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“ Don't be frightened-you shall see what it is the kind manner of it, that I began to think all;" then he laid them all abroad.
once he took it for a marriage, and would not There was first the deed or sentence of divorce | stay for the form; but I wronged him, for he gave from his wife, and the full evidence of her playing over kissing me, took me by the hand, pulled me the whore; then there was the certificates of the up again, and then giving me two or three kisses minister and churchwardens of the parish where again, thanked me for my kind yielding to him, she lived, proving that she was buried, and inti- and was so overcome with the satisfaction and mating the manner of her death; the copy of joy of it, that I saw tears stand in his eyes. the coroner's warrant for a jury to sit upon her, I turned from him, for it filled my eyes with and the verdict of the jury, who brought it in tears too, and I asked him leave to retire a little non compos mentis. All this was indeed to the to my chamber. If ever I had a grain of true purpose, and to give me satisfaction, though, by repentance for a vicious and abominable life for the way, I was not so scrupulous, had he known all, | twenty-four years past, it was then. “Oh! what but that I might have taken him without it. a felicity is it to mankind," said I to myself, "that However, I looked them all over as well as I they cannot see into the hearts of one another! could, and told him that this was all very clear | How happy had it been for me, if I had been indeed, but that he need not have given himself wife to a man of so much honesty and so much the trouble to have brought them out with him, I affection, from the beginning.” for it was time enough.
Then it occurred to me wbat an abominable " Well,” he said, " it might be time enough for creature am l; and how is this innocent geptieme, but no time but the present time was time man to be abused by me? How little does he enough for him."
think that having divorced a whore, he is throw. There were other papers rolled up, and I asked | ing himself into the arms of another; that he is him what they were.
going to marry one that has lain with two bro" Why, ay," says he, “ that is the question 1 | thers, and has had three children by her own wanted to have you ask me.” So he unrolls | brother; one that was born in Newgate, whose them, and takes out a little chagreen case, and mother was a whore, and is now a transported gives me out of it a very fine diamond ring. I thief; one that has lain with so many men, and could not refuse it if I had a mind to do so, for has had a child since he saw her. "Poor gentle. he put it upon my finger; so I made him a man," said I, “ what is he going to do ?** curtsy, and accepted it. Then he takes out an- | After this reproaching myself was over, it lolother ring, " and this,” says he, “ is for another lowed thus: “ Well, if I must be his wife, if it occasion;" so he puts that in his pocket.
please God to give me grace, I will be a true wife “ Well, but let me see it though,” says I, and to him, and love him suitably to the strange smiled. " I guess what it is, I think you are excess of his passion for me. I will make him
amends, if possible, by what he shall see, for the “ I should have been mad if I had done less," cheats and abuses I put upon him, which he does says he, and still he did not show it me, and I not see." had a great mind to see it; so I says, “ Well, He was impatient for my coming out of my but let me see it.”
chamber, but finding me long, he went dowo “ Hold,” says he ; “first look here.” Then he stairs, and talked with the landlord about the took up the roll again and read it; and behold!
it; and behold! || parson. it was a licence for us to be married.
The landlord, an officious though well-mean“ Why," says I, “are you distracted? Why, ling fellow, had sent away for the neighbouring
ly satisfied, sure, that I would com- || clergyman; and when my gentleman began to ply, and yield at the first word, or resolved to speak of it to him, and talk of sending for him, take no denial."
"Sir," says he to him, "my friend is in the house;" “ The last is certainly the case," said he. so without any more words he brought them to“But you may be mistaken,” said I.
gether. When he came to the minister, be “ No, no," said he ; "how can you think so ? | asked him if he would venture to marry a couple I must not be denied, I cannot be denied," and l of strangers that were both willing. The parson with that he fell to kissing me so violently, I said that Mr _ had said something to him of could not get rid of him.
it; that he hoped it was no clandestine business ; There was a bed in the room, and we were that he seemed to be a grave gentleman, and he walking to and again, eager in the discourse : at supposed madam was not a girl, so that the conlast he takes me by surprise in his arms, and sent of friends should be wanted. threw me on the bed and himself with me, and “ To put you out of doubt of that," says muy holding me fast in his arms, but without the gentleman, “read this paper," and out he pulls least offer of any indecency, courted me to the licence. consent with such repeated entreaties and argu “ I am satisfied," says the minister. “Where is ments, protesting his affection and vowing he | the lady?" would not let me go till I promised him, that “ You shall see her presently," says my gesat last I said, “Why, you resolve not to be de- || tleman. nied, I think.”
When he had said thus, he came up stairs, "No, no," says he, “I must not be denied, Ill and I was by that time come out of my room, $0 will not be denied, I can t be denied.”
he tells me the minister was below, and that he “ Well, well,' said I, and giving him a slight || had talked with him, and that upon showing him kiss, “then you shall not be denied,” said I. “Let | the licence, he was free to marry us with all his me get up."
heart; “but he asks to see you, so he asked if I He was so transported with my consent, and would let him come up."
"It is time enough,” said I, “ in the morning, |! We could not find in our hearts to stir the is it not ?"
next day; for, in short, having been disturbed by " Why," said he,“ my dear, he seemed to the bells in the morning, and having, perhaps, scruple whether it was not some young girl stolen | not slept over much before, we were so sleepy from her parents, and I assured him we were l' afterwards that we lay in bed till almost twelve both of age to command our own consent; and o'clock. that made him ask to see you."
li I begged my landlady that we might not have "Well," said I, “ do as you please." So up any more music in the town por ringing of they bring the parson, and a merry sort of a bells, and she managed it so well that we were gentleman he was. He had been told, it seems, // very quiet. But an odd passage interrupted all that we had met there by accident, that I came my mirth for a good while ; the great room of in the Chester coach, and my gentleman in his this house looked into the street, and my new own coach to meet me; that we were to have spouse being below stairs, I had walked to the met last night at Stony Stratford, but that he end of the room, and it being a pleasant warm could not reach so far. “Well, sir," says the day, I had opened the window, and was standing parson, “every ill turn has some good in it; the at it for some air, when I saw three gentlemen disappointment, sir," says he to my gentleman, come by on horseback, and go into an inn just " was yours, and the good turn is mine, for if against us. you had met at Stony Stratford I had not had It was not to be concealed, nor was it so doubt. the honour to marry you. Landlord, have you ful as to leave me any room to question it, but a common prayer-book in the house ?".
the second of these three was my Lancashire hus. I started as if I had been frightened. “Lord, band. I was frightened to death, I never was in sir," says I, “ what do you mean? What ! to such consternation in my life, I thought I should marry in an inn, and at night too ?”
have sunk into the ground; my blood ran chill "Madam,” says the minister, “ if you will in my veins, and I trembled as if I had been in a have it be in the church you shall; but I assure cold fit of an ague. I say there was no room to you, your marriage will be as firm here as in the question the truth of it; I knew his clothes, church. We are not tied by the canons to I knew his horse, and I knew his face. marry nowhere but in the church ; and if you The first sensible reflection I made was, that will have it in the church, it will be as public as my husband was not by to see my disorder, and a country fair ; and as for the time of day, it || that I was very glad of. The gentlemen had not does not at all weigh in this case ; our princes been long in the house, but they came to the are married in their chambers, and at eight or || window of their room, as is usual ; but my winten o'clock at night."
dow was shut, you may be sure. However, I I was a great while before I could be persuaded, I could not keep from peeping at them, and there and pretended not to be willing at all to be mar. I saw him again, heard him call out to one of the ried but in the church. But it was all grimace ; servants of the house for something he wanted, so I seemed at last to be prevailed on, and my and received all the terrifying confirmations of landlord and his wife and daughter were called its being the same person that were possible to up. My landlord was father and clerk and all be had. together; and we were married, and very merry My next concern was to know, if possible, we were ; though I confess the self-reproaches il what was his business there; but that was imwhich I had upon me before lay close to me, I possible. Sometimes my imagination formed an and extorted every now and then a deep sigh idea of one frightful thing, sometimes of another; from me, which my bridegroom took notice of, sometimes I thought he had discovered me, and and endeavoured to encourage me, thinking, was come to upbraid me with ingratitude and poor man, that I had some little hesitation at the breach of honour; and every moment I fancied he step I had taken so hastily.
was coming up the stairs to insult me; and innuWe enjoyed ourselves that evening completely, merable fancies came into my head of what was and yet all was kept so private in the inn, that not never in his head, nor ever could be, unless the a servant in the house knew of it, for my landlady || devil had revealed it to him. and her daughter waited on me, and would not I remained in this fright near two hours, and let any one of the maids come up stairs, except scarce ever kept my eye from the window or door
mile we were at supper. My landlady's daughter of the inn where they were. At last, hearing a I call
called my bride-maid, and sending for a shop-l great clatter in the passage of their inn, I ran to keeper the next morning, I gave the young the window, and, to my great satisfaction, saw woman a good suit of knots, as good as the town them all threc go out again and travel on westwould affordan would afford, and finding it was a lace-making | ward. Had they gone towards London, I should tor ", gave her mother a piece of bone-lace for have been still in a fright, lest I should meet him
I on the road again, and that he should know me; One reason that my landlord was so close was, but he went the contrary way, and so I was he was unwilling the minister of the parish leased of that disorder.
hear of it; but for all that somebody We resolved, to be going the next day, but heard of
of it, so as that we had the bells set at about six o'clock at night we were alarmed with "she next morning early; and the music, la great uproar in the street, and people riding as
he town would afford, under our window. | if they had been out of their wits; and what was
Tore we came thither, only that, being that had robbed two coaches and some other
it seems, been given that they had been seen at
such as the town would aflora,
married before we came thither, only that
Brickill, at such a house, meaning the house ceive a poor bride for the first night's lodging where those gentlemen had been.
with her spouse : But now, being an old married The house was immediately beset and scarched, woman, I made no scruple of going directly home but there were witnesses enough that the gentle with him, and there I took possession at once of a men had been gone above three hours. The house well furnished, and a husband in very good crowd having gathered about, we had the news | circumstances, so that I had a prospect of a very presently ; and I was heartily concerned now | happy life, if I knew how to manage it ; and I another way. I presently told the people of the || had leisure to consider of the real value of the i house, that I dared to say those were not the life I was likely to live ; how different it was to be persons, for that I knew one of the gentlemen to from the loose ungoverned part I had acted bebe a very good person, and of a good estate in il fore, and how much happier a life of virtue and Lancashire.
sobriety is than that which we call a life of The constable, who came with the hue and I pleasure. cry, was immediately informed of this, and came | 0! had this particular scene of life lasted, or over to me to be satisfied from my own mouth, I had I learnt from that time I enjoyed it to have and I assured him that I saw the three gentle- || tasted the true sweetness of it, and had not fallen men as I was at the window, that I saw them into that poverty which is the sure bane of virafterwards at the window of the room they dined || ture, how happy had I been, not only here, but in ; that I saw them afterwards take horse, and I perhaps for ever. For while I lived thus I was could assure him I knew one of them to be such | really a penitent for all my life past; I looked a man; that he was a gentleman of a very good || back on it with abhorrence, and might truly be estate and an undoubted character in Lanca said to hate myself for it. I often reflected how shire, from whence I was just now upon my my lover at the Bath, struck by the hand of God, journey.
repented and abandoned me, and refused to see The assurance with which I delivered this, U me any more, though he loved me to an extreme; gave the mob gentry a check, and gave the con but I, prompted by that worst of devils, poverty, stable such satisfaction, that he immediately returned to the vile practice, and made the ad. sounded a retreat, told his people these were not || vantage of what they call a handsome face be the men, but that he had an account they were the relief to my necessities, and beauty be a very honest gentlemen, and so they went all / pimp to vice. back again. What the truth of the matter was l. Now I seemed landed in a safe harbour, after I knew not, but certain it was that the coaches the stormy voyage of life past was at an end; were robbed at Dunstable Hill, and five hundred and I began to be thankful for my deliverance; and sixty pounds in money taken, besides some of || I sat many an hour by myself, and wept orer the the lace-merchants that always travelled that remembrance of past follies, and the dreadful exway had been visited too; as to the three gen- | travagances of a wicked life, and sometimes I tlemen, that remains to be explained hereafter. || flattered myself that I had sincerely repented.
Well, this alarm stopped us another day, | But there are temptations which it is not in though my spouse was for travelling, and told me the power of human nature to resist, and few that it was always safest travelling after a rob. | know what would be their case if driven to the bery, for that the thieves were sure to be gone same exigencies. As covetouspess is the root of far enough off when they had alarmed the coun- | I all evil, so poverty is, I believe, the worst of all try ; but I was afraid and uneasy, and indeed snares. But I waive that discourse till I come principally lest my old acquaintance should be to the experiment. upon the road still, and should chance to see me. | I lived with this husband in the utmost trag
I never lived four pleasanter days together in l quillity. He was a quiet, sensible, sober man, my life; I was a mere bride all this while, and | virtuous, modest, sincere, and in his business my new spouse strove to make me entirely easy || diligent and just. His business was in a narrow in every thing. O! could this state of life have compass, and his income sufficient to a plentiful continued ! how had all my past troubles been | way of living in the ordinary way. I do not say forgot, and my future sorrows have been avoided ! | to keep an equipage and make a fgure, as the But I had a past life of a most wretched kind to || world calls it, nor did I expect it or desire it; account for, some of it in this world as well as in for as I abborred the levity and extravagance of another.
my former life, so I chose now to live retired, We came away the fifth day; and my landlord, frugal, and within ourselves; I kept no combecause he saw me uneasy, mounted himself, his | pany, made no visits; minded my family and son, and three honest country fellows, with good obliged my husband; and this kind of life be fire-arms, and, without telling us of it, followed came a pleasure to me. the coach, and would see us safe into Dunstable ; || We lived in an uninterrupted course of ease we could do no less than treat them very hand and content for five years, when a sudden blom somely at Dunstable, which cost my spouse about || from an almost invisible band blasted all my hapten or twelve shillings, and something he gave ll piness, and turned me out into the world in a the men for their time too, but my landlord || condition the reverse of all that had been before would take nothing for himself.
This was the most happy contrivance for me. My husband having trusted one of his fellow that could have fallen out, for had I come to clerks with a sum of money too much for our London unmarried, I must either have come to 'fortunes to bear the loss of, the clerk failed, and him for the first night's entertainment, or have the loss fell very beavy on my husband, yet !! discovered to him that I had not one acquaint. ll was not so great neither, but if he had bad spirit ance in the whole city of London that could re- ll and courage to bave looked his misfortunes in
the face, his credit was so good that, as I told me at the inevitable approach of misery and him, he would easily recover it ; for to sink un- want. O let none read this part without seri. der trouble is to double the weight, and he that ously reflecting on the circumstances of a desolate will die in it shall die in it.
state, and how they would grapple with mere It was in vain to speak comfortably to him, want of friends and want of bread; it will certainly the wound had sunk too deep, it was a stab that make them think not of sparing what they have
touched the vitals; he grew melancholy and dis only, but of looking up to heaven for support, ( consolate, and from thence lethargic, and died. and of the wise man's prayer-" Give me not
I foresaw the blow, and was extremely oppressed poverty lest I steal."
a time of dreadful temptation, and all the strength I had had two children by him and no more ; to resist is taken away. Poverty presses, the for to tell the truth, it began to be time for me soul is made desperate by distress, and what can to leave off bearing children, for I was now eight || be done? It was one evening, when being and forty, and I suppose if he had lived I should | brought, as I may say, to the last gasp, I think have had no more.
I may truly say I was distracted and raving, I was now left in a dismal and disconsolate when prompted by I know not what spirit, and, case indeed, and in several things worse than as it were, doing I did not know what or why, I ever. First, it was past the flourishing time with dressed me, for I had still pretty good clothes, me when I might expect to be courted for a and went out. I am very sure I had no manner mistress; that agreeable part had declined some of design in my head when I went out. I nei. time, and the ruins only appeared of what had ther knew or considered where to go or on what been; and that which was worse than all was business ; but as the devil carried me out and this, that I was the most dejected, disconsolate laid his bait for me, so he brought me to be sure creature alive. I that had encouraged my hus to the place, for I knew not whither I was going band, and endeavoured to support his spirits or what I did. under his trouble, could not support my own; I Wandering thus about I knew not whither, I wanted that spirit in trouble which I told him passed by an apothecary's shop in Leadenhall was so necessary to him for bearing the bur street, where I saw lie on a stool just before the
counter a little bundle wrapt in a white cloth; But my case was indeed deplorable, for I was beyond it stood a maid servant with her back to left perfectly friendless and helpless, and the loss it, looking up towards the top of the shop, where my husband had sustained had reduced his cir. the apothecary's apprentice, as I suppose, was cumstances so low, that though indeed I was not standing up on the counter, with his back also to in debt, yet I could easily foresee that what was the door, and a candle in his hand, looking and lest would not support me long; that while it reaching up to the upper shelf for something he wasted daily for subsistence, I had no way to in wanted, so that both were engaged mighty earcrease it one shilling, so that it would soon be all nestly, and nobody else in the shop. spent, and then I saw nothing before me but the This was the bait; and the devil, who I said utmost distress, and this represented itself so 1 laid the snare, as readily prompted me as if he lively to my thoughts, that it seemed as if it was had spoke ; for I remember, and never shall forcome before it was really very near; also my get, it was like a voice spoken to me over the very apprehensions doubled the misery, for I shoulder.
fancied every sixpence that I paid for a loaf of “ Take the bundle-be quick-do it this moļ bread was the last that I had in the world, and
ment." that to-morrow I was to fast and be starved to | It was no sooner said, but I stepped into the death.
shop, and, with my back to the wench, as if I In this distress I had no assistant, no friend to had stood up for a cart that was going by, I put comfort or advise me. I sat and cried, and tor. my hand behind me and took the bundle, and mented myself night and day; wringing my went off with it, the maid or the fellow not perhands, and sometimes raving like a distracted ceiving me, or any one else. woman; and indeed I have often wondered it It is impossible to express the horror of my bad not affected my reason, for I had the vapours soul all the while I did it. When I went away to such a degree, that my understanding was I had no heart to run, or scarce to mend my pace. sometimes quite lost in fancies and imaginations. I crossed the street indeed, and went down the
I lived two years in this dismal condition, first turning I came to, and I think it was a street wasting that liitle I had, weeping continually that went through into Fenchurch street; from over my dismal circumstances, and, as it were thence I crossed and turned through so many only bleeding to death, without the least hope ways and turnings that I could never tell which or prospect of help from God or man; and now way it was, nor where I went, for I felt not the I cried so long, and so often, that tears were, as | ground I stept on, and the farther I was out of I might say, exhausted, and I began to be des danger the faster I went, till, tired and out of perate, for I grew poor apace.
breath, I was forced to sit down on a little bench For a little relief I had put off my house and at a door, and then I began to recover, and found took lodgings, and as I was reducing my living, I was got into Thames street near Billingsgate. I 30 I sold off most of my goods, which put a little rested me a little and went on. My blood was money in my pocket, and I lived near a year all on fire ; iny heart beat as if I was in a sudden upon that, spending very sparingly, and eking fright; in short, I was under such a surprise things out to the utmost; but still when I looked that I still knew not whither I was going or what before me, my very heart would sink within 1 to do.
After I had tired myself thus with walking a through Aldersgate street, there was a pretty long way about, and so eagerly, I began to con- little child had been at a dancing-school, and was sider and make home to my lodging, where I going home all alone, and my prompter, like a came about nine o'clock at night.
| true devil, set me upon this innocent creature. What the bundle was made up for, or on what I talked to it, and it prattled to me again, and I occasion laid where I found it, i knew not; but took it by the hand and led it along till I came when I came to open it, I found there was a suit to a paved alley that goes into Bartholomew of child-bed linen in it, very good and almost || close, and I led it in there. The child said that new, the lace very fine. There was a silver por- was not its way home. ringer of a pint, a small silver mug, and six I said, “ Yes, my dear, it is; I will show you spoons; with some other linen, a good smock, l the way home.” and three silk handkerchiefs ; and in the mug, | The child had a little necklace on of gold wrapt up in a paper, eighteen shillings and six- beads, and I had my eye upon that, and in the pence in money.
dark of the alley I stood, pretending to mend the All the while I was opening these things I was child's clog that was loose, and took off her neck. under such dreadful impressions of fear, and in lace, and the child never felt it, and so led the such terror of mind, though I was perfectly safe, | child on again. that I cannot express the manner of it. I sat me Here, I say, the devil put me upon killing the down and cried most vehemently. “ Lord,” said || child in the dark alley, that it might not cry; but 1, " what am I now?--A thief! Why, I shall be the very thought frightened me so that I was taken next time and carried to Newgate and be ready to drop down, but I turned the child about tried for iny life!" And with that I cried again a and bade it go back again, for that was not its long time, and I am sure, as poor as I was, if | way home. She said she would, and I went I had durst, for fear, I would certainly have car through Bartholomew close, and then turned ried the things back again ; but that went off | round to another passage that goes into Long after a while.
lane; so away into Charterhouse square, and Well, I went to bed for that night, but slept out into St John's street; then crossing into little; the horror of the fact was upon my mind, Smithheld, went down Chick-lane and into Field and I knew not what I said or did all night and lane to Holborn bridge, when mixing with the all the next day. Then I was impatient to hear crowd of people usually passing there, it was not some news of the loss, and would fain know how || possible to have been found out; and thus I it was, whether they were a poor body's goods or enterprised my second sally into the world. a rich. “ Perhaps," said I, “it may be some poor The thoughts of this booty put out all the widow like me, that had packed up their goods thoughts of the first, and the reflections I had to go and sell them for a little bread for herself made wore quickly off. Poverty, as I have said. and her poor child, and are now starving and hardened my heart, and my own necessities made breaking their hearts for want of that little they me regardless of anything. The last affair left no would have fetched ;” and this thought tormented great concern upon me, for as I did the poor child me worse than all the rest for three or four days. no harm, I only said to myself. I had given the But my own distresses silenced all these reflec parents a just reproof for their negligence in tions, and the prospect of my starving, which leaving the poor little lamb to come home by grew every day more frightful to me, hardened || itself, and it would teach them to take more care my heart by degrees. It was then particularly of it another time heavy upon my mind that I had been reformed, This string of beads was worth about twelve and had, as I hoped, repented of all my past or fourteen pounds; I suppose it might have wickedness; that I had lived a sober, grave, re been formerly the mother's, for it was too big for tired life for several years. But now I should the child's wear, but that perhaps the vanity of it be driven, by the dreadful necessity of my cir the mother to have her child look fine at the cumstances, to the gates of destruction, soul and dancing-school had made her let the child wear body; and two or three times I fell upon my llit. And no doubt the child had a maid to take knees, praying to God, as well as I could, for de. care of it; but she, like a careless jade, was liverance. But I cannot but say my prayers had taken up perhaps with some fellow that had met no hope in them. I knew not what to do. It her, and so the poor baby wandered till it fell was all fear without, and dark within ; and I re- into my hands. flected upon my past life as not sincerely re- | However, I did the child no barm; I did not pented of, that heaven was now beginning to so much as frighten it, for I had a great many punish me on this side the grave, and would tender thoughts about me yet, and did nothing make me as miserable as I had been wicked. but what, as I may say, mere necessity drove
Had I gone on here I had perhaps been a true me to. penitent. But I had an evil councillor within, I had a great many adventures after this, but and he was continually prompting me to relieve I was young in the business, and did not know myself by the worst means ; so one evening he how to manage, otherwise than as the devil put tempted me again by the same wicked impulse things into my head; and indeed he was seldom that had said “Take that bundle," and go and backward to me. One adventure I had which seek for what might happen.
was very lucky to me; I was going through I went out now by daylight, and wandered | Lombard street in the dusk of the evening, just about I knew not whither, and in search of I by the end of the Three King court, when 00 knew not what, when the devil put a snare in my sudden comes a fellow running by me as swi
That was in his way of a dreadful nature indeed, and such a one lightning, and throws a bundle that was is as I have never had before or since. Going Thand just behind me, as I stood up against