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better circumstances, and who got a little liveli- |same to me, I should have cried I believe all the hood by taking such as I was supposed to be, time with the very apprehension of its being to and keeping them with all necessaries till they be so at last. were of a certain age, in which it might be sup- When she saw that I was not pacified yet she posed they might go to service, or get their own began to be angry with me. “ And what would bread.
you have ?" says she. “Do I not tell you that This woman had also had a little school, which you shall not go to service till you grow bigger ?" she kept to teach children to read and to work ; 1 * Ay,” says Ì, “but then I must go at last.” and having, as I have said, lived before that in " Why, what !” said she; “is the girl mad? good fashion, she bred up the children she took What, would you be a gentlewoman ? “ Yes." with a great deal of art, as well as with a great says I, and cried heartily, till I roared out again. deal of care, but which was worth all the rest, This set the old gentlewoman a laughing at she bred them up very religiously also, being me, as you may be sure it would. “Well, ma. herself a very sober, pious woman, very house dam, forsooth,” says she, gibing at me, “you wisely and clean, and very mannerly, and with would be a gentlewoman; and how would you good behaviour, so that, excepting a plain diet,come to be a gentlewoman; what, will you do coarse lodging, and mean clothes, we were brought it by your fingers' ends.” up as mannerly as if we had been at the dancing | “Yes," says I again very innocently. school,
“ Why, what can you earn," says she ; “what I was continued here till I was eight years old, can you get a day at your work ?" when I was terrified with the news that the ma “Threepence," said I, “ when I spin, and fourgistrates, as I think they call them, had ordered pence when I work plain work." that I should go to service. I was able to do but “ Alas! poor gentlewoman," said she again, very little wherever I was to go, except it was to laughing ; " what will that do for thee?" run of errands, and be a drudge to some cook " It will keep me,” says I, “if you will let me maid; and this they told me of often, which put live with you, and this I said in such a poor me into a great fright, for I had a thorough aver petitioning tone that it made the poor woman's sion to going to service, as they ca:led it, though | heart yearn to me, as she told me afterwards. I was so young, and I told my nurse, as we called | “ But,” says she, “that will not keep you, and her, that I believed I could get my living without | buy you clothes too; and who must buy the going to service, if she pleased to let me ; for she little gentlewoman clothes,” says she, and smiled had taught me to work with my needle and spin all the while at me. worsted, which is the chief trade of that city ; || “ I will work harder, then," says I, " and you and I told her, if that she would keep me, I shall have it all." would work for her, and I would work very hard. “ Poor child ! it will not keep you," says she ;
I talked to her almost every day of working “ it will hardly find you in victuals." hard, and, in short, I did nothing but work and “ Then I will have no victuals," says I again cry all day, which grieved the good kind woman very innocently; “let me but live with you." so much that at last she began to be concerned, • Why, can you live without victuals?" says for she loved me very well.
she. “ Yes," again says I, very much like a One day after this, as she came into the room child, you may be sure, and still I cried heartily. where all we poor children were at work, she sat | I had no policy in all this ; you may easily see down just over against me, not in her usual place | it was all nature; but it was joined with so much as mistress, but as if she had set herself on pur innocence and so much passion that, in short, it pose to observe me and see me work. I was doing set the good motherly creature a weeping too, something she had set me to, as I remember ; it and she cried at last as fast as I did, and then was marking some shirts which she had taken to took me, and led me out of the teaching-room. make, and after awhile she began to talk to me. “ Come," says she, “you shall not go to service, “ Thou foolish child," says she, “ thou art always you shall live with me;" and this pacified me for crying,” for I was crying then. “ Prithee, what the present. dost cry for?" “ Because they will take meil Some time after this she going to wait on the away," says I. “and put me to service, and I | mayor, and talking of such things as belonged to can't work house-work." “ Well, child," says her business, at last my story came up, and my she, “but though you can't work house-work, as good nurse told Mr Mayor the whole tale. He you call it, you will learn it in time, and they was so pleased with it that he would call his lady will not put you to hard things at first.” “ Yes and his two daughters to hear it; and it made they will," says I, “and if I cannot do it they mirth enough among them, you may be sure. will beat me, and the maids will beat me, and!! However, not a week had passed over but on make me do great work, and I am but a little l a sudden comes the mayor's lady and her two girl, and I can't do it ;" and then I cried again, daughters to the house to see my old nurse, her till I could not speak any more.
school, and the children. When they had looked This moved my good motherly nurse so that || about them a little, “Well, Mrs
says she resolved I should not go to service yet ; so || the lady to my nurse, “ pray which is the little she bid me not cry, and she would speak to Mr || lass that intends to be a gentlewoman ?" I heard Mayor, and I should not go to service till I was l her, and was terribly frightened at first, though bigger.
| I did not know why neither ; but the lady came Well, this did not satisfy me ; for to think of up to me, “ Well, Miss," says she, “and what are going to service was such a frightful thing to me ll you at work upon?” The word miss was a labthat if she had assured me I should not have gone Il guage that had hardly been heard of in our till I was 20 years old, it would have been the Il school, and I wondered what sad namo it was she
called me; however, I stood up, made a curtsy, || brought others with them, so that I was known and she took my work out of my hand, looked on by it almost all over the town. it, and said it was very well; then she took up ll I was now about ten years old, and began to one of my hands," Nay," says she, “the child look a little womanish, for I was mighty grave may come to be a gentlewoman for aught anybody and humble, very mannerly; and, as I had often knows; she has a gentlewoman's hand.” This heard the ladies say I was pretty, and would be pleased me mightily, you may be sure, but she || a very handsome woman, so you may be sure that did not stop there; but giving me my work again, || hearing them say so made me not a little proud; put her hand in her pocket, gave me a shilling, however, that pride had no ill effect upon me yet, and bid me mind my work and learn to work well, | cnly as they often gave me money, and I gave it and I might be a gentlewoman for aught she || all to my old nurse ; she, honest woman, was so knew.
just to me as to lay it all out again for me, Now, all this while my good old nurse, the land gave me head-dresses, linen, gloves, and lady, and all the rest of them, did not understand ribands, and I went very neat, and always clean, me at all, for they meant one sort of thing by the for that I would do, and if I had rags on I would word gentlewoman and I meant quite another; || always be clean, or else I would dabble them in for, alas, all I understood by being a gentlewo | water myself; but I say, my good nurse, when I man was, to be able to work for myself, and to had money given me, very honestly laid it out for get enough to keep me without that terrible bug. me, and would always tell the ladies this or that bear, "going to service;" whereas they meant was bought with their money, and this made to live great, rich, and high, and I know not them oftentimes give me more, till at last I was. what.
indeed called upon by the magistrates, as I unWell, after the mayor's lady was gone, her two derstood it, to go out to service; but then I was daughters came in, and they called for the gen come to be so good a workwoman myself, and tlewoman too, and they talked a long while to the ladies were so kind to me, that it was plain I me, and I answered them in my innocent way, could maintain myself, that is to say, I could earn but always, if they asked me whether I resolved as much for my nurse as she was able by it to to be a gentlewoman, I answered “ Yes." At | keep me; so she told them that if they would last one of them asked me what a gentlewoman | give her leave she would keep the gentlewoman, was. That puzzled me much, but however I as she called me, to be her assistant, and teach explained myself negatively, that it was one that the children, which I was very well able to do, did not go to service to do house-work. They for I was very nimble at my work, and had a were pleased to be familiar with me, and liked good hand with my needle, though I was yet very my little prattle to them, which it seems was young. agreeable enough to them, and they gave me But the kindness of the ladies of the town did money too.
pot end here ; for when they came to understand As for my money, I gave it to my Mrs Nurse,
that I was no more maintained by the public as I called her, and told her she should have all I allowance, as before, they gave me money oftener got for myself when I was a gentlewoman, as well
than formerly, and as I grew up they brought as now. By this and some other of my talk my me work to do for them, such as linen to make, old tutoress began to understand me about what I
and laces to mend, and heads to dress up, and meant by being a gentlewoman, and that I un
not only paid me for doing them, but even tauglit derstood by it no more than to be able to get my
me how to do them; so that now I was a genbread by my own work; and at last she asked
tlewoman indeed, as I understood that word, and me whether it was not so.
as I desired to be ; for, by the time I was twelve I told her “ Yes," and I insisted on it, that to
years old, I not only found myself clothes and do so was to be a gentlewoman; “ For," says I,!!
I paid my nurse for my keeping, but got money in
: my pocket too beforehand. "there is such a one," naming a woman that I'm mended lace and washed the ladies' laced heads;
The ladies also gave me clothes frequently of
their own or their children's, and stockings, some “she," says I, “is a gentlewoman, and they call
petticoats, some gowns, some one thing, some anher madam."
other, and these my old woman managed for me “ Poor child,” says my good old nurse, “ you like a mere mother, and kept them for me, may soon be such a gentlewoman as that, for she obliged me to mend them and turn them and is a person of ill fame, and has had two or three twist them to the best advantage, for she was a bastards."
rare housewife. I did not understand anything of that, but an
At last one of the ladies took so much fancy swered, " I am sure they call her madam, and to me that she would have me home to her she does not go to service, nor do housework ;" I house, for a month. she said, to be among he and therefore I insisted that she was a gentle daughters. woman, and I would be such a gentlewoman as Now, though this was exceeding kind in her, that.
yet, as my old good woman said to her, unless The ladies were told all this again, to be sure, she resolved to keep me for good and all, she and they made themselves merry with it, and would do the little gentlewoman more harm than every now and then the young ladies (Mr| good. “ Well,” says the lady, “that is true, Mayor's daughters) would come and see me, and and therefore I will only take her home for a ask where the little gentlewoman was, which week, that I may see how my daughters and she made me not a little proud of myself.
agree together, and how I like her temper, and This held a great while, and I was often visited then I will tell you more ; and, in the mean time, by these young ladies, and sometimes they Hif anybody comes to see her as they used to do, you may only tell them you have sent her to my to, or a bit of bread to eat : but it seems some house.
Il of the neighbours who had known my circum. This was prudently managed enough, and Istances took so much compassion of me as to went to the lady's house, but I was so pleased acquaint the lady in whose family I had been a there with the young ladies, and they so pleased week, as I mentioned above, and immediately with me, that I had enough to do to come away, she sent her maid to fetch me away, and her and they were as unwilling to part with me. two daughters .carne with the maid, though un
However, I did come away, and lived almost a sent; so I went with them bag and baggage, year more with my honest old woman, and be- || and with a glad heart you may be sure: the gan now to be very helpful to her; for I was fright of my condition had made such an impresalmost 14 years old, was tall of my age, and sion upon me that I did not want now to be looked a little womanish; but I had such a taste I a gentlewoman, but was very willing to be a of genteel living at the lady's house that I was servant, and that any kind of servant they not so easy in my old quarters as I used to be, thought fit to have me be. and I thought it was fine to be a gentlewoman l I was no sooner carried away, as I have said, indeed, for I had quite other notions of a gentle-by this good gentlewoman, but the first lady, woman now than I had before ; and, as I that is to say, the mayor's lady that was, sent thought, I say, that it was fine to be a gentlewo her two daughters to take care of me, and man, so I loved to be among gentlewomen, and another family which had taken notice of me therefore I longed to be there again.
when I was the little gentlewoman, and had given · About the time that I was fourteen years and me work to do, sent for me after her, so that I a quarter old, my good old nurse-mother I was mightily made of, as we say; nay, and they ought rather to call her-fell sick and died. I were not a little angry, especially madame the was then in a sad condition indeed ; for, as there mayoress, that her friend had taken me away is no great bustle in putting an end to a poor from her as they called it; for, as she said, I was body's family, when once they are carried to the hers by right, she having been the first that grave, so the poor good woman being buried, the took any notice of me, but they that bad me parish children she kept were immediately re-would not part with me, and as for me, though moved by the churchwardens, the school was at I should have been very well treated with any of an end, and the children of it had no more to do the other, yet I could not be better than where but just to stay at home till they were sent some- || I was. where else ; and, as for what she left, her daugh- Here I continued till I was between seventeen ter, a married woman with six or seven children, and eighteen years of age, and here I had all came and swept it all away at once, and, re the advantages for my education that could be moving the goods, they had no more to say to me imagined; the lady had masters home in her than to jest with me, and tell me that the little own house to teach her daughters to dance, and gentlewoman might set up for herself if she to speak French, and to write, and others to pleased.
teach them music ; and as I was always with I was frightened almost out of my wits, and them, I learnt as fast as they, and though the knew not what to do, for I was, as it were, masters were not appointed to teach me, yet I turned out of doors to the wide world; and learnt by imitation and inquiry all that they that which was still worse, the old honest learnt by instruction and direction. So that, in woman had two and twenty shillings of mine in short, I learned to dance and speak French as her hand, which was all the estate the little || well as any of them, and to sing much better, gentlewoman had in the world, and when I for I had a better voice than any of them; I asked the daughter for it, she huffed me, and could not so readily come at playing on the laughed at me, and told me she had nothing to harpsicord or spinnet, because I had oo instrudo with it.
ment of my own to practise on, and could only It was true, the good woman had told her | come at theirs in the intervals when they left daughter of it, and that it lay in such a place, it, which was uncertain, but yet I learnt toleraand that it was the child's money, and had bly well too, and the young ladies at length got called once or twice for me, to give it me, but I two instruments, that is to say, a harpsichord was unhappily out of the way, somewhere or || and a spinnet, and then they taught me themother, and when I came back she was past being || selves; but as to dancing, they could hardly help in a condition to speak of it; however, the || my learning country dances, because they always daughter was so honest afterward as to give it I wanted me to make up an even number; and, on me, though at first she used me cruelly about the other hand, they were as heartily willing to
learn me everything that they had been taught But my new generous mistress, for she ex themselves, as I could be to take the learning. ceeded the good woman I was with before in | By this means I had, as I have said above, all everything, as well as in the matter of estate I the advantages of education that I could have I say in everything except honesty—and for that, had, if I had been as much a gentlewoman as though this was a lady most exactly just, yet I they were with whom I lived, and in some must not forget to say on all occasions, that the things I had the advantage of my ladies, though first, though poor, was as uprightly honest as they were my superiors; viz, that mine were it was possible for any one to be.
all the gists of nature, and which all their forNow was I a poor gentlewoman indeed, and tunes could not furnish. First, I was apparently was just that very night to be turned into the li handsomer than any of them ; secondly, I was wide world ; for the daughter removed all the better shaped ; and thirdly, I sung better: goods, and I had not so much as a lodging to go "which I mean I had a better voice ; ill all which
you will, I hope, allow me to say, I do not speak 11 you, and particularly that she is the handsomest my own conceit of myself, but the opinion of all young woman in Colchester, and, in short, they that knew the family.
begin to toast her health in the town." I had with all these the common vanity of my « I wonder at your brother," says the sister. sex, viz. that being really taken for very hand. | “ Betty wants but one thing, but she had as some, or, if you please, for a great beauty, I very Il good want every thing, for the market is against well knew it, and had as good an opinion of our sex just now ; and if a young woman have myself as anybody else could have of me, and beauty, birth, breeding, wit, sense, manners, particularly I loved to hear anybody speak of it, modesty, and all these to an extreme, yet if which could not but happen to me sometimes, |she have not money, she is nobody; she had as and was a great satisfaction to me.
good want them all, for nothing but money now Thus far I have had a smooth story to tell of recommends a woman ; the men play the game myself, and in all this part of my life I not only | all into their own hands." had the reputation of living in a very good | Her younger brother, who was by, cried, family, and a family noted and respected every- ||“ Hold, sister ; you run too fast; I am an excepwhere for virtue and sobriety, and for every |tion to your rule, I assure you. If I find a woman valuable thing ; but I had the character, too, of so accomplished as you talk of, I say, I assure a very sober, modest, and virtuous young \l you, I would not trouble myself about the woman, and such I had always been ; neither | money." had I yet any occasion to think of anything else, “ 0,” says the sister, “but you will take care or to know what a temptation to wickedness | not to fancy one of them without the money." meant.
“ You do not know that neither,” says the But that which I was too vain of was my ruin, | brother. or rather my vanity was the cause of it. The “ But why sister," says the elder brother, lady in the house where I was had two sons," why do you exclaim so at the men, for aiining young gentlemen of very promising parts and of so much at the fortune ? You are none of them extraordinary behaviour, and it was my misfor that want a fortune, whatever else you want." tune to be very well with them both, but they “I understand you, brother,” replies the lady managed themselves with me in a quite differ- | very smartly. “ You suppose I have the money, ent manner.
and want the beauty ; but as times go now, the The eldest, a gay gentleman that knew the first will do without the last, so I have the better town as well as the country, and though he ll of my neighbours.” had levity enough to do an ill-natured thing, yet “Well,” says the younger brother, “but your had too much judgment of things to pay dear neighbours, as you call them, may be even with for his pleasures; he began with that unhappy you, for beauty will steal a husband sometimes snare to all women, viz, taking notice upon all in spite of money, and when the maid chances occasions now pretty I was, as he called it, how to be handsomer than the mistress, she oftenagreeable, how well carriaged, and the like, and times makes as good a market, and rides in a this he contrived so subtilly, as if he had known coach before her.” as well how to catch a woman in his net as al I thought it was time for me to withdraw, partridge when he went a setting ; for he would and leave them, and I did so; but not so far contrive to be talking this to his sisters when, I but that I heard all their discourse, in which I though I was not by, yet when he knew I was heard abundance of fine things said of myself, not so far off, but that I should be sure to hear which served to prompt my vanity. But this I him: his sisters would return softly to him- soon found was not the way to increase my in“ Hush, brother, she will hear you ; she is but in terest in the family; for the sister and the the next room." Then he would put it off, and younger brother fell grievously out about it; and talk softlier, as if he had not known it, and lias he said some very disobliging things to her began to acknowledge he was wrong ; and then, I upon my account, so I could easily see that she as if he had forgot himself, he would speak aloud resented them, by her future conduct to me, again, and I, that was so well pleased to hear it, which indeed was very unjust to me, for I had was sure to listen for it upon all occasions. never had the least thought of what she sus
Alter he had thus baited his hook, and found | pected as to her younger brother. Indeed the easily enough the method how to lay it in my elder brother, in his distant remote way, had way, he played an opener game, and one day said a great many things, as in jest, which I had going by his sister's chamber when I was there, ll the folly to believe were in carnest, or to flatter doing something about dressing her, he comes myself with the hopes of what I ought to have in with an air of gaiety. “O! Mrs Betty,” said || supposed he never intended, and perhaps never he to me, “how do you do, Mrs Betty ? do not || thought of. your cheeks burn, Mrs Betty?" I made a curtsy, ll It happened one day that he came running up and blushe
blushed, but said nothing. " What makes 1 stairs towards the room where his sisters used you talk so, brother?” says the lady.. “ Why," to sit and work, as he often used to do, and says he, “ we have been talking of her below ll calling to them before he came in, as was his airs this half hour.” “Well," says bis sister, I way too, I being there alone, stepped to the
cannot say harm of her, that I am sure, Il door, and said, “ Sir, the ladies are not here ; so it is no matter what you have been talking they are walked down the garden." As I stepped about."-" Nay," says he, « it is so far from
forward to say this, towards the door, he was arm of her, that we have been talking just got to the door, and clasping me in his arms. a great deal of good, and a great many fine
as if it had been by chance, “0! Mrs Betty,” ss aave been said of Mrs Betty, I assure ll says he,“ are you here? That is better still. I
want to speak with you more than I do to them;" || me, and that he could not rest night or day till and then having me in his arms, he kissed me | he had told me how he was in love with me; and three or four times.
if I was able to love him again, and would make I struggled to get away, and yet did it but him happy, I should be the saving of his life, faintly neither, and he held me fast and still | and many such fine things. I said little to him kissed me, till he was almost out of breath, and again, but easily discovered I was a fool, and then sitting down, says, “ Dear Betty, I am in that I did not in the least perceive wbat he love with you.”
meant. His words, I must confess, fired my blood; all Then he walked about the room, and taking my spirits flew about my heart, and put me into me by the hand, I walked with him; and by and disorder enough, which he might easily have by, taking his advantage, he threw me down seen in my face. He repeated it afterwards upon the bed, and kissed me there most violently; several times, that he was in love with me, and but to give him his due, offered no manner of my heart spoke as plain as a voice, that I liked I rudeness to me, only kissed me a great while. it. Nay, whenever he said I am in love with After this he thought he had heard somebody you, my blushes replied, would you were, sir. come up stairs ; so he got off from the bed, lifted
However, nothing else passed at this time; it me up, professing a great deal of love for me, was but a surprise, and when he was gone, I | || but told me it was all an honest affection, and soon recovered myself again. He had stayed that he meant no ill to me, and with that he jonger with me, but he happened to look out atput five guineas into my hand, and went down the window, and see his sisters coming up the stairs. garden; so he took his leave, kissed me again, Il I was more confounded with the money than told me he was very serious, and I should hear || I was before with the love, and began to be more of him very quickly, and away he went, || so elevated, that I scarce knew the ground I jeaving me infinitely pleased, though surprised; || stood on. I am the more particular in this part, and had there not been one misfortune in it, i that if my story comes to be read by any innocent had been in the right; but the mistake lay here, Il young body, they may learn from it to guard that Mrs Betty was in earnest, and the gentle themselves against the mischiefs which attend man was not
an early knowledge of their own beauty. If a i From this time my head run upon strange young woman once thinks herself handsome, she things, and I may truly say I was not myself, I never doubts the truth of any man that tells her to have such a gentleman talk to me of being in || he is in love with her; for if she believes herself love with me, and of my being such a charming | charining enongh to captivate him, it is natural creature, as he told me I was. These were things to expect the effects of it. I knew not how to bear; my vanity was elevated | This young gentleman had fired his inclination to the last degree ; it is true, I had my head full as much as he had my vanity, and as if he had of pride, but knowing nothing of the wickedness found that he had an opportunity, and was sorry of the times, I had not one thought of my own he did not take hold of it, he comes up again safety, or of my virtue about me ; and had my in half an hour, or thereabouts, and falls to work young master offered it at first sight, he might with me again as before, only with a little less have taken any liberty he thought fit with me; but he did not see his advantage, which was my And first when he entered the room, he turned happiness for that time.
about and shut the door. “Mrs Betty," said he, After this attack, it was not long but he “I fancied before somebody was coming up found an opportunity to catch me again, and stairs, but it was not so; however," adds he, almost in the same posture : indeed, it had more “ if they find me in the room with you, they of design in it on his part, though not on my shan't catch me kissing you.” I told him I did part. It was thus :--the young ladies were all | not know who should be coming up stairs, for I gone a-visiting with their mother; his brother believed there was nobody in the house but the was out of town; and as for his father, he had cook and the other maid, and they never came been in London for a week before. He had so l up those stairs. “Well, my dear," says he, “it well watched me, that he knew where I was, is good, to be sure, however;" and so he sits though I did not so much as know that he was down, and we began to talk ; and now, though in the house; and he briskly comes up stairs, || I was still all on fire with his first visit, and said and seeing me at work comes into the room to l little, he did, as it were, put words in my mouth, me directly, and began just as he did before, telling me how passionately he loved me, and with taking me in his arms and kissing me for that though he could not mention such a thing almost a quarter of an hour together.
till he came to his estate, yet he was resolved to It was the youngest sister's chamber that I make me happy then, and himself too; that is was in, and as there was nobody in the house || to say, to marry me, and abundance of such fine but the maids below stairs, he was, it may be, || things, which I, poor fool, did not understand the ruder: in short, he began to be in earnest the drift of, but acted as if there was no such with me indeed ; perhaps he found me a little thing as any kind of love but that which tended too easy, for God knows, I made no resistance to matrimony; and if he had spoke of that, ! to him while he only held me in his arms and had no room, as well as no power to have said kissed me; indeed, I was too well pleased with it no; but we were not come that length yet. to resist him much.
We had not sat long, but he got up, and However, as it were, tired with that kind of stopped my very breath with kisses, threw me work, we sat down, and there he talked with upon the bed again; but then, being both well ine a great while ; he said he was charmed with 1 warmed, he went farther with me than decency