"By Dis and by Saint Charity.
Alack, and fie for shame!
Young men will do't, if they come to't;
By God they are to blame.
Quoth she, before you tumbled me.
You promised me to web:
So would I ha' done, by yonder sun,
An thou hadst not come to my bed."Hamlet, Act IV.
As I intend only speaking of those little adventures in which I have been engaged with the fair sex, it would be superfluous were I to enter into a tedious detail of my parentage, schoolboy pranks, or other tittletattle foreign to my present subject; I shall therefore commence with an incident well calculated to prove how absolutely impossible it is ever to erase a first impression from the youthful mind. The circumstance I allude to occurred when I was in the seventh or eighth year of my age; my parents had just finished breakfast, the table was not yet clear of the equipage, and I was standing before the first enjoying the luxury of a plate of well-buttered toast-a treat my father would not indulge me with but on extraordinary occasions. I remember my father was more than usually jocular that morning, and I was ordered by him not to move from the spot where I stood until he called me.
Now follows a striking instance of how very cautious parents ought to be before they indulge in certain pleasant freaks in the presence of children.
I had not stood many minutes in the position I have already mentioned, before the quick sound of half-suppressed emotion, which proceeded from the farthest end of the apartment, caused me to turn my head to the direction from whence they proceeded; the glance was but momentary-my eyes instantly withdrew themselves from the object that met their view, while a burning blush ran like lightning through every tiny vein; a feeling, for which I could not then account, seemed to overpower me. I stood trembling-wishing, yet not daring, to take another glance; yet never, never shall I forget what I that morning saw.
At length my mother caught my stealthy sidelong glance, and quickly rising, she hastily advanced towards me and started me off to school, at the same time chiding my father for his stupid folly, as she called it.
But the object I had contemplated still haunted my imagination, and I was constantly contrasting the trifling affairs I saw at school with the picture I had seen on so grand a scale.
But nothing could exceed the pride I felt when, as I waded through the mud-stained pool, I saw that I excelled some older boys in certain points. And now the day-dreams of a youthful imagination filled my soul with undefined sensations; and often when the glare of broad day disturbed my fairy visions of delight, I have almost cried with sheer vexation.
Behold me now eleven years of age, and Miss Venetia J- but just turned ten, yet taller than myself, with features beautifully moulded, and light and flowing locks in graceful curls adorning her lovely shoulders; her parents inhabited the next house to that occupied by mine, and very frequently would they chat together. I never failed on these occasions of seizing every opportunity to make myself agreeable to the charming Venetia, and was tolerably successful. Often have I climbed the garden wall to have a game of romps with her I really thought my soul adored. But still my curiosity remained ungratified. I longed, yet feared, I should offend by asking such a favour; until one day, having been taken by some of my father's visitors to Bartholomew Fair, the scenes I there beheld so delighted my boyish fancy, that the next morning, having coaxed my fond mother to let me have some bed-furniture, I erected in the garden what appeared to me a most magnificent theatre, when I must needs invite my most intimate schoolfellow to partake my pleasure. Master William had likewise prevailed on a young girl, the daughter of a neighbour, to accompany him, and after performing a variety of gambols, similar to those exhibited by the showman the preceding evening, Master Billy, who, by the bye, knew much more of the nature of fairs than I did, exclaimed, "All in to begin!" We accordingly crept under cover, and Billy began to kiss and tousle his partner most heartily, she being not able to resist his ardour in consequence of her being overcome by convulsive peals of laughter.
For my part, I was so completely lost in admiration of his conduct, that I did not perceive the absence of Venetia, but no sooner was I convinced of her departure, than I immediately went in pursuit of her, and fortunately perceived her at the moment she was entering a little temple at the extreme end of the garden. I paused for a moment, uncertain how to act, till calling to mind how faintly Billy's lass had resented his freedom I resolved to be equally bold; thus determined, I stole gently to the door, which she had not taken the precaution to fasten, and entering, seized her in my arms and despite of her struggling nearly stifled her with kisses; till at length I had-satisfied my curiosity.
Miss Venetia was, or affected to be, exceedingly indignant at the freedom with which I had treated her, and forcing herself from my embrace, left me with these words: "I am ashamed of you; what do you think my mamma will say when she hears how impudent you have been?" But, as mamma never lectured me on the subject, and I was allowed the same freedoms more than once afterwards, I had every reason to believe that the sweet girl was of too forgiving a temper to bring trouble upon one whose only fault was a desire to improve himself in the mysteries of nature, with an earnest intention of imparting his knowledge to her on the earliest convenient opportunity.
To what lengths I might have been carried had I continued near the dear girl I will not presume to say; but my father dying about this time, and my mother finding it necessary to retire from the cares of housekeeping, I had no further opportunities of pursuing my natural studies with my charming Venetia, whom I left with feelings of regret.
Nature having favoured me with what my friends were pleased to call a very melodious voice, which developed itself at an early age, and being from my infancy extravagantly fond of music, capable even when four years old of singing several songs with some little taste, my mother was in consequence continually importuned by her acquaintances to attend all their small parties, and being, like most indulgent parents, proud of the praises lavished on her darling child, she seldom refused those invitations.
This of course instilled into my mind an early love of gaiety and company, which was the means of bringing me the acquaintance of several blooming girls, with whom I would very willingly have pursued those studies from nature which I had so pleasantly commenced with the fair Venetia; but the fear of not being equally successful deterred me.
About two years after our separation, I was introduced to Mr. H-ll upon whom, as he was partial to my singing, scarcely a day passed in which I did not call. But neither Mr. nor Mrs. H. was the magnet that attracted me thither. I had more than once observed, listening at the door whilst I was singing, a tall, good-looking girl, about fourteen years of age, who lived as servant with Mrs. H. On the occasions alluded to, she always appeared particularly delighted, a consciousness of which made me soon prefer the kitchen to the parlour.
Calling one evening when Mr. and Mrs. H. were engaged on business, I followed the charming girl downstairs, where I requested permission to wait till they were at liberty.
I saw, or fancied I saw, evident marks of satisfaction in the face of young Mary, as she very readily handed me a chair. Observing a book lying upon the table I took it up and found that it was the History of a Magdalen; and sup posing she had been reading it, I begged she would not suffer me to disturb her, and at the same time presenting her the book, I drew my chair closer, and said, "As I am myself very fond of reading, I will, with your permission, look over the pages with you."
I soon perceived, however, that her thoughts were not entirely fixed on the book, which she soon closed and, turning to me, remarked how delighted she had been the evening before with a song she had heard me sing; and having named it, I began, in my very best mannerMy heart with love is beating; and, as a reward, clasped her round the waist and stole a kiss from her pouting lips, she making but a slight resistance.
I now drew my chair still closer, and turning the conversation to the book before mentioned, found an opportunity of remarking, "What a number of those unfortunate females were then living in the neighbourhood."
Wishing her to think me more of a man than I really was, I repeated this speech, which I had heard in conversation a few days before, with an air which seemed to imply a more extensive knowledge of the subject than I really possessed, but I was greatly surprised at her answering, "There is, indeed; and I was very near being made one myself. I became acquainted with a young girl, who it seems was no better than she should be; but my mother, seeing us together, gave me a severe beating and desired me never to be seen in such company again."
I now began to suspect that my fair companion knew more than she chose to confess; and, drawing her lips close to mine, I stopped her breath with the ardour and rapidity of my kisses. She struggled, and declared that unless I remained quiet, she would leave the room.
However, this threat did not deter me; I found her struggles grow weaker and weaker every moment, and was satisfied that her anger was mere affectation.
Emboldened by this thought, I proceeded to still greater liberties.
Plunging my right hand beneath her bodice I laid a firm but gentle grasp upon her left breast, pressing and moulding it tenderly, while now and again I touched the nipple with an amorous finger. Her lovely bosom heaved wildly at my rude attack; she shuddered, apparently at my violence, yet no angry word escaped her lips; but, when she found that I was endeavouring to make further encroachments, with a sudden effort she released herself from my embrace.
I trembled with emotion; and though I expected a repulse I follow her.
She sinks into a chair, and with her hands conceals her lovely face. I fall upon my knees and crave forgiveness. I seize her hand with the most indescribable emotion; I beg but one kind word to seal my pardon — which she refuses! Ah! can I believe my senses? She smiles upon, me!
Her hand-oh, transport! — now returns the pressure! In a moment after, I forgot my promise and need forgiveness more than ever. She shakes with apprehension.
"For mercy's sake! I'll call my mistress! I'll-"
But I turned a deaf ear to her entreaties and pressed her still closer to my breast; vainly she endeavoured to extricate herself from my embrace; till at length, finding every effort useless, she abandoned the attempt; a flood of tears flowed from her beauteous eyes, she threw her arms around my neck, and her head sunk gently upon my shoulder.
As if by instinct my hand wandered up her petticoats, and by way of her slender ankle, swelling calf and rounded thighs, passed swiftly to the door of the temple of love which at once opened and closed upon the entering stranger.
Thus we remained several minutes, in a dream of blissful insensibility; and notwithstanding my conviction that my happiness, great as I imagined it to be, was yet capable of increase, I sought not to pursue the advantage I had gained; I understood not the precise nature of the end which I wished to gain, and although my kisses were returned with fervour, the virtue of the blooming Mary remained pure as before my ardent declaration of love. It was certainly not my forbearance that she had to thank, but my entire ignorance of the why and the wherefore. I understood that something more was wanting to complete my happiness, but knew not how to secure the phantom of my boyish dreams. Nature, however, is a kind instructress, and I have no doubt would have solved the problem in a few minutes more, when suddenly the parlour door unclosed and Mary was called up to clear the supper table.
Thus did my evil genius interpose and dashed the cup of happiness from my lips before I had tasted of its sweetness. I know not whether Mary had grown more cautious or that her mistress suspected my intention, but certain it is that although my visits were constantly repeated I never found an opportunity of completing my conquest.
It would be tedious to enumerate the various adventures I met with at this period, which were interrupted in a similar manner to the one just mentioned. So frequently did they occur that I began to despair of ever being made supremely blessed, and thought that fate itself conspired against my happiness.
Previous to relating my next adventure it will be necessary to observe that my mother had become acquainted with a young widow; she had a daughter some two years younger than myself who was really a very beautiful girl. They took apartments in our house, but in consequence of mother giving up housekeeping, the acquaintance was discontinued, till one day meeting the daughter by chance she insisted on my calling on mamma, who expressed great delight at seeing me.
At parting I gave her my address and the acquaintance was renewed even more intimately than before.
I was now fourteen years old, and Jane had just turned twelve, but was to all appearance quite as old as myself; her mother was nearly thirty, but a beautiful shape and a youthful countenance made her appear not more than twenty-five.
Miss Jane appeared to my admiring fancy the very person I should in a few years select for a wife; and this being my determination, I was, as may be supposed, absent from their dwelling as seldom as possible; in fact, I could go nowhere without my dear Jane accompanying me, and few lads of my age saw more company abroad. My voice and judgment had greatly improved, so much so, that Mr. W-ll, an eminent musicmaster, had, on hearing me sing, offered to procure me an engagement at one of the patent theatres, which offer, not according with the wishes of my mother, was rejected. Notwithstanding this, I was continually complying with the solicitations of professional gentlemen to sing at their concerts, etc., at most of which Jane was my constant companion.
On those evenings when I had no musical engagements I invariably visited the widow and her amiable daughter, and now I began to perceive that the widow herself became more pointed in her attentions to me, which increased at every meeting. She was a passionate admirer of music, and was continually entreating me to sing; on these occasions I frequently, in the midst of a song, observed her eyes fixed steadfastly on my face, while the tears flowed plentifully down her cheeks; and more than once she pressed my hand and wished that I was older; upon my innocently inquiring the cause, she would waive the subject; at other times she would gaze upon the portrait of her late husband, and afterwards gazing upon me, remark the striking likeness I bore to him, and saying that that alone was sufficient to make her love me more than all the world besides.
I now began to suspect that it would be my own fault if I did not improve these hints to my own advantage. I have before observed, that although nearly thirty, she looked much younger, possessing a beautiful face and figure, and when you add to these attractions the powerful vanity of a boy, not yet fifteen, to find himself beloved by a fine woman, no one will wonder at my determination to take advantage of the sentiments the widow entertained towards me.
Thus resolved, I seized an opportunity, when she expressed her regret that I was so very young, to ask why that should be a cause of sorrow to her. It would be impossible to describe the confusion that seemed to overwhelm her at this question. She endeavoured to change the subject, but I was not to be diverted from my purpose. Finding me so resolutely bent on receiving an answer, no longer hesitating, she threw her arms around my neck and, laying her head on my shoulder, acknowledged that she loved me tenderly and felt dreadfully unhappy at the conviction that the difference of our ages prevented even a momentary hope that I could ever become her husband.
I endeavoured to convince her that the difference of a few years was of little consequence to happiness; and that, had I but the means of maintaining a wife, I knew no woman I should prefer to her; although, heaven knows, I had but little thought of matrimony in reality. But how easily we are persuaded to believe what we wish.
She told me that her father-whom I knew to be immensely rich, although from family disagreements he now withheld his bounty from her, his once favourite daughter — would, she had no doubt, when he heard of her determination to marry, do something for her.
The ice being thus broken, we indulged in certain little familiarities without restraint. Jane was now sent to an evening school in order that we might be more frequently alone, and was generally despatched to her bedchamber shortly after her return; when the widow, with her head reclining on my shoulder, or her cheek, and sometimes her lips glued to mine, would suffer me to finger her swelling breasts, and then would strain me to her heart, and stifle me with kisses; beyond this all was perfect innocence.
It may easily be imagined in this sort of toying how swiftly the moments passed away; and one eventful evening, we thought not of the hour until the watchman, calling half-past one o'clock, roused us from our dream of pleasure.
I instantly arose, and was about to take my leave, at the same time observing that, as I was in the habit of occasionally sleeping with a friend, I should repair to his house in preference to disturbing my mother at that unseasonable hour. This she strenuously opposed, and being assured that my mother would suffer no uneasiness from my absence, made up a bed for me in the front room and then retired to her own chamber.
I now addressed myself to sleep, but in a short time was awoke by a slight noise in the room, and on rising to discover the cause was highly astonished to see the door open and Miss Jane in her nightdress enter the apartment.
Ere I could recover from my surprise at her unexpected appearance, she proceeded to inform me that her mother could not rest while I remained in such an uncomfortable situation. The fire in the bedroom had not been extinguished, and if I would remove my bed thither and place it before the stove I should at all events suffer less from cold than in the large apartment I at present occupied. I lost no time in complying with her request, and my thoughts being perfectly innocent, notwithstanding the peculiar situation in which I found myself, I was soon wrapped in the downy arms of sleep.
I awake-for now in trembling accents I hear my name pronounced!
With tender sighs and faltering tongue she expressed her anxiety.
"My God!" she said, "never till this moment did I feel how very dear you are to me, never could I forgive myself should your health be injured in consequence of the uneasy manner in which you are compelled to pass the night."
In vain did I assure her that I felt perfectly comfortable; she begged I would allow her to quit her own and share her daughter's bed; this I would by no means suffer, and wishing her goodnight, I once again addressed myself to sleep. Not so, however, did the widow, for after a pause of some moments she thus resumed the conversation.
"My dearest boy, think me not imprudent when I say I cannot sleep in quiet while you remain in that comfortless position. It shall not be, I will not sacrifice to false delicacy the health of him I hold most dear.
Why should I doubt your honour? Have I not already proved it in the many hours we have passed together, and alone? Can I forget the many opportunities my fondness hath yielded you, which you have not attempted to abuse, then why should I doubt you now? Promise me, then, promise me faithfully that you will not abuse my weakness, and share my bed till morning."
I did not hesitate to make the desired promise, and the next moment she received me in her arms.
As I found upon pressing my lips to hers that she uttered no complaints, but even condescended to return my kisses, I forgot my usual caution and, encouraged by her innocent caresses, was proceeding to still greater liberties when, with a sudden effort, she forced herself from me, exclaiming in a voice more stern and decided than ever she had used to me before, "Is this the way you keep your word?"
She turned from me as she spoke, and, inexperienced as I was in the ways of love, it is impossible to describe the chilling effect of these words, uttered in anger, as they really appeared; and, strange as it may seem, yet not more strange than true, I drew myself to the utmost verge of the bed, and lay till morning without again daring to approach her.
Soon after daybreak, I heard my bedfellow preparing to arise, but still I feared to speak or look; the words she last uttered were still ringing in my ears, and shame so overpowered me that I thought it was utterly impossible I could ever look on her again. At this moment, having dressed herself, to my great surprise, she walked to my side, and kissing me with the greatest fondness thus expressed herself: "My dearest love, I can judge by your feelings how hard a victory you have gained over your passions; your conduct this night has rendered you more dear to me than ever. It must be my care to avoid such temptation to us both in future."
With these words, and a kiss still warmer than before, she left the room.
I instantly arose, we breakfasted together, and I departed to excuse my absence in the best way I could to my mother, who never suspected the truth of the story I invented.
My visits to the widow were now repeated more frequently than before; all our former toyings were acted over and over again, and as each day made me somewhat bolder so each day would I venture some trifling encroachment on the freedom I had been permitted on the preceding one; and I at length came to the determination, should fortune favour me with an opportunity similar to the one I have but now described, that I would avail myself of it to the fullest extent.
The wished-for period at length arrived; I had learnt several new songs, which I had sung with the greatest applause at several morning and evening concerts, and on the night in question, being entirely disengaged, I told my mother not to be alarmed if I did not return till the next day as I had promised to sup at the house of a patron, who would in all probability insist on my taking a bed, the party usually being a late one.
I had not seen my love-stricken widow for two days, and her joy was excessive when I informed her that it was in my power to spend the evening with her. Her daughter Jane, being rather unwell, retired to bed soon after tea, and we were left alone.
She had seen by the concert bills where I had been engaged, and gently chid me that I had not previously sung them to her, begging I would not deprive her of the pleasure a moment longer. I drew my chair close to hers; and as, in the intervals of singing, I perceived tears of pleasure trickling down her cheeks, I would clasp her slender waist and stop her breath with kisses.
The clock now striking one recalled her to herself; and she started up, reminded me of the hour, and urged me to depart. I gave her what I termed a parting kiss, put on my hat and gloves, and proceeded towards the door; when, suddenly assuming a look of extreme vexation, I exclaimed, "Can anything be more unfortunate! I find I have forgot to bring my key and my mother is now absent on a visit."
She was evidently confused for a moment, but her confusion speedily gave way to fears for my safety, as I said: "Well, no matter. Good-night!
I can amuse myself by walking through the town till morning."
She hastily seized my arm, exclaiming, "Oh, not for! worlds! Exposed all night in the open street, what dangers may not menace you-I shudder at the thought. No, since it has so happened, I will sit up with you and converse till daylight."
After some further parley, I suffered myself to be persuaded. We sit awhile. It is now my turn to entreat her to retire; but long I strive in vain; the recollection of the former night deterred her. My entreaties are renewed:
"It will make me wretched to deprive you of your rest; let me prevail, my love. What should you fear? I feel no way fatigued. Go, dearest, and when you are in bed, I'll sit and read you to sleep. I did not rise till late this morning; believe me, I require no rest. You ought to trust me.
Have I not given you powerful proofs that I can be prudent?"
She threw her arms around my neck, and softly answered, "That you have, indeed. Well, then, I will retire."
In a few minutes I followed. I seated myself on the bed and, taking her hand in mine, began to talk of love; then, reclining on the pillow, I pressed my lips to hers. She begged me to desist.
"Nay, my love, surely, you do not fear me thus? When once before I lay within your arms, I could obey you, and surely, even though you are now completely undressed, you cannot be in danger."
She sobbed convulsively, and faintly said, "It is true, indeed, I ought to feel secure."
I interrupted her.
"You are secure; nay, so fervent is my love that I could lie for weeks within your arms and not abuse your confidence! Once I have proved my faith; now give me leave to prove it a second time."
But during the foregoing dialogue I had, unperceived by her, contrived to disencumber myself of my clothes in such a manner that in less than a minute after I said these words the candle was extinguished and, without further parley, I leaped into bed, clasped her in my arms, and parting her lips with my tongue drove it far into her mouth where it encountered her own in a caress of unparalleled length and sweetness.
So sudden was the action, so great the surprise, that she was unable to repulse me; and when she strove to speak my kisses stopped her breath and robbed her of the power. In the end, despite her tears, reproaches and resistance, I found myself between her thighs, and though she only ceased to oppose when her experience assured her she had nothing left to fear, the fact remains that my yard, tense and elongated beyond all bounds by the protracted struggle, at length buried itself to the root within the velvet depths it had so long striven to penetrate and poured its treasures into the delicious receptacle from whose hidden stores fell the reciprocating dew of love in a soft and simultaneous shower. From this moment restraint was at an end and-to quit for an instant the polite forms of speech to which my chaste reader is accustomed-we enjoyed one another at every hour of the day and night, in every conceivable and inconceivable position and upon almost every article of furniture in the house. In this last category must be included the mantelpiece! Perching herself on its broad ledge thegay widow, dressed in an outrageously low-cut gown, would lift her silken petticoats to the waist, open her legs to their widest extent and lock them around my loins as I stood on a chair between her thighs. In this quaint and original position the spear of love was pointed to its goal, and scarcely needed the guidance of her dainty fingers (which, however, was invariably given) to plunge between the smiling rosy lips that lay open and pouting to receive it.
The first check to my happiness was occasioned by the death of my only remaining parent; and it is no more than justice to declare that the endearments of my amorous widow tended greatly to assuage the grief I felt at this irreparable loss.
But as a long continuance of perfect happiness is not to be expected in this vale of sighs and tears, I soon found out that love, with all its sweets, was not unmixed with bitters-which flavour, however, at the first, infused with moderation, was not unpleasant, and rather gave a zest to the luscious banquet; but, like good wine, which gathers strength with age, the bitters every day did more and more preponderate, until at length the sweets entirely evaporated; or in other words, the kind attentions of my charmer became confoundedly troublesome.
In fact, we never walked abroad but she discovered, or what was worse imagined she discovered, some wondrous cause to rouse her jealousy, and then her rage exceeded all description. If I but turned my head, it was to gaze upon a female; if a girl at all decent in appearance enquired the way to any place or person, it was a planned thing; if a single word escaped me, that word conveyed an appointment; and if by chance; I met a woman of my former acquaintance and spoke but barely civil, it would afford the source of discord for a fortnight at least.
At length my patience was entirely exhausted and I determined to embrace the earliest opportunity to break the trammels that confined me and once again be free.
But this was easier resolved upon than executed; for, like my shadow, she eternally pursued me; aye, even when necessity compelled me to certain necessary duties which daily called me to a small retreat at the extremity of the garden; on my return I never failed to find her, sentinel-like, posted at the door-for I should have observed before that on my mother's demise I had had my furniture, etc., removed to the widow's house and entirely resided with her.
One happy morning-and blessed for ever be that day! — the breakfast equipage was on the table, the toast prepared, and I was sitting at the table not dreaming of the happiness in store for me, when I was compelled to answer a call which king and beggars equally obey. On my re-turn-can I believe my eyes! — the doors were unguarded- the road to freedom lies before me! The thought, the deed, was but a moment's work. Swift as an arrow's flight I gained the street; and, coatless as I was, — heeding not the flaky snow that was fast falling around me-I ceased not running till I had reached the house of an old companion and schoolfellow, situated near three miles from the now hated object whose pursuit I dreaded.
It would be tedious were I to relate the various times I changed my lodgings during the short space of six weeks, or the apparently wonderful manner in which she never failed to discover my abode (which I afterwards found was owing to the treachery of a pretended friend); I shall therefore content myself with stating the means by which I eventually escaped her persecution.
I had taken a single apartment in the house of a fishmonger in an obscure part of the town, where I had not resided many days before I observed that his daughter-a pretty girl of sixteen, with flaxen hair and melting soft blue eyes-seemed studiously and at every opportunity to-throw herself in my way. At first I was induced to impute this to the curiosity natural to young females; but her attentions became too pointed to be mistaken; yet I took no advantage of the discovery, her youthful appearance having induced me to consider her as a mere child; but she was not of a temperament to suffer me long to linger under this delusion.
One night, about half-past seven, I had locked myself in my room, as was my constant custom, to prevent myself from being annoyed by the sudden intrusion of the lady I had so recently quitted-for she had as usual found my-hiding place, and had only on the day previous left me on a promise that I would meet her at the end of two days in order to make arrangements for our reunion-an appointment I candidly confess I never meant to keep. As I before stated, I had locked myself in and was engaged in the study of a piece of music in which I was appointed to take a part on the ensuing evening, when I was suddenly startled at hearing a gentle tap at the door. Experience having made me cautious I eagerly enquired, "Who's there?"
A soft tremulous voice replied, "It's me. Have you gone to bed?"
Convinced that it was not the object of my hate, I instantly unlocked the door; and there-blushing like a rose — stood my host's fair daughter!
She entered, and without apology accepted the chair I offered her. I must confess I felt myself embarrassed and at a loss in what manner to begin the conversation; for I had then for the first time observed a most delightful bosom that heaved tumultuously, as though impelled by no common agitation. I cast a look of enquiry on my fair visitor; her eyes met mine; she smiled; her cheeks assumed a scarlet hue; she seemed confused-held down her head and sighed. Momentary as was this transient glance, it was sufficient to convince me that her beauteous eyes were beaming with soft desires. I drew near her, and as I took her hand and gently pressed it in my own, I expressed in flattering accents the pleasure I derived from such an unexpected condescension. She begged I would pardon her the liberty she had taken, as curiosity was the only motive; from the moment she first beheld me, after I became an inmate of her father's house, she felt persuaded we had met before, although at a distant period; and as our mutual diffidence each moment became less, she soon convinced me that we had received the rudiments of education at the same school. After some trifling conversation, from which I ascertained that her parents were in bed, and of course believed her in her chamber, she rose to take her leave; but now, emboldened by our increasing familiarity, and espying a thousand charms that till this moment had escaped my notice, I passed my arm round her taper waist and begged the favor of a parting kiss.
She smiled consent; I pressed my lips to hers with transport and for some moments held her in my arms and pressed her to my bosom, covering her lips and neck with my fervent kisses. She faintly strove to break from my embrace, and whispered, "Oh, pray let me go! I did not think- My father will be out by break of day; some other time we'll meet again."
"Fear nothing, lovely girl! Exhausted by his daily toil, your father sleeps securely. Let us not slight the favourable hour kind fortune now affords us-nay, fear me not, worlds should not tempt me to do you an injury. Thus to enfold you in my fond embrace-thus to exchange sweet kisses of pure affection, is all I ask."
Assured by these words, she seated herself upon my knee, and as the excitement of the moment rendered me more eloquent, her scruples grew gradually weaker; until at last they vanished altogether and gave place to an outburst of erotic frenzy which was vastly more to my liking. I was now to learn that my charmer had a fair knowledge of the French language, and having lately read several books in which the amorous exploits of that gay people were described in detail, she was all for putting into practice some of their quaint and bizarre pastimes.
Amongst these I found was the substitution of the female mouth as a receptacle for the male organ, and as I was assured that this was productive of very acute pleasure to the owner of the instrument in question, I graciously acceded to the pretty child's petition that I would consent to be operated upon in the manner indicated.
Her delight at my complaisance was boundless, and in an instant she was upon her knees before me, and seizing my now distended member in her hand pushed it far into her mouth, where it was treated to a most mighty pleasant suction of her lips and tongue. As the crisis approached I cried to her to withdraw, but it appeared that this was not in accordance with the teaching of her Gallic masters, since, so far from complying, she passed her naked arms behind my buttocks and drew me still closer to her face until such time as love's sources were unloosed and I had poured forth a copious and protracted libation upon her leaping tongue.
Far be it from so truthful a chronicler as myself to deny that the sensations produced by the contact of this fresh young mouth were both novel and acute, and I was disposed to accord a certain measure of thanks to my little lady's Parisian preceptors.
As, with all my failings, vanity was one I never cherished, I wish not to imply that I possessed her virgin love; on the contrary, from the experienced manner in which she conducted herself I should not scruple to affirm that although her father in his avocation of fishmonger might frequently have a maid at his disposal in the way of business, anything bearing that appellation in any other part of his house or family was a decided rarity. Such being the case, it is needless to say that our innocent pastime was frequently repeated during the short time I remained at her father's house.
Finding that the caress above described was a source of genuine pleasure to the lustful maiden, I unselfishly permitted its repetition, whilst at her urgent solicitation I learnt to reciprocate her kiss in kind, and soon found that my tongue could take pleasure in creeping between other lips besides those which smiled above her dimpled chin.
Let not the shocked reader presuppose that the more customary form of sexual intercourse was neglected. On the contrary, additional zest was given to the act of coition by the French preliminary referred to, at the close of which this sixteen-year old Messalina would throw herself naked upon my bed, and clasping my instrument in her pretty fingers and drawing it eagerly between her thighs, would lock her finely developed legs over my back, pass her naked arms around my neck, and passionately respond to my well-directed efforts to penetrate her womb.
So much youth, beauty, and erotic distinction combined could not fail of their effect upon my own somewhat sanguine temperament, and it is more than likely that an offer of marriage might have followed had it not been for the happy intervention of the incident now to be set forth.
On returning home one afternoon, I found my little charmer in tears, and on enquiring the cause of her grief, she informed me that her mother had received a letter in an unknown hand desiring her to watch her daughter closely as an amour had long been carried on between her and the singer then lodging in her house. The poor girl
upbraided me bitterly for a fault of which I was perfectly innocenthaving a confidant in what should have been confined to ourselves. I soon convinced her of the wrong she had done me in entertaining such an opinion.
Having dried her tears, she added that her mother would soon be home, as she was impatient to see me on the subject of the letter.
A loud knocking at the door warned us to separate, as it announced her mother's return; and I was shortly after summoned to the parlour.
I no sooner entered the room than, with a countenance compared to which that of an enraged lioness would have appeared perfectly mild, she placed the letter in my hand, asking me how I dared defame the character of her innocent child? I was extremely glad to find that her confidence in her daughter was still unshaken, as I felt quite assured that I could convince her of my sincerity; and I at once declared the charge to be a foul calumny, invented by some secret enemy to her, her daughter, or myself.
On carefully examining the writing, I easily discovered the author, notwithstanding the hand was disguised-the widow had as usual discovered my abode, and, as she afterwards acknowledged to one of my friends, had taken advantage of a street door being left open to enter the house; gently ascending the stairs, she had, by means of a confounded keyhole, seen quite enough to satisfy her of the nature of the lesson I was then giving my fair pupil. Knowing from the violence of my temper that she would gain nothing by alarming me at such a moment, she left the house unperceived as she had entered it; and, prompted by malice, jealousy, and revenge, prepared the letter before alluded to, hoping that I should suffer more from the vengeance of an injured father than by any other plan she could invent; nay more, by this course she anticipated the double gratification of entailing endless misery on the poor girl; in which, but for the confidence the parents felt in her virtue, she might fatally have succeeded.
In order to satisfy them fully, I related a part of my adventures with the widow; and by reminding them of what a violent woman, inflamed by jealousy, is capable, I succeeded for a time in removing all their doubts.
But, fancying that they still regarded me with suspicion, I thought it prudent to remove from my lodgings; and in a few months after I had the satisfaction to hear that they had married their daughter much above their expectations.
I now resided with a most respectable family, to whom my own parents had been known, where I pursued my studies for some time without interruption; but I was not long to enjoy this tranquil life-my evil genius, in the widow's form, eternally pursuing me.
One evening I left home to attend a rehearsal. I had not proceeded more than fifty yards when suddenly I found my progress arrested by a pair of arms from behind me clasping my waist! I was about to speak, but my breath was stopped by a multitude of burning kisses. Thus, having neither power to move or speak, I pushed the party off and turned my eyes around, when they instantly encountered the amorous glances of-the devil! — that perpetual plague, the widow!
She wept, entreated, begged I would accompany her home, only to hear her; she had something much to my advantage to communicate to me. In vain I remonstrated, threatened, and pleaded the urgency of my engagements; I could not shake her off; and now, to add to my confusion, our animated conversation had arrested the attention of the passers-by. I found myself surrounded by a crowd of gazers. Ready to sink through the earth with shame in order to escape-though bursting with rage, indignation, and hatred-I seized my tormentor's arm and broke through the crowd, nor spoke one word or halted till we reached her house at Chelsea.
Here, as I suspected, the whole artillery of tears, protestations, groans, etc., were brought in force against me. She threw her arms around my neck; she continued to press warm kisses on my reluctant lips, and clasped me to her bosom-which was really beautiful and in the struggle had escaped its covering. Pity the weakness of human nature when I confess that every moment my efforts to escape became more feeble; a pleasurable sensation, in spite of my previous resolution, came stealing o'er my senses. I actually returned her kiss. How can I describe the effect this had upon the widow! Tears of pleasure gushed from her eyes; she drew me towards her, andI forgot her persecutions-I only remember that a lovely woman was before me-longing, loving, tempting-I clasped her in my arms, and then and there administered to her a most profound and sagacious futtering. A natural sense of justice compels me to admit that the widow was a highly responsive and satisfactory bedfellow, and I even found it in my heart to envy the late lamented-who having married her when she was only fifteen was presumably (though by no means certainly!) the first to convey his dart in the (then) tender and closely clinging vagina. Nevertheless, when I afterwards reflected on the dilemma in which I had again involved myself, I cursed my weakness a thousand times; and as I gazed upon her sleeping form all my disgust returned with threefold violence.
The morning now began to dawn; it was in the month of August; I gently left the bed and hurried on my clothes; with some difficulty I reached the street-door. Already I imagined I had regained my liberty but-oh! curse on her precaution! — it was locked, and the key was missing!
I was returning in despair to the bedroom when I perceived the parlour door had not been fastened; it was a momentary impulse; I eagerly entered, threw up the sash, the shutter-fastening yielded to my touch, I leaped into the garden, gained the high road, and arrived at my lodgings as the family were sitting down to breakfast; to them I related the incident of my meeting with the widow (concealing of course my unjustifiable weakness), and implored my friend should she make enquiry for me in the course of the day that he would say I had left his house on the previous evening and had not yet returned.
I had scarcely obtained this promise from him when she knocked at the door. My friend had much difficulty in persuading her to depart. She begged with tears that he would allow her to wait till I returned; when he refused, her conduct became so very outrageous that he was compelled to thrust her into the street and close the door against her.
For upwards of a fortnight we were annoyed by her daily visits; and as my friend continued to deny me, her rage at length became ungovernable. Frequently would the violence of her language draw a crowd round the house, to whom she would detail the story of her wrongs, and, as may be imagined, did not always keep within the boundaries of truth. Although such conduct was particularly unpleasant, it ultimately became the means of ridding me for ever from my tormentor.
One evening, after vainly endeavouring to see me, she so far forgot herself as to publicly insinuate to the listening crowd that the wife and daughter of my friend were little better than prostitutes, and that I was encouraged there for the vilest purposes. The neighbours, indignant at hearing a most respectable family thus vilified, and determined to put an end to such disgusting conduct, prevailed on my friend to send for an officer and place her in his custody.
During the time the servant was gone in quest of a constable, the memory of the pleasant hours I had formerly spent in the widow's society made me extremely unwilling to see her placed in durance vile; yet perfectly convinced that something must be done to curb the fury of her dangerous tongue, I imparted a plan to my friend to which, notwithstanding the abuse she had so unjustly lavished on his family, he instantly assented. Accordingly, on the arrival of the officer, she was brought into the house, where, in the presence of myself, my friend, the officer, and all the family, it was intimated to her that she was then in custody on a charge of defamation and for creating a disturbance in the street. On finding herself in this unexpected difficulty-die fears of being conveyed to a watch-house for the night, together with the recollection of her children at home-excited such terror in her mind that she fell upon her knees, and with tears in her eyes earnestly implored forgiveness. She acknowledged the charges against my friend and his family were totally unfounded, and uttered in a moment of extreme passion that she had no recollection of having used the disgraceful language now imputed to her.
This was what I expected-die very moment I had waited for. My friend immediately assisted her to rise and offered to forego all further proceedings against her, to dismiss the officer, and allow her to depart, upon her solemn promise never to annoy me more; he at the same time pointed out to her the folly of her late behaviour, which was much more calculated to create disgust than to recall the fleeting affections of a wandering lover. She acknowledged the justness of his reasoning and gave the required promise, only begging that we might part on friendly terms. She advanced towards me and offered her hand for a parting shake. I gave it. My friend escorted her to the door, and thus ended my amour with the fair widow of Chelsea.
I felt great pleasure at this amicable arrangement of a very unpleasant affair and determined to avoid in future anything that might lead me into a similar situation; in fact I absolutely rejected several overtures which might have led me into connections of an interesting nature. I became unusually dull, and would not positively understand the advances of several fair friends; so much did I prize the liberty I now enjoyed, compared with the annoyances to which I had so long been subjected.
My engagements rendering it necessary that I should remove nearer to the patent theatres, I secured myself comfortable lodgings not a mile from Covent Garden, which played the very devil with my virtuous resolution; for it happened that the very next room to mine was occupied as a sleeping room by a young couple newly married; and, the partition being rather slight, I was enabled without difficulty to overhear each night the most endearing language, which was occasionally followed by sounds, to translate the meaning of which would drive sleep from my eyes for hours together. The voice of the female was soft and musical! How did I long to get a sight of her! Every plan I tried to obtain this object failed; and every time my plans failed my imagination painted her still more beautiful. In my mind's eye she was a very Venus.
I had resided here for near two months when, returning from a concert about three o'clock one morning I was proceeding up stairs to bed as usual, when my landlord, stepping from the parlour, begged I would walk in, as he wished to speak a few words with me.
This being the first time we had ever spoken together- I having taken my apartments of the landlady, and the late hours I was compelled to keep having prevented our meeting since-I was of course rather surprised at the unexpected request; however, I immediately followed him into the parlour. On the table were bottles containing rum, brandy, a decanter of water, glasses, etc. A man, having the appearance of a respectable mechanic, of harsh features and low stature, sat in a disconsolate posture, supporting his head upon his hand; he appeared absorbed in deep reflection, which my entrance did not in the least disturb, until my host begged to introduce Mr. E-. He instantly rose up, and handed me a chair, and in a few moments I found that my new acquaintance was my old but unknown friend of the best side of the partition. He was then in momentary expectation of being hailed a father; and this accounted for the invitation I had so unexpectedly received.
We partook of several glasses of brandy and water together, and in less than an hour my fellow lodger was congratulated by the communicative nurse on his becoming the happy father of a beautiful daughter, declaring at the same time that the mother was doing remarkably well.
I must confess that during the time I was in company with my new acquaintance I could not help regarding him with a kind of dislike-a secret feeling of envy that a man so destitute of personal attractions should possess so lovely a woman-as I could not help imagining his wife to be.
For the first time in my life I must admit that I indulged in a feeling of vanity; and fancied that, could I but gain an introduction and have an opportunity of declaring my sentiments to her, I should have but little to fear from so contemptible a rival; and although in my heart I despised the man, I determined to cultivate his acquaintance-to bear with his insipid conversation in order at a future time to enjoy the sprightly society of his (to my imagining) fascinating wife.
Fortunately for me, his business called him away from morning till night; Sunday therefore was the only day on which I had to undergo the mortification of his company. But I endured my fate with the most heroic fortitude; the anticipation of the sweet reward I promised myself upheld me and enabled me to gild my features with a show of pleasure foreign to my heart.
On week days I omitted nothing that might induce her to think favorably of me, and as women are generally partial to music I had my piano removed into my bed-chamber, from whence I well knew every note I played or sung could be heard most distinctly by her. Under this impression I would sit at home for hours, apparently employed in close professional practice but in reality singing the most voluptuous songs I could select from the poetry of Moore, Byron, etc., which I adapted to pathetic and love-inspiring melodies; nor was it long before I was rewarded for my labors by the glad discovery that I was listened to with pleasure by the as yet sweet enchantress of my soul. I have frequently, after playing a short prelude in order to arrest her attention, heard her exclaim, in an audible whisper to the nurse, "Hush! he'll sing presently." I even once suspected that, prompted by curiosity, that bane of lovely woman, she was endeavouring to steal a glance at me by means of a convenient keyhole, when, on a sultry summer's day, she thought me sleeping; and I frequently chuckled with delight as I overheard her sweet voice speaking to her female visitors in terms of admiration of my vocal talent.
Every day my impatient longing to behold her became more difficult to control; and one morning having occasion to take out the movement of my instrument, I determined, under pretence of borrowing a screwdriver, to tap at her door and thus gratify my long indulged desire.
I did so. With panting heart I watched the opening door; and in a moment after, she stood before me!
I must here confess that the first feeling I experienced was one of disappointment, for she certainly fell very short of the Venus my fond imagination had so frequently painted; but still, at every stolen glance, I discovered some new charm. She had indeed that peculiar cast of countenance which improves upon acquaintance; her stature was rather below the middle size, her complexion dark, and her features upon the whole remarkably pleasing, being lit by a pair of eyes of dazzling brilliance; never shall I forget their peculiar expression; they seemed at one glance to read the very soul. Her hair was of a glossy jet black and shaded her forehead in natural curls; while her bosom, plump and finely formed, seemed by its gentle heavings to invite the pressure of a lover's gentle touch.
In the most affable manner she complied with my request, and I retired to my own apartment-not to my instrument, but to ponder on the charms of this, if not strictly handsome, very fascinating creature.
It was several days ere I again beheld her, but during that time she was ever present to my warm imagination. When I ran my fingers over the keys of my piano, the chords fell flat and heavy on my ear, the music of her voice still lingered in them, and every sound beside was "discord dire."
The tedious period allotted to women after having added to the population of this bustling world at last expired; the ceremony called "churching" was over; the excitement that had prevailed for the last month had abated, and all things now went smoothly on as before and I began to despair of making any progress in my amour when an engagement was offered me to sing at a concert about to be given at the A- Rooms, for which having procured a couple of tickets I presented them to Mr. E-, hoping that I should have the pleasure of seeing him and Mrs. E- at the performance, as it might afford her some trifling amusement after her recent tedious confinement. He accepted them with avidity, and expressed himself grateful for what he termed the unexpected treat; nor was I less delighted, but from a very dissimilar inspiration.
At length the wished-for evening arrived, and although generally rather careless as to my personal appearance, on this occasion I dressed myself in the most careful manner, not omitting the most trivial thing calculated to make me appear agreeable in her eyes; and the pleasure that diffused itself over her countenance whilst the audience were honoring me with their plaudits, afforded me more real satisfaction than all the congratulations which I received that night from as brilliant and numerous an assembly as ever graced the A- Rooms.
I could not help thinking how differently all would have eyed each other had they heard a song sung by me only a few nights previously to a small party of private friends, and which I reproduce to satisfy the reader's curiosity.
The Hasty Bridegroom:
The Rarest Sport that hath been try'd, between a lusty bridegroom and his bride.
Come from the Temple, away to the Bed,
As the Merchant transports home his Treasure;
Be not so coy Lady, since we are wed, 'Tis no Sin to taste of the Pleasure:
Then come let us be blithe, merry and free,
Upon my life all the waiters are gone;
And 'tis so, that they know where you go say not so, For I mean to make bold with my own.
What is it to me, though our Hands joyned be, If our Bodies are still kept asunder:
It shall not be said, there goes a marry'd Maid, Indeed we will have no such wonder:
Therefore let's imbrace, there's none sees thy Face, The Bride-Maids that waited are gone;
None can spy how you lye, ne'er deny but say I, For I mean to make bold with my own.
Then come let us Kiss, and taste of that bliss, Which brave Lords and Ladies injoy'd;
If Maidens should be of the humour of thee, Generations would soon be destroy'd:
Then where were those Joys, the Girls and the Boys, Would'st live in the World all alone;
Don't destroy, but injoy, seem not Coy for a Toy, For indeed I'll make bold with my own.
Sweet Love do not frown, but put off thy gown, 'Tis a Garment unfit for the Night;
Some say that Black hath a relishing smack,
I had rather be dealing in White:
Then be not afraid, for you are not betray'd, Since we two are together alone;
I invite you this Night, to do right, my delight Is forthwith to make use of my own.
Prithee begin, don't delay but unpin,
For my Humour I cannot prevent it;
You are strait lac'd, and your Gorget's so fast, Undo it, or I straight will rend it:
Or to end all the strife,
I'll cut it a Knife, 'Tis too long to stay 'till it's undone;
Let thy Waste be unlac'd, and in hast be imbrac'd, For I do long to make bold with my own.
Feel with your hand how you make me to stand, Even ready to starve in the cold, Oh, why shouldst thou be, so hard-hearted to me, That loves thee more dear than gold;
And as thou hast been, like fair Venus the Queen, Most pleasant in thy parts every one, let me find, that their mind is inclin'd, to be kind, So that I may make bold with my own.
As thou art fair, and more sweet than the air, That dallies on July's brave Roses;
Now let me be
to that Garden a Key,
That the Flowers of Virgins incloses:
And I will not be too rough unto thee,
For my Nature unto boldness is prone;
Do no less than undress, and unlace all apace, For this Night I'll make use with my own.
When I have found thee temperate and sound, Thy sweet breast I will make for my pillow; 'Tis pity that we which newly married be, Should be forced to wear the green willow;
We shall be blest and live sweetly at rest.
Now we are united in one:
With content and consent
I am bent, my intent
Is this Night to make use of my own.
The Lady's Loving Reply Welcome dear love, all the powers above, Are well pleased of our happy meeting;
The Heavens have decreed, and the Earth is agreed That I should imbrace my own sweeting, At bed and at board both in deed and in word My affection to thee shall be shown;
Thou art mine,
I am thine,
Let us joyn, and combine,
I'll not bar thee from what is thy own.
Our Bride-bed's made, thou shalt be my comrade For to lodge in my arms all the night, Where thou shalt enjoy, being free from annoy All the sports wherein love takes delight.
Our mirth shall be crown'd, and our triumph renow'd, Then sweetheart let thy valour be shown, Take thy fill, do thy will, use thy skill, Welcome still, Why should'st thou not make bold with thy own.
The Bridegroom and Bride, with much joy on each side, Then together to bed they did go, But what they did there, I did neither see not hear, Nor do I desire not to know, But by Cupids aid, they being well laid, They made sport by themselves all alone, being plac'd, and unlac'd, He uncas'd, she imbrac'd, Then he stoutly made use of his own.
At the conclusion of the concert, after declining in her hearing several pressing invitations to supper from parties of the first respectability, and giving her a look which I intended to be understood: "I leave them all for you!" I had the pleasure of placing her arm within my own, and together with her husband accompanied her home, where on arriving he insisted on my partaking of some refreshment previous to my retiring to rest.
I soon perceived that to the list of Mr. E.'s amiable accomplishments, that of jealousy to an extravagant degree might be added-a passion which I secretly determined he should not long indulge in without ample cause, and I breathed a silent vow to exert my faculties to accomplish this project as speedily as possible. How did I burn with indignation as I observed him in the most cowardly manner, and at a moment when he believed my attention to be occupied by some paintings in another part of the room, thrust his elbows into her side with a degree of violence equal to a blow from the fist; and this only in consequence of her having a few moments before spoken in terms of admiration of my performance on that evening.
I soon took my leave for the night with tenfold hatred towards the brutal husband and a proportionate increase of love for the wife, whom I speedily hoped to convince of the wrongs she endured and to assist in a sweet revenge.
Shortly after this an occurrence took place than which nothing could have been more congenial to my feelings, as it bid fair to hasten the consummation of my designs.
I was sitting at my studies one afternoon when to my great surprise Mr.
E. entered my apartment, and after apologizing for his intrusion, begged the favour of my company to tea, adding that he had another favour to ask, which he hoped I would not refuse to hear.
I accepted his offer with some affected reluctance and followed him to his room, where I met with a most cordial reception from his wife, who blushed slightly as I gently pressed her proffered hand. In the course of the evening he again recurred to the favour he had previously alluded to, and at length asked me if I had any particular motive for continuing my present residence. I looked at him with surprise, and for a moment imagined that he suspected my intentions, but quickly recovering myself, I answered in the negative. He then proceeded to inform me that, being tired of lodgings, he had taken a house, but not having occasion for the whole of it had determined, in order to lighten his expenses, to let off a portion; that if I would take a couple of apartments, he being but a young beginner in housekeeping, it would be rendering him a most important service.
Although nothing could have happened more opportune for my design, yet thinking that should I seize his offer too readily he might suspect my real motive, I at first urged several objections, such as the distance from my connexions, etc.; but at length, rather than be deprived of the company of a friend, and having no particular acquaintance in my present neighbourhood, I suffered myself to be persuaded. We spent a pleasant evening together, and in less than a month took possession of our new residence.
It was very pleasantly situated about two miles from town, and the house, although not large, was extremely commodious; and all things were entirely in my favour, the distance precluding the possibility of his returning to his meals, in consequence of which he had to leave home every morning at six, taking with him provisions for the day, and did not return until nine in the evening.
Here was a glorious opportunity! I had the whole of the day to cultivate the acquaintance of his charming wife, and the satisfaction of observing that each succeeding day she appeared to experience greater pleasure from my society.
I have before stated that E. was naturally of a morose and jealous disposition, but I had by frequent conversations so completely succeeded in banishing suspicion from his mind that I verily believe that he felt sincerely happy in having gained the friendship of a young man whose morals were such that he could leave his wife in his company with perfect security; so firmly indeed had I convinced him of my rectitude that instead of an invader, I really believe he considered me as the guardian of his honour during his absence.
I fear that my own character will not appear in a very amiable light to many of my readers in thus pretending friendship for a man whose happiness I was basely endeavouring, by every means in my power, to undermine. But I was then too young, or too blinded by the impetuosity of my passion, to discriminate between the sacred bond of marriage and the fair and open field of love and courtship. In love, as in war, I thought any stratagem might be fairly practised. Indeed, the singularity of his behaviour to his unhappy wife tended strongly to confirm this impression and blind me as to the ultimate result of my designs.
I suppose the man had some affection for his wife, yet he had the strangest manner of proving it that can be well imagined. For instance, in order to assure himself of her entire devotion to him, he was continually accusing her of ideas which he knew perfectly well never entered her thoughts, and when, after vainly endeavouring-for none are so obstinate as those who will not be convinced-to soothe him, she would burst into an agony of tears; then, and only then, the brute was happy! He saw her wretchedness and fancied she adored him.
Did such a wretch deserve the love and respect of a confiding heart?
All mankind would answer no. Yet', in justice to the lovely Bessy, I must affirm that such was the purity of her mind, her abhorrence of vice and inherent love of virtue, that had providence allotted for her a man who had treated her with but common attention and kindness, the importunities, sighs, vows, tears, and protestations of fifty thousand men would not have induced her to turn from her duty for a moment; and never, from the hour I first knew the influence of love up to the present, did I find half the difficulty in overruling the scruples of twenty women, as I experienced in winning the first kiss from this charming, ill-used, yet love-inspiring wife.
The avarice, not the poverty, of this gallant husband prevented his allowing his wife the aid of a servant; consequently, when he was absent at his daily avocations, Bessy, her infant child, and myself were the only inmates of the house; and as it had been stipulated that my meals were to be prepared for me, we commonly sat at one table; it will not be doubted that I took advantage of the opportunities so frequently afforded me to beguile the time with conversation applicable to my own peculiar situation. I related stories of the calamities of faithful lovers till the tears of sympathy have Tolled in torrents down her lovely cheek; then, in order to relieve her gentle heart, I would change the subject or subdue her soul to tenderness with some appropriate melody, and suiting the action to the word would sometimes venture to seize her hand, and press it to my heart in ecstasy.
It was long before she could reconcile herself to suffer even this trifling liberty, and would instantly withdraw her hand, her cheek would assume a crimson hue, and in tremulous accents would she chide my presumptuous daring; then would I laugh at her anger and diminish her fears by declaring that I had no meaning beyond the momentary impulse occasioned by the sentiment contained in the song, and carried away by my enthusiasm was merely embellishing the words of the poet with suitable action; thus would I appease her, and in a few moments, lapsing into forgetfulness, again be guilty of a similar offence.
This I repeated so often that it ceased to inspire her with alarm, and was no longer even considered a fault; and I have sat for hours in her company, her hands fast locked in mine, repeating passages from the works of our best dramatic authors, where love is depicted in fascinating forms and painted in the most glowing colors. I even so far prevailed upon her as to induce her to commit to memory some of the scenes of our immortal bard, the "swan of Avon," which, with appropriate action, we frequently rehearsed together.
Although at times thrown off her guard by these amusements, such was the integrity of her conduct as a wife that even in our most familiar converse I dared not as yet speak to her of love on my own account, and months passed away without affording me a chance of declaring the passion that preyed upon my heart; and when at times I endeavoured to excite her sympathy by relating fictitious tales of happy lovers, of languishing and yielding wives, her indignation cannot be described, and I have despairingly resolved never to see her more, but when, in a few minutes after, I have detected her regarding me with a stolen glance of compassionate regard, all my previous resolutions were in an instant destroyed and I inwardly resolved to overcome the obstacles that barred my approach to happiness, even should my whole life be passed in the pursuit.
One happy evening I had at her request been singing that well-known and most beautiful ballad, "O, fly from the world, dear Bessy, to me"; as I concluded, having as usual her hand fast locked in mine, I imagined that for the first time my pressure was returned; gentle though it was, still it was quite sufficient to entrance my very soul. Indeed my emotion was too violent to be concealed; she felt the trembling of my hand; our eyes met; a similar feeling seemed to invade us both; we continued to gaze upon each other; I threw my arm round her waist and as a tear glistened in her beautiful eye drew her towards me.
Our lips met; the bliss was insupportable and I sank upon her bosom in an agony of transport.
My happiness, however, lasted but a moment, for with a convulsive bound she started from my embrace, exclaiming, "My G-d! what have I done?"
She covered her face with her hands, and sobbed convulsively.
I endeavoured to compose her, but in vain. I fell upon my knees before her and assured her of my unalterable love; my words and posture seemed to recall her wandering senses; she arose, and with a dignified look of offended virtue, demanded how I dared to address such language to her-a wife and a mother?
I was about to offer an excuse for my rash conduct when she commanded me to be gone in a tone which plainly proved she meant to be obeyed; convinced that, in her present state of mind, remonstrance would be useless, I left the room, hoping that when the violence of her passion had abated, the memory of the past would render her more kind.
Notwithstanding her anger at parting, I congratulated myself on the events of the evening. I felt well assured that I was no longer an object of indifference to the beloved of my soul and doubted not but that time, and my unceasing assiduities operating with her own secret desires, would ultimately accomplish my wishes.
I retired to rest, but not to sleep, and lay awake anxiously awaiting the return of the day-that day which I vainly hoped would make me truly blest. It came at last. I heard with joy the husband depart to his daily toil, and having dressed myself with more than usual care impatiently awaited my summons to the morning repast. At length I heard a gentle rap at my door. I flew upon the wings of love to open it-but, judge of the disappointment I experienced, when I beheld a perfect stranger! — a vulgar-looking girl, of twelve 6r thirteen years, who, with an awkward curtsey, asked me if it was quite convenient to let her come in and lay my breakfast cloth.
For a moment I stood petrified with astonishment, while she proceeded to inform me that Mrs. E., being very poorly, had sent to her (the girl's) mother to ask if she could spare Martha to come over and assist her, and also to attend upon the single man, her lodger.
I understood the whole affair in a moment; shame on the occurrence of the preceding evening and fear for the future had rendered my dear Bessy unwilling to trust herself again in my company.
Having no other alternative, I suffered the girl to prepare my breakfast, which was one of the most solitary meals I ever had the mortification of sitting down to; in fact, it was taken away nearly untouched.
I sent a message to express my sorrow at her illness, with a request that she would allow me to see her for a moment, on a subject of the greatest importance; she returned a polite answer, thanking me for the concern I manifested but declining an interview on pretence of being confined to her chamber.
Finding that for two days she was obstinately resolute in her determination of refusing to see me, I proceeded to change my plan of attack and accordingly penned the following note, which I sent by the girl as I left home, at the same time telling her that I should not require her services that day as I should not return until the following evening.
Pardon this familiar manner of addressing you, for the first and last time, as you are no longer a stranger to the sentiments that fill my breast, as far as regards yourself. 'Tis now useless to dissemble; I have long struggled with the presumptuous passion I lately, in an unguarded moment, had the temerity to shock your modest ears by declaring; and finding that it is impossible for me to live without you, while my delighted eyes gaze on you every day, I have, after a painful struggle, determined to withdraw myself forever from your sight. I leave town this day for the purpose of procuring a lodging distant from you, but will return in a few days in order to settle my account with Mr.
E., to whom I will give a satisfactory reason for quitting his house so abruptly. Beloved of my heart, farewell forever! — and that you may never experience the pangs of unrequited and hopeless love, will be the constant prayer of Your despairing lover.
After an absence of two days I returned, and ringing for the girl, she immediately attended. In answer to my inquiries as to the health of her mistress, she informed me that she had been much worse, and had not left her chamber during the time I had been away. I interpreted this in my own favour, and must own that for a moment I felt happy, and rejoiced at the misery of one whom, under any other circumstances, I would have given my life to relieve.
For reasons that will no doubt appear obvious, I detained the girl for an hour to assist me in packing up my trunks and portmanteau, and then sent her to inquire at what hour I could see Mr. E. that evening, as everything was now ready for my removal. In rather less than half an hour she returned, and never was the sweetest music half so grateful to my ears as the harsh, croaking voice that uttered the following words:
"Missus's compliments, sir, and if not very inconvenient, will you put off moving till tomorrow, she has something particular to say and hopes by tomorrow she may be well enough to see you."
After rewarding the girl much beyond her expectations for the trouble I had given her, I despatched her with an answer, that I felt great pleasure in having it in my power to oblige Mrs. E. and should anxiously await her commands the following morning.
I now felt assured of success; my plot had exceeded my most sanguine expectations; my heart was swelling with triumphant pleasure. I sought a neighbouring tavern and tossed off bumper after bumper to the god of love and soft desires.
The morning came at last. I arose with the lark, descended to the garden, and as I walked the minutes seemed as hours to my impatient soul. At length I heard my charmer's door unclose, and after waiting a short time, for the purpose of sparing her the embarrassment of sending to me, I crossed the passage as if to open the street door; to accomplish this the parlour must be passed, and as I reached the half-closed door I beheld my Bessy, pale as a lily newly plucked; but as my footsteps broke upon her ear a sudden flush that shamed the famed carnation's burning tints coloured her lovely cheeks. I paused for a moment to survey her charms, while my proud heart exultingly whispered, "They soon will be your own!"
I was about to speak, when the words "Good morning, sir," tremblingly escaped from her half-opened lips. I hastened to receive her proffered hand, which having kissed respectfully I took a chair and seated myself by her side. An embarrassing silence of some minutes' duration ensued. At length I spoke. "And is this meeting, then, to be our last?"
She turned her head aside to hide the tears, which in spite of her efforts now quickly pursued each other down her blushing cheeks; I would have clasped her in my arms and kissed the pearly drops away, but she repulsed me in a manner at once gentle though determined.
I repeated, "And is this meeting, then, to be our last?"
"That depends wholly on yourself," she mildly answered.
"On me! Explain, for well you know that to be for ever in your loved society is what on earth I most desire."
I fixed my eyes upon her face, as though I sought to read her inmost thoughts, as thus she answered me:
"After what has passed between us, it would be folly in the extreme were I to appear any longer ignorant of the nature of your attentions, and I fear that my own weakness has already but too plainly betrayed the interest you have created in my heart. Yes, I will deal frankly with you, and acknowledge that I love you; that were I now at liberty to choose, you are the husband I would select in the face of the whole world. Alas! had we but met a few years sooner, or never met at all! If you really love me as you profess, you will not seek to plunge me into infamy; continue with me then, regard me as a sister, but seek not to take advantage of my tenderness-of my candour; for I most solemnly declare that should my unhappy feelings lead me into any act that would degrade me in my own estimation, by this hand would I find a speedy death. Yes, sooner would I become a suicide than live in infamy."
Should I attempt to commit to paper the whole of that day's conversation, it would not only occupy a large portion of space, but also prove uninteresting to the reader; let it suffice that I suffered myself to be persuaded that nothing could be more easy than for two persons of different sexes, who loved each other to excess, to live in the same house, indulge in discourses of love and friendship, and exchange kisses that were perfectly innocent in themselves, without desiring aught that could raise a blush upon the cheek of the most rigid observer of the celebrated platonic rules so highly spoken of in the writings of the ancients and so justly admired by our venerable forefathers.
Previous to our parting, I obtained her solemn promise that in the event of anything occurring to her husband, by which she would be at liberty to wed again, that she would dispense with the dull formalities of conventional usage in remaining single for twelve tedious months and, by a private marriage, crown me with immediate happiness.
As may naturally be supposed, after such an understanding, she became less reserved on each succeeding day and would occasionally permit trifling liberties that would but a few days previous have given alarm to her feelings; she would even trust herself upon my knee, and as I described the violence of my passion, dissolved in tears she sometimes threw her arms around my neck and pressing her lips to mine would reward my long forbearance with a kiss, which instead of soothing inflamed the faint sparks of chaste affection into the fierce and raging flames of wild desire. Encouraged by these proofs of her regard, I did at times indulge in the vain hope that her virtue was about to go to sleep and ventured cautiously, by imperceptible degrees, to gain the precincts of her snowy bosom; when, instantly aroused to a sense of her danger, she would rush from my embrace and with a look that froze my very soul, demand if thus I meant to prove my love?
On these occasions, however, upon a promise to be cautious how I ventured to offend again, she seldom withheld her forgiveness long; still would there exist for several days an appearance of distrust, a want of confidence, in fact a coolness perfectly disagreeable to a man of my ardent nature; and at length, almost despairing of ever being enabled to accomplish my object and unable longer to endure the pangs of unrequited love, I determined to change my plan of attack and, should I fail, to fly from her dangerous presence and seek repose in absence.
I had received undoubted proofs that she sincerely loved me, and in proportion to that love's increase so did her contempt for her unworthy husband; nothing in fact but her innate horror of doing wrong prevented the consummation of my happiness. Confident of this, I now resolved to invoke the aid of the "green-eyed monster, jealousy," and fortune shortly favoured my intent.
I have before observed that Mr. E. was meanly avaricious; the love of gain was in his breast predominant; this induced him to deprive himself and wife of the comforts of a bedchamber. "For," said he, "what do we want with an extra room; I am very little at home myself and I am sure that one room is quite enough for us." Thus, notwithstanding the great inconvenience this arrangement must have been to his wife, a love of quietness urged her to comply, and accordingly the room was let.
The apartment in question was on the same floor as that in which I slept, and divided from mine by a landing place only five feet in width, and our doors faced each other. I am thus particular in describing the situation of these rooms, in order that my reader may clearly understand the adventures I have shortly to relate.
Mr. E., having determined upon letting this apartment, accepted as his tenants a young couple recently married: the man was a clicker to a lady's shoemaker and consequently went out to work; his wife being the only female in the house besides my landlady an intimacy was soon formed between them.
The newcomer was a woman of about twenty-five, rather above the middle stature, of slender make, a complexion delicately fair, hair of a golden tint, and large blue eyes, which beamed with such an expression of voluptuousness as could not fail to convince the gazer that she had no particle of nun's flesh in her composition.
A person more calculated to excite jealousy in the bosom of my gentle Bessy fortune could not have thrown in my way, and as we were frequently together I had soon the satisfaction to discover an uneasy watchfulness disturbing my charmer at every little attention I paid the other, who being of a lively disposition laughingly admitted freedoms which, though harmless in themselves, would have covered the cheeks of Bessy with crimson blushes. A game at romps delighted my fair neighbour, and when I had passed my arm around her waist, playfully tickling her under her arms, convulsed with laughter, she would seize me in her arms and repay me in my own coin, till each obstinately resolved to conquer, and overcome by the violence of our merriment, locked in each other's arms would sink upon the carpet till nature was unable to endure the pleasing though maddening sensation longer; laughter would change to a shriek, which was considered as the signal of defeat and our game was, for a time, suspended.
Bessy would take no part in these amusements, and when she sometimes did attempt a laugh her eyes would plainly tell her discontent; and often have I seen her bite her coral lips in order to conceal her too evident vexation.
To those who have been in the habit of indulging in pastimes such as those I have been describing I need not say that in the pleasing agony of excessive laughter we cannot at all times command our actions; the hands will, even without intention, sometimes wander where strict propriety would at other periods forbid their approach; this was the case with myself and frolicsome companion, whose full breasts would often during her playful struggles escape from their confinement, and I have hid my face between two snowy orbs whose warmth, plumpness, and rose-red nipples might have seduced an anchorite; yet so firmly were my affections fixed upon my beauteous landlady that I never for a moment entertained an idea of improving the advantages daily offered by my wanton playfellow. But man is frail, the flesh is often
stronger than the spirit. Who can at all times answer for himself? Not I, for one; I tell a plain unvarnished tale and seek not here to vaunt my strength or to conceal my weakness.
Although I certainly endeavoured to provoke the jealousy of Bessy by means of her new acquaintance, I never intended to give her other than imaginary cause; and but for her own obstinacy in withholding so long from me the food for which my soul was famishing, my intimacy with Emma would have ended quite as innocently as it began.
Let me not anticipate, but proceed with my story. I had for some days observed that poor Bessy had become more than usually serious; I sometimes could perceive the trace of tears, while her behaviour towards me became restrained and cold. I readily assigned a cause for this, not by any means unfavourable to myself; and opening her door one morning without knocking I beheld her seated in a most desponding attitude; her elbows were resting on the table while her face was concealed by her hands.
I immediately took a chair and placed it by her side, where being seated I begged to be made acquainted with the occasion of her grief; she raised her head, and, in accents that thrilled my soul, replied,
"Why do you desire to know, since you have ceased to feel the interest you once possessed for my happiness!"
I took her hand, and passing one arm around her waist, begged she would explain her meaning.
She mildly yet sorrowfully continued, "Yet why should I repine at what should really be a source of pleasure? I acknowledge Emma possesses attractions far superior to any I can boast, and perhaps is far less scrupulous. I was foolish to indulge a hope that your friendship would continue, and-"
I interrupted her: "Friendship! Oh, dearest girl, do not insult my love by giving it so cold a name. Emma! By heavens! I swear I never for a moment have entertained a thought or breathed a sentence to her that you could ere condemn; the little familiarities that have passed between us shall be forever discontinued, nay, never should have been indulged, could I have imagined they would have caused a sigh to you, my dearest, best, my only love."
She looked me in the face with a smile so sweet that, unable to control my feelings, I pressed her to my heart and stole a kiss from her pouting lips, which the dear girl returned; a sigh that seemed to rend her bosom in its passage burst from her throbbing heart, and giving vent to her excited feelings she whispered, "Oh heaven! why is it criminal to love as I do?"
Then, confused and blushing at having suffered the tender avowal to escape her, she threw her arms round my neck and hid her face upon my bosom. Unable to control my feelings at this blissful moment, I drew the senseless fair one closer to my heart, covering her lips and neck with kisses; while she, unconscious of my daring, reclined upon my breast.
Unable to control the impetuous feeling that pervaded my enraptured soul, I bore the fainting beauty to the couch and spear in hand was preparing for the last grand rite due to my mysterious love, when suddenly thought and strength returned and in a moment, perceiving the advantages I had gained during her trance, and feeling the extent of her danger, at the moment when I thought my prize secure, and when it appeared that nothing short of a miracle could have prevented me from winning the long sought for victory, with an herculean bound she thrust me from her, in another moment regained her feet, and ere I could recover from my surprise, with a look that would baffle all description, she struck me furiously upon the breast, and without uttering a word, with one great effort propelled me from the room, and secured the door.
For a moment I stood without sense or motion, being for a time perfectly stupefied; the events of the last hour seemed but as a disagreeable dream. After some short time spent in reflection, enraged, mortified and disappointed, I resolved that I would never see her more; and, with feelings almost amounting to hatred for the whole sex, I sought my chamber; but so great was my agitation, my hand trembled so violently, that the door resisted every attempt made by me to open it.
While vainly endeavouring to gain admission to my own apartment, Emma's door, which as I have before stated was opposite to mine, unclosed; fearing she would notice the trepidation I was in and ashamed of my own weakness I exclaimed in a peevish manner, "D-n the keys!"
"Oh, do not swear!" whispered Emma in a tone of playful reproach as I turned towards her.
The events of the morning had left a flush upon my face which I feared might betray me, more particularly when she anxiously enquired if I was unwell; I was rather confused for an instant, but quickly recovering my self-possession, answered carelessly, "I have been rather vexed this morning; something unpleasant has occurred. But no matter, a glass of brandy and water will speedily set all to rights."
And being now sufficiently cool, in order to give a colour to my words, unlocked my door and taking a decanter containing brandy from the sideboard I entered her room to request the favor of some hot water.
She cheerfully complied and begged me to be seated; her lively conversation, together with the invigorating fluid-of which I took copious draughts with the view of rallying my troubled spirits-soon succeeded in banishing my chagrin for the disappointment I had so recently experienced; and as I gazed upon my fair and laughing companion beheld beauties which had hitherto escaped my notice.
The weather being warm, her breasts, which I have before described as very beautiful, were partially uncovered; in fact, being early in the day, she was altogether loosely clad, and as our eyes met during the intervals of toying, I observed such a peculiar expression of voluptuous languor beaming from hers, as almost seemed to chide my diffidence and challenge me to acts of amorous daring.
Made bolder by this pleasing thought, I seized her in my arms, covered her lips, cheeks, and eyes with kisses; and, watching an opportunity, boldly placed my hand upon her snowy bosom and softly fingered one of the rosy nipples.
She evinced no signs of anger at my temerity but submitted to my freedoms with an approving smile and returned each glowing kiss with interest. I drew my chair still closer and taking her on my knee passed my hand into the opening of her loose peignoir and pushed an amorous finger into the charming cleft that smiled between her now parted thighs.
Perfectly satisfied that she could no longer be insensible to the powerful interest her magic touch had conjured up, I was preparing to improve my already very favourable situation, when suddenly she started from my embrace and fled towards the door.
Surprised, and apprehensive of a second disappointment, I was about to pursue her-but no, she sought not to escape, but with becoming caution secured the door that no officious intruder might interrupt our converse. Returning then she clasped me round the neck and letting her head fall gently on my shoulder, whispered, "My dearest love, do not betray my weakness, for should my husband ever suspect me to be guilty of such folly it would be fatal to us both."
I answered only with an ardent kiss, and dismissing the boot-clicker from my thoughts, slipped my charmer's solitary garment to the floor and laid her naked upon the marital bed. Arrived in this convenient position she at once opened her legs to their utmost extent and locking them round my back drove the whole length of her rosy tongue into my mouth, at the same time seizing my weapon in her hand and bringing the nest to bear upon the exact spot where entrance was to be effected. A couple of sturdy strokes on my part and a deliriously responsive heave, accompanied by a low cry of delight on hers, and behold us in the very thick of love's glorious struggle!
The ecstatic joy with which the fair Emma received the prolonged and systematic futtering I was privileged to administer tended to the impression that with all his skill in the art of boot-clicking-whatever that mysterious branch of the shoe trade may be-the lawful owner of the pretty, naked girl who lay beneath me could hardly expect to be "classed" at a stallion show! Indeed, as she afterwards confessed to me, though the high wages paid to the respected clicker enabled him to provide his (vastly) better half with a sufficiency of the staff of life, the supply of the staff of love- in her eyes an equally important commodity — was ridiculously inadequate to meet the strain put upon it by the lascivious requirements of his lustful little wife.
In the matter of love, therefore, she was fairly starving, and her gratitude for the ample feast I had been able to afford her was expressed in no measured terms. At last, however, came the inevitable moment when the commissariat began to fail, and the once upright source of her gratification to hang his dejected head. Unsated, and insatiable, she cried to me to know if there was nothing she could do to procure the renewal of her past happiness.
After a moment's hesitation I determine to speak to her of the delicious practice to which I had been introduced by the sixteen-year-old daughter of the fishmonger. She begged for details. I gave them. Her eyes sparkled at the recital, her golden head bent lower and lower, and in an instant the rich red mouth had gathered my weapon into its velvet depths. At its contact with her tongue she became as one possessed, and when at my suggestion she shifted her position so as to enable me to reciprocate her attentions, her erotic fury as my lips touched her furrow became ungovernable, and before either of us could withdraw the sluice-gates of our being were unlocked and a mighty stream of love passed in spasms of delight down each willing throat.
This delightful pastime (to which, be it said, I became from thenceforth an eager and passionate devotee) is known to its French amateurs as "la belle gamahuche"-a sufficiently expressive term for a most exquisitely lascivious practice. As for Emma, her appreciation of the novelty knew no bounds, and on no single occasion of our meeting did she omit to fill her amorous mouth from throat to lips with the dainty she loved so well.
Now Emma was a veritable epicure in the matter of salacious pleasures; and so, my beloved lady readers, verb, sap.; mark, learn and above all, inwardly digest!
In very truth I pity the man who has never had an opportunity of exploring the magnificent avenues which abound in the vicinity of the ever-blooming gardens of the all-powerful god of love, through the intricacies of which I fondly imagine myself to be now walking with Emma; presently I approach a grove of thickest foliage, surrounding the superb sanctuary sacred to Venus-that multiplying, everlasting shrine, which has existed from the creation of the world and will endure until the end of time; that mysterious edifice which is no sooner perfected and Cupid's altar-piece erected in the centre (at which good men ne'er sacrifice in vain), than in its secret recesses are engendered new temples, new altar-pieces, small and portable, yet miniature models of its faultless self, composed of such flexible and rare materials that in a few years they become so spacious and extensive as to vie with the great original in symmetry and beauty.
The whole of the ensuing day my Bessy kept within her room, and although I would have given one of my hands to see her and implore forgiveness, I still determined to conceal my weakness from her; I consequently assumed an unusual flow of spirits, singing the most sprightly songs and playing only lively and mirth-inspiring tunes, while at intervals my lovely neighbour, delighted with the jocund tales I recounted, made the house re-echo with her laughter.
Early the next morning Emma rapped at my door, to request that I would allow her to speak with me before I went out; I answered, loud enough to be heard below, "Certainly, and if agreeable, I intend to breakfast with you.
Having answered that she would be most happy to receive me, she sought her own apartment in order to make the necessary preparations.
I arose, and having completed my toilet proceeded to join Emma at the breakfast table when she informed me with a look of peculiar archness that her husband had that morning started for the country, by the order of his employer, to wait upon an extensive customer and the distance he had to travel would preclude the possibility of his returning before the following evening; playfully adding, "I don't know what will be the consequence, for I am not in the habit of sleeping alone and am dreadfully afraid of solitude."
I assured her that she need be under no alarm on that account.
"Depend upon it, my girl, it will be your own fault should you take cold for the want of a companion. Only forget to lock your door and leave the rest to me."
"No," she replied, "you must not think of attempting to come here tonight; recollect that my room is exactly over the one occupied by Mr. and Mrs. E.; they would be sure to hear you and what then would be the consequence? E. is such a malicious brute that he would certainly acquaint my husband, in which case I would not give twopence for either of our lives."
"Well, well, but listen; depend on it I will use every precaution; he must have ears like the very devil should he discover the sound of my footsteps, for 'Light as down, when borne on zephyrs' wings, I'll fly to meet my love!' "
"Softly, my dear, suppose you should elude the ears of Mr. E., the eye of Jealousy is ever watchful, its ear forever open."
"Jealousy! What mean you?"
"Oh, Mister Innocent, do you believe that I have never noticed your attentions to our modest landlady, that I have never marked her stolen glances?"
"Come, come, give over this idle jesting. I think of Mrs. E.! When you are by, the woman's affable, obliging, and all that; I respect her; certainly, but as for more-pshaw! Besides the little brown jade is a very dragon of virtue and loves her little toad of a husband better than any other man on earth."
"Except yourself," interrupted Emma. "Well, never mind, you shall have it all your own way; but this I will say-and woman's knowledge in such things is generally pretty clear and what I say I know to be the case-that whether you love her or not, she absolutely doats on you, adores the ground you walk on."
"Nonsense; I begin to think that you are slightly tinted with the yellow monster yourself. Let's change the subject."
"Well, as you like; but remember, keep it close as you will, in spite of your utmost caution, if she don't soon betray herself, my name is not Emma S."
Breakfast being over, I took leave of her for the day, having several engagements that could not be postponed, saying as I departed, "Don't forget, it is all settled; and by this kiss, Emma, here do I lodge tonight!"
"I cannot prevent you from trying the door," she answered, "but do not be angry should you find it fast."
I must here confess that during the day my conscience frequently reproached me for my infidelity to Bessy, but when I reflected upon her obstinate, her continued perseverance in withholding from me the desired favour, then conscience quite as readily acquitted me.
Nor do I think, upon reflection, that the most fastidious of my readers will condemn me, when they consider the state of excitement I was in at the moment of my frailty and the sweetly powerful temptation ready to allure me; for the transient yielding moment of forgetfulness in which my Bessy lay within my arms had increased to an ungovernable height the fury of my passion, and although her subsequent behaviour had for a moment quelled the raging flame, can it be a matter of surprise that the refreshing breath which wafted Emma's kisses to my lips, so shortly after, should fan the expiring embers into a mighty, uncontrollable, and furious blaze which nothing but love's hallowed stream could quench?
Let me be tried by Cupid's potent laws,
I fear not censure-nay, expect applause!
My professional duties kept me from home the whole of that day; in fact midnight had passed ere the concert was concluded and the clock was striking two as, flushed with wine, I applied the key to the door of my lodging. I entered, gained my room, undressed and went to bed, actually forgetting for a time the convenient loneliness of the perhaps anxiously expecting Emma.
Suddenly it flashed across my mind-did she not declare that worlds would not tempt her to run the risk of a discovery? Has she not vowed that her door shall be fast locked? I'll try, at all events-but cautiously! I gently quit my bed, step lightly over the floor of my apartment-shoeless, unslippered, not a creaking board to whisper my design to those below. I unclose my door, my impatient hand now rests upon the polished handle by which I expect to gain access to happiness, when-confusion to all potteries! — a flower-stand that stood upon the window of the landing-place which divided the apartments, touched by my elbow, fell to the ground with a confounded crash which made the house re-echo to the sound. I made a backward movement in order to regain my bed, there to await the issue of this infernal adventure. Who could have contemplated such a d-d mishap?
As I expected, roused by the clamour, Mr. E., grumbling at the disturbance, unclosed his door. He calls, "Hulloa! what's all this?" No answer. He ascended the stairs, and perceiving the visible cause of the uproar, in the wreck of the accursed flower-stand, muttered to himself,
"How the deuce could this have happened? It's d-n strange! Couldn't fall of itself, that's very clear."
At last thinking that it might appear suspicious to feign sleep after such a clatter, I opened the door rubbing my eyes and yawning, as one suddenly awakened, and affected great surprise at seeing him in his shirt, but observed at the same time, "I cannot imagine what it can be that so suddenly disturbed me. I awoke this moment with a ringing in my ears, as if the very house was falling."
"Ah," returned he, "the same noise alarmed me, and look here!" he added, pointing to the shattered garden pots, "this is a d-d curious occurrence; I can't account for it, anyhow; not a breath of wind is stirring; and even if it was blowing like the devil, the window being closed, why even that couldn't do it. What think you, mister-can you explain it better?"
Although not yet broad day, being in the middle of summer, there was light enough to enable me to perceive that he was eyeing me with a look of keen suspicion, glancing at my neighbour's door as if to satisfy himself that all was right in that quarter. Whatever his thoughts might have been at first, I flatter myself that they were in a moment dispelled, by the look and tone of unconcern with which I answered,
"Most certainly, nothing more easy, when an entrance is attempted through a window, the seat of which is filled with flower-pots."
His coward cheeks grew pale as death, as trembling he exclaimed,
"Good God! what! do you think that thieves were attempting-but no, it would be impossible to get into the house this way-see how securely that window is fastened."
"And yet," I answered, smilingly, "the entrance has been effected; and see where the grim-visaged thief even now stands glaring on us," at the same time pointing to a large black cat, who, luckily for me, had taken its station on the lower stairs; a broken pane in the window corroborated my explanation.
He was satisfied, and bidding me good morning, descended the stairs.
Vexed and irritated, I returned to my own solitary bed, until, by the universal stillness which reigned through the house, I concluded that slumber had again sealed up his eyelids; then, with increased caution, I once more quit my chamber and gain the door of Emma's. I try the lock-it yields! I enter. Three easy paces bring me to the bed! The crimson streaks of opening day afforded light barely sufficient to reveal to my admiring gaze the voluptuous form which sleeping lay before me.
The heat throughout the night had been oppressive and consequently during her slumbers she had thrown off every article of clothing; the counterpane alone remained and this had fallen to below her knees.
The splendid picture formed by this sleeping Venus the reader must imagine; words would be too feeble, even were I to write for a month, to do justice to the exciting scene: therefore I at once abandon the attempt.
Unable calmly to endure the sight, I knelt beside her and pressing my lips to hers with energy lightly touched a rosy nipple. She awoke with a slight scream which might have been attended with danger had not the increasing fervour of my kisses delivered with open mouth and penetrating tongue stifled the rising sound, which was not repeated, having been but the effect of momentary alarm; memory soon returning she clasped me to her naked bosom and having rapturously sucked my delighted pizzle for some minutes cried upon me to birdnest her without a moment's delay, and with clutching hands upon my buttocks drove me to the hilt within her pouting proud-faced vulva.
Not till after our fourth act of coition did my powers begin to shew signs of flagging, when the girl's red mouth and clinging tongue were swiftly applied to their delicious task of resuscitation, and under this enchanting stimulus, the member in question soon regained the necessary length and stiffness and repaid the luscious service of her lips by burying himself in her womb.
For three hours locked in each other's arms, we envied not the gods their famed Elysium!
On the following day, I was greatly astonished at the extraordinary conduct of my charming Bessy, for notwithstanding our late rupture, she could not betray any signs of anger in the presence of Emma without exciting her suspicions; I consequently took advantage of an opportunity which presented itself on seeing the two ladies together of walking in as though no unpleasant squabble had ever taken place, when the look of reproach with which she eyed me left no doubt upon my mind as to her being perfectly aware of the preceding night; and as her reserve grew less upon each succeeding day, I became the more confirmed in this opinion; more particularly as on one occasion, I being rather depressed in spirits, she, with a look of peculiar meaning, continued to sing-as though unconsciously amusing herself, portions of an old ballad, the burthen of which runs thus:
Oh, I could tell you how, love, and when, The very first hour, and the place, While I vowed I'd ne'er heed the oaths of men.
You prevailed, and I mourn my disgrace.
In short, her allusions became so very pointed that one day, being alone with her, I ventured to demand an explanation. Notwithstanding her assumed cheerfulness, a tear involuntarily starting dimmed the lustre of her sparkling eye. She at length informed me, that for a long time my attentions to Emma had excited her suspicion and having heard me enter her apartment so shortly after my last offence she felt persuaded that Emma had found a way to console me for what I might term my own unkindness; she acknowledged also, that the torturing pangs of jealousy had kept her awake throughout the whole of that eventful night; and although I had used the utmost caution in my movements, nothing had escaped the acute fineness of her sense of hearing-nay, such was the particular manner in which she depicted the most minute incidents of my frailty, that, perfectly astounded, it was some moments ere I could gain sufficient assurance to assert my innocence, and even then the protestation was made in such bungling terms that my confusion only added to my conviction and at once proclaimed my guilt.
Clearly detected, I endeavoured to palliate my crime, urging the powerful incentives I had experienced and vowed a thousand times that love for Emma had not induced me to act, but that, maddened by my disappointed hopes and fearing that my offence was beyond forgiveness, I had recourse to drink, till urged on by grief, despair, revenge, intoxication, and convenient temptation I had fallen.
At length my Bessy, like a pitying angel, moved by my tears and visible remorse, awarded pardon to her suffering penitent; at the same time kindly pledged her word that the knowledge she had so artfully obtained should be forever confined to her own breast; before we parted, however, she extorted from me a promise that the guilty commerce should never be repeated, for which she rewarded me with a delightful kiss, and we parted, if possible, better friends than ever.
Not wishing to hurt the feelings of the kind and gentle Emma by an appearance of indifference, I took an opportunity of informing her that I had reason to believe that Mr. E. entertained suspicions that an improper intimacy had taken place between us; and, in order to remove this impression and preserve her reputation, it would be
expedient to affect a distant carriage towards each other; she appreciated my motives, and feigning a slight quarrel we ultimately succeeded in deceiving the penetration of Bessy, to whom I certainly kept my word as sacred-as possible-for my intercourse with her rival was discontinued forever-in her house.
Shortly after this Mr. E., still eagerly intent upon his favourite pursuit of accumulating money, determined upon letting one of his parlours, and his wife-for reasons best known to herself-prevailed on him to request that I would make it my sleeping room, urging as a motive that being on the same floor with themselves it would be much more convenient for her to attend to, as it would save much trouble and she need not then be continually running up and down stairs; that as I was not often at home until late at night they could have the apartment during the day; the upper room which would thus become vacant would immediately be let, and we then should appear to be forming one family, his gains of course increasing in proportion; this latter argument at once decided him, and the same evening he proposed the project in a very roundabout manner and concluded by asking if I had any objection to an exchange.
I at once perceived the cunning motive of my jealous Bessy, which was in fact merely to remove me from the dangerous vicinity of my fair neighbour; but as I foresaw also numberless advantages to myself (which in the one object that engrossed her thoughts she had evidently overlooked) I instantly consented, and the next evening took possession of my new dormitory.
It will be here necessary, in order that the following incidents may be clearly understood, to describe more particularly the situation of my present sleeping room,
The house consisted of six rooms-not one behind the other, as in most modern buildings, but each apartment overlooked the street. I have before mentioned, in describing my former chamber, that a small landing-place divided it from Emma's and that our doors faced each other; in like manner was my new abode divided from that of Mr. and Mrs. E. merely by the width of the passage; at the extreme end of which the stairs leading to the upper rooms were situated.
From the exterior, the two parlours were divided by the street door, which when closed, and the parlour doors thrown open, three paces would convey me from one room to the other, my shoulder nearly brushing the street door in passing; in each apartment was a kind of closet, large enough to contain a bedstead if required; but as I was never partial to a confined atmosphere, particularly while sleeping, I made my recess answer the purpose of a wardrobe, and consequently my bed occupied the centre of the room.
The reader will perceive the necessity of my being thus particular as to the situation of the rooms in the course of these memoirs; in fact they would find it exceedingly difficult to form an idea of many circumstances hereafter to be related had I been less explicit.
All diffidence was now banished between myself and Bessy, and perfect confidence restored, the past seemed buried in oblivion, and our days passed in the same sportive manner as before. To be sure, when romping with Emma, the eyes of Bessy never failed to put me on my guard, and my eyes no longer enjoyed the freedoms they formerly indulged in.
I must, however, acknowledge that an accidental meeting would occasionally occur, away from home; I would then exert my best endeavours to make her ample amends for every seeming slight; and as she really possessed a tolerable share of common sense, we always parted perfectly satisfied with each other. True it is, that I would much rather have discontinued this connexion, but I could not prevail on myself, by coldness or neglect, to hurt the feelings of any woman who had sacrificed her all for my gratification.
To proceed to my narrative, I soon became perfectly inured to my change of quarters; and what added greatly to my satisfaction was that I could overhear mostly every word that passed between Mr. E. and his wife, and the tone of disgust with which she sometimes answered his pettishness afforded me real pleasure, as I felt convinced that it was her increasing affection for myself that made him appear each day more odious to her sight.
One night in particular, something having occurred abroad to sour his naturally morose temper, he as usual was venting his spleen upon his unoffending wife, which she resented in becoming language; how did my blood boil with indignation as I plainly heard the cowardly ruffian degrade her with a blow! Gladly would I have flown to her rescue, but I well knew that any interference on my part would have acted as a signal for new outrages on her. Shortly after I hear the brute prepare for bed and call on her to follow when nothing could exceed the satisfaction with which I listened to her rather loudly expressed and firm determination that from that time forth she would avoid his loathed embraces; vainly doth he growlingly remonstrate, in the most absolute terms; she declared her intention of sitting up till morning; and I afterwards discovered that she reclined her head upon the table while the unworthy wretch, having vented his passion to the very dregs, fell asleep and snored until the alarm roused him to his daily labour.
I lay till the usual hour of breakfast had long passed without the customary summons; when, fearing that my loved one was unwell and suffering for the treatment she had so recently experienced, I arose, dressed myself, and knocked softly at the door; on receiving no answer I ventured to try the lock-the door opened-and with cautious steps I entered the apartment. As I suspected, exhausted and faint from the fatigue of the preceding night she had, upon her husband's departure, thrown herself upon the bed and fallen into a profound slumber. How did I despise the mean-spirited villain and author of her woes; she evidently had been weeping during the night, her face seemed absolutely swollen with anguish. As I imprinted a glowing kiss upon her lips she awoke.
At first she appeared alarmed at seeing me so near her, but on beholding the expression of pity with which I regarded her, her fears were instantly dispelled.
I assisted her to rise; and having informed her of what I had heard the previous night, I entreated her to withdraw herself at once from her tormentor and no longer submit to such harsh usage; but notwithstanding her husband's injurious treatment she still endeavoured to find excuses in extenuation of his conduct; for though the affection she at one time felt for him was greatly diminished, she yet disdained the thought of retaliating at the expense of her honour…
I assisted her in preparing the breakfast; and as she remarked my assiduities, she exclaimed with a sigh, "Oh, had E- possessed but half your tenderness, how happily we might have lived. Heaven grant that I may some day be at liberty to requite your generous affection."
As I gazed upon her haggard features, and saw fatigue hang heavy on her eyelids, I, with some difficulty, prevailed on her to take a little brandy in her coffee, describing to her its invigorating qualities when taken as a medicine, and, breakfast being over, left her with a recommendation to seek the soothing influence of balmy sleep.
Such was the agitation of my mind as I pondered on my charmer's injuries that I found it quite impossible to pursue my morning studies, and throwing myself upon the sofa soon sunk into a slumber from which I awoke as the clock was striking twelve. Anxious to know how my dear Bessy found herself, I once more entered her apartment.
I found her reclining on her bed, her senses fast locked up in sweet forgiveness, but evidently much refreshed; her features had assumed their usual tranquil tone, and as if under the influence of some pleasing dream a sweet smile illumined her interesting face.
As I gazed upon the sleeping beauty all virtuous resolutions vanished, and in their place my former wild desires returned with redoubled violence.
"What!" I mentally exclaimed, "shall an ungrateful brute remain in the undivided possession of this world of charms? Charms which his groveling soul knows not the way to estimate or value-what even now prevents me, sleeping as she is, from seizing at once the blessing, of making her happy in her own despite-her heart is mine alreadyand once the transport over, never to be recalled, will she not bless the happy moment when by love inspired, I stole the intoxicating rapture and, with my own, secured her everlasting happiness."
Unable to control my highly excited feelings I throw myself beside her and gently pass one arm beneath her head; it clasps her neck; I with my hand now venture lightly to press the heaving breasts on which I feast my ravished sight; she moves! — Gods, let her not awake! — No! she turns half round-her lips now face mine-I cautiously approach still nearer, they meet! the soft concussion throws me off my guard, and as I pressed her to my bosom she awoke. She struggles to extricate herself from my dangerous embrace as I remonstrate, "Nay, fear me not, my love, I have long sought this glorious opportunity to prove to you how pure, how fervent is my brotherly affection. Oh strive not thus to leave me, my wife; you are so-nay, have you not oftentimes declared that you would glory in that title had fortune given you a right to it; let us indulge the sweet anticipation-I henceforth am your husbandfrom this moment, without one criminal design, I'll call you my dear wife! Seek not to escape me; do not deprive me of this trifling libertytrifling to you, to me invaluable-thus — thus to hold you in my arms, to press your lips to mine- I ask no more! Have I not given you proofs of this during the two heavenly hours I've held you in my arms? You look surprised, but it is even so; no sooner had you sank to sleep than gently entering I locked you in my fond embrace and pillowed your loved head upon my faithful bosom; what but my profound respect could have prevented me from snatching greater joys during your trancelike slumbers? Surely, my love, my long forbearance merits some reward? — and having for two hours unknowingly endured the imaginary danger, can you not confront it for a short time longer?"
During the time I was thus entreating her, spite of her struggles to escape, I held her fast-nay at every useless effort pressed her still closer to my throbbing heart; but when she heard me vow that I had been so long reclining by her side-an assertion which I well knew she could not contradict-when she perceived the struggles I endured and saw the flames of love now gleaming in my eyes, she whispered as she gently pressed my hand, "Heaven forgive me should I be doing wrong! I feel I cannot bid you leave me with a conviction that I am cruel or unjust; yet if, knowing my own weakness, I venture to trust myself within your arms, oh, do not, pray, abuse my confidence!"
I answered only with a kiss, and with her arms entwined around my neck I feigned a sudden drowsiness, and shortly after the most experienced observer would have pronounced me fast locked in the arms of Morpheus; while she, believing me insensible to her caresses, having kissed my lips, eyes and forehead, with an innocent confidence resigned herself to sleep.
In order to satisfy myself that she slept securely, I remained perfectly quiet for a few minutes, when cautiously raising my head I gazed upon her for some time before I ventured to place my hand upon her bosom; finding the daring act had not disturbed her, I proceeded to the most unwarrantable liberties.
But-hold! she moves! Quick as lightning I withdraw my hand and sink upon the pillow. All is once more still; the involuntary moment did but improve the position of my love and rendered visible the haven of my hopes. Now, while my dazzled eyes rove over the enchanting prospect, IGreat God of love! what mortal could endure it longer? all caution's dictates now are disobeyed-timidity no longer regulates my actions, while with frantic daring I pursue the advantage, undismayed, and boldly stretch myself between her thighs. Startled at the audacious attempt, she suddenly awakes and, sensible of the mighty peril, vainly essays to shriek; but her exhausted breath, half stifled by my kisses, in accents unintelligible fall upon the ear; her strength deserts her; and tears escaping from her jet black eyes, fast course each other down her lovely cheeks; each moment her resistance grows more feeble; already in imagination I had gained the wished-for victory, when, aided by the strength of some vindictive fiend-an enemy alike to love and mewith one spasmodic, wild, and convulsive effort, she hurled me from her!
Thus was the cup of felicity dashed untasted from my lips at the very moment that I would have sworn no earthly power could have torn it from me.
In an instant she sprung from the bed and throwing herself into a chair buried her face in her hands and sobbed convulsively-nay, such was the violence of her emotions that her trembling frame seemed as though shook by an ague.
I ventured to approach, to take her hand; she instantly withdrew it as though stung by a scorpion; I fell upon my knees and humbly implore her pity and forgiveness. At length she condescends to speak, but not in anger; she acquits me of all blame, accusing only herself; a hundred times she curses her own weakness in allowing me an opportunity to transgress so deeply; she begs me to retire, with averted face, declaring that the guilty knowledge I had acquired would render it impossible for her to look me in the face again.
Confused and mortified, I begged the favour of her hand at parting; she complies but on one condition, a promise that I would quit my lodging at the earliest opportunity, and never from henceforth endeavour to hold converse with her more.
At this moment a plan suggested itself to my inventive mind, which I resolved to put into practice on the instant; I consequently left her with these words: "Well, dearest, since such is your final determination, farewell for ever! I leave you with a conviction that you have never really loved me. But no matter; despised by you, and banished from your dear presence, life has no longer any charms for me; and since the fond delusion is destroyed which bade me live for you, I fly to death as to a last sad refuge; and surely when you learn my hopeless fate, you'll drop a sympathising tear to my memory, as conscience whispers to your heart-'he died for me!' "
I entered my own room and immediately closing my door, turned the key, but in such a manner that, although the door appeared to be fast locked, it would require very little violence to force it open. Every circumstance occurred most favourable for my design. Emma had gone out for the day, and Bessy and myself were the only inmates of the house.
I made considerable noise with the key, as I thus partially turned it in the lock, on purpose to arrest the attention of my weeping enchantress and alarm her fears; then, placing a table directly underneath a strong staple that for some particular purpose had been driven into the ceiling by a former tenant, I untied my neckcloth and tearing it nearly in two-so that it would break entirely with the slightest effort-and ascending the table I tied one end to the staple and fastened the other round my neck; then pushing the table (upon which stood various articles of valueless crockery) over with my foot, it fell with a violent crash, and at the same instant I alighted on the ground in perfect safety, the handkerchief having, as I expected, given way, and I extended myself upon the floor with my face towards the boards where I lay apparently without life or motion!
My Bessy, as I expected, alarmed at the tremendous clatter occasioned by the fall of the table, crockery, and myself, flew to my door, and upon receiving no answer as she pronounced my name, a dread of something fearful having occurred instantly filled her mind, and as my parting words recurred to her memory she threw herself with violence against the door, which instantly yielding flew wide open.
It would be absolutely impossible with words to describe the intense horror of her mind as she gazed upon the scene which met her view; and as she discovered the fragment of the handkerchief which still hung suspended from the staple, she in a moment guessed the fatal truth (1) and rushing to the spot on which I still lay prostrate, endeavoured to raise me in her arms, and with her scissors cut away the remaining portion, which upon her entrance I had contrived to press more tightly round my throat; she continued to rub my hands and bathe my temples with cold water for several minutes ere I thought proper to evince the least sign of returning animation; and when at last, with a groan of anguish I unclosed my eyes, gazing wildly around, and, with a look bordering on insanity, begged to be left to my unhappy fate, her tears flowed thick and fast, and flinging her arms around my neck, while pressing me to her bosom, she exclaimed, "Do you not know me, love? Speak to me-for God's sake, speak! 'Tis I, your own Bessy!"
As yet I deemed it prudent not to recognize her; but, looking at her with a vacant stare, sank from her arms in a state of seeming insensibility upon the floor.
Her distracted fears now imparted to her delicate frame the strength of a maniac; she turned me over upon my back with the same apparent ease as she could have turned a child; and now her tears, protestations, self-reproaches began to have a visible effect and rendered it expedient that I should gradually recover, as my emotions speedily threatened to betray me.
I once more opened my eyes, and seeming to recognise my supporter, faintly exclaimed, "How is it that I see you here? Tell me what has happened? Ah! now I remember all. Why, oh, why endeavour to restore me thus to life and misery? Go-leave me to my fate."
She answered, weeping, "Cruel man, why seek to do a deed that would render me for ever wretched. Had you succeeded in this mad attempt, think you that I could have survived, knowing myself to be cause of your despair? Compose yourself, my dearest, only love! Never again shall you complain of my unkindness."
And then she pressed a kiss upon my lips, sweet as the opening breath of a summer morn to new-born roses. Supported in her arms, I reached my bed; she placed me gently upon it and in a tone of sweet solicitation begged that I would not move until she returned. In less than five minutes she re-entered, having prepared a glass of brandy and water, which, in compliance with her earnest entreaty, I received from her hands and soon, of course, am wonderfully revived by its refreshing influence.
And now I feel her taper fingers moving cautiously about my neck; they anxiously endeavour to ascertain the extent of injury I had sustained in that quarter; but placing my arm around her waist, I eased her of her apprehensions by declaring that "I felt no wound but that her love would heal."
She answered with a look of fond reproach, "And yet you would be so wicked as to attempt an act which had it been completed, oh! what a wretch should I have been ere now. And though I value honour more than my own life, I feel-I own-that even that should be sacrificed rather than yours should be again by any fault of mine endangered."
At this generous declaration, I drew her to my bosom, covering her sweet face with amorous kisses; and though my hand presses her heaving breast, no spark of anger flashes from her brilliant eyes, now dimmed with the humid moisture of love and soft desire!
Encouraged by her passive bearing, each obstacle that for so many weary months had kept me from the haven of her arms was rapidly removed; no murmuring sound of disapproval escapes her lips; the beauteous objects "that charm my dazzled gaze are such as might have tempted Jove himself to quit his famed Elysium to secure!
No longer she opposes me. On the contrary, her deft fingers aid my awkward fumblings, and unasked by me she lets fall her last garment and stands before me naked.
"See here, my beloved!" — the words come swift and low from between her parted lips-"See here, my beloved! Because of my so long resisting you, you deem me cold and unloving. This is my answer. I give you my naked body to do with as you list. My breasts-for you to kiss and suck! My arms-to clasp your neck. My belly-for yours to rock upon! My legs-to coil and twist about your loins. And here (give me your hand) a pair of soft lips pouting for the joy they are about to feel when this noble fellow I am grasping goes pushing his lustful way between them and buries his rosy head in my womb. Come, my darling boy, come! lie between my legs and do with me and let me for the first time in my life taste the delights of knowing that I have within me the object of the man I love!"
So profound was my emotion upon hearing this wild and erotic tirade escape from the lips of the hitherto virtuous Bessy that for a moment or two I found myself pausing as one who seeks to collect his scattered senses. But my lovely lady was by no means in the mood for delay, and without giving me time for any further metaphysical reflections, she flung her white arms round my neck and falling backwards on the bed, threw open her legs, locked them behind my buttocks, and with a large and generous grasp of her hand upon my member drew me rapidly within the velvet folds I had so long and so vainly sought to enter.
In a moment the amorous widow, the fishmonger's luscious little daughter, and even the erotic prowess of the salacious Emma were alike forgotten in the long delayed consummation of our desires to which my love and I now eagerly bent ourselves. Again and again with undiminished rapture did I seal the bond of love. Again and again did the enchanted Bessy pull me down upon her naked body and, holding me as in a vice between her thighs, strain me to her swelling breast, and plunging her tongue far into my mouth imparted-as it were by the sheer magnetism of her own lust-a length and stiffness to my organ which repeated discharges seemed powerless to effect.
However, since all things must have an end, I at length whispered to Bessy that I had tousled her for the last time that night, and as we gazed upon each other with feelings of gratified delight we envied not the potentates of earth their riches or vain honours. Enthroned within each other's hearts, and crowned with the never-fading laurels of triumphant love, we could imagine no happiness superior to that we now enjoyed!
But, alas! how transient are the pleasures of this world. Suddenly my charmer's brow assumes an expression of uneasy sadness-the clock proclaims the hour of seven. Ah! I guess the cause-her husbandhateful theme-he'll soon be home! During the last few hours of ecstasy no thought of him had interfered; each had forgotten for a brief, though blissful period, that such an insipid, disagreeable d-d intruder lived to mar our mutual pleasures. But now the cursed recollection intrusive falls upon each heart, and like a ponderous weight beats down with fury irresistible the opening blossoms of ecstatic joy but newly rooted in our love-excited bosoms. And must I now resign to him those celestial charms in which so recently my soul has revelled?
She soon perceived my mental agony and guessing the cause, with angel kindness strove to sooth my troubled soul to rest, assuring me that although compelled perchance to share his bed, yet by feigned illness she would manage to evade his loathed caresses; which, as I afterwards discovered, was not a work of such great difficulty as I had at first imagined, for in the course of future confidential communications, my dear girl candidly acknowledged that the plenteous banquet I had shared with her on the first day of love's great festival would have sufficed the frugal dolt for a month at least.
As time and tide wait for no man, and Mr. E. was now momentarily expected, we thought it prudent for a time to part. I accordingly retired to my own apartment where I speedily concocted a plan by which to get rid of him for some few hours longer. Scarcely had he arrived, when opening my door I called to him by name; instantly answering, I begged he would walk in and take a seat; he did so; I then informed him that having an engagement to attend a concert on that evening, and feeling utterly incompetent to sing in public on this occasion (which, by the by, was really the case, although, as may be readily supposed, I did not think it at all requisite to explain to him the real cause, which I disguised under the convenient name of a severe cold), I requested that he would do me the favour of delivering a note to the musical director, which I would write, to inform him of my indisposition, and that in return for the kindness I solicited, I would ensure his admission to the performance, together with his wife. I then handed him a bill of the entertainments, which did in reality promise much amusement. He thankfully accepted my offer and went to consult his wife.
As I expected, he shortly returned to inform me that Mrs. E., feeling much fatigued after the labours of the day, was under the necessity of declining my kind offer, but added that if I would oblige him with an opportunity of obliging a friend, he should be most happy at any future time to return the favour. I accordingly wrote a few lines to the director, expressing regret that illness prevented me from fulfilling my professional duties and concluded with a request that he would admit the bearer and friend, which favour I was fully assured he would not refuse me.
E., having in a short time prepared himself, left home, congratulating himself on his anticipated amusement at so cheap a rate; and in less than five minutes his expecting wife was enclosed in my fond embrace.
Having assured her that we need not fear interruption for the next three hours, I with little difficulty prevailed on her to retire to rest, and without opposition I shortly followed; then, after some time passed in the most delightful converse, overcome with the sublimity of our happiness, we sank to sleep locked in each other's arms.
I awoke as the clock was striking twelve, when I arose, and having received a promise that no officious daring on the part of her husband should induce her to submit to his odious embrace-for that night at least-with a parting kiss I left her and repaired to my own apartment, there to seek in the downy arms of sleep that rest and refreshment I so greatly needed after the pleasing fatigues of that eventful day.
I have often heard an old adage, that "Joan is as good as my lady in the dark," which implies that all women resemble each other in a certain particular; but with all deference to more experienced practitioners, I must beg to differ with them in this instance; and, in defence of my opinion, I assure them that there was such a peculiar indescribable something about the person of my adored Bessy that I could have discovered her in the midst of a darkness thick as that which annoyed the Egyptians of yore and which sacred writers describe as a darkness that might be felt.
Nay, such was the influence of this magnetic charm upon my busy fancy that frequently during our long intimacy, when I have been toying with other women whose personal charms were infinitely superior to those of my soul's idol, I have felt no amatory longings; on the contrary, upon more than one occasion, when I have had a decided wish to impress some melting fair one with a magnificent idea of my prowess in the field of Venus, a most provoking coldness had pervaded my whole frame to such an extraordinary degree as to have created in me a temporary fear that I was on the point of becoming impotent; yet when, perhaps half an hour after I have beheld my Bessy, the slightest touch of her electric hand would kindle a raging fire within my veins, which by the sweetest of all operation she would ultimately contrive to quench. Then one gentle kiss would render all her former efforts unavailing — the dying embers gaining new vigour from her creative breath would instantly revive and again blaze forth with redoubled fury. But I digress.
The barrier once moved which had so long and stubbornly resisted my attempts to enter the flowery domains of the gentle goddess, I determined amply to repay myself for the time lost in the tedious pursuit.
I have before stated that Mr. E. left home each morning at six o'clock and, as his business lay some distance from his dwelling, took provisions with him for the day; consequently we feared no interruption on his part till between the hours of eight and nine at night; no sooner, therefore, did I hear his usual farewell each morning than rolling up my clothes into a convenient bundle I placed them beneath my arm; as the closing of the outer door proclaimed his glad departure I sought the room which he had quitted, where my expectant Bessy's open arms invited me to rapture; and upon her lovely breast I generally lay reclined till nine o'clock, when the industrious cry of the buxom milkmaid would call her from my arms; but she left me only for the purpose of preparing the welcome morning meal, which refreshing repast, rendered more delightful by cheerful and unrestrained converse of love and happiness, was no sooner over than having dressed,
— We arm in arm would stray,
And through the verdant meadows take our way;
Enjoy the frugal meals in shady bowers,
And mark the beauty of the opening flowers.
Returning, oft indulge in amorous play,
Among the hillocks of sweet-scented hay;
Smile at the rustic's face of troubled woe, To see his heaps thus scattered to and fro;
Whilst he, in terms that prudish ears would shock, Rails at the act which floor'd his well-formed cock.
The reader will probably be inclined to think that, being now in full possession of that for which so long I had been sighing, I was perfectly satisfied. Alas! he was never more mistaken in his life, for Jealousy, in all its terrors, now took possession of my soul. Jealousy! you will exclaim; and of whom pray? I'll tell you-the infernal husband! Yes, taking advantage of the privileges that name allows he will dare presume to share these joys with me, which having tasted I would entirely appropriate to myself.
Many will consider me unreasonable; let them. I cannot help it; she must be mine, and mine alone. I name my discontent to her, of which, to my great joy, she approves — in fact declares that from the moment when she first abandoned herself to love and me, a similar desire had filled her heart. She assured me, with a blush, that since the completion of our mutual felicity nothing upon earth could be to her so fulsome as the embraces of her husband, whom she now held in abhorrence; that during our intimacy, which had now continued for three blissful weeks, she had availed herself of every reasonable excuse to avoid his importunities; yet she acknowledged, with tears in her eyes, and blushing downcast face, that notwithstanding every effort on her part she had been compelled, on one or two occasions, to submit to his detested freedoms since the heavenly moment when she first began to live.
She vowed that she felt it quite impossible to continue such a life; she would not be the property of two; and now, for the first time, offered to leave her home, child, and husband at a moment's notice to wander through the world with me, urging me to fix a day at once in order that she might lose no time in preparing for our future comforts.
Infatuated as I was, I must confess that the unexpected suddenness of this proposal took me rather by surprise. My eyes were instantly open to the many insurmountable inconveniences that must inevitably attend such a rash proceeding. However, recovering my presence of mind ere she had time to notice my hesitation, which would have greatly pained her gentle heart, I assured her that although nothing upon earth could be so congenial to my feelings as to retain the undivided possession of her charms, yet no selfish consideration of my own happiness should induce me to plunge her into poverty. That I was still under the control of a master, who, notwithstanding that the progress I had made in my studies had for some time prevented the necessity of my attending to receive lessons-which I was in fact competent to give as well as my instructor-yet the term for which I had been articled not having expired he had a claim upon one half of whatever sums my engagements might produce during that period; that in one year more I should be entirely free and consequently enabled to support her according to her worth and my own ardent desires.
In vain she endeavoured to argue me out of this determination; I was adamant. In vain she pleaded the violent fervour of her love, and that she preferred a crust with me to all the delicacies in the world apart from me. I was too tenderly alive to her comforts to consent to such a sacrifice; and when at length she suffered herself to be persuaded and requested to know in what way she could best ensure my happiness I imparted my plan to her; it was that she should seek an opportunity to quarrel with her husband-which I well knew his peevish disposition would readily afford her, and as on such occasions he never failed to give her ample grounds of complaint she could, in the excitement of the moment, take an oath to withdraw herself from his arms and bed for ever! — giving him to understand at the same time that the welfare of their infant alone prevented her from leaving his house altogether.
Wild as this proposition may appear to the cool eye of reason, she readily pledged her word to me that it should be complied with to the very letter, only claiming in return a promise on my part that, in the event of his becoming clamorous for a restitution of his conjugal rights- which in the course of a few weeks might probably be the case-that rather than see her reduced to such a detestable alternative I would, at all hazards, immediately procure a lodging and at once remove her from him.
As I could not possibly urge any reasonable objection to such conditions, I made the required promise without further hesitation; and that very night the desired opportunity occurred, of which, in obedience to the agreement we had made, she joyfully availed herself and her purpose was effected!
Fortune appeared so favourable to our designs that he returned home in a temper more morose than usual, and as she did not strive by a patient submission to every caprice to soothe him into gentleness as she was wont to do, he, in a moment of irritation, threw a basin at her head with such violence that, striking against the opposite wall, it was shivered into a thousand pieces; and had she not fortunately stepped aside at the very instant, it must have been attended with fatal consequences.
All, however, was in accordance with her wishes, and, as I have before stated that I could overhear almost every word that was spoken in their parlour while sitting in my bedchamber, I need scarcely say with what pleasure I listened to her solemn declaration that "from that moment she was resolved to discontinue all intercourse with him for ever!"
To which his mild and gentle answer was "You may be d-d!" and she certainly was not importuned by the brute during that night.
I found the following morning upon paying her my usual visit, that she had made her bed upon the sofa, which she declared should be her only resting place while she continued with him, and having a heavy debt of gratitude to pay we adjourned to the couch Sir Cornuto had quitted, where I endeavoured, by vows of eternal constancy in the future and by the instant production of a most upright and trustworthy witness to my love in the present, to make ample compensation for the anguish she had endured throughout the previous night.
Nothing could exceed the mortification of Mr. E. when, more than a week having passed away, he found his once foolishly obedient wife still obstinately firm in rejecting every overture of peace and in withholding from him those favours which he considered none but himself had ever shared or had a right to claim; but when she further threatened if he persisted in tormenting her with such vain and hopeless solicitations she would instantly quit his house, and that he might send the infant out to nurse, his astonishment may be imagined; but I defy the ablest writer of the day to do justice to it by description.
After such proofs of ardent love, can it be believed that I was not yet satisfied; such, however, was the case, for I am naturally so prone to suspicion that, judging of her husband's feelings by my own, I began to doubt whether it were possible that a man, and that man a husband, could night after night remain in the same apartment with a young and lovely woman, and she his wedded wife, without demandingnay, enforcing-compliance in such a point as the one in question; or might she not be making me her dupe? 'Tis true that I every morning found her upon her solitary couch; but then what could be more easy than for her, after passing the night in her husband's arms, to quit the bed at his departure and gain her couch in time sufficient to deceive my sight; all this might really happen and the mere reflection nearly drove me crazy; nay, so strong was the conviction on my mind that I was cozened that I at length accused her of inconstancy, and that in the most abrupt manner, believing that in the sudden surprise her confusion would betray her guilt.
But no, I wrong her; deeply, cruelly wrong her. True it is that she expressed surprise, but it was surprise blended with indignation at the base suspicion; she taxes me with cruelty, demanding to know what she had left undone to give me satisfaction or what she could still do to remove my doubts and secure my confidence.
I craved pardon for my weakness, urging the violence of my love as an excuse; she seals my forgiveness with a fond embrace, and even felt flattered by my unreasonable jealousy; and before we parted further agreed, nay insisted, that in order to convince me of her truth and that doubt might in future be entirely out of the question she would place the sofa which formed her bed in such a position that on my returning home each night, by applying my eye to the keyhole of her door, I could plainly perceive it all was in accordance with my wishes, and that a night lamp should be left burning in her room for that especial purpose.
Matters had continued in this state for nearly two months when an incident occurred that had nearly proved fatal to my happinessperhaps to me.
I had left home for the purpose of attending a concert at the I-r SRooms, when shortly after my first song I was seized with a violent spasmodic pain in the chest which increased to such a degree that I was compelled to send for a coach and immediately proceeded home.
On my arrival the door was opened by Mr. E., who perceiving my indisposition enquired with much apparent kindness the nature of my complaint, for the relief of which he advised me to try a glass of burnt brandy, with a little ground ginger, sweetened with moist sugar (which, by the by, is a most excellent remedy in all spasmodic cases), and as I did not happen to have any of this spirit in the house he offered his services to procure some from a neighbouring wine vault; I thanked him for his attention and proceeded to my own chamber where, throwing myself upon the bed, I moaned aloud, so violent was the pain I was still enduring.
No sooner had he departed in quest of the requisite liquor than his-or rather, my-Bessy entered the apartment and tenderly endeavouring to soothe my anguish raised me in her arms and imprinted a kiss of affection upon my parched lips.
At this moment we were suddenly alarmed by hearing the key of the street door thrust into the lock in a hurried manner and the voice of E., evidently half suffocated with extreme agitation, exclaim, "Bessy!
Bessy, come here!"
As the time he had left the house was not sufficient to allow of his having reached even the nearest tavern, I was for a few moments greatly puzzled in what manner to account for his instantaneous return; but did not long remain in ignorance of the unpleasant truth, for as the conversation in the next room became louder I plainly heard him accuse his wife of inconstancy, or at least of acting with unbecoming levity towards me; although he was evidently endeavouring to subdue his voice, I occasionally caught the following disjointed sentences:
"Don't tell me, I am satisfied, it was as I say."
"But why not listen to reason?"
"Reason be d-d! I have listened to reason a cursed deal too long."
"Well, but allow me to convince you of what I really did and do not make yourself ridiculous by persisting in-"
"D-n, madam! do you think I won't believe my own eyes? I am perfectly convinced already. Why do you stand between me and the door? Is it to save your smock-faced paramour from my vengeance?
D-n me, but he shall smart for this!"
"Listen to me for one moment, and for heaven's sake don't expose your folly to the neighbourhood; depend upon it that you'll sorely rue this conduct. If I fail to convince you of my innocence it will then be time enough for you to publish my shame. As it is, you only make yourself contemptible, for that I can convince you is indeed most certain."
The last words of his wife appeared to have produced the desired effect, for the conversation that ensued was carried on in such an undertone that I could not distinguish another sentence; and in a few minutes after I heard him leave the house a second time with his original intention, while Bessy tauntingly exclaimed, "To prevent the possibility of another mistake, I'll stand at the door till you return."
She took her station there accordingly, merely seizing an opportunity as she saw him turn the corner of the street to whisper through my but half-closed door, "No doubt you have heard the subject of our quarrel; excuse my coming to you now, love; tomorrow all shall be explained, but pray do not disturb yourself on my account. The mischief is now over; make yourself easy, and above all be careful of your health on my account."
With these consoling words, she resumed her former station at the door.
Mr. E. in a short time returned and, having with the assistance of his wife prepared my medicine, a tantalizing conversation ensued, from which I discovered that, ashamed of his former suspicions, he was endeavouring to prevail on her to bring me the cordial. I plainly heard her answer, which she doubtless intended that I should-"No, no, it shall be my fault if ever I put it in your power to suspect me again; and even now I have half a mind to acquaint Mr. — with your ridiculous fancies, and if I should, you will lose the best lodger you ever had, and serve you quite right."
"Come, come," he replied, "d-n it, drop the subject; it was all a mistake and any other man might have been deceived by such appearances; so don't be foolish."
"Well, then, let's go together."
They entered my room accordingly. Having drunk the potation, E., in a very friendly tone and as if nothing had occurred of an unpleasant tendency, wished me goodnight, while his sweet wife, although she spoke not, said quite sufficient with her intelligent eyes to render me happy during the night.
Being left alone, and my pain having greatly abated, I soon fell asleep, from which I awoke in the morning greatly refreshed and in perfect health, every symptom of the previous night's disorder having entirely left me. Anxious to hear the particulars of the before-mentioned quarrel, I instantly sought the presence of my love, who, overjoyed to find me so soon recovered, received me in her arms, and before proceeding with her narration vowed that after the excitements and misunderstandings of the night a soothing draught of some kind was wholly indispensable. I should have mentioned before that, whilst giving all due time and attention to the claims of the "legitimate drama," Bessy had under my careful tuition acquired a remarkable fondness for oral exercises, which her love for me, combined with the dictates of a highly erotic nature, quickly led her to perform with incomparable skill and gusto. On this occasion her fresh red mouth applied itself most lovingly to my delighted yard, engulfing it to the root, whilst my responsive tongue pushed softly between the lips of her coynte, and in a very few moments the exquisite pleasurable encounter was brought to its inevitable conclusion.
Oh, blessed daughter of the fishmonger, may the pillows lie soft beneath your snowy buttocks as your lord and master lies between your outspread thighs and deals you of his best! For to you, and you alone, do I owe the knowledge of this enchanting pastime, and but for you my love and I might have gone to the end of our days unthinking of the bliss we had but to put forth our lips to taste! So may the kindly god Priapus send you at your utmost need a skilful finger, a penetrating tongue, and a bold and generous dart to tickle, suck, or friction your dainty parts as your soul may desire and the amorous needs of the moment dictate!
The three articles above referred to were all brought into play, and more than once before I was sufficiently calm to give due attention to Bessy's spirited account of the causes which led to the recent rupture.
It appears that, yielding to an unaccountable impulse, dictated by jealousy, Mr. E., upon leaving the house, instead of proceeding at once to the spirit-merchant's had mounted the sill of the window, and thus being enabled to look through the hole cut in the top of the shutter for the purpose of admitting light, he had the mortification to behold his wife's arms round my neck and her lips pressed closely to mine, as I have previously related, when instantly re-entering the house he called her to him, telling her what he had perceived and at the same time reviling her with the most opprobious names; he flatly accused her of inconstancy, she persisted in her protestations of innocence, but all in vain; for a long time he refused to listen to her; and in fact it must be acknowledged that it was no easy matter to persuade a man to doubt the evidence of his own eyes; this arduous task, however, she at last managed to accomplish. She exclaimed against the folly of giving way to false appearances, pointing out to him the absurdity of his conduct in believing that he could really discern her exact situation from the position he had taken meanly to pry into her conduct; allowing, however, that any other man might have been equally deceived by similar appearances; she only blamed him for the violence of the language in which he vented his suspicions; she acknowledged that at the distance from which he had viewed the apparently obnoxious act, and from the situation in which she was standing at the moment, more particularly as her back was towards him, he might had been mistaken. But why not have demanded an explanation in milder terms when she could and would, in one moment, have fully satisfied him as to the purity of her intentions.
Surprised at the collected manner in which she met this serious charge, his passion gradually abated, and as we are all ever prone to believe that which we most desire, he in a milder tone requested that she would lose no time, but that if it were really possible proceed immediately to set his ruffled mind at rest by a plain and candid statement of the facts, which she did in the following terms:
"Well, sir, although I feel that apology is due from you to me, yet in justice to myself will I condescend to answer your demand and shame you out of such vile suspicions. You know that state in which you left our lodger, a condition which of itself was sufficient to dispel the doubts of any reasonable man; and having occasion to enter his room for a glass in which to prepare the intended remedy I was alarmed at hearing sounds proceed from him as from a person in agonies of suffocation. I spoke to him, but receiving no answer I advanced to his bedside. My worst fears were confirmed; his head had slipped from the pillow and he was breathing with great difficulty. Fearing he was dying I immediately raised his head, in doing which I was compelled to lean forward, and I have no doubt that it was at this moment when your jealous eyes beheld me and which you thought proper to interpret according to your own depraved imagination. I do not deny that from the situation in which you had foolishly placed yourself I might have appeared to be in closer contact with the man than the dictates of morality would warrant; yet when every circumstance is carefully considered I even now maintain that I must have been devoid of common feeling had I acted otherwise; that all I have been describing was but the business of a moment, you will know, for surely two minutes could not have elapsed from the time you left the house until you re-entered it and called me away in order to vent your jealous spleen upon me in the unmanly, brutal, and cowardly manner so peculiarly your own."
Perfectly satisfied by this ingenious explanation the affair was dropped and never more alluded to by him. Our intimacy continued as before; I awoke each morning to share the joys of love, and every night beheld my faithful partner on her lonely couch ere I myself retired to rest; but soon a variety of circumstances combined which, notwithstanding our utmost caution, threatened to awake the demon of Jealousy that for a time had slumbered in his breast and render it expedient, in order to ensure safety, that one or both of us should quit E.'s house for ever.
While sitting at home one morning I was unexpectedly called on to attend a gentleman who had been deputed by a civic committee to engage me for a public dinner which was to be held the following day about three miles from town; the entertainment upon this occasion was to be followed by a ball, to which the wives and daughters of the jovial citizens were invited.
Having agreed as to terms, etc., he politely informed me that if I had any friends who would like to join me in the evening he had a few tickets of admission which were entirely at my service. I availed myself of this kind offer and he presented me with admission for three persons.
In order to prevent suspicion, I presented two to the husband of the fair Emma, with an intimation that if not better engaged I should be happy to join their party; the other I reserved for Bessy, and it was ultimately agreed, in consequence of my attendance being required several hours before the time specified on the cards for the admission of the ladies, and as Mr. S., the husband of Emma, could not leave his business before eight o'clock, that the two females should start together at six, Mr. S. could wait at home the arrival of E., acquaint him with the invitation each of them had received, and should he feel an inclination to accompany Mr. S. I would, upon being sent for, endeavour to obtain an additional admittance for him.
Shortly after seven o'clock the ladies arrived, and having performed my professional duties I had the pleasure of escorting them through the beautiful gardens with which the place abounded; whispering soft compliments into the willing ears of each alternately, while each, believing herself the sole object of my secret adoration, returned the stolen pressure of my hand, and occasionally a small but thickset grove of trees would cause our arms to separate, affording me a hasty opportunity of pressing the pliant lips of one, unseen by the other; such, indeed, was the peculiar nature of my feelings that I was more than once tempted to exclaim, in the language of Macheath, How happy could I be with either, Were t'other dear charmer away.
About eight, the preparations for dancing being completed, the ball commenced; but finding that my fair companions preferred the refreshing breeze of the gardens to the sultry and oppressive heat of a crowded ballroom, I, being no very ardent admirer of the dance, cheerfully complied with their request to quit the room; and as night's sable veil rendered surrounding objects more obscure I had various opportunities of indulging in little pleasing, though perhaps not altogether delicate liberties, which, together with the exhilarating influence of the bumpers I had previously taken, filled my soul with the most tantalizing ideas.
Nor were the ladies by any means in too severely chaste a mood, as will be understood when the reader learns that, as we sat on a rustic bench, the fingers of Bessie's right hand were moving amorously upon the lower part of my weapon whilst at one and the same moment Emma's red mouth was engaged upon the nut. But the risk of a collision was too great and, whispering to Bessy that I could endure her caressing touch no longer, I removed her fingers and, tucking them under my arm, placed my left hand upon Emma's head and pushed it gently downwards until such time as her pliant tongue and rosy lips had brought about the natural result of their exquisitely lascivious operations.
After enjoying the varied beauties of nature for upwards of an hour in the most retired walks, the time having arrived when we expected Mr.
S., we thought it prudent to seek the more frequented parts of the gardens, and a few moments later saw him advancing towards us.
He soon gave us to understand that but little comfort might be expected for the remainder of the evening, as E. was then waiting without in the very worst of tempers, being sorely displeased at his wife's having dared to venture upon visiting a place of public amusement without having previously obtained his permission.
Having whispered Bessy not to feel the least alarm at his discontent and assuring her that should anything unpleasant occur in consequence of her having accepted my invitation, I would immediately take her under my protection. I certainly felt myself most agreeably flattered, as pressing my hand she answered in an equally gentle tone, "Oh, my love! if you really are sincere, how much rather would I incur his anger than endure his smile!"
Giving her in charge of Mr. S., I proceeded to procure an admission for the growling bear, her husband; who, notwithstanding a vain attempt at a cheerful bearing, was evidently endeavouring to hide his chagrin under a flimsy mask of deceitful smiles.
However, while I pretended to perceive nothing particular in his manner, I welcomed him most cordially; and having succeeded without difficulty in obtaining a pass for him we joined the ladies, and Mr. S. immediately resigned Mrs. E. to her fond and gentle husband's kind protection. The loving couple fell behind, and Emma offering me her vacant arm, we continued our rambles through the gardens, followed at some distance by Mr. and Mrs. E.
Knowing the disposition of the man so well, I had no doubt but that he kept in the rear for the purpose of annoying his wife by destroying what little pleasure she might otherwise have enjoyed; while the better to impose upon us, as we occasionally turned to see if they were still following, he assumed a look of cheerfulness, but which sat so badly on his ill-favoured countenance that it could be easily detected by the most inexperienced observer. My suspicions were shortly confirmed, for now, in an increased tone of voice, we heard the lady exclaim, "This is the way in which you always treat me; and let the consequences be what they may, I will not walk with you a moment longer."
Without waiting for his reply she broke from his arm, and running with the fleetness of an alarmed fawn when pursued by the hunters, she rejoined our little party; in a moment her husband came up to us, when S. and his wife endeavoured to restore amity between them, but in vain; the fact is that her little heart was bursting with jealousy at witnessing the commonplace attentions courtesy compelled me to pay Mrs. S., and she had secretly determined, at all hazards, not to quit my side again that evening; so when with a coaxing look he again offered her his arm, she threw it from her with an angry look of ineffable disdain, and turning to me said, "Perhaps, Mr. -, you will have the kindness to escort me home?"
I at first appeared to hesitate, and even solicited her to be reconciled to her husband, adding that no doubt it was all owing to some trifling misunderstanding, to which she replied, "No matter, sir, since you refuse my request I will walk home alone-'tis not the first time by many."
She was turning away with that intention when, taking her arm and placing it in mine, I advanced towards E., saying jocosely, "Well, Mr. E., you see how matters stand, and as I should be sorry to incur a charge of want of gallantry, I certainly feel myself bound to obey a lady's command. Say, have I your consent?"
"Oh, with all my heart," answered he. "I suppose she must have her own way."
He then, endeavouring to assume a look of indifference, took the vacant arm of Mrs. S., leaving me in undisputed possession of Bessy for the remainder of the evening; who, regardless of the threatening glances her husband occasionally cast upon her, seemed determined to make up for her previous mortification and allow nothing to ruffle her spirits; she chatted and laughed incessantly and, encouraged no doubt by the promise I had made previous to E.'s arrival, gave free vent to her naturally lively disposition; and, as we sometimes lost sight of our companions amid the leafy gloom of the surrounding foliage, would express the delightful sensations of her soul by pressing fervent kisses on my lips; and, inspired by the influence of a few glasses of wine which I had prevailed on her to take during the evening, she whispered, as I clasped her in my arms and fingered the nipples of her swelling breasts, "Oh, for ten minutes alone together, to have you between my legs just once! Give me your hand, beloved, feel how it pouts for you!
Oh, for a touch of your tongue, or even one thrust from this dear thing which throbs under my hand! Slip your tongue into my mouth-all of it-and leave it there, against mine. So!"
A long and delicious kiss ensued, after which we were obliged, in order to avoid suspicion, to slacken our pace, and as our friends approached turned to meet them, when E. sullenly demanded if we "had not better think of going home?" to which, as it was now near one o'clock, we instantly assented, and accordingly left the gardens. I proposed a coach, as we were upwards of three miles from home, but this Mr. E. would by no means agree to.
"What," he exclaimed, "could make you think of going out pleasuring, if your feet are so d-d tender that you cannot walk home?" (These words being of course addressed to his wife.) "I don't get my money so easy as some folks"-(here he had a rap at me)-"and can't afford to spend it in such foolish luxuries."
In vain I remonstrated that the expense should be all my own, that I preferred riding and as I had already requested the waiter to procure a coach the ladies might just as well partake of the convenience; besides, the charge would be precisely the same to me for riding alone as if they all accompanied me; to this he answered, "I say, let her walk; it's a fine night, or rather morning, and the distance a mere nothing; and it is setting her a bad example. If she rides now she'll expect the same indulgence another time, and I'll be d-d if she gets it from me. I mean to walk myself, and if she prefers your company to mine let her go with you and welcome-she knows my meaning." And he accompanied these words with a look of peculiar expression.
The controversy was ended, however, to the satisfaction of all parties by the waiter returning with the intelligence that no vehicle could be found, the company having taken the precaution to secure them some hours previous to the close of the entertainments.
We immediately commenced our homeward journey; Mr. E. condescended to offer his wife the honour of his arm, which she disdainfully rejected, and grasping mine still more firmly we proceeded in the same order that we had adopted during our wanderings through the gardens.
It was certainly a most splendid morning, and our way was through a pleasant turnpike road decked with rows of noble houses on either side with tasty gardens to adorn the fronts, the flowers from which, freshened by morning dew, sent forth a delicious odour, rendering our walk truly delightful.
On a sudden we were startled at hearing several dull, heavy sounds, and upon turning to ascertain the cause at once perceived that E. had quitted his companions. As I turned my eyes towards the road the cause of the before-mentioned sounds were instantly made manifest.
So singular was the unexpected sight I then encountered that it was with the greatest difficulty that I was enabled to suppress a laugh, and all my companions were in the same situation.
It appears that the smothered passion of Mr. E. had at length worked him up to such a pitch of frenzy that at the moment when I discovered the amiable youth, he was amusing himself by beating his own head with the utmost violence against a turnpike gate which stood most invitingly for his purpose in the centre of the road. The ladies immediately ran to his assistance, or rather to remonstrate with him on the folly of such conduct; and as S. and I slowly followed with the same intention, S. whispered in a sarcastic manner, and with a look that plainly indicated the nature of his suspicions, "I now, for the first time, perceive that even cuckoldom has its conveniences-behold a case in point: yon poor devil, but for the length of his horns, would certainly dash out his brains."
Before I had time to frame a reply to this significant speech, we had reached the object of our solicitude, and on requesting to know the cause of his singular behaviour he begged of us to leave him, adding in a tone perfectly ridiculous, "Let me die here! My wife despises me. I know that I did not behave well to her in the beginning of the evening and have lost her affections for ever-ah! for ever! I see that she loves you better far than me; but it's all my own folly. I do not believe that she means anything wrong, nor am I angry with you, sir; I have only myself to thank-you cannot help it; no, it's my own fault. I'm quite sure she'll hate me now and do not care to live; so here goes!" and with renewed violence he again began to punish the unoffending gate with his senseless sconce.
With some difficulty we prevailed on his mortified consort to accept of his proffered arm; and such was the efficacy of the arguments I adduced that on reaching home he begged pardon for having disturbed the harmony of the party by such vexatious conduct, hoping that we would attribute it to his having drunk rather more than he was accustomed to during the afternoon; and we parted on more friendly terms than could reasonably have been anticipated.
And when upon the next succeeding day,
Fast locked within my Bessy's arms I lay, Languid with bliss and love's supreme delight, Spoke of E-'s follies on the previous night;
Laughed at his bumps and self-inflicted pains And how the cuckold's horns preserved his brains!
Our intimacy continued as before, and as my wife (for by that name my Bessy had begged I would address her) had often expressed a desire to visit the Monument, a few mornings after the comical evening last described I expressed my willingness to accompany her. It so happened that we were the only visitors on this occasion. But before I proceed I will take the liberty of stating for the information of any of my readers who have never ascended this beautiful column that in order to reach the gallery you have to pass several loopholes which answer the double purpose of admitting light and air; and should the curious spectator wish to look from one of these crevices into the street he can easily gratify such desire, there being at every one a kind of landing place which will also serve as a seat should you feel yourself fatigued before arriving at the summit. On one of these did Bessy and I rest awhile in order to recover breath, after having ascended rather more than half way to the gallery. We were about to proceed when she observed that she would like to look through the loophole immediately behind us, and I assisted her to mount the landing place for that purpose; kneeling upon which, while my arm encircled her waist, she gratified her desire. But now the silent loneliness of the place, added to the peculiar situation in which I found myself, began to inspire me with thoughts, of a certain nature, to which the novelty of the idea did not a little contribute, and as I turned my eyes down the staircase of this extraordinary column with a view to discover if I had ought to fear from prying or listening intruders, I became sensible of the existence of another column, of minor dimensions certainly but equally stately and resembling its potent neighbours in more than one respect; so that I could not forbear drawing many curious comparisons as I afterwards gazed from the summit.
My dear girl being on her knees for the purpose I have before stated and I standing behind her with my arms encircling her waist, she was quick to seize my meaning when I pressed with some little force against her charming buttocks at the same passing an amorous hand beneath her petticoats.
A low cry of delight escaped her lips. "Yes! Yes!" she whispered without altering her position, save for the parting of her knees the more easily to admit whatever Heaven should be pleased to send her.
In a moment the snowy garments were folded above her hips and whiter than them all gleamed the fair rounded bottom, the two hemispheres rising into increased prominence as their owner leant upon her elbows, and by this action presented to my enraptured gaze her rosy bird's nest which seemed to wear a smile of anticipated pleasure as it peeped up at me from between the parted thighs.
With an alacrity surpassing even that with which she had seized my meaning, Bessie now shot out a hand and seized my weapon, thrust it into her orifice, carried my two hands up to her naked breasts (she had long since removed the handkerchief from her neck for coolness sake) and with many heaves of her glorious bottom and knowing contractions of her vagina upon my now superbly distended yard, cried aloud to me voluptuously to ransack her to the very womb.
I needed no second invitation but then and there in the cool seclusion of the mighty tower, my senses strung to the pitch of frenzy by the novelty of the situation and the contact of the fair body which thus knelt, as it were, in amorous subjection to my raging desires, I operated the girl of my heart with a precision of stroke, a force of penetration and an intensity of enjoyment to us both with which, as she long afterwards declared to me, she had never been mounted before or since either by me or anyone else!
Be that as it may, the recollection of this monumental exploit was never to leave our memories, and thenceforth "playing loopholes" became a favourite item in our programme of pleasure and one for which Bessie would often voluntarily throw herself into position upon her hands and knees, nor had she ever occasion to complain that her lascivious invitation was declined.
Should I however attempt to describe the whole of the numerous places, times, or poses in which we varied our delights it would occupy as many volumes as this volume will contain pages; therefore I shall content myself with naming those only which have novelty to recommend them.
But the pleasures of a man of gallantry are not unfrequently without their due portion of dangers. The sailor who fearlessly braves the perils of the stormy ocean; the soldier who stands unmoved before the gaping mouth of the fire-belching cannon, encounters no greater peril, experiences no greater number of hair-breadth escapes, than does the adventurous and no less daring lover in the pursuit of objects which to his glowing imagination are equally glorious as the laurels sought for by the above-mentioned heroes.
Of these escapes I have myself experienced a fair proportion, one of which I will here relate as a fair sample of many others too numerous to mention.
Mr. E., amongst his other classical and scientific amusements, was extremely fond of sharpening various edged tools upon a grindstone which he kept for that especial purpose in a small garden at the back of his house. One evening he brought home, on returning from his daily labour, an enormous hatchet, the property of one of his shopmates, to which he had promised to give a keen edge; this promise he performed to his own entire satisfaction previous to retiring to rest, and in the morning took his departure as usual with (as I was afterwards informed) this formidable weapon upon his shoulder.
No sooner did I hear the welcome closing of the street door than, according to custom, I repaired to the apartment he had quitted-my hand was upon the handle of the door and in another moment retreat would have been impossible. At this critical juncture I was alarmed at hearing the latchkey thrust into the lock of the street door- which, as I formerly stated, was so close to that of the parlour that my shoulder actually brushed it in passing! An icy chill ran through my frame; death in his most ghastly form flitted before my eyes! I knew that it was E. returning probably for some article forgotten in his hurry. Without waiting to turn I backed myself instinctively towards my room which fortunately I had left unfastened. I threw myself upon my bed while drops of cold perspiration bedewed my cheeks as I reflected upon the horrid scene that might by this time have commenced; for had I have been one minute sooner or he one moment later no earthly power could have prevented him from discovering me in the arms of his wife; and knowing his furious temper and jealous disposition, armed as he was with the newly sharpened hatchet, the result may very easily be imagined; and although some years have elapsed since the occurrence took place I shudder at therecollection even while I am now writing.
For upwards of six months after my Bessy had surrendered her heart to me I had no eyes for any one but her; and I really do believe that but for her own violence upon an occasion the particulars of which I am now going to relate, I should have preserved my faith to her inviolate even for a much longer period.
I had obtained some celebrity for singing a popular serenade, and being engaged at the M- Assembly Rooms, I was earnestly requested by several parties to favour them with this particular song, although it did not form a portion of the evening's programme. I complied and was honoured with a universal encore, after which (having the privilege of mingling with the company), I was overwhelmed with compliments sufficient to intoxicate the brains of more eminent professors than myself; but to me they were valueless; my thoughts were wandering homewards: so that I gained the approbation of my dark-eyed Bessy I was satisfied. And if I really did indulge a wish on this occasion it was that she were present to share my triumph. Yet, notwithstanding this feeling, I could not close my ears to the expressions of admiration which burst from the male portion of this elegant assembly as a young lady glided, with an air of exquisite grace and majesty through the mazes of the dance (for, I should have mentioned, the concert was succeeded by a ball). These praises were for some time unnoticed by me until after paying frequent visits to the anteroom, where the choicest wines were to be found in abundance and every variety and of which, at the pressing solicitations of several gentlemen, I had freely partaken, the sparks of curiosity which had lain dormant within me during the evening suddenly burst into a flame-fanned no doubt by the undulating breath which wafted them so often to my ears; at length, I put this question to an admiring bystander:
"And pray, sir, who is this surprising beauty that has succeeded in captivating the hearts of so many gentlemen in the midst of this phalanx of female loveliness?"
"As to who she is," he answered, "I really can give you no information; but what she is, of that yourself may judge, for see how gracefully she now glides past us."
My eyes followed the direction of his finger and rested upon the form of certainly the most beautiful girl who adorned the rooms that evening. She was rather above the middle stature, her figure graceful in the extreme; complexion delicately fair; large blue eyes, with dark lashes sufficiently long to shade the dazzling rays that at intervals darted from them; her light brown hair hung in thick clustering and luxuriant ringlets down her lovely neck and rested on her naked shoulders; her dress was of the simplest fashion but of the most costly materials, being composed of white satin with no other embellishment than a sash of broad pink ribbon which encircled her beautiful waist; a wreath of roses, white and red, adorned her ivory brows; and white satin slippers of a peculiar form graced a pair of feet so exquisitely moulded by the pure hand of nature, as if, when in her most liberal mood, she had determined to favour the world with a specimen of absolute perfection. A row of pearls of unusual size encompassed her heavenly neck, from which a cross of diamonds hung suspended, resting upon a bosom the beauties of which would baffle the most able pen to convey the most remote idea of; I therefore leave it to the imagination of my readers; for, in the language of the poet, Grace was in all her steps; heaven in her eyes;
In every gesture dignity and love.
I could not withhold my meed of admiration as this perfect creature glided past me; but such was the extent of the fascinating influence which Bessy possessed over my heart that my bosom harboured nothing resembling a desire to become better acquainted with the majestic fair one who seemed an object of idolatry to every gentleman who had the good fortune to be present at the assembly upon this occasion.
As dancing was kept up with great spirit till near daybreak, and I found it absolutely impossible to steal away without giving offence to several of my best patrons, about the hour of three in the morning I was proceeding to the anteroom in order to procure some slight refreshment when my progress was arrested by the light pressure of a hand placed gently on my shoulder; as I turned my eyes they encountered those of that beautiful enslaver of the hearts of more than half the company; she held a glass of red wine in her hand, of which, in a tone of the most affable sweetness, she invited me to partake, at the same time congratulating me on the applause with which my vocal exertions had been rewarded; she expressed her own admiration of the words and music of the serenade before mentioned and of which she declared she would willingly pay any reasonable sum to acquire a knowledge.
As I was framing a suitable reply an exquisite of the first water approached and reminded her of a promise which she had previously made to become his partner in the ensuing dance; he took her hand and with a graceful inclination of the head she turned from me.
I shortly after left the assembly and proceeding home thought no more of the adventure.
The following morning, having an engagement to sing in the evening at a concert to be held at the G- Tavern in Fleet Street, I had dined at an early hour, after which I indulged in a stroll through the pleasant fields in the vicinity of the Chalk Farm. As I approached my residence on returning, I called upon a neighbouring perfumer who was in the habit of arranging my hair in the fashionable mode customary upon these occasions; this operation duly performed, I was proceeding home with the intention of dressing for the business of the evening when I heard my name pronounced; on turning towards the spot from whence the voice proceeded I beheld a young female, very respectably attired, certainly, but in a style particularly plain and unassuming, having more the appearance of what might be worn by an upper servant in a gentleman's family than of one in any other station I could well imagine; in her hand she carried a bundle of some magnitude. Having inquired in the most familiar terms as to my health, etc., after several ineffectual endeavours to call to my recollection when or where I had seen her before, I begged she would inform me whom I had the honour of addressing, as she most decidedly had the advantage of me.
She good-naturedly rallied me on the shallowness of my memory and playfully expressed her astonishment that I had no recollection of her; but when, after a few moments' conversation during which she recalled to mind the particulars of our former meeting, judge my surprise on discovering the disguised beauty before me to be none other than the admired goddess of the previous evening's assembly.
I at first resisted her pressing importunities to accompany her to a neighbouring tavern, but as she flatly declared she would not leave me unless I consented to drink her health, I reluctantly complied with her request.
She then placed her arm in mine, and seeing a superior-looking public house, within a few yards of where we were standing, we entered it together.
On requesting to know what kind of beverage she preferred, she claimed the privilege of invitation, to ask the same question of me; and all that I could urge to the contrary, would not induce her to forego the right.
Finding myself now fairly embarked in an adventure entirely unsought for on my part, from which I could not easily withdraw myself, and with a person whose disposition and manners were decidedly of a different nature from any I had hitherto encountered, I thought it best to let her have her own way. I absolutely refused, however, to name any particular drink, but expressed my willingness to share with her whatever she preferred. She immediately ordered the waiter to prepare two glasses of brandy-and-water, and in as many minutes they were smoking before us. I took my purse from my pocket for the purpose of settling the amount, but this she would by no means allow. I remonstrated with her on the absurdity of thinking for a moment that I could allow a lady to incur any expense upon my account, but never did I behold a woman so resolutely determined to have her own way in every respect; she declared most positively that unless I would suffer her to do as she thought proper, she would leave the house at once, without even partaking of what she had ordered; and producing a handsome purse, which appeared to be well filled with gold and silver coin, she satisfied the waiter's demand, who, well pleased with her liberality, quitted the room.
As this meeting took place at a period of the day when the mercantile portion of the town and others are generally occupied in their daily avocations, we remained in undisturbed possession of the parlour, and during our tete-a-tete she proceeded in the most unreserved manner to acquaint me with the history of her early life and present singular situation.'
Her father was a small fanner in Bedfordshire, and in consequence of her being an only child she had been reared with the most indulgent tenderness; as she advanced in years her extraordinary beauty became the theme of conversation in the surrounding neighbourhood. She had scarcely completed her fifteenth year when death deprived her of a doating mother; a few months after which Lady C-h, having occasion to call upon the farmer on some particular business, was so struck with the peculiar beauty of the blooming Delia that she immediately requested of her father that he would allow her to enter her ladyship's establishment in the quality of attendant upon her own person; the farmer, feeling himself almost alone in the world, considered the present opportunity a most favourable one as it might afford his daughter the means of providing for herself should she unfortunately be deprived of his protection, as she had already been of her tender mother's.
We may also pardon the vanity of a fond parent if, as he gazed upon his lovely child, now rapidly ripening into splendid womanhood, he entertained a momentary hope that her charms might ultimately procure her a husband from amongst the numerous slips of fashion who were so frequently in the habit of visiting at her ladyship's noble mansion; he therefore gratefully accepted the proffered kindness, and in a few days Delia was settled in her new abode in G-s-r Square.
Charmed by the novelty of her situation and constantly flattered by the compliments which her increasing loveliness daily extorted from the numerous dashing friends of her mistress, it is not surprising that she felt perfectly happy, and notwithstanding the offers of a certain nature which were privately tendered her, her virtue was superior to the temptation and she rejected them all with the utmost disdain.
She had been installed in her situation for about six months when Lord P-, the eldest son of her ladyship, arrived in town from the university where he had long been pursuing his studies to spend the vacation at the mansion of his illustrious ancestors. He was now in the eighteenth year of his age; the rich glow of manly beauty painted his healthy cheeks and his mind was well stored with every accomplishment which constitutes the perfect gentleman. He instantly became captivated by the all-conquering charms of our lovely lady's maid, and at every opportunity would he pour the most ardent professions of mighty love into her youthful ears, accompanied with many liberal offers of splendid settlement would she only consent to make him happy; but although not absolutely insensible to the perfections of the noble youth, yet as he never hinted or mentioned a word of marriage, and she well knew that if in the ardour of his protestations such an offer had ever escaped his lips it would have been neither prudent, or in fact possible for him to have realized such a promise, unless by destroying the high expectations of his family and thereby incurring their everlasting displeasure, she therefore with honest firmness rejected every offer and turned a deaf ear to his vows of love. At length, however, he became so very importunate that she was reduced to the necessity of threatening to acquaint his mother with his conduct in order to escape from his dangerous addresses.
This succeeded for a time in allaying the fury of his amorous fire and Delia once again believed herself secure. A few weeks passed, and the family having accepted an invitation to fulfil which they must for at least two days be absent from home, the butler determined to avail himself of the circumstance, and enjoy the society of his friends when Miss Delia was of course invited to join the party. The supper was a splendid one, and sparkling bumpers were afterwards circulated freely; in short, "high life below stairs" was here performed to the letter, the principal characters by the parties themselves. Contrary to her usual custom, Delia suffered herself to be persuaded to take a few glasses of wine, but shortly after, feeling sensible of their effects, she wished the company goodnight, and repairing to her own apartment instantly retired to bed, and in a few moments her beautiful eyes were closed in sleep.
Fain would I draw the curtain of oblivion across the closing scene of this eventful night, but having pledged myself to a plain unvarnished statement of facts I will fulfill that promise to the utmost.
Whether the butler had been bribed to ply the intended victim to her master's lust with wine, or whether he had drugged it for his purpose, I cannot tell; nor will I attempt to describe the horrors of that victim's mind when suddenly she found herself fast locked in the lewd embrace of her young master!
She would have shrieked, but her voice was choked with the furious rapidity of his kisses; in vain she struggled; the advantage he had gained ere she was sensible of his vile design rendered her efforts ineffectual; with the impetuous rage of mad desire he pursued those advantages, and rudely removing every impediment that barred his road to bliss he revelled in delights the gods themselves might envy.
With the strong hand of brutal violence he plucked the fairest rose that ever bloomed on virtue's sacred tree; and while his victim lay supine, oppressed with fear and agony insupportable, robbed her of a treasure which the combined fortunes of his wealthy kindred could never more restore.
For a long time every attempt to calm her lacerated feelings was in vain; her convulsive sobbing seemed like to burst her troubled bosom, while the tears in one continuous stream rolled down her lovely cheeks, now glowing with a crimson blush of shame and indignation; he continued to implore forgiveness for his crime, urging the violence of his love in extenuation; he assured her of his eternal constancy and promised, should circumstances occur, of which he told her he had but
little doubt to render his ability equal to his desire, he would gladly repair the injury by making her his wife; he entreated her to consider the utter impossibility of recalling what had taken place and the folly of giving way to unavailing grief-by vows like these he at length succeeded in soothing the sorrows of the ruined fair one and finally, with her own consent, the intimacy was renewed.
And now all sense of shame, fear or anger was lost in the pleasures of the moment and as the young lord lay luxuriously between the legs of the little fifteen-year-old lady's maid, her innately passionate temperament came into play, and stripping herself entirely naked she strove by every means in her power to assist the passage of his long and aristocratically slender prickle as it pushed its delighted way into the rosy "garden" and passed throbbing to the innermost recesses of her little young body.
Notwithstanding his every argument to the contrary, enforced by many burning references to the pleasures of their late encounter, she determined to leave the house without delay; and as shame prevented her from meeting any member of the family, she penned a letter to her mistress, giving as a reason for her sudden departure the illness of her father; and before the family returned she had removed to apartments taken for her by her seducer, who continued his visits of seeming affection for nearly six months, when after remaining in anxious expectations for three tedious days she received a letter containing a bank note for one hundred pounds and a statement that, having been compelled, in compliance with the wishes of his mother, to select the hand of a young lady, he had availed himself of the present method of bidding her an eternal farewell, advising her with the enclosed sum to endeavour to get into some way of business as he could not, consistently with honour to his intended bride, continue an intimacy of such a nature as that which had so long existed between them.
It was a long time before she recovered from the shock which this unfeeling letter inflicted, but when she did her first resolve was to remove immediately to less expensive lodgings, fully determined to lead a virtuous life and gain a living by honest industry. But a stranger, as she was, in the midst of a populous city like London, to whom could she apply? And even if successful in hearing of a situation, to whom could she refer for a character? She could not think of sending them to Lady C-, after quitting her service so abruptly.
Nothwithstanding the strictest economy her little capital was gradually diminishing, and to what could she have recourse when it was entirely exhausted? At length she determined upon writing her father, explaining to him without disguise her unfortunate situation and trusting to his parental feeling for pity and forgiveness. But how can I describe her grief and horror when upon inquiry she learned that her father had died suddenly and insolvent, the sale of his effects having been insufficient to satisfy his creditors.
She now felt herself entirely destitute, and after much consideration determined to apply at one of those establishments where they profess themselves both able and willing, for a trifling consideration, to procure situations for servants of every description; and should she be so fortunate as to hear of anything likely to suit her, be it ever so laborious, it was her resolve candidly and truly to relate to the master or mistress the story of her sufferings, trusting to their humanity to rescue her from destruction.
She accordingly waited upon the office keeper, who, upon the payment of half a crown, informed her that he believed he knew of a situation at that very moment which would exactly meet her wishes; her only employment, should she succeed in her application, would be to wait upon an elderly gentleman and his daughter; that she would in fact be considered as a member of the family, "and," he added with an arch look, "should you be lucky enough to please the old gent-who was once a schoolfellow of mine-it will be the making of you. And, by the by, I have no doubt but the mention of my name, which you are at perfect liberty to use, will be considered as a sufficient recommendation; in which case you may enter on your service immediately."
Thanking the friendly office keeper for his disinterested kindness, she received the direction and without further delay proceeded on her mission.
After walking for nearly an hour, she arrived at the house, and while her heart swelled high with hope knocked at the door, which was instantly opened by a middle-aged woman of rather forbidding aspect, her whole appearance bespeaking her to belong to that laborious class termed charwomen, who may at any time be hired for a day or longer, in the absence of a regular servant.
On inquiring for Miss B-she was answered in a strong Irish brogue,
"And is it the young mistress you're speaking of? Och! then, just be sitting there awhile and I'll be after bringing ye to the fore in a jiffy, me darlin'."
She ascended the stairs and shortly returning continued in the same strain.
"Ye'll jist mount them stairs, and ye'll see thecreature herself. Faith, and it's no bad quarters ye'll be getting, an ye can manage to palaver the mistress."
Delia, following the woman's direction, entered a neat drawing room and beheld a young lady of exquisite form seated on a sofa, engaged in poring over the contents of a volume she held in her hand; but as she raised her head at thesound of the opening door, what was Delia's surprise when her astonished eyes rested on the well-known features of one of her most intimate playfellows in infant days-the daughter of a poor cottager formerly in the employment of her late father!
She started a few paces back and exclaimed involuntarily, "Good God! is it possible? Do I really behold Rebecca T-?"
"Delia L-s!" cried the other as the book fell from her hands. "Heavens! how is it that I see you here? But tarry not a moment, fly from this hateful spot; for should the arch destroyer once behold those dazzling charms you are lost!"
And as Delia was about to speak, she placed her hand upon her mouth to prevent reply and continued: "Waste not the precious moments in useless inquiries, which now I cannot answer; in a few minutes he will be here-tell me only where you can be found and I will shortly pay you a visit."
Having obtained the necessary directions, she almost thrust the astonished Delia down stairs in her anxiety to see her once more safely in the street; this done, the door was quickly closed and Delia, pondering on the singular behaviour of her old acquaintance, was slowly and sorrowfully proceeding towards her humble lodgings; she had scarcely turned the corner of the street, however, when someone touched her shoulder; upon turning her head she beheld a most benign looking old gentleman, apparently between sixty and seventy years of age; he was very respectably attired in a suit of black, wore powder, and his general appearance was that of a clergyman of the established church.
He begged pardon for the liberty he had taken but begged to inquire if he was mistaken in his belief that she was the same person who had a minute before quitted the house, No. 29, in the next street. Upon her answering in the affirmative he informed her that he was the owner of the house, and having from some distance perceived her leaving it he had hastened to overtake her, and he now very politely begged she would inform him to what circumstance he was indebted for the intended honour of such a visit.
As she gazed upon his venerable countenance, so different in appearance from what her alarmed imagination had pictured from the few words which had fallen from Rebecca in alluding to him, she found it impossible to reconcile the idea of the reverend looking gentleman before her being the arch destroyer from whose sight her friend had appeared so very anxious to conceal her. She even began to suspect the motives of the latter and that she might have some secret object in view in thus preventing their meeting, so greatly was she interested by the respectful, nay, almost paternal, look with which he regarded her while speaking.
After truly stating to him the motive with which she had sought his house that morning (concealing only the singular recognition between herself and his reputed daughter), he expressed his regret that one so young and beautiful should be reduced to a state of servitude so much beneath her deserts; adding that it was quite evident nature had intended her for a very different sphere of life; for his own part, he was satisfied that she had seen better days and begged so earnestly that she would acquaint him with the story of her misfortunes that shame alone prevented her from fully gratifying his curiosity; again and again did he solicit her full confidence, urging, as a reason, that when he knew all it might probably be in his power to procure for her a situation more worthy of her acceptance than the humble one that she had that day applied for.
Delia at length permitted him to accompany her home, determined to hide nothing from so benevolent a man, but by a candid acknowledgment of her real situation endeavour to prove herself worthy of the generous friend whom-she was now fully persuadedHeaven had sent to her relief.
He listened with the greatest attention and absolutely shed tears as she related the cause and manner of her ruin. He called upon Heaven to pour forth its direst vengeance on the head of the cruel despoiler who could have the heart to abandon one so young, so innocent, and so lovely. Moved by his tears and the interest he appeared to take in her misfortunes, she endeavoured in her turn to soothe the violence of his emotions; and as he called her his dear suffering child, allowed him to take what he termed a fatherly salute; he now insisted on sending the landlady for some refreshment; and a cold fowl and ham, with two bottles of wine, were procured from a neighbouring tavern, of which, as he said, for the purpose of preventing her from thinking that he was actuated by any immoral motive, the landlady was invited to partake.
After upwards of two hours had been passed in cheerful conversation he rose to depart, begging that he might be allowed to repeat his visit on the following day, which being granted he took his leave, the landlady escorting him downstairs; but, to the surprise of Delia, half an hour elapsed ere he left the house; and it was evident that he had been, during the whole of that period, in earnest conversation with the gratified hostess, who returned to Delia with eyes beaming with delight.
"Well," she exclaimed, "here's a friend indeed! You may thank your lucky stars-he has desired me to let you want for nothing and has given me this five pound note to meet any present emergency; and this excess of feeling upon his part, he has just informed me with tears in his eyes, arises from the extraordinary likeness you bear to a dearly beloved daughter, of whom he was deprived by death some four years ago; so striking, he says, is the resemblance that he could almost imagine that Heaven had restored his lost child to bring peace and happiness once again to the heart of a bereaved father."
Early on the following morning she was visited by Rebecca, who, anxious to account for her apparent want of feeling towards the friend of her infancy, hastened to give the requisite explanation. It appeared that Mr. B. had first beheld her at the village school when she had scarcely entered into her fourteenth year; he was frequently in the habit of calling and questioning the children and evinced much satisfaction at their gradual improvement; he seemed more particularly struck with Rebecca and having at various times made her several trifling presents, she, as might be expected from a girl of such tender age, could not conceal the pleasure she derived whenever she saw him coming.
But how great was her astonishment, on one Sunday afternoon while sitting with her father in their humble cottage, to see Mr. B" accompanied by an elderly lady, crossing the little garden which fronted their abode.
"There, my dear," said he, addressing the lady as they entered, "there, my dear, this is my little favourite; what do you think of her? I hope you'll acknowledge that I have done her no more than justice in the description I have given."
The lady, whom he now introduced as his wife, replied with a smile,
"Well, indeed, if she be as good as she is pretty I should say you certainly have not. Come hither, child, what say you-should you like to quit the country to live with me in London?"
Rebecca curtsied, and frankly replied, "Yes, ma'am, if my father pleases."
Mr. B. then proceeded to explain: He had been greatly attracted towards Rebecca from the time he had first beheld her, in consequence of the extraordinary resemblance which she bore to an only daughter (this was, in fact, his usual mode of accounting for his singular attachments), and hearing of her father's extreme poverty he had spoken of his intentions to his wife, whom he had at last prevailed upon to accompany him in order that she might judge for herself; the result, he was happy to say, was perfectly satisfactory-and should it meet with his (the father's) approbation, she might prepare herself to accompany them to London in the following week, where she would be in every respect treated as their own child.
The old lady herself seconded her husband's desires and painted the advantages that the dear child would derive from the proposed arrangements in such glowing colours that the delighted parent, thinking that his daughter's fortune was made forever, hesitated not in giving his permission, in consequence of which Rebecca was soon installed in her new habitation as the adopted daughter of the wealthy Mr. and Mrs. B.
The young girl was at first delighted at a change so greatly for the better, but could not refrain from expressing her astonishment at the secluded manner in which Mrs. B. seemed to live. This, she was informed, was entirely owing to the bad state of her health and that it was enjoined by her medical adviser that she should confine herself as much as possible to her own apartment. Such being the case, Rebecca and her protector generally took their meals together; once in every day she was allowed to visit the invalid, with whom she stayed for about an hour; the old lady always received her with the greatest kindness and never failed at parting to impress upon her mind the importance of her doing all in her power to retain the affection of Mr.
B. by striving continually to please him and to study carefully all his little peculiarities. He, in the meantime, continued to behave towards her with the most devoted affection, and each evening upon the removal of the tea equipage he would endeavour to improve her in reading and writing; he would occasionally seek to divert her by reading to her some amusing story, which by degrees assumed a rather voluptuous character, so much so, indeed, that without knowing why she would feel her young cheeks glow with the blush of confusion as she listened to the amatory descriptions rather too vividly explicit. At other times he would sit gazing at her for several minutes exclaiming, as to himself, "How lovely, how very like!" Then, seizing her in his arms, he would seat her upon his knee and almost stifle her with kisses. One evening he, by accident, discovered that she had a small mole underneath her left breast. Wonderful similitude! so had his dear departed child; and this was a sufficient excuse for frequently uncovering her youthful bosom in order that he might kiss and finger the beloved spot which so strongly reminded him of his lost daughter.
But he was all a cheat. He had never been married-never had a child; the hypocritical old beldame who resided with him had been once a well-known procuress whom he paid to assist him in his nefarious practices, and by their united efforts too often fatally succeeded in their diabolical designs. Thus, in the present instance, he so artfully proceeded by imperceptible degrees to undermine the virtue of the artless Rebecca that ere she had become sensible of her danger she had nothing left to grant, or he to ask. Her innocence thus destroyed, she was easily persuaded to keep her father in ignorance of her fall. The vile assistant was rewarded and dismissed; and the degraded girl consented to be introduced to her neighbours as the daughter of the man who had so cruelly abused her confidence.
At this tender age (she had not yet completed her eighteenth year) had the once innocent girl consented to become a pander to the lusts of this hoary-headed miscreant, who having long been satiated with the charms of his young victim had repeatedly threatened to cast her forth upon the world if she refused to assist him in luring fresh victims to his frightful lair, and as she had no home save that of her betrayer, for shame and guilt would for ever prevent her from returning to her father, she determined to avoid the horrors of more general prostitution by reluctantly becoming his agent.
The office keeper was liberally rewarded for directing any young or beautiful girl to his house, where she was introduced to the supposed daughter: an appointment was then made with the intended victim and the rest may be conceived.
As Rebecca was entirely unacquainted with the misfortunes of Delia-and fearing that the innocent friend of her childhood was upon the brink of destruction-she, in the impulse of the moment, acted in the manner previously described.
Rebecca listened to Delia's history with the greatest astonishment and commiseration, but candidly advised her that having nothing to lose she could not do better under existing circumstances than endeavour to make the most of what fortune had thrown in her way. "If," said she,
"you can make up your mind to submit to the embraces of the old brute, you'll find him liberal enough, for his wealth is boundless and, after all, it is but the idea; for I can assure you," she added, laughingly,
"that with him a little coaxing goes a very great way; play your cards, therefore, as well as you can, and if you succeed in making him your dupe, why it's no more than he deserves. And so farewell; for should he come while I am here all would be destroyed." They embraced and parted.
On the afternoon Mr. B. arrived according to promise and remained with Delia until the evening was far advanced, during which time he did not venture on the most trifling liberty but contented himself with pressing her hand occasionally during the conversation and kissing her lips at parting; this conduct he pursued for more than a week, when grown somewhat bolder he would, in a gentle manner, force her to sit upon his knee, and as he pretended to discover some still greater resemblance to his (imaginary) daughter, make that a pretext for repeating his kisses more frequently and with greater fervour.
Delia having in the meantime seriously reflected on her present friendless situation, and seeing no other mode of escaping from a life of infamy, the bare contemplation of which filled her mind with horror, and secretly determined of two evils to choose the least and submit to the wishes of her antiquated admirer with the best possible grace.
When therefore upon one evening in particular she perceived by the increased sparkling of his eyes and the nervous trembling of his limbs that he had made up his mind to bring things to a crisis (with which intent he was, in his most insinuating manner, endeavouring to prevail on her to take an additional quantity of wine, while his own glass was frequently passed untouched), she resolved to humour his whim and accordingly assumed the greatest hilarity, laughing at his jokes and at intervals even returning his caresses, drinking freely of the wine which he continued to press upon her the more quickly as her excitement increased. This she found it absolutely necessary to do, in order to conceal the disgust she in reality experienced during the scene which it now became plain was to ensue that very evening. Her plan succeeded, her brain began to reel, her head sank upon his shoulder and in a state of unconsciousness he bore her to her chamber and quickly followed.
The day was dawning as she awoke to a full sense of her degradation and the tears she shed were neither feigned or hypothetical, although her tempter, believing that they flowed from a different cause, begged her to moderate her grief and be consoled. He pretended to regret the indiscretion he had been guilty of, which he declared would never have happened had not his nature been completely changed from the effects of the wine he had taken, and that his remorse was equal to her own. He then endeavoured to soothe her by the consideration of how much better it really was that the error had been committed with a man of years and experience like himself than with a vain young coxcomb, who having gratified his vanity at the expense of her peace would leave her in despair and wretchedness, while he, on the contrary, would never forsake her; his life should be passed in one continued endeavour to make her forget her sorrows, trusting to time and her own feelings for a repetition of the great reward that he had in the present instance so ungenerously wrested from her; his protestations were mingled with caresses and he ultimately succeeded not only in obtaining forgiveness for the past but in exhorting from her a promise that while she accepted from him the protection of a father, she would not, at all times, withhold from him the rights and privileges of a husband.
The result of this arrangement was her removal to comfortable apartments at Islington, for which he paid one guinea and a half per week; he generally saw her once a week, leaving her on the following morning with a sum of money more than sufficient to cover all her necessary expenses until his next visit. This intimacy had now continued for nearly two years, and such was her precise situation at the commencement of our acquaintance.
She assured me that she had but few friends, notwithstanding she had been so long away from home; in fact, with the exception of Rebecca, who had some months back left the house of her reputed father under the protection of a young ensign who had since forsaken her, she was on visiting terms with no one; and it was at the invitation of that young lady that she had attended the ball on the previous evening, and at her lodgings she had changed her dress, both going and returning.
Having finished her narrative, she continued with an affectionate smile, "And now, sir, you perceive that young as I am, I have experienced none of the joys, but an abundance of the bitterness, of love. It's true that for a time I certainly did admire the fine figure and external appearance of my first ravisher, but although forced from necessity to share his home and suffer his caresses, the memory of the unmanly advantage he had taken to deprive me of my innocence made him almost hateful to me. How little did I imagine two days ago that I was about to become myself a suitor; yet such is the fact, and I boldly confess that at the very moment when my delighted ears were charmed with the sweetness of your voice, my heart first felt the power of love and owned you for its master. Do not despise me for this folly; I own that I am quite unworthy and have, therefore, shown myself to you without disguise. Think of me as you will; for from this moment I am all your own."
And flinging her arms around my neck she pressed her open mouth to mine with such enduring fervency that I was, for a time, completely deprived of breath; and gently forcing myself from her embrace affected to treat the whole affair as one of commonplace compliment, so frequently adopted by females of a certain class; and as I believe few men are less prone to vanity than myself, I attributed her present conduct to the influence of the potent liquor we had been imbibing; I therefore laughingly thanked her for her good opinion of me, and glancing at the clock observed that as it was growing somewhat late; she must, therefore, excuse me for the present as I had to dress for the evening's concert; to which she answered, "No, no, indeed, we part not so; I have made up my mind that you shall at least take tea with me; a coach will in a few moments convey us to my residence and we can then adjourn to the concert together."
I now began to feel my situation anything but pleasant. I had promised to escort both Bessy and Emma to the very place where my beautiful plague now promised to accompany me; I therefore stammered out an excuse-that I was sorry I could not have the pleasure of her company upon that occasion as I had no power to introduce anyone without a ticket, all of which had been previously disposed of. Judge of my consternation when I found that for this contingency she had previously provided, as she exclaimed, producing a ticket from her bosom. "I saw the programme this morning, and not expecting the pleasure of meeting you purchased a ticket there and then; I would not miss the hearing of that charming serenade for ten times the amount."
What was to be done? I could never willingly give pain or disappointment to a female; how could I do so now- to one so lovely, and who thought so highly of me as she had professed to do. But then again, how to dispose of Bessy and her companion, who were doubtless even at that moment in momentary expectation of my arrival.
But as something must be done, and that quickly, "Well, my dear," said I, "I will just step to my lodgings which are close at hand, make a slight alteration in my dress, and return to you here."
But this, to my increased mortification, she would by no means listen to; she was determined to accompany me. In vain I told her that my landlady was a most particular person, and that I dared not think of taking a female there and subjecting her to insult. At length it was agreed that she should wait for me at the end of the street, from whence she could command a view of my door. "But mind," she cried as I left her (glancing at her watch), "only five minutes; if you stay an instant longer I shall knock at the door and inquire for you."
This was a pretty fix, for I felt perfectly satisfied that my lady would be as good as her word and I must extricate myself in the best way I could.
I therefore hastened home, sought my expecting Bessy, and expressed my regret at having to deny myself the pleasure of accompanying her to the concert that evening, urging as an excuse that I had found it impossible to obtain a copy of one of the songs in the programme, for which purpose I had been to almost every music seller in London, but in vain; that as a last resource I was then going to the extreme end of the town, from whence I could not possibly return home previous to the performance, but begged that she would not allow this trifling disappointment to interfere with her arrangements for the evening, as I should expect to have the happiness of meeting her and Mrs. S. on my arrival.
She accepted my apology, and without entering my own apartment I left the house, but just in time to prevent the threatened call of my new acquaintance, whom I met coming down the street with the intention, as she afterwards told me, of knocking at my door. With a significant glance, which she appeared to understand, I crossed the road while she continued to follow me, but on the opposite side of the way. Having gained the main road she overtook me, and hailing a coach from the first stand we were in a short time set down at the cosy lodgings of my fair importunate, in W- Row, Islington.
Here, then, behold me seated at an amply furnished tea table; the refreshing beverage was quickly prepared by her own fair hands and the conversation that passed during the meal was such as the most prudent of her sex might have listened to without the slightest impropriety.
But still I was ill at ease, for although far from insensible to the beauty of the charming girl who was exerting her every faculty to give me pleasure, my thoughts were faithful to my Bessy still and I was racking my brain for some excuse by which I might escape the honour of my present companion's society, for this evening at least. I began by expressing my dislike of the promised entertainment-the place in which it was held-and the purpose for which it was got up; I even assured her that if she would give up all thoughts of attending this sadly conducted affair that I would call upon her on the following Tuesday for the purpose of escorting her to one infinitely superior in every respect; but vain was all my reasoning. She was determined to go-her mind was made up-and nothing human should, or could, prevent her.
"Well, then," I exclaimed, rising from my chair, "be it so; in an hour I shall meet you there; but you must for that time excuse me, at all events, for," I added, laughing, "you were so very hard upon me, and allowed me such a very short time for preparation at home that, in order to prevent any unpleasant altercation, you may perceive that I have not even made the contemplated alteration in my dress requisite for the duties of the evening. I will do so with all possible promptitude and rejoin you at the rooms."
"And so you still wish to leave me," she replied, "but your excuse is a bad one and can easily be rectified. Only place yourself in my hands for a few minutes and I will undertake that even you shall be satisfied with your appearance without taking the unnecessary trouble of going so far."
And placing her hands upon my shoulders she gently forced me back into the chair I had quitted, patted me playfully upon the cheek, pressed her lips to mine, and left the room.
I must here observe that the effects of the liquor she had taken during the afternoon had entirely disappeared; this was doubtlessly owing, in a great measure, to the strong and truly excellent tea which had followed; at all events she was now as calm and collected as the most fastidious puritan could have desired.
Having re-entered the apartment she proceeded to fold, in the neatest manner, a light-blue satin handkerchief which she fitted upon me in such a form as to give it the appearance of a handsome underwaistcoat, and in the frill of my shirt she placed a magnificent brooch, shaped like a small branch, the leaves of which were formed of emeralds, the fruit by minute diamonds; having completed her task evidently to her own entire satisfaction, she held a toilet glass before me that I might witness the effect of her handiwork, saying as she did so, "There, my love, were you going to sing before the king himself your dress would not disgrace the royal party. And now, my dear, if you'll endeavour to amuse yourself for a few minutes by looking over my little library," pointing to a well-filled bookcase, "I shall then be ready to accompany you."
I did as she desired; and when she returned to the room I absolutely stared with astonishment at the change she had undergone in so short a time; she was attired in a handsome dress of violet-coloured crepe, over white satin, richly embroidered, with a magnificent border in wreaths of silver vine; the sleeves were looped up with silver cordage, supported by eagles of the same material; a topaz necklace graced her swan-like neck, bracelets of gold encircled her well-turned arms, and her headdress was a wreath of snow-white roses; the effect was truly electrical, for, "She looked a goddess, and she moved a queen!"
I must confess that as I gazed upon the lovely object before me a feeling of vanity came over me for a moment, sufficiently powerful to banish even the image of Bessy from my heart, and I eagerly saluted the proffered lips and, for the first time, pressed her closely to my enchanted bosom.
Having procured a coach, we proceeded to our destination, which, as we approached, how shall I describe the emotions which agitated me; for the momentary transport over, I had leisure to reflect upon the probable events about to ensue! How could I account to my confiding Bessy for the appearance of my majestic companion-how could I perform my public duties under the influence of her reproachful glance-ere I had time to determine, the coach stopped and, with feelings more resembling those of a condemned criminal on his way to execution than of a man in the act of escorting a charming woman to a pleasure party, I entered the assembly.
One glance satisfied me that my party had not yet arrived, and for a moment I breathed more freely-probably offended at my apparent slight they will not come- and for once in my life I absolutely rejoiced at the absence of Bessy. But my pleasure was of short duration for, in the midst of my first song, I had the mortification of beholding Bessy and Emma conducted to their seats by the obsequious director.
My efforts were rewarded by an unanimous encore, in the loud call for which, to my unspeakable confusion, the excited Delia vied with the most vociferous gentleman present; by this indecorous conduct she became the object of universal observation-every eye was fixed upon her-the female portion of the audience regarded her with astonishment and the gentlemen, while they could not conceal their admiration of her beauty, expressed to each other in audible whispers that they were not greatly at variance in their opinions as to the character of the lovely but incautious girl before them.
I lingered about the orchestra until the conclusion of the first part and then, with feelings that I will not attempt to describe, sneaked into the refreshment room, where I was quickly followed by my two disappointed fair ones.
I was most agreeably surprised at the friendly warmth with which they both received me; by this I at once perceived that my apology had been perfectly satisfactory, and could I have retired at that moment all would have been well; but such was not to be, for while I was speaking my fair tormentor, from whom I foolishly imagined I had escaped for the present, having witnessed my departure from the concert room, now approached us, bearing in her hand a glass of smoking negus which she had procured from the waiter for my especial benefit; in vain did I attempt, by sundry winks and divers significant grimaces; to put her on her guard; she either did not, or would not, understand me.
On she came, smiling gaily, and handing me the glass, exclaimed,
"Come, my dear, I'm sure you stand in need of something after so much exertion."
Scarcely conscious of what I was doing, I put it to my lips and again returned it to her, when she continued, "Are these ladies friends of yours?"
I slightly bowed my head.
"Then why behave so ungallantly! Ladies, I'm sure you'll excuse his inattention-he seems quite bewildered — but no doubt it's entirely owing to the fatigue-do me the honour of partaking-"
And she pressed the glass upon Emma, who, thus taken by surprise and not prepared to offer an excuse, condescended to sip the beverage which she then presented to her companion, who, after darting at me a glance of the most withering contempt, disdainfully pushed back the hand that bore the glass, overturning in her fury the greater, portion of its contents over the dress of Emma and in a voice almost inarticulate with anger, said, "Come, let us be going; I'm sure we are not wanted here; and you, sir, shall be made to remember this insult."
With these words, and eyes flashing fury, she took the arm of her friend and quitted the room.
"Well, I'm sure," exclaimed the astonished Delia, "what airs! But it's a good riddance whoever she may be; and how you look; why should you care for the insolence of a mean-looking little baggage like that?
Come love, drink again and rouse yourself, or the company will perceive your confusion."
I took the goblet, unconsciously swallowed the whole of its contents, and in a few minutes became sufficiently composed to re-enter the public room, having previously cautioned Delia to be more guarded in her conduct, or at all events not to give vent to her feelings in the audible manner she had previously done.
I was not a moment too soon, for the symphony to my next song had commenced as I entered. I mounted the stage and got through my task-not at all to my own satisfaction, although from their continued applause I have reason to believe that I had been successful in my endeavour to conceal my trepidation from the audience. Delia declared that I had never sung better; but I fear she was a very partial critic and one whose judgment could not be relied on.
I was now rapidly regaining my self-possession when the door opened and Bessy, who by this time I had fancied was more than half way on her return home, with an expression of wildness in her bright black eyes advanced towards where I was sitting and in a low, trembling voice murmured, "Mr. -, I wish to speak a word or two in private; will you allow me that honour?"
"With the greatest pleasure," I replied, and with faltering steps and throbbing heart I followed her from the room.
The concert room was divided from the bar of the tavern by a long, arched hall or passage, paved and covered with matting to prevent the echo of footsteps from interrupting the music. I had continued to follow the indignant lady until we had traversed half the extent of this passage, when she turned suddenly round and fixing her glaring eyes full upon my face, exclaimed, "Now, sir, what am I to understand from the base and unmanly treatment I have experienced from you this evening?"
I affected the greatest astonishment and added that in fact I was about to make a similar enquiry of her, for I could plainly perceive that something had ruffled her temper previous to her favouring me with her company; and I really considered that respect for my public reputation might have induced her to choose some other time and place to vent her ill-humour upon me instead of making me, as she had done, an object of contempt before strangers.
"Indeed, sir!" she replied, "and so you are villain enough to add insult to injury! But you will find that I am not the easy fool you seem to think me. Pray, sir, who is the odious hussy for whom you have thought proper to outrage my feelings so cruelly as you have done tonight?"
I attempted to take her hand, which she scornfully withdrew, as with a feigned laugh I answered, "And is it possible that poor Delia has been the innocent cause of pain to one I love so tenderly-you have heard me speak of cousin Deelie, my uncle William's daughter, this is the very girl. I met her by sheer accident and with much difficulty prevailed upon her to accompany me hither for the express purpose of introducing her to you-I did not believe you could have been so silly-come, call Mrs. S. and let us return; I shall be happy to see you better acquainted."
The angry blood mounted to her cheeks, as she loudly exclaimed, "And dare you insult the memory of your respectable parents by falsely declaring their relationship to a strumpet-shame on you; and I suppose that trumpery about your neck belongs to her?"
She had observed the brooch and handkerchief I have before spoken of.
"It's no use to deny it; I see guilt in your face!"
"I don't understand you when you speak of guilt, nor do I attempt to deny that not having time sufficient to return home my cousin was kind enough to oblige me with the loan-"
I was proceeding when, with the fury of an enraged tigress, she sprung upon me, tore the valuable brooch from my breast with a portion of the shirt itself and trampled it beneath her feet, threatening to return to the concert room and serve the vile owner in the same way; the splendid handkerchief was rent into a half a dozen pieces and the brooch shared a similar fate; nor was I rescued from her grasp until she had torn a tolerable handful of hair from my head. I was at length indebted for my liberty to Emma, who had been waiting for her at the end of the passage and, alarmed at the scuffle, now hastened to the rescue.
"For God's sake," cried she, "consider where you are; come home if you are wise; why continue to expose yourself; think of your child; let me persuade you, there's a dear, come."
Bessy suffered herself to be led from the spot. I ran before them, called a coach, and assisted in handing them in. As I was giving the necessary instructions to the coachman, to my utter astonishment Bessy seized my arm, burst into tears, and kissing my hand sank back in her seat as the horses started. The next moment I felt myself seized from behind; I turned and encountered Delia, who the moment she beheld my disordered appearance, exclaimed, "What has happened, tell me, are you hurt-but never mind, I know it all, it's that gipsy-looking vixen's work, but let her look to herself, if I don't serve her out my name's not Delia L-s!"
I endeavoured to soothe her, assuring her that it was nothing but a slight misunderstanding that would speedily be rectified; and while she returned for her shawl, etc., I succeeded in gathering up the fragments of her property. The handkerchief was past recovery, but as to the brooch, the stones being uninjured, a few shillings paid to a jeweller soon restored it to its pristine beauty.
The attentive kindness of Delia, contrasted with the violent indignation of her rival, determined me, and I resolved to conform myself entirely to the will of the former. The disordered state of my apparel was such as to render a return to the public room out of the question, and in a short time we were again set down at Islington where, having supped, she insisted on my retiring at once to bed, and seizing a candle led the way to the adjoining chamber.
I offered my assistance to aid her in undressing, but this she would by no means allow. She would see me fairly in bed before she removed a single particle of her own attire. I reminded her that such conduct upon my part would be quite out of order and begged she would consider how very ungallant it would appear in me to receive a lady in bed, but my arguments were all in vain and she began with her own fair hands to remove my cravat, etc. Finding her so fully determined I ceased to expostulate, and quickly divesting myself of my clothes, lay down naked upon the bed and prepared to watch the delightful spectacle of her disrobing. But little did I anticipate the intellectual as well as sensual entertainment in store for me. For I was now to learn that the charming girl had conceived the humorous fancy of pretending that she was alone! Slipping off her bodice and releasing a pair of large and finely moulded breasts from her corset, she threw herself backwards upon a low divan, opened her legs, and picking up her petticoats, seized a long bolster and thrusting it between her thighs and clasping it in her naked arms proceeded with many gasps and sighs and tumultuous heavings of her bottom to go through the whole pantomime of love with such extraordinary fervour and fidelity to nature that at last the very bolster seemed to be alive and I could have found it in my heart to drive a knife into the horsehair bowels of my supplanter!
However, I managed to remember that I should very soon find myself in the position now occupied by the happy bolster and so determined to wait and see the pretty comedy to its end.
Delia now pushed away her imaginary lover and moved from the sofa to her looking-glass. Here she let down her masses of wavy brown hair, threw off her stays, slipped her chemise to the floor and stood for a moment seemingly spellbound at the reflection of her own beauty!
At length her lips parted and by straining my ears I could just catch the words she uttered:
"Ah, Heavens, what an ill-assorted world is this! Here am I, poor lonely forsaken Delia, longing, craving, dying for a lusty man. Within hail are hundreds, nay thousands, of such men not one of whom but would leap from his bed and fly to me as if the Devil were after him could he but know that I stand here naked, my fingers itching, my vulva throbbing, and my tongue vainly twisting this way and that to enclose a glorious, standing pizzle in their embrace! That beautiful singer, now! If I only had him here! Does he know the pleasure of a girl's fresh red mouth upon his sugar-stick? I'll go bail he knows it not. And yet mine is fresh and red, and the lips are full and ripe and made for amorous clinging.
With what rapture would they fasten upon his tool and suck it in to meet the onslaught of my tongue, which should curl its whole length about the stiffening column nor rest until it had drawn from him a torrent of love's delicious nectar! But a few minutes to repose and then I would lock my arms around his neck and fingering his member so deftly that it could not choose but stand again, would clasp him naked to my naked breasts and pray him to hitter me till one or the other should cry mercy! All this and a thousand other sweet and pleasant things would I do, were my dear love but with me now!"
The reader may imagine with what feelings I had listened to this impassioned harangue. But my powers of self-restraint were at last exhausted and leaping from the bed I rushed upon the naked girl and covered her with passionate kisses from head to foot. Waves of lascivious delight coursed up and down her body and as I stood before her, breathless from my late exertions, she sank to her knees, and after looking up into my face with a gaze of speechless love and longing, softly passed her tongue over the nut of my yard and then pushing it slowly and lovingly between her lips, began to suck it with incredible ardour and enjoyment.
I was just beginning to revel in the exquisite sensations produced by the contact of Delia's mouth and tongue and wondering how long I could stave off the crisis which was already threatening to arrive, when a thundering double knocking at the street door broke the silence of night with an echoing sound that seemed sufficient to shake every house in that retired row to its foundation; and Delia, starting from my arms, leapt into the middle of the room.
"Good God!" I exclaimed, "what can this mean? surely 'tis an alarm of fire."
"Worse, worse!" she replied, "unfortunate wretch that I am! Too well I know the meaning of these sounds. It's my old tyrant, B-, returned a week before his time; but let him come; I'll brave it all; he can but turn me out of doors, and you, my dear, will not forsake me."
With a few hasty words I succeeded in convincing her of the folly of such conduct; and taking my clothes upon my arm urged her to endeavour to think of some place of concealment from which I could at a convenient moment escape undiscovered from the house. The knocking was now renewed more furiously than before, mingled with the violent ringing of the bell in such a manner as to bespeak plainly the wild impatience of the operator.
She seized my arm and led me in silence across the landing place; and having descended a couple of steps opened the door of a small chamber, and having kissed me whispered, "For my sake be cautious," she closed the door and departed, leaving me in a state of nudity and in utter darkness. In a few moments I heard her returning footsteps, mingled with those of a man, who, in no very gentle terms, was expressing his discontent at having been kept so long waiting in the street, which she attributed to her having been in her first sleep. At length they entered the chamber I had so recently quitted under such very disastrous circumstances, and the door being closed I was at once convinced from the very faint murmurs that met my ear, notwithstanding he was still speaking rather loudly, that I might without danger of being overheard venture to put on my clothes; in which attempt I had entirely succeeded, with the exception of my boots, and was cautiously rising for the purpose of seeking the door in order to make good my retreat when a ray of light suddenly illumined the apartment and I felt the grasp of what appeared to be the long bony fingers of a skeleton hand upon my shoulders.
On turning round to ascertain the cause of my alarm, I discovered that I had been unconsciously sitting upon what is termed by brokers a stump bedstead, upon which an aged woman was at the time sleeping, who having been disturbed by my movements had in the impulse of her momentary terror grasped my shoulder with one hand and drawn back a thick curtain which covered the window with the other. This accounted for the sudden ray of light, for the moon was shining brilliantly and rendered every object in that small chamber distinctly visible.
Her head was graced by a dirty flannel nightcap tied under the chin; her eyes, which were strained to their utmost extent, were fixed upon my face; they were of that description vulgarly called "velvet-bound," being edged with a rich crimson border, and a stream of rheum ran gently down a deep gutterlike wrinkle formed on each side of her nose, which was long, skinny, and hooked; while from her expanded nostrils issued a current of a dark mahogany colour, doubtless the effects of the quantities of snuff she was in the habit of taking; a pair of lengthy discoloured fangs protruded from her upper jaw, forming a barrier to keep the under lip from falling inwards; a profusion of long, grey hair shaded her withered shoulders; and a pair of breasts, resembling nothing earthly so much as a couple of dingy wash-leather saddle bags, with a stone in the bottom of each to keep them pendant, rested upon the well-worn counterpane. This delicate creature continued to gaze upon me for some time without uttering a sentence, her hands resting on my shoulders, and as she advanced her hideous countenance nearer to my own I experienced a feeling of suffocation from the exhalations of her breath, perfumed as it was with the combined fragrance of gin, onions, and tobacco.
At length in a subdued tone of voice she muttered thus, "Oh, oh! I see it all, yes, yes, I understand, and so Miss Deelie with all her prudery is no better than the rest of her kidney; she has her favourites on the sly; well, I cannot blame her, and must confess that she has proved herself a girl of taste; but never fear, lad, I am not given to gossip, but upon this occasion I think that silence should at least earn me a new gown; bless my heart, what a soft hand the boy has; I could almost fancy I was pressing that of a delicate young lady; and dear me, now I look again, how very like my dear dead and gone Jim Grundy when we were first acquainted; ah, youngster, I was a very, very different person to look at then than I am now; time works wondrous changes in us all!"
And the old crone, having amused herself while she was speaking by passing her fingers through my hair, now proceeded to clasp me round the waist, and fearing that the beldame was absolutely growing amorous, with a sudden effort I extricated myself from her embrace, exclaiming with an attempted smile, "Enough, enough, good mother, let me now think of effecting a retreat, all shall be explained the first opportunity; in the mean time only be discreet, and your reward shall not be forgotten."
With these words, taking my boots in my hand, I proceeded downstairs, opened the street door, which I did not wait to shut after me, and having gained the street never ceased running until I arrived at the Angel Inn; here finding the coast clear I drew on my boots, and slackening my pace, endeavoured as I approached my home to frame the best excuse I could possibly devise to dispel the merited anger of Bessy and her more cautious but no less indignant companion.
I have previously mentioned that in order to remove all jealous doubts from my mind, Bessy had been for several months in the habit of leaving a candle burning, by means of which I could at all times satisfy myself that she did not share her husband's bed, and upon arriving home on this eventful night, or rather morning, my first glance was directed towards the aperture in the window shutter; alas, no welcome gleam appeared to gladden my sight; my mind misgave me; I unlocked the outer door, and applying my eye to the well-known keyhole all was dark and drear; at this moment a ray of moonlight rested upon the opposite couch, so long the solitary resting place of my beloved! it was forsaken. My worst fears were confirmed. I had proved myself unworthy; her confidence in my honour had been shaken and she had returned to the embraces of her liege lord. I cursed my own folly-and retired to my lonely bed, not to sleep but to ponder over the gulf of misery I had opened for myself by yielding too easily to the dictates of gallantry.
Nor were my fears without foundation, as I afterwards learnt from the blushing Bessy's own confession when a reconciliation had taken place between us. It appears that on her returning home with Emma after the scene so recently described, she was assailed by her tyrant in the most violent manner, in consequence of her having dared to go out without his knowledge; vainly did the good-natured Emma endeavour to take all the blame upon herself; even she did not escape a portion of the abuse which the unfeeling blackguard showered on his wife, charging her with an undue partiality for me, to whom he loudly declared his honour had been sacrificed, and it was not until he had become completely exhausted by the fury of his passion that he suffered himself to be persuaded that his wife was innocent.
Peace having been thus restored and the fond couple left alone, Mr. E., probably ashamed of his late conduct, endeavoured by the most abject protestations to regain the affections of his wife and induce her to admit him once again to the privileges of a husband from which he had been so long excluded. He went on his knees before her and in the most earnest terms begged she would pardon his late unjust suspicions, which having at length obtained he proceeded to urge his suit still further. By receiving him again to her arms he should be at once satisfied that he was really forgiven and the remaining portion of his life should be passed in one continued endeavour to promote her happiness. What could she do? The proof she had that evening received of my inconstancy was sufficient to convince her that her dependence upon me was indeed precarious-she had no security that I was not at that very moment seeking for a plausible excuse to abandon her for another; added to which her positive conviction that certain "living consequences" of our indiscretion would soon become apparent; and in the event of which, as she had too much reason to fear, finding herself deserted by me, how could she account to her husband for such an addition to his family when she had for so many months estranged herself from his arms.
Under these circumstances, having no alternative, she yielded to his importunities and submitted herself once more to his loathed embraces. With the utmost mortification I listened to the hateful story, nor could I chide the amiable sufferer. I only was to blame; but although in justice compelled to admit that she was blameless, I from that moment abandoned the idea of ever making her my own undivided property, and it was not until after the birth of her child that I succeeded in my endeavours to persuade her to renew our former intimacy; but this once accomplished was never afterwards denied; for as she candidly acknowledged in one fond hour of blissful dalliance, notwithstanding my ungenerous conduct and her strenuous endeavors to drive me from her thoughts, the impression I had made upon her heart was too deep ever to be eradicated, and though compelled by circumstances to yield obedience to her wedded lord her love was all my own.
Owing to my precaution, Mr. E. never had an opportunity of seeing us together; for obvious reasons I had ceased to be his tenant and our interviews took place at my own private lodgings, I having introduced her to my new landlady as an only sister, under which character we passed many happy hours together.
Her husband, as she told me, seldom mentioned my name except, indeed, when some of his former suspicions would for a moment revive as he gazed upon his infant son, when he would exclaim, "The boy is cursedly like that infernal singer. I don't know how it is, Bess! I think you've acted right enough; but people can't at all times command their thoughts and when he was got, I'm d-d if you were not thinking more of the blasted tenor than you was of me."
I will now proceed with my tale. I suppose that towards the approach of day I must have fallen into a troubled sleep, for I was awoke about eight o'clock in the morning by the gruff voice of Mr. E., who exclaimed as he rapped at my door, "Hallo, there! here's a letter for you. I have thrust it under the door and there's a youngster waiting for an answer."
I immediately leaped from my bed and opening the note read as follows:
My dearest Love,
After the occurrences of last night, I tremble to address you; but if your heart is not devoid of pity, pray let me see you once again; I am very very ill, and have much to tell you. For God's sake, come some time today, and do not by a refusal add to the despair of the wretched Delia.
I partly unclosed the door and requested Mr. E. to inform the bearer that the writer's request should be attended to; I then hurried on my clothes and, the weather being fine, took a seat in the garden, pretending to be occupied in the perusal of a book. I was in fact anxiously expecting that chance would favour me with an opportunity of seeking an explanation with my insulted Bessy, for I now remembered that it was the Sabbath and consequently the husbands of my two enamoured fair ones would in all probability remain at home the whole of the day.
At one end of the garden was a small building which was used as a wash house, etc., and was in fact continually open for the accommodation of all. I accordingly placed my chair in such a position that in order to reach this place the person wishing to do so must pass so very closely to where I was sitting as to be within hearing of the softest whisper.
I had not remained long here ere the gentle Emma came tripping down the path, eyeing me as she advanced with a look full of meaning, while a malicious smile was playing round the corners of her tempting mouth. I would have caught her round the waist, but with a lightning glance at an upper window she gave me to understand that she was not unwatched; this, however, did not prevent her as she returned from pausing for a moment while in a subtle tone she archly exclaimed,
"Now, can you say that I am a false prophetess. Did I not tell you long ago, that Mrs. E. would betray herself, and has she not done so with a witness?" And shaking her finger archly at me, she departed.
In a few minutes after, with swollen eyes and downcast brow, Bessy entered the garden. As she approached me our eyes met. I was about to take,her hand, but with a withering frown and a forced smile expressive of the utmost contempt she avoided my touch; and as she returned in a moment after, passed me with averted face, scorning to favour me with a single glance. In returning to my room, her door (which I have said fronted mine) stood open, and to add to my mortification at the very moment that she was conscious my eyes were upon her she placed her hand upon her husband's shoulder, and as he looked upwards into her face with the utmost satisfaction pressed a kiss upon his willing lips!
This was too much; and with feelings compared to which those of the damned would have been enviable, I entered my apartment, swallowed a huge bumper of the strongest brandy, and then, in order to conceal from her the effects of her cruelty, sat down to my piano and for the next hour continued to play a succession of the most lively and exhilarating melodies.
Having at length succeeded in soothing my ruffled spirits, I dressed myself with the utmost care, and, prompted by something like vanity in order that she might see and contrast my gay appearance with that of her loutish husband, I rapped at her door, which being opened by herself, I, with the greatest self-composure, stated that in the event of any enquiries being made for me I should not be home until the following evening.
I was revenged. It was now her turn to suffer. The blood rushed into her face and it was with the greatest difficulty that she could articulate,
"Very well, sir." I then with a polite bow closed the door and quitted the house.
Having made an early dinner at a respectable ordinary, I hastened to Islington. The door was opened by the old lady whose appearance I have already described and who, with a low chuckle, beckoning me to follow, led the way upstairs, opened the door, and immediately taking her departure I was left alone with Delia.
She was reclining on the bed, her lovely eyes suffused in tears, and, amongst other evils, labouring under that most tedious of all painsthe toothache. She smiled as I approached and extended her hand, which I received but coldly; for, to speak candidly, the idea of her having passed the night in the arms of a man old enough to be her father had considerably cooled my ardour; since I am, notwithstanding my love of variety, rather delicate in matters of a tender nature.
She doubtlessly guessed the nature of my thoughts and when, after some time passed in conversation, I acknowledged that such was indeed the subject of them, she exclaimed with a look of the most tender reproach, "And do you think me then so abandoned a creature as to have sent for you had I suffered myself to have been abused so recently? Do you believe that I could have submitted to the embraces of so loathsome a wretch when my soul was full of love for you? No!
Death itself would have been much more welcome. It was no difficult task for me to make the old dotard believe that I was too unwell to receive his caresses. I walked the room during the whole of the night and he is now on his way to the continent, from whence he will not return for many weeks; it is in consequence of my remaining for so long a time partly undressed, and with the window open, that I am suffering the pain I now endure."
This was really the case; the poor girl had taken a violent cold in consequence of her devotion to me. Could I remain insensible to the advances of such a creature? No. I pressed her to my arms and covered her with ardent kisses! This done I went on to remind her of the soliloquy I had been so miraculously privileged to overhear on the previous evening and of the divine pleasure she was causing me at the moment of our cruel interruption. I assured her of my anxiety to reciprocate in kind and of the zest which I was convinced the preliminary insertion of my tongue into her crack would certainly lend to our subsequent encounter. At this her language became at once free and impassioned and she besought me to lay my head between her legs and kiss her without delay. Nothing loath, I turned round and kneeling over her with my feet towards the pillows applied my lips with rapture to the dainty feast, taking care at the same time that my probe should occupy a position which left her no choice but to bury it within her rosy mouth.
In deference to my lady readers, of whom I confidently look forward to including a goodly number, I abstain from further details of this particular item in our salacious programme. Suffice it to say that the performance was carried out with a perfect frenzy of desire on both sides, each striving with might and main (and believe me, dear ladies, this is the fundamental secret of all amatory successes) to enhance the pleasures of the other and to render as acute and as protracted as possible the ecstasies of the incoitable crisis.
After this light and spirited overture the more classic but equally enjoyable numbers were "taken," as musicians have it, in varying tempo. Constituting myself the conductor, I made the measured beat of my baton the guiding influence of our movements and allegretto succeeded to andante with a rhythm and precision which left nothing to be desired. To quit the language of metaphor and come to plain prose, Delia and I fleshmongered one another in every position known to the most experienced copulators, until at length a not unnatural exhaustion ensued and we fell asleep locked in each other's arms.
When I awoke my fair companion had already risen: the tea was smoking on the table and the savoury muffins, prepared by her delicate hands, seemed to invite me to the welcome repast. Never do I remember having partaken of a more delightful meal. The remaining portion of the evening was passed in charming converse, during which the animated girl suddenly exclaimed, "You call yourself a musician, but that is not the only science in which you are skilled."
"Indeed! what mean you?"
"Why, that you are either a physician or a magician- you have so completely driven away my toothache that until this moment I had forgotten all about it; and indeed, the cure has been effected in the most charming manner in the world!"
With these words she threw herself into my arms and hid her blushing face upon my bosom with the result that more than one piece performed at the late concert was unanimously encored!
I remained with my charming Delia till the following day when, after a tender parting coupled with a promise to return in the evening, I hurried home.
I must confess that my dalliance and oft-repeated love exchanges with Delia had somewhat weakened me, and as I reached my room I felt enervated to such a degree that I fell upon my bed through sheer exhaustion.
True to my promise, I called at the appointed hour of the succeeding night at the house of Delia but was met at the door by the old crone, her servant, who informed me that I must go away for the present as Delia's old protector had unexpectedly returned and was at the moment in her chamber. Muttering a low curse at this unlooked-for interruption of my anticipated night of enjoyment, I turned from the house and, it being comparatively early, I bent my steps towards Regent's Park.
I had not proceeded far when I perceived that the gate of a large and elegant garden had been carelessly left open. Without any hesitation I passed in, and after carefully closing the entrance I paused to examine the appearance of the place.
In the centre of the garden, which was tastily laid out, stood a large and splendid mansion-evidently the abode of one of the aristocracy; a few rods from the house was a small, artificial lake of perhaps some two hundred feet in diameter. Around the house rose a row of gigantic oaks, whose broad trunks and interlacing links almost hid the building from sight. An air of quiet-I had almost said of desertion-pervaded the place.
"There does not seem to be any one here," I muttered, as I passed up one of the graveled walks towards the mansion, "and as no one will disturb me, I might as well see all that is to be seen."
I walked on without interruption till I reached the back of the house, when I was startled suddenly by the sound of voices.
Fearful of discovery, I crouched behind the nearest tree and listened.
The rear door of the mansion was thrown half open and I could hear every word distinctly. The voices were evidently those of a man and his wife, and the very first words startled me.
I was, at first, under the impression that I had found my way into the garden of some wealthy and refined nobleman; but the tone and expression of the man's voice convinced me at once that he was some low, vulgar tradesman, whose money alone had placed him in possession of the splendid property upon which I had obtruded.
"I tell you, madam, you are a faithless strumpet, and you must die. I'll drag you to the lake and throw you in. What? I'll be arrested for murder-will I? No such thing, madam. It will be thought that you committed suicide and I will depose to expressions of yours that shall strengthen theidea. Come on-Come on."
"No-no. I am a desperate man and will have no mercy. Horns are on my head, and no wonder they drive me half mad. I saw you wink at Sir Barnaby Grubbs too, and I am quite sure that you trod upon the toe of Lord Lovemall. Oh, I have eyes in my head and something else on the top of it. I'm a desperate man! I'm a desperate man!"
"In mercy, spare me!"
"I will not. It is quite music to me to hear you say that. I only wish all your lovers heard you, madam. If the devil himself were to come and ask me to save you, I would not."
There was now a scuffling noise and the jealous husband was evidently dragging his wife towards the door. I had made up my mind to interfere with the affair from the very first. It was not exactly the thing for me to stand by and let a jealous husband have his own way.
"I will see the end of this adventure," said I to myself. "By the sound of the lady's voice she should be young and fair, and if she be I will take her part from pure love of the young and fair; but if she be not, why, I will yet see justice done to her, for then I should say she is decidedly innocent."
Suddenly the door was thrown open and two persons came out. The one was a female and she was evidently being pushed forward by the other, who was the husband.
"You dare not-you cannot kill me," said the lady. "All this is merely done to terrify me. You could not for your life and soul's sake commit so unmanly an action as to kill me, sir."
"Dare I not? We shall soon see that. In such cases as mine there can be but one course to pursue, and that must consist of the death of the object; I will kill you, and then I will leave England."
"Nay, madam, it is of no use your calling help here. You know as well as I do that your cries cannot be heard."
"But I am innocent-indeed I am!"
"The Major! — the Major!"
"Well, I repulsed him."
"Wretch! Then you own that he solicited you?"
"I do. But surely this is no fault of mine? If I repulsed him, what more could the most virtuous woman the world ever saw do, I would ask?"
"It is quite sufficient. I am a desperate and dishonoured husband, and as I said before the devil himself should not save you."
Upon this I thought there was a capital opportunity of saying something; and assuming suddenly a deep, low, and sepulchral voice I stepped forward, saying, "Who calls on me?"
"Gracious Heaven," cried the lady, "what is that?"
"I was called and I have come!" said I, advancing so that in the dim light I was but faintly seen.
The husband staggered back until he reached the wall close to the door, and then in a voice of great trepidation he said, "Who-who are you?"
"When such deeds as that which you contemplated are being done," said I, still speaking in a strange and monstrous voice, "I am always there; but I do not appear-I dare not appear-unless I am called upon. You mentioned my name and I am here. What would you with me?"
"You-you don't mean to say that you are the-the devil himself?"
The husband turned round and fled with the greatest precipitation towards the house. Fear had taken possession, the most complete possession, of him, and from the sound of his footsteps it was quite clear that he was taking the nearest route that he could, quite heedless of flower beds or other obstacles, to his home.
The lady likewise turned and fled, for whatever might be the slight nature of her objections to a murder-lover, she certainly did not seem to think one from the infernal regions at all desirable.
"Stop!" I cried.
She only fled the quicker, but owing to the intense darkness in the garden, for it was in consequence of the numerous trees within it darker than the heath itself, she caught her foot in some flowering shrub and fell to the ground. In a moment I was up to her.
"Do not be at all alarmed," I said in my natural voice. "I am a gentleman, and thought it would be a good thing to punish your jealous husband by giving him a good fright."
"Are you, indeed, a gentleman?"
"I assure you I am."
"But the-the certain party is called the Old Gentleman, I have heard?"
"Yes. But if there were light sufficient you would soon see that I am certainly not the Old Gentleman."
"You would indeed. What do you think of me now?"
I raised her up and kissed her cheek.
"Well, I don't know what to think; but be you whom you may, you have certainly done me a service; but do you know that my arms are bound round by a cord that my husband put on me unawares?"
"That I will soon release you from if you will stand still for a few moments. I have a sharp knife in my pocket and I can feel the cords, I dare say, and so cut them without doing you any harm. Will you trust me?" Yes. Oh, yes."
I found no great difficulty in cutting the cords that held the lady in bondage, and then said, "It is a monstrous thing that your husband should let his jealousy of you go to such a length."
"Alas! sir, it is; but what can I do?"
"Be revenged upon him in the only way that is in your power and in the way that all wrongfully jealous husbands should be served. Give him real cause."
"Ah, now I am afraid that you are really the devil or you would not so advise me. No-no! No more kissing, if you please. One Satanic salute is quite enough."
"Well, I ought to have a kiss as payment for cutting the rope that bound you."
"You paid yourself beforehand. But as my husband really seems to think that you are the evil one himself, you will do me a signal service if you frighten him out of his jealousy."
"I will do so with pleasure, but how would you have me proceed? Shall I follow him now into the house-or in what way shall I accomplish the object?"
The lady seemed to reflect for a moment or two, and then said, "It is worth trying. I only wish I knew that you were a man of honour, sir, whom I might trust."
"I have no means of convincing you. Of course, mere assertion is no proof. If you will trust me, well and good; if you will not-good night."
It is very questionable, indeed, if I would have gone had the lady echoed my "good night": but she did not put me to that trial, for she said, "I will trust you-follow me. I will lead you into the house by a way that will enable you to reach my bed-room. Once there, I must leave it to your own ingenuity to frighten my husband; who, I think, will now abandon his attempt upon my life for tonight, but who, if he be not well terrified, may renew it on another occasion."
"Take me where you will," said I; "I will obey your orders and you will find your confidence not at all misplaced."
The lady took me by the hand and led me into the house and through several rooms until she came to one in which she left me for a moment or two, saying, "Be not impatient; I will soon return to you."
The room was profoundly dark; but in the course of a few moments I saw a dim light coming through a crevice of a door leading into some other apartment; but before I could make up my mind whether to go towards it or to stay where I was, it opened and the lady made her appearance.
"This way," she said, "this way."
I sprang after her, and in a moment more found myself in a very handsome room fitted up as a sleeping chamber. The general appointments of the place were really superb; and it was quite evident that some more refined taste than that of the jealous husband-or probably than that of the lady, who may or who may not have given
him cause for such jealousy-had at one time presided over the appointments of that room.
"A handsome chamber," said I.
"Hush!" cried the lady. "Hide yourself in that wardrobe. He will be here shortly. Hide yourself at once; and remember that I leave all to your discretion."
"You may, indeed, safely do so."
"I hope I may."
She pushed me into the wardrobe, and scarcely had the door been closed upon me before the husband entered the room. The tone of his voice was very much subdued as he said, "Madam, you must know as well as I that the appearance in the garden was all a delusion. It was only some man who had chanced to overhear what was going on between us."
"I should be very sorry," said the lady, affecting to shudder, "to think that he was really what he said he was; but you ought to know best."
"I! How should I know?"
"Why, you must be probably aware that jealous people are generally waited upon by something from that place which it is as well not to mention; but as you stooped to the contemplation of actual murder it is not very hard for one to think that the evil spirit himself may have thought proper to appear to you."
"I have no sort of fear of the-the-"
"The what? Why do you hesitate to pronounce his name, if you have no fear of him."
"Because I think it is just as well not to be too familiar with such names, madam, in ordinary discourse. That is the reason, however you may be inclined to attach some other to it. Therefore, I particularly desire that you drop the conversation and come to bed at once. I am willing, if your conduct for the future is what it ought to be, to forget the past."
"Yes; I say I am willing to do so, only you must never again speak to Lord A., or the Major, or, or-in fact, I will give you a list of people you must not speak to on any account."
"But will not that look very awkward in society?"
"Society be hanged, madam. Do you want to drive me mad with your woman's answers!"
The husband by this time had got into bed, and the lady having leisurely disrobed herself and having exhibited to my delighted eyes each single charm of a form as lovely as her face, proceeded to put on a very elegant nightgown trimmed with rich lace, and in the quietest manner in the world slipped into the bed likewise, saying, "Shall I leave the light?"
"Yes, leave it, confound you. What a life you lead me with your dancing and your flirting and your-Hulloa! what's that! Why the light has gone out."
I had found a pair of silk stockings in the wardrobe, nicely knotted together, and I had thrown them with so good an aim at the candle that they at once extinguished it.
"It's very extraordinary," said the lady, "for it was a whole candle as you yourself saw."
"Yes-yes," stammered the husband. "I–I can't at all make it out, my love."
"Don't my love me, sir. By your violence and your threats you have brought the devil on the premises, and now heaven only knows when we shall get rid of him again."
"But, my dear-Good God, you don't really think, or really mean to say that-that-"
"Yes, I do; and shouldn't at all wonder if I was to be smothered with sulphur before the morning. Oh, you have much to answer for, and if the devil-"
"Hush! Good gracious. Hush, don't mention him, I beg of you. If anything more than another will be likely to- the Lord have mercy upon us, did you hear that?"
I had given utterance to a hideous growl from the wardrobe and so ghostly and horrible had I made the sound that even the lady herself could not help giving a slight start of alarm.
"Mercy?" said the husband. "I begin to think he is here, I begin to feel sure. Oh, wife-wife, by your conduct you see you have raised the thingummy."
"I? You mean yourself, by your conduct. Did you not in the garden actually say such things that the enemy of mankind thought proper to make his appearance to us! There it is again!"
I gave another groan more hideous than the first, and the husband was so alarmed that, forgetting all his caution about not mentioning that name which is not usually mentioned to ears polite, he cried, "The devil! the devil! Oh, the devil is here and we are lost-lost-lost! Help!
Help! Murder! The devil is here. He is here, I know. Speak to him, wife, and ask him what he wants."
"What do you want?" said the wife in an affected, trembling voice, "oh, what do you want here?"
"My due," said I.
"And good Mr. D., what may that be?"
"A groundlessly jealous husband. A man who, because his wife is fair and pleasant, must, forsooth, fancy her criminal. Such is the man I want."
"Merciful Providence," said the husband, "that is me."
"It is," said I; "are you prepared?"
"No, I am not. I am quite the reverse of prepared; I don't want to be jealous any more. I am cured-most effectually cured. Say no more to me, I beg. I am not the man I was. I will no more threaten my wife."
"But yet, as a token, it is necessary that I should hold your hand in mine for a moment. One moment will suffice. Your hand will turn perfectly black, so that whenever you look at it the memory of my visit should be with you."
"It must be. I come-I come-I come."
As I took good care to make my advance quite manifest as regarded the side of the bed I was upon, the husband, whose fears had almost worked him into madness, sprang out at the other side and with a yell of horror darted from the room.
"A thousand thanks," said the lady. "I do think you have made an impression upon him, that he will never in this world forget. I owe you very much."
"But he will be back again?"
"Certainly not; I make no doubt but that he will lock himself up in his study for the remainder of the night; and the discomfort he will there experience will be a proper punishment for his conduct towards me."
"I quite agree with you, my dear madam. He will be cold and uncomfortable in the study as a punishment, while I shall be warm and snug in his bed as a reward."
It was very dark, but I succeeded in stopping her mouth with a kiss, then I whispered, "Do you think I could be insensible to your beauty?
Ah, no; what I have done has been done for the love I bear towards you."
"Help!" said the lady in a whisper. "Help!"
"Help is near," I replied, "so near indeed that you may even put your hand upon it!"
"Where?" she whispered again with a low laugh, reaching forth a white hand from the bed.
"Here," I answered, as I placed it upon my member.
"Ah, that is help indeed!" said my lady passing her dainty fingers rapidly up and down the length of the column which reared its head in full majesty under her lascivious and evidently practised touch. "And now, kind and generous stranger," she went on, "you shall have your reward for your disinterested conduct, and I-unless this magnificent weapon greatly belies his shape and proportions-my compensation for a night of terror. How nobly erect he stands! How inviting is his coral head! so close to my lips too, that I could almost find it in my heart-but no! that must be for another time-"
I ventured to remind her that there was no time like the present, but she went on as if not hearing me.
"And now, my dear preserver, I will light another candle, lock the door, remove this superfluous garment of mine whilst you also undress yourself, and then you shall lie between my legs and your Satanic Majesty's most royal sceptre shall push its amorous way into my womb."
Almost before the words were out of her mouth I had stripped myself to the skin, and the lovely girl being by this time in a similar condition, I flung myself upon her naked body and bearing her gently but most firmly down upon the edge of the bed I slid between her widely open thighs, and as she crossed her legs tightly round my buttocks I raked her with long, powerful and deeply penetrating strokes, each one of which was accurately responded to by an answering heave of her charming bottom until the tide of love broke its bounds and I lay glued upon her bosom in a spasm of unutterable rapture.
Did I attempt to recount the number of times our pleasures were renewed that night I should fear to be regarded as a species of erotic Baron Munchausen. I will therefore confine myself to saying that dawn was on the point of breaking as I glided from the mansion and made my way home.
My new mistress was, I had already divined, the wife of a rich and vulgar tradesman whose only merit consisted in his wealth.
Mrs. Finch-that was her name-was admirably formed by nature both for love and intrigue. Long ere we parted we had given each other our confidence and provided a plan for a continuance of our intrigue.
It was settled that I was to visit her during the day and that I was to present myself to the servants as Count Stophet. All this, of course, was to cost money; for to appear like a count one must dress like a count and fee servants like a count-and to do either of these things was somewhat beyond my income. My sweet mistress understood this matter at once and forced upon me a two hundred pound note.
"Take it," she smilingly persisted, in spite of my remonstrance; "it is every thing to you at present but a mere nothing to me. My husband has plenty and lavishes it upon me like dirt. One of these days you may yourself be rich, and then, if you insist upon it, you can return it to me."
I had, then, no other resource than to accept the money as a boon.
Having repaid my charming friend with another warm embrace for her generosity and promised to visit and comfort her as frequently as possible, I tore myself away, as I have already said, as dawn was on the point of breaking and I steered for home. As I threw myself on my bed I could not help thanking my stars for bringing Delia's old protector so unexpectedly home, since his coming, if it had for the time being robbed me of one mistress, had provided me with another.
I slept that day away and forgot (so much was I infatuated with my new mistress) that there was such a creature as either Emma or the lovely, though jealous Bessy, in the world.
In the evening I repaired to a tailor's and provided myself with a suit in every way worthy of a count; and having satisfied myself that my appearance was equal to that of the finest lord in London, I returned to my lodging to impatiently count the hours when I was to present myself to my new mistress.
While ascending to my room I encountered Bessy upon the stairs and made her a gracious bow. She returned it slightly and blushed as I swept past her. There was an air of surprise, too, upon her features, as she furtively regarded the splendour of my appearance.
"Good!" thought I. "If Bessy is surprised at the elegance of my ensemble, what will be the effect of it upon Mrs. Finch?"
About two on the following day I left my lodgings and taking a carriage proceeded to the Finches. As I announced my name to the porter, the effect was electrical. He bowed himself to the very floor, and a moment later I was ushered with much ceremony into the drawing room. There were two ladies there, in waiting to receive meMrs. Finch, and a widowed friend of hers, the Marchioness of Simplan, to whom my charming mistress introduced me in due form.
An hour passed away very pleasantly when another visitor was announced-Lord Glozy, a young, tolerably handsome and carefully dressed fellow, who eyed me at first with considerable coldness, which however wore away ere we had been half an hour in company.
The young lord appeared to have met the marchioness at the Finches more by appointment than design, although his efforts to make an impression upon the young and elegant widow, as it seemed to me, were entirely thrown away. The marchioness seldom took her eyes off me and gave me to understand in more ways than one that she was pleased with me and would have no objection to a more intimate acquaintance. In less than an hour she took her departure with Lord Glozy and I was left alone with my charming mistress.
"You are handsome enough for me to eat you!" cried she, throwing herself into my arms.
"You Batter me!"
"No. If you are not a count, you ought to be. One thing, however, is certain-I would not give you up for all the counts in the world!"
There was a languishing light in her dark eyes which could not be mistaken.
"Which is the way to your boudoir?" said I, embracing her.
"I'll show you," she answered, taking me by the hand. We passed unseen up to the second floor and thence into an apartment which led to the bower of love.
My charmer trembled with anticipative joy to such a degree that she came near falling, to prevent which I raised her in my arms and bore her to the couch, on which she lay, panting like one in ecstasy. A moment later she drew me towards her and whispering, "I have not forgotten my promise," began to unbutton my clothes, with her own delicate fingers released my member and, fastening her fresh cool lips upon the acorn, gave a little sigh of delight and buried it in her eager mouth.
Her skill in this incomparable pastime proved to be of a high order, and after she had experienced the penetrative quality of my tongue in the corresponding part of her person we warmly congratulated each other upon our mutual addiction to this form of erotic amusement, of which we proceeded to give practical evidence by gama-huching one another in every position which our inflamed desires suggested.
A fortnight flew by, and not a day passed without witnessing fresh evidences of love on thepart of my charming mistress and myself.
Meanwhile the marchioness had contrived during her visits, which had become almost as frequent as my own, to let me know that a visit to her home in Grosvenor Square would be duly appreciated; and as I was by this time getting somewhat satiated with Mrs. Finch, I determined to pay the other lady a visit.
The marchioness was young, pretty and plump, and she received me very graciously. I sought no favours from her till our third interview when, after a little pretended resistance, she allowed me to give her, on the sofa in the drawing room, an evidence of my manly powers. From that hour we might be said to have become artists in love matters-it became with us a study in which position we could best partake of it in order to obtain from it the greatest amount of rapture and delight. The marchioness was no novice either in love or intrigue, and she soon taught me that she understood these affairs as well as I could teach her.
In one thing only did I astonish her-my vigour. She confessed that I could do what she never before believed to be possible in any nobleman in England-satiate her. The splendid creature never dreamed for a moment that I was anything less than what Mrs. Finch represented me to be-a French count spending a few months in London on a lark!
The marchioness introduced me to her friends as "the most charming Frenchman out of France," and I became quite a lion-at least among the ladies.
My friend the marchioness was, however, apt at times to give way to fits of jealousy; since she had given herself up to me she insisted that I should give up all other women, To this I agreed, but only on the condition that she should renounce all other men. The marchioness was indignant at such a proposal. She pretended to be exceedingly virtuous, declaring that with the exception of her late husband and myself she had never known what it was to exchange amatory dalliance. As I had nothing to win by contradicting this laughable statement I affected to believe her, and agreed to reserve myself expressly for her love. Unfortunately, she detected me, two days afterward, in a position with Mrs. Finch which left no room for doubt in regard to the nature of the tie which subsisted between the charming wife of the wealthy tradesman and myself. Trembling with jealousy and rage, the marchioness turned from the apartment and tore homeward, biting her lips with passion till they bled. From that moment all friendship between Mrs. Finch and herself ceased. As for the poor Count Stophet, on encountering me in Regent's Park a week or two afterward, she satirically wished me joy of my conquest of the merchant's wife but notified to me that, as for herself, she was done with me.
"Pho-pho!" I exclaimed.
"To show you, sir," she said, "that I am in earnest, I will inform you that there is to be a rout at my house tonight, and that the Count Stophet is not invited!"
"Nonsense, my pretty marchioness!" said I. "Have done with me?
Impossible! We were made for each other, and what Providence has done, you cannot undo. Although not invited, I shall do myself the honour to be with you at two, you may depend on it!"
"The doors will be closed against you."
"I will break them open."
"The other guests in my house shall, by force, remove you, impertinent villain."
"I will fight them and kiss you, my dear marchioness; so don't say another word about it."
With these words, I lifted my hat, made her a low bow, and passed on with a quiet smile.
A plan had entered my head, while the pretty marchioness was venting her spleen upon me, which I silently determined to carry out.
At one o'clock the next!" morning I left my lodgings and proceeded towards the mansion of the marchioness. On coming in sight of the building I beheld, as I had expected, a train of carriages of nearly a quarter of a mile in extent in waiting. Picking up a pebble and aiming it at the nearest coachman, who was drowsing, half asleep, half awake, upon his box, I fired it, and with such force as to knock his hat from off his head. In an instant he was awake.
"Who the deuce did that?" he demanded fiercely and in a tone that roused the half slumbering jehus near him to their feet. "Who did that?" he repeated, springing down from his box. "I can thrash the rascal, whoever he is, in two minutes!"
"What's the matter, what's the matter?" asked a dozen coachmen, approaching him. "Who hit you, Mike?"
"Stop this noise-stop this noise!" cried a burly watchman, stepping from his box and approaching the group. "The peace and quiet of the city mustn't be disturbed in this unchristian way. Silence!"
"Silence yourself!" returned the aggrieved coachman, storming with rage, "or I'll give you something to make you crow in another fashion!"
"What!" shouted the indignant guardian of the night, "Do you dare to threaten one of His Majesty's officers? I'll give you sum'at for this! Come along, you rascal! to the watch'us!"
"Rascal yourself!" roared the jarvey, foaming with rage. "Take that!" and he gave the burly watchman a blow in the breast that made him reel.
The latter sprung his rattle and calling on all around in the name of the king to aid him in the arrest of the 'Violator of the king's peace," rushed forward to capture the assailant.
In an instant all was uproar and confusion-many of the coachmen siding with their enraged brother jarvey and pushing back others who took the part of the guardian of the night. In a few moments the jehus all along the line sprang from their boxes and came running towards the scene of strife. A few minutes later and the guardians of the night, summoned by the roar and din, approached from all quarters and mingled in the fray.
Meanwhile, I remained quiet, looking down the street in the direction of the watchman's box which stood a few paces from the main entrance of the marchioness's dwelling. By and by, the door of this box opened and its occupant, alarmed by the noisy din which was gradually increasing, stepped out and, springing his alarm rattle in his flight, ran rapidly in the direction of the throng. The moment I saw this I darted forward to meet him and purposely ran against him with such force that he lost his balance and fell like one stunned.
In an instant I had his huge top coat off and threw it on myself. Then seizing his club and rattle, I ran down the street shouting "Murder!" On reaching the house of the marchioness I darted up the steps leading to the entrance and rang the bell with a sudden violence that brought the servants to the door in a crowd.
"Murder!" I cried, in answer to their looks of inquiry and surprise and pointing at the same time with an energetic gesture up the street.
"There's murder and riot going on up there and I summon you in the king's name to give assistance to the servants of His Majesty! Hark! don't you hear the roar!"
They darted down the steps in a body, and while some ran off to mingle in the melee, the remainder stood gazing in the direction of the throng.
Taking advantage of their interest in the event to which I had thus called their attention, I quietly slipped into the hall and passed into a dressing room, the door of which was open, where, throwing off my disguise and arranging my hair and dress in a presentable trim, took a glance in the glass at my appearance and then passed out into the hall, where I encountered a party of eight persons; they had just arrived, all laughing and talking very loudly, for they had come from some other entertainment, where they had not been very scrupulous as to the manner in which they had sacrificed Bacchus; mingling and slipping up along with them, I reached the door of the saloon without being noticed by any of the marchioness's attendants, who were all perfectly possessed of the fact that upon no pretence whatever was the Count Stophet to be admitted.
While the others were being announced, I quietly slipped into the rooms and lounged about my ease. I well knew that, although the marchioness might give stringent orders regarding me to the servants, she would say nothing to her guests of such an affair; so I was not at all impressed at the calm manner in which I was welcomed by those whom I encountered in the gaudy saloon.
But it was the marchioness herself that I looked for, and her ladyship was in an inner saloon, with what she called a select circle about her.
No doubt she fully believed that she had taken such steps for my exclusion that evening, that it was impossible I could triumph over her by making my appearance in spite of her interdiction.
"Ladies," she said, "of course you have all had lovers of all kinds and descriptions, some impertinent and some modest; but a young friend of mine lately spoke to me about a lover of hers in a way that quite surprised me."
"Indeed," cried everybody.
"Yes, my dear friends," said the marchioness. "It appeared that this lady had done her lover the honour to invite him to an entertainment, but preceding the night upon which the entertainment was to take place, she discovered something that induced her to alter her mind with regard to him and to forbid him from coming to the party."
"And very proper too," said three ladies in a breath.
"No doubt of that," said three more.
"But that," continued the marchioness to the admiring throng which pressed closer around her in the hope of hearing some bit of scandal of the most delightful character, "that was not the difficulty, ladies; and what perplexed this young lady was that the wretch said, that having no invitation to the entertainment, he would attend it in spite of her."
"In spite of her?" said eight ladies.
"Yes. He said come he would, whether she liked it or not; and that she had no power to keep him out. Now, ladies, as this young friend of mine is in great distress upon this account, I would fain seek your advice by asking you what she had better do under such extraordinary circumstances?"
"Keep him out, by all means," said the whole lot.
"Yes, ladies, that is quite agreed; but the means of doing so? That is the question. What would you do, and how far would you go in strong resources provided he should have come to the door and make an effort to force his way past the servants?"
"Really, my dear marchioness," said the ugliest of the party, "I should call upon some gentleman to draw in my defence, for there's no saying how far such a man might go."
"I should give him to the watch," said another.
"And I," said a third, "should stand myself in my hall with a drawn sword and run him through if he persisted in entering the house without my permission."
"But the lady," resumed the marchioness, "has plenty of servants to keep the fellow out, and surely they ought to do it."
"But what," said I, suddenly making my way into the circle of ladies,
"but what, my dear marchioness, if he came down the chimney?"
The marchioness gave a shriek, and then cried, "There he is!" while the throng of ladies immediately called me their dear count and hoped I was quite well.
"Perfectly, ladies," I replied. "Ah, I need not ask of you such a question; your blooming cheeks and love-charming eyes sufficiently assure me of the fact."
"You monster!" cried the marchioness.
"Monster?" cried all the ladies. "Call the handsome Count Stophet a monster. Why we have been looking for him all the evening. Surely, marchioness, the case was not your own and you really could not wish to exclude the count?"
Her ladyship bit her lips with rage and her eyes flashed as though fire were in them.
"Audacious man!" she said, "how dare you intrude here? You have suborned my servants; not one of them shall remain another day with me."
"My dear marchioness," said I, "do not blame your servants, for they have not the remotest notion of my presence here. So do not blame them, my dear marchioness; and above all things, too, I beg of you not to make a scene. If you must say something angry to me, let it be elsewhere than here.
"Oh, anywhere; upstairs will do."
The ladies tittered, and the marchioness seemed upon the point of doing something violent, beyond all precedent, but I spoke again saying, "Madam, I said that in spite of all the impediments you could possibly throw in my way I would be here tonight, and I have kept my word. Having done so, I am satisfied; and, if you wish it, I will now leave this house at once, and in that case with an equal obstinate adherence to my word, I promise you that its threshold shall never again be crossed by me."
At these words the marchioness turned rather pale. She had wanted to triumph over me, not to lose me.
"Say the word, madam, and I am gone."
"How very affecting," said all the ladies.
"You deserve that I should say go," the marchioness replied, in a low voice. "Your audacity deserves as much."
"I acknowledge it, madam."
"Then, for that acknowledgment, I will pardon you."
"How very affecting," said all the ladies again, and I made a low bow.
"Perhaps, madam," I added, "your servants had better be informed that I am no longer one of the proscribed."
"I will see it done at once!" was her reply.
It was now getting time for the rout to be over and, indeed, a number of the guests of the marchioness had already left. Determined to have a complete triumph over my petulant mistress I now approached the marchioness and announced that I had come to bid her adieu.
"Allow me to hope," I said, "that I have full pardon for the past and that all that I have done tonight may be attributed to its right motive, namely, intense admiration of yourself without the countenance and acquaintance of whom, believe me, I could not, and would not, exist in the world of fashion in London. May I hope for the happiness of seeing you soon?"
"You may hope."
"But will that delightful hope tomorrow be converted into a certainty?"
I then bade adieu to some others of the guests with whom I was personally acquainted and who were all upon the point of leaving and then on reaching the landing, instead of walking downstairs, walked up.
No one noticed this remarkable deviation from the ordinary route upon my part, or if they did they were much too well bred to take the smallest apparent heed of it. It was no business of theirs, and in the course of another quarter of an hour the last carriage rolled away from the door of the witty, elegant, beautiful, but not very particular marchioness.
I did not stop till I had got to the top of the staircase I was ascending, that is to say upon the landing from which opened the principal bedchambers of the house, and then I paused to hear the last guest depart and to listen to the fastening up of the outer door by the servants of the establishment.
"All's right," I muttered. "I shall be much cosier here tonight than I should be at home."
All was profoundly dark in the suite of rooms in which I now found myself, and I held my hands out before me lest I should run against something, a contact with which might possibly be more energetic than pleasant.
I knew perfectly well that the bedroom of the marchioness was upon this floor and it was there that I meant to conceal myself until all the guests had left the house.
After peeping into a room or two I came to the one of which I was in search. A light was upon the dressing table and I had only just time to hide myself behind one of the curtains of the bed when I heard footsteps rapidly approaching the room.
I considered that this must be the marchioness, but I was mistaken in that conjecture as it appeared.
I had hardly been two minutes in the room when carrying a small silver hand lamp the waiting maid of the marchioness made her appearance. I knew this extremely pretty girl by sight and was in the hope that she would merely place the light upon the dressing table and then leave the room; but in that hope I was disappointed.
The very first thing she did was to begin altering the arrangement of the curtains of the bed so that I felt my discovery was a certainty. With such a coincidence I thought the best thing I could do was to step out of my place of concealment at once.
"How are you, Annette," I said, as I suddenly confronted the girl.
She gave a loud scream and dropped the hand lamp which she had in her hand; the scream was just loud enough to be heard all over the house and I felt that any further concealment in the room would be impossible.
"Why did you call out in that way?" I said.
"Why did you pop out in that way?" said Annette. "What business have you here?"
"It is not business at all," said I; "but you with your foolish squabbling have spoilt the whole affair, so off I must go. Now mind, Annette, you have seen no one."
I did not wait to hear what objection the waiting maid had to keeping my secret, but I at once dashed from the room and placed myself in an obscure corner of the landing place. I was not at all disappointed as to the result of the outcry that Annette had made, for in a moment the marchioness came up the stairs. She passed me and went into the bedroom, saying, "Annette, was that you? What is the matter?"
"Oh, madam, I thought I saw-"
"What? — what?"
"A ghost, madam!"
"You silly girl. I did think that you were above such folly as that.
Really, Annette, I shall have to part with you if anything of this sort happens again."
"I am sorry, madam, but I did think at the moment, that I saw something in the room, and I screamed; but if I frightened your ladyship, I am very sorry."
"You have not frightened me, girl; but folly of any kind or description always annoys me. You can go, now; I shall not want you any more tonight."
Annette left the room, and as she passed me upon the staircase she placed her finger upon her lips to intimate, in all probability that she had said nothing of my presence in the house. I comprehended in a moment what she meant and nodded and smiled my thanks. When she had got down the staircase some distance she beckoned to me, and when I had crept softly to where she was, she said, "For Heaven's sake, come now, count! I will let you out."
"Nay, Annette, I am decidedly too late to go any where else tonight and must needs stay here."
"But you cannot; it is impossible, I tell you. There is a reason."
"What is it?"
"That I dare not tell you, but there is a reason and I beg of you to go.
Besides, you will compromise me now by staying, for I told my mistress that I had seen a ghost, and if she should see you now she will guess that it was you whom I saw and that I only mentioned a ghost to screen you."
"There may be something in what you say," I replied, "and if anything could induce me to leave at once, it would be that by staying I did any mischief to you. But cannot you conveniently hide me somewhere? I tell you in confidence that I have a particular reason for not going home tonight."
"No-no, I cannot."
"Nay, think again, Annette. Think again. What the deuce is that?"
The sound of someone ascending the staircase to where they were came upon my ears. It was the footstep of a man, treading very cautiously, but yet firmly enough to be heard by both Annette and myself. The waiting maid caught me by the arms and dragged me into a room that opened from one of the steps, whispering as she did so, "Do not speak or move."
"But I may look?"
The person who was coming up the stairs had no light, so that although I kept in such a position that he could command a good view of the stairs I would not have seen who it was if the marchioness had not emerged from her bedroom and leant over the balustrades of the staircase with a light in her hand, saying, "Is that you, Charles?"
"Yes," replied a voice which I recognised at once as Lord Glozy's. I smiled as he passed up the staircase, and when he had disappeared in the bedroom of the marchioness I said to Annette, "So that was the special reason, was it, why you were urging upon me to go?"
"Well, I won't deny but it's a good one, and now that I know as much I will go, and if you can let me out of this infernal house without any of the servants being aware that I am here I shall be much obliged."
"I can do that," said Annette. "Come this way at once."
As she spoke there was a look in her soft eyes which plainly said, "The mistress being otherwise engaged, why not try the maid?"
At the moment we were passing through a small sitting room with a convenient sofa, upon which I gently laid Annette and lifting the pretty girl's daintily frilled petticoats above her waist treated her to a short but eminently satisfactory tromboning, for which she was profoundly grateful.
Annette found no trouble in letting me out of the house, and giving her a guinea I hastily made my way home and threw myself upon my bed-vexed, put out, and mortified with myself and all the world.
"No one is true!" I muttered to myself. "I fancied-fool that I was-I fancied that the artful creature loved me! Ah! well," I continued with a sigh, "let her go. I have had enough in one short month of high-life; and as the money that Mrs. Finch gave me is all gone, I will now give up the farce of my countship and return once more to my original sphere!"
I felt more comfortable after this resolution, and with my mind at ease I quietly dropped asleep.
It was late when I awoke. I had dreamt of Bessy-whom I had not spoken to for weeks-and as the memory of her genuine love uprose before me I felt grieved and ashamed of my conduct in return, and I determined to take the first opportunity and seek her forgiveness.
As I arose, I glanced mechanically towards Bessy's window. She was sitting beside the window sill with her head bowed upon her hands, and weeping. Around her were a number of women, Emma among the rest, trying to console her.
Something had happened, but what it could be was of course unknown to me.
Emma, at length, while glancing casually in my direction, caught my eye and made a sign for me to approach.
I hurriedly completed my toilet and then hastened to the abode of my charmer. But judge of my astonishment when, on entering the outer room, I beheld the body of Bessy's brutal husband, pale, calm and outstretched upon a temporarily raised platform.
One glance was enough. The brute was no more-having suddenly been carried off that morning, as I subsequently heard, by a fit of apoplexy.
I approached the newly-made widow, surrounded as she was by her friends, to offer her my condolence. But she paid no attention to my presence and did not even deign to thank me for my sympathy.
I felt hurt, and after exchanging a glance with Emma I retired.
The relatives of her deceased husband took charge of the body and at the end of two days Bessy and her children were alone.
On the evening of the third day I determined to pay a visit to the young widow and, if necessary, to make an advance towards a reconciliation.
As I was about to leave my chamber I perceived a note lying upon the floor close to the threshold. It had evidently been placed there by some one who had passed it under the door.
I took it up and ran my eye over its contents. It was from Emma and stated that her husband would be from home till next day and wished me to spend the night with her.
At almost any other time this invitation would have been responded to with transport. But on the present occasion my reflections were all centered upon Bessy, and my imagination had been reveling all day upon my anticipated visit, our reconciliation, and the rapture that was sure to follow. I therefore tore up the note and without giving a second thought to the obliging Emma I proceeded towards the apartment of my lovely, adored, and charming Bessy.
As I softly approached the door of the outer room the murmur of voices arrested me.
I started back a step or two and my blood fled from my head to my heart, for one of the voices was that of a stranger. The words-"I have but a thousand pounds to offer you"-fell on my ears and, raging with jealousy, I staggered from the spot.
"She is prompt in receiving bids for her charms!" I muttered as I turned towards the staircase.
As I was in the act of leaving the landing a light hand was laid upon my shoulder.
I turned and beheld Emma in her dishabille. She held a light in her left hand, and while a smile lit up her fair features she beckoned me silently to enter her room.
"I'll do it!" I muttered to myself, "yes, I'll punish Bessy for her perfidy!"
I entered Emma's apartment. A table was set, and on it were refreshments.
"I am so glad you are come," said Emma, throwing her arms around me.
"See now if we shall not know a night of happiness. Do you know that I was fearful, when I saw you on the landing, that you were going away without seeing me!"
I was about to stammer a reply when she relieved me from my embarrassment by adding, "But I soon perceived how it was. You had come as far as my door, and then becoming fearful that my husband might, after all, still be at home, you concluded it was best to retire till you received some definite information upon the matter."
"Yes," said I, smiling gratefully at this clear explanation; "that was it!
But now that I am here-now that we are at length together-we will make up for lost time!"
And I feigned a rapture which I did not feel.
"Ah! you impatient rogue!" returned Emma with a smile that would on any other occasion have been wholly irresistible. "But come," she added, leading me to the table, "sit down; after we have supped we will go to bed."
"You must sit with me then," I rejoined, playfully drawing her upon my knee.
"Of course," she replied, throwing her arms around me and pressing her ruby lips, which were hot with amorous desire, to mine. "Where else should I sit but here? But see," she continued, raising her beautiful head and pointing to the table, "here is some cold pheasant. Let me help you to some; and here is a bottle of Madeira. With these, and that white bread and this lettuce and those baked potatoes, we shall sup well enough."
"And add," said I, "the music of your voice and the sweetness of your kisses and-"
"Cease your flatteries, you rogue! But take a sip of this Madeira-"
"I'll take a sip of nectar from your lips first!"
Passion now was beginning to rise, and under its influence I glued my mouth to hers. Emma was no novice in these affairs, and opening her mouth she ran her tongue in between my lips till it encountered mine.
In a moment I was like one on fire. I trembled and became hot and cold by turns. As for Emma, a soft flame of desire beamed from her dark eyes. Her lips were riveted to mine. Her breasts heaved with an ungovernable agitation. She looked at me and hot sighs expressed the intensity of her fever and her wishes. I lifted, her up in my arms, bore her to the bed on which I laid her, and then commenced stripping for the rich feast that was before me.
I must have been unusually slow in disrobing myself, or else my fair companion must have been unusually impetuous, for she sprang from the bed and with her own hands assisted me in unbuttoning and throwing off my garments.
As she looked upon my nakedness a perfect frenzy of lust appeared to take possession of her. Not one of our former love sports was omitted.
My phallus was plunged into her mouth and sucked with delirious ardour. My tongue dived into her bush, reveling in its familiar task.
Anon I stretched myself at ease between her legs, strained by her naked arms against her swelling breasts, I felt the quick beating of her heart as I goosed her with furious intensity and a new relish born of our long abstention.
One act of love now followed another in quick succession, and so powerful was the sensual charm exercised upon me by the superlatively randy doings of my present bedfellow that at last my piercer seemed to acquire a permanent erection upon which repeated emissions had no material effect, and whether throbbing under the luscious caresses of her velvet mouth and twining tongue, or held as in a vice by the eager nipping of her pussy, continued to pour forth its pearly treasures into either delicious receptacle with impartial volume and unflagging enjoyment.
In the midst of our raptures someone knocked at the door. Emma and I looked at each other in dismay.
We remained silent and after a few moments the knock was repeated.
"Who can it be?" I asked. "Your husband?"
"No. He is twenty miles from here by this time."
A few moments later and we heard footsteps retiring from the door.
The footsteps were so light that I felt convinced they were those of a woman.
Emma, as I perceived by her looks, was of the same opinion.
"It must have been Bessy," she said in a whisper.
"What could she want?"
"I cannot guess. But it matters little. Now that she is gone let us resume our enjoyment! Can you spend once more? Ah! what a lover you are!
So! your stick in my mouth and your tongue in my oracle: there's just one other place where there is room for a finger-that's it! A little further in, please. Now push your darling muscle down my throat and work away to your heart's content. I will hang on to it with my lips and twist my tongue round and round it as it slips in and out. Pass your tongue over the lips of my snuggery first, and then plunge it in as deep as it will go. Let me feel your mouth all over my park. Suck it with might and main as I will suck you. Keep back the finish as long as possible, but when it comes let your tail lie buried in my mouth and spend your soul upon my tongue, as I will spend mine upon yours. Now my lips are upon the rosy head! Your tongue please, beloved! One, two, three! Go!!"
A long compulsory silence followed, broken at last by short feverish cries of rapture as with mouth and tongue pressed upon the respective objects of their attention we received each other's tribute of love with ecstasy unspeakable.
It wanted but an hour or two of daylight when, tired and spent out with my night's enjoyment, I withdrew from the arms of the equally exhausted Emma and proceeded to my chamber.
It was quite dark and I could not see an inch before me. I threw off my clothes and feeling my way to the bed threw myself upon it.
I had scarcely lain down when my ears were saluted by sighs and low breathings. They appeared to come from someone near me, and cautiously stretching out my hand it touched the silken garments of a woman. Astonished, I got up slowly and grasped my way to the mantel for a match. I soon found one, and having lit it quietly approached the bed.
Judge of my astonishment on discovering that the stranger was no other than Bessy.
She had thrown herself even without undressing upon my bed. Her hair was disordered. Her face was very pale and wan. Traces of tears were plainly visible on her cheeks. An expression of mental agony was impressed upon her somewhat ruffled brow and around her halfcompressed lips. Her whole appearance indicated that she had spent a night of mental suffering, and at length wept herself asleep.
I could not look upon her pale features without emotion.
"Ah!" I murmured, "I have wrung her loving heart with jealousy and, by my folly, caused her to shed bitter tears. Still she loves me. I know it-I feel it. Have I not had the most convincing evidences of it? And how have I treated her noble and self-sacrificing affection? She, who gave up all for me, too-her husband, her children, her honour-aye, even her pride! forgetting even her jealousy! And how — how have I treated her in return!" — I felt humbled and ashamed and, hardened as I was in libertinism, I could scarcely look upon her without blushing.
Just then came the memory of the evening before-the strange voice that I had heard in her chamber; and the words too, "I have but a thousand pounds to offer you!" At these recollections I staggered and, almost boiling over with jealousy, I threw away the now consumed match and dropped upon a chair beside the bed.
"But how," I muttered, as reason came at length to my aid, "if she had concluded to give herself to another-to that d-d profferer of the thousand pounds-how then came she here?"
This was a question that could not be easily answered. Still, it was plain that if she did not still love me-and love me, too, with an intensity which enabled her to set even pride and jealousy at defiance-she would not have so far forgotten herself as to come to my chamber.
"If love had not been stronger than pride, yea, stronger even than her jealousy," I muttered, "she would not have been the one to make the first advances towards a reconciliation. And, far from seeking me, she would have left it for me to seek her and apologise for my infidelityfor it was I who committed the first wrong!"
And now in coming to my chamber, in seeking me out, it was plainly evident that she felt that she could live no longer without me, no longer without a reconciliation.
As for the stranger and his thousand pounds, she could doubtless satisfactorily explain them away.
With these thoughts my heart softened towards Bessy.
Meanwhile her breathing appeared to be growing more and more uneasy and her sighs became deeper and more frequent.
"Poor girl!" I murmured, creeping into bed beside her, "all is forgotten-all forgiven! Your sighs henceforth shall be those of rapture, of perfect happiness-not of misery. From this hour I cancel all ties whose continuance would give pain to your loving heart.
Delia-Emma-all, all shall be henceforth forgotten; there shall be no more delinquencies, no more desertions, no more infidelities. I give them all up, from this hour. For your heart, my Bessy, is loving, pure, and true-your affection deep, trusty, and noble. I'll trifle with you no more. Henceforth, we are one. And not as a mistress only shall I know you-but as a wife-my honoured wife!"
I had, unconsciously, given utterance aloud to my thoughts, and a moment later the meeting of two soft arms around my neck-the pressing of two heaving breasts to mine-the glueing of two warm, glowing lips to mine-joyful cries and tears of rapture-told me that I was heard and that what I had uttered was appreciated by as true and loving a heart as ever beat in the breast of woman.
There was now, as I whispered to Bessie, but one slight obstacle between us and happiness, and this was quickly removed by my dear girl herself who sprang from the bed at my suggestion and in an instant had stripped herself naked. Observing the glow of love and admiration in my eyes, she clasped her hands behind her head and stood erect beside the bed that I might feast my eyes upon her glorious nudity. After remaining thus for a few moments she bent her charming head and kissed my gristle. Then looking into my eyes with a bright smile of love and tenderness, she slowly mounted the couch and passing her left leg daintily across my chest brought her adorable shaggy-face over my mouth and seizing my upstander between her lips settled herself down easily and comfortably for a long gamahuche.
With my pizzle thus buried in the mouth of the woman of my heart and my tongue plunged within her bird's nest, I felt that life could have no deeper joys for me, and as her lust took fire and her rich red lips sucked me with ever increasing passion, I swore a silent oath upon her clinging cherry pit that I would take to myself the unshared right to kiss those perfumed pouting lips, to wind my tongue around that trembling clitoris, and to futter that incomparable body till impotence or death should come to part us.
I have but little more to add; but that little is, perhaps, important.
I learned from Bessy that the stranger who had offered her the thousand pounds was none other than her late husband's uncle-who, not liking her, had offered that sum to relinquish in his favour her claims upon the first child, which strangely resembled its father. She acquiesced in the proposal and accepted the money-but declared that worlds could not induce her to part with her second child, which, as I have mentioned elsewhere, strangely resembled another person.
This explanation made me perfectly happy, and as an evidence of the great satisfaction it gave me I promised Bessy to make her my wife as soon as things could be arranged to permit the ceremony.
And I kept my word.
A week afterwards we quitted London and hastened down to Gretna Green, in Scotland, where we were soon made one and where we spent five or six months of uninterrupted love and enjoyment and then returned to the metropolis. Here, at the suggestion of Bessy, we opened a small thread and needle shop, which, fortunately, did well and yielded us a snug and comfortable living.
As I anticipated, Bessy's love, instead of weakening or diminishing after marriage, continued to strengthen and increase. She made a fond, devoted and useful wife, and never had a thought that was not for our mutual happiness.
True to the promise I had made her, I never saw either Emma or Delia afterwards; and I equally refrained from "looking after other women."
Bessy filled my whole heart and was to me mistress, wife-everything.
And I-as my loving Bess has often told me-I, who knew so well how to play the rake, knew equally as well how to fill the role of the husband.