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.