, that || of poverty and distress; and if he had the least on this account only, and not for any offence apprehensions of my being troublesome to him, given me on your side, I can see you no more. 1 I begged he would put me in a posture to go will take due care of the child ; Icave him where I back to my mother in Virginia, from whence he he is, or take him with you, as you please. I knew I came, and that would put an end to all wish you the like reflections, and that they may his fears on that account. I concluded, that if be to your advantage. I am," &c.
he would send me fifty more to facilitate my I was struck with this letter as with a thousand ll going away, I would send him back a general rewounds; the reproaches of my own conscience il lease, and would promise never to disturb him were such as I cannot express, for I was not more with any importunities; unless it were to blind to my own crime ; and I reflected that I hear of the well-doing of the child, who, if I found might with less offence have continued with my il my mother living, and my circumstances able, I brother, and lived with him as a wife, since there would send for to come over to me, and take him was no crime in our marriage on that score, I also effectually off his hands. neither of us knowing it.
This was, indeed, all a cheat thus far, viz. But I never once reflected that I was all this that I had no intention to go to Virginia, as the while a married woman, a wife to Mr— the ll account of my former affairs there may convince