Изображения страниц

I took a liking to the girl. One day, when there was no body in the house but her and me, I took occafion to extol her beauty and voice, expreffed my regard for her in an affectionate moving manner; and hinted, I could not be happy, unless I met with a return of affection. I then took her in my arms, and kissed her. The girl blushed; and modestly asked me, what I meant by using fuch freedoms with her ? I told her, I loved her dearly; and that I would do any thing to procure her esteem. “ I fuppofe, Sir," answered the, very briskly, “you can have no thoughts of marrying a poor girl ; but you would fain rob'me of my honour, and satisfy your pleasure op me. If 'his, Sir, is your view, you will be disappointedi | value my honour and reputation, and will never prostitute my chastity to the prettiest fellow in Britain, though he were to give me ten thoufand pounds for the favour. I own I am as susceptible of pafsions as others, and have natural defires in tommon with my sex; but I look upon myself as too good and noble to admit any man to my embraces; and will never, for a momentary pleasure, which may be succeeded with the most direful confequences, strip myfelf of the distinguishing glory and ornament of my sex. Besides, how can I do fo great a wickedness, and fin against God ? ! beg of you then not to tempt an innocent and unfpotted virgin, or use any meang to rob me of the only jewel I have. Sure, though I were to comply tvith your lewd desires, (nay kiss me not), could a little tránsitory pleasure atone for the lots of honour, the ruin of my soul, and the difgrace and mifery which such an adventure would entail on me? No; Sir, I hope I shall be enabled to reserve myself for fome tvorthy man, whom Providence Thall be pleased to appoint for my husband; and if I have any charms, he thall enjoy them pure


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

and unftained.” I used many arguments with this handsome maid ; but could not prevail. I was forced to reverence her virtue; and could not but blush at my own impudence and wickedness, in attempting to feduce the lovely creature." I gave her a couple of gaineas, telling her to perfist in her good resolutions, and I should never tempt her more. After this I behaved very complaisantly to her, but made no more attacks on her chastity. Some time after she was honoura, bly married, and proved to be an excellent vistuous wife.

I have met with rebuffs from several other young women, whose modesty and virtuc struck me with reverence and admiration, not without wishing in my heart that all the fex were endued with the like fortitude and chastity. One said, “ My chastity is all my portion; and I will not give it up for all the gold and silver you have thewed, or are master of: no ; I'll die, rather than part with my precious treasure." Another said, " I abhor the name of a whore; I would rather beg my bread, than be branded with the name or trade of a prostitute.” ,,A third faid, “I am a great enough finner already, though I do not add the pollution of my body to the catalogue of my crimes.' I know, that no fornicator shall in. herit the kingdom of God; and therefore I will not defile myself with impure embraces, let the beft aan tempt me.

A pretty damsel said, " Fie upon you, Sir; would you render a poor young woman miserable, by robbing her of her only glory, for a pleasure that lasts not a minute? Can the satisfaction of your brutal luft countervail my loss and difgrace? Should pregnancy succeed the guilty congress, perhaps I, to hide my shame, might be tempted to embrue my hands in the blood

fruit of my womb, and so come to an untimely end. No, Sir; though I would defire to be a wife and a mother, I will never be a whore to the best man in the kingdom, nor, for the pleasure of a moment, run the risk of an eternity of pain.” A handsome girl said to me very gravely, “ Pray, Sir, what evidence of levity or lewdoels have I given you, that emboldens you to make such scandalous proposals to me? I thought I had always behaved with the reserve and modesty becoming my sex, so that no son of vice could imagine I would be easily ensnared with fair words and hypocritical profeffions of love. I will be yer more referved, and fly the face of men, the deceivers and ruiners of the weak fex, until (if it please God) I am taken into the protection of a man of sense and honour, who will be my affectionate guardian through life.”

A charming girl once said, “ Your money perish with its infamous owner. I would rather die an old maid, amidst poverty and beggary, than consent to your vile inclinations. I prefer peace of mind, and an unsullied reputation, to all imaginary pleasures, or the gilded rubbish of the earth. if heaven appoints me an agreeable part. ner for life, he shall inherit my treasure, and I will reserve my jewels for him. Away then, begone ; I hate the fight of a debauchee.” A jolly buxom wench, being surprised half naked, and warmly attacked, with an offer of a confiderable present, notwithstanding her disadvantageous fi. tuation, very gravely replied, " Perhaps, Sir, my undesirable attitude, in which no woman of modesty would chufe to be seen by a man; my rolling black eyes, my rofy cheeks, my coral lips, and heaving breasts, upon which you have paffed such encomiums, have tempted you to this abomiDable proposal. My appearance and features are

just just as God made them, without being decorated by foreiga embellishments; and if I have any tempting charms, any alluring beauties, I cannot help it. I am conscious of innocence and integrity of heart. Carnal pleasures are very mean and infignificant in my view. I will never purchase ruin and disgrace by indulging merely sensual pleasures, Nor will I defile a body given me by heaven, and to whoin it shall be confecrated as a temple, till corruption shall waste its fading beauty, and it fall a prey to putrefaction, while the soul shall wing its way to celestial bliss. Begone then, and let me never see


face more. An amiable lady, with whom I had spent an hour in amorous talk, at last perceiving my drift, faid very briskly," I have been too long a coquette. I have gone too great lengths with men ; but my. chastity I still retain, and ever will. I must esteem it the more, and reckon it the more precious, that such a miscreant as you would pluck the lovely flower, which I hope will ere long perfume the nuptial bed. You will find abundance of women ready to comply with any thing. I am none of those; therefore get you out of my prefence.” This lady was married a few days after, and proved a most excellent happy wife, the darling of a most agreeable husband.

A handsome married lady, in the bloom of youth, who had lived some weeks separate from lier husband, and who, one told me, would. receive an accomplished youth, was affectionately carefied by me one evening; when she very ingenuously replied, “ I came into my husband's arms a pure virgin, and have tasted the sweets of the nup-, tial bed, and long for nothing more than a recon ciliation with the man I love, His cursed jealousy and severe treatment of his virtuous wife drove her away, very reluctantly, to languish in frigidity.


But I am bold to appeal to heaven, that I never wronged him, however uncharitable the world may be in pafling cenfures upon me, as you are not the firft that has attacked me. I will never wrong iny own soul, or abuse the property of another man, whom I still love, notwithstanding his base and cruel ufage of me. I hope he will soon relent, and call a loving wife to his society.” He did so soon afterwards, upon convincing evidence of her unfpotted honour, which he frankly confessed he had exposed to formidable temptations.

I have been often deceived with regard to reports. I lrave visited several ladies, both married and unmarried, whom fame had reported to be lovers of mankind; but on whom, after lavishing a world of compliments, and addresling in the most mo. ving manner, I could make '110 impreffion; but was, on the contrary, obliged to troop off with disgrace. Others, whom I had been taught to consider as fifters of Lucretia, and impregnable to the affaults of love, I found to capirulate at the first attack, and invite me to their enibraces ére I could finish niy propofals; and fume would spurn at a few guineas offered as the price of their favours. The behaviour of one of these ladies, who had a moft amiable husband and fine children, was fo very extraordinary, that I would retare it, if it would nor fhock modeft ears; and therefore Í must condemn it to perpetual oblivion, wishing her, if she is yet alive, that repentance that is not to be repented of..

On this head I must further obferve', that the far greater number of handfome girls were very easily and cheaply feduced. I purchafed women at all prices, whose impudence I detested. And sorry am I to fay it, that many reputable and fober families have servant-maids, who purcbafe their finery by no better methods than thofe of



« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »