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I, says he: but turns to Amy, Is it so, Amy? says he. No, sir, says she. Nay, don't say no, you fool; did not I promise to put you to bed to him? But the girl said, No, still, and it passed off.
At night, when we came to go to bed, Amy came into the chamber to undress me, and her master slipped into bed first; then I began, and told him all that Amy had said about my not being with child, and of her being with child twice in that time. Ay, Mrs. Amy, says he, I believe so too: come hither, and we'll try. But Amy did not go. Go, you fool, says I, can't you? I freely give you both leave. But Amy would not go. Nay, you whore, says I, you said, if I would put you to bed, you would with all your heart. And with that, I sat her down, pulled off her stockings and shoes, and all her clothes piece by piece, and led her to the bed to him. Here, says I, try what you can do with your maid Amy. She pulled back a little, would not let me pull off her clothes at first, but it was hot weather, and she had not many clothes on, and particularly no stays on; and at last, when she see I was in earnest, she let me do what I would. So I fairly stripped her, and then I threw open the bed, and thrust her in.
I need say no more. This is enough to convince anybody that I did not think him my husband, and that I had cast off all principle, and all modesty, and had effectually stifled conscience.
Amy, I dare say, began now to repent, and would fain have got out of bed again; but he said to her, Nay, Amy, you see your mistress has put you to bed, 'tis all her doing, you must blame her. So he held her fast, and the wench being naked in the bed with him, it was too late to look back, so she lay still and let him do what he would with her.
Had I looked upon myself as a wife, you cannot suppose I would have been willing to have let my husband lie with my maid, much less before my face, for I stood by all the while; ut as I thought myself a whore, I cannot say but that it was something designed in my thoughts, that my maid should be a whore too, and should not reproach me with it.
Amy, however, less vicious than I, was grievously out of sorts the next morning, and cried and took on most vehe. mently, that she was ruined and undone, and there was no pacifying her; she was a whore, a slut, and she was undone!
AMY PROVES IN THE FAMILY WAY.
undone! and cried almost all day. I did all I could to pacify her. A whore! says I, well, and am not I a whore as well as you? No, no, says Amy, no, you are not, for you are married. Not I, Amy, says I, I do not pretend to it He may marry you to-morrow, if he will, for anything I could do to hinder it. I am not married. I do not look upon it as anything. Well, all did not pacify Amy, but she cried two or three days about it; but it wore off by degrees.
But the case differed between Amy and her master exceedingly; for Amy retained the same kind temper she always had: but, on the contrary, he was quite altered, for he hated her heartily, and could, I believe, have killed her after it, and he told me so, for he thought this a vile action ; whereas what he and I had done he was perfectly easy in, thought it just, and esteemed me as much his wife as if we had been married from our youth, and had neither of us known any other ; nay, he loved me, I believe, as entirely as if I had been the wife of his youth. Nay, he told me it was true, in one sense, that he had two wives, but that I the wife of his affection, the other the wife of his aversion.
I was extremely concerned at the aversion he had taken to my maid Amy, and used my utmost skill to get it altered; for though he had, indeed, debauched the wench, I knew that I was the principal occasion of it; and as he was the best-humoured man in the world, I never gave him over till I prevailed with him to be easy with her, and as I was now become the devil's agent, to make others as wicked as myself, I brought him to lie with her again several times after that, till at last, as the poor girl said, so it happened, and she was really with child.
She was terribly concerned at it, and so was he too. Come, my dear, says I, when Rachel put her handmaid to bed to Jacob, she took the children as her own. Don't be uneasy; I'll take the child as my own. Had not I a hand in the frolic of putting her to bed to you? It was my fault as much as yours. So I called Amy, and encouraged her too, and told her that I would take care of the child and her too, and added the same argument to her. For, says I, Amy, it was all my fault ; did not I drag your clothes off of your back, and put you to bed to him? Thus I that had, indeed, been the cause of all the wickedness between them, encouraged them both, when they had any remorse about
it, and rather prompted them to go on with it, than to repent of it.
When Amy grew big, she went to a place I had provided for her, and the neighbours knew nothing but that Amy and I was parted. She had a fine child indeed, a daughter, and we had it nursed, and Amy came again in about half a year to live with her old mistress; but neither my gentleman, or Amy either, cared for playing that game over again; for as he said, the jade might bring him a house full of children to keep.
We lived as merrily and as happily after this as could be expected, considering our circumstances; I mean as to the pretended marriage, &c.; and as to that my gentleman had not the least concern about him for it. By: as much as I was hardened, and that was as much as I believe ever any wicked creature was, yet I could not help it, there was and would be hours of intervals and of dark reflections which came involuntarily in, and thrust in sighs into the middle of all my songs; and there would be sometimes a heaviness of heart which intermingled itself with all my joy, and which would often fetch a tear from my eye. And let others pretend what they will, I believe it impossible to be otherwise with anybody. There can be no substantial satisfaction in a life of known wickedness; conscience will and does often break in upon them at particular times, let them do what they can to prevent it.
But I am not to preach, but to relate, and whatever loose reflections were, and how often soever those dark intervals came on, I did my utmost to conceal them from him ; ay, and to suppress and smother them too in myself; and, to outward appearance, we lived as cheerfully and agreeably as it was possible for any couple in the world to live.
After I had thus lived with him something above two year, truly I found myself with child too; my gentleman was mightily pleased at it, and nothing could be kinder than he was in the preparations he made for me, and for my lyingin, which was, however, very private, because I cared for as little company as possible; nor had I kept up my neighbourly acquaintance, so that I had nobody to invite upon such an occasion.
I was brought to bed very well (of a daughter too, as well as Amy), but the child died at about six weeks old, so
PRESENT MY GENTLEMAN WITH A SON.
all that work was to do over again, that is to say, the charge, the expense, the travail, &c.
The next year I made him amends, and brought him a son, to his great satisfaction; it was a charming child, and did very well. After this, my husband, as he called himself, came to me one evening, and told me he had a very difficult thing happened to him, which he knew not what to do in, or how to resolve about, unless I would make him easy; this was, that his occasions required him to go over to France for about two months.
Well, my dear, says I, and how shall I make you easy ?
Why, by consenting to let me go, says he ; upon which condition, I'll tell you the occasion of my going, that you may judge of the necessity there is for it on my side Then, to make me easy in his going, he told me he would make his will before he went, which should be to my full satisfaction.
I told him the last part was so kind that I could not decline the first part, unless he would give me leave to add, that if it was not for putting him to an extraordinary expense, I would go over along with him.
He was so pleased with this offer, that he told me he would give me full satisfaction for it, and accept of it too; so he took me to London with him the next day, and there he made his will, and showed it to me, and sealed it before proper witnesses, and then gave it to me to keep. In this will he gave a thousand pounds to a person that we both knew very well, in trust, to pay it, with the interest from the time of his decease, to me or my assigns; then he willed the payment of my jointure, as he called it, viz., his bond of five hundred pounds after his death; also, he gave me all my household-stuff, plate, &c.
This was a most engaging thing for a man to do to one under my circumstances; and it would have been hard, as I told him, to deny him anything, or to refuse to go with him anywhere. So we settled everything as well as we could, left Amy in charge with the house, and for his other business, which was in jewels, he had two men he intrusted, who he had good security for, and who managed for him, and corresponded with him..
Things being thus concerted, we went away to France, arrived safe at Calais, and by easy journeys came in eight
days more to Paris, where we lodged in the house of an English merchant of his acquaintance, and was very courteously entertained.
My gentleman's business was with some persons of the first rank, and to whom he had sold some jewels of very good value, and received a great sum of money in specie ; and as he told me privately, he gained three thousand pistoles by his bargain, but would not suffer the most intimate friend he had there to know what he had received; for it is not so safe a thing in Paris to have a great sum of money in keeping as it might be in London.
We made this journey much longer than we intended, and my gentleman sent for one of his managers in London to come over to us to Paris, with some diamonds, and sent him back to London again to fetch more; then other business fell into his hands so unexpectedly, that I began to think we should take up our constant residence there, which I was not very averse to, it being my native country, and I spoke the language perfectly well; so we took a good house in Paris, and lived very well there
and I sent for Amy to come over to me, for I lived gallantly, and my gentleman was two or three times going to keep me a coach, but I declined it, especially at Paris ; but as they have those conveniences by the day there, at a certain rate, I had an equipage provided for me whenever I pleased, and I lived here in a very good figure, and might have lived higher if I pleased.
But in the middle of all this felicity, a dreadful disaster befel me, which entirely unhinged all my affairs, and threw me back into the same state of life that I was in before; with this one happy exception, however, that whereas before I was poor, even to misery, now I was not only provided for, but
My gentleman had the name in Paris for a very rich man, and, indeed, he was so, though not so immensely rich as people imagined ; but that which was fatal to him was, that he generally carried a shagreen case in his pocket, especially when he went to court, or to the houses of any of the princes of the blood, in which he had jewels of very great value.
It happened one day, that being to go to Versailles to wait upon the prince of he came up into my chamber in the morning, and laid out his jewel-case, because he was not going to show any jewels, but to git a foreign bill accepted,