that to be

anybody of; but the business was to get this last || and had pride enough to think that I did not fifty pounds of him, if possible, knowing well want it, yet there would always be some difenough it would be the last penny I was ever to || ference seen between five and twenty and two expect.

and forty. However, the argument I used, namely, of I cast about innumerable ways for my future giving him a general release, and never troubling || state of life, and began to consider very seriously him any more, prevailed effectually with him, and what I should do, but nothing offered; I took he sent me a bill for the money by a person who care to make the world take me for something brought with him a general release for me to sign, more than I was, and had it given out that I and which I frankly signed, and received the was a fortune, and that my estate was in my own money; and thus, though full sore against my hands, the last of which was very true, the first will, a final end was put to this affair.

of it was as above. I had no acquaintance, • And here I cannot but reflect upon the un which was one of my worst misfortunes, and the happy consequence of too great freedoms be consequence of that was, I had no adviser, at tween persons situated as we were, upon the least who could advise and assist together; and pretence of innocent intentions, love of friend. above all, I had nobody to whom I could in confi. ship, and the like; for the flesh has generally so dence commit the secret of any circumstances to, great a share in those friendships, that it is great and could depend upon for their secresy and fide. odds but inclination prevails at last over the most || lity: and I found by experience that soleman resolutions; and that vice breaks in at friendless is the worst condition, next to being in the breaches of decency, which really innocent want, that a woman can be reduced to. I say a friendship ought to preserve with the greatest woman, because it is evident men can be their strictness ; but I leave the readers of these own advisers and their own directors, and know things to their own just reflections, which they how to work themselves out of difficulties and will be more able to make effectual than I, who | into business better than women; but if a woso soon forgot myself, and am therefore but a very man has no friend to communicate her affairs to, indifferent monitor.

and to advise and assist her, it is ten to one but I was now a single person again, as I may call || she is undone; nay, and the more money she myself: I was loosed from all the obligations either | has the more danger she is in of being wronged of wedlock or mistress-ship in the world; except Il and deceived; and this was my case in the my husband the linen-draper, who I having not || affair of the hundred pounds which I left in the now heard from in almost fifteen years, nobody hands of the goldsmith as above, whose credit, it could blame me for thinking myself entirely freed seems, was upon the ebb before; but I that had from.

no knowledge of things, and nobody to consult I now began to cast up my accounts; I had with, knew nothing of it, and so lost my money. by many letters, and much importunity, and with When a woman is thus lest desolate and void of the intercession of my mother too, I had a se | council, she is just like a bag of money or a jewel cond return of some goods from my brother, as dropped on the highway, which is a prey to the I now call him, in Virginia, to make up the da next comer. If a man of virtue and upright mage of the cargo I brought away with me, and principles happens to find it, he will have it this too was upon the condition of my sealing a cried, and the owner may come to hear of it general release to him, and to send it him by his again; but how many times shall such a thing correspondent at Bristol, which though I thought || fall into the hands that will make no scruple of hard of, yet I was obliged to promise to do. | seizing it for their own, to once that it shall However, I managed so well in this case, that I come into good hands ? got my goods away before the release was signed, This was evidently my case, for I was now a and then I always found something or other to loose unguided creature, and had no help, no say to evade the thing, and to put off the sign assistance, no guide for my conduct. I knew ing it at all; till at length I pretended I must what I aimed at, and what I wanted, but knew write to my brother, and have his answer, be nothing how to pursue the end by direct means. fore I could do it.

I wanted to be placed in a settled state of living, Including this recruit, and before I got the and had I happened to meet with a sober good last fifty, I found my strength to amount, put husband, I should have been as faithful and true all together, to about 4001., so that with that I ll a wife to him as virtue itself could have formed. had above 4501. I had saved about 1001. more, | If I had been otherwise, the vice came in always but I met with a disaster with that, which was at the door of necessity, not at the door of inclithis, that a goldsmith in whose hands I had nation; and I understood too well, by the want trusted it, broke, so I lost 701. of my money, of it, what the value of a settled life was, to do the man's composition not making above 301. any thing to forfeit the felicity of it; nay, I out of this 1001. I had a little plate, but not should have made the better wife for all the diffimuch, and was well enough stocked for clothes culties I had passed through, by a great deal; and linen.

nor did I, in any of the times that I had been a With this stock I had the world to begin wife, give my husbands the least uneasiness on again ; but you are to consider that I was not account of my behaviour. now the same woman as when I lived at Redriff; 1 But all this was nothing, I found no encourag. for first of all I was near twenty years older, and ing prospect; I waited; I lived regularly, and did not look the better for my age, nor for my with as much frugality as became my circumrambles to Virginia and back again ; and though I stances, but nothing offered ; nothing presented, omitted nothing that might set me out to advan- || and the main stock wasted apace, and what to tage, except painting, for that I never stooped to," do I knew not; the terror of approaching poverty

[ocr errors]

lay hard upon my spirits. I had some money, || robbed, and perhaps murdered, in a strange place
put where to place it I knew not, nor would the for them. This perplexed me strangely, and
interest of it maintain me, at least not in London. what to do I knew not.

At length a new scene opened. There was in It came into my thoughts one morning that I
the house where I lodged a north countrywoman would go to the bank myself, where I had often
that passed for a gentlewoman, and nothing was || been to receive the interest of some bills I had,
more frequent in her discourse than her account which had interest payable on them, and where
of the cheapness of provisions, and the easy way || I had found the clerk, to whom I applied myself,
of living in her country; how plentiful and how very honest and just to me, and particularly so
cheap everything was; what good company they fair one time, that when I had mis-told my
kept, and the like ; till at last I told her she money and taken less than my due, and was
almost tempted me to go and live in her coun coming away, he set me to rights and gave me
try, for I that was a widow, though I had suffi- | the rest, which he might have put into his own
cient to live on, yet had no way of increasing it, pocket.
and that London was an expensive and extrava I went to him and represented my case very
gant place: that I found I could not live here ) plainly, and asked if he would trouble himself to
under a hundred pounds a year, unless I kept | be my adviser, who was a poor friendless widow
no company, no servant, made no appearance, and knew not what to do. He told me, if I
and buried myself in privacy, as if I was obliged desired his opinion of anything within the reach
to it by necessity.

of his business, he would do his endeavours that
I should have observed, that she was always || I should not be wronged, but that he would also
made to believe, as everybody else was, that I || help me to a good sober person who was a grave
was a great fortune, or at least that I had || man of his acquaintance, who was a clerk in
30001. or 40001., if not more, and all in my such business too, though not in their house,
own hands; and she was mighty sweet upon whose judgment was good, and whose honesty I
me when she thought me inclined in the least to || might depend upon; “ for,” added he, “ I will
go into her country. She said she had a sister | 1 answer for him, and for every step he takes; if
lived near Liverpool, that her brother was a || he wrongs you, madam, of one farthing, it shall
considerable gentleman there, and had a great lie at my door; I will make it good; and he
estate also in Ireland ; that she would go down delights to assist people in such cases ; he does
there in about two months, and if I would give it as an act of charity."
her my company thither, I should be as welcome I was a little at a stand at this discourse, but
as herself for a month or more, as I pleased, till | after some pause I told him I had rather have
I should see how I liked the country; and if i depended upon him, because I had found him
thought fit to live there, she would undertake honest; but if that could not be, I would take
they would take care, though they did not enter- || his recommendation sooner than any one else.
tain lodgers themselves, to recommend me to ] “ I dare say, madam," says he, “that you will be
some agreeable family, where I should be placed as well satisfied with my friend as with me. **
to my conten

It seems he had his hands full of the business of If this woman had known my real circum the bank. I had engaged to meddle with no stances, she would never have laid so many other business than that of his office. He added, snares, and taken so many weary steps, to catch that his friend should take nothing off me for his a poor desolate creature that was good for little || advice or assistance, and this indeed encouwhen it was caught ; and, indeed, I, whose case raged me very much. was almost desperate, and thought I could not He appointed the same evening, after the bank be much worse, was not very anxious about was shut and business over, for me to meet him what might befall me, provided they did me no and his friend ; and, indeed, as soon as I saw his personal injury; so I suffered myself, though not | friend, and he began but to talk of the affair, I without a great deal of invitation, and great pro. was fully satisfied that I had a very honest man fessions of sincere friendship and real kindness, I to deal with; his countenance spoke it, and his say I suffered myself to be prevailed upon to go character, as I heard afterwards, was everywhere with her, and accordingly I packed up my bag so good that I had no room for any more doubts gage, and put myself in a posture for a journey, upon me. though I did not absolutely know whither I was After the first meeting, in which I only said to go.

what I had said before we parted, and he ap. And now I found myself in great distress; pointed me to come the next day to him, telling what little I had in the world was all in money, me, I might in the meantime satisfy myself or except as before, a little plate, some linen, and him by inquiry, which, however, I knew not how my clothes ; as for household stuff I had little or well to do, having no acquaintance myself. none, for I had lived always in lodgings; but I Accordingly I met him the next day, when I had not one friend in the world with whom to entered more freely with him into my case; I trust that little I had, or to direct me how to told him my circumstances at large; that I was dispose of it, and this perplexed me night and a widow come over from America, perfectly desoday. I thought of the bank and of the other late and friendless; that I had a little money, and companies in London, but I had no friend to but a little, and I was almost distracted for fear commit the management of it to; and to keep of losing it, having no friend in the world to and carry about with me bank bills, tallies, orders, trust with the management of it;.that I was and such things, I looked upon it as unsafe ; that I going into the north of England to live cheap, if they were lost my money was lost, and then 1 that my stock might not waste; that I would was undone ; and, on the other hand, I might bell willingly lodge my money in the bank, but that 1 durst not carry the bills about me, and the with a great deal of frankness, that I had never like, as above, and how to correspond about it, met with man or woman get that I could trust, or with who, I knew not.

or in whom I could think myself safe, but that I He told me I might lodge the money in the saw he was so disinterestedly concerned for my bank as an account, and its being entered in the i safety, that I said I would freely trust him with books would entitle me to the money at any! | the management of that little l had, if he would time, and if I was in the north I might draw bills accept to be steward for a poor widow that could on the cashier, and receive it when I would; but give him no salary. that then it would be esteemed as running cash,!! He smiled, and standing up with great respect, and the bank would give no interest for it; that saluted me. He told me he could not but take I might buy stock with it, and so it would lie in it very kindly that I had so good an opinion of store for me, but that then, if I wanted to dispose him ; that he would not deceive me; that he of it, I must come up to town on purpose to would do anything in his power to serve me and transfer it, and even it would be with some diffi. expect no salary; but that he could not by any culty I should receive the half-yearly dividend, means accept of a trust, that it might bring liim unless I was here in person, or had some friend I to be suspected of self-interest, and that if I could trust with having the stock in his name to should die he might have disputes with my do it for me, and that would have the same diffi executors, which he should be very loath to culty in it as before ; and with that he looked cncumber himself with. hard at me and smiled a little. At last, says he, I told him if those were all his objectio:s ! “Why do you not get a head steward, madam, that would soon remove them, and convince him that may take you and your money together into there was not the least room for any difficulty; keeping, and then you would have the trouble for that, first, as for suspecting him, if over 1 taken off your hands?"

should do it, now was the time to suspect him, “Ay, sir, and the money too it may be," said and not put the trust into his hands, and when1, "for truly I find the hazard that way is as ever I did suspect him, he could but throw it up much as it is the other way;” but I remember, 1 then and refuse to go any farther. Then, as 10 said, sccrctly to myself, I wish you would ask ine executors, I assured him I had no heirs, nor any the question fairly, I would consider very seriously relations in England, and I would have neither on it before I said no.

heirs or executors but himself, unless I should He went on a good way with me, and I thought alter my condition before I died, and then his once or twice he was in earnest, but to my real I trust and trouble should cease together, which, affliction, I found at last he had a wife; but however, I had no prospect of yet ; but I told when he owned he had a wife he shook his head, him, if I died as I was, it should be all his own, and said, with some concern, that indeed he had and he would deserve it by being so faithful to a wife and no wife. I began to think he had me as I was satisfied he would be. been in the condition of my late lover, and that | He changed his countenance at this discourse, his wife had been distempered, or lunatic, or some and asked me how I came to have so much good such thing. However, we had not much more will for him, and looking very much pleased, discourse at that time, but he told me he was in said, he might very lawfully wish he was a single too much hurry of business then, but that if I man for my sake. vould come home to his house after their busi | I smiled and told him, that as he was not, my ness was over, he would by that time consider offer could have no design upon him in it, and to what might be done for me, to put my affairs in a wish as he did was not to be allowed, it was posture of sccurity. I told him I would come, criminal to his wife. and desired to know where he lived. He gave He told me I was wrong; " for," says he, me a direction in writing, and when he gave it “madam, as I said before, I have a wife and no me he read it to me, and said, “ There it is, wife, and it would be no sin to me to wish her madam, if you dare trust yourself with me." || hanged, if that were all."

“ Yes, sir,” said I, “ I believe I may venture “I know nothing of your circumstances that to trust you with myself, for you have a wife you way, sir," said I; "but it cannot be innocent to say, and I do not want a husband; besides, I wish your wife dead." dare trust you with my money, which is all I "I tell you," says he again, “she is a wife have in the world, and if that were gonc, I might and no wife ; you do not know what I am, or trust myself anywhere."

what she is." He said some things in jest that were very “That is true," said I, “sir, I do not know handsome and mannerly, and would have pleased | what you arc; but I believe you to be an bones me very well if they had been in earnest; but man, and that is the cause of all my confidence that passed over, I took the directions, and ap- in you." pointed to attend him at his house at seven “Well, well,” says he, “and so I am, I hope, o'clock the same evening.

| too, but I am something else too, madam, for," When I came he made several proposals for says he, “to be plain with you, I am a cuckold, my placing my money in the bank, in order to and she is a whore." He spoke it in a kind of a my having interest for it; but still some diffi- | jest, but it was with such an awkward smile, that culty or other came in the way, which he I perceived it was what stuck very close to him, objected as not safe ; and I found such a sincere and he looked dismally when he said it. disiaterested honesty in him, that I began to “That alters the case indeed, sir," said I, “as muse with myself, that I had certainly found the i to that part you were speaking of; but a cuckold honest man I wanted, and that I could never you know may be an honest man, it does poi put inyself into better hands; so I told him alter that case at all. Besides, I think," said, with."

"since your wife is so dishonest to you, you are 11 against any honest woman accepting you, for you too honest to her to own her for your wife; condemn all that I should venture upon you at but that,” said I, “is wbat I have nothing to do once, and conclude, that really, a woman that

takes you now, cannot be honest.” " Nay,” says he, “ I do think to clear my hands “ Why," says he, “I wish yon would satisfy of her, for, to be plain with you, madam," added me that an honest woman would take me, I he, “ I am no contented cuckold neither; on the would venture it," and then turns short upon other hand, I assure you it provokcs me to the me,'" will you take me, madam?" highest degree, but I cannot help myself; she “That is not a fair question," says I, “after that will be a whore, will be a whore."

what you have said ; however, lest you should I waived the discourse, and began to talk of my think I wait only for a recantation of it, I shall business, but I found he could not have done answer you plainly, no, not 1; my business is of with it, so I let him alone, and he went on to another kind with you, and I did not expect you tell me all the circumstances of his case, too would have turned my serious application to long to relate here particularly, that having been you in my own distracted case into a comedy." abroad out of England some time before he came “Why, madam,” says he, “my case is as disto the post he was in, she had had two children tracted as yours can be, and I stand in as much in the meantime by an officer of the army; and need of advice as you do, for I think, if I have not that when he came to England, and, upon her | relief somewhere, I shall be mad myself, and I submission, took her again, and maintained her || know not what course to take, I protest to very well, yet she ran away from him with a ll you." linen-draper's apprentice; robbed him of what Il “Why, sir,” says I, “it is easier to give adshe could come at, and continued to live from him || vice in your case, much easier than it is in still; “80 that, madam,” says he, “she is a mine." whore not by necessity, which is the common “ Speak then,” says he, “I beg of you, for bait of your sex, but by inclination, and for the now you encourage me." sake of the vice." .

“Why,” says I, "if your case is so plain as Well, I pitied him, and wished him well rid of you say it is, you may be legally divorced, and her, and still would have talked of my business, || then you may find honest women enough to ask but it would not do; at last he looks steadily at | the question of fairly; the sex is not so scarce me, “ Look you, madam," says he, “ you came to that you can want a wife.” . ask advice of me, and I will serve you as faith “ Well then,” said he, “I am in earnest, I will fully as if you were my own sister; but I must take your advice; but shall I ask you onc questurn the tables, since you oblige me to do it, and tion seriously beforehand ?" are so friendly to me, and I think I must ask “ Any question," said I, “but that you did bcadvice of you; tell me what must a poor abused fore." fellow do with a whore? What can I do to do “ No, that answer will not do,” said he," for, myself justice upon her?”

in short, that is the question I shall ask.” " Alas! sir,” says I, “it is a case too nice “ You may ask what question you pleasc; for me to advise in, but it seems she is run but you have my answer to that already. Be. away from you, so you are rid of her fairly ; what sides, sir," said I, “ can you think so ill of me as can you desire more ?"

that I would give any answer to such a question " Ay, she is gone indeed,” said he, “but I beforehand? Can any woman alive believe you am not clear of her for all that.”

in earnest, or think you design anything but to “That's true," says I; "she may indeed run || banter her?" you into debt, but the law has furnished you “ Well, well,” says he, “I do not banter you; with methods to prevent that also ; you may cry

I am in earnest : consider of it.” her down, as they call it.”

“ But, sir,” says I, a little gravely, “ I came to “No, no," says he, “that is not the case; Il you about my own business; I beg of you let me have taken care of all that, 'tis not that part I know what you will advise me to do?" speak of, but I would be rid of her, that I might “I will be prepared,” says he, “ against you marry again.”

come again." “Well, sir,” says I, “ then you must divorce “ Nay,” says I, "you have forbid my coming ber; if you can prove what you say, you may

any more." certainly get that done, and then, I suppose,

* Why so," said he, and looked a little suryou are free."

prised. “That is very tedious and expensive,” says “Because," said I, “you cannot expect I he.

should visit you on the account you talk of.” " Why," says I, "if you can get any woman “ Well,” says he, "you shall promise me to you like to take your word, I suppose your wife come again, however, and I will not say any would uot dispute their liberty with you that she more of it till I have gotten the divorce, but I takes herself."

desire you will prepare to be better conditioned “Ay,” says he, “but it would be hard to when that is done, for you shall be the woman, bring an honest woman to do that; and for the or I will not be divorced at all. Why, I owe it other sort," says he, “ I have had enough of her to your unlooked-for kindness, if it were to no. to meddle with any more whores."

thing else, but I have other reasons too." It occurred to me presently, I would have He could not have said anything in the world taken your word with all my heart, if you had that pleased me better; however, I knew that but asked me the question ; but that was to my. ll the way to secure him was to stand off while the self; to him I replied, " Why, you shut the door ll thing was so remote as it appeared to be, and that it was time enough to accept of it when he || his thoughts about me, and was very far froin was able to perform it; so I said very respectfully | offering anything to me that was dishonourable, to him it was time enough to consider of these and if I thought so, he would choose to say no things when he was in a condition to talk of more of it. them ; in the meantime I told him I was going That part I did not relish at all. I told bin a great way from him, and he would find objects || I was ready to hear anything he had to say, ceenough to please him better. We broke off here pending that he would say nothing unworthy of for the present, and he made me promise him to himself, or unfit for me to hear. Upon this h: come again the next day for his resolutions told me his proposal was this,—that I woud upon my own business, which after some press marry him, though he had not yet obtained the ing I did ; though, had he seen farther into me, I divorce from the whore his wife ; and to satisfy wanted no pressing on that account.

me that he meant honourably, he would promise I came the next evening accordingly, and not to desire me to live with him, or go to bed to brought my maid with me, to let him see that I him, till the divorce was obtained. My heart kept a maid, but I sent her away as soon as I said yes to this offer at first word, but it was was gone in. He would have had me let the necessary to play the hypocrite a little more with maid have stayed, but I would not, but ordered him, so I seemed to decline the motion with some her to come for me again about nine o'clock; but warmth, and besides a little eondemning the thing he forbid that, and told me he would see me safe as unfair, told him, that such a proposal could be home himself, which I was not very well pleased of no signification, but to entangle us both in with, supposing that he inight do that to inquire great difficulties; for if he should not at last into my character and circumstances.

obtain the divorce, yet we could not dissolve the However, I ventured that; for all that the marriage, neither could we proceed in it; so people there or thereabout knew of me was to that, if he was disappointed in the divorce, I left my advantage, and all the character he had of him to consider what a condition we should both me, after he had inquired, was, that I was a be in. woman of fortune, and that I was a very modest, l. In short, I carried on the argument against sober body; which, whether true or not in the this so far, that I convinced him it was not a main, yet you may see how necessary it is for all proposal that had any sense in it. Well, then, he women who expect anything in the world to pre went from it to another, and that was, that I serve the character of their virtue, even when I would sign and seal a contract with him, condiperhaps they may have sacrificed the thing itself. tioning to marry him as soon as the divorce

I found, and was not a little pleased with it, was obtained, and to be void if he could not obthat he had provided a supper for me: I found tain it. also he lived very handsomely, and had a house I told him such a thing was more rational very handsomely furnished, all which I was re than the other. But as this was the first time joiced at indeed, for I looked upon it as all my own. that ever I could imagine him weak enough to

We had now a second conference upon the Il be in earnest in this affair, I did not choose to say subject matter of the last conference. He laid yes at first asking, I would consider of it. his business very home indeed; he protested his I played with this lover as an angler does affection to me, and indeed I had no room to with a trout. I found I had him fast on the doubt it. He declared that it began from the hook, so I jested with his new proposal, and first moment I talked with him, and long before put him off. I told him he knew little of me, I had mentioned leaving my effects with him. / and bade him inquire about me; I let him also It is no matter when it begun, thought I, if it go home with me to my lodgings, though I would will but hold it will be well enough. He then || not ask him to go in, for I told him it was not told me how much the offer I had made of || decent. trusting him with my effects, and leaving them in a word, I ventured to avoid signing a contract, to him, had engaged him ; so I intended it and the reason why I did it was, because the should, thought I, but then I thought you had || lady that had invited me to go with her into been a single man too. After we had supped, 1| Lancashire insisted so positively upon it, and observed he pressed me very hard to drink two | promised me such great fortunes and fine things or three glasses of wine, which, however, I de-there, that I was tempted to go and try. “ Per. clined ; but drank one glass or two. He then haps," said I, “ I may mend myself very much;" said he had a proposal to make to me, which I || and then I made no scruple of quitting my hoshould promise him I would not take ill, if I nest citizen, who I was not so much in love should not grant it. I told him I hoped he would with as not to leave him for a richer." make no dishonourable proposal to me, especially || In a word, I avoided signing the contract; in his own house; and that if it was such, I de. I but told him I would go into the north, that he sired he would not propose it, that I might not | should know where to write to me on the busibe obliged to offer any resentment to him thatness I had entrusted with him; that I would give did not become the respect I professed for him, | him a sufficient pledge of my respect for him, and the trust I had placed in him in coming to for I would leave almost all I had in the world his house; and begged of him he would give me in his hands; and I would thus far give him my leave to go away, and accordingly began to put word, that as soon as he had sued out a divorce on my gloves and prepare to be gone, though, at i from his first wife, if he would send me an acthe same time, I no more intended it than he in count of it, I would come up to London, and tended to let me.

that then we would talk seriously of the matter. Well, he importuned me not to talk of going ; | It was a base design I went with, that I must he assured me he had no dishonourable thing in Il confess, though I was invited thither with a design

« VorigeDoorgaan »