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the spoons, and they came to thirty-five shillings; || not got them, and argued that as he had his so I pulls out my purse to pay him, in which I Il goods, and had really lost nothing, it would be had near twenty guineas, for I never went with cruel to pursue me to death, and have my blood out such a sum about me, whatever might hap for the bare attempt of taking them. I put the pen, and I found it of use at other times as well constable in mind that I broke no doors, nor car.
ried any thing away; and when I came to the When Mr Alderman saw my money, he said, justice, and pleaded there that I had neither bro“ Well, madam, now I am satisfied you were ken anything to get in, nor carried anything out, wronged, and it was for this reason that I moved the justice was inclined to have released me; that you should buy the spoons, and stayed till but the first saucy jade that stopped me, affirmyou had bought them, for if you had not had the ing that I was going out with the goods, but that money to pay for them, I should have suspected she stopped me, and pulled me back as I was that you did not come into the shop to buy, for upon the threshold, the justice upon that point indeed the sort of people who come upon those committed me, and I was carried to Newgate. designs that you have been charged with, are | That horrid place! My very blood chills at the seldom troubled with much gold in their pockets, mention of its name; the place where so many as I see you are."
of my comrades had been locked up, and from I smiled, and told his worship, that then I whence they went to the fatal tree; the place owed something of his favour to my money, but where my mother suffered so deeply ; where I I hoped he saw reason also in the justice he had was brought into the world, and from whence I done me before. He said, “ Yes, he had, but this expected no redemption but by an infamous had confirmed his opinion, and he was fully satis- || death : to conclude, the place that had so long ficd now of my having been injured.” So I came cxpected me, and which with so much art and off with flying colours, though from an affair in success I had so long avoided. which I was at the very brink of destruction. I was now fixed indeed. It is impossible to
It was but three days after this, that not at all describe the terror of my mind when I was first made cautious by my former danger, as I used to brought in, and when I looked round upon all be, and still pursuing the art which I had so long the horrors of that dismal place. I looked on been employed in, I ventured into a house where myself as lost, and that I had nothing to think of I saw the doors open, and furnished myself, as I but of going out of the world, and that with thought verily without being perceived, with two the utmost infamy; the hellish noise, the roaring, pieces of flowered silks, such as they call brocad swearing, and clamour, the stench and nastiness, ed silk, very rich. It was not a mercer's shop, || and all the dreadful crowd of afflicting things nor a warehouse of a mercer, but looked like a that I saw there, joined together to make the private dwelling-house, and was, it seems, inha place seem an emblem of hell itself, and a kind bited by a man that sold goods for the weavers to of an entrance into it. the mercers, like a broker or factor.
Now I reproached myself with the many hints That I may make short of the black part of | I had had, as I have mentioned above, from my this story, I was attacked by two wenches that own reason, from the sense of my good circumcamc open-mouthed at me just as I was going stances, and of the many dangers I had escaped, out at the door, and one of them pulled me back to leave off while I was well, and how I had with into the room, while the other shut the doorstood them all, and hardened my thoughts against upon me. I would have given them good words, ll all fear. It scemed to me that I was hurried on but there was no room for it; two fiery dragons | by an inevitable and unseen fate to this day of could not have been more furious then they were. | misery, and that now I was to expiate all my They tore my clothes, bullied and roared as if offences at the gallows, that I was now to give silthey would have murdered me; the mistress of tisfaction to justice with my blood, and that I was the house came next, and then the master, and come to the last hour of my life, and of my all outrageous, for a while especially.
wickedness together. These things poured therI gave the master very good words, told him selves in upon my thoughts in a confused manner, the door was open, and things were a temptation and left me overwhelmed with melancholy and to me, that I was poor and distressed, and po. despair. verty was what many could not resist, and begged Then I repented heartily of all my life past, him with tears to have pity on me. The mis- but that repentance yielded me no satisfaction, tress of the house was moved with compassion, no peace, no not in the least; because as I said and inclined to have let me go, and had almost to myself, it was repenting after the power of pcrsuaded her husband to it also, but the saucy farther singing was taken away. I seemed not wenches were run even before they were sent ; to mourn that I had committed such crimes, and and had fetched a constable, and then the master for the fact as it was an offence against God and said he could not go back, I must go before a my neighbour, but I mourned that I was to be justice, and answered his wife that he might punished for it. I was a penitent, as I thought, come into trouble himself if he should let me go. not that I had sinned, but that I was to suffer,
The sight of the constable, indeed, struck me | and this took away all the comfort, and even the with terror, and I thought I should have sunk || hope of my repentance in my own thoughts. into the ground. I fell into faintings, and indeed I got no sleep for several nights or days after the people themselves thought I would have died; I came into that wretched place, and glad I would when the woman argued again for me, and en. I have been for some time to have died there, treated her husband, seeing they had lost no- || though I did not consider dying as it ought to be thing, to let me go. I offered hini to pay for the considered neither. Indeed nothing could be two picces, whatever the value was, though I had" Alled with more horror to my imagination than
the company that was there. O! if I had been the night almost as ill out of Newgate as I did sent to any place in the world, and not to New- | in it. gate, I should have thought myself happy.
The next morning she came to see me, she did In the next place, how did the hardened i vvhat she could to comfort me, but she saw that wretches that were there before me triumph over was to no purpose. However, as she said, to me?“ What! Mrs Flanders come to Newgate sink under the weight was but to increase the at last?" " What ! Mrs Mary, Mrs Molly!" and weight. She immediately applied herself to all after that plain “ Moll Flanders !" They thought the proper methods to prevent the effects of it, the devil had helped me, they said, that I had which we feared ; and first she found out the reigned so long; they expected me there many two fiery jades that had surprised me. She years ago, and was I come at last? Then they tampered with them, persuaded them, offered them Houted me with my dejections, welcomed me to money, and, in a word, tried all imaginable ways the place, wished me joy, bid me have a good to prevent a prosecution. She offered one of the heart, not to be cast down; things might not be wenches one hundred pounds to get away fronı so bad as I feared, and the like; then called for her mistress and not to appear agairst me; but brandy, and drank to me; but put it all up to she was resolute, that though she was but a my score, for they told me I was but just come servant maid at three pounds a year wages or to the college, as they called it, and sure I had thereabouts, she refused it, and would have re. money in my pocket, though they had none. fused it, as my governess said she believed, if
I asked one of this crew how long she had she had offered her five hundred pounds. Then been there? She said four months. I asked she attacked the other maid ; she was not so hard. her how the place looked to her when she first hearted in appearance as the other, and somecame into it? _“Just as it did now to me," says times seemed inclined to be merciful ; but the she, “dreadful and frightful; that she thought first wench kept her up and changed her mind, she was in hell, and believes so still ;” adds she, and would not so much as let my governess talk “ but it is natural to me now, I don't disturb with her, but threatened to have her up for tammyself about it." _“I suppose,” says I, “ you pering with the evidence. are in no danger of what is to follow."_" Nay,” Then she applied to the master, that is to say, says she, “ for you are mistaken there I assure the man whose goods had been stolen, and paryou, for I am under sentence, only I pleaded my ticularly to his wife, who, as I told you, was inbelly; but I am no more with child than the judge clined at first to have some compassion for me. that tried me, and I expect to be called down She found the woman the same still ; but the next sessions."
man alleged he was bound by the justice that This calling down is calling down to their committed me to prosecute, and that he should former judgment, when a woman has been re forfeit his recognizance. spited for her belly, but proves not to be with My governess offered to find friends that child, or if she has been with child, and has been should get his recognizances off the file, as they brought to bed.
call it, and that he should not suffer; but it was "Well,” says I, “ and are you thus easy ?" not possible to convince him that could be done, “Ay," says she; “I cannot help myself; what or that he could be safe any way in the world signifies being sad? If I am hanged there's an but by appearing against me. So I was to have end of me," says she, and away she turns dancing, three witnesses of the fact against me, the master and sings as she goes, the following piece of New and his two maids; that is to say, I was as cer. gate wit :
tain to be cast for my life as I was certain that alf I swing by the string,
I was alive, and I had nothing to do but to I shall hear the bell ring.'
think of dying and prepare for it. I had but a And then there's an end to poor Jenny.”
sad foundation to build upon, as I said before, I mention this because it would be worth the for all my repentance appeared to me to be only observation of any prisoner who shall hereafter the effect of my fear of death, not a sincere fall into the same misfortune, and come to that regret for the wicked life that I had lived, and dreadful place (Newgate), how time, necessity, which had brought this misery upon me, or for and conversing with the wretches that are there, the offending my creator, who was now suddenly familiarises the place to them; how at last they I to be my judge. become reconciled to that which at first was the | I lived many days here under the utmost hor. greatest dread upon their spirits in the world, ror of soul. I had death as it were in view, and are as impudently cheerful and merry in their and thought of nothing night and day but of misery as they were when out of it.
gibbets and halters, evil spirits and devils. It is I cannot say, as some do, this devil is not so not to be expressed by words how I was hablack as he is painted; for indeed no colours can rassed, between the dreadful apprehensions of represent the place to the life, nor any soul con. death and the terror of my conscience reproachceive aright of it but those who have been suf ing me with my past horrible life. ferers there. But how hell should become by The ordinary of Newgate came to me, and degrees so natural, and not only tolerable, but talked a little in his way, but all his divinity ran even agreeable, is a thing unintelligible but by ll upon confessing my crime, as he called it (though those who have experienced it as I have.
he knew not what I was in for), making a full The same night that I was sent to Newgate, discovery and the like, without which 'he told me I sent the news of it to my old governess, who God would never forgive me ; and he said so was surprised at it, you may be sure, and spent
little to the purpose, that I had no manner of • The bell at St Sepulchre's, which folls upon execu. !!
consolation from him. And then to observe the tion day.
poor creature preaching confession and repent
ance to me in the morning, and find him drunk || I think I have given a brief description of the with brandy and spirits by noon. This had some- | completest misery on earth. thing in it so shocking, that I began to nauseate All my terrifying thoughts were past, the horthe man more than his work, and his work too | rors of the place were become familiar, and I felt by degrees for the sake of the man, so that I no more uneasinesses at the noise and clamours desired him to trouble me no more.
of the prison than they did who made that I know not how it was, but by the indefatigable | noise ; in a word, I was become a mere New. application of my diligent governess, I had no gate-bird, as wicked and as outrageous as any of bill preferred against me the first sessions, I mean them ; nay, I scarce retained the habit and cus. to the grand jury at Guildhall; so I had another tom of good breeding and manners, which all month or five weeks before me, and without along till now ran through my conversation ; S0 doubt this ought to have been accepted by me thorough a degeneracy possessed me, I was no as so much time given me for reflection upon more the same thing that I had been than if I what was past, and preparation for what was to had never been otherwise than what I was now. come; or, in a word, l'ought to have esteemed it In the middle of this hardened part of my life as a space given me for repentance, and have I had another sudden surprise, which called me employed it as such ; but it was not in me; I was back a little to that thing called sorrow, which sorry, as before, for being in Newgate, but had indeed I began to be past the sense of before. very few signs of repentance about me.
They told me one night that there was brought On the contrary, like the waters in the hollows into the prison late the night before three highof the mountains, which petrify and turn into waymen, who had committed a robbery somestone whatever they are suffered to drop upon, where on the road to Windsor (Hounslow Heath, so the continual conversing with such a crew of | I think it was), and were pursued to Uxbridge hell-hounds had the same common operation by the country, and were taken there after a gal. upon me as upon other people. I degenerated lant resistance, in which I know not how many into stone; I turned first stupid and senseless, of the country people were wounded, and some and then brutish and thoughtless, and, at last, | killed. raving mad as any of them were. In short, I It is not to be wondered that we prisoners became as naturally pleased and casy with the were all desirous enough to see these brave place as if, indeed, I had been bred up all my topping gentlemen, that were talked up to be such life-time there.
as their fellows had not been known, and espeIt is scarce possible to imagine that our na cially because it was said they would in the tures should be capable of so much degeneracy | morning be removed into the press-yard, having as to make that pleasant and agreeable that in it- || given money to the head master of the prison to self is the most complete misery. Here was a cir be allowed the liberty of that better part of the cumstance that I think it is scarcc possible to | prison. So we that were women placed ourselves mention a worse. I was as exquisitely miserable in the way that we would be sure to see them; but as it were possible for any one to be that had nothing could equal the amazement and surprise life, and health, and money to help them, as I was in, when the very first man that came out I had.
I knew to be my Lancashire husband, the same I had a weight of guilt upon me enough to who lived so well at Dunstable, and the same who sink any creature who had the least power of | I afterwards saw at Brickill, when I was married reflection left, and had any sense upon them of to my last husband, as has been related. the happiness of this life, or the misery of another. l I was struck dumb at the sight, and knew I had at first some remorse indeed, but no repent- neither what to say or what to do. He did not ance ; I had now neither remorse or repentance ; know me, and that was all the present relief I had, I had a crime charged on me, the punishment of I quitted my company, and retired as much as which was death by our law; the proof so evi. that dreadful place suffers anybody to retire, and dent that there was no room for me so much as I cried vehemently for a great while. « Dreadful to plead not guilty. I had the name of an old creature that I am," said I; “ how many poor offender, so that I had nothing to expect but people have I made miserable ! how many des. death in a few weeks' time: neither had I myself | perate wretches have I sent to the devil This any thoughts of escaping, and yet a strange gentleman's misfortunes I placed all to my own lethargy of soul possessed me. I had no trouble, no account. He had told me at Chester he was apprehensions, no sorrow about me; the first sur ruined by that match, and that his fortunes were prise was gone; I was, I may well say I know not made desperate on that account; for that, how ; my senses, my reason, nay, my conscience thinking I had been a fortune, he was run into were all asleep; my course of life for forty years debt more than he was able to pav, and that he had been a horrid complication of wickedness ; || knew not what course to take ; that he would go whoredom and adultery, incest, lying, theft ; and,' into the army and carry a musket, or buy a in a word, everything but murder and treason had horse and take a tour, as he called it; and been my practice since the age of eighteen, or though I never told him that I was a fortune, thercabouts, to threescore ; and now I was in and so did not actually deceive him myself, yet gulphed in the misery of punishment, and had an I did encourage the having it thought that I was infamous death just at the door, and yet I had no so, and by that means I was the occasion origisense of my condition, no thoughts of heaven or I nally of his mischief. hell, at least that went any farther than a bare The surprise of this thing only struck deeper lying touch, like the stitch or pain that gives a into my thoughts, and gave me stronger reflec. hint and goes off; I neither had the heart to ask tions than all that had befallen me before God's mercy or indeed to think of it, and in this grieved day and night for him, and the more,.
that they told me he was the captain of the gang, 1/ should die for it; I could hear them talk it and that he had committed so many robberies among themselves very often, and see them shake that Hind or Whitney, or the Golden Farmer, their heads, and say they were sorry for it, and were fools to him; that he would surely be the like, as is usual in the place; but still nobody hanged if there were no more men left in the came to tell me their thoughts; till at last one country he was born in, and that there would be of the keepers came to me privately, and said abundance of people come in against him.
with a sigh, “ Well, Mrs Flanders, you will be I was overwhelmed with grief for him ; my tried on Friday (this was on Wednesday); what own case gave me no disturbance compared to do you intend to do ?” this, and I loaded myself with reproaches on his I turned as white as a clout, and said, “ God account. I bewailed his misfortunes, and the knows what I shall do, for my part I know not ruin he was now come to, at such a rate, that I || what to do." relished nothing now as I did before, and the “ Why," says he, “ I will not matter you ; I first reflections I made upon the horrid, detes would have you prepare for death, for I doubt table life I had lived began to return upon me; not you will be cast, and as they say you are an and as these things returned, my abhorrence of old offender, I doubt not you will find but little the place I was in, and of the way of living in it, mercy. They say," added he, “your case is very returned also ; in a word, I was perfectly changed, I plain, and that the witnesses swear so home and became another body.
against you, there will be no standing it." While I was under these influences of sorrow This was a stab into the very vitals of one for him camne notice to me that the next sessions under such a burthen as I was oppressed with approaching there would be a bill preferred to before, and I could not speak a word to him, good the grand jury against me, and that I should cer. or bad, for a great while; but at last I burst out tainly be tried for my life at the Old Bailey. into tears, and I said to him, “Lord! Mr — My temper was touched before; the hardened what must I do?" wretched boldness of spirit which I had acquired “ Do !" says he ; “send for the ordinary-send in the prison abated, and conscious guilt began for a minister, and talk with him ; for indee to flow in upon my mind. In short, I began to Mrs Flanders, unless you have very good friends, think (and to think, indeed, is one real advance | you are no woman for this world." from hell to heaven) all that hardened state and This was plain dealing indeed, but it was very temper of soul, which I have said so much of be. harsh to me, at least I thought it so. He left fore, is but a deprivation of thought; he that is Ime in the greatest confusion imaginable, and all restored to his power of thinking, is restored to that night I lay awake; and now I began to say himself.
my prayers, which I had scarce done before since As soon as I began, I say, to think, the first my last husband's death, or from a little while thing that occurred to me broke out thus : after ; and truly I may well call it saying my " Lord! what will become of me?. I shall cer prayers, for I was in such a confusion, and had tainly die ! I shall be cast to be sure, and there is such horror upon my mind, that though I cried nothing beyond that but death! I have nɔ and repeated several times the ordinary expresfriends ! what shall I do? I shall be certainly cast ! || sion of “ Lord have mercy upon me, I never Lord, have mercy upon me! what will become || brought myself to any sense of my being a miseof me?" This was a sad thought, you will say, rable sinner, as indeed I was, and of confessing to be the first, after so long time that had started my sins to God, and begging pardon for the sake into my soul of that kind, and yet even this was of Jesus Christ. I was overwhelmed with the nothing but fright at what was to come; there sense of my condition, being tried for my life, was not a word of sincere repentance in it all. and being sure to be condemned, and then I was However, I was indeed dreadfully dejected, and as sure to be executed, and on this account I disconsolate to the last degree; and as I had no cried out all night, “ Lord ! what will become of friend in the world to communicate my distressed me? Lord! what shall I do? Lord ! I shall be Thoughts to, it lay so heavy upon me, that it || hanged ! Lord ! have mercy upon me !" and the threw me into fits and swoonings several times a || like. day. I sent for my old governess, and she, give|| My poor afflicted governess was now as much ner her due, acted the part of a true friend. Shell concerned as I, and a great deal more truly left me to stone unturned to pervert the grand penitent, though she had no prospect of being jury; finding out one or two of the jurymen, brought to trial and sentence, not but that she talking with them, and endeavoured to possess deserved it as much as I, and so she said herself;
lemn with favourable dispositions, on account but she had not done anything herself for many that
nothing was taken away, and no house | years, other than receiving what I and others ken, &c. ; but all would not do they were stole, and encouraging us to steal it. But she ruled by the rest. The two wenches swore cried and took on like a distracted body, wringe to the fact, and the jury found the billing her hands, and crying out that she was un
me for robbery and house-breaking ; |done; that she believed there was a curse from that is, for felony and burglary.
|| heaven upon her; that she should be damned ; unk down when they brought me news of that she had been the destruction of all her
tter I came to myself again, I thought I friends; that she had brought such a one, and
fied with me, and for me, but she could | whom I have given an account of, that came to pme; and to add to the terror of it, it untimely ends; and that now she was the occa
discourse all over the house that illsion of my ruin, for she had persuaded me to go
on when I would have left off. I interrupted her to me, the first bringing me to a sentence of death, there. “ No, mother, no," said I, “ don't speak and the last would have done no more. The of that, for you would have had me left off when next day I was carried down to receive the I got the mercer's money, and when I came home dreadful sentence, and when they came to ask from Harwich, and I would not hearken to you;ll me what I had to say why sentence should not therefore you have not been to blame; it is I pass, I stood mute awhile ; but somebody that only have ruined myself ; I have brought myself stood behind me prompted me aloud to speak to to this misery;" and thus we spent many hours the judges, for that they could represent things together.
favourably for me. This encouraged me to Well, there was no remedy; the prosecution speak, and I told them I had nothing to say to went on, and on the Thursday I was carried stop the sentence; but that I had much to say down to the sessions house, where I was to bespeak the mercy of the court ; that I hoped arraigned, as they called it, and the next day 1 they would allow something in such a case, for was appointed to be tried. At the arraignment the circumstances of it; that I had broken no I pleaded “ Not guilty,” and well I might, for I doors, had carried nothing off, that nobody had was indicted for felony and burglary; that is for || lost anything ; that the person whose goods they feloniously stealing two pieces of brocaded silk, were pleased to say he desired mercy might be value forty-six pounds, the goods of Anthony shown, which indeed he very honestly did ; that Johnson, and for breaking open his doors; at the worst it was the first offence, and that I whereas I knew very well that they could not had never been before any court of justice before ; pretend to prove I had broken the doors, or so and, in a word, I spoke with more courage than much as lifted up the latch.
I thought I could have done, and in such a mov. On the Friday I was brought to my trial. I || ing tone, and though with tears, yet not with so had exhausted iny spirits with crying for two or many tears as to obstruct my speech, that I could three days before, that I slept better the Thurs see it moved others to tears that heard me. day night than I expected, and had more courage The judges sat grave and mute, gavc me an for my trial than indeed I thought possible for easy hearing, and time to say all that I would, me to have.
but saying neither yes aor no to it, pronounced When the trial began, and the indictment was the sentence of death upon me; a sentence that read, I would have spoke, but they told me the was to me like death itself, which, after it was witnesses must be heard first, and then I should read, confounded me; I had no more spirits left have time to be heard. The witnesses were the | in me, I had no tongue to speak, or eyes to look two wenches, a couple of hard-mouthed jades I up either to God or man. indeed ; for the thing was truth in the main, yet IL My poor governess was utterly disconsolate, they aggravated it to the utmost extremity, and and she that was my comforter before wanted swore I had the goods wholly in my possession ; || comfort now herself, and sometimes mourning, that I had hid them among my clothes; that I || sometimes raging, was as much out of hersell was going off with them; that I had one foot Il(as to all outward appearance) as any mad woover the threshold when they discovered them. || man in Bedlam. Nor was she only disconsolate selves, and then I put the other over; so that I as to me, but she was struck with horror at the was quite out of the house in the street with the sense of her own wicked life, and began to look goods before they took hold of me, and then they back upon it with a taste quite different from seizod me, and brought me back again, and they mine, for she was penitent to the highest degree took the goods upon me. The fact in general for her sins, as well as sorrowful for the missor. was all true, but I believe, and insisted upon it, tune; she sent for a minister too, a scrious, that they stopped me before I had set my foot | pious, good man, and applied herself with such clear cf the threshold of the house ; but that did earnestness, by his assistance, to the work of a not argue much, for certain it was that I had sincere repentance, that I believe, and so did the taken the goods, and that I was bringing them minister too, that she was a true penitent, and away if I had not been taken.
which is still more, she was not only so for the But I had pleaded that I had stole nothing, occasion, and at that juncture, but she continued they had lost nothing, that the door was open, so, as I was informed, to the day of her death. and I went in, seeing the goods lie there, and It is rather to be thought of than expressed with design to buy. If, sceing nobody in the what was now my condition; I had nothing be. house, I had taken any of them up in my hand, || fore me but present death; and as I had no it could not be concluded that I intended to steal || friends to assist me, or to stir for me, I expected them, for that I never carried them farther than nothing but to find my name in the dead war. the door to look on them with the better light. ll rant which was to come down for the execution
The court would not allow that by any means, || the Friday afterwards of five more and myself. and made a kind of jest of my intending to buy | In the meantime my poor distressed goverthe goods, that being no shop for the selling ofness sent me a minister, who at her request first, anything; and as to carrying them to the door and at my own afterwards, came to visit me. He to look at them, the maids made their impudent exhorted me seriously to repent of all my sips, and mocks upon that, and spent their wit upon it to dally no longer with my soul; not flattering very much; told the court I had looked at them myself with hopes of life, which, he said, he was sufficiently, and approved them very well, for I informed there was no room to expect, but un. had packed them up under my clothes, and was feignedly to look up to God with my whole soul, a going off with them.
ll and to cry for pardon in the name of Jesus In short, Iwas found guilty of felony, but acquit- Christ. He backed his discourses with proper ted of the burglary, which was but small comfort li quotations of scripture, encouraging the greatest