Page images


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]




HOR. ARS POET. V. 110.


T is often faid, after a man has heard a story with extraordinary circum. ftances, it is a very good one if it be true; but as for the following relation, I fhould be glad were I fure it were falfe. It is told with fuch fimplicity, and there are fo many artlefs touches of diftrefs in it, that I fear it comes too much from the heart.


SOME years ago it happened that I

lived in the fame house with a young gentleman of merit; with whofe good qualities I was fo much taken, as to make it my endeavour to fhew as many as I was able in myself. Familiar converfe improved general civilities into an unfeigned paffion on both fides. He watched an opportunity to declare himfelf to me; and I, who could not expect a man of so great an estate as his, received his addreffes in fuch terms, as gave him no reafon to believe I was dif pleafed with them, though I did nothing to make him think me more easy than was decent. His father was a very hard worldly man, and proud; fo that there


was no reason to believe he would easily be brought to think there was any thing in any woman's perfon or character that could balance the difadvantage of an unequal fortune. In the mean time the fon continued his application to ine, and omitted no occafion of demonftrating the moft difinterested paffion imaginable to me; and in plain direct terms offered to marry me privately, and keep it fo til! he fhould be fo happy as to gain his father's approbation or become poffeffed of his estate. paffionately loved him, and you will believe I did not deny fuch a one what was my interest also to grant. However, I was not fo young as not to take the precaution of carrying with me a faithful fervant, who had een allo my mother's maid, to be prefent at the ceremony: when that was over, I demanded a certificate, figned by the minifter, my husband, and the fervant I just now spoke of. After our nuptials, we converted together very familiarly in the fame houfe; but the reftraints we were generally under,. d the interviews we had being stolen and interrupted, made ou behaviour to each other have 4 N 2 rather

rather the impatient fondness which is vifible in lovers, than the regular and gratified affection which is to be obferved in man and wife. This obfervation made the father very anxious for his fon, and prefs him to a match he had in his eye for him. To relieve my husband from this importunity, and conceal the fecret of our marriage, which I had reason to know would not be long in my power in town, it was refolved that I should retire into a remote place in the country, and converfe under teigned names by letter. We long continued this way of commerce; and I with my needle, a few books, and reading over and over my hufband's letters, paffed my time in a refigned expectation of better days. Be pleafed to take notice, that within four months after I left my husband I was delivered of a daughter, who died within a few hours after her birth. This accident, and the retired manner of life I led, gave criminal hopes to a neighbouring brute of a county gentleman, whole folly was the fource of all my affliction. This ruftic is one of thofe rich clowns who fupply the want of all manner of breeding by the neglect of it, and with noify mirth, half understanding, and ample fortune, force themselves upon perfons and things without any fenfe of time and place. The poor ignorant people where I lay concealed, and now paffed for a widow, wondered I could be fo thy and ftrange, as they called it, to the fquire; and were bribed by him to admit him whenever he thought fit. I happened to be fitting in a little parlour which belonged to my own part of the houfe, and mufing over one of the fondeft of my husband's letters, in which I always kept the certificate of my marriage, when this rude fellow came in, and with the naufeous familiarity of fuch unbred brutes, fnatch, ed the papers out of my hand. I was immediately under fo great a concern, that I threw myself at his feet, and begged of him to return them. He, with the fame odious pretence to freedom and gaiety, fwore he would read them. I grew more importunate, he more curious, till at last, with an indignation aring from a paffion I then firft difco

vered in him, he threw the papers into the fire, fwearing that fince he was not to read them, the man who writ them, fhould never be fo happy as to have me read them over again. It is infignificant to tell you my tears and reproaches made the boisterous calf leave the room afhamed and out of countenance, when I had leisure to ruminate on this accident with more than ordinary forrow: however, fuch then was my confidence in my husband, that I writ to him the misfortune, and defired another paper of the fame kind. He deferred writing two or three pofts, and at last anfwered me in general, that he could not then fend me what I asked for; but when he could find a proper conveyance, I fhould be fure to have it. From this time his letters were more cold every day than other, and as he grew indifferent I grew jealous. This has at latt brought me to town, where I find both the witneffes of my marriage dead, and that my hufband, after three months cohabitation, has buried a young lady whom he married in obedience to his father. In a word, he fhuns and difowns me. Should I come to the house and confront him, the father would join in fupporting him against me, though he believed my story; fhould I talk it to the world, what reparation can I expect for an injury I cannot make out? I believe he means to bring me, through neceffity, to refign my pretentions to him for fome provifion for my life; but I will die firft. Pray bid him remember what he faid, and how he was charmed when he laughed at the heedlefs difcovery I often made of myfelf; let him remember how aukward I was in my diffembled indifference towards him before company; ask him how I, who could never conceal my love for him, at his own requeft can part with him for ever? Oh, Mr. Spectator, fenfible fpirits know no indifference in marriage; what then do you think is my piercing affliction!-I leave you to reprefent my diftrefs your own way, in which I defire you to be fpeedy, if you have compaffion for innocence expofed to infamy.




[ocr errors]





HE journal, with which I prefented my reader on Tuesday laft, has brought me in feveral letters, with accounts of many private lives cait into that form. I have the Rake's Journal, the Sot's Journal, the Whoremafter's Journal, and among several others a very curious piece, entitled The Journal of a Mohock. By thefe inftances I find that the intention of my last Tuefday's paper has been mistaken by many of my readers. I did not defign to much to expofe vice as idleness, and aimed at thofe perfons who pafs away their time rather in trifle and impertinence, than in crimes and immoralities. Offences of this latter kind are not to be dallied with, or treated in fo ludicrous a man


In fhort, my journal only holds up folly to the light, and fhews the difagreeablenefs of fuch actions as are indifferent in themselves, and blameable only as they proceed from creatures endowed with reafon.

My following correfpondent, who calls herself Clarinda, is fuch a journatit as I require: the feems by her let ter to be placed in a modish state of indifference between vice and virtue, and to be fufceptible of either, were there proper pains taken with her. Had her journal been filled with gallantries, or fuch occurrences as had fhewn her wholly divefted of her natural innocence, notwithstanding it might have been more pleafing to the generality of readers, I fhould not have publifhed it; but as it is only the picture of a life filled with a fashionable kind of gaiety and laziness, I shall fet down five days of it, as I have received it from the hand of my fair correfpondent.


YOU having fet your readers an ex

ercife in one of your last week's papers, I have performed mine according to your orders, and herewith fend it you inclofed. You must know, Mr. Spectator, that I am a maiden lady of a good fortune, who have had feveral


matches offered me for thefe ten years last part, and have at prefent warm applications made to me by a very pretty fellow. As I am at my own difpofal, I come up to town every winter, and pals my time in it after the manner you will find in the following journal, which I began to write upon the very day after your Spectator upon that fubject.

TUESDAY night. Could not go to fleep till one in the morning for thinking of my journal.

WEDNESDAY. From eight till ten. Drank two difhes of chocolate in bed, and fell afleep after them.

From ten to eleven. Eat á flice of bread and butter, drank a difh of bohea, read the Spectator.

From eleven to one. At my toilette, tried a new head. Gave orders for Veny to be combed and wathed. Mem. I look beft in blue.

From one till half an hour after two. Drove to the Change. Cheapened a couple of fans.

Till four. At dinner. Mem. Mr. Froth paffed by in his new liveries.

From four to fix. Drefied, paid a vifit to old Lady Blithe and her fitter, having before heard they were gone out of town that day.

From fix to eleven. At Ballet. Mem. Never fet again upon the ace of diamonds.

THURSDAY. From eleven at night to eight in the morning. Dream'd that punted to Mr. Froth.

From eight to ten. Chocolate. Read two acts in Aurengzebe a-bed.

From ten to eleven. Tea-table. Sent to borrow Lady Faddle's Cupid for Veny. Read the play bills. Received a letter from Mr. Froth. Mem. Locked it up in my ftrong box.

Reft of the morning. Fontange, the tire-woman, her account of my Lady Blithe's wath. Broke a tooth in my little tortoife-fhell comb. Sent Frank

[ocr errors]



to know how my Lady Hectic retted
after her monkey's leaping out at win-
Fontange tells
dow. Looked pale.
Dreffed by
me my glafs is not true.

From three to four. Dinner cold before I fat down.

From four to eleven. Saw company. Mr. Froth's opinion of Milton. His account of the Mohocks. His fancy for a pin-cufhion. Picture in the lid of his fnuff-box. Old Lady Faddle promifes me her woman to cut my hair. Loft five guineas at crimp.

Twelve o'clock at night.


Went to

FRIDAY. Eight in the morning. Read over all Mr. Froth's A-bed.

letters. Cupid and Veny.

Ten o'clock. Staid within all day, not at home.

From ten to twelve. In conference Sorted a fuit with my mantua-maker. of ribbons. Broke my blue china cup. Shut myself up From twelve to one. in my chamber, practifed Modely's fkuttle.

Lady Betty

One in the afternoon. Called for my flowered handkerchief. Worked half a violet-leaf in it. Eyes aked and head out of order. Threw by my work, and `read over the remaining part of Aurengzebe.

From three to four. Dined.

From four to twelve. Changed my mind, dreffed, went abroad, and played at crimp till midnight. Found Mrs. Spitely at home. Converfation: Mrs. Brilliant's necklace falfe ftones. Old Lady Loveday going to be married to a young fellow that is not worth a groat. Mifs Prue gone into the country. Tom Mem. Mrs. Townley has red hair.


From twelve to two. At chapel. A
great deal of good company.
The third air in the new opera. Lady
Blithe dreffed frightfully.

From three to four. Dined. Mifs
Kitty called upon me to go to the opera
before I was rifen from table.

From dinner to fix. Drank tea.
Turned off a footman for being rude to

Six o'clock. Went to the opera. I
did not fee Mr. Froth till the beginning
of the fecond act. Mr. Froth talked to
a gentleman in a black wig. Bowed to
a lady in the front box. Mr. Froth and
his friend clapp'd Nicolini in the third
act. Mr. Froth cried out Ancora. Mr.
Froth led me to my chair. I think he
fqueezed my hand.

Eleven at night. Went to bed. Me-
faid he was Mr. Froth.
lancholy dreams. Methought Nicolini

SUNDAY. Indisposed.


by Mifs Kitty.
the chair by me.

Eight o'clock. Waked Aurengzebe lay upon Kitty repeated without book the eight beft lines in the play. Went in our mobbs to the dumb man according to appointment. Told me that my lover's name began with a G. of Mr. Froth's name, &c. Mem. The conjurer was within a letter

Upon looking back into this my know whether I pafs my time well or journal, I find that I am at a loss to ill; and indeed never thought of con fidering how I did it before I perused your fpeculation upon that fubject. I fcarce find a fingle action in these five days that I can thoroughly approve of, except the working upon the violet-leaf, which I am refolved to finish the first am at leifure. As for Mr. Froth and Veny, I did not think they took up day fo much of my time and thoughts as I latter of them I will turn off, if you in find they do upon my journal. The fudfitt upon it; and if Mr. Froth does not bring matters to a conclufion very in a dream. Your humble fervant, CLARINDA. toi-denly, I will not let my life run away

Spitely whispered in my ear that the had
fomething to tell me about Mr. Froth,
I am fure it is not true.

Between twelve and one.
that Mr. Froth lay at my feet, and call-
ed me Indamora.

SATURDAY. Rofe at eight o'clock
in the morning. Sat down to my

From eight to nine. Shifted a patch
for half an hour before I could deter-
mine it. Fixed it above my

From nine to twelve.
tea, and dreffed.

left eye

Drank my

To refume one of the morals of my firft paper, and to confirm Clarinda in her good inclinations, I would have her confider what a pretty figure the would


« PreviousContinue »