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I told her, I was sorry to tell her that I
iny words must be removed, and that so as that I must be her lowest-rated customer,
should never be possible for any one to discohaps madam," said I," you will make me te
ver it. I knew there was no marrying without Welcome upon that aceount."
entirely concealing that I had had a child, for he "Not at all," said she, "far where I have med
would soon have discovered by the age of it that the third sort, I have two of the second, I
it was born, nay and gotten too, since my parley to one of the first, and met as much by them
with him, and that would have destroyed all the proportion, as by any; but I you doubt way
affair. of you, I will allow any friend you have to
But it touched my heart so forcibly to think look, and see if you are well wated on a
of parting entirely with the child, and, for aught Then she explainst the particuliers of be
I knew, of having it murdered, or starved by " In the first place, madam." said she *;
neglect and ill-usage (which was much the have you barve, that there
same), that I could not think of it without keeping you at juti k la:
selys, horror. I wish all those women who consent to say you will not complained my*
what the disposing of their children out of the way, as pose," says she "you do not lire
il her, it is called for decency's sake, would consider that you are bor."
had so it is only a contrived method for murder; that No, inteed," sairt E **
, that I is to say, a killing their children with safety. for my chamber, wat fit
owned I It is manifest to all that understand anything rab me a great deal mr
bled me, ll of children, that we are born into the world Then, mutumat
iot speak helpless and incapable either to supply our wants, lin, or shed !
or so much as to make them known, and that wnetima bapper
eral days, without help we must perish ; and this help me to com requires not only an assisting hand, whether of tead of being the mother or somebody else; but there are two nportunities; things necessary in the assisting hand, that is ed with the care and skill, without both which half the chil. at it was her dren that are born would die, nay, though they
that to dis were not to be denied food ; and one half more be her ruin ; Il of those that remained would be cripples or und her tatling | fools, lose their limbs, and perhaps their sense. uw could I sus. I question not but that these are partly the old myself to her reasons why affection was placed by nature in she was silent as the hearts of mothers to their children, without very strange case |which they never would be able to give themp me out of it; but selves up, as it is necessary they should, to the .nyself of all possible care and waking pains needful to the support of
to deprive her of the || their children. • In short, she had Since this care is needful to the life of children, ce and so great a power | to neglect them is to murder them; again, to was no concealing any. Il give them up to be managed by those people
who have none of that needful affection placed by osom myself to her. nature in them, is to neglect them in the highest my Lancashire marriage, degree; nay, in some it goes farther, and is a d been disappointed, -how neglect in order to their being lost; so that it is ? how we parted,-how he even an intentional murder, whether the child | me, as far as lay in him, lives or dies.
to marry again, protesting All those things represented themselves to my he would never claim me or view, and that in the blackest and most frightful ne; that I thought I was free, form; and as I was very free with my governess,
afraid to venture, for fear of || whom I had now learned to call mother, I repre3 that might follow in case of a sented to her all the dark thoughts which I had
upon me about it, and told her what distress I her what a good offer I had ; I was in. She seemed graver by much at this
friend's two last letters inviting part than at the other; but as she was hardened · London, and let her see with what in these things beyond all possibility of being
earnestness they were written, but | touched with the religious part, and the scruples he naine, and also the story about || about the murder, so she was equally impeof his wife, only that she was dead. netrable in that part which related to the affeca-laughing at my scruples about mar tion. told me the other was no marriage, but She asked me if she had not been careful and on both sides ; and that as we were tender of me in my lying-in, as if I had been her y mutual consent, the nature of the con ll own child ? I told her I owned she had. as destroyed, and the obligation was mu “ Well, my dear," says she, “and when you discharged. She had arguments for this are gone, what are you to me? and what would
tip of her tongue, and, in short, reasoned it be to me if you were to be hanged? Do you ut of my reason, not but that it was too by I think there are not women who, as it is their help of my own inclination.
trade, and they get their bread by it, value But then came the great and main difficulty, I themselves upon their being as careful of children id that was the child. This she told me in sol as their own mothers can be, and understand it she answered, that she always took care of that, needful, but it was an error of the right hand if and had no nurses in her business but what were it was an error, for by this she kept up the repuvery good honest people, and such as might be tation, shch as it was, of her business, and obdepended upon.
tained this character, that though she did take I could say nothing to the contrary, and so care of the women when they were debauched, was obliged to say, “ Madam, I do not question yet she was not instrumental to their being deyou do your part honestly, but what those people bauched at all, and yet it was a wicked trade she do afterwards is the main question ;” and she drove too. stopped my mouth again with saying, that she' While I was here, and before I was brought to took the utmost care about it.
bed, I received a letter from my trustee at the The only thing I found in all her conversation bank full of kind obliging things, and earnestly on these subjects, that gave me any distaste, was, 1 pressing me to return to London. It was near a that one time in discoursing about my being so fortnight old when it came to me, because it had far gone with child, and the time I expected to i been first sent into Lancashire, and then returned come, she said something that looked as if she to me. He concluded with telling me that he could help me off with my burthen sooner, if I had obtained a decree, I think he called it, against was willing; or, in English, that she could give his wife, and that he would be ready to make me something to make me miscarry, if I had a good his engagement to me if I would accept of desire to put an end to my troubles that way; him, adding a great many protestations of kind. but I soon iet her see that I abhorred the thoughts ness and affection, such as he would have been of it; and to do her justice, she put it off so far from offering if he had known the circumcleverly, that I could not say she really intended stances I had been in, and which, as it was, I had it, or whether she only mentioned the practice as been very far from deserving. a horrible thing; for she couched her words so I returned an answer to this letter, and dated well and took my meaning so quickly, that she || it at Liverpool, but sent it by a messenger, gave her negative before I could explain myself. I alleging that it came in a cover to a friend in
To bring this part into as narrow a compass as town. I gave him joy of his deliverance, but possible, I quitted my lodging at St Jones's and raised some scruples at the lawfulness of his mar. went to my new governess, for so they called her rying again, and told him I supposed he would in the house, and there I was indeed treated consider very seriously upon that poiot before he with so much courtesy, so carefully looked to, so resolved on it, the consequence being too great handsomely provided, and every thing so well, for a man of his judgment to venture rashly upon that I was surprised at it, and could not at first a thing of that nature; so concluded wishing him see what advantage my governess made of it ; | very well in whatever he resolved, without letting but I found afterwards that she professed to make him into anything of my own mind, or giving any no profit of the lodgers' diet, nor indeed could| answer to his proposal of my coming to London she get much by it, but that her profit lay in the || to him, but mentioned at a distance my intention other articles of her management, and she made
to return at the latter end of the year, this being enough that way I assure you; for it is scarce dated in April. eredible what practice she had, as well abroad as I was brought to bed about the iniddle of May, at home, and yet all upon the private account, and had another brave boy, and myself in as good or, in plain English, the whoring account. condition as usual on such occasions. My go
While I was in her house, which was near four verness did her part as a midwife with the greatest months, she had no less than twelve ladies of art and dexterity imaginable, and far beyond all pleasure brought to bed within doors, and I think that ever I had had any experience of before. she had two and thirty, or thereabouts, under Her care of me in my travail, and after in my her conduct without doors, whereof one, as nicelying-in, was such that if she had been my own as she was with me, was lodged with my old || mother it could not have been better. Let noge landla ly at St Jones's.
be encouraged in their loose practices from this This was a strange testimony of the growing dexterous lady's management, for she is gone to vice of the age,and such an one that, as bad as I | her place, and I dare say has left nothing behind had been myself, it shocked my very senses ; I be her that can or will come up to it. gan to nauseate the place I was in, and above all I think I had been brought to bed about twents: the wicked practice, and yet I must say that I two days when I received another letter from my never saw, or do I believe there was to be seen, friend at the bank, with the surprising news that the least indecency in the house the whole time 1 he had obtained a final sentence of divorce against was there.
his wife, and had served her with it on such a day, Not a man was ever seen to come up stairs ex-li and that he had such an answer to give to al my cept to visit the lying-in ladies within their month, scruples about his marrying again as I could not nor then without the old lady with them, who expect, and as he had no desire of, for that his wife, made it a piece of the honour of her manage- | who had been under some remorse before for ber ment that no man should touch a woman, no, not usage of him, as soon as she had the account that his own wife, within the month ; nor would she he had gained his point, had very unhappily depermit any man to lie in her house upon any pre- || stroyed herself that same evening. tence whatever, no, not though she was sure it || He expressed himself very handsomely as to was with his own wife; and her general saying for his being concerned at her disaster, but cleared it was, that she cared not how many children were | himself of having any hand in it, and that he bad born in her house but she would have none got only done himself justice in a case in which be there if she could help it.
was notoriously injured and abused. However, It might, perhaps, be carried farther than was l he said that he was extremely afflicted at it and
had no view of any satisfaction left in this world || many words must be removed, and that so as that but only in the hope that I would come and re lit should never be possible for any one to disco. lieve him by my company ; and then he pressed ver it. I knew there was no marrying without me violently, indeed, to give him some hopes entirely concealing that I had had a child, for he that I would at least come up to town and let would soon have discovered by the age of it that him see me, when he would farther enter into | it was born, nay and gotten too, since my parley discourse about it.
with him, and that would have destroyed all the | I was exceedingly surprised at the news, and affair. began now seriously to reflect on my present cir But it touched my heart so forcibly to think cumstances, and the inexpressible misfortune it of parting entirely with the child, and, for aught was to me to have a child upon my hands, and I knew, of having it murdered, or starved by what to do in it I knew not. " At last I opened neglect and ill-usage (which was much the my case at a distance to my governess; I ap same), that I could not think of it without peared melancholy and uneasy for several days, horror. I wish all those women who consent to and she lay at me continually to know what the disposing of their children out of the way, as troubled me. I could not for my life tell her it is called for decency's sake, would consider that that I had an offer of marriage after I had so it is only a contrived method for murder; that often told her that I had a husband, so that I || is to say, a killing their children with safety. really knew not what to say to her. I owned || It is manifest to all that understand anything had something which very much troubled me, | of children, that we are born into the world but at the same time told her I could not speak helpless and incapable either to supply our wants, of it to any one alive.
or so much as to make them known, and that She continued importuning me several days, without help we must perish ; and this help but it was impossible, I told her, for me to com requires not only an assisting hand, whether of mit the secret to anybody. This, instead of being the mother or scmebody else; but there are two an answer to her, increased her importunities: things necessary in the assisting hand, that is she urged her having been trusted with the care and skill, without both which half the chilgreatest secrets of this nature; that it was her dren that are born would die, nay, though they business to conceal everything, and that to dis- || were not to be denied food; and one half more cover things of that nature would be her ruin ; ll of those that remained would be cripples or she asked me if I had ever found her tatling fools, lose their limbs, and perhaps their sense. of other people's affairs, and how could I sus. I question not but that these are partly the pect her? She told me to unfold myself to her reasons why affection was placed by nature in was telling it to nobody; that she was silent as the hearts of mothers to their children, without death; that it must be a very strange case which they never would be able to give themindeed that she could not help me out of it; but | selves up, as it is necessary they should, to the to conceal it was to deprive myself of all possible | care and waking pains needful to the support of belp, or means of help, and to deprive her of the their children. opportunity of serving me. In short, she had || Since this care is needful to the life of children, such a bewitching eloquence and so great a power | to neglect them is to murder them; again, to of persuasion, that there was no concealing any- ll give them up to be managed by those people thing from her.
| who have none of that needful affection placed by So I resolved to unbosom myself to her. I nature in them, is to neglect them in the highest told her the history of my Lancashire marriage, || | degree; nay, in some it goes farther, and is a and how both of us had been disappointed, how | neglect in order to their being lost; so that it is We came together and how we parted,-how he even an intentional murder, whether the child absolutely discharged me, as far as lay in him, lives or dies. and gave me liberty to marry again, protesting All those things represented themselves to my that if he knew it he would never claim me or view, and that in the blackest and most frightful disturb or expose me ; that I thought I was free, form; and as I was very free with my governess, but was dreadfully afraid to venture, for fear of whom I had now learned to call mother, I reprethe consequences that might follow in case of a sented to her all the dark thoughts which I had
upon me about it, and told her what distress I Then I told her what a good offer I had ;] was in. She seemed graver by much at this showed her my friend's two last letters inviting | part than at the other; but as she was hardened me to come to London, and let her see with what in these things beyond all possibility of being affection and earnestness they were written, but I touched with the religious part, and the scruples blotted out the naine, and also the story about || about the murder, S
about the murder, so she was equally impethe disaster of his wife, only that she was dead. netrable in that part which related to the affec
She fell a-laughing at my scruples about mar tion. rying, and told me the other was no marriage, but She asked me if she had not been careful and a cheat on both sides ; and that as we were tender of me in my lying-in, as if I had been her parted by mutual consent, the nature of the con own child ? I told her I owned she had. tract was destroyed, and the obligation was mu " Well, my dear,” says she, “ and when you
aischarged. She had arguments for this I are gone, what are you to me? and what would at t
ue tip of her tongue, and, in short, reasoned it be to me if you were to be hanged? Do you me ou
or my reason, not but that it was too by ll think there are not women who, as it is their the help of my own inclination.
trade, and they get their bread by it, value hen came the great and main difficulty, I themselves upon their being as careful of children
the child. This she told me in so 'l as their own mothers can be, and understand it
rather better? Yes, yes, child," says she, “ fear || legally married, the force of my former marriage it not. How were we nursed ourselves ? Are || excepted. you sure you was nursed up by your own mother? However, let me be what I would, I was not and yet you look fat and fair, child,” says the l come up to that pitch of hardness common to the old beldani, and with that she stroked me over profession, I mean to be unnatural, and regard. the face. “ Never be concerned, child," says | less of the safety of my child; and I preserved she, going on in her drolling way ; " I have no this honest affection so long that I was upon the murderers about me; I employ the best and the point of giving up my friend at the Bank, who honestest nurses that can be had, and have as few lay so hard at me to come to him and marry him, children miscarry under their hands as there that, in short, there was hardly any room to deny would if they were all nursed by mothers; we him. want neither care nor skill.”
At last my old governess came to me with her She touched me to the quick when she asked usual assurance. " Come, my dear," says she, me if I was sure that I was nursed by my own “ I have found out a way how you shall be at a mother; on the contrary, I was sure I was not, ll certainty that your child shall be used well, and and I trembled and looked pale at the very yet the people that take care of it shall never expression,
know you, or who the mother of the child is.” · Sure," said I to myself, “ this creature cannot “ ò mother,” says I, “ if you can do so, you be a witch, or have any conversation with a spirit | will engage me to you for ever." that can inform her what was done with me “ Well,” says she, “ are you willing to be at before I was able to koow it myself ;" and I some small annual expense, more than what we looked at her as if I had been frightened; but | usually give to the people we contract with?" reflecting that it could not be possible for her to " Aye,” says I, “with all my heart, provided I know anything about me, that disorder went off, I may be concealed." and I began to be easy, but it was not presently. “ As to that," says the governess, “ you shall
She perceived the disorder I was in, but she || | be secure; for the nurse shall never so much as did not know the meaning of it; so she ran on dare to inquire about you, and you shall once or in her wild talk upon the weakness of my sup twice a year go with me and see your child, and posing that children were murdered because see how it is used, and be satisfied that it is in they were not all nursed by the mothers, and to good hands, and nobody knowing who you are." persuade me that the children she disposed of “ Why," said I, “ do you think that when I were as well used as if the mothers had the come to see my child I shall be able to conceal nursing of them themselves.
my being the mother of it? Do you think that “ It may be true, mother," says I, “ for aught possible?" I know, but my doubts are very strongly grounded “ Well, well," says my governess, “ if you disindeed."
cover it the nurse shall be never the wiser, for “ Come, then," says she, “ let's hear some of she shall be forbid to ask any questions about them."
you, or to take any notice ; if she offers it she " Why first,” says I, “ you give a piece of shall lose the money which you are to be supmoney to these people to take the child off the posed to give her, and the child be taken from parent's hands, and to take care of it as long as her too." it lives ; now we know, mother,” said I, “ that I was very well pleased with this: so the next those are poor people, and their gain consists in week a country woman was brought from Hertbeing quit of the charge as soon as they can. ford, or thereabouts, who was to take the child How can I doubt but that, as it is best for them off our hands entirely for ten pounds in money ; to have the child die, they are not over solicitous but if I would allow five pounds a year more about its life ?"
to her, she would be obliged to bring the child This is all vapours and fancy," says the old | to my governess's house as often as we desired, woman, “ I tell you their credit depends upon or we should come down and look at it, and see the child's life, and they are as careful as any how well she used it. mother of you all.”
The woman was a very wholesome looking, “ O mother," says I, “ if I was but sure my likely woman, a cottager's wife; but she had very little baby would be carefully looked to and have good clothes and linen, and everything well about justice done it, I should be happy indeed: but it | her, and with a heavy heart and many a tear ! is impossible I can be satisfied in that point | let her have my child. unless I saw it, and to see it would be ruin and I had been down at Hertford, and looked at destruction to me, as now my case stands; so ll her and at her dwelling, which I liked well what to do I know not."
enough, and I promised her great things if she “A fine story !" says the governess; “ you || would be kind to the child. So she knew at first would see the child, and you would not see the word that I was the child's mother ; but she child; you would be concealed and discovered seemed to be so much out of the way, and to both together; these are things impossible, my | I have no room to inquire after me, that I thought dear; so you must do as other conscientious I was safe enough. So, in short, I consented to mothers have done before you, and be contented let her have the child, and I gave her ten pounds, with things as they must be, though they are that is to say, I gave it to my governess, who not as you wish them to be."
gave it to the poor woman before my face, she I understood what she meant by conscientious | agreeing never to return the child back to me, or mothers, she would have said' conscientious | to claim anything more for its keeping or bring whores ; but she was not willing to disoblige me, I ing up; only that I promised, if she took a great for really in this case I was not a whore, because I deal of care of it, I would give her something
more as often as I came to see it ; so that I was ready to come out, which otherwise he coud not not bound to pay the five pounds, only that I have done. promised my governess that I would do it. And | However, his warning was so short that he thus my great care was over, after a manner, could not reach to Stony-Stratford time enough which, though it did not at all satisfy my mind, Il to be with me at night, but he met me at a place yet was the most convenient for me, as my affairs called Brickill the next morning, as we were just then stood, of any that could be thought on at coming into the town. that time.
I confess I was very glad to see him, for I had [then began to write to my friend at the Bank thought myself a little disappointed over night, in a more kindly style, and particularly about the seeing I had come so far to contrive my coming beginning of July I sent him a letter, that I pro on purpose. He pleased me doubly, too, by the posed to be in town some time in August. He figure he came in, for he brought a very handreturned me an answer in the most passionate some (gentleman's) coach and four horses, with terms imaginable, and desired me to let him have a servant to attend him. timely notice, and he would come and meet me He took me out of the stage coach immediately, two days' journey. This puzzled me scurvily, || which stopped at an inn in Brickill, and, putting and I did not know what answer to make to it. into the same inn, he set up his own coach, and Once I was resolved to take the stage coach to bespoke dinner. I asked him what he meant by West Chester, on purpose only to have the satis- || that, for I was for going forward with the jourfaction of coming back, that he might see me ney. He said, no; I had need of a little rest really come in the same coach ; for I had a upon the road; and that was a very good sort of jealous thought, though I had no ground for it a house, though it was but a little town; so we at all, lest he should think I was not really in would go no farther that night, whatever came the country, and it was no ill-grounded thought, of it. as you shall hear presently.
1 I did not press him much; for, since he had I endeavoured to reason myself out of it, but come so far to meet me, and put himself to so it was in vain, the impression lay so strong on my || much expense, it was but reasonable I should mind that it was not to be resisted ; at last it | oblige him a little too, so I was casy as to that came as an addition to my new design of going in | point. the country, that it would be an excellent blind After dinner we walked to see the town, to to my old governess, and would cover entirely all see the church, and to view the fields and the my other affairs, for she did not know in the country, as is usual for strangers to do, and our least whether my new lover lived in London or landlord was our guide in going to see the church. in Lancashire, and when I told her my resolu. || I observed my gentleman inquired pretty much tion she was fully persuaded it was in Lancashire. | about the parson, and I took the hint immedi
Having taken my measures for this journey I | ately, that he certainly would propose to be mar. let her know it, and sent the maid that attended | ried; and though it was a sudden thought, it me from the beginning to take a place for me in || followed presently, that in short I would not rethe coach. She would have had me let the maid | fuse him; for, to be plain with my circumstances, have waited on me down to the last stage, and I was in no condition now to say no; I had no come up again in the waggon, but I convinced | reason now to run any more such hazards. her it would not be convenient. When I went I But while these thoughts ran round in my away she told me she would enter into no mea- head, which was the work but of a few mosures for correspondence, for she saw evidently | ments, I observed my landlord took him aside, that my affection to my child would cause me to and whispered to him, though not very softly write to her, and visit her too when I came to neither, for so much I'overheard : “Sir, if you town again. I assured her it would, and so took | shall have occasion ” the rest I could not my leave, well satisfied to have been freed from hear, but it seems it was to this purpose : “ Sir, such a house, however good my accommodations if you shall have occasion for a minister, I have there had been, as I have related before.
a friend a little way off that will serve you, and I took the place in the coach, not to its full || be as private as you please." extent, but to a place called Stone, in Cheshire, | My gentleman answered loud enough for me I think it is, where I not only had no manner of to hear, “ Very well; I believe I shall.” business, but not so much as the least ac I was no sooner come back to the inn, but he quaintance with any person in the town or near || fell upon me with irresistible words; that since he it. But I knew that with money in the pocket had had the good fortune to meet me, and every one is at home anywhere, so I lodged there two thing concurred, it would be hastening his felicity or three days, until, watching my opportunity, I || if I would put an end to the matter just there. found room in another stage-coach, and took | “ What do you mean?” says I, colouring a passage back again for London, sending a letter little : “ What! in an inn and upon the road! to my gentleman, that I should be such a certain / Bless us all !” said I, as if I had been surprised, day at Stoney-Stratford, where the coachman “ how can you talk so ?” told me he was to lodge.
“ 0, I can talk so very well,” says he ; “I came It happened to be a chance coach that I had a purpose to talk so, and I'll show you that I taken up, which, having been hired on purpose did;" and with that he pulls out a great bundle to carry some gentlemen to West Chester, who of papers. were going to Ireland, was now returning, and '! You fright me," said I. “ What are these ?" did not tie itself up to exact times or places as “ Don't be frightened, my dear,” says be, and the stages did ; so that, having been obliged to ! kissed me. This was the first time he had been lie still a Sunday, he had time to get himself so free to call me my dear; he then repeated it.