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I sit down to give you an undeniable proof of my considering your desires as indispensable orders. Ungracious then as the task may be, I shall recall to view those scandalous stages of my life, out of which I emerged, at length, to the enjoyment of every blessing in the power of love, health and fortune to bestow; whilst yet in the flower of youth, and not too late to employ the leisure afforded me by great ease and affluence, to cultivate an understanding, naturally not a despicable one, and which had, even amidst the whirl of loose pleasures I had been tossed in, exerted more observation on the characters and manners of the world than what is common to those of my unhappy profession, who, looking on all though or reflection as their capital enemy, keep it at as great a distance as they can, or destroy it without mercy.
Hating, as I mortally do, all long unnecessary prefaces, I shall give you good quarter in this, and use no farther apology, than to prepare you for seeing the loose part of my life, written with the same liberty that I led it.
Truth! stark, naked truth, is the word; and I will not so much as take the pains to bestow the strip of a gauze wrapper on it, but paint situations such as they actually rose to me in nature, careless of violating those laws of decency that were never made for such unreserved intimacies as ours; and you have too much sense, too much knowledge of the originals, to sniff prudishly and out of character at the pictures of them. The greatest men, those of the first and most leading taste, will not scruple adorning their private closets with nudities, though, in compliance with vulgar prejudices, they may not think them decent decorations of the staircase, or salon.
This, and enough, premised, I go souse into my personal history. My maiden name was Frances Hill. I was born at a small village near Liverpool, in Lancashire, of parents extremely poor, and, I piously believe, extremely honest.
My father, who had received a maim on his limbs, that disabled him from following the more laborious branches of country drudgery, got, by making nets, a scanty subsistence, which was not much enlarged by my mother's keeping a little day-school for the girls in her neighborhood. They had had several children; but none lived to any age except myself, who had received from nature a constitution perfectly healthy.
My education, till past fourteen, was no better than very vulgar: reading, or rather spelling, an illegible scrawl, and a little ordinary plain work, composed the whole system of it; and then all my foundation in virtue was no other than a total ignorance of vice, and the shy timidity general to our sex, in the tender age of life, when objects alarm or frighten more by their novelty than anything else. But then, this is a fear too often cured at the expense of innocence, when Miss, by degrees, begins no longer to look on a man as a creature of prey that will eat her.
My poor mother had divided her time so entirely between her scholars and her little domestic cares, that she had spared very little to my instruction, having, from her own innocence from all ill, no hint or thought of guarding me against any.
I was now entering on my fifteenth year, when the worst of ills befell me in the loss of my fond, tender parents, who were both carried off by the small-pox, within a few days of each other; my father dying first, and thereby by hastening the death of my mother: so that I was now left an unhappy friendless orphan (for my father's coming to settle there, was accidental, he being originally a Kentisrman). That cruel distemper which had proved so fatal to them, had indeed seized me, but with such mild and favourable symptoms, that I was presently out of danger, and what then I did not know the value of, was entirely unmarked I skip over here an account of the natural grief and affliction which I felt on this melancholy occasion. A little time, and the giddiness of that age, dissipated too soon my reflections on that irreparable loss; but nothing contributed more to reconcile me to it, than the notions that were immediately put into my head, of going to London, and looking out for a service, in which I was promised all assistance and advice from one Esther Davis, a young woman that had beer down to see her friends, and who, after the stay of a few days, was returned to her place.
As I had now nobody left alive in the village, who had concerned enough about what should become of me, to start any objections to this scheme, and the woman who took care of me after my parents' death, rather encouraged me to pursue it, I soon came to a resolution of making this launch into the wide world, by repairing to London, in order to seek my fortune, a phrase which, by the bye, has ruined more adventurers of both sexes, from the country, than ever it made or advanced.
Nor did Esther Davis a little comfort and inspirit me to venture with her, by piquing my childish curiosity with the fine sights that were to be seen in London: the Tombs, the Lions, the King, the Royal Family, the fine Plays and Operas, and, in short, all the diversions which fell within her sphere of life to come at; the detail of all which perfectly turned the little head of me.
Nor can I remember, without laughing, the innocent admiration, not without a spice of envy, with which we poor girls, whose church-going clothes did not rise above dowlas shifts and stuff gowns, beplaced with silver: all which we imagined grew in London, and entered for a great deal into my determination of trying to come in for my share of them.
The idea however of having the company of a towns-woman with her, was the trivial, and all the motives that engaged Esther to take charge of me during my journey to town, where she told me, after the manner and style, "as how several maids out of the country had made themselves and all their kind for ever: that by preserving their virtue, some had taken so with their masters, that they had married them, and kept them coaches, and lived vastly grand and happy; and some, may-hap, came to be Duchesses; luck was all, and why not I, as well as another?"; with other almanacs to this purpose, which set me a tip-toe to begin this promising journey, and to leave a place which, though my native one, contained no relations that I had reason to regret, and was grown insupportable to me, from the change of the tenderest usage into a cold air of charity, with which I was entertained, even at the only friend's house that I had the least expectation of care and protection from. She was, however, so just to me, as to manage the turning into money the little matters that remained to me after the debts and burial charges were allowed for, and, at my departure, put my whole fortune into my hands; which consisted of a very slender wardrobe, packed up in a very portable box, and eight guineas, with seventeen shillings in silver, stowed in a spring-pouch, which was a greater treasure than I ever had seen together, and which I could not conceive there was a possibility of running out; and indeed, I was so entirely taken up with the joy of seeing myself mistress of such an immence sum, that I gave very little attention to a world of good advice which was given me with it.
Places, then, being taken for Esther and me in the Chester waggon, I pass over a very immaterial scene of leave-taking, at which I droped a few tears betwixt grief and joy; and, for the same reasons of insignificance, skip over all that happened to me on the road, such as the waggoner's looking liquorish on me, the schemes laid for me by some of the passengers, which were defeated by the valiance of my guardian Esther; who, to do her justice, took a motherly care of me, at the same time that she taxed me for the protection by making me bear all travelling charges, which I defrayed with the unmost cheerfulness, and thought myself much obliged to her into the bargain.
She took indeed great care that we were not overrated, or imposed on, as well as of managing as frugally as possible; expensiveness was not her vice.
It was pretty late in a summer evening when we reached the town, in our slow conveyance, though drawn by six at length. As we passed through the greatest streets that led to our inn, the noise, of the coaches, the hurry, the crowds of foot passengers, in short, the new scenery of the shops and houses, at once pleased and amazed me.
But guess at my mortification and surprise when we came to the inn, and our things were landed and delivered to us, when my fellow traveller and protectress, Esther Davis, who had used me with the utmost tenderness during the journey, and prepared me by no preceedings signs for the stunning blow I was to receive, when I say, my only dependence and friend, in this strange place, all of a sudden assumed a strange and cool air towards me, as if she dreaded my becoming a burden to her.
Instead, then, of proffering me the continuance of her assistance and good offices, which I relied upon, and never more wanted, she thought herself, it seems, abundantly acquitted of her engagements to me, by having brought me safe to my journey's end, and seeing nothing in her procedure towards me but what natural and in order, began to embrace me by the way of taking leave, whilst I was so confounded, so struck, that I had not spirit or sense enough so much as to mention my hopes or expectations from her experience, and knowledge of the place she had brought me to.
Whilst I stood thus stupid and mute, which she doubtless attributed to nothing more than a concern at parting, this idea procured me perhaps a slight alleviation of it, in the following harangue: "That now we were got safe to London, and that she was obliged to go to her place, she advised me by all means to get into one as soon as possible; that I need not fear getting one; there were more places than parish-churches; that she advised me to go to an intelligence office; that if she heard of any thing stirring, she would find me out and let me know; that in the meantime, I should take a private lodging, and acquaint her where to send to me; that she wished me good luck, and hoped I should always have the grace to keep myself honest, and not bringing a disgrace on my parentage." With this; she took her leave of me, and left me, as it were, on my own hands, full as lightly as I had been put into hers.
Left thus alone, absolutely destitute and friendless I began then to feel most bitterly the severity of this separation, the scene of which had passed in a little room in the inn; and no sooner was her back turned, but the affliction I felt at my helpless strange circumstances, burst out into a flood of tears, which infinitely relieved the oppression of my heart; though I still remained stupified, and most perfectly perplexed how to dispose of myself.
One of the waiters coming in, added yet more to my uncertainty, by asking me, in a short way, if I called for anything? to which I replied innocently: "No." But I wished him to tell me where I might get a lodging for that night. He said he would go and speak to his mistress, who accordingly came, and told me drily, without entering in the least into the distress she saw me in, that I might have a bed for a shilling, and that, as she supposed I had some friends in town (there I fetched a deep sigh in vain!), I might provide for myself in the morning.
It is incredible what trifling consolations the human mind will seize in its greatest afflictions. The assurance of nothing more than a bed to lie on that night, calmed my agonies; and being ashamed to acquaint the mistress of the inn that I had no friends to apply to in town, I proposed to myself to proceed, the very next morning, to an intelligence office, to which I was furnished with written directions on the back of a ballad, Esther had given me. There I counted on getting information of any place that such a country girl as I might be fit for, and where I could get into any sort of being, before my little stock should be consumed; and as to a character, Esther had often repeated to me, that I might depend on her managing me one; nor, however affected I was at her leaving me thus, did I entirely cease to rely on her, as I began to think, good-naturedly, that her procedure was all in course, and that is was only my ignorance of life that had made me take it in the light I at first did.
Accordingly, the next morning I dressed myself as clean and as neat as my rustic wardrobe would permit me; and having left my box, with special recommendation, with the landlady, I ventured out by myself, and without any more difficulty than can be supposed of a young country girl, barely fifteen, and to whom every sign or shop was a gazing trap, I got to the wished for intelligence office.
It was kept by an elderly woman, who sat at the receipt of custom, with a book before her in great form and order, and several scrolls made out, of directions for places.
I made up then to this important personage, without lifting up my eyes or observing any of the people round me, who were attending there on the same errand as myself, and dropping her curtsies nine deep, just made a shift to stammer out my business to her.
Madam heard me out, with all the gravity and brow of a petty minister of State, and seeing at one glance over my figure what I was, made me no answer, but to ask me the preliminary shilling, on receipt of which she told me places for women too slight built for hard work: but that she would look over her book, and see what was to be done for me, desiring me to stay a little, till she had dispatched some other customers.
On this I drew back a little, most heartily mortified at a declaration which carried with it a killing uncertainly, that my circumstances could not well endure.
Presently, assuming more courage, and seeking some diversion from my uneasy thoughts, I ventured to lift up my head a little, and sent my eyes on a course round the room, where they met full tilt with those of a lady (for such my extreme innocence pronounced her) sitting in a corner of the room, dressed in a velvet mantle (in the midst of summer), with her bonnet off; squat, fat, red-faced, and at least fifty.
She looked as if she would devour me with her eyes, staring at me from head to foot, without the least regard to the confusion and blushes her eyeing me so fixedly put me to, and which were to her, no doubt, the strongest recommendation and marks of my being fit for her purpose. After a little time, in which my air, person and whole figure had undergone a strict examination, which I had, on my part, tried to render favourable to me, by primming, drawing up my neck, and setting my best looks, she advanced and spoke to me with the greatest demureness:
"Sweet-heart, do you want a place?
"Yes, and please you," (with a curtsey down to the ground).
Upon this she acquainted me she was actually come to the office herself, to look out for a servant; that she believed I might do, with a little of her instruction; that she could take my very looks for a sufficient character; that London was a very wicked, vile, place; that she hoped I would be tractable, and keep out of bad company; in short, she said all to me that an old experienced practitioner in town could think of, and which was much more than was necessary to take in an artless inexperienced country maid, who was even afraid of becoming a wanderer about the streets, and therefore gladly jumped at the first offer of a shelter, especially from so grave and matron-like a lady, for such my flattering fancy assured me this new mistress of mine was, I being actually hired under the nose of the good woman that kept the office, whose shrewed smiles and shrugs I could not help observing, and innocently interpreted them as marks of being pleased at my getting into place so soon: but, as I afterwards came to know, these Beldams understood one another very well, and this was a market where Mrs. Brown, my mistress, frequently attended, on the watch for any fresh goods that might offer there, for the use of her customers, and her own profit.
Madam was, however, so well pleased with her bargain that fearing I presume, lest better advice or some accident might occasion my slipping through her fingers, she would officiously take me in a coach to my inn, where, calling herself for my box, it was, I being present, delivered without the least scruple or explanation as to where I was going.
This being over, she bid the coachman drive to a shop in St. Paul's Churchyard, where she bought a pair of gloves, which she gave me, and thence renewed her directions to the coachman to drive to her house in ——— street, who accordingly landed us at the door, after I had been cheered up and entertained by the way with the most plausible flams, without one syllable from which I could conclude anything but that I was, by the greatest luck, fallen into the hands of kindest mistress, not to say friend, that the vast world could afford; and accordingly I entered her doors with most complete confidence and exultation, promising, myself that, as soon as I could be a little settled, I would acquaint Esther Davis with my rare good fortune.
You may be sure the good opinion of my place was not lessened by the appearance of a very handsome back parlor, into which I was led and which seemed to me magnificently furnished, who had never seen better rooms than the ordinary ones in inns upon the road. There were two gilt pier-glasses, and a buffet, on which a few pieces of plate, set out to the most shew, dazzled, and altogether persuaded me that I must be got into a very reputable family.
Here my mistress first began her part, with telling me that I must have good spirits, and learn to be free with her; that she had not taken me to be a common servant, to do domestic drudgery, but to be a kind of companion to her; and that if I would be a good girl, she would do more than twenty mothers for me; to all which I answered only by the profoundest and the awkwardest curtsies, and a few monosyllables, such as "'yes! no! to be sure!"
Presently my mistress touched the bell, and in came a strapping maid-servant, who had let us in. "Here, Martha," said Mrs. Brown, "I have just hired this young woman to look after my linen; so step up and show her her chamber; and I charge you to use her with as much respect as you would myself, for I have taken a prodigious liking to her, and I do not know what I shall do for her."
Martha, who was an arch-jade, and, being used to this decoy, had her cue perfect, made me a kind of half curtsy, and asked me to walk up with her; and accordingly showed me a neat room, two pair of stairs backwards, in which there was a handsome bed, where Martha told me I was to lie with a young gentlewoman, a cousin of my mistress, who she was sure would be vastly good to me. Then she ran out into such affected encomiums on her good mistress! her sweet mistress! and how happy I was to light upon her! and that I could not have bespoke a better; with other the like gross stuff, such as would itself have started suspicions in any but such an unpractised simpleton, who was perfectly new to life, and who took every word she said in the very sense she laid out for me to take it; but she readily saw what a penetration she had to deal with, and measured me very rightly in her manner of whistling to me, so as to make me pleased with my cage, and blind to the wires.
In the midst of these false explanations of the nature of my future service, we were rung for down again, and I was reintroduced into the same parlour, where there was a table laid with three covers; and my mistress had now got with her one of her favourite girls, a notable manager of her house, and whose business it was to prepare and break such young fillies as I was to the mounting block; and she was accordingly, in that view, alloted me for a bed-fellow, and, to give her the more authority, she had the title of cousin conferred on her by the venerable president of this college.
Here I underwent a second survey, which ended in the full approbation of Mrs. Phoebe Ayres, the name of my tutoress elect, to whose care and instruction I was affectionately recommended.
Dinner was now set on table, and in pursuance of treating me as a companion, Mrs. Brown, with a tone to cut off all dispute, soon over-ruled my most humble and most confused protestations against sitting down with her Ladyship, which my very short breeding just suggested to me could not be right, or in the order of things.
At table, the conversation was chiefly kept up by the two madams and carried on in double meaning expressions, interrupted every now and then by kind assurances to me, all tending to confirm and fix my satisfaction with my present condition: augment it they could not, so very a novice was I then.
It was here agreed that I should keep myself up and out of sight for a few days, till such clothes could be procured for me as were fit for the character I was to appear in, of my mistress's companion, observing withal, that on the first impressions of my figure much might depend; and, as they rightly judged, the prospect of exchanging my country clothes for London finery, made the clause of confinement digest perfectly well with me. But the truth was, Mrs. Brown did not care that I should be seen or talked to by any, either of her customers, or her Does (as they called the girls provided for them), till she secured a good market for my maidenhead, which I had at least all the appearances of having brought into her Ladyship's service.
To slip over minutes of no importance to the main of my story, I pass the interval to bed time, in which I was more and more pleased with the views that opened to me, of an easy service under these good people; and after supper being shewed up to bed, Miss Phoebe, who observed a kind of reluctance in me to strip and go to bed, in my shift, before her, now the maid was withdrawn, came up to me, and beginning with unpinning my handkerchief and gown, soon encouraged me to go on with undressing myself; and, blushing at now seeing myself naked to my shift, I hurried to get under the bed-clothes out of sight.
Phoebe laughed and was not long before she placed herself by my side. She was about five and twenty, by her most suspicious account, in which, according to all appearances, she must have sunk at least ten good years; allowance, too, being made for the havoc which a long course of hackneyship and hot waters must have made of her constitution, and which had already brought on, upon the spur, that stale stage in which those of her profession are reduced to think of showing company, instead of seeing it.
No sooner then was this precious substitute of my mistress laid down, but she, who was never out of her way when any occasion of lewdness presented itself, turned to me, embraced and kissed me with great eagerness. This was new, this was odd; but imputing it to nothing but pure kindness, which, for ought I knew, it might be the London way to express in that manner, I was determined not to be behind-hand with her, and returned her the kiss and embrace, with all the fervour that perfect innocence knew.
Encouraged by this, her hands became extremely free, and wandered over my whole body, with touches, squeezes, pressures, that rather warmed and surprised me with their novelty, than they either shocked or alarmed me.
The flattering praises she intermingled with these invasions, contributed also not a little to bribe my passiveness; and, knowing no ill, I feared none, especially from one who had prevented all doubts of her womanhood, by conducting my hands to a pair of breasts that hung loosely down, in a size and volume that full sufficiently distinguished her sex, to me at least, who had never made any other comparison.
I lay then all tame and passive as she could wish, whilst her freedom raised no other emotion but those of a strange, and, till then, unfelt pleasure. Every part of me was open and exposed to the licentious courses of her hands, which, like a lambent fire, ran over my whole body, and thawed all coldness as they went.
My breasts, if it is not too bold a figure to call so two hard, firm, rising hillocks, that just began to shew themselves, or signify anything to the touch, employed and amused her hands awhile, till, slipping down lower, over a smooth track, she could just feel the soft silky down that had but a few months before put forth and garnished the mount-pleasant of those parts, and promised to spread a grateful shelter over the sweet seat of the most exquisite sensation, and which had been, till that instant, the seat of the most insensible innocence. Her fingers played and strove to twine in the young tendrils of that moss, which nature has contrived at once for use and ornament.
But, not contented with these outer posts, she now attempts the main spot, and began to twitch, to insinuate, and at length to force an introduction of a finger into the quick itself, in such a manner, that had she not proceeded by insensible gradations that inflamed me beyond the power of modesty to oppose its resistance to their progress, I should have jumped out of bed and cried for help against such strange assaults.
Instead of which, her lascivious touches had lighted up a new fire that wantoned through all my veins, but fixed with violence in that center appointed them by nature, where the first strange hands were now busied in feeling, squeezing, compressing the lips, then opening them again, with a finger between, till an "Oh!" expressed her hurting me, where the narrowness of the unbroken passage refused it entrance to any depth.
In the meantime, the extension of my limbs, languid stretching, sighs, short heavings, all conspired to as-ure that experienced wanton that I was more pleased than offended at her proceedings, which she seasoned with repeated kisses and exclamations, such as "Oh! what a charming creature thou art! What a happy man will he be that first makes a woman of you! Oh! that I were a man for your sake!" with the like broken expressions, interrupted by kisses as fierce and salacious as ever I received from the other sex.
For my part, I was transported, confused, and out of myself; feelings so new were too much for me. My heated and alarmed senses were in a tumult that robbed me of all liberty of thought; tears of pleasure gushed from my eyes, and somewhat assuaged the fire that raged all over me.
Phoebe, herself, the hackneyed, thorough-bred Phoebe, to whom all modes and devices of pleasure were known and familiar, found, it seems, in this exercise her those arbitrary tastes, for which there is no accounting. Not that she hated men, or did not even prefer them to her own sex; but when she met with such occasions as this was, a satiety of enjoyments in the common road, perhaps, too a great secret bias, inclined her to make the most of pleasure, wherever she could find it, without distinction of sexes. In this view, now well assured that she had, by her touches, sufficiently inflamed me for her purpose, she rolled down the bed clothes gently, and I saw myself stretched naked, my shift being turned up to my neck, whilst I had no power or sense to oppose it. Even my growing blushes expressed more desire than modesty, whilst the candle, left (to be sure not undesignedly) burning, threw a full light on my whole body.
"No!" says Phoebe, "you must not, my sweet girl, think to hide all these treasures from me. My sight must be feasted as my touch. I must devour with my eyes this springing bosom. Suffer me to kiss it. I have not seen it enough. Let me kiss it once more. What firm, smooth, white flesh is here! How delicately shaped! Then this delicious down! Oh! let me view the small, dear, tender cleft! This is too much, I cannot bear it! I must! I must!" Here she took my hand, and in a transport carried it where you will easily guess. But what a difference in the state of the same thing! A spreading thicket of bushy curls marked the full grown, complete woman. Then the cavity to which she guided my hand easily received it; and as soon as she felt it within her, she moved herself to and fro, with so rapid a friction, that I presently withdrew it, wet and clammy, when instantly Phoebe grew more composed, after two or three sighs, and heart-fetched Oh's! and giving me a kiss that seemed to exhale her soul through her lips, she replaced the bed-clothes over us. What pleasure she had found I will not say; but this I know, that the first sparks of kindling nature, the first ideas of pollution, were caught by me that night; and that the acquaintance and communication with the bad of our sex, is often as fatal to innocence as all the seductions of the other. But to go on. When Phoebe was restored to that calm, which I was far from the enjoyment of myself, she artfully sounded me on all the points necessary to govern the designs of my virtuous mistress on me, and by my answers, drawn from pure undissembled nature, she had no reason but to promise herself all imaginable success, so far as it depended on my ignorance, easiness and warmth of constitution.
After a sufficient length of dialogue, my bedfellow left me to my rest, and I fell asleep, through pure weariness, from the violent emotions I had been led into, when nature which had been too warmly stirred and fermented to subside without allaying by some means or other relieved me by one of those luscious dreams, the transports of which are scarce inferior to those of waking real action.
In the morning I awoke about ten, perfectly gay and refreshed. Phoebe was up before me, and asked me in the kindest manner how I did, how I had rested, and if I was ready for breakfast? carefully, at the same time, avoiding to increase the confusion she saw I was in, at looking her in the face, by any hint of the night's bed scene. I told her if she pleased I would get up, and begin any work she would be pleased to set me about. She smiled; presently the maid brought in the tea equipage, and I just huddled my clothes on, when in waddled my mistress. I expected no less than to be told of, if not chid for, my late rising, when I was most agreeably disappointed by her compliments on my pure and fresh looks. I was "a bud of beauty" (this was her style), "and how vastly all the fine men would admire me!" to all which my answers did not, I can assure you, wrong my breeding; they were as simple and silly as they could wish, and, no doubt, flattered them infinitely more than had they proved me enlightened by education and a knowledge of the world.
We breakfasted, and the tea things were scarce removed, when in were brought two bundles of linen and wearing apparel: in short, all the necessaries for rigging me out, as they termed it, completely.
Imagine to yourself, Madam, how my little coquet heart fluttered with joy at the sight of a white lutestring, flowered with silver, scoured indeed, but passed on me for spick and span new, a Brussels lace cap, braited shoes, and the rest in proportion, all second-hand finery, and procured instantly for the occasion, by the diligence and industry of the good Mrs. Brown, who had already a chapman for me in the house, before whom my charms were to pass in review; for he had not only, in course, insisted on a previous sight of the premises, but also on immediate surrendering to him, in case of his agreeing for me; concluding very wisely, that such a place as I was in, was of the hottest to trust the keeping of such a perishable commodity in, as a maidenhead.
The care of dressing and tricking me out for the market, was then left to Phoebe, who acquitted herself, if not well, at least perfectly to the satisfaction of everything but my impatience of seeing myself dressed. When it was over, and I viewed myself in the glass, I was no doubt, too natural, too artless, to hide my childish joy at the change: a change, in the real truth, for much the worse, since I must have much better become the neat easy simplicity of my rustic dress than the awkward, untoward, tawdry finery that I could not conceal my strangeness to.
Phoebe's compliments, however, in which her own share in dressing me was not forgot, did not a little confirm me in the first notions I had ever entertained concerning my person; which, be it said without vanity, was then tolerable to justify a taste for me, and of which it may not be out of place here to sketch you an unflattered picture.
I was tall, yet not too tall for my age, which, as I before remarked, was barely turned of fifteen; my shape perfectly straight, thin waisted, and light and free without owing anything to stays; my hair was a glossy auburn, and as soft as silk, flowing down my neck in natural curls, and did not a little to set off the whiteness of a smooth skin; my face was rather too ruddy, though its features were delicate, and the shape was a roundish oval, except where a pit on my chin had far from a disagreeable effect; my eyes were as black as can be imagined, and rather languishing than sparkling, except on certain occasions, when I have been told they struck fire fast enough; my teeth, which I ever carefully preserved, were small, even and white; my bosom was finely raised, and one might then discern rather the promise than the actual growth of the round, firm breast, that in a little time made that promise good. In short, all the points of beauty that are most universally in request, I had, or at least my vanity forbid me to appeal from the decision of our sovereign judges the men, who all, that I ever knew at last, gave it thus highly in my favour; and I met with, even in my own sex, some that were above denying me that justice, whilst others praised me yet more unsuspectedly, by endeavouring to detract from me, in points of person and figure that I obviously excelled in. This is, I own, too strong of self praise; but I should be ungrateful to nature, and to a form to which I owe such singular blessings of pleasure and fortune, were I to suppress, through an affectation of modesty, the mention of such valuable gifts.
Well then, dressed I was, and little did it then enter into my head that all this gay attire was no more than decking the victim out for sacrifice, whilst I innocently attributed all to mere friendship and kindness in the sweet good Mrs. Brown; who, I was forgetting to mention, had, under pretence of keeping my money safe, got from me, without the least hesitation, the driblet (so I now call it) which remained to me after the expenses of my journey.
After some little time most agreebly spent before the glass, in scarce self-admiration, since my new dress had by much the greatest share in it, I was sent for down to the parlour, where the old lady saluted me, and wished me joy of my new clothes, which she was not ashamed to say, fitted me as if I had worn nothing but the finest all my life-time; but what was it she could not see me silly enough to swallow? At the same time, she presented me to another cousin of her own creation, an elderly gentleman, who got up, at my entry into the room, and on my dropping a curtsy to him, saluted me, and seemed a little affronted that I had only presented my cheek to him: a mistake, which, if one, he immediately corrected, by gluing his lips to mine, with an ardour which his figure had not at all disposed me to thank him for: his figure, I say, than which nothing could be more shocking or detestable: for ugly and disagreeable were terms too gentle to convey a just idea of it.
Imagine to yourself, a man rather past threescore, short and ill-made, with a yellow cadaverous hue, great goggle eyes, that stared as if he was strangled; an out-mouth from two more properly tusks than teeth, livid lips, and breath like a Jake's: then he had a peculiar ghastliness in his grin, that made him perfectly frightful, if not dangerous to women with child; yet, made as he was thus in mock of man, he was so blind to his own staring deformities, as to think himself born to please, and that no woman could see him with impunity: in consequence of which idea, he had lavished great sums on such wretches as could gain upon themselves to pretend love to his person, whilst to those who had not art or patience to dissemble the horror it inspired, he behaved even brutally. Impotence, more than necessity, made him seek in variety, the provocative that was wanting to raise him to the pitch of enjoyment, which he too often saw himself baulked of, by the failure of his powers: and this always threw him into a fit of rage, which he wreaked, as far as he durst, on the innocent objects of his fit of momentary desire.
This then was the master to which my conscientious benefactress, who had long been his purveyor in this way, had doomed me, and sent for me down purposely for his examination. Accordingly she made me stand up before him, turned me round, unpinned my handkerchief, remarked to him the rise and fall, the turn and whiteness of a bosom just beginning to fill; then made me walk, and took even a handle from the rusticity of my charms: in short, she omitted no point of jockeyship; to which he only answered by gracious nods of approbation, whilst he looked goats and monkeys at me: for I sometimes stole a corner glance at him, and encountering his fiery, eager stare, looked another way from pure horror and affright, which he, characteristically, attributed to nothing more than maiden modesty, or at least the affectation of it.
However, I was soon dismissed, and reconducted to my room by Phoebe, who stuck close to me, not leaving me alone, and at leisure to make such reflections as might naturally rise to any one, not an idiot, on such a scene as I had just gone through; but to my shame be it confessed, that just was my invincible stupidity, or rather portentous innocence, that I did not yet open my eyes to Mrs. Brown's designs, and saw nothing in this titular cousin of hers but a shockingly hideous person, which did not at all concern me, unless that my gratitude for my benefactress made me extend my respect to all her cousinhood.
Phoebe, however, began to sift the state and pulses of my heart toward this monster, asking me how I should approve of such a fine gentelman for a husband. (Fine gentleman, I suppose she called him, from his being daubed with lace.) I answered her very naturally, that I had no thoughts of a husband, but that if I was to choose one, it should be among my own degree, sure! so much had my aversion to that wretch's hideous figure indisposed me to all "fine gentlemen," and confounded my ideas, as if those of that rank had been necessarily cast in the same mould that he was. But Phoebe was not to be put off so, but went on with her endeavours to melt and soften me for the purposes of my reception into that hospitable house: and whilst she talked of the sex in general, she had no reason to despair of a compliance, which more than one reason showed her would be easily enough obtained of me; but then she had too much experience not to discover that my particular fixed aversion to that frightful cousin would be a block not so readily to be removed, as suited the consummation of their bargain, and sale of me.
Mother Brown had in the meantime agreed the terms with this loquorice old goat, which I afterwards understood were to be fifty guineas peremptory, for the liberty of attempting me, and a hundred more at the complete gratification of his desires, in the triumph over my virginity: and as for me, I was to be left entirely at the discretion of his liking and generosity. This unrighteous contract being thus settled, he was so eager to be put in possession, that he insisted on being introduced to drink tea with me that afternoon, when we were to be left alone; nor would he hearken to the procuress's remonstrances, that I was not sufficiently prepared, and ripened for such an attack; that I was too green and untamed, having been scarce twenty-four hours in the house: it is the character of lust to be impatient, and his vanity arming him against any supposition of other than the common resistance of a maid on those occasions, made him reject all proposals of a delay, and my dreadful trial was thus fixed, unknown to me, for that very evening.
At dinner, Mrs. Brown and Phoebe did nothing but run riot in praise of this wonderful cousin, and how happy that woman would be that he would favour with his addresses; in short my two gossips exhausted all their rhetoric to persuade me to accept them: "that the gentleman was violently smitten with me at first sight; that he would make my fortune if I would be a good girl and not stand in my own light; that I should trust his honour; that I should be made for ever, and have a chariot to go abroad in," with all such stuff as was fit to turn the head of such a silly ignorant girl as I then was: but luckily here my aversion had taken already such deep root in me, my heart was so strongly defended from him by my senses, that wanting the art to mask my sentiments, I gave them no hopes of their employer succeeding, at least very easily, with me. The glass too marched pretty quick, with a view, I suppose, to make a friend of the warmth of my constitution, in the minutes of the imminent attack.
Thus they kept me pretty long at table, and about six in the evening, after I had retired to my apartment, and the tea board was set, enters my venerable mistress, followed close by that satyr, who came in grinning in a way peculiar to him, and by his odious presence, confirmed me in all the sentiments of detestation which his first appearance had given birth to.
He sat down fronting me, and all tea time kept ogling me in a manner that gave me the utmost pain and confusion, all the mark of which he still explained to be my bashfulness, and not being used to see company.
Tea over, the commoding old lady pleady urgent business (which indeed was true) to go out, and earnestly desired me to entertain her cousin kindly till she came back, both for my own sake and her; and then, with a "Pray, sir, be very good, be very tender to the sweet child," she went out of the room, leaving me staring, with my mouth open, and unprepared by the suddenness of her departure, to oppose it.
We were now alone; and on that idea a sudden fit of trembling seized me. I was so afraid, without a precise notion of why, and what I had to fear, that I sat on the settee, by the fire side, motionless and petrified, without life or spirit, not knowing how to look or how to stir.
But long I was not suffered to remain in this state of stupefaction: the monster squatted down by me on the settee, and without farther ceremony or preamble, flings his arms about my neck, and drawing me pretty forcibly towards him, obliged me to receive, in spite of my struggles to disengage from him, his pestilential kisses, which quite overcame me. Finding me then next to senseless, and unresisting, he tears off my neck handkerchief, and laid all open there, to his eyes and hands: still I endured all without flinching, till emboldened by my sufferance and silence, for I had not the power to speak or cry out, he attempted to lay me down on the settee, and I felt his hand on the lower part of my naked thighs, which were crossed, and which he endeavoured to unlock. Oh then! I was roused out of my passive endurance, and springing from him with an activity he was not prepared for, threw myself at his feet, and begged him, in the most moving tone, not to be rude, and that he would not hurt me. "Hurt you, my dear?" says the brute, "I intend you no harm. Has not the old lady told you that I love you? that I shall do handsomely by you?"
"She has indeed, sir," said I, "but I cannot love you, indeed I cannot! pray let me alone! yes! I will love you dearly if you will let me alone and go away." But I was talking to the wind, for whether my tears, my attitude, or the disorder of my dress proved fresh incentives, or whether he was now under the dominion of desires he could not bridle, but snorting and foaming with lust and rage, he renews his attack, seizes me, and again attempts to extend and fix me on the settee: in which he succeeded so far as to lay me along, and even to toss my petticoats over my head, and lay my thighs bare, which I obstinately kept close, nor could he, though he attempted with his knee to force them open, effect it so as to stand fair for being master of the main avenue; he was unbuttoned, both waistcoat and breeches, yet I only felt the weight of his body upon me, whilst I lay struggling with indignation, and dying with terrors; but he stopped all of a sudden, and got off, panting, blowing, cursing, and repeating "old and ugly!" for so I had very naturally called him in the heat of my defence.
The brute had, it seems, as I afterwards understood, brought on, by his eagerness and struggle, the ultimate period of his hot fit of lust, which his power was too short-lived to carry him through the full execution of; of which my thighs and linen received the effusion.
When it was over he bid me, with a tone of displeasure, get up: "that he would not do me the honour to think of me any more; that the old b——h might look out for another cully; that he would not be fooled so by ever a country mock modesty in England; that he supposed I had left my maidenhead with some hobnail in the country, and was come to dispose of my skim-milk in town" with a volley of the like abuse; which I listened to with more pleasure than ever fond woman did to protestations of love from her darling minion: for, incapable as I was of receiving any addition to my perfect hatred and aversion to him, I looked on this railing, as my security against his renewing his most odious caress.
Yet, plain as Mrs. Brown's views were now come out, I had not the heart, or spirit to open my eyes to them: still I could not part with my dependence on that beldam, so much did I think myself hers, soul and body: or rather, I sought to deceive myself with the continuation of my good opinion of her, and choose to wait the worst at her hands, sooner than be turned out to starve in the streets, without a penny of money or a friend to apply to these fears were my folly.
While this confusion of ideas was passing in my head, and I sat pensively by the fire, with my eyes brimming with tears, my neck still bare, and my cap fallen off in the struggle, so that my hair was in the disorder you may guess, the villain's lust began, I suppose, to be again in flow, at the sight of all that bloom of youth which presented itself to his view, a bloom yet unenjoyed, and of course not yet indifferent to him.
After some pause, he asked me with a tone of voice mightily softer, whether I would make it up with him before the old lady returned, and all should be well; he would restore me to his affections, at the same time offering to kiss me and feel my breasts. But now my extreme aversion, my fears, my indignation, all acting upon me, gave me a spirit not natural to me, so that breaking loose from him, I ran to the bell and rang it, with such violence and effect as to bring up the maid to know what was the matter, or whether the gentleman wanted anything; and before he could proceed to greater extremities, she bounced into the room, and seeing me stretched on the floor, my hair all dishevelled, my nose gushing out blood, which did not a little tragedize the scene, and my odious persecutor still intent of pushing his brutal point, unmoved by all my cries and distress, she was herself confounded and did not know what to do.
As much, however, as Martha might be prepared and hardened to transactions of this sort, all womanhood must have been out of her heart could she have seen this unmoved. Besides that, on the face of things, she imagined that matters had gone greater lengths than they really had, and that the courtesy of the house had been actually consummated on me, and flung: me into the condition I was in: in this notion she instantly took my part, and advised the gentleman to go down and leave me to recover myself, and "that all would be soon over with me; that when Mrs. Brown and Phoebe, who were gone out, were returned, they would take order for everything to his satisfaction; that nothing would be lost by a little patience with the poor tender thing; that for her part she was frightened; she could not tell what to say to such doings; but that she would stay by me till my mistress came home." As the wench said all this in a resolute tone, and the monster himself began to perceive that things would not mend by his staying, he took his hat and went out of the room murmuring and pitting his brows like an old ape, so that I was delivered from the horrors of his detestable presence.
As soon as he was gone, Martha very tenderly offered me her assistance in anything, and would have got me some hartshorn drops and put me to bed; which last I, at first, positively refused, in the fear that the monster might return and take me at that disadvantage. However, with much persuasion and assurances that I should not be molested that night she prevailed on me to lie down; and indeed I was so weakened by my struggles, so dejected by my fearful apprehension, so terror-struck, that I had not power to sit up, or hardly to give answers to the questions with which the curious Martha plied and perplexed me.
Such too, and so cruel was my fate, that I dreaded the sight of Mrs. Brown, as if I had been the criminal, and she the person injured; a mistake which you will not think so strange, on distinguishing that neither virtue nor principles had the least share in the defence I had made, but only the particular aversion I had conceived against this first brutal and frightful invader of my tender innocence.
I passed then the time till Mrs. Brown came home, under all the agitations of fear and despair that may easily be guessed.
About eleven at night my two ladies came home, and having received rather a favourable account from Martha, who had run down to let them in, for Mr. Crofts (that was the name of my brute) was gone out of the house, after waiting till he had tired his patience for Mrs. Brown's return, they came thundering up stairs, and seeing me pale, my face bloody, and all the marks of the most thorough dejection, they employed themselves more to comfort and re-inspirit me than in making me the reproaches I was weak enough to fear, I who had so many juster and stronger to retort upon them.
Mrs. Brown withdrawn, Phoebe came presently to bed to me, and what with the answers she drew from me, what with her own method of palpably satisfying herself, she soon discovered that I had been more frightened than hurt; upon which I suppose, being herself seized with sleep, and reserving her lectures and instructions till the next morning, she left me, properly speaking, to my unrest; for, later tossing and turning the greatest part of the night, and tormenting myself with the falsest notions and apprehensions of things, I fell, through mere fatigue into a kind of delirious doze, out of which I waked late in the morning, in a violent fever: a circumstance which was extremely critical to reprieve me, at least for a time, from the attacks of a wretch, infinitely more terrible to me than death itself.
The interested care that was taken of me during my illness, in order to restore me to a condition of making good the bawd's engagements, or of enduring further trials, had, however, such an effect on my grateful disposition that I even thought myself obliged to my un-doers for their attention to promote my recovery; and, above all, for the keeping out of my sight of that brutal ravisher, the author of my disorder, on their finding I was too strongly moved at the bare mention of his name.
Youth is soon raised, and a few days were sufficient to conquer the fury of my fever: but, what contributed most to my perfect recovery and to my reconciliation with life, was the timely news that Mr. Crofts, who was a merchant of considerable dealings, was arrested at the King's suit, for nearly forty thousand pounds, on account of his driving a certain contraband trade, and that his affairs were so desperate, that even were it in his inclination, it would not be in his power to renew his designs upon me: for he was instantly thrown into a prison, which it was not likely he would get out of in haste.
Mrs. Brown, who had touched his fifty guineas, advanced to so little purpose, and lost all hopes of the remaining hundred, began to look upon my treatment of him with a more favourable eye; and as they had observed my temper to be perfectly tractable and conformable to their views, all the girls that composed her flock were suffered to visit me, and had their cue to dispose me, by their conversation, to a perfect resignation of myself to Mrs. Brown's direction.
Accordingly they were let in upon me, and all that frolic and thoughtless gaiety in which those giddy creatures consume either leisure, made me envy a condition of which I only saw the fair side; insomuch, that the being one of them became even my ambition: a disposition which they all carefully cultivated; and I wanted now nothing but to restore my health, that I might be able to undergo the ceremony of the initiation.
Conversation, example, in short all, contributed, in that house, to corrupt my native parity, which had taken no root in education; whilst now the inflammable principal of pleasure, so easily fired at my age, made strange work within me, and all the modesty I was brought up in the habit, not the instruction of, began to melt away like dew before the sun's heat; not to mention that I made a vice of necessity, from the constant fears I had of being turned out to starve.
I was soon pretty well recovered, and at certain hours allowed to range all over the house, but cautiously kept from seeing any company till the arrival of Lord B——, from Bath, to whom Mrs. Brown, in respect to his experienced generosity on such occasions, proposed to offer the perusal of that trinket of mine, which bears so great an imaginary value; and his lordship being expected in town in less than a fortnight, Mrs. Brown judged I would be entirely renewed in beauty and freshness by that time, and afforded her the chance of a better bargain than she had driven with Mr. Crofts.
In the meantime, I was so thoroughly, as they call it, brought over, so tame to their whistle, that, had my cage door been set open, I had no idea that I ought to fly anywhere, sooner than stay where I was; nor had I the least sense of regretting my condition, but waited very quietly for whatever Mrs. Brown should order concerning me; who on her side, by herself and her agents, took more than the necessary precautions to lull and lay asleep all just reflections on my destiny.
Preachments of morality over the left shoulder; a life of joy painted in the gayest colours; caresses, promises, indulgent treatment; nothing, in short, was wanting to domesticate me entirely and to prevent my going out anywhere to get better advice. Alas! I dreamed of no such thing.
Hitherto I had been indebted only to the girls of the house for the corruption of my innocence: their luscious talk, in which modesty was far from respected, their description of their engagements with men, had given me a tolerable insight into the nature and mysteries of their profession, at the same time that they highly provoked an itch of florid warm-spirited blood through every vein: but above all, my bed fellow Phoebe, whose pupil I more immediately was, exerted her talents in giving me the first tinctures of pleasure: whilst nature, now warmed and wantoned with discoveries so interesting, piqued a curiosity which Phoebe artfully whetted, and leading me from question to question of her own suggestion, explained to me all the mysteries of Venus. But I could not long remain in such a house as that, without being an eye-witness of more than I could conceive from her descriptions.
One day, about twelve at noon, being thoroughly recovered of my fever, I happened to be in Mrs. Brown's dark closet, where I had not been half an hour, resting upon the maid's bed, before I heard a rustling in the bed-chamber, separated from the closet only by two sash doors, before the glasses of which were drawn two yellow damask curtains, but not so close as to exclude the full view of the room from any person in the closet.
I instantly crept softly and posted myself so, that seeing everything minutely, I could not myself be seen; and who should come in but the venerable mother Abbess herself! handed in by a tall, brawny young Horse-grenadiers, moulded in the Hercules style: in fine, the choice of the most experienced dame, in those affairs, in all London.
Oh! how still and hush did I keep at my stand, lest any noise should baulk my curiosity, or bring Madam into the closet!
But I had not much reason to fear either, for she was entirely taken up with her present great concern, that she had no sense of attention to spare to anything else.
Droll was it to see that clumsy fat figure of her's flop down on the foot of the bed, opposite to the closet door so that I had a full front view of all her charms.
Her paramour sat down by her: he seemed to be a man of very few words, and a great stomach; for proceeding instantly to essentials, he gave her some hearty smacks, and thrusting his hands into her breasts, disengaged them from her stays, in scorn of whose confinement they broke loose, and sagged down, navel-low at least. A more enormous pair did my eyes never behold, nor of a worse colour, flagging, soft, and most lovingly contiguous: yet such as they were, this great beef-eater seemed to paw them with a most unenviable lust, seeking in vain to confine or cover one of them with a hand scarce less than a shoulder of mutton. After toying with them thus some time, as if they had been worth it, he laid her down pretty briskly, and canting up her petticoats, made barely a mask of them to her broad red face, that blushed with nothing but brandy.
As he stood on one side, unbuttoning his waistcoat and breeches, her fat brawny thighs hung down, and the whole greasy landscape lay fairly open to my view; a wide open mouthed gap, overshaded with a grizzly bush, seemed held out like a beggar's wallet for its provision.
But I soon had my eyes called off by a more striking object that entirely engrossed them.
Her sturdy stallion had now unbuttoned, and produced naked, stiff and erect, that wonderful machine, which I had never seen before, and which, for the interest my own seat of pleasure began to take furiously in it, I stared at with all the eyes I had: however, my senses were too much flurried, too much concentered in that now burning spot of mine, to observe anything more than in general the make and turn of that instrument; from which the instinct of nature, yet more than all I had heard of it, now strongly informed me, I was to expect that supreme pleasure which she had placed in the meeting of those parts so admirably fitted for each other.
Long, however, the young spark did not remain before giving it two or three shakes, by way of brandishing it, he threw himself upon her, and his back being now towards me, I could only take his being ingulphed for granted, by the directions he moved in, and the impossibility of missing so staring a mark; and now the bed shook, the curtains rattled so that I could scarce hear the sighs and murmurs, the heaves and pantings that accompanied the action, from the beginning to the end; the sound and sight of which thrilled to the very soul of me, and made every vein of my body circulate liquid fires: the emotion grew so viol-lent that it almost intercepted my respiration.
Prepared then, and disposed as I was by the discourse of my companions, and Phoebe's minute detail of everything, no wonder that such a sight gave the last dying blow to my native innocence.
Whilst they were in the heat of the action, guided by nature only, I stole my hand up my petticoats, and with fingers on fire, seized and yet more inflamed that center of all my senses: my heart palpitated, as if it would force its way through my bosom: I breathed with pain; I twisted my thighs, squeezed and compressed the lips of that virgin slit, and following mechanically the example of Phoebe's manual operation on it, as far as I could find admission, brought on at last the critical ecstasy, the melting flow, into which nature, spent with excess of pleasure, dissolves and dies away.
After which, my senses recovered coolness enough to observe the rest of the transaction between this happy pair.
The young fellow had just dismounted, when the old lady immediately sprung up, with all the vigour of youth, derived, no doubt, from her late refreshment; and making him sit down, began in her turn to kiss him, to pat and pinch his cheeks, and play with his hair: all which he received with an air of indifference and coolness that showed him to be much altered from what he was when he first went on to the breach.
My pious governess, however, not being above calling in auxiliaries, unlocks a little case of cordials that stood near the bed, and made him pledge her in a very plentiful dram: after which, and a little amorous parley, Madam set herself down upon the same place, at the bed's foot; and the young fellow standing sidewise by her, she, with the greatest effrontery imaginable, unbuttons his breeches, and removing his shirt, draws out his affair, so shrunk and diminished, that I could not but remember the difference, now crest-fallen, or just faintly lifting its head: but our experience matron very soon, by chaffing it with her hands, brought it to swell to that size and erection I had before seen it up to.
I admired then, upon a fresh account, and with a nicer survey, the texture of that capital part of man: the flaming red head as it stood uncapt, the whiteness of the shaft, and the shrub growth of curling hair that embrowned the foots of it, the roundish bag that dangled down from it, all exacted my eager attention, and renewed my flame. But, as the main affair was now at the point the industrious dame had laboured to bring it to, she was not in the humour to put off the payment of her pains, but laying herself down, drew him gently upon her, and thus they finished, in the same manner as before, the old last act.
This over, they both went out lovingly together, the old lady having first made him a present, as near as I could observe, of three or four pieces; he being not only her particular favourite on account of his performances, but a retainer to the house; from whose sight she had taken great care hitherto to secret me, lest he might not have had patience to wait for my lord's arrival, but have insisted on being his taster, which the old lady was under too much subjection to him to dare dispute with him; for every girl of the house fell to him in course, and the old lady only now and then got her turn, in consideration of the maintenance he had, and which he could scarce be accused of not earning from her.
As soon as I heard them go down-stairs, I stole up softly to my own room, out of which I had luckily not been missed; there I began to breathe more free, and to give a loose to those warm emotions which the sight of such an encounter had raised in me, I laid me down on the bed, stretched myself out, joining and ardently wishing, and requiring any means to divert or allay the rekindled rage and tumult of my desires, which all pointed strongly to their pole: man. I felt about the bed as if I sought for something that I grasped in my waking dream, and not finding it, could have cried for vexation; every part of me plowing with simulated fires. At length, I resorted to the only present remedy, that of vain attempts at digitation, where the small-ness of the theatre did not yet afford room enough for action, and where the pain my fingers gave me, in striving for admission, though they procured me a slight satisfaction for the present, started an apprehension which I could not be easy till I had communicated to Phoebe and received her explanations upon it.
The opportunity, however, did not offer till next morning, for Phoebe did not come to bed till long after I was gone to sleep. As soon then as we were both awake, it was but in course to bring our ly-a-bed chat to hand, on the subject of my uneasiness: to which a recital of the love scene I had thus, by chance, been spectatress of, served for a preface.
Phoebe could not hear it to the end without more than one interruption by peals of laughter, and my ingenuous way of relating matters did not a little heighten the joke to her.
But, on her sounding me how the sight had affected me, without mincing or hiding the pleasurable emotions it had inspired me with, I told her at the same time that one remark had perplexed me, and that very considerably. "Aye!" says she, "what was that?" "Why," replied I, "having very curiously and attentively compared the size of that enormous machine, which did not appear, at least to my fearful imagination, less than my wrist, and at least three of my hand-fuls long, to that of the tender small part of me which was framed to receive it, I could not conceive its being possible to afford it entrance without dying, perhaps in the greatest pain, since she well knew that even a finger thrust in there hurt me beyond bearing. As to my mistress's and yours, I can very plainly distinguish the different dimensions of them from mine, palpable to the touch, and visible to the eye; so that, in short, great as the promised pleasure may be, I am afraid of the pain of the experiment."
Phoebe at this redoubled her laugh, and whilst I expected a very serious solution of my doubts and apprehensions in this matter, only told me that "she never heard of a mortal wound being given in those parts, by that terrible weapon, and that some she knew younger, and as delicately made as myself, had outlived the operation; that she believed, at the worst, I should take a great deal of liking; that true it was, there was a great diversity of sizes in those parts, owing to nature, child-bearing, frequent over-stretching with unmerciful machines, but that at a certain age and habit of body, even the most experienced in those affairs could not well distinguish between the maid and the woman, supposing too an absence of all artifice, in their natural situation: but that since chance had thrown in my way one sight of that sort, she would procure me another, that should feast my eyes more delicately, and go a great way in the cure of my fears from that imaginary disproportion".
On this she asked me if I knew Polly Phillips? "Undoubterly," says I, "the fair girl which was so tender of me when I was sick, and has been, as you told me, but two months in the house." "The same," says Phoebe. "You must know then, she is kept by a young Genoes merchant, whom his uncle, who is immensely rich, and whose darling he is, on a pretex of settling some accounts, but in reality to humour his inclinations for travelling, and seeing the world. He met casually with this Polly once in company, and taking a likning to her, makes it worth her while to keep entirely to him. He comes to her here twice or thrice a week, and she receives him in the light closet up one pair of stairs, where he enjoys her in a taste, I suppose, peculiar to the heat, or perhaps the caprices of his own country, I say no more, but to-morrow being his day, you shall see what passes between them, from a place only known to your mistress and myself."
You may be sure, in the ply I was now taking, I had no objection to the proposal, and was rather a tip-toe for its accomplishments.
At five in the evening next day, Phoebe, punctual to her promise, came to me as I sat alone in my own room, and beckoned me to follow her.
We went down the back stairs very softly, and opening the door of a dark closet, where there was some old furniture kept, and some cases of liquor, she drew me in after her, and fastened the door upon us, we had no light but what came through a long crevice in the partition between ours and the light closet, where the scene of action lay; so that sitting on those low cases, we could, with the greatest ease, as well as clearness, see all objects (ourselves unseen), only by applying our eyes close to the crevice, where the moulding of a panel had warped, or started a little on the other side.
The young gentleman was the first person I saw, with his back directly towards me, looking at a print. Polly was not yet come: in less than a minute though, the door opened, and she came in; and at the noise the door made he turned about, and come to meet her, with an air of the greatest tenderness and satisfaction.
After saluting her, he led her to a coach that fronted us, where they both sat down, and the young Genoes helped her to a glass of wine, with some Naples biscuits on a salver.
Presently, when they had exchanged a few kisses, and questions in broken English on one side, he began to unbutton, and, in fine, stript unto his shirt.
As if this had been the signal agreed on for pulling off all their clothes, a scheme which the heat of the season perfectly favoured, Polly began to draw her pins, and as she had no stays to unlace, she was in a trice, with her gallant's officious assistance, undressed to all but her shift.
When he saw this, his breeches were immediately loosened, waist and knee bands, and slipped over his ankles, clean off; his shirt collar was unbottoned too: then, first giving Polly an encouraging kiss, he stole, as it were, the shift off the girl, who being, I suppose, broke and familiarized to this humour, blushed indeed, but less than I did at the apparition of her, now standing stark naked, just as she came ont of the hands of pure nature, with her black hair loose and a-float down her dazzling white neck and shoulders, whilst the deepened carnation of her cheeks went off gradually into the hue of glazed snow: for such were the blended tints polish of her skin.
This girl could not be above eighteen: her face regular and sweet featured, her shape exquisite; nor could I help envying her two ripe enchanting breasts, finely plumped out in flesh, but withal so round, so firm, that they sustained themselves, in scorn of any stay: then their nipples, pointing different ways, marked their pleasing separation; beneath them lay the delicious tract of the belly, which terminated in a parting of rift scarce discerning, that modesty seemed to retire downward, and seek shelter between two plump fleshy thighs: the curling hair that overspread its delightful front, clothed it with the richest sable fur in the universe: in short, she was evidently a subject for the painters to court her, sitting to them for a pattern female beauty, in all the true pride and pomp of nakedness.
The young Italian (still in his shirt) stood gazing and transported at the sight of beauties that might have fired a dying hermit; his eager eyes devoured her, as she shifted attitudes at his discretion: neither were his hands excluded their share of the high feast, but wandered, on the hunt of pleasure, over every part and inch of her body, so qualified to afford the most exquisite sense of it.
In the mean time time, one could not help observing the swell of his shirt before, that bolstered out, and pointed out the condition of things behind the curtain: but he soon removed it, by slipping his shirt over his head; and now, as to nakedness, they had nothing to reproach one another.
The young gentleman, by Phoebe's guess, was about two and twenty; tall and well limbed. His body was finely formed, and of a most vigorous make, square shouldered, and broad chested: his face was not remarkable any way, but for a nose inclining to the Roman, eyes large, black, and sparkling, and a ruddiness in his cheeks that was the more a grace; for his complexion was of the brownest, not of that dusky dun colour which excludes, the idea of freshness, but of that clear, olive gloss, which glowing with life, dazzles perhaps less than fairness, and yet pleases more, when it pleases at all. His hair being too short to tie fell no lower than his neck, in short easy curls; and he had a few sprigs about his paps, that garnished his chest in a style of strength and manliness. Then his grand movement, which seemed to rise out of a thicket of curling hair, that spread from the root all over his thighs and belly up to the navel, stood stiff and upright, but of a size to frighten me, by sympathy for the small tender part which was the object of its fury, and which now lay exposed to my fairest view; for he had, immediately on stoppings off his shirt, gently pushed her down on the couch, which stood conveniently to break her willing fall. Her thighs were spread out to their utmost extention, and discovered between them the mark of the sex, the red-centered cleft of flesh, whose lips vermillioning inwards, expressed a small ruby line in sweet miniature, such as Guide's touch or colouring: could never attain to the life or delicacy of.
Phoebe, at this, gave me a gentle jog, to prepare me for a whisper question: "Whether I thought my little maiden-head was much less?" But my attention was too much engrossed, too much inwrapped with all I saw, to be able to give her any answer.
By this time the young gentelman had changed her posture from lying breadth to length-wise on the coach: but her thighs were still spread, and the mark lay fair for him, who now kneeling between them, displayed to us a side view of that fierce erect machine of his, which threatened no less than splitting the tender victim, who lay smiling at the uplifted stroke, nor seemed to decline it. He looked upon his weapon himself with some pleasure, and guiding it with his hand to the inviting; slit, drew aside the lips, and lodged it (after some thrusts, which Polly seemed even to assist) about half way; but there it stuck, I suppose from its growing thickness: he draws it again, and just wetting it with spittle, re-enters, and with ease sheathed it now up to the hilt, at which Polly gave a deep sigh, which was quite another tone than one of pain; he thrusts, she heaves, at first gently, and in a regular cadence; but presently the transport began to be too violent to observe any order or measure; their motions were too rapid, their kisses too fierce' and fervent for nature to support such fury long: both seemed to me out of themselves: their eyes darted fires: "Oh! oh! I can't bear it. It is too much. I die. I am going," were Polly's expressions of extasy: his joys were more silent: but soon broken murmurs, sighs heart-fetched, and at length a dispatching thrust, as if he would have forced himself up her body, and then the motionless languor of all his limbs, all shewed that the die-away moment was come upon him; which she gave signs of joining with by, the wild throwing of her hands about, closing her eyes, and giving a deep sob, in which she seemed to expire in an agony of bliss.
When he had finished his stroke, and got from off her, she lay still without the least motion, breathless, as it should seem, with pleasure. He replaced her again breadth-wise on the couch, unable to sit up, with her thighs open, between which I could observe a kind of white liquid, like froth, hanging about the outward lips of that recently opened wound, which now glowed with a deeper red. Presently she gets up, and throwing her arms round him, seemed far undelighted with the trial he had put her to, to judge, at least by the fondness with which she eyed, and hung upon him.
For my part, I will not pretend to describe what I felt over me during this scene; but from that instant, adieu all fears of what man can do unto me! they were now changed into such ardent desires, such ungovernable longings, that I could have by the sleeve, and offered him the bauble, which I now imagined the loss of would be a gain I could not too soon procure myself.
Phoebe, who had more experience, and to whom such sights were not so new, could not however, be unmoved at so warm a scene; and drawing me away softly from the peeping hole, for fear of being overheard, guided me as the door as possible, all passive and obedient to her least signals.
Here was no room either to sit or lie, but making me stand with my back towards the door, she lifted up my petticoats, and with her busy fingers fell to visit and explore that part of me, where I was perfectly sick and ready to die with desire; that the bare touch of her finger, in that critical place, had the effect of a fire to a train, and her hand instantly made her sensible to what a pitch I was wound up, and melted by the sight she had thus procured me. Satisfied then with her success, in allaying a heat that would have made me impatient of seeing the continuation of the transactions between our amourous couple, she brought me again to the crevice, so favourable to our curiosity.
We had certainly been but a few instants away from it, and yet on our return we saw everything in good forwardness for recommencing the tender hostilities.
The young foreigner was sitting down, fronting us, on the coach, with Polly upon one knee, who had her arms round his neck, whilst the extreme whiteness of her skin was not undelightfully contrasted by the smooth glossy brown of her lover's.
But who could count the fierce, unnumbered kisses given and taken? In which I could often discover their mouths were double tongued, and seemed to favour the mutual insertion with the greatest gust and delight.
In the meantime, his red-headed champion, that had so lately fled the pit, quelled and abashed, was now recovered to the top of his condition, perked and crested up between Polly's thighs, who was not wanting, on her part, to coax and keep it in good humour, stroking it, with her head down, and receiving even its velvet tip between the lips of not its proper mouth: whether it was to render it more glib and easy of entrance, I could not tell; but it had such an effect, that the young gentleman seemed by his eyes, that sparkled with more excited lustre, and his inflamed countenance, to receive increase of pleasure. He got up, and taking Polly in his arms, embraced her, and said something too softly for me to hear, leading her withal to the foot of the couch, and taking delight to slap her thighs and posteriors with that stiff sinew of his, which hit them with a spring that he gave it with his hand, and made them resound again, but her about as much as he meant to hurt her, for she seemed to have as frolic a taste as himself.
But guess my surprise, when I saw the lazy young rogue lie down on his back, and gently pull down Polly upon him, who giving way to his humour, stradled, and with her hands conducted her blind favourite to the right place; and following her impulse, ran directly upon the flaming point of this weapon of pleasure, which she staked herself upon, up pierced, and infixed to the extremest hair breadth of it: thus she sat on him a few instants, enjoying and relishing her situation, whilst he toyed with her provoking breasts. Sometimes she would stoop to meet his kiss: but presently the sting of pleasure spurred them up to fiercer action; then began the storm of heaves, which, from the undermost combatant, were thrust at the same time, he crossing his hands over her, and drawing her home to him with a sweet violence: the inverted strokes of anvil over hammer soon brought on the critical period, in which all the signs of a close conspiring extasy informed us of the point they were at.
For me, I could bear to see no more; I was so overcome, so inflamed at the second part of the same play, that, mad to an intolerable degree, I hugged, I clasped Phoebe, as if she had wherewithal to relieve me. Pleased however with, and pitying the taking she could feel me in, she drew towards the door, and opening it softly as she could, we both got off undiscovered, and reconducted me to my own room, where, unable to keep my legs, in the agitation I was in, I instantly threw myself down on the bed, where I lay transported, though ashamed at what I felt.
Phoebe lay down by me, and asked me archly, "if, now that I had seen the enemy, and fully considered him, I was still afraid of him? or did I think I could come to a close engagement with him?" To all which, not a word on my side; I sighed, and could scarcely breathe. She takes hold of my hand, and having rolled up her own petticoats, forced it half strivingly, towards those parts, where, now grown more knowing, I missed the main object of my wishes; and finding not even the shadow of what I wanted, where every thing was so fiat, or so hollow, in the vexation I was in at it. I should have withdrawn my hand, but for fear of disobliging her. Abandoning it then entirely to her management, she made use of it as she thought proper, to procure herself rather the shadow than the substance of any pleasure. For my part, I now pined for more solid food, and promised tacitly to myself that I would not be put off much longer with this foolery of woman to woman, of Mrs. Brown did not soon provide me with the essential specific. In short, I had all the air of not being able to wait the arrival of my lord B——, though he was now expected in a very fews days: nor did I wait for him, for love itself took charge of the disposal of me, in spite of interest, or gross lust.
It was now two days after the closet scene, that I got up about six in the morning, and leaving my bedfellow fast asleep, stole down, with no other thought than of taking a little fresh air in a small garden, which our back parlour opened into, and from which my confinement debarred me, at the times company came to my house; but now sleep and silence reigned all over it.
I opened the parlour door, and well surprised was I at seeing, by the side of a fire half-out, a young gentleman in the old lady's elbow chair, with his legs laid upon another, fast asleep, and left there by his thoughtless companions, who had drank him down, and then went off with every one but his mistress, whilst he stayed behind by the courtesy of the old matron, who would not disturb or turn him out in that condition at one in the morning; and beds, it is more than probable there were none to spare. On the table still remained the punch bowl and glasses, stewed about in their usual disorder after a drunken revel.
But when I drew nearer, to view the sleeping estray, heavens! what a sight! No! term of years, no turn of fortune could ever eraze the lightninglike impression his form made on me. Yes! dearest object of my earliest passion, I command for ever the remembrance of thy first appearance to my ravished eyes, it calls thee up, present; and I see thee now.
Figure to yourself, Madam, fair stripling between eighteen and nineteen, with his head reclined on one of the sides of the chair, his hair disordered curls, irregularly shading a face, on which all the roseate bloom of youth and all the manly graces conspired to fix my eye sand heart; even the languour and paleness of his face, in which the momentary triumph of the lily over the rose was owing to the excesses of the night, gave an inexpressible sweetness to the finest features imaginable: his eyes, closed in sleep, displayed the meeting edges of their lids beautifully bordered with long eye-lashes; over which no pencil could have described two more regular arches than those that graced his forehead, which was high, perfectly white and smooth; then a pair of vermilion lips, pouting and swelling to the touch, as if a bee had freshly stung them, seemed to challenge me to get the gloves off this lovely sleeper, had not the modesty and respect, which in both sexes are inseparable from a true passion, checked my impulses.
But on seeing his shirt collar unbottoned, and bosom whiter than a drift of snow, the pleasure of considering it could not bribe me to lengthen it, at the hazard of a health that began to be my life's concern. Love, that made me timid, taught me to be tender too: with a trembling hand I took hold of one of his, and waking him as gently as possible, he started, and looking, at first a little wildly, said with a voice that sent its harmonious sound to my heart: "Pray, child, what-a-clock is it?" I told him, and added that he might catch cold if he slept longer with his breast open in the cool of the morning air. On this he thanked me with a sweetness perfectly agreeing with that of his features and eyes; the last now broad open, and eagerly surveying me, carried the surightly fires they sparkled with directly to my heart.
It seems, that having drank too freely before he came upon the rake with some of his young companions, he had put himself out of a condition to go through all the weapons with them, and crown the night with a getting a mistress; so that seeing me in a loose undress, he did not doubt but I was one of the misses of the house, sent in to repair his loss of time; but though he seized that notion, and a very obvious one it was, without hesitation, yet, whether my figure made a more than ordinary impression on him, or whether it was his natural politeness, he addressed me in a manner far from rude, though still on the foot of one of the house pliers come to amuse him; and giving me the first kiss that I ever relished from man in my life, asked me if I could favour him with my company, assuring me that he would make it worth my while: but had not even new-born love, that true refiner of lust, opposed so sudden a surrender, the fear of being surprised by the house was a sufficient bar to my compliance.
I told him then, in a tone set by love itself, that for reasons I had not time to explain to him. I could not stay with him, and might even ever see him again, with a sigh at these words, which broke from the bottom of my heart. My conqueror, who, as he afterwards told me, had been struck with my appearance, and liked me as much as he could think of liking any one in my supposed way of life, asked me briskly at once, if I would be kept by him, and that he would take a lodging for me directly, and relieve me from any engagements he presumed I might be under to the house.
Rash, sudden, undigested, even dangerous as this offer might be from a perfect stranger, and that stranger a giddy boy, the prodigious love I was struck with for him, had put a charm into every objection: I not resisting, and blinded me to every objection; I could, at that instant, have died for him: think if I could resist an invitation to live with him! Thus my heart, beating strong to the proposal, dictated my answer, after scarce a minute's pause, that I would accept of his offer, and make my escape to him in what way he pleased, and that I would be entirely at his disposal, let it be good or bad. I have often since wondered that so great an easiness did not disgust him, or make me too cheap in his eyes, but my fate had so appointed it, that in his fears of the hazzard of the town, he had been some time looking out for a girl to take into keeping, and my person happening to hit his fancy, it was by one of those miracles reserved to love, that we struck the bargain in the instant, which we sealed by an exchange of kisses, that the hopes of a more uninterrupted enjoyment engaged him to content himself with.
Never, however, did dear youth carry in his head more wherewith to justify the turning of a girl's head, and making her set all consequences at defiance, for the sake of following a gallant.
For, besides all the perfections of manly beauty which were assembled in his form, he had an air of neatness and gentility, certain smartness in the carriage and port of his head, that yet more distinguished him; his eyes were sprightly and full of meaning; his looks had in them something at once sweet and commanding; his complexion out-bloomed the lovely coloured rose, whilst its inimitable tender vivid glow clearly saved it from the reproach of wanting life, of raw and dough-like, which is commonly made of those so extremely fair as he was.
Our little plan was, that I should get out about seven the next morning (which I could readily promise, as I knew where to get the key of the street door) and he would wait at the end of the street with a coach to convey me safe off; after which, we would send, and clear any debt incurred by my stay at Mrs. Brown's, who, he only judged, in gross, might not care to part with one, he thought, so fit to draw custom to the house.
I then just hinted to him not to mention in the house his having seen such a person as me, for reasons I would explain to him more at leisure. And then, for fear of miscarrying, by being seen together, I tore myself from him with a bleeding heart, and stole up softly to my room, where I found Phoebe still fast asleep, and hurrying off my few clothes, lay down by her, with a mixture of joy and anxiety, that may be easier conceived than expressed.
The risks of Mrs. Brown's discovering my purpose, of disappointments, misery, ruin, all vanished before this new-kindled flame. The seeing, the touching, the being, if but for a night, with this idol of my fond virgin heart, appeared to me a happiness above the purchase of my liberty or life. He might use me ill, let him: he was the master, happy, too happy, even to receive death at so dear a hand.
To this purpose were the reflections of the whole day, of which every minute seemed to me a little eternity. How often did I visit the clock! nay, was tempted to advance the tedious hand, as if that would have advanced the time with it! Had those of the house had the least observations on me, they must have remarked something extraordinary from the discomposure I could not help betraying; especially when at dinner mention was made of the charmingest youth having been there, and stayed breakfast. "Oh! he was such a beauty!... I should have died for him!... they would pull caps for him!..." and the like fooleries; which, however, was throwing oil on a fire I was sorely put to it to smother the blaze of.
The fluctuations of my mind, the whole day, produced one good effect: which was, that, through mere fatigue, I slept tolerably well till five in the morning, when I got up, and having dressed myself, waited, under the double tortures of fear and impatience, for the appointed hour. It came at last, the dear, critical, dangerous hour came; and now, supported only by the courage love lent me, I ventured, a tip-toe, down stairs, leaving my box behind, for fear of being surprized with it in going out.
I got to the street door, the key whereof was always laid on the chair by our bed side, in trust with Phoebe, who having not the least suspicion of my entertaining any design to go from them (nor, indeed, had I, but the day before), made no reserve or concealment of it from me. I opened the door with great ease; love, that emboldened, protected me too: and now, got safe into the street, I saw my new guardian angel waiting at a coach door, ready open. How I got to him I know not: I suppose I flew; but I was in the coach in a trice, and he by the side of me, with his arms clasped round me, and giving me the kiss of welcome. The coachman had his orders, and drove to them.
My eyes were instantly filled with tears, but tears of the most delicious delight; to find myself in the arms of that beauteous youth, was a rapture that my little hear swam in; past or future were equally out of the question with me; the present was as much as all my powers of life were sufficient to bear the transport of, without fainting. Nor were the most tender embraces, the most soothing expressions wanting on his side, to assure me of his love, and of never giving me cause to repent the bold step I had taken, in throwing myself thus entirely upon his honour and generosity. But, alas! this was no merit in me, for I was drove to it by a passion too impetuous for me to resist, and, I did what I did, because I could not help it.
In an instant, for time was now annihilated with me, we were landed at a public house in Chelsea, hospitably commodious for the reception of duet parties of pleasure, where a breakfast of chocolate was prepared for us.
An old jolly stager, who kept it, and understood life perfectly well, breakfasted with us, and leering archly at me, gave us both joy, and said, "we were well paired, i' faith! that a great many gentlemen and ladies used his house, but he had never seen a handsomer couple... he was sure I was a fresh piece... I looked so country, so innocent! well my spouse was a lucky man!..." all which, common landlord's cant, not only pleased and soothed me, but helped to diver my confusion at being with my new sovereign, whom, the minute approached, I began to fear to be alone with: a timidity which true love had a greater share in than even maiden bashful-ness.
I wished, I doated, I could have died for him; and yet, I know not how, or why I dreaded the point which had been the object of my fiercest wishes; my pulses beat fears, amidst a flush of the warmest desires. This struggle of the passions, however, this conflict betwixt modesty and lovesick longings, made me burst again into tears; which he took, as he had done before, only for the remains of concern and emotion at the suddenness of my change of condition, in committing myself to his care; and, in consequence of that idea, did and said all that he thought would most comfort and re-inspirit me.
After breakfast, Charles (the dear familiar name I must take the liberty henceforward to distinguish my Adonis by), with a smile full of meaning, took me gently by the hand, and said: "Come, my dear, I will show you a room that commands a fine prospect over some gardens"; and without waiting for an answer, in which he relieved me extremely, he led me up into a chamber, airy and lightsome, where all seeing of prospects was out of the question, except that of a bed, which had all the air of recommending the room to him.
Charles had just slipped the bolt of the door, and running, caught me in his arms, and lifting me from the ground, with his lips glued to mine, bore me trembling, panting, dying with soft fears and tender wishes, to the bed; where his impatience would not suffer him to undress me, more than just unpinning my handkerchief and gowns, and unlacing my stays.
My bosom was now bare, and rising in the warmest throbs, presented to his sight and feeling the firm hard swell of a pair of young breast, such as may be imagined of a girl not sixteen, fresh out of the country, and never before handled: but even their pride, whiteness, fashion, pleasing resistance to the touch, could not bribe his restless hands from roving; but, giving them the loose, my petticoats and shift were soon taken up, and their stronger center of attraction laid open to their tender invasion. My fears, however, made me mechanically close my thighs; but the very touch of his hand insinuated between them, disclosed them and opened a way for the main attack.
In the mean time, I lay fairly exposed to the examination of his eyes and hands, quiet and unresisting; which confirmed him the opinion he proceeded so cavalierly upon, that I was no novice in these matters, since he had taken me out of a common bawdy house, nor had I said one thing to prepossess him of my virginity; and if I had, he would sooner have believed that I took him for a cully that would swallow such an improbability, than that I was still mistress of that darling treasure, that hidden mine, so eagerly sought after by the men, and which they never dig for, but to destroy.
Being now too high wound up to bear a delay, he unbuttoned, and drawing out the engine of love assaults, drove it currently, as at a ready made breach... Then! then! for the first time, did I feel that stiff horn-hard gristle, battering against the tender part; but imagine to yourself his surprise, when he found, after several vigorous pushes, which hurt me extremely, that he made not the least impression.
I complained, but tenderly complained: "I could not bear it... indeed he hurt me!..." Still he thought no more, than that being so young, the largeness of his machine (for few men could dispute size with him) made all the difficulty; and that possibly I had not been enjoyed by any so advantageously made in that part as himself: for still, that my virgin flower was yet un-cropped, never entered into his head, and he would have thought it idling with time and words, to have questioned me upon it.
He tried again, still no admittance, still no penetration; but he had hurt me yet more, while my extreme love made me bear extreme pain, almost without a groan. At length, after repeated fruitless trials, he lay down panting by me, kissed my falling tears, and asked me tenderly "what was the meaning of so much complaining? and if I had not borne it better from other than I did from him?" I answered, with a simplicity framed to persuade, that he was the first mam that ever served me so. Truth is powerful, and it is not always that we do not believe what we eagerly wish.
Charles, already disposed by the evidence, of his senses to think my pretences to virginity not entirely apocryphal, smothers me with kisses, begs me, in the-name of love, to have a little patience, and that he wilt be as tender of hurting me as he would be of himself..
Alas! it was enough I knew his pleasure to submit joyfully to him, whatever pain I foresaw it would cost, me.
He now resumes his attempts in more form: first, he put one of the pillows under me, to give the blank of his aim a more favourable elevation, and another Under my head, in ease of it; then spreading my thighs, and placing himself standing betwen them, made them rest upon his; applying then the point of his machine to the slit, into which he sought entrance, it was so small, he could scarce assure himself of its being rightly pointed. He looks, he feels, and satisfies himself: there driving on with fury, its prodigious stiffness, thus impacted, wedgelike, breaks the union of those parts, and gained him just the insertion of the tip of it, lip deep; which being sensible of, he improved his advantage, and following well his stroke, in a straight line, forcibly deepens his penetration; but put me to such intolerable pain, from the separation of the sides of that soft passage by a hard thick body, I could have screamed out; but, as I was unwilling to alarm the house, I held in my breath, and crammed my petticoat, which was; turned up over my face, into my mouth, and bit it through in the agony. At length, the tender texture of that tract giving way to such fierce tearing and rending, he pierced something further into me: and now, outrageous and no longer his own master, but borne headlong away by the fury and over-mettle of that member, now exerting itself with a kind of native rage, he breaks in, carries all before him, and one violent merciless lunge, sent it, imbrued, and reeking with virgin blood, up to the very hilt in me... Then! then all my resolution deserted me: I screamed out, and fainted away with the sharpness of the pain; and, as he told me afterwards, on his drawing out, when emission was over with him, my thighs were instantly all in a stream of blood, that flowed from the wounded torn passage.
When I recovered my senses, I found myself undressed and a-bed, in the arms of the sweet relenting murderer of my virginity, who hung mourning tenderly over me, and holding in his hand a cordial, which, coming from the still dear author of so much pain, I could not refuse; my eyes, however, moistened with tears, and languishingly turned upon him, seemed to reproach him with his cruelty, and ask him, if such were the rewards of love. But Charles, to whom I was now infinitely endeared by his complete triumph over a maidenhead, where he so little expected to find one, in tenderness to that pain which he had put me to, in procuring himself the height of pleasure, smothered his exultation, and employed himself with so much sweetness, so much warmth, to sooth, to caress, and comfort me in my soft complainings, which breathed, indeed, more love than resentment, that I presently drowned all sense of pain in the pleasure of seeing him, of thinking that I belonged to him: he who was now the absolute disposer of my happiness, and, in one word, my fate.
The sore was, however, too tender, the wound too bleeding fresh, for Charles's good-nature to put my patience presently to another trial; but as I could not stir, or walk a-cross the room, he ordered the dinner to be brought to the bed side, where it could not be otherwise than my getting down the wing of a fowl, and two or three glasses of wine, since it was my adored youth who both served, and urged them on me, with that sweet irresistible authority with which love had invested him over me.
After dinner, and everything but the wine was taken away, Charles very impudently asks a leave, he might read the grant of in my eyes, to come to bed to me, and accordingly falls to undressing; which I could not see the progress of without strange emotions of fear and pleasure.
He is now in bed with me the first time, and in broad day; but when thrusting up his own shirt and my shift, he laid his naked glowing body to mine... oh insupportable delight! oh! superhuman rapture! what pain could stand before a pleasure so transporting? I felt no more the smart of my wounds below; but, curling round him like the tendril of a vine, as if I feared any part of him should be untouched or unpressed by me, I returned his strenuous embraces and kisses with a fervour and gust only known to true love, and which mere lust never rise to.
Yes, even at this time, that all the tyranny of the passions is fully over, and that my veins roll no longer but a cold tranquil stream, the remembrance of those passages that most affected me in my youth, still cheers and refreshes me; let me proceed then. My beauteous youth was now glued to me in all the folds and twists that we could make our bodies meet in; when, no longer able to rein in the fierceness of refreshed desires, he gives his steed the head, and gently insinuating his thighs between mine, stopping my mouth with kisses of humid fire, makes a fresh eruption, and renewing his thrusts, pierces, tears, and forces his way up the torn tender folds, that yielded him admission with a smart little less severe that when the breach was first made I stifled, however, my cries, and bore him with the passive fortitude of an heroine; soon his thrusts, more and more furious, cheeks flushed with a deeper scarlet, his eyes turned up in the fervent fit, some dying sighs, and an agonizing shudder, announced the approaches of that extatic pleasure, I was yet in too much pain to come in for my share of.
Nor was it till after a few enjoyments had numbed and blunted the sense of the smart, and given me to feel the titillating inspersion of balsamic sweets, drew from me the delicious return, and brought down all my passion, that I arrived at excess of pleasure through excess of pain. But, when successive engagements had broke and inured me, I began to enter into the true unalloyed relish of that pleasure of pleasures, when the warm gush darts through all the ravished inwards; what floods of bliss! what melting transports! what agonies of delight! too fierce, too mighty for nature to sustain?... well has she therefore, no doubt provided the relief of a delicious momentary dissolution, the approaches of which are intimated by a dear delirium, a sweet thrill, on the point of emitting those liquid sweets, in which enjoyment itself is drowned, when one gives the languishing stretch out, and die at the discharge.
How often, when the rage and tumult of my senses had subsided, after the melting flow, have I, in a tender meditation, asked myself cooly the question, if it was in nature for any of its creatures to be so happy as I was? Or, what were all fears of the consequence, put in the scale of one night's enjoyment, of any thing so transcendently the taste of my eyes and heart, as that delicious, fond, matchless youth.
Thus we spent the whole afternoon, till supper time in a continued circle of love delights, kissing, turtle-billing, toying, and all the rest of the feast. At length, supper was served in, before which Charles had, for I do not know what reason, slipped his clothes on; and sitting down by the bed side, we made table and tablecloth of the bed and sheets, whilst he suffered nobody to attend or serve but himself. He ate with a very good appetite, and seemed charmed to see me eat. For my part, I was so transported with the comparison of the delights I now swam in, with the insipidity of all my past scenes of life, that I thought them sufficiently cheap, at even the price of my ruin, or the risk of their not lasting. The present possession was all my little head could find room for.
We lay together that night, when, after playing repeated prizes of pleasure, nature, overspent and satisfied, gave us up to the arms of sleep: those of my dear youth encircled me, the consciousness of which made even that sleep more delicious.
Late in the morning I waked, first; and observing my lover slept profoundly, softly disengaged myself from his arms, scarcely daring to breathe, for fear of shortening his repose; my cap, my hair, my shift, were all in disorder, from the rufflings I had undergone; and I took this opportunity to adjust and set them as well as I could: whilst, every now and then, looking at the sleeping youth, with inconceivable fondness and delight, and reflecting on all the pain he had put me to, tacitly owned that the pleasure had overpaid me for my sufferings.
It was then broad day. I was sitting up in the bed, the clothes of which were all tossed, or rolled off, by the unquietness of our motions, from the sultry heat of the weather; nor could I refuse myself a pleasure that solicited me so irresistibly, as this fair occasion of feasting my sight with all those treasures of youthful beauty I had enjoyed, and which lay now almost entirely naked, his shirt being trussed up in a perfect wisp, which the warmth of the season and room made me easy about the consequence of. I hung over him enamoured indeed! and devoured all his naked charms with only two eyes, when I could have wished them at least an hundred for the fuller enjoyment of the gaze.
Oh! could I paint his figure as I see it now, still present to my transported imagination! a whole length of an all perfect manly beauty in full view. Think of a face without a fault, glowing with all the opening bloom and verdant freshness of an age, in which beauty is of either sex, and which the first down over his upper lip scarce began to distinguish.
The parting of the double ruby pout of his lips seemed to exhale an air sweeter and purer than what it drew in: ah! what violence did it not cost me to refrain the so tempted kiss!
Then a neck exquisitely turned, graved behind and on the sides with fais hair, playing freely in natural ringlets, connected his head to a body of the most perfect form, and of the most vigorous contexture, in which all the strength of manhood was concealed, and softened to appearance by the delicacy of his complexion, the smoothness of his skin, and the plumpness of his flesh.
The platform of his snow white bosom, that was laid out in a manly proportion, presented, on the vermilion summit of each pap, the idea of a rose about to blow.
Nor did his shirt hinder me from observing the symmetry of his limbs, that exactness of shape, in the fall of it towards the loins, where the waist ends and the rounding swell of the hips commences; where the skin, sleek, smooth, and dazzling white, burnishes on; the stretch-over firm, plump, ripe flesh, that crimped' and ran into dimples at the least pressure, or that the touch could not rest upon, but slid over on the surface of the most polished ivory.
His thighs, finely fashioned, and with a florid glossy roundness, gradually tapering away to the knees, seemed pillars worthy to support that beauteous frame at the bottom of which I could not, without some remains of terror, some tender emotions too, fix my eyes on that terrible machine, which had, not long before, with such fury broke into, torn, and almost ruined those soft, tender parts of mine, that had not yet done smarting with the effects of its rage; but behold it now! crest fallen, reclining its half-caped vermilion head over one of his thighs, quiet, pliant, and to all appearances incapable of the mischiefs and cruelty it had committed. Then the beautiful growth of the hair, in short and soft curls round its roots, its whiteness, branched veins, the supple softness of the shaft, as it lay foreshortened, rolled and shrunk up into a squat thickness, languid, and borne up from between his thighs, by its globular appendage, that wondrous treasure bag of nature's sweets, which revelled round, and pursed up in the only wrinkles that are known to please, perfected the prospect, and altogether formed the most interesting moving picture in nature, and surely infinitely superior to those nudities furnished by the painters, statuaries, or any art, which are purchased at immense prices; whilst the sight of them in actual life is scarce sovereignly tasted by any but the few whom nature has endowed with a fire of imagination, warmly pointed by a truth of judgment to the spring-head, the originals of beauty, of nature's unequalled composition, above all the imitations of art, or the reach of wealth to pay their price.
But every thing must have an end. A motion made by this angelic youth, in the listlessness of goingoff sleep, replaced his shirt and the bed clothes in a posture that shut up that treasury from longer view.
I lay down then, and carrying my hands to that part of me in which the objects just seen had begun to raise a mutiny, that prevailed over the smart of them, my fingers now opened themselves an easy passage; but long I had not time to consider the wide difference there, between the maid and the now finished woman, before Charles waked, and turning towards me, kindly enquired how I had rested? and, scarce giving me time to answer, imprinted on my lips one of his burning rapture kisses, which darted a flame to my heart, that from thence radiated to every part of me; and presently, as if he had proudly meant revenge for the survey I had smuggled of all his naked beauties, he spurns off the bed clothes, and trussing up my shift as high as it would go, took his turn to feast his eyes on all the gifts nature had bestowed on my person; his busy hands, too, ranged intemperately over every part of me. The delicious austerity and hardness of my yet unripe budding breasts, the whiteness and firmness of my flesh, the freshness and regularity of my features, the harmony of my limbs, all seemed to confirm him in his satisfaction with his bargain; but when curious to explore the havock he had made in the centre of his over fierce attack, he not only directed his hands there, but with a pillow put under, placed me favourably for his wanton purpose of inspection. Then, who can express the fire his eyes glistened, his hands glowed with! whilst sighs of pleasure, and tender broken exclamations, were all the praises he could utter. By this time his machine, stiffly risen at me, gave me to see it in its highest state and bravery. He feels it himself, seems pleased at its condition, and, smiling loves and graces, seizes one of my hands, and carries it, with gentle compulsion, to this pride of nature, and its richest master piece.
I, struggling faintly, could not help feeling what I could not grasp, a column of the whitest ivory, beautifully streaked with blue veins, and carrying, fully un-capt, a head of the liveliest vermilion: no horn could be harder or stiffer; yet no velvet more smooth or delicious to the touch. Presently he guided my hand lower, to that part in which nature, and pleasure keep their stores in concert, so aptly fastened and hung on to the root of their first instrument and minister, that not improperly he might be styled their purse-bearer too: there he made me feel distinctly, through their soft cover, the contents, a pair of roundish balls, that seemed to play within, and elude all pressure, but the tenderest, from without.
But now this visit of my soft, warm hand, in those so sensible parts, had put every thing into such ungovernable fury, disdaining all further preluding, and taking advantage of my commodious posture, he made the storm fall where I scarce patiently expected, and where he was sure to lay it: presently, then, I felt the stiff intersection betwen the yielding, divided lips of the wound, now open for life; where the narrowness no longer put me to intolerable pain, and afforded my lover no more difficulty than what heightened his pleasure, in the strict embrace of that tender, warm sheath, round the instrument it was so delicately adjusted to, and which now cased home, so gorged me with pleasure, that it perfectly suffocated me and took away my breath; then the killing thrusts! the unnumbered kisses! every one of which was a joy inexpressible; and that joy lost in a crowd of yet greater blisses! But this was a disorder too violent in nature to last long: the vessels, so stirred and intensely heated, soon boiled over, and for that time put out the fire; meanwhile all this dalliance and disport had so far consumed the morning, that it became a kind of necessity to lay breakfast and dinner into one.
In our calmer intervals Charles gave the following account of himself, every tittle of which was true. He was the only son of a father, who, having a small post in the revenue, rather overlived his income, and had given this young gentleman a very slender education: no profession had he bred him up to, but designed to provide for him in the army, by purchasing him an ensign's commission, that is to say, provided he could raise the money, or procure it by interest, either of which clauses was rather to be wished than hoped for by him. On no better a plan, however, had his improvident father suffered this youth, a youth of great promise, to run up to the age of manhood, or near it at least, in next to idleness; and had, besides, taken no sort of pains to give him even the common premonitions against the vices of the town, and the dangers of all sorts which wait the unexperienced and unwary in it. He lived at home, and at discretion with his father, who himself kept a mistress; and for the rest, provided Charles did not ask him for money, he was indolently kind to him: he might lie out when he pleased, any excuse would serve, and even his reprimands were so slight, that they carried with them rather an air of connivance at the fault, than any serious control or constraint. But, to supply his calls for money, Charles, whose mother was dead, had, by her side, a grandmother, who doated upon him. She had a considerable annuity to live on, and very regularly parted with every shilling she could spare, to this darling of her's, to the no little heart-burn of his father; who was vexed, not that she, by this means, fed his son's extravagance, but that she preferred Charles to himself; and we shall too soon see what a fatal turn such a mercenary jealousy could operate on the breast of a father.
Charles was, however, by the means of his grandmother's lavish fondness, very sufficiently enabled to keep a mistress, so easily contented as my love made me; and my good fortune, for such I must ever call it, threw me in his way, in the manner above related, just as he was on the look-out for one.
As to temper, the even sweetness of it made him seem born for domestic happiness: tender, naturally polite, and gentle-manner'd; it could never be his fault, if ever jars, or animosities ruffled a calm he was so qualified every way to maintain or restore. Without those great or shining qualities that constitute a genius, or are fit to make a noise in the world, he had all those humble ones that compose the softer social merit: plain common sense, set off with every grace of modesty and good nature, made him, if not admired, what is much happier: universally beloved and esteemed. But, as nothing but the beauties of his person had at first attracted my regard and fixed my passion, neither was I then a judge of the internal merit, which I had afterwards full occasion to discover, and which, perhaps, in that season of giddiness and levity, would have touched my heart very little, had it been lodged in a person less the delight of my eyes, and idol of my senses. But to return to our situation.
After dinner, which we ate a-bed in most voluptuous disorder, Charles got up, and taking a passionate leave of me for a few hours, went to town, where concerting matters with a young sharp lawyer, they went together to my late venerable mistress's, from whence I had, but the day before, made my elopement, and with whom he was determined to settle accounts, in a manner that should cut off all after reckonings from that quarter.
Accordingly they went; but by the way, the Templar, his friend, on thinking over Charles's information, saw reason to give their visit another turn, and, instead of offering satisfaction, to demand it.
On being let in, the girls of the house flocked round Charles, whom they knew, and from the earlyness of my escape, and their perfect ignorance of his ever having so much as seen me, not having the least suspicion of his being accessory to my flight, they were, in their way, making up to him; and as to his companion, they took him probably for a fresh cully. But the Templar soon checked their forwardness, by enquiring for the old lady, with whom he said, with a grave-like countenance, that he had some business to settle.
Madam was immediately sent for down, and the ladies being desired to clear the room, the lawyer asked her, severely, if she did know, or had not decoyed, under pretence of hiring as a servant, a young girl, just come out of the country, called Frances or Fanny Hill, describing me withal as particularly as he could from Charlie's description.
It is peculiar to vice to tremble at the enquiries of justice; and Mrs. Brown, whose conscience was not entirely clear upon my account, as knowing as she was of the town as hackneyed as she was in bluffing through all the dangers of her vocation, could not help being alarmed at the questions, especially when he went on to talk of a Justice of peace, Newgate, the Old Bailey, indictments for keeping a disorderly house, pillory, carting, and the whole process of that nature. She, who, it is likely, imagined I had lodged an information against her house, looked extremely blank, and began to make a thousand protestations and excuses. However, to abridge, they brought away triumphantly my box of things, which, had she not ben under an awe, she might have disputed with them; and not only that, but a clearance and discharge of any demands on the house, at the expense of no more than a bowl of arrack-punch, the treat of which, together with the choice of the house conveniences, was offered and not accepted. Charles all the time acted the chance companion of the lawyer, who had brought him there, as he knew the house, and appeared in no wise interested in the issue; but he had the collateral pleasure of hearing all that I told him verified, as far as the bawd's fears would give her leave to enter into my history, which, if one may guess by the composition she so readily came into, were not small.
Phoebe, my kind tutoress Phoebe, was at the time gone out, perhaps in search of me, or their cooked-up story had not, it is probable, passed smoothly.
This negociation had, however, taken up some time, which would have appeared much longer to me, left as I was, in a strange house, if the landlady, a motherly sort of a woman, to whom Charles had liberally recommended me, had not come up and borne me company. We drank tea, and her chat helped to pass away the time very agreeably, since he was our theme; but as the evening deepened, and the hour set for his return was elapsed, I could not dispel the gloom of impatience, and tender fears which gathered upon me, and which our timid sex are apt to feel in proportion to their love.
Long, however, I did not suffer: the sight of him over-paid me; and the soft reproach I had prepared for him, expired before it reached my lips.
I was still a-bed, yet unable to use my legs otherwise than awkwardly, and Charles flew to me, catches me in his arms, raised and extending mine to meet his dear embrace, and gives me an account, interrupted by many a sweet parenthesis of kisses, of the success of his measures.
I could not help laughing at the fright of the old woman had been put into, which my ignorance, and indeed my want of innocence, had far from prepared me from bespeaking. She had, it seems, apprehended that I fled the shelter to some relation I had recollected in town, on my dislike of their ways and proceedings towards me, and that this application came from thence; for, as Charles had rightly judged, not one neighbour had, at that still hour, seen the circumstance of my escape into the coach, or, at least, noticed him; neither had any in the house, the least hint of suspicion of my having spoken to him, much less of my having clapt up such a sudden bargain with a perfect stranger, thus the greatest improbability is not always what we should most mistrust.
We supped with all the gaiety of two young giddy creatures at the top of their desires; and as I had given up to Charles the whole charge of my future happiness, I thought of nothing beyond the exquisite pleasure of possessing him.
He came to bed in due time; and this second night, the pain being pretty well over, I tasted, in full draught, all the transports of perfect enjoyment: I swam, I bathed in bliss, till both fell asleep, through the natural consequences of satisfied desires, and appeased flames; nor did we wake but to renewed raptures.
Thus, making the most of love, and life did we stay in this lodging in Chelsea about ten days; in which time Charles took care to give his excursions from home a favourable gloss, and to keep his footing with his fond indulgent grand-mother, from whom he drew constant and sufficient supplies for the charge I was to him, and which was very trifling, in comparison with his former less regular course of pleasure.
Charles removed me then to a private ready furnished lodging in D.... street, St. James's, where he paid half a guinea a week for two rooms and a closet on the second floor, which he had been some time looking out for, and was more convenient for the frequency of his visits, than where he had at first placed me, in a house, which I cannot say but I left with regret, as it was infinitely endeared to me by the first possession of my Charles, and the circumstance of losing, there, that jewel, which can never be twice lost. The landlord, however, had no reason to complain of any thing, but of a procedure in Charles too liberal not to make him regret the loss of us.
Arrived at our new lodging, I remember I thought them extremely fine, though ordinary enough, even at that price; but, had it been a dungeon that Charles had brought me to, his presence would have made a little Versailles.
The landlady, Mrs. Jones, waited on us to our apartment, and with great volubility of tongue, explained to us all its conveniences: "that her own maid should wait on us... that the best of quality had lodged at her house... that her first floor was let to a foreign secretary of an embassy, and his lady... that I looked like a very good natured lady..." At the word lady, I blushed out of flattered vanity: this was strong for a girl of my condition; for though Charles had the precaution of dressing me in a less tawdry flaunting style than were the clothes I escaped to him in, and of passing me for his wife, that she had secretly married, and kept private (the old story) on account of his friends, I dare swear this appeared extremely apocryphal to a woman who knew the town so well as she did; but that was the least of her concern: it was impossible to be less scruple-ridden than she was; and the advantage of letting her rooms being her sole object, the truth itself would have far from scandalized her, or broke her bargain.
A sketch of her picture, and personal history, will dispose you to account for the part she is to act in my concern.
She was about forty six years old, tall, meagre, red-haired, with one of those trivial ordinary faces you meet with every where, and go about unheeded and un-mentioned. In her youth she had been kept by a gentleman, who, dying, left her forty pounds a year during her life, in consideration of a daughter he had by her: which daughter, at the age of seventeen, she sold, for not a very considerable sum neither, to a gentleman who was going on envoy abroad, and took his purchase with him, where he used her with the utmost tenderness, and it is thought, was secretly married to her: but had constantly made a point of her not keeping up the least correspondence with a mother base enough to make a market of her own flesh and blood. However, as she had not nature, nor, indeed, any passion but that of money, this gave her no further uneasiness, then, as she thereby lost a handle of squeezing pres-sents, or other after-advantages, out of the bargain. Indifferent then, by nature of constitution, to every other pleasure but that of increasing the lump, by any means whatever, she commenced a kind of private procuress, for which she was not amiss fitted, by her grave decent appearance, and sometimes did a job in the match-making way; in short, there was, nothing that appeared to her under the shape of gain, that she would not have undertaken. She knew most of the ways of the town, having not only herself been upon, but kept up constant intelligences in promoting a harmony between the two sexes, in private pawn-broking, and other profitable secrets. She rented the house she lived in, and made the most of it, by letting it out in lodgings; though she was worth, at least, near three or four thousand pounds, she would not allow herself even the necessaries, of life, and pinned her subsistence entirely on what she could squeeze out of her lodgers.
When she saw such a young pair come under her roof, her immediate notions, doubtless, were how she should make the most money of us, by every means that money might be made, and which, she rightly judged, our situations and inexperience would soon beget her occasions of.
In this hopeful sanctuary, and under the clutches of this harpy, did we pitch our residence. It will not be might material to you, or very pleasant to me, to enter into a detail of all the petty cut-throat ways and means with which she used to fleece us; all which Charles indolently chose to bear with, rather than take the trouble of removing, the difference of expense being scarce attended to by a young gentleman who had no ideas of stint, or even economy, and a raw country girl who knew nothing of the matter.
Here, however, under the wings of my sovereignly beloved, did the most delicious hours of my life flow on; my Charles I had, and, in him, every thing my fond heart could wish or desire. He carried me to plays, operas, masquerades, and every diversion of the town; all which pleased me, indeed, but pleased me infinitely the more for his being with me, and explaining every thing to me, and enjoying perhaps, the natural impressions of surprise and admiration, which such sights, at the first, never fail to excite in a country girl, new to the delights of them; but to me, they sensibly proved the power and dominion of the sole passion of my heart over me, a passion in which soul and body were concentered, and left me no room for any other relish of life but love.
As to the men I saw at those places, or at any other, they suffered so much in the comparison my eyes made of them with my all-perfect Adonis, that I had not the infidelity even of one wandering thought to reproach myself with upon his account. He was the universe to me, and all that was not him, was nothing to me.
My love, in fine, was so excessive, that is arrived at annihilating every suggestion or kindling spark of jealousy; for, one idea only, tending that way, gave me such exquisite torment, that my self-love, and dread of worse than death, made me for ever renounce and defy it: nor had I, indeed, occasion; for, were I to enter here on the recital of several instances wherein Charles sacrificed to me women of much greater importance than I dare hint (which, considering his form, was no such wonder), I might, indeed, give you full proof of his unshaken constancy to me; but would not you accuse me of warming up against a feast, which my vanity ought long ago to have been satisfied with?
In our cessations from active pleasure, Charles framed himself one, in instructing me, as far as his own lights reached, in a great many points of life, that I was, in consequence of my no-education, perfectly ignorant of: nor did I suffer one word to fall in vain from the mouth of my lovely teacher: I hung on every syllable he uttered, and received, as oracles, all he said; whilst kisses were all the interruption I could not refuse myself the pleasure of admitting, from lips that breathed more than Arabian sweetness, I was in a little time enabled, by the progress I had made, to prove the deep regard I had paid to all that he had said to me: repeating it to him almost word for word; and to shew that I was not entirely the parrot, but that I reflected upon, that I entered into it, I joined my own comments, and asked him questions of explanation.
My country accent, and the rusticity of my gait, manners, and deportment, began now sensibly to wear off: so quick was my observation, and so efficacious my desire of growing every day worthier of his heart.
As to money, though, he brought me constantly all he received, it was with difficulty he even got me to give it room in my bureau; and what clothes I had, he could prevail on me to accept of on no other foot, than that of pleasing him by the greater neatness in my dress, beyond which I had no ambition. I could have made a pleasure of the greatest toil, and worked my fingers to the bone, with joy, to have supported him: guess, then, if I could harbour any idea of being burthensome to him, and this disinterested turn in me was so unaffected, so much the dictate of my heart, that Charles could not but feel it: and if he did not love me as much as I did him (which was the constant and only matter of sweet contention between us), he managed so, at least, as to give me the satisfaction of believing it impossible for man to be more tender, more true, more faithful than he was.
Our landlady, Mrs. Jones, came frequently up to my apartment, from whence I never stirred on any pretext without Charles; nor was it long before she wormed out, without much art, the secret of our having cheated the church of a ceremony, and, in course, of the terms we lived together upon; a circumstance which far from displeased her, considering the designs she had upon me, and which, alas! she will have too soon, room to carry into execution. But in the meantime, her own experience of life let her see, that any attempt, however indirect or disguised, to divert or break, at least presently, so strong a cement of hearts as ours was, could only end in losing two lodgers, of whom she had made very competent advantages, if either of us came to smoke her commission, for a commission she had from one of her customers, either to debauch, or get me away from my keeper at any rate.
But the barbarity of my fate soon saved her the task of disuniting us. I had now been eleven months with this life of my life, which had passed in one continued rapid stream of delight: but nothing so violent was ever made to last. I was about three months gone with a child by him, a circumstances would have added to his tenderness, had he ever left me room to believe it could receive an addition, when the mortal, the unexpected blow of separation fell upon us. I shall gallop post-over the particulars, which I shudder yet to think of, and cannot; to this instant, reconcile myself how, or by what means I could out-live it.
Two live-long days had I lingered through without hearing from him, I who breathed, who existed but in him, and had never yet seen twenty-four hours pass without seeing or hearing from him. The third day my impatience was so strong, my alarms had been so severe, that I perfectly sickened with them; and being unable to support the shock longer, I sunk upon the bed, and ringing for Mrs. Jones, who had far from comforted me under my anxieties, she came up, and I had scarce breath and spirit enough to find words to beg of her, if she would save my life, to fall upon some means of finding out, instantly, what was become of its only prop and comfort. She pitied me in a way that rather sharpened my affliction than suspended it, and went out upon this commission.
For she had but to go to Charles's house, who lived but an easy distance, in one of the streets that run into Covent Garden. There she went into a public house, and from thence sent for a mid servant, whose name I had given her, as the properest to inform her.
The maid readily came, and as readily, when Mrs. Jones enquired of her what had become of Mr. Charles, or whether he was gone out of town, acquainted her with the disposal of her master's son, which, the very day after, was no secret to the servants. Such sure measures had he taken, for the most cruel punishment of his child for having more interest with his grandmother than he had, though he made use of a pretence, plausible enough, to get rid of him in this secret abrupt manner, for fear her fondness should have interposed a bar to his leaving England, and proceeding on a voyage he had concerted for him; which pretext was, that it was indispensably necessary to secure a considerable inheritance that devolved to him by the death of a rich merchant (his own brother) at one of the factories in the South Seas, of which he had lately received advice, together with a copy of the will.
In consequence of which resolution, to send away his son, he had, unknown to him, made the necessary preparations for fitting him out, struck a bargain with the captain of a ship, whose punctual execution of his orders he had secured, by his interest with his principal owners and patron; and, in short, concerted his measures so secretly, and effectually, that whilst the son thought he was going down to the river, that would take him a few hours, he was stopt on board of a ship, debarred from writing, and more strictly watched than a State criminal.
Thus was the idol of my soul torn from me, and forced on a long voyage, without taking leave of one friend, or receiving one line of comfort, except a dry explanation and instructions, from his father, how to proceed when he should arrive at his destined port, enclosing, withal, some letters of recommendation to a factor there: all these particulars I did not learn minutely till some time after.
The maid, at the same time, added, that she was sure this usage of her sweet young master would be the death of his grand-mamma, as indeed it proved true; for the old lady, on hearing it, did not survive the news a whole month, and as her fortune consisted in an annuity, out of which she had laid up no reserves, she left nothing worth mentioning to her so fatally envied darling, but absolutely refused to see his father before she died.
When Mrs. Jones returned, and I observed her looks, they seemed so unconcerned, and even nearest to pleased, that I half flattered myself she was going to set my tortured heart at ease, by bringing me good news; but this, indeed, was a cruel delusion of hope: the barbarian, with all the coolness imaginable, stabs me to the heart, in telling me, succinctly, that he was sent away, at least, on a four years' voyage (here she stretched maliciously), and that I could not expect, in reason, ever to see him again: and all this with such pregnant circumstances, that I could not escape giving them credit, as they were, indeed, too true!
She had hardly finished her report before I fainted away, and after several successive fits, all the while wild and senseless, I miscarried of the dear pledge of my Charles's love; but the wretched never die when it is fittest they should die, and women are hard-lived! to a proverb.
The cruel and interested care taken to recover me, saved an odious life: which, instead of the happiness and joys it had overflower in, all of a sudden presented no view before me of any thing but the depth of misery, horror, and the sharpest affliction.
Thus I lay six weeks, in the struggles of youth and constitution, against the friendly efforts of death, which I constantly invoked to my relief and deliverance, but which proved too weak for my wish. I recovered at length, but into a state of stupefaction and despair, that threatened me with the loss of my senses, and a mad house.
Time, however, that great comforter in ordinary, began to assuage the violence of my suffering, and to-numb my feeling of them. My health returned to me, though I still retained an air of grief, dejection, and languor, which taking off from the ruddiness of my country complexion, rendered it rather more delicate and affecting.
The landlady had all this while officiously provided, and seen that I wanted for nothing: and as soon as she saw me retrieved into a condition of answering her purpose, one day, after we had dined together, she congratulated me on my recovery, the merit of which she took entirely to herself, and all this by way of introduction to a most terrible, and scurvy epilogue: "You are now," says she, "Miss Fanny, tolerably well, and you are very welcome to stay in these lodgings as; long as you please! you see I have asked you for nothing this long time, but truly I have a call to make up a sum of money, which must be answered." And, with that, presents me with a bill of arrears for rent, diet, apothecaries' charges, nurse, etc., sum total twenty-three pounds, seventeen and six-pence: towards discharging of which I had not in the world (which she well knew) more than seven guineas, left by chance, of my dear Charles's common stock, with me. At the same time, she desired me to tell her what course I would take for payment. I burst out into a flood of tears, and told her my condition: that I would sell what few clothes I had, and that, for the rest, would pay her as soon as possible. But my distress, being favourable to her view, only stiffened her the more.
She told me, very cooly, that "she was indeed sorry for my misfortunes, but that she must do herself justice, though it would go to the very heart of her to send such a tender young creature to prison...." At the word "prison!" every drop of my blood chilled, and my fright acted so strongly upon me, that, turning as pale and faint as a criminal at the first sight of his place of execution, I was on the point of swooning. My landlady, who wanted only to terrify me to a certain point, and not to throw me into a state of body inconsistent with her designs upon it, began to sooth me again, and told me, in a tone composed to more pity and gentleness, that "it would be my own fault, if she was forced to proceed to such extremities; but she believed there was a friend to be found in the world, who would make up matters to both our satisfactions, and that she would bring him to drink tea with us that very afternoon, when she hoped we would come to a right understanding in our affairs." To all this, not a word of answer; I sat mute, confounded, terrified.
Mrs. Jones, however, judging rightly that it was time to strike while the impressions were so strong upon me, left me to myself and to all the terrors of an imagination, wounded to death by the idea of going to prison, and, from a principle of self-preservation, snatching at every glimpse of redemption from it.
In this situation I sat near half an hour, swallowed up in grief and despair, when my landlady came in, and observing a death-like dejection in my countenance, still in pursuance of her plan, put on a false pity, and bidding me be of good heart: "Things," she said, "would be but my own friend"; and closed with telling me "she had brought a very honourable gentleman to drink tea with me, who would give me the best advice how to get rid of all my troubles." Upon which, without waiting for a reply, she goes out, and returns with this very honourable gentleman, whose very honourable procuress she had been, on this, as well as other occasions.
The gentleman, on his entering the room, made me a very civil bow, which I had scarce strength, or presence of mind enough to return a curtsey to; when the landlady, taking upon her to do all the honours of the first interview (for I had never, that I remember, seen the gentleman before), sets a chair for him, another for herself. All this while not a word on either side; a stupid stare was all the face I could put on this strange visit.
The tea was made, and the landlady, unwilling, I suppose, to lose any time, observing my silence and shyness before this entire stranger: "Come, Miss Fanny," says she, in a coarse familiar style, and tone of authority, "hold up your head, child, and do not let sorrow spoil that pretty face of yours. What! sorrows are only for a time; come, be free, here is a worthy gentleman who has heard of your misfortunes, and is willing to serve you; you must be better acquainted with him, do not you now stand upon your punctilios, and this and that, but make your market while you may."
At this so delicate, and eloquent harangue, the gentleman, who saw I loooked frighted and amazed, and, indeed, incapable of answering, took her up for breaking things in so abrupt a manner, as rather to shock than incline me to an acceptance of the good he intended me then, addressing himself to me, told me "he was perfectly acquainted with my whole story, and every circumstance of my distress which he owned was a cruel plunge for one of my youth and beauty to fall into.... that he had long taken a liking to my person, for which he appealed to Mrs. Jones, there present; but finding me so deeply engaged to another, he had lost all hopes of succeeding, till he had heard the sudden reverse of fortune that had happened to me, on which he had given particular orders to my landlady to see that I should want for nothing; and that, had he not been forced abroad to the Hague, on affairs he could not refuse himself to, he would himself have attended me during my sickness;... that on his return, which was the day before, he had, on learning my recovery, desired my landlady's good offices to introduce him to me, and was as angry, at least, as I was shocked, at the manner in which she had conducted herself towards obtaining him that happiness; but, that to show me how much he disdained her procedure, and how far he was from taking any ungenerous advantage of my situation, and from exacting any security for my gratitude, he would before my face, that instant, discharge my debt entirely to my landlady, and give me her receipt in full; after which I should be at liberty either to reject or grant his suit, as he was much above putting any force upon my inclinations."
Whilst he was exposing his sentiments to me, I ventured just to look up to him, and observed his figure, which was that of a very well-looking gentleman, well made, of about forty, dressed in a suit of plain clothes, with a large diamond ring on one of his fingers, the lustre of which played in my eyes as he waved his hand in talking, and raised my notions of his importance. In short, he might pass for what is commonly called a comely black man, with an air of distinction natural to his birth and condition.
To all his speeches, however, I answered only in tears that flower plentifully to my relief, and choking up my voice, excused me from speaking, very luckily, for I should not have known what to say.
The sight, however, moved him, as he afterwards told me, irresistibly, and by way of giving me some reason to be less powerfully afflicted, he drew out his purse, and calling for pen and ink, which the landlady was prepared for, paid her every farthing of her demand, independent of a liberal gratification which was to follow unknown to me, and taking a receipt in full, very tenderly forced me to secure it, by guiding my hand, which he had thrust it into, so as to make me passively put it into my pocket.
Still I continued in a state of stupidity, or melancholic despair, as my spirits could not yet recover from the violent shocks that they had received; and the accommodating landlady had actually left the room, and me alone with this strange gentleman, before I had observed it, and then I observed it without alarm, for I was now lifeless, and indifferent to every thing.
The gentleman, however, no novice in affairs of this sort, drew near me; and, under the pretence of comforting me, first with his handkerchief dried my tears as they ran down my cheeks: presently he ventured to kiss me on my part, neither resistance nor compliance. I sat stock still; and now looking on myself as bought by the payment that had been transacted before me.
I did not care what became of my wretched body: and wanting life, spirits, or courage to oppose the least struggle, even that of the modesty of my sex, I suffered, tamely, whatever the gentleman pleased; who proceeding insensibly from freedom to freedom, insinuating his hand between my handkerchief and bosom, which he handled at discretion: finding thus no repulse, and that every thing favoured, beyond expectation, the completion of his desires, he took me in his arms, and bore me, without life or motion, to the bed, on which laying me gently downed, and having me at what advantage he pleased, I did not so much as know what he was about, till recovering from a trance of lifeless insensibility, I found him buried in me, whilst I lay passive and innocent of the least sensations of pleasure: a death-cold corpse could scarce have less life or sense in it. As soon as he had thus pacified a passion which had too little respected the condition I was in, he got off, and after recomposing the disorder of my clothes, employed himself with the utmost tenderness to calm the transports of remorse and madness at myself, with which I was seized, too late, I confess, for having suffered on that bed, the embraces of an utter stranger I tore my hair, wrung my hands, and beat my breast like a mad woman. But when my new master, for in that light I then viewed him, applied himself to appease me, as my whole rage was levelled at myself, no part of which I thought myself permitted to aim at him, I begged of him with more submission than anger, to leave me alone, that I might, at least, enjoy my affliction in quiet. This he positively refused, for fear, as he pretended, I should do myself a mischief. Violent passions seldom last long, and those of women least of any. A dead still calm succeeded this storm, which ended in a profuse shower of tears.
Had any one, but a few instants before, told me that I should have ever known any man but Charles, I would have spit in his face or had I been offered infinitely a greater sum of money than that I saw paid for me, I had spurned the proposal in cold blood. But our virtues and our vices depend too much on our circumstances; unexpectedly beset as I was, betrayed by a mind weakened by a long severe affliction, and stunned with the terrors of a goal, my defeat will appear the more excusable, since I certainly was not present at, or a party in any sense to it. However, as the first enjoyment is decisive, and he was now over the bar, I thought I had no longer a right to refuse the caresses of one that had got that advantage over me, no matter how obtained; conforming myself then to this maxim, I considered myself as so much in his power, that I endured his kisses and embraces without affecting struggles or anger; not that he, as yet, gave me any pleasure, or prevailed over the aversion of my soul, to give myself up to any sensation of that sort; what I suffered, I suffered out of a kind of gratitude, and as a matter of course what had passed.
He was, however, so regardful as not to attempt the renewal of those extremities which had thrown me, just before, into such violent agitations; but, now secure of possession, contented himself with bringing me to temper by degrees, and waiting at the hand of time for those fruits of generosity and courtship, which he since often reproached himself with having gathered much too green, when, yielding to the inability to resist him, and overborne by desires, he had wreaked his passion on a mere lifeless, spiritless body, dead to all purpose of joy, since taking none, it ought to be supposed incapable of giving any. This is, however, certain; my heart never thoroughly forgave him the manner in which I had fallen to him, although, in point of interest, I had fallen to him, I had reason to be pleased that he found, in my person, wherewithal to keep him from leaving me as easily as he had had me.
The evening was, in the mean time, so far advanced, that the maid came in to lay the cloth for supper, when I understood, with joy, that my landlady, whose sight was present poison to me, was not to be with us.
Presently a neat and elegant supper was introduced, and a bottle of Burgundy, with the other necessaries, were set on a dumb-waiter.
The maid quitting the room, the gentleman insisted, with a tender warmth, that I should sit up in the elbow chair by the fire, and see him eat, if I could not be prevailed on to eat myself. I obeyed with a heart full or affliction, at the comparison it made between those delicious tete-a-tetes with my very dear youth, and this forced situation, this new awkward scene, imposed and obtruded on me a cruel necessity.
At supper, after a great many arguments used to comfort and reconcile me to my fate, he told me that his name was H..., brother to the Earl of L.... and that having, by the suggestions of my landlady, been led to see me, he had found me perfectly to his taste, and given her a commission to procure me at any rate, and that at length he had succeeded, as much to his satisfaction as he passionately wished it might be to mine adding, withal, some flattering assurances, that I should have no cause to repent my knowledge of him.
I had now got down at least half a partridge, and three or four glasses of wine, which he compelled me to drink by way of restoring nature, but whether there was any thing extraordinary put into the wine, or whether there wanted no more to revive the natural warmth of my constitution, and give fire to the old train, I began no longer to look with that constraint, not to say disguise, on Mr. H...., which I had hitherto done but, withal, there was not the least grain of love mixed with this softening of my sentiments: any other man would have been just the same to me as Mr. H..., that stood in the same circumstances, and had done for me, and with me, what he had done.
There are not, on earth at least, eternal griefs; mine were, if not at an end, at least suspended: my heart, which had been so long overloaded with anguish and vexation, began to dilate and open to the last gleam of diversion or amusement. I wept a little, and my tears relieved me; I sighed, and my sighs seemed to lighten me of a load that oppressed me; my countenance grew, if not cheerful, at least more composed and free.
Mr. H..., who had watched, perhaps brought on this change, knew too well not to seize it: he thrust the table imperceptibly from between us, and bringing his chair to face me, he soon began, after preparing me by all the endearments of assurance and protestations, to lay hold of my hands, to kiss me, and once more to make free with my bosom, which, being at full liberty from the disorder of a loose dishabile, now panted and throbbed, less with indignation than with fear and bashfulness, at being used so familiarly by still a stranger. But he soon gave me greater occasion to exclaim, by stooping down and slipping his hands above my garters; thence he strove to regain the pass, which he had before found so open, and unguarded; but now he could not unlock the twist of my thighs; I gently complained, and begged him to let me alone; told him I was not well. However, he saw there was more form and ceremony in my resistance, than good earnest; he made his conditions for desisting from pursuing his point, that I should be put instantly to bed, whilst he gave certain orders to the landlady, and that he would return in an hour, when he hoped to find me more reconciled to his passion for me, than I seemed at present. I neither assented nor denied, but my air and manner of receiving his proposal, gave him to see that I did not think myself enough my own mistress to refuse it.
Accordingly he went out and left me, when a minute or two after, before I could recover myself into any composure for thinking, the maid came in with her mistress's service, and a small silver orringer of what she called a bridal posset, and desired me to eat it as I went to bed, which consequently I did, and felt immediately a heat, a fire run like a hue-and-cry through every part of my body; I burnt, I glowed, and wanted even little of wishing for any man.
The maid, as soon as I was lain down, took the candle away, and wishing me a good night, went out of the room, and shut the door after her.
She had hardly time to get down stairs, before Mr. H.... opened my room door softly, and came in, now undressed, in his night-gown and cap, with two lighted wax candles, and bolting the door, gave me, though I expected him, some sort of alarm. He came a tip-toe to the bed side, and saying with a gentle whisper: "Pray, my dear, do not be startled... I will be very tender and kind to you." He then hurried off his clothes, and leaped into bed, having given me openings enough, whilst he was stripping, to observe his brawny structure, strong made limbs, and rough shaggy breast.
The bed shook again when it received this new load. He lay on the outside, where he kept the candles burning, no doubt for the satisfaction of every sense, for as soon as he had kissed me, he rolled down the bed clothes, and seemed transported with the view of all my person at full length, which he covered with a profusion of kisses, sparing no part of me. Then, being on his knees between my thighs, he drew up his shirt, and bared all his hairy thighs, and stiff staring truncheon, red top, and rooted into a thicket of curls, which covered his belly to the novel, and gave it the air of a flesh brush; and soon I feel it joining close to mine, when he had drove the nail up to the head, and left no partition but the intermediate hair on both sides.
I had it now, I felt it now, and, beginning to drive, he soon gave nature such a powerful summons down to her favourite quarters, that she could no longer refuse repairing thither; all my animals spirits then rushed mechanically to that center of attraction, and presently, inly warmed, and stirred as I was beyond bearing, I lost all restraint, and yielding to the force of the emotion, gave down, as mere woman, those effusions of pleasure, which, in the strictness of still faithful love, I could have wished to have kept in.
Yet oh! what an immense difference did I feel between this impression of a pleasure merely animal, and struck out of the collision of the sexes, by a passive bodily effect, from that sweet fury, that rage of active delight which crowns the enjoyments of a mutual love passion, where two hearts, tenderly and truly united, club to exalt the joy, and give it a spirit and soul that bids defiance to that end which mere momentary desires generally terminate in, when they die of a surfeit of satisfaction!
Mr. H..., whom no distinctions of that sort seemed to distract, scarce gave himself or me breathing time from the last encounter, but, as if he had tasked himself to prove that the appearances of his vigour were no signs hung out in vain, in a few minutes he was in a condition for renewing the onset; to which, preluding with a storm of kisses, he drove the same course as before, with unbated fervour; and thus, in repeated engagements, kept me constantly in exercise, till dawn of morning, in all which time he made me fully sensible of the virtues of his firm texture of limbs, his square shoulders, broad chest, compact hard muscles, in short a system of manliness, that might pass for no bad image of our ancient sturdy barons, whose race is now so thoroughly refined and frittered away into the more delicate and modern built frame of our pap-nerved softlings, who are as pale, as pretty, and almost as masculine as their sisters.
Mr. H..., content, however, with having the day break upon his triumph, resigned me up to the refreshment of a rest we both wanted, and we soon dropped into a profound sleep.
Though he was some time awake before me, yet he did not offer to disturb a repose he had given me so much occasion for; but on my first stirring, which was not till past ten o'clock, I was obliged to endure one more trial of his manhood.
About eleven, in came Mrs. Jones, with two basins of the richest soup, which her experience in these matters had moved her to prepare. I pass over the fulsome compliments, the cant of the decent procuress, with which she saluted us both; but though my blood rose at the sight of her, I supprest my emotions, and gave all my concerne to reflections on what would be the consequence of this new engagement.
But Mr. H..., who penetrated my uneasiness, did not suffer me to languish under it, and acquainted me, that having taken a solid sincere affection to me, he would begin by giving me one leading mark of it, in removing me out of a house which must, for many reasons, be irksome and disagreeable to me, into convenient lodgings, where he would take all imaginable care of me; and desiring not to have any explanations with my landlady, or be impatient till he returned, he dressed and went out, having left me a purse with two and twenty guineas in it, being all he had about him, as he express it, to keep my pocket still further supplied.
As soon as he was gone, I felt the usual consequence of the first launch into vice (for my love attachment to Charles never appeared to me in that light). I was instantly borne away down the stream without making back to the shore. My dreadful necessities, my gratitude, and above all, to say the plain truth, the dissipation and diversion I began to find in this new acquaintance, from the black corroding thoughts my heart had been a prey to, ever since the absence of my dear Charles, concurred to stun all my contrary reflections. If I now thought of my first, my only charmer, it was still with the tenderness and regret of the fondest love, embittered with the consciousness that I was no longer worthy of him. I could have begged my bread with him all over the world, but wretch that I was! I had neither the virtue or courage requisite not to outlive my separation from him.
Yet, had not my heart been thus preengaged, Mr. H... might probably have been the sole master of it; but the place was full, and the force of conjectures alone had made him the possessor of my person; the charms of which had, by the bye, been his sole object and passion, and were, of course, no foundation for a love either very delicate or very durable.
He did not return till six in the evening', to take me away to my new lodgings; and my moveables being soon packed, and conveyed into a hackney coach, it cost me but little regret to take my leave of a landlady whom I thought I had so much reason not to be over pleased with; and as for her part, she made no other difference to my staying or going, but what that of the profit created.
We soon got to the house appointed for me, which was that of a plain tradesman, who, on the score of interest, was entirely at Mr. H...'s devotion, and who let him the first floor, very genteelly furnished, for two guineas a week, of which I was instated mistress, with a maid to attend me.
He stayed with me that evening, and we had a supper from a neighbouring tavern, after which, and a gay glass or two, the maid put me to bed. Mr. H.... soon followed, and notwithstanding the fatigues of the preceding night, I found no quarter nor remission from him: he piquet himself, as he told me, on doing the honours of my new apartment.
The morning being pretty well advanced, we got to breakfast; and the ice now broke, my heart, no longer engrossed by love, began to take ease, and to please itself with such trifles Mr. H....'s liberal liking led him to make his court to the usual vanity of our sex. Silks, laces: ear rings, pearl necklace, gold watch, in sort, all the trinkets and articles of dress were lavishly heaped upon me; the sence of which, if it did not create returns of love, forced a kind of grateful fondness, something like love: a distinction which it would be spoiling the pleasure of nine tenths of the keepers in the town to make, and is, I suppose, the very good reason why so few of them ever do make it.
I was now established the kept mistress in form, well lodged, with a very sufficient allowance, and lighted up with all the lustre of dress.
Mr. H.... continued kind and tender to me; yet, with all this, I was far from happy: for, besides my regrets for my dear youth, which, though often suspended or diverted, still returned upon me in certain melancholic moments with redoubled violence, I wanted more society, more dissipation.
As to Mr. H.... he was so much my superior in every sense, that I felt it too much to the disadvantage of the gratitude I owed him. Thus he gained my esteem, though he could not raise my taste; I was qualified for no sort of conversation with him, except one sort, and that is a satisfaction which leaves tiresome intervals, if not filled up by love, or other amusements.
Mr. H...., so experienced, so learned in the ways of women, numbers of whom had passed through his hands, doubtless, soon perceived this uneasiness, and, without approving, or liking me the better for it, had the complaisance to indulge me.
He made suppers at my lodging, where he brought several companions of his pleasures, with their mistresses; and by this means I got into a circle of acquaintance, that soon stripped me of all the remains of bashfulness and modesty which might be yet left of my country education, and were, to a just taste, perhaps, the greatest of my charms.
We visited one another in form, and mimicked, as near as we could, all the miseries, the follies, and impertinencies of the women in quality, in the round of which they trifle away their time, without it ever entering their little heads, that on earth there cannot subsist any thing more silly, more flat, more insipid and worthless, than, generally considered, their system of life is: they ought to treat the men as their tyrants, indeed! were they to condemn them to it.
But though, amongst the kept mistresses (and I was now acquainted with a good many, besides some useful matrons, who live by their connexions with them), I hardly knew one that did not perfectly detest their keepers, and, of course, made little or no scruple of any infidelity they could safely accomplish, I had still no notion of wronging mine: for, besides that no mark of jealousy on his side started me the hint, or gave me the provocation to play him a trick of that sort, and that his constant generosity, politeness, and tender attention to please me, forced a regard to him, that, without affecting my heart, insured him my fidelity, no object had yet presented that could overcome the habitual liking I had contracted for him and I was on the eve of obtaining, from the movements of his own voluntary generosity, a modest provision for life, when an accident happened which broke all the measures he had resolved upon in my favour.
I had now lived near seven months with Mr. H.... when one day returning to my lodgings, from a visit in the neighbourhood, where I used to stay longer, I found the street door open, and the maid of the house standing at it, talking with some of her acquaintance, so that I came in without knocking and, as I passed by, she told me Mr. H.... was above. I slept up stairs into my own bed-chamber, with no other thought than of pulling off my hat etc., and then to wait upon him in the dining room, into which my bed-chamber had a door, as is common enough. Whilst I was untying my hat strings, I fancied I heard my maid Hannah's voice and a sort of tustle, which raised my curiosity; I stole softly to the door, where a knot in the wood had been slipped out, and afforded a very commanding peep-hole to the scene then in agitation, the actors of which had been to earnestly employed to hear my opening my own door, from the landing place of the stairs, into my bedchamber.
The first sight that struck me was Mr. H.... pulling and hauling this coarse country strammel towards a couch that stood in a corner of the dining-room; to which the girl made only a sort of awkward holdening resistance, crying out so loud, that I, who listened at the door, could scarce hear her: "Pray Sir, don't.., let me alone... I am not for your turn... You cannot, sure, demean yourself with such a poor body as I... Lord! Sir, my mistress may come home... I must not indeed... I will cry out..." All of which did not hinder her from insensibly suffering herself to be brought to the foot of the couch, upon which a push of no mighty violence served to give her a very easy fall, and my gentleman having got up his hands to the strong hold of her Virtue, she, no doubt, thought it was time to give up the argument, and that all further defense would be vain: and he, throwing her petticoats over her face, which was now as red as scarlet, discovered a pair of stout, plump, substantial thighs, and tolerably white; he mounted them round his haps, and coming out with his drawn weapon, stuck it in the cloven sport, where he seemed to find a less difficult entrance than perhaps he had flattered himself with (for, by the way, this blouse had left her place in the country, for a bastard), and, indeed, all his motions shewed he was lodged pretty much at large. After he had done, his Deare gets up, drops her petticoats down, and smooths her apron and handkerchief. Mr. H.... looked a little silly, and taking out some money, gave it her, with an air indifferent enough, bidding her be a good girl, and say nothing.
Had I loved this man, it was not in nature for me to have had patience to see the whole scene through: I should have broke in and played the jealous princess with a vengeance. But that was not the case: my pride alone was hurt, my heart not, and I could easier win upon myself to see how far he would go, till I had no uncertainty upon my conscience.
The least delicate of all affairs of this sort being now over, I retired softly into my closet, where I began to consider what I should do. My first scheme naturally, was to rush in and upbraid them; this, indeed, flattered my present emotions and vexations, as it would have given immediate vent to them; but, on second thoughts, not being so clear as to the consequence to be apprehended from such a step, I began my discovery still a safer season, when dissembly my discovery till a safer season, when Mr. H.... should have perfected the settlement he had made overtures to me of, and which I was not to think such a violent explanation, as I was indeed not equal to the management of, could possibly forward, and might destroy. On the other hand, the provocation seemed too gross, too flagrant not to give me some thoughts of revenge; the very start of which idea restored me to perfect composure; and delighted as I was with the confused plan of it in my head, I was easily mistress enough of myself to support the part of ignorance I had prescribed to myself; and as all this circle of reflections was instantly over, I stole a tip-toe to the passage door, and opening it with a noise, passed for having that moment come home; and after a short pause, as if to pull off my things, I opened the door into the dining room, where I fund the dowdy blowing the fire, and my faithful shepherd walking about the room, and wistling, as cool and unconcerned as if nothing had happened. I think, however, he had not much to brag of having out-dissembled me: for I kept up, nobly, the character of our sex for art, and went up to him with the same open air of frankness as I had ever received him. He stayed but a little while, made some excuse for not being able to stay the evening with me, and went out.
As for the wench, she was now spoiled, at least for my servant; and scarce eight and forty hours were gone round, before her insolence, on what had passed betwen Mr. H.... and her, gave me so fair an occasion to turn her away, at a minute's warning, that, not to have done it would have been the wonder; so that he could neither disapprove it nor find in it the least reason to suspect my original motive. What became of her afterwards, I know not; but generous as Mr. H.... was, he undoubtedly made her amends: though, I dare answer, that he kept up no further commerce with her of that sort; as his stooping to such a coarse morsel, was only a sudden sally of lust, on seeing a wholesome looking, buxom country wench, and no more strange than hunger, or even a whimsical appetite's making a fling meal of neck-beef, for change of diet.
Had I considered this escapade of Mr. H.... in no more than that light and contented myself with turning away the wench, I had thought and acted right; but, flushed as I was with imaginary wrongs, I should have held Mr. H... to have been cheaply off, if I had not pushed my revenge farther, and repaid him, as exactly as could for the soul of me, in the same coin.
Nor was this worthy act of justice long delayed: I had it too much at heart. Mr. H... had, about a fortnight before, taken into his service a tenant's son, just come out the country, a very handsome young lad, scarce turned of nineteen, fresh as a rose, well sharped and clear limbed: in short, a very good excuse for any woman's liking, even though revenge had been out of the question; any woman, I say, who was disprejudiced, and that wit and spirit enough to prefer a point of pleasure to a point of pride.
Mr. H... had clapped a livery upon him; and his chief employ was, after being shewn my lodgings, to bring and carry letters or messages between his master and me; and as the situation of all kept ladies is not the fittest to inspire respect, even to the meanest of mankind, and, perhaps, less of it from the most ignorant, I could not help observing that this lad, who was, I suppose, acquainted with my relation to his master by his fellow servants, used to eye me in that bashful confused way, more expressive, more moving and readier caught at by our sex, than any other declarations whatever: my figure had, it seems, struck him, and modest and innocent as he was, he did not himself know that the pleasure he took in looking at me was love, or desire; but his eyes, naturally wanton, and now inflamed with passion, spoke a great deal more than he durst have imagined they did. Hitherto, indeed, I had only taken notice of the comeliness of the youth, but without the least design: my pride alone would have guarded me from a thought that way, had not Mr. H....'s condescension with my maid, where there was not half the temptation, in point of person, set me a dangerous example; but now I began to look on this stripling as every way a delicious instrument of my designed retaliation upon Mr. H.... of an obligation for which I should have made a conscience to die in his debt.
In order then to pave the way for the accomplishment of my scheme, for two or three times that the young fellow came to me with messages, I managed so, or without affectation to have him admitted to my bed side, or brought to me at my toilet, where I was dressing; and by carelessly shewing or letting him, as if without meaning or design, sometimes my bosom rather more bare than it should be; sometimes my hair, of which I had a very fine head, in the natural flow of it while combing; sometimes a neat leg, that had unfortunately slipt its garter, which I made no scruple of tying before him, easily gave him the impressions favourable to my purpose, which I could perceive to sparkle in his eyes, and glow in his cheeks: then certain slight squeezes by the hand, as I took letters from him, did his business completely.
When I saw him thus moved, and fired for my purpose, I inflamed him yet more, by asking him several leading questions, such as: "Had he a mistress?... was she prettier than me?... could he love such a one as I was?..." and the like; to all which the blushing simpleton answered to my wish, in a strain of perfect nature, perfect undebauched innocence, but with all the awkwardness and simplicity of country breeding.
When I thought I had sufficiently ripened him for the laudable point I had in view, one day that I expected him at a particular hour, I took care to have the coast clear for the reception I designed him; and, as I laid it, he came to the dining room door, tapped at it, and, in my bidding him come in; he did so, and shut the door after him. I desired him, then, to bolt it on the inside, pretending it would not otherwise keep shut.
I was then lying at length upon that very couch, the scene of Mr. H....'s polite joys, in an undress, which was with all the art of negligence flowing loose, and in a most tempting disorder: no stays, no hoop..., no incumbrance whatever. On the other hand, he stood at a little distance, that gave me a full view of a fine featured, shapely, healthy country lad, breathing the sweets of fresh blooming youth; his hair, which was of a perfect shining black, played to his face in natural side curls, and was set out with a smart tuck-up behind; new buckskin breechs, that, clipping close, shewed the shape of a plump, well made thigh; white stockings, garter-laced livery, shoulder knot, altogether composed a figure of pure flesh and blood, and appeared under no disgrace from the lowness of a dress, to which a certain spruce neatness seems peculiarly fitted.
I bid him come towards me, and give me his letter, at the same time throwing down, carelessly, a book I had in my hands. He coloured, and came within reach of delivering me the letter, which he held out, awkwardly enough, for me to take, with his eyes rivetted on my bosom, which was, through the designed disorder of my handkerchief, sufficiently bare, and rather than hid.
I, smiling in his face, took the letter, and immediately catching hold of his shirt sleeve, drew him towards me, blushing, and almost trembling; for surely his extreme bashfulness, and utter inexperience called for, at least, all the advances to encourage him: his body was now conveniently inclined toward me, and just softly chucking his beardless chin, I asked him: "If he was afraid of a lady?..." and with that took, and carrying his hands to my breasts, I press it tenderly to them. They were now finely furnished, and raised in flesh, so that, panting with desire, they rose and fell, in quick heaves, under his touch: at this, the boy's eyes began to lighten with all the fires of inflamed nature, and his cheeks flushed with a deep scarlet: tongue-tied with joy, rapture, and bashfulness, he could not speak, but then his looks, his emotion, sufficiently satisfied me that my train had taken, and that I had no disappointment to fear.
My lips, which I threw in his way, so that he could not escape kissing them, fixed, fired, and emboldened him: and now, glancing my eyes towards that part of his dress which covered the essential object of enjoyment, I plainly discovered the swell and commotion there; and as I was now too far advanced to stop in so fair a way, and was indeed no longer able to contain myself, or wait the slower progress of his maiden bash-fulness (for such it seemed, and really was), I stole my hands upon his thighs, down one of which I could both see and feel a stiff hard body, confined by his breeches, that my fingers could discover no end to. Curious then, and eager to unfold so alarming a mystery, playing, as it were, with his buttons, which were bursting ripe from the active force within, those of his waistband and fore-flap flew open at a touch, when out IT started; and now, disengaged from the shirt, I saw, with wonder and surprise, what? not the play thing of a boy, not the weapon of a man, but a Maypole, of so enormous a standard, that had proportions been observed, it must have belonged to a young giant. Yet I could not, without pleasure, behold, and even venture to feel, such a length, such a breadth of animated ivory! perfectly well turned and fashioned, the proud stiffness of which distented its skin, whose smooth polish and velvet softness might vie with that of the most delicate of our sex, and whose exquisite whiteness was not a little set off by a sprout of black curling hair round the root: through the jetty springs of which the fair skin shewed as in a fine evening you may have remarked the clear light through the branchwork of distant trees over-topping the summit of a hill: then the broad of blueish-casted incarnate of the head, and blue serpentines of its veins, altogether composed the most striking assemblage of figure and colours in nature. In short, it stood an object of terror and delight.
But what was yet more surprising, the owner of this natural curiosity, through the want of occasions in the strictness of his home breeding, and the little time he had been in town not having afforded him one; was hitherto an absolute stranger, in practice at least, to the use of all that manhood he was so nobly stocked with; and it now fell to my lot to stand his first trial of it, if I could resolve to run the risks of its disproportion to that tender part of me, which such an oversized machine was very fit to lay in ruins.
But it was now of the latest to deliberate, for, by this time, the young fellow, over heated with the present objects, and too high metled to be longer curbed in by that modesty and awe which had hitherto restrained him, ventured, under the stronger impulse, and instructive promptership of nature alone, to slip his hands, trembling with eager impetuous desires, under my petticoats; and seeing, I suppose, nothing extremely severe in my looks, to stop or dash him, he feels out, and seizes, gently, the center spot of his ardours. Oh then! the fiery touch of his lingers determines me, and my fears melting away before the glowing intolerable heat, my thighs disclose of themselves, and yield all liberty to his hand: and now, a favourable movement giving my petticoats a toss, the avenue lay too fair, too open to be missed. He is now upon me: I had placed myself with a jerk under him, as commodious and open as possible to his attempts, which were untoward enough, for his machine, meeting with no inlet, bore and battered stiffly against me in random pushes, now above, now below, now beside his point; till, burning with impatience from its irritating touches, I guided gently, with my hand, this furious fescue to where my young novice was now to be taught his first lesson of pleasure. Thus he nicked, at length, the warm and insufficient orifice; but he was made to find no breach impracticable, and mine, though so often entered, was still far from wide enough to take him easily in.
By my direction, however, the head of his unwieldy machine was so critically pointed, that, feeling him fore-right against the tender opening, a favourable motion from me met his timely thrust, by which the lips of it, strenuously dilated, gave way to his thus assisted impetuosity, so that we might both feel that he had gained a lodgment. Pursuing then his point, he soon, by violent, and, to me, most painful piercing thrusts, wedges himself at length so far in, as to be now tolerably secure of his entrance: here he stuck, and I now felt such a mixture of pleasure and pain, as there is no giving a definition of. I dreaded alike his splitting me farther up, or his withdrawing; I could not bear either to keep or part with him. The sense of pain, however, prevailing, from his prodigious size and stiffness, acting upon me in those continued rapid thrusts, with which he furiously pursued his penetration, made me cry out gently: "Oh, my dear, you hurt me!" This was enough to check the tender respectful boy even in his mid-career; and he immediately drew out the sweet cause of my complaint, whilst his eyes eloquently expressed, at once, his grief for hurting me, and his reluctance at dislodging from quarters, of which the warmth and closeness had given him a gust of pleasure, that he was now desire mad to satisfy, and yet too much a novice not to be afraid of my withholding his relief, on account of the pain he had put me to.
But I was, myself, far from being pleased with his having too much regarded my tender exclaims; for now, more fired with the object before me, as it still stood with the fiercest erection, unbonneted, and displayed its broad vermilion head, I first gave the youth a re-encouraging kiss, which he repaid me with a fervour that seemed at once to thank me, and bribe my further compliance; and soon replaced myself in a posture to receive, at all risk, the renewed invasion, which he did not delay an instant: for, being presently remounted, I once more felt the smooth hard gristle forcing an entrance, which he achieved rather easier than before. Pained, however, as I was, with his efforts of gaining a complete admission, which he was so regardful as to manage by gentle degrees, I took care not to complain. In the mean time, the soft strait passage gradually loosens, yields, and, stretched to its utmost bearing, by the stick, thick, indriven engine, sensible, at once, to the ravishing pleasure of the feel and the pain of the distension, let him in about half way, when all the most nervous activity he now exerted, to further his penetration, gained him not an inch of his purpose: for, whilst he hesitated there, the crisis of pleasure overtook him, and the close compressure of the warm surrounding flow drew from him the ecstatic gush, even before mine was ready to meet it, kept up by the pain I had endured in the course of the engagement, from the insufferable size of his weapon, though it was not as yet in above half its length.
I expected then, but without wishing it, that he would draw, but was pleasingly disappointed: for he was not to be let off so. The well breathed youth, hot-mettled, and flush with genial juices, was now fairly in for making me know my driver. As soon, then, as he had made a short pause, waking, as it were, out of the trance of pleasure (in which every sense seemed lost for a while, whilst, with his eyes shut, and short quick breathings, he had yielded down his maiden tribute), he still kept his post, yet unsated with enjoyment, and solacing in these so new delights; till his stiffness, which had scarce perceptibly remitted, being thoroughly recovered to him, who had not once unsheathed, he proceeded afresh to cleave and open to himself an entire entry into me, which was not a little made easy to him by the balsamic injection, with: which he had just plentifully moistened the whole internals of the passage. Redoubling, then, the active energy of his thrusts, favoured by the fervid appetency of my motions, the soft oiled wards can no longer stand so effectual a picklock, but yield, and open him an entrance. And now, with conspiring nature, and my industry, strong to aid him, he pierces, penetrates, and at length, winning his way inch by inch, gets entirely in, and finally, a home made thrust sheaths it up to the guard; on the information of which, from the close jointure of our bodies (insomuch that the hair on both sides perfectly interweaved and incircled together), the eyes of the transported youth sparkled with more joyous fires, and all his looks and motions acknowledged excess of pleasure, which I now began to share, for I felt him in my very vitals! I was quite sick with delight! stirred beyond bearing with its furious agitations within me, and gorged and crammed, even to a surfeit. Thus I lay gasping, panting under him, till his broken breathings, faultering accents, eyes twinkling with humid fires, lunges more furious, and an increased stiffness, gave me to hail the approaches of the second period: it came... and the sweet youth, overpowered with the ecstasy, died away in my arms, melting a flood that shot in genial warmth into the innermost recesses of my body; every conduit of which, dedicated to that pleasure, was on flow to mix with it. Thus we continued for some instants, lost, breathless, senseless of every thing, and in every part but those favourite ones of nature, in which all that we enjoyed of life and sensation was now totally concentered.
When our mutual trance was a little over, and the young fellow had withdrawn that delicious stretcher, with which he had most plentifully drowned all thoughts of revenge, in the sense of actual pleasure, the widened wounded passage refunded a stream of pearly liquids, which flowed down my thighs, mixed with streaks of blood, the marks of the ravage of that monstrous machine of his, which had now triumphed over a kind of second maidenhead. I stole, however, my handkerchief to those parts, and wiped them as dry as I could, whilst he was re-adjusting and buttoning up.
I made him sit down by me, and as he had gathered courage from such extreme intimacy, he gave me an aftercourse of pleasure, in a natural burst of tender gratitude and joy, at the new scenes of bliss I had opened to him: scenes positively new, as he had never before had the least acquaintance with that mysterious mark, the cloven stamp of female distinction, though nobody better qualified than he to penetrate into its deepest recesses, or do it nobler justice. But when, by certain motions, certain unquietness of his hands, that wandered not without design, I found he languished for satisfying a curiosity, natural enough, to view and handle those parts which attract and concenter the warmest force of imagination, charmed, as I was, to have any occasion of obliging and humouring his young desires, I suffered him to proceed as he pleased, without check or control, to the satisfaction of them.
Easily, then, reading in my eyes the full permission of myself to all his wishes, he scarce pleased himself more than me; when, having insinuated his hand under my petticoat and shift, he presently removed those bars to the sight, by slily lifting them upwards, under favour of a thousand kisses, which he thought, perhaps, necessary to divert my attention from what he was about. All my drapery being now rolled up to my waist, I threw myself into such a posture upon the couch, as gave up to him, in full view, the whole region of delight, and all the luxurious landscape around it. The transported youth devoured every thing with his eyes, and tried, with his fingers, to lay more open to his sight the secrets of that dark and delicious deep: he opens the folding lips, the softness of which, yielding entry to any thing of a hard body, close round it, and oppose the sight; and feeling further, meets with, and wonder at, a soft fleshy excrescence, which, limber and relaxed after the late enjoyment, now grew, under the touch and examination of his fiery fingers, more and more stiff and considerable, till the titillating ardours of that so sensible part made me sigh, as if he had hurt me; on which he withdrew his curious probing fingers, asking me pardon, as it were, in a kiss that rather increased the flame there.
Novelty ever makes the strongest impressions, and in pleasures, especially; no wonder then, that he was swallowed up in raptures of admiration of things so interesting by their nature, and now seen and handled for the first time. On my part, I was richly overpaid for the pleasure I gave him, in that of examining the power of those objects thus abandoned to him, naked and free to his loosest wish, over the artless, natural stripling: his eyes streaming fire, his cheeks glowing with a florid red, his fervid frequent sighs, whilst his hands convulsively squeezed, opened, pressed together again the lips and sides of that deep flesh wound, or gently twitched the over-growing moss; and all proclaimed the excess, the riot of joys, in having his wantonness thus humoured. But he did not long abuse my patience, for the objects before him had now put him by all his, and, coming out with that formidable machine of his, he lets the fury loose, and pointing it directly to the pouting-lip mouth, that bid him sweet defiance in dumb shew, squeezes in his head, and, driving with refreshed rage, breaks in, and plugs up the whole passage of that soft pleasure-conduit pipe, where he makes all shake again, and put, once more, all within me into such an uproar, as nothing could still, but a fresh inundation from the very engine of those flames, as well as from all the springs with which nature floats that reservoir of joy, when risen to its floodmark.
I was now so bruised, so battered, so spent with this overmatch, that I could hardly stir, or raise myself, but lay palpitating, till the ferment of my senses subsiding by degrees, and the hour striking at which I was obliged to dispatch my young man, I tenderly advised him of the necessity there was for parting; at which I felt so much displeasure as he could do, who seemed eagerly disposed to keep the field, and to enter on a fresh action. But the danger was too great, and after some hearty kisses of leave, and recommendations of secrecy and discretion, I forced myself to send him away, not without assurances of seeing him again, to the same purpose, as soon as possible, and thrust a guinea into his hands: not more, less, being too flush of money, a suspicion or discovery might arise from thence; having everything to fear from the dangerous indiscretion of that age in which young fellows would be too irresistible, too charming, if we had not that terrible fault to guard against.
Giddy and intoxicated as I was with such satiating draughts of pleasure, I still lay on the couch, supinely stretched out, in a delicious languor diffused over all my limbs, hugging myself for being thus revenged to my heart's content, and that in a manner so precisely alike, and on the identical spot in which I had received the supposed injury. No reflections on the consequences ever once perplexed me, nor did I make myself one single reproach for having, by this step, completely entered myself into a profession more decried than disused. I should have held it ingratitude to the pleasure I had received, to have repented of it; and since I was now over the bar, I thought, by plunging head and ears into the stream I was hurried away by, to drown all sense of shame or reflection.
Whilst I was thus making these laudable dispositions, and whispering to myself a kind of tacit vow of incontinency, enters Mr. H... The consciousness of what I had been doing deepened yet the glowing of my cheeks, flushed with the warmth of the late action, which, joined to the piquant air of my dishabile, drew from Mr. H.... a compliment on my looks, which he was proceeding to bask the sincerity of with proofs, and that with so brisk an action, as made me tremble for fear of a discovery from the condition those parts were left in from their late severe handling: the orifice dilated and inflamed, the lips swollen with their uncommon distension, the ringlets pressed down, crushed and uncurled with the over flowing moisture that had wet everything round it; in short, the different feel and state of things would hardly have passed upon one of Mr. H.....'s nicety and experience unaccounted for but by the real cause. But here the woman saved me: I pretended a violent disorder of my head, and a feverish heat, that indisposed me too much to receive his embraces. He gave in to this, and good naturedly desisted. Soon after, an old lady coming in made a third, very apropos for the confusion I was in, and Mr. H...., after bidding me take care of myself, and recommending me to my repose, left me much at ease and relieved by his absence.
In the close of the evening, I took care to have prepared for me a warm bath of aromatik and sweet herbs; in which having fully laved and solaced myself, I came out voluptuously refreshed in body and spirit.
The next morning waking pretty early, after a night's perfect rest and composure, it was not without some dread and uneasiness that I thought of what innovation that tender soft system of mine might have sustained, from the shock of a machine so sized for its destruction.
Struck with this apprehension, I scarce dared to carry my hand thither, to inform myself of the state and posture of things.
But I was soon agreeably cured of my fears.
The silky hair that covered round the borders, now smoothed and re-pruned, had resumed its wonted curl and trimness; the fleshy pouting lips that had stood the brunt of the engagement, were no longer swollen or moisture-drenched; and neither they, nor the passage into which they opened, that had suffered so great a dilation, betrayed any the least alteration, outwardly or inwardly, to the most curious research, notwithstanding the laxity that naturally follows the warm bath.
This continuation of that grateful stricture which is in us, to the men, the very jet of their pleasure, I owed, it seems, to a happy habit of body, juicy, plump and furnished, towards the texture of those parts, with a fullness of soft springy flesh, that yielding sufficiently, as it does, to almost any distension soon recovers itself so as to re-tighten that strict compression of its mantlings and folds, which form the sides of the passage, wherewith it so tenderly embraces and closely clips any foreign body introduced into it, such as my exploring finger then was.
Finding then every thing in due tone and order, I remember my fears, only to make a jest of them to myself. And now, palpably mistress of any size of man, and triumphing in my double achievement of pleasure and revenge, I abandoned myself entirely to the ideas of all the delight I had swam in. I lay stretching out, glowingly alive all over, and tossing with burning impatience for the renewal of joys that had sinned but in a sweet excess; nor did I lose my longing, for about ten in the morning, according to expectation, Will, my new humble sweetheart, came with a message from his master, Mr. H...., to know how I did. I had taken care to send my maid on an errand into the city, that I was sure would take up time enough; and, from the people of the house, I had nothing to fear, as they were plain good sort of folks, and wise enough to mind no more other people's business than they could well help.
All dispositions then made, not forgetting that of lying in bed to receive him, when he was entered the door of my bed chamber, a latch, that I governed by a wire, descended and secured it.
I could not but observe that my young minion was as much spruced out as could be expected from one in his condition: a desire of pleasing that could not be indifferent to me, since it proved that I pleased him; which, I assure you, was now a point I was not above having in view.
His hair trimly dressed, clean linen, and, above all, a hale, ruddy, wholesome country look, made him out as pretty a piece of woman's meat as you could see, and I should have thought any one much out of taste, that could not have made a hearty meal of such a morsel as nature seemed to have designed for the highest diet of pleasure.
And why should I here suppress the delight I received from this amiable creature, in remarking each artless look, each motion of pure indissembled nature, betrayed by his wanton eyes; or shewing, transparently, the glow and suffusion of blood through his fresh, clear skin, whilst even his stury rustic pressure wanted not their peculiar charm? Oh! but, say you, this was a young fellow of too low a rank of life to deserve so great a display. May be so: but was my condition, strictly considered, one jot more exalted? or, had I really been much above him, did not his capacity of giving such exquisite pleasure sufficiently raise and enoble him, to me, at least? Let who would, for me cherish, respect, and reward the painter's, the statuary's, the musician's art, in proportion to the delight taken in them: but at my age, and with my taste for pleasure, a taste strongly constitutional to me, the talent of pleasing, with which nature has endowed a handsome person, formed to me the greatest of all merits; compared to which, the vulgar prejudices in favour of titles, dignities, honours, and the like, held a very low rank indeed. Nor perhaps would the beauties of the body be so much affected to be held cheap, were they, in their nature, to be bought and delivered. But for me, whose natural philosophy all resided in the favourite center of sense, and who was ruled by its powerful instinct in taking pleasure by its right handle, I could scarce have made a choice more to my purpose.
Mr. H....'s loftier qualifications of birth, fortune and sense, laid me under a sort of subjection and constraint, that were far from making harmony in the concert of love; nor had he, perhaps, thought me worth softening that superiority to; but, with this lad, I was more on the level which love delights in.
We may say what we please, but those we can be the easiest and freest with, are ever those we like, not to say love the best.
With this stripling, all whose art of love was the action of it, I could, without check of awe or restraint, give a loose to jay, and execute every scheme of dalliance my fond fancy might put me on, in which he was, in every sense, a most exquisite companion. And now my great pleasure lay in humouring all the petulances, all the wanton frolic of a raw novice just fledged, and keen on the burning scent of his game, but unbroken to the sport: and, to carry on the figure, who could better read the wood than he, or stand fairer for the heart of the hunt?
He advanced then to my bed side, and whilst he faultered out his message, I could observe his colour rise, and his eyes lighten with joy, in seeing me in a situation as favourable to his loosest wishes, as if he had bespoke the play.
I smiled, and put out my hand towards him, which he kneeled down to (a politeness taught him by love alone, that great master of it) and greedily kissed. After exchanging a few confused questions and answers, I asked him if he would come to bed to me, for the little time I could venture to detain him. This was just asking a person, dying with hunger, to feast upon the dish on earth the most to his palate. Accordingly, without further reflection, his clothes were off in an instant; when, blushing still more at this new liberty, he got under the bed clothes I held up to receive him, and was now in bed with a woman for the first time in his life.
Here began the usual tender preliminaries, as delicious, perhaps, as the crowning act of enjoyment itself; which they often beget an impatience of, that makes pleasure destructive of itself, by hurrying on the final period, and closing that scene of bliss, in which the actors are generally too well pleased with their parts, not to wish them an eternity of duration.
When we had sufficiently graduated our advances towards the main point, by toying, kissing, clipping, feeling my breasts, now round and plump, feeling that part of me I might call a furnace mouth, from the prodigious intense heat his fiery touches had rekindled there, my young sportsman, emboldened by the very freedom he could wish, wontonly takes my hand, and carries it to that enormous machine of his, that stood with a stiffness! a hardness! an upward bend of erection! and which, together with it bottom dependence, the inestimable bulse of ladies jewels, formed a grand showout of goods indeed! Then its dimensions, mocking either grasp or span, almost renewed my terrors.
I could not conceive how, or by what means I could take, or put such a bulk out of sight. I stroked it gently, on which the mutinous rogue seemed to swell, and gather a new degree of fierceness and insolence; so that finding it grew not to be trifled with any longer, I prepared for rubbers in good earnest.
Slipping then a pillow under me, that I might give him the fairest play, I guided officiously with my hand this furious battering ram, whose ruby head, presenting nearest the resemblance of a heart, I applied to its proper mark, which lay as finely elevated as we could wish; my hips being borne up, and my thighs at their utmost extension, the gleamy warmth that shot from it, made him feel that he was at the mouth of the indraught, and driving fore right, the powerfully divided lips of that pleasure-thirsty channel received him. He hesitated a little; then, settled well in the passage, he makes his way up the straights of it, with a difficulty nothing more than pleasing, widening as he went so as to distend and smooth each soft furrow: our pleasure increasing deliciously, in proportion to our points of mutual touch increased in that so vital part of me which I had now taken him, all indriven, and completely sheathed; and which, crammed as it was, stretched splitting ripe, gave it so gratefully straight an accommodation! so strict a fold! a suction so fierce! that gave and took unutterable delight. We had now reached the closest point of union; but when he beckened to come on the fiercer, as if I had ben actuated by a fear of losing him, in the height of my fury, I twist my legs round his naked loins, the flesh of which, so firm, so springy to the touch, quivered again under the pressure; and now I had him every way encircled and begirt; and having drawn him home to me, I kept him fast there, as if I had sought to unite bodies with him at that point. This bred a pause of action, a pleasure stop, whilst that delicate glutton, my nether mouth, as full as it could hold, kept palating, with exquisite relish, the morsel that so deliciously ingorged it. But nature could not long endure a pleasure that it so highly provoked without satisfying it: pursuing then its darling end, the battery recommenced with redoubled exertion; nor lay I inactive on my side, but encountering him with all the impetuosity of motion I was mistress of, the downy cloth of our meeting mount was now of real use to break the violence of the tilt; and soon, indeed! the highwrought agitation, the sweet urgency of this to-and-fro friction, raised the titillation on me to its height; so that finding myself on the point of going, and loath to leave the tender partner of my joys behind me, I employed all the forwarding motions and arts my experience suggested to me, to promote his keeping me company to our journey's end. I not only then tightened the pleasure-girth round my restless inmate, by a secret spring of friction and compression that obeys the will in those parts, but stole my hand softly to that store bag of nature's prime sweets, which is so pleasingly attached to its conduit pipe, from which we receive them; there feeling, and most gently indeed, squeezing those tender globular reservoirs, the magic touch took instant effect, quickened, and brought on upon the spur the symptoms of that sweet agony, the melting moment of dissolution, when pleasure dies by pleasure, and the mysterious engine of it overcomes the titillation it has raised in those parts, by plying them with the stream of a warm liquid, that in itself the highest of all titillations, and which they thirstily express and draw in like the hot natured leach, which, to cool itself, tenaciously extracts all the moisture within its sphere of execution. Chiming then to me, with exquisite consent, as I melted away, his oily balsamic injection, mixing deliciously with the sluices in flow from me, sheathed and blunted all the stings of pleasure, whilst a voluptuous languor possest, and still maintained us motionless, and fast locked in one another's arms. Alas! that these delights should be no longer-lived; for now the point of pleasure, unedged by enjoyment, and all the brisk sensations flattened upon us, resigned us up to the cool cares of insipid life. Disengaging myself then from his embrace, I made him sensible of the reasons there were for his present leaving me; on which, though reluctantly, he put on his clothes, with as little expedition, however, as he could help, wantonly interrupting himself, between whiles, with kisses, touches and embraces I could not refuse myself to. Yet he happily returned to his master before he was missed; but, at taking leave, I forced him (for he had sentiments enough to refuse it) to receive money enough to buy a silver watch, that great article of subaltern finery, which he at length accepted of, as a remembrance he was carefully to preserve of my affections.
And here, Madam, I ought, perhaps, to make you an apology for this minute detail of things, that dwelt so strongly upon my memory, after so deep an impression; but, besides that this intrigue bred one great revolution in my life, which historical truth requires I should not sink from you, may I not presume that so exalted a pleasure ought not to be ungratefully forgotten, or suppressed by me, because I found it in a character in low life; where, by the by, it is oftener met with, purer, and more unsophisticated, than among the false, ridiculous refinements with which the great suffer themselves to be so grossly cheated by their pride: the great! than whom, there exist few amongst those they call the vulgar, who are more ignorant of, or who cultivate less, the art of living than they do; they, I say, who for ever mistake things the most foreign to the nature of pleasure itself; whose capital favourite object is enjoyment of beauty, wherever that rare incaluable gift is found, without distinction of birth, or station.
As love never had, so now revenge had no longer any share in my commerce in this handsome youth. The sole pleasures of enjoyment were now the link I held to him by: for though nature had done such great maters for him in his outward form, and especially in that superb piece of furniture she had so liberally enriched him with; though he was thus qualified to give the senses their richest feast, still there was something more wanting to create in me, and constitute the passion of love. Yet Will had very good qualities too: gentle, tractable, and, above all, grateful; silentious, even to a fault: he spoke, at any time, very little, but made it up emphatically with action; and, to do him justice, he never gave me the least reason to complain, either of any tendency to encroach upon me for the liberties I allowed him, or of his indiscretion in blabbing them. There is, then, a fatality in love, or have loved him I must; for he was really a treasure, a bit for the Bonne Bouche of a duchess; and, to say the truth, my liking for him was so extreme, that it was distinguishing very nicely to deny that I loved him.
My happiness, however, with him did not last long, but found an end from my own imprudent neglect. After having taken even superfluous precautions against a discovery, our success in repeated meetings emboldened me to omit the barely necessary ones. About a month after our first intercourse, one fatal morning (the season Mr. H.... rarely or never visited me in) I was in my closet, where my toilet stood, in nothing but my shift, a bed gown and under petticoat. Will was with me, and both ever too well disposed to baulk an opportunity. For my part, a whim, a wanton toy had just taken me, and I had challenged my man to execute it on the spot, who hesitated not to comply with my humour: I was set in the arm chair, my shift and petticoat up, my thighs wide spread and mounted over the arms of the chair, presenting the fairest mark to Will's drawn weapon, which he stood in act to plunge into me, when, having neglected to secure the chamber door, and that of the closet standing a-jar, Mr. H.... stole in upon us, before either of us was aware, and saw us precisely in these convicting attitudes.
I gave a great scream, and dropped my petticoat: the thunder-struck lad stood trembling and pale, waiting his sentence of death. Mr. H.... looked sometimes at one, sometimes at the other, with a mixture of indignation and scorn; and, without saying a word, spun upon his heel and went out.
As confused as I was, I heard him very distinctly turn the key, and lock the chamber door upon us, so that there was no escape but through the dining room, where he himself was walking about with distempered strides, stamping in a great chafe, and doubtless debating what he would do with us.
In the mean time, poor William was frightened out of his senses, and, as much need as I had of spirits myself, I was obliged to employ them all to keep his a little up. The misfortune I had now brought upon him, endeared him the more to me, and I could have joyfully suffered any punishment he had not shared in. I watered, plentifully, with my tears, the face of the frightened youth, who sat, not having strength to stand, as cold and as lifeless as a statue.
Presently Mr. H.... comes in to us again, and made us go before him into the dining room, trembling and dreading the issue, Mr. H.....sat down on a chair whilst we stood like criminals under examination; and, beginning with me, asked me, with an even firm tone of voice, neither soft nor severe, but cruelly indifferent, what I could say for myself, for having abused him in so unworthy a manner, with his own servant too, and how he had deserved this of me?
Without adding to the guilt of my infidelity, that of an audacious defence of it, in the old style of a common kept miss, my answer was modest, and often interrupted by my tears, in substance as follows: "That I never had a single thought of wronging him" (which was true), "till I had seen him taking the last liberties with my servant wench" (here he coloured prodigiously), "and that my resentment at that, which I was over-awed from giving vent to by complaints, or explanations with him, had driven me to a course that I did not pretend to justify; but that as to the young man, he was entirely faultless; for that, in the view of making him the instrument of my revenge, I had down right seduced him to what he had done; and therefore hoped, whatever he determined about me, he would distinguish between the guilty and the innocent; and that; for the rest, I was entirely at his mercy."
Mr. H.... on hearing what I said, hung his head a little; but instantly recovering himself, he said to me, as near as I can retain, to the following purpose:
"Madam, I owe shame to myself, and confess you have fairly turned the tables upon me. It is not with one of your cast of breeding and sentiments, that I allow you so much reason on your side, as great difference of the provocations: be it sufficient that I should enter into a discussion of the very to have changed my resolution, in consideration of what you reproach me with; and I own, too, that your clearing that rascal there, is fair and honest in you. Renew with you I cannot: the affront is too gross. I give you a week's warning to get out of these lodgings; whatever I have given you, remains to you; and as I never intend to see you more, the landlord will pay you fifty pieces on my account, with which, and every debt paid, I hope you will own I do not leave you in a worse condition than what I took you up in, or that you deserve of me. Blame yourself only that it is no better."
Then, without giving me time to reply, he addressed himself to the young fellow:
"For you, spark, I shall, for your father's sake, take care of you: the town is no place for such an easy fool as thou art; and to-morrow you shall set out, under the charge of one of my men, well recommended, in my name, to your father, not to let you return and be spoil'd here."
At these words he went out, after my vainly attempting to stop him, by throwing myself at his feet. He shook me off, though he seemed greatly moved too, and took Will away with him, who, I dare swear, thought himself very cheaply off.
I was now once more a-drift, and left upon my own hands, by a gentleman whom I certainly did not deserve. And all the letters, arts, friends, entreaties that I employed within the week of grace in my lodging, could never win on him so much as to see me again. He had irrevocably pronounced my doom, and submission to it was my only part. Soon after he married a lady of birth and fortune, to whom, I have heard he proved an irreproachable husband.
As for poor Will, he was immediately sent down to the country to his father, who was an easy farmer, where he was not four months before an inn-keepers' buxom young widow, with a very good stock, both in money and trade, fancied, and perhaps pre-acquainted with his secret excellencies, married him: and I am sure there was, at least, one good foundation for their living happily together.
Though I should have been charmed to see him before he went, such measures were taken, by Mr. H....'s orders, that it was impossible; otherwise I should certainly have endeavoured to detain him in town, and would have spared neither offers nor expense to have procured myself the satisfaction of keeping him with me. He had such powerful holds upon my inclinations as were not easily to be shaken off, or replaced; as to my heart, it was quite out of the question: glad, however, I was from my soul, that nothing worse, and as things turned out, nothing better could have happened to him.
As to Mr. H..., though views of conveniency made me, at first, exert myself to regain his affection, I was giddy and thoughtless enough to be much easier reconciled to my failure than I ought to have been; but as I never had loved him, and his leaving me gave me a sort of liberty that I had often longed for, I was soon comforted; and flattering myself, that the stock of youth and beauty I was going to trade with, could hardly fail of procuring me a maintenance, I saw myself under the necessity of trying my fortune with them, rather, with pleasure and gaiety, than with the least idea of despondency.
In the mean time, several of my acquaintances among the sisterhood, who had soon got wind of my misfortune, flocked to insult me with their malicious consolations. Most of them had long envied me the affluence and splendour I had been maintained in; and though there was scarce one of them that did not at least deserve to be in my case, and would probably, sooner or later, come to it, it was equally easy to remark, even in their affected pity, their secret pleasure at seeing me thus discarded, and their secret grief that it was no worse with me. Unaccountable malice of the human heart! and which is not confined to the class of life they were of.
But as the time approached for me to come to some resolution how to dispose of myself, and I was considering, round where to shift my quarters to, Mrs. Cole, a middle aged discreet sort of woman, who had been brought into my acquaintance by one of the misses that visited me, upon learning my situation, came to offer her cordial advice and service to me; and as I had always taken to her more than to any of my female acquaintances, I listened the easier to her proposals. And, as it happened, I could not have put myself into worse, or into better hands in all London: into worse, because keeping a house of conveniency, there were no lengths in lewdness she would not advise me to go, in compliance with her customers; no schemes, or pleasure, or even unbounded debauchery, she did not take even a delight in promoting: into a better, because nobody having had more experience of the wicked part of the town than she had, was fitter to advise and guard one against the worst dangers of our profession; and what was rare to be met with in those of her's, she contented herself with a moderate living profit upon her industry and good offices, and had nothing of their greedy rapacious turn. She was really too a gentlewoman born and bred, but through a train of accidents reduced to this course, which she pursued, partly through necessity, partly through choice, as never woman delighted more in encouraging a brisk circulation of the trade, for the sake of the trade itself, or better understood all the mysteries and refinements of it, than she did; so that she was consummately at the top of her profession, and dealt only with customers of distinction: to answer the demands of whom she kept a competent number of her daughters in constant recruit (so she called those whom their youth and personal charms recommended to her adoption and management: several of whom, by her means, and through her tuition and instructions, succeeded very well in the world).
This useful gentlewoman upon whose protection I now threw myself, having her reasons of state, respecting Mr. H...., for not appearing too much in the thing herself, sent a friend of her's, on the day appointed for my removal, to conduct me to my new lodgings at a brush-maker's in E—— street, Covent Garden, the very next door to her own house, where she had no conveniences to lodge me herself: lodgings that, by having been for several successions tenanted by ladies of pleasures, the landlord of them was familiarized to their ways; and provided the rent was paid, every thing else was as easy and commodious as one could desire.
The fifty guineas promised me by Mr. H...., at his parting with me, having been duly paid me, all my clothes and moveables chested up, which were at least of two hundred pounds value, I had them conveyed into a coach, where I soon followed them, after taking a civil leave of the landlord and his family, with whom I had never lived in a degree of familiarity enough to regret the removal; but still, the very circumstance of its being a removal, drew tears from me. I left, too, a letter of thanks for Mr. H...., from whom I concluded myself, as I really was, irretrievably separated.
My maid I had discharged the day before, not only because I had her of Mr. H...., but that I suspected her of having some how or other been the occasion of his discovering me, in revenge, perhaps, for my not having trusted her with him.
We soon got to my lodgings, which, though not so handsomely furnished, nor so showy as those I left, were to the full as convenient, and at half price, though on the first floor. My trunks were safely landed, and stowed in my apartments, where my neighbour, and now gouvernante, Mrs. Cole, was ready with my landlord to receive me, to whom she took care to set me out in the most favourable light, that of one from whom there was the clearest reason to expect the regular payment of his rent: all the cardinal virtues attributed to me, would not have had half the weight of that recommendation alone.
I was now settled in lodgings of my own, abandoned to my own conduct, and turned loose upon the town, to sink or swim, as I could manage with the current of it; and what were the consequences, together with the number of adventures which befell me in the exercise of my new profession, will compose the mater of another letter: for surely it is high time to put a period! to this.
Yours, etc., etc., etc.
THE END OF THE FIRST LETTER