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The English Rogue, Part 2 by Richard Head



The Epistle DEDICATORY TO THE BOOK-SELLERS OF LONDON.

The Preface to the Reader.

THE ENGLISH ROGUE Continued in the Life of MERITON LATROON And other Extravagants. Part II.


THE English Rogue
CONTINUED, In the LIFE OF Meriton Latroon, And other Extravagants.
COMPREHENDING THE Most Eminent CHEATS OF Most Trades and Professions.

The Epistle DEDICATORY TO THE BOOK-SELLERS OF LONDON.

Gentlemen,

It hath been one of the greatest Errors in most Authors to think by their high Dedications to advance their Books, when as on the contrary, I have known some of the better sort of Books (though Dedicated to Worshipful, Honorable, Illustrious, and Reverend Patrons; nay, and sometimes to Majesty it self) instead of being preferred in Book-sellers shops (and according to their merit bound up in Turky or Murrey Leather gilt, and richly adorned) only to be found in loose sheets at Cooks and Tobacco-shops, disposed under greasie Pies, to stop. Mustard-pots, and to wrap up Mundungoes Tobacco, or at best (after more cost than was intended by the Author in damasking and figuring it) used in Truncks and Hat-cases: and all this hath happened because there was not a fit choice of a powerful Book-seller, who out of profit and interest might prefer and advance the same.

Now that I might not run into the same Error, and have the like misfortune, being very well acquainted how much prejudite or profit I may receive in your stifling and sleighting, or preferring and advancing this Piece, and I (being desirous that it should sell, for to that end in part was it written and Printed) therefore make choice of you for my Patrons and Protectors.

Gentlemen, I hope what hath been particularly written in this Book of your Trade, will not be offensive to you in general, neither that any particular Person will be offended; unless such as are guilty; and for their sakes it was written, that they may see their vicious enormities, and amend them.

Though all these Misdemeanors are charged upon the score of one man, as being acted by one; yet i'le assure you I know not any one person guilty of all, though it is possible that they are all true, or else our Extravagant (who recounts his story) gives misinformation: and I for my own part have so much Charity to believe, that there are several of your Trade honest-men, and not at all guilty of any thing here Charged on our Extravagants Master: To those I suppose, I rather do a kindness than a prejudice in unfolding the Mysterious Knaveries of the Trade, and in requital, I hope they will be my Protectors, in prefearing this Piece, not onely to their Customers in London, but to their Chapmen in the Country, and thereby save me the trouble of it: And as for those who being conscious of their own guilt, are offended with what is here written, and out of revenge will refuse to protect or sell this Piece, I am well enough satisfied, and by their refusal or sleighting, both I and the Book-buyer shall by their anger conclude their guilt.

And Gentlemen, it is very well known to you, that the first part of this Book hath (notwithstanding many oppositions) done its business, being generally liked and approved of; and I am told (by the ingenious) that this will not come short of the former in pleasure, and exceed it in profit: and therefore I doubt not of the sale, and I hope it will be so far from staining your Repdtations, that on the contrary, you may reap credit; besides, as you may gain credit, so you will have profit by the sale, and that I know will be a very great inducement to you.

For both which causes, I hope you will not refuse me your assistance, which I know may be powerful; and I shall for the future discourse your civilities, and at present subscribe my self

Your friend and Servant,
Fra. Kirkman.

The Preface to the Reader.

GENTLEMEN,

The First Part of this Book being so generally well received, I was induced to procure it to be prosecuted in a Second; and to that end I often solicited the Author to proceed according to his promise; but he was deterred for several reasons, the most prevalent whereof he told me was this, That he had reap'd a great deal of ignominy by writing of that: for many people were so ignorant, as to believe that it was a true and exact account of the Authors life; especially after they had upon acquaintance or enquiry found that he was indeed guilty of some petty waggeries which are therein recited; and therefore concluding him guilty of the whole, lookt on him as a dangerous person, and shun'd and avoyded his company, lest they should be damaged thereby, or at leastwise scandaliz'd: others gazing on him at a distance with the eyes of wonder.

Now let me tell you that though I was wholly a stranger to the Author when he writ that book, yet I have been since so well acquainted with him, that I can directly clear him from the guilt of most of those enormities contained therein. For in the first place it is sufficiently known to me and many persons more, that he was never upon the Padd: for I am confident he was never guilty of so base a valour, as either to Rob a house, or bid a man stand on the Road. Next as to the Cheats, especially those in Gaming; though he professes so much knowledge therein in his book; yet I am sure of this (let him be never so well acquainted in the Theory) that he is ignorant in the practicall part thereof, having been the cheated, not the Cheater of a good round summe of money which he lost at Dice in my presence, and to my prejudice; and I believe that although (what he did write in the first part of the book, Chapter 25. about his losse at Dice;) that might be in jest, yet now he might say it in earnest. The Lines are these,



I thought my self secure, for I could top,
By which Iv'e forc'd some Citts to leave their Shop.
I palm'd, and put the change upon them too,
I only study'd how I might undo.
But now I'm met with, 'tis but just I see,
That he which others cheats, should cheated be.

He being clear of these two crimes, Thieving and Cheating (which are the most Capital,) I know not why he should be avoyded for any another, though we suppose him guilty of many female frauds, his inclination leading him to be a lover (though Mercuriall and unconstant) of the Female sex; with whom I suppose he may have acted some of the adventures by him recited, and those passages, with what others he thought or heard of: and whereof many persons in this our age are guilty, he having me thodiz'd, is the main part of his book; and the intent of his writing, it was to shew the deformity of vice, that every one might shun it. The two lines which he placed on the Title Page of many of his Books, sufficiently demonstrating the Authors intent. The words are these,



Read, but don't practice: since the Author finds
They which live honest, have most quiet minds.

Thus although the intent of his writing was good, and the effects proved answerable in the sale of the book, yet could I not procure him to proceed, though I offered him my assistance in acquainting him with my experience; but all would not do: Wherefore I apply'd my self to another, a brother of the same trade; a professed Author, and one who hath been happy enough in the sale of many of his writings; him I courted into a complyance with my desire, and perswaded to begin to write somewhat to the purpose; I proposing only to him to give an account of the knavery of many trades and professions. I gave him my best instructions, and laid my ground-work well enough, as I hoped to have him proceed: But so soon as he knew my intention of making his writing a part of (by joyning it to) The Rogue, with some anger he left it, and refused to proceed.

He having thus laid down the Cudgels, I then took them up my self, and those loose scribled papers which I had written for his instruction to proceed upon, I viewed over, and after some small correction they serve for the greatest part of this Treatise.

In what I have written; I begin first with my self (as we all ought to do when we intend to amend,) and give an account of the greatest Knaveries which I know, or can at present call to mind, that are or have been comitted in two trades; the one a Scrivener, in which I was bred, and the other a Book-seller, in which I have been now above twelve years, on and off, a professed Practitioner. When I was a child I was intended to be a Church-man in profession, as well as name; but the time proving unhappy, and no encouragement for that profession, my Father aiming at some imployment that might be profitable, and knowing the trade of a Scrivener to be so, was for that cause enduced to place me with a Master of that quality, (though my inclination led me rather to the Book-selling Employ.) Being thus placed out, I not only endeavoured to learn my calling; But also at all spare times ply'd my book; and though I had a very great employ under my Master, yet I made a shift not only to read much, and learn the French and other Languages, but to write somewhat for the Press. And now I am speaking of my Master (in regard in part of this Book, I give an account of the Knaveries of the Scriveners trade) it will be convenient to say somewhat to clear him from any guilt therein, or else it may be supposed that I mean him: But they that think so are much mistaken, for he then was, and still is a solid, honest, sober Citizen; and not in the least as I know of, guilty of any misdemeanour in his practice: and it was my folly and not his fault to leave him: for after about five years service with him, I went to another, and from thence forward it was that I gained the first experience of the Knavery of that profession; and since then, not only by keeping company with some of them, but also by my own experience and practice, (though not as the Cheater but Cheated.) I can truly write a Probatum est to what I have written of that Profession, and if occasion were, give a Clavis or Key to discover most, if not all of those severall pieces of Knavery I have here discoursed of: And thus much for the Scrivener.

And as for the Booksellers trade, my inclination leading me to it very much, I did about twelve years ago publickly professe it in keeping a Shop, wherein I used as well the Bookselling as the Scriveners quality; but having knaves to deal with, of whom I bought some part of my ware, I soon left off the Bookselling trade, only keeping to the other; in which I sufficiently profited my selfe; And I defie all the World to charge me with any Knavery in the whole course of my practice; which during the time of great buildings at the East part of London (where I dwelt) I gained much; but that ceasing, and the tide of employment ebbing at th'East part; I thought it would be convenient to remove Westward, especially, his Majesty bein then happily and gloriously returned and fixed at that end of the Town. And therefore takeing a house and shop, that I might have two strings to my Bow, I again professed both trades of a Scrivener and Bookseller. I now thought my self wise enough to deal with the Booksellers; but I soon found my self deceived to my cost, for I was drawn in by some of that profession to be concern'd in printing of Playbooks; in which I having skill, and much affection to the matter, willingly engaged. I for my part only printed three which were my own proper Copies; and they (though I disswaded them therefrom) made choice of the best Playes then extant; though the Copies were other mens, I thought this criminall, but they made a tush at it.

The owner of the Copyes hearing of this wrong done to them, gained a Warrant to seize them: My Partners secured theirs; and one of them had so much cunning Knavery as to come to me and sell me his share, and within a day or two after delivery, directed the Officers (who had warrant to seize) to my house, where they at once took from me 1400 Playbooks; the value whereof is easily computed to be considerable.

This happening in time of much business (for my Mother was then lately dead, and my Father dying) I could not look after the recovery of my books, which I heard were divided, and I never to this day had satisfaction of one or other. My Father soon after dying, and leaving me a plentiful estate, I resolved to quit all Trading in general, retire into the Country, and lead a Contemplative life; for indeed I never had a love for any Trade, hating the baseness in general, and only used them for a livelihood) I having thus given out, had several offers from Book-sellers to buy my books (which were of a considerable value, being valued at some hundreds of pounds;) He who had so lately Cheated me, did amongst others desire to have them, and did ingeniously confess the trick he had lately put upon me: and this his ingenious confession, he made as an argument for me to trust him with the rest of my Books: Though I should have made this use of his confession, not to deal with him further, yet he promising all honesty for the future, I again agreed to trust him with my whole Stock, and thereby did I agree to cheat my self; for though it was his fault to cheat me the first time, yet now it was onely mine, to let him do it after so fair a knowledge as he did; for though he lived some years after that, yet I could never get any considerable returns for my Stock of Books, and he in the late great Contagion dying, was considerably indebted to me, and I hoping to get what he owed me, ventured to possesse my self of his Estate, and pay several Debts which he owed to others: but they proved so many, and his Estate so small, that I was worse than I was before; and this gave me so sensible a squeeze, that I yet am sensible of.

And this is the onely occasion that hath again made me engage my self in the Bookselling employ: which although I have now used above twelve years, and in that time laid out several hundreds of pounds in Printing, yet I was never engaged in Printing any Book that was another mans Propriety, except when I was drawn in by the three Booksellers, and as I have already told you, and which was so much to my loss: And as for my Trading in the Scriveners employment, where it is usual for most of that Trade to keep the best bargains of Lands and Houses for themselves, and put off the worst to their Customers, I have not done so, but it hath been my unhappiness to have the worst bargains of houses of any, which I still keep: and though they did cost me many hundreds of pounds, yet they are rather a trouble, than any addition to the rest of my estate. And if I was ever guilty of dealing hardly with, or griping any of my Clients when I was a publick practitioner, (as I cannot remember any such action,) I am sure I have bin (since I left the publick Profession of a Scrivener) worse served, and extreamly pinched by some of that quality, with whom I have had some particular dealing.

I have given you this account of my transactions, to acquaint you how Roguishly I have bin dealt with, and that I am (and must needs be out of all these experiences) able to give you a considerable account of the greatest Knaveries and Cheats of these two Trades. And what hath cost me so dear, I here (for publick good) present to you for a small price; for I'le assure you I have oftentimes had a Fee given me for my Advice in one of these many Cases here opened by the Scrivener, and that part of this Book (if well considered and understood) may, and will be of very great use and consequence to any person who hath any converse in the world. Besides the Knaveries and Cheats of these two Trades, you have those of several others, as a Barber-chyrurgeon, a Tapster, a Cook, a Lock-smith, Taylor, Baker, Plaisterer, Drugster, and many others; and in pourtraying of them I have not affected words but matter, I have written as I would have spoken, and as much in little as possibly I could. Here is that which (I hope) will please all humors, both the frollick and the serious, nay some of the factious too will buy this Part as well as the first; and to make that out, I'le tell you a late, but true story.

The Author of the first Part being with a Friend at an Ale-house, drinking at a publick fire (there being also at the same fire two Crop-ear'd fellows) he accidentally was talking about the Book, and relating to his Friend the trouble he underwent at the first publishing thereof, by reason it was not then licensed. Yes, said his Friend, I remember that some of the Clergy were very much offended, and you as well as the Printers, were like to have suffered Imprisonment. Why, what was the matter? said one of these fellows, what were the Bishops troubled at it? Yes, said the Author, I was forced to absent my self for some days, till the heat of the matter was over: having said thus, he left the room at present, and the two men taking the opportunity of his absence, enquired of his Friend what he was, and what was the reason of the Bishops anger? To this his Friend replyed, that the Author was a very honest man, (which they in their terms interpret fanatick) and that all the reason of the trouble was, because it was not licensed. Well, said one of them, can he help me to some of them? Yes, said his Friend: and by this time the Author being returned, he was acquainted by his Friend with the request of the two strangers, and they likewise again desiring of it, he furnished them at present with a dozen, for which he had a greater price than usual, and then they desired to have more to give to their friends, thinking to have found some fanatick doctrine: so eager are these sort of people to buy any thing that is unlicensed, following the Proverb, that stollen meat is sweetest : But I believe they were not very well pleased when they, or their fanatick brethren (to whom they presented them) had perused them: but it is possible that (though they were mistaken in the main) yet they might be well enough pleased in the private reading, & that as in a Looking-glass they might see some of those crimes lively represented, whereof they had been guilty.

Thus I say this Book hath been bought up by all sorts of people, and I my self at the first publishing the first Part, presented one of them to an Acquaintance of mine, who (I believe) had been knavish enough, and a Preacher of several perswasions, he read it over, and at my next sight of him I asked him his opinion of it? Truly, said he, there are many various Cheats and Rogueries, but if the Author had my experience and practice, he might write a Book ten times bigger, and more full of brave Cheats & considerable Rogueries, things worth attempting, whereas these are but foolish and idle, and for the most part unprofitable. I who was partly acquainted with many passages of his life, knew he spake truth then, and have here in this second Part had a touch at him, but far short of what I know of him, it not being convenient to tell truth at all times. I have likewise met with several other adventures and transactions in the world, where I (through the frankness and easiness of my nature) have still come off the abused party; part of which I have here sprinkled up and down, and the rest I reserve till more time and conveniency to publish among other things in a third Part. And this Book, though (by reason of the extraordinariness of some passages) it may seem a Romance, yet I'le assure ye there is nothing but the truth, naked as she ought to be, in plain colours; for like the first Draught of a Painter, I have only laid on the dead colours without any flourishes, varnishes, or adornments; and though that be the first, yet it is commonly the greatest piece of Art, and seldom mended or altered, but spoiled: and so in my writing of this, I have not varied in any thing from my first thoughts, which have been swift and full of matter, and therefore need not in so plain a case any embellishments, so that here you shall hardly meet with a piece of Poetry, and that which is just to the matter, not forted or strained, but natural and free; neither have I borrowed any Sentences out of any Authors, to embellish and add lustre to my writing: what I have done, (and that is but little) I tell you of.

And now I have told you in general what you are to expect, I wil likewise give you a short account of my particular method, and so conclude. First, the Author of the first Part having left his Rogue a married man, and an Inhabitant in the East-Indies, I was obliged to lay my Scene there, and go thither to finde him, where I give an account not only of his manner of living, & how he spent his time there, but also of the Government, Maners, and Customs both Ecclesiastical and Civil of the Country; and I have spent one whole long Chapter in acquainting you with their Religion, which though it may seem strange and extravagant, yet it is no more than the truth, as I can prove from good Authors from whence I had it. I likewise cause our Rogue to sum up his fore-passed life, with some small reflections, and I bring into his company four male, and two female Companions, as good Boys and Girls as ever twang'd. They coming from England onely on a Ramble, are thought very fit companions, and the lives of these travellers are related to our Rogue by one of the Company. This relation is full of variety, and though long, yet (I hope) will not be thought tedious nor improper: for the length I must crave pardon, for I could not well avoid it, and I was forced (though improperly enough) to make breaks to divide it into Chapters.

I have not onely taken pains in describing the Laws, Manners, and Customs of the Natives with my Pen, but for your greater pleasure and satisfaction, the Graver hath been at work to present you the Figure of them, the most lively I could contrive in so narrow a compass. You have likewise another Figure of all our Lads and Lasses together in one of their Tavern Frolicks.

I have had so much work to do in bringing these Companions to our Rogue in the Indies, and relating what they are (in which I have spent much oyl and labor) that I cannot this bout, bring him over to England as is expected; but I'le assure you (if you accept this, as I question not) that in the third Part (which I intend shall be the last, part whereof I have already written) I shall attend him through other Countreys, and with a great Train of Attendants or Companions bring him again to his native Countrey of Ireland, and so to England, where he and his Company may do such acts as shall raise wonder in the Readers. But let this suffice at present.

And now I have almost done with the Preface, which though it be long, yet I like it better to have it so, than to fill up a Sheet or two of Paper with Commendatory Verses, which some Authors covet, and are very proud of, and rather than go without, will write themselves: This I could have done or procured, but esteeming all that can be written in that nature to be nothing, unless the Reader approves the Book, who is now so wise as not to trust to another mans judgement, I therefore declined that, and I hope when the Preface is read over, it wil not be thought wholly impertinent; for I have therein laid down some reasons for this my manner of writing. But some ignorant Readers commonly skip over the Preface, running greedily to the matter, and so they will use me; and having read the Book will say, that I had better have spared my self the trouble and cost, for here is nothing but what they already are acquainted with. To you who are so knowing and well experienced, I answer you with this Request, That you will do as much for publick good as I have intended by writing this, (and I hope done) and in order thereunto write & publish your Experiences, and I promise you I'le be a Customer for one of them, and encourage others to be so; and though it may not be so well as what I have written, (that is, so full of profitable Experiences) yet it will be a hard case if there be not somewhat worth the knowing: If my judgement tells me that it is better, Ile acknowledge it, and I and the other Readers shall be the more obliged to you for your pains; and I had rather gain experience and knowledge thus by reading than dealing with some of you, and be out-witted and snapt. Though it is true, that that wit is best that is bought, yet I know a man may pay too dear for it, (as hitherto I have done) and therefore, and to the end that other men may learn by my harms (as the Latine Sentence is, Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum, He is happy that is warn'd by other mens harms) I have written this which I am sure may be profitable, and I hope not in the least hurtful. Wherefore Reader, I pray put on Charity for thy Spectacles, and read on.

Yours F. K.

THE ENGLISH ROGUE Continued in the Life of MERITON LATROON And other Extravagants.
Part II.

Chap. I.

He discourses of the manner of Government, of the Inhabitants of the East-India, a small voyage by sea, where he is in danger by a tempest, and a Malabar Man of war, but escapes both: he makes some rambles into the country and returning home has some reflections on his fore passed Life.

I was now arrived at the Meridian of my age, and enjoyed such a plenty of every thing that I soon forgot the many miseries I had lately suffered, since my banishment from England. I governed my family with a most absolute command and received a willing obedience aswell from my Wife as all our servants, and during the stay of our English ships, I gained very much by entertaining any Countrymen with necessaries. I kept so punctual a correspondency with the Banian Merchants that I could command any thing: and by their means found the way of trading, by which I considerably enriched myself, so that at the departure of the English fleet. I having cast up an account of my estate, found that I had gained above 2000 Rupees (which being the Country money and worth about 2 s. a peice amounted to 200l.) also I had a good parcel of Diamonds, besides those I had cheated the Banian of at my first arrival several other commodities I had by me which (with my houshold stuff which was considerable) did in all amount to a great valew. The Fleet being departed and cheif of our trading ceased, and now it was vacation time and I (hating idleness and being somewhat weary of my wives company) and desirous of Novelty set out to view the Country: to which end taking money with me, and all other necessaries I hired an Indian Coach, which is a kind of a Chariot with two wheels, and will hold about four persons, this Coach was drawn with two Oxen who will travel about thirty miles a day; my charge was not much for about eighteen pence a day paid my Coach-man and kept his Cattel, thus did I ramble about the Country, visiting over other of my acquaintance where I had a full enjoyment of every thing the Country afforded: for we had not only the Country drink called Toddee which is made of the juice of several Trees, and Punch which is made of Rack-limes or lime-water, Sugar, Spices, and almost with seven times the addition of Amber greese, but we likewise drank great quantities of Persian wine which is much like Clarret and brought from that Country in bottles: These were our drinks whereof we drank plentifully and oftentimes to excess, our meat was cheifly Rice with Beans and Turkeys, Beef and Mutton, and sometimes Veal and Lamb, this was my ordinary diet, but the Banians eat no flesh accounting it Criminal; it being contrary to their Religion to kill any thing, the cheifest exercise we had was playing at Nine Pins, a game I was well acquainted within England, and therefore could well enough deal with the Natives though they were expert therein, though I pleased my self in these things, yet there was still wanting the only thing which had always made my self pleasant to me, and that was the company of Women, for without their pleasing society in a full enjoyment I reckoned I had nothing, and therefore upon every turn found them out, but I must now be contented with the Natives who although are not so fair as the women of our European Countryes, yet they may pass well enough for their complexions are commonly of a tawny hiew, but they are richly adorned with Pearl and other Jewels, I speak of those who were Mercenary. There is no town but had two or three of these Brothel-houses which were allowed off, neither was it any disgrace to be seen therein, the handsomest women are here: the Matron of the House is furnished with several, who she purchases sometimes of their own Parents, who sell them not accounting it an injury to dispose them to this purpose. These old Bawds are as cunning as those of our Country, for they will sell a Maiden-head two or three times over, for which they will sometimes have twenty or thirty Rupee, according to the goodness of the Commodity: and good will of the purchaser who shall enjoy his bargain for two or three days or nights together either at their lodgings, or at home at their own houses, neither do their wives dare to contradict their Husbands therein, for they will oftentimes bring home one of these Lasses, and lodge them in a Cot in the same room with their wives, and lye with them as often as they please and when they have done with them send them home again.

I tryed several of their Bona Roba's who pleased me very well, for what they wanted in beauty they supplyed in respect and willingness to comply with and please me in all my desires; and though many times they have the Pox by reason of their heat and activity, yet they valew it not, for they are so well acquainted and furnished with remedies that they soon cure themselves and the men who accompany them: my ramble being finished, I returned home (and though my wife knew I had been at several of these Brothels) yet I was joyfull received and welcomed by her. We keeping a publique, had all sorts of guests, and now being at leisure I discoursed with several of the Bramanes who are their Priests, who informed me not only of the Civil but Ecclesiastical Government of the Nation: for though I supposed them Heathens, yet I found that they followed a rule in their livings to which they strictly tied themselves: they in general gave me this account that they are governed by a Kingly Monarch, who is called the great Mogul, he is absolute in his dominions, and all his subjects are his slaves; all the Land and Houses throughout his dominions are his own, and the Inhabitants or occupiers, are only his Tenants and pay a valuable rent, for what they enjoy which is annually collected by Officers to that purpose appointed and paid into his Exchequer, this he bestows at his own pleasure, or spends in making War with his Enemies who are cheifly the Tartars and sometimes the Persian, they have frequently civil wars amongst themselves upon the death of their Prince, if he leaves more Sons then one behind him, for he who last ruled and was Father of this present Mogul made his way to the Empire by the death of eleven of his Bretheren, he himself being the youngest, when he dyed which is not long since, three of his sons survived him, who all immediately raised great Armies either to gain the Empire or loose their lives in general.

The second youngest having assembled all their well willers and friends with considerable Armies approached one another, a River now only parting them.

The eldest of the two dispatched a Messenger to his Brother to tell him that he was very well satisfied in his taking Armes, and since he was in such readiness, if he pleased he would joyn forces with him, and assault their elder Brother who being vanquisht they would divide the Government. The youngest Brother willingly assenting to these propositions came over to him, but no sooner was he in his power but he caused both his eyes to be put out: (thereby disenabling him from the Governmen) and soon gaining the Captains of his Brothers army to his party, he joyned forces and causing his blind Brother to be carried with him, advanced to meet and oppose his elder Brother, in short time they met and fought each other with various success, but in Fine he conquered his Brother and depriving him of life as the other of sight he now remains sole Monarch of this large Empire.

The old Mogul died infinitely rich, for he left eight Taucks of coyned Money, each Tauck esteemed to hold ten millions of Rupees, aud indeed it is no great marvel for he hath some of his subjects especially the Banian Merchants that are very rich, all whose treasure he will command at his own will, there is one Banian whose name is Vergore who was the cheifest Merchant of his Tribe, and hath most of the stocks of his fellows in his hand, to him the great Mogul sent for money, to which he sent this answer, that he would presently furnish his Highness with a hundred carts loaden with ready money The Mogul hearing this ordered him to keep it till he sent again or had further occasion: the English have great priviledges for they pay less duties and customes then the Natives, for the Banian Merchants will sometimes hire an English man to go to sea with them in their Juncks which are great barks, not to do any service in the voyage, only to own the goods that they may save several taxes and duties that else must be paid as Anchorage and Moorage, I one time was asked by a Banian of my acquaintance whether I would go to sea with him, and he would give me a considerable recomepence, he told me that I should only wear my hat, eat my victuals, and when we came to our Port own the goods, being desirous of seeing fashions I consented and our Junck being loaden we set sail and departed: but never was I accompanied with such Sailers, for the Junck which is much like a close lighter was deeply loaden with Callicoes, it carried above 1000 Tun, the winde being fair all the tackling was nailed down and fastned, so that when we had been four dayes at sea the wind contrary to custome changed: but though it began to be tempestuous yet all our men being then at dinner their was none would leave their eating to hardle the sailes, or alter the tackling, dinner being ended I perswaded them with much adoe to go to work, but it was some hours ere they had loosned their tackling so as to lower their sailes, and by that time we were driven out of knowledg, the windes there are usually so constant that they never make provision to hand their sailes and alter them, but commonly as they fix them at their setting out, so they continue till they come to their Port, where instead of an Anchor they carry a very great stone fastned by an iron ring to their Cable, which they let down while they stay but take up when they go away: and then they alter their sailes sitting them to the winde to bring them back, they continue in that manner to the end of the voyage.

But now it falling out otherwise great was their trouble, not knowing how to behave themselves: and although there was forty men on board, and they all well enough acquainted with Navigation in those parts, yet I who was but of one years standing was their best instructor, or else we had been lost and perished: most of our sailes being now taken down and the winde ceasing we by the next day came into our knowledg, but met with another misfortune which was like to prove worse then the former, for we discovered a Junck though nothing near so big as ours yet better man'd: and was indeed a Malabar man of war, and our professed Enemy: who are used to infest those seas with their Pyracies, our Seamen being sensible of the desperateness of our condition were greatly dismayed; But I (who was formerly used to be dead hearted enough) did now become valerous and encouraged them by words and actions for considering the badness of my own condition being likely not only to loose what estate I had lately gathered, but at least wise my liberty, and it may be my life (for many of these Malabars do kill to feed on their Prisoners) these considerations I say possessed me with so much courage that I was resolved to try my utmost power to defend my self from my Enemies; we were by chance accompanied by ten Moors called Rashpoots , who being alwayes brought up in wars never go unarmed their persons being more couragious then the rest, by my example put themselves into a posture of defence, and the other Seamen had Swords and other weapons put into their hands to keep the Enemy from boarding us: we had eight great Guns in our Junck, which were carried more for Ornament then for use; for they knew not how to discharge them against an Enemy to advantage, (they being as well as their tackling and sailes fixed to one place) only served to be shot off in triumph, and make a noise but would not be well levelled to carry a bullet to do execution. I seeing this inconvenience took such order therein that the guns were placed so as to dammage our Enemy: who now approaching us came close up towards us, but he found a hotter entertainment then he exspected, for we killed several of his men with our first broad-fide, the only weapons our Enemies had were great stones which they threw at us in abundance, but we having again charged our great guns and all the small ones we had aboard gave them such a peal as was the funeral knel to many of them; by this time they were discouraged, and our men seeing the good success we had came all in sight and every one taking a great stone which had been thrown to us by the Enemy, gave them such an onset with the stones as now made them think of giving over their enterprize, which we compelled them to do, so soon as we had given them an other broad side, and once more discharged all our small guns: this gave them so general a blow that they Vered about and left us to prosecute our Voyage. Our Enemies being gone I called all our men together to see what damage we had sustained, and upon enquiry found that we had not lost a man: but about half a dozen broken heads and faces was all the harm we had recieved.

I was generally applauded for my courage and by the cheif owner of the goods, not only rendred me infinite thanks, but promised me a great reward, which was justly paid me at the end of our voyage, I told them that I much wondered at the manner of our Enemies fight, but I received this answer, that they seldome used any other weapons then stones, which they carryed in great plenty, trusting to them and their great numbers, for the Bark that set upon us had above a hundred men in her and would have certainly taken us had I not made so good a fight with our guns: which was a thing unusual for them to meet with, not suspecting that we could make any use of them otherwise then to shoot upright as was usual, but they found the contrary to their cost: for I suppose we had the good fortune to kill several of them, which so disheartned them that they left us as I told you; and thus we meeting with no more obstruction in two moneths time finished our voyage and returned home where I recieved 500 Rupees as a recompence for my good service.

I was joyfully received at home by my Wife and acquired a very good esteem of all by this my valerous exploits, and had many advantageous offers to goe again on the same account, but I valewing my pleasure more then profit: which was hazardous declined the propositions, and now rested my self at home only making some excursions to visit the best of my frinds who failed not to welcome me, the honestest Women to whom I made my self welcome somtimes. I travelled to the adjacent Towns where I visited the pleasant Gardens, and other times I went further to the Cities which being well built with brick had pleasant Platformes or Terrets on the top many of the Cities were walled and fortifyed with Castles for their defence: I seldome went without a couple of attendants which are called Puisn's who were my daily servants, these were a sort of Banians who served me for four shillings a moneth a peice, and out of that found themselves diet, unless they travelled far from home, and then I allowed each of them all out three half pence a peice per day to by them victuals and drink, which was only Cutkeree Butters Toddee with which they were very well satisfied, neither indeed doth the Consul give much more to his serviters for his cheif Puisn hath but twelve shillings per month; and out of that he keeps a horse and a servant to attend him. They are very diligent and faithful in what they are intrusted with, but so soon as they perceive a new Moon they tell their master of it that they may pay them their wages.

Having now satisfied my curiosity in these travels, and being returned home I began to consider with my self my fore passed life: then it was I did run over those several accidents that had formerly befallen me.

As first how I committed Rogueries, when but a boy and ran away from my Mother (of whom I had never since so much as heard or enquired) I had some reflections thereupon and what my Mother might Judge was become of me: Then did I call to mind the roguries I committed, were among the Gypsies and Beggars, and how with them I first tryed and tasted the pleasure of a Female companion, from that my apprentiship & the several adventures, I had and pleasant nights lodgings, I enjoyed not only with the Maid but the Mistress: how after the Maid whom I had gotten with child was delivered, I dispatcht her and child to Virginia, and soon after by mine and my mistresses extravagancies sent my Master first to Prison, and so out of the world my Mistris her self not long surviving him: being then a freeman I married, but was justly enough fitted for my disloyalty by my wives incontinency which with my own prodigality soon consumed me, enforced me to leave England for Ireland which being my first great remove, I seriously reflected on not knowing where I should end my dayes, I being now far distant from the place of my Nativity, but I bethinking my self that my only livelyhood depended there in my vital strength, not that I was exposed to carry burdens or labour in the day time, but in the night in Venerial combats, where I received equal pleasure: and indeed I having run through the whole course of my life, found that by the favourable and good opinion of women (which was not undeserved) I had not only preserved my self, but many times raised my self a sufficient fortune: as I had lately done by marrying with my Moorish wife, in which present condition I concluded my self much better then when I was in Ireland tyed to my old woman, who only paid me and gave me money according to the service I did her, and was then again old and peevish and above all things very jealous, whereas now I was my own pay-master, and though my bed-fellow was not fair yet she was young and pleasant and so far from jealousie, that she her self somtimes would procure me a young girl, the fairest in the country to lye with me, and she also lying by me and taking much pleasure therein.

Then did I proceed in the thoughts of my former life and considered the many dangers I under went, all the time I followed my padding employment, and though I then usually wore money enough, in my pocket, and somtimes met with some female adventures, as the Farmers Daughter, the Poetick Widdow, and my Female Robbers, and others in whose converse I took much pleasure, yet I was in all these pleasures still accompannied with fear of being snapt, as indeed I was at last and likely to be trust up: but that my penitence wrought so upon my friends as to procure my sentence of death, to be altered into that of banishment: which had through many miseries and cross adventures brought me hither, where I received the full enjoyment of all things: this consideration took me up much time, and possessed me with some virtuous thoughts, beleiving that I had not been preserved and reserved from so many hazards but for some good end; and now I had a fair opportunity of declining Vice, and living virtuously, I not being likely to be exposed to any such Roguish shifts or courses as formerly, these thoughts of virtue made way for those of Religion, and now it was that I seriously considered of that word in general, and being (though little practised in) yet well enough acquainted with the Christian Religion, I wondered at the absurdity of the Religion of other Nations, especially of the Country wherein I now lived, and having been curious in the enquiry of the grounds thereof, I had received a good account though little satisfaction, but since it is a Novelty and may well enough suit with the following discourse, which will consist of several, and variety of Knaveries and Cheatings, whereof I suppose this, of this Countryes Religion may very well bear a part, I shall give you a short account thereof in this following Chapter.

CHAP. II.

 

The Original Religion and worship of the Banians and Persees with all their Casts and Tribes.

This large part of the World which is governed by the great Mogul , is inhabited by these three sorts of People, Banians, Moor-men or Rashpoots, and Persees, the several Religions or worships of the first and last, with the Banians and Persees , I shall here give you an account of, but for the Moors or Rashpoots they have little esteem for any Religion in particular, and being for the most part soldiers are of the great Moguls religion, which is partly Mahometan, I shall therefore begin with the Banians who believe in one God, and that he created the world out of nothing and that after this manner: first he having the four Elements of Earth and Fire, and water for a ground work, by some great Cave or such like instrument: blew upon the waters which arose into a bubble of a round form like an Egg, which spreading it self made the firmament so clear and transparent, which now compasseth the world about, after this there remaining true liquid substance in the earth, God made of both these together a thing round like a ball, which is called the lower world, the more solid part became earth, the liquid sea, both which making one Globe he by a great noise or huming sound placed them in the midst of the firmament, there he created the Sun and Moon to distinguish times and seasons, and the four elements which were before mixed, were now separated and assigned to their several places, and discharged their several officies, the aire filled up the empty parts, the fire nourished with heat, the earth and sea brought forth their living creatures and then was the world created, and as it had its beginning from four elements, so it was measured by our points East, West, North and South , and was to be continued for four Ages, to be peopled by four Casts or sorts of men, who were to be marryed by four sorts of women appointed for them. The world being made, man was likewise made out of the earth, God putting into him life, and he worshipping his Creator, woman was like-wise made and given to him as a companion, the first mans name was Poucous aud the womans name was Parcontee, and they lived together as man and wife feeding on the fruits of the earth, not destroying any living Creature.

These two had four sons called Brammon, Cuttery, Shaddery and Wyse, who were of different and distinct nature from each other, for Brammon was of an earthly constitution, and therefore Melancholly: Cuttery fiery, and therefore Martial: Shaddery Flegmatick, and therefore peaceable: Wyse airey, and therefore full of contryvances and inventions. Brammon being melancholly and ingenious God gave him knowledg and appointed him to impart his laws, and therefore gave him a book conteining the form of Divine Worship and Religion, Cuttery being Martial had power to govern kingdomes and therefore had a sword given him. Shaddery being mild and conversable it was thought fit that he should be a Merchant and Traffick, and therefore had a pair of ballances and a bag of waits hung at his girdle, and Wyse being aiery, was appointed for a Mechanick or handicrafts man, and therefore had a bag of several sorts of tools.

These were the first men and these their qualities (according to the Banian tradition) that peopled the earth, Poucous and Parconte had no daughters because the sons should go else where to find them wives which were made for them, and placed at the four winds, the four sons being grown up to mans age were commanded to travel. And,

First Brammon with his Book in his hand took his journey towards the rising of the Sun in the East; for the place where they were born, and their Parents created, was in the Middle or Navel of the world, the Sun at Noon-day casting no shadow. Brammon taking his journey, as is said, towards the East, arrived at a goodly Mountain, before which was a Valley, through which there passed a Brook; in the descent of which there appeared a woman a drinking. This Woman was of black hair, yellow Complexion, of an indifferent size, and a modest aspect, and indeed in every thing made, as if made for her beholder; who being naked, and seeing her to be so, was more bashful than the woman, who first brake silence, by questioning the cause of his coming thither.

Brammon hearing her spake, and that in his own Language, thus reply'd, That the great God, who made all things had sent him thither: The woman seeing his Book, asked the use of it; whereupon he opening it, shewed her the Contents thereof; and after some other discourse she consented to be married to him, according to the form prescribed in that book; which being done, they lay together, and had many children, who peopled the East part of the world: this Womans name was Savatree.

Cuttery the 2d. Brother, was sent upon the same account to the West part of the world, and taking his sword in his hand, he advanced on his journey; but not meeting with any adventure or occasion to make use thereof, he was much troubled; desiring, above all things, that he might, meet with some people whereon he might exercise his courage: thus impatiently did he proceed on his journey, till he arrived near a high Mountain, where he might behold a Personage who was walking with a Martial pace, and coming nearer, found to be a Woman armed with a weapon call'd a Chuckery: They were no sooner met, but they encountred, and set upon one another; but though he expected a sudden conquest, yet was he deceived therein, for his adversary held him in play all that day, till night parted them. The next day also they wholly spent in fight; he gained no advantage over his female enemy, only at the cloze of the day, he had the fortune to cut her weapon in two; but the night coming on, she escaped from him, without any further damage.

The next day she was provided with Bow and Arrows, and then had a great advantage over him, because she could wound him at a distance, and he could not hurt her without a close fight; he being sensible of this odds, clozed with her, and by main strength threw her down, holding her by the hair of the head; when having a perfect view of her beauties, instead of an enemy, he became a lover of this beautiful object; and that he might gain her affections, he threw by his weapons, and applyed himself to her in fair speeches, to which she was attentive; and he at length became so prevalent, that they at present plighted troths to one another, and of enemies, not only at that instant became friends; but in short time after, living together, and Nature dictating to them what must be done for the procreation of their like, they tasted the fruit of Loves garden, and had many children, who peopled the West part of the World; this Womans name was Toddicastree.

Chuddery the 3d. Son, who was the Merchant-man, was sent to the North with his ballance and weights, and he after much travel happened on a place where he found Pearls, and a Rock or Mine of Diamonds; and believing them (by reason of their great luster in the dark) of some extraordinary value, took some of them with him, and special notice of the place, that he might find it again; and so proceeding on his journey, came to the place where was the woman that was to be his Wife, who was wandring by the side of a Wood; she, seeing him, became fearful; but he coming to her, and giving her good words, won upon her to stay and receive him into her company; and after an account of his journey, which she concluded was purposely designed to her, because they understood one anothers speech, he bestowed some of his Pearls and Diamonds upon her; in time they proving the comforts of the conjoyned state, had several children, who peopled the North part of the World, and became Merchant-men: he afterwards travelling with them, shewed them the rock of Diamonds; this womans name was Visagundah.

Wyse, the 4th. and youngest of the Brethren, went also to the South parts of the World, and carried his tools with him, whereby he was able to build a house, or perform any other piece of work needful for the use of man; he was forced to pass over seven Seas, at each place making a Vessel, and leaving it behind him: the last Sea was called Pashurbatee, and brought him to a Land called Derpe, where he built him a house to live in, which he did with much content, till the woman appointed for him came thither to behold the same: She was very amiable and white, and her hair was powdred with Sainders and other Odours; She first spake to him, demanding how he came thither; He answered her, that the Almighty had sent him, and he had taken great pains by coming over-seven Seas to wait on her: She was displeased with his discourse and house, telling him that she needed him not; and notwithstanding all his perswasions, left him: he afterwards met her walking in the Woods; but could not prevail with her to continue with him; but left him much troubled. After this, he being in a profound melancholy walking abroad, came to a parcel of trees, under which he placed himself, and there prayed to his Creator, that he might not lose his labour, in coming so far to find a woman that would not converse with him: To this prayer he had answer, that his request should be granted, on condition, that for the future he would erect Images, and adore, and worship them under green trees: To this he consented and at the next meeting he gained the good will of this woman who was named Jejunnogundah, so that she became his wife, by whom he had several children that peopled the South.

These Four Brethren being thus dispersed at the several parts of the earth, and having peopled the same, were all desirous of returning to their own Country from whence they came, to see their Father and Mother, and recount their several adventures to them, and to that end, leaving their children behind, they and their wives travelled so long, till they came to the place; where they were first joyfully received of their Parents, and then of each other; there they likewise had several other children, begetting several generations, that all the world might be instructed in their several qualities, by Brammon in matters of Religion, by Cuttery in Rule and Governments, by Shuddery in Traffick and Merchandize, and by Wyse in matters of Handicrafts; of which four Casts the world consisteth, every one of them living in his several quality keeping his tribe free from confusion or interfeering; and thus the world was peopled: but in time, multitude begat difference, and disorder, and mischief, and every person disagreed with the other, every one producing new and various differences, as well in matters of Religion and Worship, as in all other affairs, when the Almighty for the wickedness of mankind sent a flood which came and destroyed all the Creatures of the earth; and this according to the tradition of the Banians, was the first Age of the world.

This world of Creatures being destroyed, others were made in this manner: The Almighty first made out of the earth these three Creatures, Breman, Vistney and Ruddery, and gave great power to them; to Breman he gave the power of making Creatures, because say the Banians, as great persons do not their work but by Deputies, so neither was it fit that God should be servile to his creatures, but give to them their being by his Instruments. To the second, which was Vistney, he gave charge to preserve the Creatures: But to the third, which was Ruddery, he gave power to destroy them, because he knew they would be wicked, and deserve Judgments. Breman was to be taken up to Heaven in conclusion of the second age, Vistney was to live as long again as Breman , and Ruddery was to continue three times as long, and then be should destroy all the world, which should be the great day of Judgement.

Breman according to the power given him, produced man and woman out of his own bowels, who being instructed by him gave worship to God, and reverence to him: the man was by him named Mamaw, and the woman Ceterrupa; they were sent to the East, and there they had three sons and three daughters, who were sent severally to the West North and South, which were peopled by them: thus man being made by Breman, Vistney provided things necessary for them, and Ruddery dispersed afflictions, sicknesses and death, as men did deserve them.

It was now necessary say the Banians, that the Law should be given, according to which they should live; and therefore Breman being called up into a Mountain, the Almighty gave him out of a cloud a book, which the Banians call the Shaster, wherein was written their Lawes; this book consisted of three Tracts.

The first, whereof contained their Moral Law, and an Explication or Appropriation of the precepts to every several Tribe and Cast.

The second, was their Ceremonial Law.

The third, distinguished them into Casts or Tribes, with peculiar observations for each Cast and Tribe.

The first Tract of the Moral Law contained eight commandements.

1. That they should kill no living Creature, because like man it had a soul.

2. That they should make a Covenant with their five senses; the Eyes not to see evil things, the Ears not to hear evil things, the Tongue not to speak evil, the Pallat not to taste, as wine or flesh, the hands not to touch any thing defiled.

3. That they should duly observe the times of devotion in washing, worship, &c.

4. That they should not tell false tales to deceive.

5. That they should be charitable to the poor.

6. That they should not oppress their poor brethren.

7. That they should celebrate certain Festivals, not pampering the body, but fasting and watching, to be fitter for devotion.

8. That they should not steal, though never so little.

These eight are bestowed among the four Tribes or Casts, to each two Commandements: to the Brammanes, which are the Priests, the first and second, as being strictest in Religion. To Shuddery they appropriate the third and fourth, as most proper to them. To Cuttery the fifth, and sixth, and to Wyse, the seventh and eighth: they are all enjoyned to keep all the Commandements, but more particularly those that are appropriated to their several Casts.

The second Tract of the Book delivered to Breman, comprized certain ceremonial injunctions, which are these.

1. First, washing their bodies in rivers, in memory of the deluge, in which they use this ceremony: first, they besmear their bodies in the mud of the river, as an emblem of mans filthyness; and then coming into the water and turning their faces towards the Sun, the Bramman prayes, that as the body which is foul as the mud of the river which is cleansed by water, so that his sin may be in like manner cleansed; and then the party plunging himself three times in the river, and shaking in his hand some grains of Rice as an offering on the water: he receiveth absolution for his sins past, and is dismissed.

2. The ceremony of anointing the fore-head with red painting, as a peculiar mark which they often renew.

3. They are enjoyned to tender certain prayers and offerings under green trees, the original of which custom they derive from Wyse , to whom they say God appeared in a Vision under a tree; the tree particularly appropriated for this worship, is called Ficus Indica , as, vide Sr. W. Rawleigh, for which tree they have a very great esteem.

4. They are enjoyned prayers in their Temples, where they offer to Images with ringing and loud tinckling of bells, and such like impertinent services.

5. They are enjoyned Pilgrimage to rivers remote, as Ganges, where they throw in, as offerings, Jewels and Treasure of great value.

6. They use Invocation of Saints, and for all their affaires they have several Saints they invoke for assistance.

7. There law binds them to give worship to God, upon sight of any of his Creatures first seen after Sun rise, especially to the Sun and Moon, which they call the two eyes of God, as also to some Beasts.

8. In baptizing children, there is difference in the Casts, for the Brammanes are extraordinary: the rest of the children are only washt in water, with a short prayer, that God would write good things in the front of the child, all present saying Amen. They name the child, putting a red oyntment on the midst of his forehead, and the ceremony is done. But the children of the Cast of the Brammanes are not only washed with water, but anoynted with oyl with these words: Oh Lord, we present unto thee this child, born of a holy Tribe, anointed with oyl, and cleansed with water; unto which they add other ceremonies, then they enquire the exact time of the childs birth, and calculate his Nativity, which they keep by them and give them at the day of their marriage.

9. As for their marriages, their time is different from other Nations, for they marry at 7 years of age, they are usually contracted by their Parents; which being agreed on they send presents, and use many triumphant preambulations about the town for two dayes; & then at the going down of the Sun they use this ceremony. A fire is made and interposed between the young couple, to imitate the ardency of their affections; then there is a silken string that encloses both their bodies, to witness the insolveable bond of wedlock; after this bond, there is a cloth interposed betwixt them, a custom taken from the meeting of Brammon and Savatre, who covered themselves till the words of matrimony were uttered, so the Brammanes pronouncing certain words, enjoyning the man to provide for the woman, and her to loyalty, and and pronouncing the blessing of a fruitful issue, the speech is concluded; the cloth interposed, is taken away; the bond which ingirted them, unloosed; full freedom is given them to communicate with one another; they give no dowry, only the Jewels worn on the Bridal day; none come to the feast, but those of the same Tribe or Cast: no woman is admitted to second marriage, except the Tribe of Wyse; which are the handicrafts men in all Tribes may marry twice except the Bramanes, every Tribe marries in their own Casts, and the Tribe of the Wyses not only marry in their own Tribe, but in their own trade: as a Barber or Smiths son, must marry a Barber or Smiths daughter of the same Tribe.

10. Which is the last, is the ceremony of their burials; when any is sick to death, they enjoyn him to utter Narraune, which is one of the names of God, importing mercy to sinners: they pour fair water into his hand, praying to Kistnetuppon, the God of the water, to present him pure to God; he being dead, his body is washed, and after buried in this manner. They carry the body to a rivers side and being set down, the Brammane uttereth these words. Oh earth! we commend unto thee this our brother, whilst he lived thou hadst an interest in him, of the earth he was made, by the blessing of the earth he was fed, and therefore now he is dead, we surrender him to thee: after this putting combustible matter to the body, lighted by the help of sweet oyl, the Brammon saith, Oh fire, whilst he lived thou hadst a claim in him, by whose natural heat he subsisted, we return therefore his body to thee that thou shouldst purge it. Then the son of the deceased sets two pots, one with water, and the other with milk on the ground; the pot with milk on the top of the other, and with a stone breaks the pot with water, whereby the water and milk are both spoiled; upon which account the son thus moralizeth, That as the stone makes the vessels yield, so did sickness ruin his Father's body, which is then burnt to ashes, which are thrown into the air, the Brammane uttering these words, Oh air, whilst he lived by thee he breathed, and now having breathed his last, we yield him to thee. The ashes falling on the water, the Brammane faith, Oh water, whilst he lived, thy moysture did sustain him, and now his body is dispersed, take thy part in him. This being done, the Brammane reads (to the Son or nearest of kin to the deceased) the Law of mourners; That for ten days he must eat no Beetle, nor oyl his head, nor put on clean clothes; but once a month make a Feast, and visit the River whose water drank up his Fathers ashes. Besides this, there was a Custom which is brought into a Law, for the Wives of the deceased to accompany their Husbands in death, by burning themselves with his body; and this is till used among persons of greatest worth, the women voluntarily exposing their bodies to the flames. And this is the sum of the second Tract of the Book delivered to Breman.

The third Tract consisteth of their being distinguished into Casts and Tribes, with peculiar observations for each. The Brammanes being first, have their name either of Brammon, who was the first of that Tribe; or else from Breman, who was the first of the second Age, to whom the Law was delivered, of which there are two sorts, the common, and the more special; the common Brammane hath eighty two Casts or Tribes, which are distinguished by the names of the places of their first habitations. These discharge the Ministerial function, in praying and reading their Law to the People, in which they use a kind of minical fantastical gesture, and a singing tone. They are first received into that Order at seven years of age, using the ceremony of washing and shaving their heads, only leaving one lock; they are bound to a Pythagorean silence, and prohibited haulking, spitting or coughing, wearing about their loyns a girdle of an Antilop's skin, and another thong of the same about their neck, descending under the left arm: At fourteen years of age they are admitted to be Brammanes, exchanging those leather thongs for four sealing threads that come over the right shoulder, and under the right arm, which they sleep withal, in honour of God and the three persons; they are enjoyned to keep all things in the Brammanes Law.

The more special sort of Brammanes is of the Cast of the Shudderys or Merchant-man, who for devotion take this condition; He wears a woollen garment of white, reaching down to the middle of the thigh, the rest is naked; his head is alwayes uncocovered; they do not shave, but pluck off all the hair from their heads and beards, leaving only one lock.

There are several Casts of these, that live more strictly then the rest; for these never Marry, are very moderate in their Diet, and drink nothing but water boyled, that so the vapour, which they suppose to be life, may go out; they sweep away and disperse their dung, lest it should generate worms that may have life, and be destroyed; they keep an Hospital of lame and maimed flying fowl, which they redeem with a price; they have all things common, but place no faith in outward washings, but rather imbrace a careless and sordid nastiness.

The second Tribe or Cast was Cutteryes, who had their name from Cuttery, the second son of Ponrous, who having Dominion and Rule committed to him; therefore all Souldiers and Kings are said to be of his Tribe.

That particular of Bremans Book that concerned this Cast, contained certain precepts of Government and Policy, which being of common import, I chose to omit, and shall only tell you, that in their flourishing estate they were the ancient Kings of India, especially of that part that is called Guzzarat, and were called by the name of Racabs, which signifies a King; they are said to have thirty six Tribes, and none were admitted to rule or govern but out of these Tribes. But in time these Racabs were most of them put from the Government, and destroyed by the Mahometans, who oppressed them; some of them still remain, and are called Rashpootes, which I have before named; some are as yet unconquered, and sometimes fight with and against the great Mogul.

The third Son of Ponrous being called Shuddery, and Merchandizing being appointed him, all Merchants therefore are comprized under this Name. The particular of Bremans Book that concerned this Cast, was a Seminary of Religious advertizements, enjoyning them to truth in their words and dealings. These are they that are most properly called Banians, which name signifies a harmless People, that will not endure to see a fly, or worm, or any living thing to be injured, and being themselves strucken, bear it patiently without resistance; they are equal in number of their Casts to the Brammanes, and being like to them, do more strictly follow their injunctions. Their form and contract in buying and selling is something notable; for the Broaker that beateth the price with him that selleth, looseth his Pamerin that is folded about his wast, and spreading it upon his knee, with hands folded underneath, by their fingers ends the price of pounds, shillings or pence is fixed, as the Chapman is intended to give: The seller in like manner intimateth how much he purposeth to have; which silent composition their Law enjoyneth.

Lastly, as the Son of Ponrous was called Wyse, and was Master of Merchants or Handicrafts, so all Handicrafts are of that Tribe. The directions that were in Breman's Book for these, were touching their behaviours in their Callings: The name Wyse signifies one that is servile or instrumentary; these People are now commonly called Gentiles, which are of two sorts; first, the purer Gentile, such as diet themselves as the Banians, not eating flesh, fish or wine; and the impure eat of all sorts, and are commonly Husbandmen, and usually called Coulees. Those of the purer sort have thirty six Casts, according to the number of the Trades practised among them, in which, they make as few instruments serve for the effecting of divers works, as may be; and whatever they do, is contrary to the Christian form of working, for the most part. This is the substance of the third Tract of the Book delivered to Breman, concerning the manner of the four Tribes.

This Book was by Breman communicated to the Brammanes to be published to the People, who did give absolute obedience to these injunctions; but in time, fraud, violence and all manner of wickedness being committed, God grew angry, and acquainted Breman that he would destroy the world: who acquainted the People herewith, but to little purpose, for soon after they fell to their wickedness, and God took Breman up into his bosome who had interceeded for man-kind; then also Vistney (whose nature and Office it was to preserve the People) did interceed, but God would not be pacifyed, but gave charge to Ruddery (whose office it was to destroy) to cause the bowels of the earth to send out a wind to sweep the Nations as the dust from the face of the earth: this command was accordingly executed, and all people were destroyed, saving a few that God permitted Vistney to cover with the skirts of his preservation, reserved to propagate mankind in the third age, and so this Age concluded.

The wickedness and ill government of the Kings and Rulers, being the chief cause of destroying the last age: therefore all those of Cutteries Tribe were all destroyed. Now because it was necessary that there should be some of that Cast as well as others, wherefore God raised that Tribe again out of the Cast of the Bramanes: the name of him who renewed and raised this Tribe was called Ram , who was a good King and lived piously; but his successors did not so, but committed so much wickedness that God again destroyed the world, by the opening of the earth, which swallowed up all mankind, but a few of the four Tribes who were left to new-people the world again, and this was the conclusion of the third Age.

At the begining of the fourth Age, there was one Kistney, a famous Ruler, and pious King, who wonderfully promoted Religion. Vistney was now taken up into Heaven, there being no further need of his preservation; for when this Age is concluded, there shall be a full end of all things. The Brammanes suppose this Age shall be longer then any of the rest, in the end whereof Ruddery shall be taken up into Heaven: these four ages they call by these four names, Curtain, Duauper, Tetrajoo and Kotee; they hold the manner of these last judgements shall be by fire, when all shall be destroyed; and so the four Ages of the world shall be destroyed by the four Elements. And then shall Ruddery carry up the souls of all people to Heaven with him, to rest in Gods bosome, but the bodyes shall all perish: so that they believe not the resurrection; for they say Heaven being a place that is pure, they hold it cannot be capable of such gross substances.

This is the sum of the Banians Religion, wherein you find much of fancy and conceit as to make it be so antient, and the number four to be used so often, as you have heard the meaning of the three creatures, , 33 I suppose alludes to the Trinity; but instead of a confirmation and proof of a Trinity, they would make a Quaternity thereof; In the name, I suppose, they (as well as other Nations who differ from us in Religion) had read over our Bible, and supposing that but fictions, were resolved to make a Law of their own, to be somwhat like that of ours; which how they have done you have already heard: I shall now likewise give you a breif account of the Religion used by the Persees, and so put an end to this Chapter.

These Persees are a People discended from the antient Persians, who lived in much splendor, but warrs coming among them, they were dissipated, and the Mahometans who invaded them, compelled several to leave their antient Religion for that of the Mahometan: which they refusing, exposed themselves to a voluntary banishment, and therefore carried what of their substance they could with them: they sought for a new place of habitation, and at length found it in this Country, where they now inhabit, being admitted to use their own Religion, but yeilding themselves in subjection to the government of the Nation, and paying homage and tribute, their Religion being different from the rest of the Inhabitants, I shall thus describe to you.

They affirm that before any thing was, there was a God, who made the Heavens, and the Earth and all things therein conteined: at six times or labours, and between each labour, he rested five dayes, first, He made the Heavens with their Orbs, adorned with great lights and lesser, as the Sun, Moon and Stars; also the Angels whom he placed in their several orders, according to their dignities, which place he ordained to be for the habitations of such as should live holy in this life; and this being done, he rested five dayes. Then he made Hell in the lower parts of the world, from which he banished all light and comfort, wherein were several Mansions that exceeded each other in dolour, proportioned for the degrees of Offenders; about which time Lucifer the chief of Angels, with other of his Order, conspiring against God, to gain the Soveraignty and command over all; God threw him first from the Orb of his happiness, together with his confederates and accomplices, damn'd him to Hell, the place that was made for offenders, and turn'd them from their glorious shapes, into shapes black, ugly and deformed, till the end of the world, when all offenders shall receive punishment; this was the second labour. After this God created the earth and waters, making this world like a ball, in that admirable manner that now it is; this with the third labour. The fourth, was to make the Trees and Herbs; the fifth, was to make Beasts, Fowls and Fishes; and the sixth and last, Man and Woman, whose names were Adamah and Evah, and by these the world was propagated in this manner; God, as they affirm, did cause Evah to bring forth two twins every day for a thousand years together, and none dyed. Lucifer being malicious, and endeavouring to do mischief, God set certain Supervisors over his creatures; Hamull had charge of the Heavens, Acob of the Angels, Foder of the Sun, Moon, and Stars, Soreh of the Earth, Josah of the Waters, Sumbolah of the Beasts of the Fieid, Daloo of the Fish of the Sea, Rocan of the Tree Cooz, of Man and Woman, and Settan and Asud were Guardians of Lucifer and other evil spirits, who for all that did some mischief, the sins of men occasioned the destruction of the world by a flood, which spared only a few to repeople the earth, which was done accordingly; and this is their opinion of the Creation and first Age. As to their Religion, it was given them by a Law-giver, whose name was Zertoost, whose birth was strange, and breeding and visions miraculous; the names of his Father and Mother were Espintaman and Dodoo, he was born in China, and great fame going of him when young, the King of that Country endeavoured his destruction, but could not bring it to pass, for those who were sent to destroy him, had their sinews shrunk; he being twelve or thirteen years of age, was taken with a great sickness, the King hearing thereof, sent Physicians to destroy him; but Zertoost sensible of their practise, refused their Physick, and fled with his Father and Mother into Persia; in his way meeting with Rivers, he congeal'd them to ice, and so went over: he arrived at Persia in the time of the Raign of King Gustasph; it was in that Country that at his request to God, he being purified, was carried up into heaven, where he heard the Almighty speaking, as in flames of fire, who revealed to him the works of the Creation, and what was to come, and gave him Laws for the better government and establishment of Religion: Zertoost desired to live alwayes, that he might instruct the world in Religion; but God answered, That if he should live never so long, yet Lucifer would do more harm then he should do good; but if he desired to live so long as the world endured he might. God also presented to Zertoost the seven ages or times of the Persian Monarchy; the first was the Golden Age, the days of Guiomaras; second, the Silver, the dayes of Fraydhun; third, the Brazen, the dayes of Kaykobod; the fourth, the Tin, the dayes of Lorasph, fifth, Leaden, the dayes of Bahaman , sixth, the Steel, the dayes of Darab Segner; the seventh, the Iron Age, in the Raign of Yesdegerd: He finding by this that the times would be worse and worse, desired to live no longer than till he had discharged his Message, and then that he might be translated to the same place of glory; so he was reduced to his proper sense, and remained in heaven many dayes; and then having received the Book of the Law, and the heavenly fire, he was conveyed by an Angel to earth again. But the Angel had no sooner left him, but Lucifer met him; but notwithstanding his perswasions, he went on in his designs of revealing the Law, which he did first to his Father and Mother, and by their means it came to the ears of Gustasph, then King of Persia, who sending for him, he told the King every circumstance, so that the King began to incline to his religion, often sending for and conversing with him. The Churchmen of that time endeavoured to put infamy upon Zertoost, by perswading the King that he was an Impostor and of unclean living, for that he had the bones of humane bodies under his bed, the King hearing this sent to search, and found it so to be, for these Church-men had caused them to be conveyed thither; wherefore Zertoost, by order of the King, was put in prison: but there happened an occasion, that he was not only soon released, but also brought into the Kings favour; for the King having a Horse, that he prized, that fell sick, and no person able to cure him, Zertoost undertook the cure, and performed it; and working some other miracles, was now of good credit, and esteemed as a man come from God; so that now his Book gained an esteem, and the King himself told him, That if he would grant him four demands, he would believe his Law, and be a Professor thereof. The demands were these; First, That he might ascend to Heaven, and descend when he list. Secondly, That he might know what God would do at present, and in time to come. Thirdly, That he might never dye. Fourthly, That no instrument whatsoever might have power to wound or hurt him. Zertoost did consent that all this might be done, but not by one person; and therefore to the first, Gustasph had power to ascend to, and descend from Heaven, granted to him. The second, which was to know what would fall out, present and hereafter, was granted to the Kings Church-man. The third, which was to live for ever, was granted to Gustasph's eldest Son, named Dischiton, who yet lives as they say, at a place in Persia, called Demawando Lohoo, in a high Mountain, with a guard of thirty men; to which place all living creatures are forbidden to approach, lest they should live for ever, as they do who abide there. The last, which was never to be wounded with instrument or weapon, was granted to the youngest Son of Gustasph, called Esplandiar. So Gustasph, and the other three mentioned, proving the power of these several gifts, all determined to live according to the precepts in Zertoosts Book, he unfolding the contents thereof, which were these: This Book contained three several Tracts, the first where of was of Judicial Astrology; the second was of Physick; the third, was called Zertoost, and this was of matters of Religion: And these three Tracts were delivered to the Magis, Physicians and Church-men, called Darooes; these Tracts were devided into Chapters, seven were in the Wisemen or Jesopps Book, seven in the Physicians, and seven in the Darooes Book; the two first is unlawful or unnecessary, I shall omit it, and proceed to the third. The Dicision of men being Laity and Clergy; and those of the Clergy being ordinary or extraordinary, It pleased God , say the Persees, to divide and apportion his Law among these men . First, therefore, to the Lay-man God gave five Commandments:

1. To have shame over them, as a remedy against sin, for that will keep them from oppressing his inferiours, from stealing, from being drunk, and from bearing false witness.

2. To have fear alwayes present, that they might not commit sin.

3. When they go about any thing, to think whether it be good or bad, so to do it or to let it alone.

4. That the sight of God's creatures, in the morning, put them in mind to give God thanks for them.

5. That when they pray by day, they turn their faces towards the Sun; and by night, towards the Moon.

These are the precepts enjoyned the Lay-men, those of the common Church-man follow, who are bound to keep, not only these appropriated to him, but the proceeding precepts.

1. To pray after the manner is described in the Zundavestaw, for God is best pleased with that form.

2. To keep his eyes from coveting any thing that is anothers.

3. To have a great care to speak the truth alwayes, because Lucifer is the father of falshood.

4. To meddle with no bodies business but his own, and not meddle with the things of the world; for the Lay-man shall provide all things needful for him.

5. To learn the Zundavestaw by heart, that he may teach the Lay-man.

6. To keep himself pure as from dead carcases, or unclean meats, lest he be defiled.

7. To forgive all injuries, in imitation of God, who daily forgives us.

8. To teach the common people to pray, to pray with them for any good: and when they come to the place of worship, to joyn in common prayer together.

9. To give Licence for Marriage, and to marry men and women, the Parents not having power to do it without the consent of the Herbood .

10. To spend the greatest part of their time in the Temple, that he may be ready on all occasions.

11. and last Injunction is, upon pain of Damnation, to believe no other Law but that of Zertoost, and not to add to it, nor diminish it.

These are the precepts enjoyned the Herbood, the Distoore being the High Priest, who commands all the rest, is enjoyned not only these of of the Laymon or Behedin, these of the Herbood or Churchmen, but 13 more of his own, which are these that follow.

1 That he must never touch any of a strange Cast or Sect, of what Religion soever; nor any Layman of his own Religion, but he must wash himself.

2 That he must do all his own work, in token of humility, and for purity, viz. Set his own hearbs, sow his own grain, and dress his own meat, unless he have a Wife to do it for him, which is not usual.

3. That he take Tyth or Tenth of the Behedin, as Gods due, and dispose of it as he thinks fit.

4. That he must use no Pomp or superfluity, by either give all away in charity, or bestow it in building of Temples.

5. That his house be near the Church, where he must retire himself, living recluse in Prayer.

6. That he must live purer than others, both in frequent washings and dyer, and also sequester himself from his Wife in time of her pollutions.

7. That he be learned, and knowing all the several Books of Zertoost, as well the Astrological and Physical parts, as the other.

8. That he must never eat and drink excessively.

9. That he fear no body but God, and sin; and not fear what Lucifer can do to him.

10. That God having given him power in matters of the soul; therefore when any man sins he may tell him of it, be he never so great; and every man is to obey him, as one that speaketh not his own cause, but Gods.

11. That he be able to discern in what manner God comes to reveal himself, in what manner Lucifer.

12. That he reveal not what God manifesteth to him by Visions.

13. That he keep an ever-living fire, that never may go out; which being kindled by that fire that Zerteost brought from heaven, may endure for all ages, till fire shall come to destroy all the world, and that he say his prayers over it.

This is a Summary of those precepts contained in the book of their Law, that Zertoost is by them affirmed to bring from heaven; and that religion which Gustasph with his followers embraced, perswaded by the afore-mentioned Miracles wrought by Zertoost amongst them.

The 3d. particular in this Tract is the rights and ceremonies observed by this Sect, differencing them from others.

First, Though their Law allows them great liberty in meats and drinks; yet because they will not displease the Banians and Moors, they abstain from Kine and Hogsflesh; they eat alone, and drink in several Cups.

2. They observe 6 Feasts in the Year, according to the 6 works of the Creation.

3. As for their Fasts, after every one of their Feasts they eat but one Meale a day for 5 days together; and when they eat Flesh they carry part of it to the Temple as an offering.

Their worship of Fire is taken from Zertoosts bringing it from heaven, and it being enjoyned them; for the nature of it, that which he brought, could not be extinguished; whether that be preferred is unknown, but upon effect thereof they are licensed to compose a fire of several mixtures, which is of seven sorts; when they meet about that ceremony bestowed on this Fire, the Defloore or Herbood, together with the Assembly encompass it about, and standing about 11 or 12 foot distance, the Defloore or Herbood uttereth this speech. That forasmuch as Fire was delivered to Zertoost their Law-giver from God Almighty, who pronounced it to be his vertue and excellence, that therefore they should reverence it, and not abuse it in the ordinary use thereof, as to put water in it, or spit in it, &c.

At the birth of a child the Dacoo or Churchman is sent for, who calculates the nativity of the Child, and the Mother names it without any ceremony; after this it is carried to the Church, and water is poured thereon, and prayer used, That God would cleanse it from the uncleanness of the Father, and menstruous pollutions of the Mother. At 7 years of age he is led by the Parents into the Church to have Confirmation, where he is taught Prayers, and instructed in Religion, and being washed, he is cloathed in a linnen Cassock, and other habits, which he ordinarily wears, and so is admitted into their Sect.

They have a five-fold kind of marriage, for which they have several terms; the most singular, is that of hiring a mans Son or Daughter to be matched to their dead daughter or Son, with whom they are contracted. The ceremony observed in their Marriages is performed at Midnight, not in the Church, but upon a bed, by two Churchmen, one in behalf of the Man, the other in behalf of the Woman, who ask if they are willing to be married, and they joyn hands, the Man promising to provide for the Woman, and give her some Gold to bind her to him; and the Woman promiseth all she hath is his; then the Churchmen scattering rice, prays that they may be fruitful, and so they conclude, celebrating the Marriage feast for 8 days together.

As for burial they have two places or Tombs, built of a round form, a pretty height from the ground; within they are paved with stone, in a shelving manner, in the midst a hollow pit to receive the consumed bones, about the walls are the shrowded and sheeted Carkasses laid both of Men and Women, exposed to the open Air. These 2 Tombs are distant from one another; the one is for the good livers, the other for the wicked. When any are sick unto death, the Herbood is sent for, who prays in the ears of the sick man; and when he is dead he is carried on an Iron biere; all who accompany them are interdicted all speech; only the Churchman, when the body is laid in the burial place, saith thus, This our Brother whilst he lived consisted of the 4 Elements, now he is dead let each take his own, Earth to Earth, Air to Air, Water to Water, and Fire to Fire. This done they pray to Sertun and Asud, that they would keep the Devils from their deceased Brother when he repairs to their holy Fire to purge himself; for they suppose the Soul wandreth three days on the earth, in which time Lucifer molesteth it; for security from which molestation, it flyes to their fire, seeking preservation there; which time concluded, it receiveth justice or reward, Hell or Heaven, and therefore they for those three days offer up Prayers Morning Noon and Night, that God would be merciful to the Soul departed, and forgive his sins. After three days are expired they make a festival, and conclude their mourning.

CHAP. III.

 

The Arrival of the English Fleet, His entertaining of six Englishmen, an account of whose Adventures is promised him by one of the Company.

I had now spent several Months in my Voyage by Sea, perambulations by Land, and observations of the Country in general, and this more particular discovery of the Laws and manners both of Civil and Ecclesiastical of the Inhabitants; a just account whereof I have given you in the foregoing Chapters: And now we dayly expected the return of Ships from England, and therefore every one provided to be furnished with all things necessary against their arrival: The Merchants who were resident on shore had every day several sorts of commodities brought out of the Country in Waggons drawn by Oxen, so that their Storehouses were filled; and I for my part provided my self with all sorts of Liquors and Victuals that the Country afforded.

At the time usual the Fleet arrived, which consisted of 4 Ships, whereof 3 was on the account of the Company, and the 4th. by their permission, came as an Interloper: Those that came on the account of the Company were provided with all things necessary, by the order of the Consul or President; and the other Ships Company being left to shift for themselves, took up my house for their quarters. The chief of the company that lodged with me consisted of 6 persons, two whereof seemed to be very hansome young men, of about 18 years of age; these two were very well respected, as well by the Captain as the others his Companions; they were all very frolick, blith, and merry, and several times laughed at several adventures that had befall'n them during the Voyage.

Though the Captain of this Ship came not on the Companies account, yet he was very richly loaden, and was directed to such persons of this Country as would be sure to do his business for him; neither was he a stranger therein, for he had been here twice before, and was acquainted with most of the Banians, who are so curious and diligent observers, that if they see a man but once, if he ever return, though several years after, yet they will know him again, especially if they have had any trading with them; and they have so good a conceit of our Countrymen, that they will oftentimes trust a Captain with 2 or 300 l. worth of Commodities from one year to another, only giving them common interest; and as to their ordinary dealing and bargaining, they are at a word, and there is money to be saved by dealing with them, and trusting them, for if you distrust them, then you shall pay so much the more; if you trust them they will provide your goods as cheap or cheaper than you can your self do it, though never so well experienced therein; I needed not to acquainted our Captain with any of their fashions, for he well enough understood it himself; but I assisted him and some of the rest in exchanging their monies; for the Banians allow no more for any silver or gold Coin than it weighs; for it will never goe currant there, till it be changed or minted into the Coin of the Country.

Four of my Guests, viz. The Captain, and three of the rest did employ themselves in looking after the Ships unlading; but the other two, who were the youngest (and therefore as I thought, fittest to take pains) did still stay at home in my house, or else walk out for their recreation. This, and some other things that I observed, made me curious in my observations of them in all their actions, suspecting they were either personages of greater quality than ordinary, or that there was some other mystery in the case: but they being as cunning as my self concealed that from me which I since knew, though I tryed them with several speeches and discourses, in which I thought my self cunning enough; I observed this, that these two young men never lay together, but sometimes the Captain lay with one of them, and another person of his company with the other. The greatest part of their business being for the present dispatched, they often times staid at home and feasted, where they drank of great quantities of Persian Wine, and other the Country drinks, the best I could get for them. They having all drank one time to a good height, and being very merry, the Captain asked which was the best house for handsome Women now, I informed him of the best I knew; but says he, yee have no English Girls here, no said I, seldom any such blessings come into this Country, we are forced to content ourselves with the brown Natives: I believe, said the Captain, if these two young men, William and George (for such was the names of the two young men I spake of) were hansomly drest in Womens cloaths, they would pass for hansom Women. I then of a sudden turning my eyes towards the parties he spake of, saw that their cheeks were dy'd of a Vermilion hew, deeper than lately they had acquired by drinking: This caused me to distrust something; but the rest of the Company falling into a kind of a laughter, which I supposed was somewhat forced, they altered their discourse, and began a fresh health to all their friends in England, which I pledged them with a very good will, telling them that I had some, whose company I had heartily wish'd for; what are they, said the Captain; Sir, said I, they are such as I beleeve you love, that is, hansom women in general; and of these I had the good fortune to be particularly and intimately acquainted with several. At the ending of this discourse, I was called for down to attend some of my guests who were going, which having done, I agen went up, where I found the Captain and the rest in a standing posture, ready likewise to be gone, at which I wondred, but let them take their pleasures: So five of my six guests left me, and he had gone too had he not been a little flustred, and then asleep. After they were gone several thoughts possest my mind, of what these two youngest persons should be; and it was long ere I could hit upon the right, but having one person in the house, with whom I was more intimate than the rest, I resolved to use my utmost interest with him to be satisfyed: he in few hours awaked, and would have been gone after his companions: but I so far prevailed with him, that he lay there that night; and because I would have the better opportunity for my discourse, I lay with him; when we were in Bed, I told him, that I could heartily wish I could accommodate him with a female Bedfellow; he replyed, that would do very well; I offered thy assistance in procuring the best of our Country, but he was cold in his reply; whereupon I told him, that by that time he had been so long in the Country as I had, he would be glad of one of those whom I sometimes made a shift to spend a night with: but continued I, I had rather be at Mother Cr— in Moorfields: Are you acquainted there, replyed my Bedfellow, yes, said I, and at most of those houses of hospitality in or about London, to which Colledges I was a good Benefactor; why, said my Bedfellow, you have bin right; or else I had never come hither, said I: whereupon I acquainted him with many of my rambles about London, and gave him such satisfaction in my discourse that he began to be more free with me; and then I conjured him to deal truly with me in resolving me one question, to which he promised me, that he would, I having gained thus much upon him: told him that my request was to know what those two young persons were; which were called William and George : truly said he, you could not have asked me any thing that I should be more unwilling to discover then that; but since I have promised you, I will tell you, and that the truth without any disguise, provided, you swear to me, not to discover or take any notice thereof without my consent, to this I agreed, and having sworn to him, he told me, that they were not of those names, nor sex, that they went for, but women; I told him I had long since doubted so much, and now I knew it, I would take no notice thereof: but rather assist then hinder any design wherein there was so much pleasure, for I had bin as very a wag as any of them, and had in my time run through as many and various adventures as any man of my age; he hearing me say so, asked me where I had lived, and the most part of my life, I without any dissembling gave him a short account of my life, which so pleased him, that we spent most part of the night therein, and at my earnest request he promised me that the next day, he Would give me an account of his life, and adventures, wherein said he, you will find so many different chances of fortune, as had hardly befallen any man, and I hope said he, I shall be able to give you a good account thereof: for since my coming from England, I have had time to recollect my self, of some things that else I had forgotten, but now I have placed the chief passages of my life into such a Method, as I shall be very exact in, though I was impatient to hear what he promised me, yet the night being far spent sleep seized on us both for some hours, but awaking in the morning, and putting him in mind of his promise, after a mornings draught taken, and a command that none should interrupt us, he began as follows.

, 47

CHAP. IV.

 

The Traveller describeth the place of his birth and Parents, the death of his elder Brother, and how through the perswasion of his Father, he resolved to follow thieving.

I was born in Golding-lane, a place scituate in the Suburbs of London, my Fathers name was Isaac, and by reason of his small stature was commonly called little Isaac, being a native of the same place, and by profession a Cobler; but such was his courage that he was much troubled when any one called him Cobler, and would reply, that he was a Translator, or a Transmographer of shooes. His Wife, who I believe was my Mother, was named Ursula; she was in the beginning of her dayes one of those sort of people that we call Gipsies, or Canting-Beggars, and my Father travailling into the Country, and wanting money to pay for a bed at night, he was forced to take up his lodging in a barn, where he first came to be acquainted with my Mother; whether they were ever married or no, I cannot tell, though I suppose they onely took each others words as being willing to save the charge of a Priests-hire. But notwithstanding the darkness of her complexion (as those sort of people commonly have,) there is not so bad a Jill, but there is as bad a Jack, for it was not long before she hornifid my Father by a Banbury Tinker: which thing was so well known amongst the neighbors, that they would commonly make horns with their fingers, and point at him as he passed along the streets. My eldest brother at seven years of age attained to such ingennity that he seldom carried home any mended shooes to a Gentlemans or Citizens house, but he would filch either linnen, silver-spoons, or something else of worth, which by negligent servants was not laid up safely; which trade he drave for some space of time, being by reason of his childish years not in the least suspected; but the pitcher goes not so often to the well, but at length it comes broken home: in processe of time he was taken with the theft, and for the same carried to Newgate, where poor little Angel (peace be with him) he dyed in prison, under the penance of a discipline which was applied to him with a little too much rigour.

Our whole family smarted in his punishment, my father sighed, my mother sobbed, and I wanted my part of those dainty morsels which his theft furnished us withall, for by him my father drave a pretty trade; having those who always furnished him with ready money for whatsoever be brought, and indeed his loss would have utterly disconsolated my father, but the great hopes that he had in mee, who was now come to the same age that my brother was of when he first began to exercise his gifts in the mistery of theivery; and that I might tread the same steps that my brother had done before me, my father (upon a certaine day when my mother and he and I were alone by our selves) began thus for to endoctrinate me.

My son (said she) the profession of atheif is not of so base repute as the world gives it out, considering what brave men have in former times exercised themselves in this way: I have heard the Clark of our parish say, who I assure you was a well read man, that Robin Hood that famous thief was in his yonger dayes Earle of Huntington; and that Alexander the Great was no better then a thief in robbing other Princes of their Kingdoms and Crowns. (This it seems he spake in vindication of the Sexton, who used to rob the dead corps of their sheets and shirts, and those other necessary which they carried along with them in their voyage to heaven.) I tell thee he who steales not, knows not how to live in this world, nay doth not almost each thing in the world teach us for to steale? doe not we see youth steale upon infancy, manhood steale upon youth, and old age upon manhood, until at last death stealeth upon us undiscern'd and bringeth us to our long homes; How doth summer steal on the spring? autumn on summer, and winter on autumn, untill all the whole year is stole out of our fight. Pray what doe rich farmers and griping Cormorants, but steal when they exact in their prices of corne, and grinde the faces of the poor; and how can shopkeepers wipe off the asperion of theft from themselves when they sell a commodity for twice the worth of it, and thereby cozen the buyer; so that we see if things be rightly scanned, there be more thieves in the world than onely Taylors, Millers, and Weavers: And what I pray you makes Serjeants, Bayliffs, and Catchpoles so to envy us, and persecute us as they doe, but that one trade still envies and malignes another, and would by their good wills suffer no other theives but themselves; this it is that makes them so double diligent in the surprizal of us, though oftentimes our craft forestals their malice, us I shall instance to you in one memorable example.

My self and two of my comrades had agreed to rob a rich Usurer, whose yonger brother having vitiously wasted his estate, was forced to take this his brothers house for sanctuary, where he kept as close as a snail in his shell, unless onely at such times when as he imagined the darkness of the night might shrewd him in obscurity, he so dreaded these shoulder clappers, who stick closer to a man than a bur on his cloak, for being once got into their clutches, you may as soone wring Hercules club out of his fist, as get free from their fingers; and herein have thieves a great priviledge over debters, for the most notorious thief that ever was, once in a months time he is carted out of prison, as others for smaller matters are freed from durance by following the eart, where a fellow with a catt of nine tayles doth play him such a lesson, as makes him to skip and mount for joy of his deliverance; but with a poor debter the case is far different, for being one in prison, the best teame of Horses that ever drew in a waggon, cannot draw him out from thence without a silver hook.

But to speak of that (some) which more properly belongs unto thee (for I suppose thou wilt never attain to such credit as for to be laid up in prison for debt,) by the help of a servant of the house, who went sharers with us in our prey, we got a false key made to the back door, whereby (one might) we attained an easie entrance, and loaded our selves to our hearts content; but in our returne one of our companions chanced to sneeze, and therewithal brake winde so violently behinde, that it waked the old usurer, who suspitious of the least noise presently cryed out Thieves, thieves: Trusty Roger his man was very ready to rise at first allarm, fearing that our discovery might prove prejudicial to his liberty, and lighting a candle, pretended to search every hole in the house, into which it was possible for a mouse to enter; In the meane time we lay close, yet not unperceived by this false servant, who very formally told his Master that all was safe and well, and that he might take his rest without any feare; But the dread of his hearing us prolonged our stay, so long that day began to approach, whereupon fearing more danger from without than from within, we prepared for our departure, but having opened the door, we found that we had leapt out of the frying pan into the fire, and by shunning Scylla were fallen into Charibdes, for four of these Catchpoles were waiting at the door for the Usurers brother, having intelligence belike that he used to make the dusky morning and darke evening the two shrowds that carried him safely out and in to his Brothers house; Now I going out of the door first, one of these robustious fellows laid hands upon me, taking me for the party they waited for, my two companions endeavouring to rescue me were seized on by the other three Baylifs, so that we seeing no hopes of escape, resolved to cry whore first, and with full mouth cryed out Thieves, thieves; Trusty Roger and the man that should have been arrested, hearing this cry, took weapons in their hands and out of doors they came, where Roger soone perceiving how the business went, ah you Rogues (said he) doe you come to rob my Master? and thereupon laid so nimbly about him, being seconded by the other, that the Bailiffs were glad to let us go to defend themselves. Whilest they were thus busied in pelting each other, we slipped away with our prize, and to take a full revenge of those Catch-poles, raised several of the neighbors, whom we sent to the apprehending of the Bayliffs, whilest we marched away in safety; what became of them afterwards I doe not know, onely this I tell thee, to let thee see that there is not any danger whatsoever so great, but by wit and cunningness may be avoided. This story I heard with great attention which so wrought upon my minde that I thought my self no less than a second Robin Hood or little John, and thereupon resolved to put in speedy execution my fathers dictates which yet proved very unfortunate to me, as you will finde by that which follows.

CHAP. V.

 

His robbing of Orchards, how he was catcht by a Night-spell; the extremity their family was brought unto, and how to relieve it, he robbed a Grocer.

My minde being thus fully fixt to follow thieving, I began my trade in robbing of Orchards, returning home with laden thighs, the trophies, and spoils of Cherry-trees, Pear-trees, and Plumb-trees. My mother in stead of correcting me for what I had done, encouraged me to proceed on as I had begun; for indeed hunger and had pinched us sorely ever since my brothers death, my fathers credit being so eclipsed thereby, that until people saw he would mend his life, scarce any one would employ him to mend their shooes. One Orchard I especially haunted it being stor'd with most gallant fruit, whose very looks me thought did cry, Come eat me: but so often I frequented the same, especially one tree of more choice fruit than all the rest, that the owner of the Orchard (being a rich miserable chuff, and one who knew on which side his bread was butter'd) began to mistrust the same, and therefore, that his apples might not depart away without first taking leave of him, he resolved for the future to prevent the same, and having some little skill in Negromancy, against my next coming he inchanted his Orchard with a Night-spell.

This he placed at the four corners of his Orchard, in the hour of Mars, and is of such force being rightly applyed, that who ever comes within the bounds thereof, must be forced to stay there till Sun-rising. Now I that knew not any thing of what was done, according to my accustomed course, having the dark night for my coverture, boldly enter'd the Orchard, with winged haste ascended upon one of the trees, where having filled a bag with Apples which my mother had furnished me withal for that purpose, I thought to depart away as formerly I had done, but the case was quite alter'd from what was before; for I found my self in such a Labyrinth that the best clue of my invention could not winde me out; Here did I wander about with my bag on my shoulders (having not the power in the least to lay it down) till such time as Aurora begun to usher in the day, when the old chuff enter'd the Orchard to see what fish his net had caught, resolving with severity to punish the Coins that had stoln away his goods, but in stead of a Gudgeon finding but a sprat, beholding my Childish years, he could not imagine me to be the Author of so much wrong as he had received; and thereupon altering his resolution of breaking arms and leggs as he first intended, he stepped back to his house & fetched from thence a great burchin rod, the instrument wherewith he intended to chastise me withal, with much silence he approached unto me; (for a words speaking would dissolve the charm) and having with some strugling untrust my Breeches, laying me over his knee, he began to exercise the office of a Pedagogue upon me; now I having for some space of time before eaten nothing but green fruit, had gotten a terrible looseness, which with the fright that I was in, and the smart that I felt, wrought such effects in my belly, that opening my posteriors, I discharged a whole volley of excrements in his face. This action of mine made him at once to shut his eyes, open his mouth, and unloose his hands, so that the charm being broken, and my body at liberty, I quickly conveyed my self out of the Orchard, leaving the old catterpillar in a very stinking condition, not to be remedied without the benefit of that cleansing element of water.

Warned by this disaster, I was very fearful to enter into any more Orchards, and indeed had I met no Remora in my proceedings, yet this trade would soon have failed; for not long after the Apples were all transplanted out of the Orchard into the Cellar, and winter began to hasten on apace. And now hunger which will not be treated withal without bread, began to reign Lord and King in our family; the Chandler would let us have no more cheese for chalk, nor peny loaves for round O's, we had made a black poast white already with our score, and his belief would extend no further to trust us for any more: nay the very Ale-house-keeper (to whom we were such constant customers) was now grown such a Nullifidian, that he would not believe us for smallbeer, wherefore we were forced to make a vertue of necessity, and to prevent starving, our houshold goods marched away one after another; the first thing that we sold was the Cup-board as the most unnecessary thing in all the house, having no victuals to put thereen; soone after followed the Table as an appendix to it, for seeing the Table will hold no victuals thereon for us to eat, we in revenge thereof did eat up the Table; That (with some joynt-stools belonging to it) being devoured and gone, our stomacks were so hot that it soon melted away the pewter dishes; for we considered with our selves that good meat might be eaten out of wooden platters; then followed the napkins and table-cloaths, for we were not so much cloyed with fat meat but that a little linnen would serve to wipe the greace off of our fingers; in fine this pinching hunger was the Habeas Corpus that removed all our goods out of the House unto the Brokers, and now our dwelling place corresponded with our bellies, being alike both empty.

In this comfortless condition we remained for the space of three days, having neither mony nor any thing to make mony of; being thus sadly necessitated, my father and I set our witts upon the Tenterhooks which way to recruit our decayed estate, many inventions we had for that purpose, and present necessity urged us to make a speedy use of one of them, which not long after we brought to pass in this manner.

It being then winter time, the Evenings long and dark, we bought a Linke for three pence, the remainder of our whole estate; with this about ten of the clock in the night we marched out, resolving to fasten on the fairest opportunity that should present its self to our sight; many streets we traversed, but found not any thing that might answer either our intent or expectation. Coming at last to Basing-lane, and casting our wandring eyes into a Shop, we there espyed a Grocer telling of money on a Counter, being lighted only by a single candle; this made for our purpose, whereupon my father planting himself, I boldly entered the Shop, desiring him to give me leave to light my Link; which being granted, I with the same soon popt out his Candle, snatching up a handful of mony ran out of the doors with the same as fast as I could; the Grocer hasted after me amain, in the mean time my father stept into the shop, and took away the remainder of the mony. My nimbleness had soon out stripped the Grocer, who returned back, found that the Devil might dance upon his Counter for there was never a cross to keep him from it. About an hour after we met together at home, where having counted our purchase, we found it amounted to seven pounds eighteen shillings and six pence. So long as this mony lasted, the pot, the spit, and pitcher was never idle; but what was thus got over the Devils back was soon spent under his belly, and in a short time we were reduced to as great want as we were in before.

CHAP. VI.

 

He cheateth a Cutler, afterwards robbeth a bacon-man, his father is prest away for a Soldier, his mother dyeth, and he being left alone, goeth to live with an uncle, where he acteth many Rogueries.

Necessity is the best whetstone to sharpen the edge of a mans invention, when the gutts begin to grumble against the belly for want of food, oh in what a confusion is then this little microcosme of ours? how is the invention rack'd, tortur'd and stretched forth to supply that defect, my hungry belly found this to be too true, which made me set my wits on work for a speedy remedy; a project quickly came into my head, but to effect the same I wanted mony; this was a double taske for me to doe, but a willing minde overcomes all difficulties; away went I to a Cutlers, where in the cheaping of one knife, I stole another, and lest the Cutler should mistrust me, I came up to his price, but pretended I had forgotten my mony, and therefore must goe home and fetch it. This stoln knife I sold for a groat, which mony I intended for a bait to catch a bigger fish; some few streets I traversed before my project would fasten, at last coming to Warwick-lane I saw in a Bacon-shop a fellow standing in a pocket blew-apron whose innocent lookes gave me confident hopes of a golden price, in I went and asked him the price of a pound of bacon? six pence boy said he of the rib, and four pence of the gammon; then give me a pound of the gammon (said I) and here is a groat the whole estate of a poor boy who hath been a long time in getting the same. Whilest he was weighting it I told him I had a curst mother in law, who fed me onely with a bit and a knock, which made me to go with an empty belly and a heart full of sorrow; that if shee should know I were in possession of so eatable a commodity, she would take it from me, and that she did often search my pocket for that purpose: I therefore desired him to prevent the worst that might happen, to put the same downe my back betwixt my doublet and shirt, which whilest he was doing, I leaning my head against him, with a short knife cut the pocket out of his apron, and having thanked him very kindely away I went, leaving my poor Bacon-man with a bottomless pennyless pocket.

My purchased prize was about thirty shillings, of which some four of it was in brass farthings, but all was currant coyne that came into my hands, for I made no scruple at all in the receiving it; with this I returned home, thinking to be received with much joy, as having gotten that in my pocket which would make us all merry, but the case was quite alter'd from what was before; my mother was on a sudden fullen sick, my father pressed for a soldier, & hurried away. This much abated the edge of my mirth, but my years not being capable of much sorrow, although my Mothers death ensued not long after, yet it was soone over, and indeed her outwards condition was so deplorable, it had been almost impiety to have wished her longer life.

Now though my condition was bad enough before, yet by my Mothers death it was much worse; I was now lest to the wide world friendless, monyless, and pittyless, for not any one of the neighbors would give me entertainment, expecting no good fruit from the sciens of such a bad stock. To follow my trade of theiving I began to dread, for every line, rope, & halter that I saw, me thoughts did admonish me to leave it off, for feare I came home short at last, and to follow the occupation of begging was then a very bad time to begin in, it being about the depth of winter; at last I remembred my Mother had a brother a Barber-Chyrurgion, living in St. Martins; thither I went, aquainted him with his sisters death, my own sad condition, and what a boy I would prove if it would please him to give me entertainment; he being ignorant of the trade that I drove, and moved with compassion at my pittiful tale, told me if I performed what I promised, I should not want for any thing he could assist me in; hereupon I was had into the house, and though my Aunt scowled on me, my Uncle commanded my rags to be taken off, and a suit of one of my Cousins put upon me, as being the more durable, although my own were a thousand strong.

Having thus with the snake cast my skin, and attained to good diet and lodging, I quickly began to be as briske as a body lowse, and to vapour amongst the boys like a Crow in a Gutter; and (notwithstanding my promise) my minde was now wholly fixt upon Ruogery, but in a lower orb than what I practised before, tending rather to mirth then much mischief; to doe this I had several inventions, according as time and place were convenient; one of my first exployts was, that being sent of an errand to a Grocers shop in a frosty morning, where was a pan of coals to warme their fingers, I secretly conveyed therein some Guinney peper, which sett the Prentices in such a violent coughing fit that they were not able to speake to a Customer; their Mistress hearing this noise below, came running down staires, where scenting the matter, she began to speak aloud at both ends, and being something laxative by drinking of Sider, she bewrayed in what a condition she was in by what was scattered on the flour.

Sometimes would I in a clean place where wenches were to pass, lay a train of Gun-powder, and at the very instant that they went along, set fire to it, which was a great pleasure to my Worship to see how the poor Girles would skip and leap, just like a horse when he hath a netle under his tayle. At other times in the night would I tye a line from one side of the street to the other about half a foot high, whereby those that came next were sure to have a fall; nay I could not forbeare to act my Rogueries in the Church it self, having Goosequill filled with lice and fleas, which I would purchase of the Beggars for broken meat; these would I blow into the necks of the daintiest Gentle-women that I could see. At other times would I wish a needle and thread (which I alwayes carried about with me in my pocket) sow mens cloaks and womens Gownes together as they stood in the Crowd, so that when they went away, there would be such pulling of one another, that they would never leave until one of their Garments had a peice of it rent out.

Amongst other instruments of mischief wherewith I exercised my self, one was a hallow trunck to shoot with, in which I was such an artist that I seldome mist hitting the mark I aimed at; and that I might be the better undiscovered I on purpose brake a hole in the glass-window, through which I used to shoot at my pleasure, scarce could an oyster-wench or Kitching-stuffe wench pass by, but I would hit her on the neck, hands, or some naked place, which would set her a rayling and scolding for a quarter of an hour together at she knew not whom. One Munday morning a shoomakers maid had been fetching a great pitcher of beer for the Crispins to begin their weeks work withall; now as she sayled along with the pitcher in her hand, which with the weight thereof drew her quite a one side, to prevent the wenches growing crooked thereby, I levell'd so right that I hit her on the fingers, so that down came the pitcher, and with the weight thereof brake all in peices, and spilt the good liquor; the poor wench cryed pittyfully, the Crispins stormed for loosing their mornings draughts, and being informed it was I that did it, they vowed to be revenged on me, which not long after they brought to pass.

For I that could not live without Roguery no , 63 more then a fish without water, still continued my trade notwithstanding all their threats. One day whilest I was watching for my prey, thorow the hole of the glass-window aforesaid, there came by a man with a basket of drinking glasses on his head; scarce was he past me, when I saluted him with a dirt-bullet on the Calf of his leg, which made him give such a leap, that down came the basket with the glasses clattering upon the stones, making such a murther amongst them, that never was a Citizen (though he owed ten thousand pound more then he was worth) so much broken as they. The fellow seeing his glasses thus mortified, cursed most bitterly, breathing forth nothing, but revenge if he did but know who it was that did it. I who was conscious of my own guilt, hearing him so to thunder, thought some of his anger might lighten on me, and therefore to prevent the worst, I ran up the staires, and hid my self under the bed; but he that hath a bad name is worse then half hang'd, the shoomakers who I had mischiefed before, right or wrong, said positively that it was I, urging him on to revenge himself on my uncles glass-windows; the fellow who was easily induced to believe what they said, and to act accordingly, made no more adoe but up with his empty basket, and to revenge his quarrel made such havock of the windows, that there was scarcely ever a quarrel left. O how did my uncle looke, and my Aunt scold to see their house thus metamorphosed into the shape of a Bawdy-house; but it was in vaine for them to complain, every one tooke the mans part, and laid all the blame of the mischief upon me; hereupon was a privy search made all the house over for me, and being found my poor buttocks paid full dearely for the breaking of the windows, my Aunt standing by all the while to see execution done upon me, and urging my Uncle on to beat me, for which I cursed her in my heart most bitterly.

CHAP. VII.

 

He discovers his Aunts playing loose with a Shopkeeper, his Uncles invective against women.

My Aunts unkindeness to me vexed me to the heart, so that I vowed to my self to be revenged on her; the print of the rod did not stick so fast on my buttocks as the remembrance of her words did stick in my minde; Io was not so watched by Argus as I watched her, for I knew that women were subject to many faults, and my Aunt as subject as any of the rest; One Shopkeeper used constantly to haunt our house, not a day passed in which we had not his company; This man my uncle entertained with very much respect, for what reason I know not, unless it were that of the Poets:



Experience plainly doth unto us show,
Cuckolds are kind to them that make them so.

One day my Uncle went forth to dress a patient, no sooner was he gone but the Shopkeeper was there; Now our whole family consisted onely of four persons, my Uncle and Aunt, a maid and my self; in order therefore for their more privacy, the maid and my self; in order therefore for their more privacy, the maid was sent to the market to buy eggs, and my self had liberty to go forth to play; I kindely thanked my Aunt for this courtesie, and taking my hart, with a seeming forwardness pretended to go forth: but clapping to the door on the inside, I softly sneaked back and hid my self under the staires, where undiscerned I could plainely see all the passages between my Aunt and the Shopkeeper. He thinking us gone, took my Aunt by the hand, and clasping his arm about her neck, fell to kissing her with as much eagerness as a hungry dog snatcheth at a bone; no doubt but her lips were very sweet, for he was still hanging at them as if he had taken a lease of them for three lives; at last my Aunt began to struggle (I suppose for want of breath) and opening her mouth (which I wisht a hundred times had been closed eternally) she thus said to him: Ne pish, why do you thus trifle? now that the Coast is clear, let us take time by the fore-lock, lest we be prevented of our designe: in sooth you are so long about the prologue, as may chance to marr the Comedy; make not such a long stop at the porch, but enter loves Cittadel, and ransack all her treasures, and so giving him a short kiss, hand in hand up staires they went. No sooner were they gone, but I slipt out of my peeping hole, and coming to the door at the staires foot, softly locked the same, and putting the key in my pocket, with as little noyse conveyed my self out of the house.

Thus whilest they were playing their game, I resolved to play mine, and hiring a Porter, sent him to my Uncle, to certifie him that my Aunt was swounded away, and laid upon the bed in such a condition as would grieve him to the heart to behold it, desiring him to make all the haste home that possibly he could; and having given him his message, I stept aside to a neighbors house to observe (when my uncle came home) how the project would take.

The Porter quickly dispatched his errand, and my uncle suddenly posted home, where entering the house and finding not any one within, he began first to call for the maid, then for me, and last of all for my Aunt; but receiving no answer, he attempted to goe up stairs, when the locksmiths daughter denyed him entrance. The two Lovers (who by this time had verified the saying to be true, that a man may be made a Cuckold in the short time of going to a neighbors house, as well as going a voyage to the West-Indies) hearing my uncle below, were almost distracted with this surprize; my Aunt dreaded my Uncles anger, knowing him to be of a very chollerick disposition; and the poor Shopkeeper feared to be served as the Country clown served the Curate whom he took in bed with his wife, and whom he thus menaced:



Make me a Cuckold, reading Rogue!
   No pulpit serve but Susan's,
Must Susan's smock your surplice be?
   He take away that Nusance,
And though Priest wept, and wife did beg,
   Churl slighted words and teares,
And at one gash from Curate took
   Musket and Bandaliers.

The feare of loosing his genitals made him to shake worse than if he had haad a Tertian ague, and therefore to prevent it he crept underneath the bed, whilest my Aunt went downe stairs intending to smother up all with a dissembling kiss; but when she saw the door was fast, and my uncle asking her why she locked it? she could not tell what answer to make at present; but being well principled in the mysteries of Venus, she soon recollected her self, and with a sorrowful voice (as if she had been sick of a feaver for a fortnight together) she pewled out these words: Ah dear Husband (said she) I was lately taken with such a great sweaming in my head, as not able to sit up longer, I was forced to go up stairs and lie down upon the bed; in the meane time I suppose your unhappy kinsman (who mindes nothing but mischief) hath in revenge of me for causing him to be beaten, locked the door, and thrown away the key. Whilest she was thus exclaiming on me, I came in pussing and blowing as seeming quite orewearied with play, and as if ignorant of what had happened, asked very earnestly what was the matter? My Aunt though she were mue'd up like a hawke, yet hearing my tongue, could not forbeare to vend her spleene against me in these words: You impudent yong Rogue (said she) doe you act mischief and then plead ignorance? O that I were but well for thy sake, I would make every limb of thee feel the weight of my displeasure, concluding her invective with as horrid a yelling as and old woman grown hoarse with crying of Sprats, or as a company of dogs when they bark at the Moon.

My Uncle who was of the same nature that other Cuckolds are commonly of, to believe whatsoever their Wives doe say unto them, hearing her so positively to affirm it was I that did it, he began presently to ransack my pockets for the key, protesting if he found the same about me, he would make me an example of his severity. But I who alwayes dreaded what might ensue, to prevent such after claps, had before bestowed the same in a house of office. No sooner had my uncle examined my pockets, (where was not any thing to be found that might do me a prejudice, but I began to enveigh against my Aunts malice in blaming my innocency, and to perswade him it could be no other then some thief, who whilst my Aunt slept, having locked the door, had hid himself in one of the Chambers. This though it carried but little show of probability in it, yet the fear of loosing his Mammon made him believe any thing, and therefore presently sent me for a Smith to break open the door, which being done, we all three ascended the staires to search for this hidden thief, although my Aunt vehemently urged the contrary, alleadging it was impossible that any one should go up the stairs but she must needs hear them; how ever my uncle would not be so pacified, but searching about, he at last spyed the poor Shopkeeper as he lay shaking underneath the bed half dead with fear. But when he saw who it was, turning to my Aunt he said, You impudent whore, do you abuse me thus? you could feign sickness with a pox to you, when you were so rampant as to Cornute me in my absence; is this your pretended chastity and reservation? I shall take a time when to be even with you; In the mean time Master Shopkeeper (said he) I will have my pennyworths out of you, and thereupon falling on him with his fists, (anger giving him at once both strength and courage) he so buffered the Shopkeeper, that had not the Smith interposed, I suppose he would go near to have killed him; but after an hundred or above of blows, the Smith stepped in betwixt them, giving the Shopkeeper liberty to run away, bearing along with him the marks of my unckles anger, which he wore as badges in his face for a long time after.

My Aunt seeing how bad the Shopkeeper had sped, and knowing the business too apparent to be denied, fell down on her knees, desiring my unckle to pardon her for what was past, and protesting amendment for the time to come; this her humiliation much mollified the edge of my unckles anger, who in stead of beating her (which I heartily wished) fell a railing on the whole sex of women in general, in these or the like words.

O Nature! why didst thou create such a plague for men as women; how happy were men had they never been; oh why could not Nature infuse the gift of procreation in men alone without the help of women? then should we never be acquainted with the deceitful devices of those Devils, Harpies, Cockatrices, the very Curse of man, dissembling monsters, only patcht up to cozen and gull men; borrowing their hair from one, Complexions from another, nothing their own that's pleasing, all dissembled, not so much as their very breath is sophisticated with amber pellets and kissing causes, and all to train poor man unto his ruine. A woman shee's an angel at ten, a Saint at fifteen, a Devil at forty, and a witch at fourscore, so stufft with vice as leaves no place for vertue to inhabit; of such crooked conditions, and corrupt actions, that if all the world were paper, the Sea inke, trees and plants, penns, and all men Clerks, Scribes, and Notaries, yet would all that paper be scribled over, the inke wasted, penns worn to the stumps, and all the Scriveners weary, before they could describe the hundredth part of a womans wickedness, so that I may very well conclude with the Poet,



There is not one good woman to be found;
And if one were, she merits to be crown'd.

This is my uncles invective puts me in mind of a story which I have heard since, concerning the scarcity of good women, that above five hundred years ago there was a great sickness almost throughout the whole world, wherein there dyed forty four milions, eight hundred seventy two thousand, six hundred and eighty three good women, and of bad women only two hundred and fourteen; by reason whereof there hath been such a scarcity of good women ever since, the whole breed of them being then almost utterly extinct.

CHAP. VIII.

 

His Aunt and the maid joyn together, and by a blinde wager make him to be laughed and hooted at by the boys; he is soundly reveng'd on them both fer the same.

Never was Prentice more subject to a Master then my Aunt was to my unckle after the discovery of her leachery; his desires were commands, and those commands laws which were by her put in speedy execution, if he bid her go, she would run; doe that, it was no sooner said then done, but the greatest miracle of all was, that if she were never so busy in talking, yet if he said but peace, she would suddenly hold her tongue, which before used to be in perpetual motion, and was as hard to be stopped as a stream when it hath over-flowne its banks, or the sails of a mill when the wind blows in its greatest violence, so that a serene sky seemed to have succeeded that storm that all things were pacified, and that my unckle had contentedly put his horns in his pocket.

But though she carried fair weather in her countenance, she had storms of revenge in her heart towards me; for she did more then conjecture that it was I which had caused her all this mischief; and therefore since she durst not vend her spleen upon me her self, she used the help of her Maid, who brought the same to pass after this manner.

One evening (my unckle being abroad) whilest she, the maid and I were sitting alone by the fire, after some other discourse, the maid profer'd to lay a wager with me that I could not blindfolded with my tongue lick forth a six pence from betwixt her breasts, this I thought so easy a thing to do, that I willingly laid a shilling with her on the same, and presently accorded for to be blinded: which whilest she was doing, my Aunt (as it was before agreed) stepped forth of doors, and called in a Boy who was to act their design, as also some of the neighbours to be spectators of this my folly. Now in stead of the maids breast, the Boyes hose were put down, and his naked breech exposed to be the object for me to lick, which I greedily persued; but presently hearing a gigling, and senting a ranck smell, I soon desisted, as being very apprehensive what the matter was. But when I was unblinded, and beholding my shame before my eyes, I hung down my head and look't like a dog that had stole a pudding, much blaming my credulity, and bitterly cursing the great cause of that their jollity.

For a long time after I could nor walk the streets, I was so laughed and hooted at by the Boys, my Aunt and the maid having spread the same abroad in every place, flesh and blood could not endure this, to see my enemies triumph in my shame, so that nothing now ran in my mind but revenge, the very thought of mischief was more sweet unto me than Muscadine and eggs, and soon I thought upon on a way for to do it. One of our neighbours (who beared as little love to my Aunt, as she did to me, or loyalty to my unckle) having a burning glass, I imparted my project unto him, who applauding my invention, willingly lent me the same; thus fitted with an instrument, I soon found out an opportunity to work my revenge. My Aunt being extreamly proud, used to wear Lawn Ruffs of a great value. One Sun-shiny day, sitting in the Shop a sowing with her back towards me, I took the burning glass, and by attracting the Sun-beams set her Ruffs on a flame about her neck, which made her to shreik and bellow most hideously; wherreupon I started up, and as if affrighted snatched up a pay I of dirty water away from the maid wherewith she was washing the kitchin, and poured the same on my Aunts head; this (though it made her to look like a Bawd that was newly alighted from the Cart wherein she had ridden for the sin of leachery) did she take as a great courtesie at my hands, having thereby extinguisht the fire wherein otherwise she might (she said) have perisht; not in the least judging it was I that did it, but imputing it as a just Judgment upon her for her intollerable pride, and vowing thereafter to be more humble in her carraige, and loving unto me.

Now though I thought I had plenary satisfaction for my abuse, of my Aunt, yet I resolved that the maid should in no case go scotfree, but that her disgrace should be equal to mine; Being thus resolved, procur'd some Emmets Egs by the help of a Countryman; the nature of which are, that being taken, in broth, posser, ale, or the like, they wil set the parties for on farting, as if they would break their very twatling strings therewith. The very next day after I had gotten them, my unckle had invited some Guests to dinner, wherefore I resolved to put my resolution in execution then. That morning the maid to strengthen her the better to go through her work, had provided her self a Caudle, (she being of the same nature that most women are of, to know very well what is good for themselves) no sooner was her back turned, but I conveyed the Eggs into the same, which she very freely drank off, but presently her Belly began to wamble, and her back-side proclaimed aloud that she was very much troubled with winde; such loud reports she gave, and so fast they came one after another, that the Good wife in the tale of the Fryer and the Boy, was a meer nothing to her. I could not forbear laughing if I should have been hang'd to hear how fast she trumpt it about, which gave her occasion to mistrust that I had done something unto her; but when she went to rail at me, her tongue could not be heard for the exceeding noise that she made with her tail. By this time my Aunt was come down off her chamber, but hearing how the maid talkt to her at both ends, she could not forbear laughing neither, which vexed the maid worse than before. My unckle hearing the great noise that was made, came also to see what was the matter, but Jane (for so was the maids name) was so ashamed that she could not speak one word for blushing, only that her tail proclaim'd that she had a very great Civil war within her belly: poor Jane did all she could to hold it in, but it would not do, but out it flew with such impetuosity, that my unckle could less forbear then we, but laughed as if he would have split himself. This treble noise of laughter made Jane to think that we had all conspired against her, wherefore she got into her chamber, and notwithstanding dinner was to dress, yet locking the door, all the Rhetorick that could be used to her, could not prevail with her to quit her Chamber all that day.

Next morning (her body being now in a quiet temper) she appeared out of her den, but who should then have seen her looks might plainly perceive how anger and shame strove which should have most predominancy in her; at first her Clack began to go, but my Aunt pacifying her, she fell to her work as she was accustomed. Now over night I had so devulg'd it amongst the Boys, that when that forenoon she was sent to market, she had not been far out of doors but she had a hundred boys at her heels, farting with their mouths, and making such loud hoots and hollows, that she was forced to return back again, where inclosing herself within hhr chamber till night, she packt up her cloaths and in the dusk of the Evening departed away whither I never saw her afterwards.

CHAP. IX.

 

Some abuses of Chyurgions; the knavery of Tapsters, Hostlers and Chamberlains, with a brief character of a drunken Host.

Having now attained to about twelve years of age, my unckle began to instruct me somewhat in his art of Chyurgury, intending when I had attained to some small perfection therein, to send me to Sea, although my minde never stood that way, resolving not to be mue'd up in a wooden Cage, where there was but some few inches distance continually betwixt me and death. In this small tract of time that I was thus employed with my unckle, I found out much cuningness in his art whereby to gain mony, for if it were but a prickt finger, he would make a great matter of it, and tell you what danger you had been in if you had staid but a minute longer; instancing how such a one his Patient by only cutting of a Corn, and drawing blood, it turned to a Gangrene, which by had handling of unskilful Chyrurgions growing worse and worse, they were at last inforced to send for him, who in a few days made him perfectly sound, that otherwise (had he not come to him) must inevitably have perisht.

Now because monyed Customers were something rare, when they did come we made both their bodies and purses smart for it; lengthening out the healing of their wounds, the better to wire-draw their purses. Indeed we were not so much beholding to the wars, as we were to the Stews, unless sometimes a Tavern quarrel brought us a Patient; but then what a brave incitement we had to make him to part with his mony, telling him he might recover that and ten times more of his Adversary, that we would be witness for him, and that if he had not met with a skilful Chyrurgion, it would have cost him his life; when as perhaps it was but a little scratch, his block-head being too hard for to receive any deep wound.

One story of a Patient I shall relate, not so much to show the rarity of his cure, but the malice of a woman which occasioned his hurt.

The fellow by his profession was a Plaisterer, who had a most damnable scold to his wife, that used to fetch him from the ale-house with a Horse-pox; one night coming home three quarters drunk, she acted the part of Zantippe, and made the House to ring with her scolding; this musick was so untunable in her Husbands ears, that getting a Cudgel in his hands, he fell to belabouring her as Sea-men do stock-fish, until he made her to ask him forgiveness, and promise him never to scold so again: Having thus as he thought got an absolute conquest over her tongue, he went quietly to Bed, where he slept soundly, whilest she lay awake studying of mischief. In the morning before he wake't she examind his pockets for mony (the common tricks of a great many women) but found nothing in them , 79 save only some lath-nails; these did she take and set upright all about the Chamber, which done she gets a payle of water in her hands, and calling aloud, commands him to rise, which he refused to do, she throws the payl of water upon the Bed; this so vext him that starting suddenly up, he went to run after her, when his naked feet lighting upon the lath-nails, he was forced to slacken his pace, being so mortified with them, that for three quarters of a year afterwards he lay under my uncles hands.

But to return where I left. I had not been long at the Trade, when my unckle one day walking down to Wapping, provided me of a master to go to Sea, which (as I told you before) I was fully resolved against, and therefore very peremptorily I told him that I would not go, which so incensed him that he vow'd that I should not stay any longer in his house; I was the less troubled at his words because the day before I had heard of a Tapster in an Inn not far off that wanted a Boy; thither therefore went I and profferd my service unto him, which he as readily accepted, and the same night was I entertained into the House, he having heard the cause of my departure from my unckle, for which he rather blamed him than me.

Now was I in my kingdom having store of company, and my fill of strong drink, which two things I dearly loved. I applyed my self to my calling very diligently, and soon learned to cry Anon, anon Sir , and By and by, with as much alacrity as the best Tapsters Boy in Christendom. My master taught me how to nick the Canns, and froth the Jugs, and with the crotched chalk to score up two flaggons for one, and I quickly found the way when Company was drinking to take away flaggons before they were half empty, and full tobacco-pipes amongst the foul ones. When Company first came in, I always observ'd to bring them of the best liquor, but when they were half drunk, then that which run on Tilt, or the drappings of the tap should serve their turn; if they found fault, I would take it away to change it, but nevertheless they should be sure to pay for it, as if they had drunk it.

One thing I observed of my master, that if the Reckoning once came to above three shillings, he would be sure to bring in six pence or eight pence more than it was; then when the Company were going away he would say, Nay stay, Gentlemen, & take my half dozen Cans before you go, which most commonly produced another reckoning, the Gentlemen knowing not how to retaliate his kindness without doing so, by this means getting their mony with thanks to boot. If Gentlemen brought tobacco of their own, we would say it stunk were it never so good, and feigning a Cough as if half stifel'd, cry out, Who is it that takes of this stinking stuff? this is enough to suffocate the Devil. Which would make some Gentlemen to throw away their pipes and say, Pox on this Grocer he hath cheated me damnably, come give us three pipes of your tobacco, which when they have had they would commend for superexcellent, although perhaps twelve pence in the pound worse than his own, by which may be proved that tobacco is nothing else but a meer fancy.

I seeing my master cozen Gentlemen so frequently, thought with my self that I might cozen them also, or at least-wise cozen my master who so often cozen'd others, being warranted thereto by that of the Poet:



Cozen the Cozeners, commonly they be
Profane, let their own snare their ruine be.

And therefore when he was out of the way, to rhe reckoning I would add a groat, six pence, eight pence, or twelve pence, according as it was in bigness, which yet I would also score up, lest if he came in the way before it was paid, and should tell the score; I might be mistrusted; but if I recieved the mony before he came, then the over-plus went into my own pocket, which could not be discoverd when the chalk was wiped out.

In Summer, when people drank in Canns, if my Master were in company (as oft-times he was invited by Guests to drink with them) we had a Can with a false bottom that held not above a quarter of a pinte, which in the delivery of them I always so ordered as that Can came to his hands, which he would drink off leisurely, and then turning the bottom upwards, it past undiscerned, saving thereby much beer in a day, keeping himself sober to drink in other companies.

In Winter for morning-draughts we furnished our Guests with Gravesend toasts, which is bread toasted over night, our plenty of Guests not permitting us to do it in the morning; if we put any of them into drink before our Guests (as somtimes we were forced to do) we would be sure to warm the beer or ale before-hand, and in putting in the toast cry siz, although it were as cold as a stone.

But my Master and I were not all the cozeners that belonged to the Inn, the Hostler claymed as great a share in that mystery as we His chief cunning consisted in tallowing Horse-teeth that they should eat no hay; or when a Gentleman gave his Horse oats, no sooner was his back turn'd, but he would steal them half away, telling the Gentleman, his Horse must needs travel well he was so quick at his meat. If a Gentlemans saddle were any thing torn he would be sure to make it so bad that he could not ride any further with it without mending, as also to spoyle the shooes on the Horses feet, that he must be forced to have new ones, for which he had pensions from the Smith and the Sadler.

Nor must I here forget the Chamberlain, who deserved to be rancked with the foremost for Roguery; he was a sly thief, and used to cheat Guests with foul sheets, pretending them to be clean, when as they had been laid in three or four times; and then a little water strowed on them, and foulded up and prest, made them seem as if new washt. He was a very diligent observer of Gentlemens Cloak-bags, whether they had good silver linings in them or no, which if he found to be ponderous, his next eare was to inquire what Country-men they were, which way they travelled, and the like, which having found, he gave intelligence accordingly to a Gang of Highway men, with whom he was in continual pay.

These were the Servants that belonged to this Inn, such a parcel of Canary-birds as well deserved to look through a Hempen casement at the three corner'd tenement in the high-way betwixt London and Padington. Were not those Guests well blest think ye, which hapned in such a place were none but knaves, thieves, and cheaters were their attendants? Now you cannot but imagine that the Master of such Servants was well worthy of his place, I shall therefore onely give you a brief character of the Host himself, and so proceed on in my discourse.

He seemed by his bulk to be of the race of the old Gyants, and though his belly were not so big as the tun at Heidleburg, yet a flaggon of beer therein seemed no more than a man in Pauls. He commanded with as much imperiousness as if he were the great Cham of Tartaria, and had an excellent faculty to strut along the streets with the top of his staff bobbing against his lips, he could call the yong wenches whores with a great grace; and when he took tobacco, his mouth vented smoak like the funnel of a Chimney. He much blamed the English for affecting to drink wine, preferring beer and ale before all forraign liquors whatsoever. To show his loving nature he would drink with all companies, and could toss off a Cann with celerity and dexterity. He would not be jealous though he saw another man kissing his wife, knowing such her familiarity to be the greatest Load-stone that attracted Guests to his House, in summe, his forenoons work was to scoope in beer by the Quart, and the most part of the afternoon to spend in sleeping.

In this house I wasted away my time nigh three quarters of a year, but then a sad accident befel my Master, which left me again to shift for my self; he had belike been dabling in private with Prudence , one of the maids belonging to the house, I know not what the business was, but she looked so bigly on on him that he could not endure hersight, and therefore to avoyd it, he privately put off his Cellar to another, and having received his money, marched off incognito, leaving me to the wide world; for this new Tapster having a boy of his own, dismissed me to shift for my self.

CHAP. X.

 

The cheats of Cookes, a story of the Spirit in the Buttery, he steals a silver bowl, the Cozenages of Astrologers; the death of his Father being killed in a drunken brangling.

Long I was not without a Master, being entertayned into a Cookes service, of which I rejoyced not a little, being in good hope however the world went, that I should not be starved in a Cookes shop, one extraordinary priviledge I had by living in this service; for if the old proverb be true, that the nearer the boon, the sweeter the flesh , then I alwayes ate of the sweetest, my diet being to pick the bones that came off of Gentlemens tables. During the time that I lived here, although I had been a yong wench, I should not needed to have feared being troubled with the Green-sickness, running up and down stairs so many score times in a day would have cured me of that malady; those who had seen my nimbleness would have absolutely judged that my shooes were made of cork, I was as light heel'd as she who hath made her Husband Cuckold seven and twenty times over. My Master drave a great trade, not onely in boil'd meat and roast meat, but also in baking small pies, which the women cryed up and down the streets for him. Every Fryday I observed we had brought in a Porters basket full or two of pieces of raw meat, which though me thoughts they smelt very unsavory, yet were they made use of, some minced, others pepper'd and salted, and put into pies, ere the week went about they all marcht off, I wondred for a great while from whence this meat came, at last I was informed by one of the Prentices, that it was such pieces as were cut off of the stinking raw hides, that were brought into Leaden-hall to sell there on Frydays; bless me thought I, what deceit is here! then did I thinke on the old proverb, that the blinde eats many fly. No marvel that sicknesses are so rife, since such unwholesome food must needs introduce them. Now because those pieces of meat were lean and dry, they used to mix with them such fat pieces of meat as Gentlemen left, adding thereto some dripping, and such like stuff, which altogether made a gallant hodg-podge for hungry stomacks.

To roast meat twice over is so commonly now used amongst most Cooks, that I think I shall not need to mention this as a rarity in my Master; and yet would not that, nor what I mentioned before, nor his buying of Carrion, such meat as would have dyed alone had it not been killed, being diseased or maimed, and selling it for good; all this (I say) would not do, notwithstanding all his great pains, but still be went backwards in the world; which puts me in minde of a story that I have heard some while ago, concerning an evil spirit that haunts the houses of such persons who use unconscionable wayes whereby to grow rich, which though it be nothing as concerning my life, yet I think it not amiss to relate the same, as being not altogether impertinent to our purpose.

In the City of Bristol (a place which may compare with the choicest of England for the faireness of the buildings, and richness of trading) within the memory of our Fathers, there lived a yong man named Francisco, who although prentice to a Baker, yet when his time came out, set up the trade of a Cook. This yong man was very desirous to gain a great estate quickly, and so impatient he was of being rich on a sudden, that he resolved to leave no means unattempted which should lye in his way whereby he might effect his desire, for so he might gaine, he stood not upon what means whereby he might doe it; bad infected meat he sold for good, nickt his Canns, froatht his Jugs, scored up two flaggons for one, yea what not? but all his endeavours arrived not to that height which he expected, for notwithstanding he went forward in trading, doe what he could he went backwards in thriving. This Francisco had a Priest to his Uncle, that lived about some twenty miles off him, who had bestowed some small matter on him when his time came out whereby to set him up, and two years being now expired, he repaired to his Nephew to see how fortune had favor'd him, and whether he had made any improvement of that little he had given him. The Nephew entertained him kindely, and feasted him royally, but when his Uncle asked him how the world went him, he could not chuse but sigh, telling him what endeavours he had used whereby to encrease his estate, but that all proved fruitless. Ah Cozen (said the old man) come along with me, and I will show you the thief that steals away all your gains, and thereupon taking him by the hand he lead him into the Cellar, where when they were come, they beheld a big fellow with a paunch like a tun, his eyes strutting out with fatness, his thighes like to mill-posts, so unweildy that he could hardly go; there they saw him gurmandizing on the cold meat that was left, devouring more in a minute then six hungry plough-men could doe in half an hour; after he had so eaten, he takes a flaggon in his hand, and of the best beer, swallows down five or six of them full one after another, which being done he vanisht away; this Cousin (said the Priest) is the Spirit of the Buttery , who so long as you use ununconscionable wayes by cheating of people, hath power over what you have, which he will so invisibly devour, that doe what you can for the gaining of an estate, it is but all in vaine; and therefore if you intend to thrive, you must take a clean contrary course to what you have done, and by dealing honestly, there is no question but a blessing will follow upon your endeavours.

The yong man promised very faithfully to do according to his Uncles directions, who thereupon returned home again: accordingly when his Uncle was gone, he began to work a thorow reformation, bought of the best meat, sold good penny-worths, filled his flaggons, scored right, and dealt justly in all his actings, doing this, he quickly begins to thrive in the world, grows rich, purchases house and land, and hath a great stock by him besides; in so much that his wealth being taken notice of, he was soon after chosen one of the Aldermen of the City. His Uncle afterwards comes again to visit him, to whom he relates his change of condition, and how God had blest him with a plentyful estate. Now Cousin (said the old Priest) let us again visit your Cellar; when they came there, they beheld a thin, lean, meager face'd fellow, one that seemed more like an Anatomy than a man; his ribs appeared through his cloaths, his eyes were sunck into his head, his cheeks look'd like to shriveld parchment, and his legs (which were no bigger than cat-sticks that boys use at trap-ball) were so weak as would hardly support his body. He went to a platter of cold meat, but had not strength enough to lift it up to his head; afterwards he assayed to draw some beer, but could not pull the tap out of the fasset, so that seeing his endeavours were in vain, with a deep sigh he vanisht away. Now Nephew (said the old Priest) you may plainly perceive what it was that hinder'd you from thriving before and therefore now since you are throughly instructed whereby to be rich, I shall take my leave of you, wishing with all my heart that all of your profession would leave off their cheating and couzening tricks, and take the same course of life whereby to thrive as you have done.

Now, said he, what think you of this discourse? is this quiet besides the matter or no? in truth (quoth I) I think it is very pertinent to the purpose, and I wish all tradesmen would follow the example, for when they have done all they can, they will finde in the end that honesty is the best policy, and to deal justly the high-way to grow rich: the best bed-fellow to sleep with is a good conscience, and well doing (were there no reward for it in the world to come) yet were it a sufficient recompence in it self. But leaving this discourse, as that which is rather to be wished for, than ascertained to be practised in this evil age of ours; let me entreat you to proceed on in the discourse of your life, as a thing which I much desire to hear.

That shall I gladly do, said he. Know then that after I had been at this Cooks some small space of time, my Father returned home from being a Soldier, in that voyage he was prest out as I told you of before; now though he did not go out full, he returned home more empty than he went out; without cloaths, and without money to buy any; and which was worst so pinched with hunger, that he looked like a scare-crow, or one newly risen from the dead. It grieved my heart to see him in this condition, but how to remedy it I did not know; some little money I had which was left of that I snipt in the Tapsters service, which I very freely bestowed upon him, but alas that was gone as soon almost as received, and I having no more to supply him, he asked me if we had no plate, that went about the house? I told him we had; then (said he) to furnish me, you must at such time as your house is full of Guests, upon their going away convey a silver bowl into a secure place, which you may afterwards deliver for me to one whom I will send for that purpose, for I will not come to your house my self, because there shall be no suspition of me: I promised him to do as he bid me, appointing him the time when he should send the man, which was the next day; accordingly he came and I deliver'd him a large silver bowl, which he carried cleverly away. At night when my Master came to lock up his plate, the best bowl was missing, which put all the house into disorder; my Master swore, my Mistress scolded, the Servants grumbled, but who to blame not any one could tell; onely the maid said she saw it in my hand that afternoon, for which I wisht her tongue in a cleft stick, but stoutly denyed that I had seen it that day: indeed my Master had a great conceit of my honesty or else her bawling might have discover'd me, for had they charg'd me with it strongly, I should not have had the impudence to have stood out in the denyal of it, having that within me which strongly checked me for doing it. But after some small inquisition about it, it was generally agreed that some of the Guests had stollen it away; then next was inquiry made what several companies we had that day, and which of them was the most to be suspected; but the more they thought, the worse they were satisfied, not one appearing more probable than another; wherefore it was agreed by a general consent, that the next morning the maid and I should go to a cunning Astrologer about it, one who was cryed up for art to be little inferior to Fryer Bacon, for though he could not make a brazen head to speak, yet he had such a brazen face of his own, as could out-face the Devil himself for lying.

I was not afraid to go, though I knew my own guilt, because I always judged that Art to be a meer cheat, & though they lay their nets very plausibly to take the people; yet they seldom catch any but owls and wood-cocks. Knocking at the door, Master Astrologer came out unto us, so wrapped up in his Purple Gown, that you could scarcely see e'r an honest limb of him; he had on his head a black cap with a white one under it, which was turned up some part over the black one, that it looked like a black Jack tipt with silver. After we had discovered our business unto him, he told us the price of his art was a shilling whether he found out the thief or no; we knew it was in vain for us to contend with him, and therefore we very freely gave it him, by which he perceived that the stars were very auspitious to him in that hour, or else (for ought I know) he might have gone without his mornings-draught. When he had received our money, he very formally set himself down in a Chair, having a peece of white paper before him, and then taking a pen in his hand, he made thereon several Triangles and Quadrangles, with other Crotchets and whimsies, which he called the twelve Houses. Jupiter said he being Lord of the Ascendant, signifies good luck for the gaining your Cup agen, did not Mars interpose with an evil aspect towards Mercury. Now Venus being in the fiery Trigon, denotes the party that had it lives either East or West; and Saturn being Retrograde, and in the Cusp of Taurus, it must needs be that it is hidden under ground either North or South. Then asked he us if there were not a red hair'd man there that day? we told him no; nor a black hair'd man neither said he? we still answer'd no; nor was there not (said he) a brown hair'd man there, with gray Cloaths, not very tall, nor very low? we told him yes; then asked he us if we knew him or no? we answered no. The Sun saith he being ill posited in the eleventh House, and Mercury in Trine with Virgo, it was without all doubt a brown hair'd man that had your bowl. Then asked I him if it might not be a woman as well as a man? this put him something to his trumps; but when the Maid said that could not be, for there was never a strange woman there all that day, he grew bold and answer'd, no; for Venus said he being weak in reception with Gemini, and the Moon in her detriment, both Feminine Planets, does plainly tell that it was a man, and one betwixt forty and fifty years of age. Upon my life said the Maid, I saw the party that had it, he was a curld pated fellow, with a whitish Cloak and a sad coloured suit, about thirty years of age, he dined in the half Moon, and had fix penny worth of roast beef to his dinner; but if ever I see the Rogue agen, ile teach him to steal bowls with a murrain to him. I could not chuse but laugh to my self at the wenches confidence, and the cheat of the Astrologer, and to think how poor silly people are cozened by these Jugling Artists, for no better term can I give them, as believing no truth at all in their predictions; for let me ask them this question, whether the Stars do compel or only encline? if they say they compel, they speak little less than blasphemy, by ascribing too much to Nature, and derogating from the Deity. If they only encline, then what sure ground-work can there be for what they say, when their conjectures are but only probable? And for their Doctrine of nativities, that if a man be born under such a Planet, his destiny will be so and so, and he will come to such an end; we see oftimes that in a battel, a Canon bullet kills five or six at one instant, who no doubt were born under several Planets, and yet come all to one fate; or if they say it is possible so many might be born under one and the self same Planet and aspects; yet let me go further with them; we have known battels at Sea, when by an unhappy shot a Ship hath sunk in an instant, with six or seven hundred men in her, who have all been drowned in the deep. Will they say these were all born under one Planet? verily if they should so say, I should not believe them; therefore I may say of our Astrologers as Cato said of the Aruspices of Rome in his time, that he wondred how one of them could forbear to laugh, when he met with any of his fellows, to see how they deceived men, and made a great number of simple ones in the City. But I tire your patience with this digression, for I expect not my words will work any Reformation in them, seeing they may say with Demetrius in the Acts of the Apostles, that by this Craft they get their wealth.

To return therefore where we left, having taken leave of the Astrologer, away we went home agen, fraught with a Sackful of news to tell our Master. No sooner were we within doors, but the Maid set her clack agoing; Master (said she) the Cunning man hath told us exactly who it was that stole your bowl, he hath described him fully from top to toe, not so much as his very shoo-strings but he told us of what colour they were if; his hat, his hair, his beard, his doublet, breeches, and hose, not one thing that he omitted. I served the Rogue that stole it with Roast-beeef my self, the Devil , 95 choak him with it, for I think silver will not; but if ever he comes here again, or that I meet him in the streets, ile-serve him such a trick as shall make him wish he had never drank out of any thing in his life but a wooden dish. I said nothing all this while, and though I knew she lied most abominably in what the Astrologer said, yet I confirmed her speeches, hoping this would for ever take away all suspition from me of being culpable, only I thought with my self if that party she imagined to have it should come again to the House, what a coil she would make with him; but whether she forgot his Physiognomy, or that the man never came there agen, I never after that heard any more of the matter.

In the mean time my father had disposed of the purchased prize, bought him an old suit with some part of the mony, and ranted it in the ale-house with the rest of it, for what is thus gotten over the Devils back is for the most part spent under his belly. At last his sinful life had a Tragical conclusion, for one of his Comrades and he being fudling together, they chanced to fall out, and from words proceeded to blows, where my father recieved such a knock on his pate with a flaggon, that though it killed him not out-right, yet he survived not long after; making his end answerable to his life; for as he led a troublesome life all the dayes he lived, so he put the Parish to some trouble at his death, who were forced to be at the charge of burying him.

CHAP. XI.

 

The abuses of Nurses and Keepers of sick people, his Master dyeth, the knavery of his Executor both in his trade and office: he lives with a Lock-smith, the knavery of that trade.

I was the less grieved for the death of my father, knowing if he had lived he would have brought me to the Gallows, for he would have been always in want, and urging me to supply him, which I could not do any other-ways than by theft; but that now he was dead I resolved quite to give over the practice of it, for fear in the end it should bring me to look thorough a hempen casement. And now I bent all my endeavors to please my Master, knowing I had few friends to rely upon; I was up with the first, and down with the last, and refused no work I was set unto, and I found the benefit of my diligence at last, for it pleased God to visit our family with the Pestilence, which in a weeks space swept away all the whole Houshold but my master and I. In this weeks time I observed the abuses and cheats of Nurses and Keepers, such who look to people who are visited with the sickness. Two of these Jades we had in our house, who when my mistriss lay distracted with the distemper, took away her keys, and ransackt her trunks, from whence they took a purse full of mony, most of it gold, which she had gathered unknown to my Master, intending to keep it for her further need, (or as we say) against a rayny day. Thus these Jades convey'd away together with a great deal of the best linnen in the house, which was done by the help of the watchman that guarded the door, who was son-in-law, to one of the Queanes, and now that my Master might not discover their theft, they sent her of an errant to her long home, by giving her drinks and other slops, quite contrary to what the Physicians prescribed, by the same way they dispatch'd the maid, and the Prentices, with a little Girle, the only Child my Master had; & now was none remaining but my Master and I, whom they intended should have followed after the rest, then they might have plundred without controul; but I seeing how soon my fellows were gone, and observing that they all dy'd presently after they had received any of their slops, would have nothing to do with them, perswading my Master to do the like, affirming it even before their faces, that they were the persons that had kill'd my mistress and the rest, and would if let alone, make a hand of us too. But these impudent Jades hearing me begin to discover their villanies would have perswaded my Master that I was also infected, and that it had already taken my brain, which caused me talk so idly, and so began to seize upon me, intending to have ty'd me into a bed, which if they had done I should never have come out of it alive, but my Master interposing bid them let me alone, for he himself was of the same minde with me. These bold Queanes hearing him say so, one of them flew at him; you old Dotard, said she, do you begin to talke idely too, we must tame you yfaith, and so attempted to pull him down, whilst the other was as busie with me: my Master and I strugling with them what we could: But perceiving them to be too hard for us (for they were two stout Mastiff Queanes) we got to the window and cryed as loud as we could, and thereby gathered a great many people together to know what was the matter, to whom we related the great danger we were in of being murdred by the two women that were with us, desiring by all means that we might be rid of them, they being the greatest plague we were infected withal at the present, and whom we dreaded as much as death it self. Amongst others that came (alarm'd by this outry) was a shoomaker that lived not far off who was neer of kin to my Master, and thought himself no mean fellow, he being at that time Overseer of the poor, this man kept a great bustle commanding the door to be broken open, which being done with as much Imperiousness as a Countrey Justice domineers over a hedge-breaker, he commands the two women to depart out of the house, which they (being conscious of a self guilt) accordingly did, to the no little joy of my Master and me, who fear'd we should have perished under their merciless hands.

Being rid of these two Harpyes, I was more than double diligent towards my Master, well hopeing that Death with his beesom would sweep him away also, which I judged the rather could come to pass, because the thread of his life was spun out to a far greater length than mine, not at all considering that the Pestilence makes no difference betwixt age and youth; or if it doth, sooner seizes upon youth than age, as having more matter to work upon. But I was so confident that my Master would die, and that I should live, that I would rather perform all offices towards him, than to admit of a partner to plunder the House with me when he was dead. But three days being passed, and no alteration at all appearing in him, I began then to alter my opinion, and feared he would escape and not have it at all; and therefore I began to cast my wits about, and consider with my self what I had best to do; now I knew conceit would do much with him, and therefore I first begun to tell him that he looked very ill all of a sudden, asking if he felt no alteration in his body? which at first he said, no; but afterwards upon my perswasions that he must needs be sick, he soon grew conceited that he was so indeed, in so much that at last I told him that he had the perfect symptoms of a dying man upon him; those words struck him to the very heart, that without further delay he went to the window, called for a Porter, and sent him for a Shoomaker I spake of before, to come to him presently and bring a Scrivener along with him. I asked him what he would do with a Scrivener? but when he told me it was to make his will, I was ready to swound, fearing he would take an Inventory of his goods also, and so hinder my pilfering when he was dead, for I was now fully minded to thieve from him what I could, notwithstanding my resolution but a little before to leave it off, I feared to be known for stealing the silver bowl; so hard it is for those who are principled in wickedness to leave off that vice they have been accustomed unto; however I praised him for his care therein, that he would settle his minde as to outward affaires, they might be no hindrance to his more pious thoughts, which now should be bent altogether to Heaven-wards.

Scarce had I made an end of praising his good intentions, but that the Shoomaker and the Scrivener were come, to whom out of the window he declared his minde for the disposing of his estate. First, he commended his soul unto Heaven, and his Body to earth, which I wished had been racked up in it before the Scrivener came. Next (said he) for the good and faithful service he hath done me, I bequeath to my Boy Gregory (for that is my name) the some of twenty pounds, whereof ten pound to be bestowed on him in Schooling, the other ten pound to buy him Cloaths, and put him out to Apprentice to some Handy-craft Trade. I hearing my Master to say this, could not but reflect upon my monstrous ingratitude that I should go to kill him that was so kind to me, and had so much care for my future livelyhood; but covetousness cancels all obligations, and therefore is well termed the Springhead of all ungodliness. Next (said he) I bequeath to the poor of the Parish wherein I live, the sum of five pounds, three pounds thereof to be laid out on Cloaths for them, to make them apparel, and bestowed on such as my Executor shall see most needfull; and the other forty shillings to be laid out in bread for them, and to be distributed the next four Sundays after my decease, each Sunday alike till it be out. The rest of his estate he gave unto the Shoomaker, whom he made his full and sole Executor, giving him a great charge to be careful of me, and so having subscribed and sealed it, he betook him to his bed, as prepared to die; and free leave he had to go both of me and the Shoomaker also.

To hasten him on the more, I perswaded him to sweat, which he was willing to do; so I covered him with as many Cloaths as he was able to bear, and being in a violent sweat, he called for some strong waters? whereupon I went to the Pump and filled him a pint of such sober liquor as that yeilded, and brought it to him; which having tasted, he asked me what I had brought him? I told him it was excellent good white annyseed, he said it tasted like fair water; I told him that was only the badness of his Pallet which could not distinguish any thing; truly (said he) it tasteth so small, that I think you may leave the word anny-seed out, and call it only white water . Yet notwithstanding this he found such fault, his parching thirst caused him to drink it all off, which gave such a suddden chill to his blood, that what with that and some other slops that I gave him, in three days time he turned up his heels and dyed.

No sooner was his breath out of his body, but I began to put in execution what before I had intended; and first I examined his pockets, wherein I found the sum of fourteen shillings and nine pence; eleven shillings whereof I took, leaving some, that I might not be suspected to have taken any, but this was nothing to what I thought to find in his Trunck, which I opened with an expectation to have my eyes blest with the sight of store of white and yellow peeces; but the Clouds dropped no such rain, the Trunck courted not me as Jupiter did Diana with a golden showre; some plate was in it, some Bonds, and other writings, but no money. This was a shrewd cooling card to my high hopes, which promised me mountains, and performed not mole-hills; for as for the plate the Executor knew of each peece in the house, and Bills and Bonds signified no more to me than meat to an hungry man which he might see but not come at; wherefore seeing it would be no better, I armed my self with patience, considering I had not lost by his death, he having given me twenty pound for the bringing me up to some learning and putting me out Apprentice, by which I hoped to be sufficiently able to live in the world; and therefore having secured the eleven shillings in the Coller of my doubler (mistrusting my pockets might be searched) I called for a messenger, and sent the Executor word of his death, not bidding him to have a care of frighting him in the delivery of his message, for I did not think the sudden news of his death would make him to break his heart with sorrow, there was less fear in that than of a Usurer undoing a yong Heir, when he once gets him into bonds. He having received the news, made no long tarriance before he came to me, bringing a couple of old women along with him to search the dead corps, that an account might be given what he dyed of, which is a thing that (you know) is usual. But before I proceed any further (having occasion here to speak of these searchers) give me leave to mention some abuses and cheats which I have observed to be practised by them.

They are indeed very necessary, especially in great Cities, that an account may be given of what diseases people die of, and that men may not have their lives shortened by violence, which appearing after their deaths, may be by them discovered; but these women have their Cheats too, for notwithstanding they are sworn to give a true information to the Parish Clarks, yet money can so blinde their eyes, that if a man be poysoned, they can bring it in that he dyed of the French-pox; and though a house be visited with the sickness, yet if the Master thereof be unwilling to be shut up for loosing his trading, if he do but greaze them in the fist with some money, they will make the pestilence to be surfeit, and the spotted feaver (which is little inferior to the plague) the Swine-pox, and sometimes the meazles; nay once I knew two of those Searchers that for money brought it in, that the party who had the spotted feaver, dyed of nothing else but the tooth-ach: Thus you see that it is an undeniable maxime that there is Knavery in all trades, people being now grown so villanous in their practises, that they make the very dead to be accessary to their cheats.

But to return to my story: The Shoomaker standing in the street, whilest the women came in, called to me, and bid me if any of the Truncks were open, to lock them up, and throw the keys down to him; which I accordingly did, the fear of loosing his Mammon making him to dispence with any danger that might accrew to him by taking the keys. That night was my old Master buried, and a fortnight after (the Bedding and Cloaths being aired in the mean time, and I continuing sound) I was removed to his house, where I took special notice of his great care in performing my Masters will, and first for the three pounds that was given to buy the poor Cloaths, he bestowed the same on two suits for his own Boys, proving it to be the will of the dead it should be so; for (said he) they are poor who are in want, and his sons wanting Cloaths, therefore they were to be reckoned in the number of the poor, and policy bids us this, always to provide for our own poor first. Then for the bread he ordered with the Baker so, that for every ten dozen he would have a twelve penny loaf, and yet were they made fifteen to the dozen, which over-plus above twelve he also took to himself, so that the penny loaves shrunk to the bigness of half penny ones, and onely for the name there was no difference. I seeing how he had dealt by the poor, thought with my self that my Legacy would shrink also like Northern Cloath in the wetting, and my twenty pound come to twenty shillings; but whilest I had cause for my self, I would not complain of his dealing by others, and therefore expected the event with patience.

Soon after I was set to School with a fellow that went in black Cloaths, and therefore taken for a man of learning because so habited; this man and his Schollars were both of one minde, for he cared not how little he taught for their money, and they cared not how little they learned for it; but I who had no friends to rely on for bestowing any thing upon me afterwards, resolved not to neglect opportunity, but to gain what learning I could, thinking it might stand me in great stead another day, and therefore I so plyed my book, that in a short time I could read English very perfectly, and had some skill in writing and casting accomps.

During this time that I went to School, I plyed not my book so altogether, but that I observed some practises of the Shoomaker both in his trade and in his office; and first for his trade, I saw he used two sorts of leather, one whereof was called Mens leather, which was strong, fast, and would last well; the other he called womens leather, which was not half tanned, and would scarce last ten miles going; this last sort of leather (because it was cheap) he used most, especially in womens shooes, and the inner soals of mens; and sometimes I observed that if the inner soals were too little, he would slit them in the middle to make them appear on both sides, and at other times with his teeth he would stretch his leather, as for gain he would stretch his conscience. Then for his office, for the bread that was given to the poor at the Church on Sundays, he had a weekley fee from the Baker for his custom; and for other gifts that were to be distributed (as there was some Quarterly) that poor man that received them, must either do a days work gratis for him, or else present him with some gift worth half of what he was to receive, or else he was sure to go without it; so that in respect of his office, these verses of Withers were very applicable unto him.



The poor's neglector, O I pardon crave,
Collector I should say, may play the knave,
The fool I would have said, but chuse you whether,
He may be both, and so he may be neither.

But before I had been at School long, my Guardian told me the ten pound was out for my board (for I paid a Roast-meat price for my diet, although I fed most commonly on bread and cheese) and therefore I must prepare to go to Prentice; I thought it was in vain to contend with him, and therefore bid him to provide me a Master as soon as he would, for I was willing I told him to go. He quickly heard of one (for bad Masters are as easie to be found as bad servants) one that was a true Bacchanalian, a Son of Vulcan, by profession a Lock-smith, what the Executor was to give with me I know not, but thither I went some few days upon liking; and indeed it was but a few days I was there in all, for there was found Knavery in that Trade as well as others. My new Master had belike driven an old trade with pick-pockets, house-breakers, and such kinde of people, whom he furnished with store of pick-locks, and instruments to break open Shop-doors and windows; he also drave a great trade with thievish Prentices, for false keys for their Masters counting-houses and Truncks, they bringing him the print of them either in wax or Clay, with some of which he was sharers in their purchase. He had also his Emissaries abroad, which would steal iron bars from Cellar-windows, and sometimes fetch a short jaunt into the Country, and steal the counters and shares from the Ploughs, as also hooks and hinges from Gates, which he bought for a small price, and used to work them out in the night for fear of discovery, yet all would not do, wicked actions have bad endings; one of these Prentices who had made use of him, and thereby much wronged his Master, spending that money riotously which he had got naughtily, his excess brought him to a surfeit that occasioned his end, when upon his death-bed, reflecting on his former vitious practises, he detected my Master, who was thereupon apprehended and carried before a Justice of the Peace, that sent him to Newgate; how he sped I know not, but if he had his deserts, I am sure he could not scape hanging.

CHAP. XII.

 

He is bound Prentice to a Taylor, the knavery of that trade, his Master of a stitch, he is turn'd over to a Baker, who misusing him he runneth away.

My next Master forsooth was a Taylor, a dapper fellow, to whom the Shoomaker (because he would be sure to be rid of me) bound me Prentice the first day I went to him, after I had been there a little while, whether it be the nature of the trade, or what it was I know not, but all my minde run upon penny-loaves and pudding pies; and where as before I was more given to drink than to eat, no my whole appetite was for feeding. If I went by a Bakers shop, oh how would I cast my eyes upon the penny loaves, wishing my belly a Cupboard to contain such precious jewels; neither could it sink into my faith that there was any trade in the world comparable to a Bakers, but that which made me the more hungry, I conceive was that we were much pinched in our dit; for my Master made us observe more fasting days, then were set down in the Kallendar, and then with a counterfeit zeal he would preach a long Lecture of sobriety unto his Prentices, not that he had any Religion in him (for at another mans table he would gurmandize like an Epicure) but to save victuals; and when we fell short at meals (as we oftentimes did) he would put us off with an old Proverb, that many a sack is tyed up before it be full, for his other qualifications and endowments, take a brief veiw in this short but true character of him.

He was such another as Sir Thomas Overbury speaks of, a creature made up of shreds that were pared off from Adam when he was rough cast. His chiefest care was how to cloath other mans backs, and feed his own belly; how to make them fine, and himself fat, against Christmass, Easter or Whitsuntide; he was a man of some repute, but most time else like a thick Cloak in Summer, hang'd behinde the door. His offensive and defensive weapons, were onely a needle and a thimble; with the first he murderd many Egyptian vermine, and the last he made a Gantlet for the top of his midle finger, which at other times jingling in his pocket with his bodkin, made the ale-wife to think he had money in his pocket, which caused oft-times a flaggon to be scored up behinde the door. His chief upholder was the sinve of pride, a new fashion being to him like the Term to a Lawyer; to gain which he used to frequent those Churches & places where Gallants most resorted, when on a sudden the Mechanicks wive and Kitchen maids gowns came trowling in to be new altered, for out of the fashion, out of the world. He differ'd altogether from God, for with him the best pieces were still marked out for damnation, and without hope of recovery cast down into Hell, for though he had many bottoms, yet his conscience was bottomless. Of all weapons he most affected the long Bill, and he who paid him but one half, he would be sure to be no looser by him.

An ancient Gentleman one day brought a suit of Cloaths to our Shop to be made, who that he might have them the warmer, had bought two yards of Bayes to cotten his breeches in the inner-side; my Master thought that was too good for such an use, and therefore took it to himself, and supplyed the place with old painting Cloath. It happened afterwards the Gentleman wearing those Cloaths, going to Islington , as he went over a stile, a snag or cleft of the same took hold of his Breeches & rent a great slash or gap in them, that quite discover'd my Masters theft; for right against the hole, was the picture of a Devil with a muck-fork in his hand, which made the Gentleman to admire how the Devil he should come there; searching further he found more of his fellows, and all of them with muck-forks in their hands, tormenting of Dives in the flames; this put him in a great rage, to consider how that by the knavery of the Taylor, he should carry Hell-fire in his Breech; ripping the other Slop, there was the Prodigal on Horse-back, his journey into a far Country, his Hawks and his Whores, his feeding husks with Swine, with his returning to his Father, and the killing the fatted Calf, wherefore in great rage he came to my Master, calling him knave, thief, and a great many other names, such as came first to his tongues end; my Master desired him to be quiet, told him it was stole off his Shop-board, but for his part, he wisht if he had it that he might finde it in the Hell, meaning the Hell under his Shop-board, , 111 which was the receptacle for all stoln goods.

Now those pieces which were condemned to this Hell, were termed Cabadge, and we never made any Cloaths either for men or women, in which he snipt not some pieces from them; sometimes out of a Suit and Cloak, enough to make a Boy a payer of breeches, or a doublet, and sometimes enough for breeches and doublet too. Then we drave a trade with the Sadlers, for pieces of Cloaths to make seats for Sadles. The Cabadge of course cloath was to make dust-cloaths for the legs of Country Ploughmen, wollen caps, and mittens for old women; all was fish that came to net. When a Gentleman bought a suit and cloak of good cloath, if my Master could but perswade four or five more to buy of the same, out of them all he would steal a suit and cloak for himself. Then for womens cloaths, the cabadge of cloath of silver, brancht Sattin, and the like, went for pin-cushions, pin-pillows, womens purses; and if black, Church-wardens caps. Cabadge of Tabbee, coloured Taffaty and Sarcenet, for facings for the hands of doublets, &c. when we set on gold and silver lace, we would stretch it so, that in four or five yards we would get a quarter of a yard, which with old silver buttons and such like stuff, went for ends of gold and silver; and sometimes in rich laces we would rub them so on our knees, that that in eight or nine ounces, half an ounce would come off, which went also to the encrease of ends of gold and silver.

Now being the Under-Prentice, my chief employment was to run on errands, so that having thereby an opportunity, I often visited the Dagger in Foster-lane for pudding-pies, my mouth always either peny loaf or pudding-pie fashion. Amongst other places that I went to, one of the chief was a Mercers in Pater-Noster-row, from whence my Master received a small snip for every Gown he helpt him to custom withal. Now their way of dealing was thus; my master bought the stuff then the, Mercer was to justifie that it cost him so much a yard, perhaps eight or ten shillings more in the Gown than, it did, for which my Master when he brought customers to him, was to perswade them to the stuff, aavouching there was not such another penny-worth in the Town, and that he was confident that he saved little or nothing by it; but only for to gain their custome; by which you see he who carries a Taylor with him to help him buy Cloaths, carries a Thief in stead of a friend, for the Mercer and Taylor was both agreed, and what the first says, the other will swear to. Now to hear them muster up the names of their stuffes, would make you swear they were raysing so many Divells, there's your Parragon, Barragon, Phillipine, Cheny, Grogrum, Mowhair, Damasilly, Novato, Pinckanilly, Pinckadino, Prunella, Itiliano, Castiliano, Perpetuana, Sempiternum, Tamme, Tammet, Tammeletto, and a thousand more besides, such as Adam never gave names to, being more for pride than for warmth, and rather to cloath sin, than to cover nakedness.

But ere I could attain to any perfection in the Trade, my Master dyed of that which he lived by, the Stitch, being taken with it as he was contriving a new fashion for a womans placket, that it should be neither before, nor behind, nor on either side, but before he could finish his project he was taken with this Stitch, so that that invention was utterly lost thereby: now because he dyed of such a disease, I muster'd up all my wit and invention together, and made for him this Epitaph.



A Taylor in this Grave doth lie,
Who by the Stitch did live and die;
Longer his lifes thread might have been,
But death with's sheares came him between,
Wound up his bottom, bound his feet,
And sow'd him up in's winding-sheet.

My Mistriss not continuing the Trade, I was turned over to a Baker, at which I rejoyced exceedingly, being heartily desirous to be dealing with Belly-timber, remembring how I was full fed when as I lived before with the Cook. Here I found the Maxim to be still true, that there is knavery in all Trades, for as my last Master thieved from peoples backs, so this robbed their bellies, and was in one sort worse than a Taylor, for Taylors commonly filch their Cabadge only from the rich, who can the better spare it; but a Baker by making his bread lesser than it should be, stealeth it out of the poor peoples bellies, for doing which he deserveth the same fate to attend on him as did on Pharaohs Baker, viz. hanging; or at leastwise to look through an oaken planck, and shew the people a knaves head.

He would be sure to be in fee with the Clark of the Market, and pretended great love to him, though he hated him as his Executioner. By this meanes he had always timely notice of my Lord Mayors going about, when he would be sure to have his bread full weight stand at his window; and if at any time he chanc'd to be catcht, oh how he would repine at his forc'd charity, to see his bread given away to the poor, hating Justice it self for the weigh-scales sake , though it did the Beggars as much good as their dinner, to see his basket sent to the prison.

When we had any stale mouldy bread, such as we could not sell our selves, or was returned us again by our customers, we used to soak it in water, and so mould it up again in our dough, which in Summer time at four days end would roap so, that if you pul'd it in pieces it would appear as if it were all Cobwebs, which made us always to sell such bread new. Now what other Knaveries he used in his trade, I was not there long enough to know them; for because I used to forget to rise betimes in a morning, my Master would remember me with a good ashen wand which he always kept in store by him, wherewith he would beat me as your Sea-men do Stock-fish, in so much that my flesh had on it all the colours in the Rain-bow, viz. black, blew, green, red, yellow, white, &c. above all things in the world I liked not beating, wherefore I resolved to march off, yet before I went I purposed to be in part revenged on him for those many blows he had given me. Now so it was that he lay above stairs, and I below, and when he came down, if he found me not up and about my business, he would so rib-roast me, that I could have self no cold although it had been frosty weather. Against that morning I intended to be gone, I had parched some pease in the oven, that they were almost as hard as leaden bullets; them did I strow here and there upon the stairs against my Masters coming down, and so having put up my things, and made my self ready, I staid expecting what the event would be, anon my Master called me at the stairs head, I heard him very well, but made him no answer, wherefore he supposing I was a sleep, was coming down to give me the bastinado, when treading on the pease his heels flew up, and down he came tumbling from the top to the bottom, swearing all the way he was falling, that this damn'd Rogue (meaning me) intended for to break his neck; I hearing him to thunder so loud, thought it would lighten upon my Jacket presently, and therefore to prevent it, I opened the door and shewed him a fair payr of heels, leaving him sore bruised with his fall, and more vexed that he could nor come at me, to revenge himself of me for the same.

CHAP. XIII.

 

He sereth a Plaisterer, sheweth some cheats in that Trade, he is even with the Maid of the House for her sloath, and punishing him; giveth his Master a fall from the Scaffold, and runneth away from him into the Country.

I was now grown a good sturdy Lad, and it being then the spring of the yeare, I was entertained into a Plaisterers service, I imagined with my self that there could be no knavery in this trade, but after I had bin there a while, I found there was a great deal of difference in our labour when we work't by the day, and when we wrought by the great; in the one I could not be too quick for my Master, in the other he cared not how slow; dispatching that in six days in the one, which we would hardly do in ten days in the other; in the one we minded onely our work, in the other we used to lengthen out the time with discourses of wenches, foot-ball playing, and such like; for so we brought the day to an end, we cared not so much for our work going forward, seeing our wages ran parallel with the day, and when that was done, we counted our money due, whether we earned it or no. In this service I lived like a Prince to my hearts content, for my Master would not onely wink at any Rogueries that I committed, but also countenance me in the doing of them. When we wrought upon scaffolds in the streets it was a great pleasure to me to throw the morter upon the heads of yong wenches as they passed by; and at other times with our whiting to bespatter Gentlemens Cloaks as they walked under us, that they looked as if the Crow had shit upon them. My Master kept a maid who was none of those huswifes that use to disturb other peoples sleeps by their early rising; she would endure three calls in a morning, and when she began to stirre, she would groan sadly, stretching out her arms and legs, and giving a two or three ha's to get upon her breech, where she would sit in her bed half an hour lacing of her boddice, and throwing of her coats over her head, so that we were forced to put up the victuals we carried with us our selves. My Master asked me if I could not invent a way to punish her sloath? I told him I would do my best endeavor; so that day I got some Horse-hair and shred it fit for my purpose, telling my Master what I would do with it; at night when he came home, he sem the maid for two pots of Ale, when she was gone for it, I took my shred haire, and strowed the same in her bed betwixt the sheets, which plagued her worse then if she had had half a peck of six footed vermine to her bedfellows; a good while she endured it, being exceding loath to be at the pains of putting on her Cloaths, for she always accounted the trouble of dressing and undressing her self to be a great plague inflicted on mortals to disturb them of their ease, accounting the Birds in a far happier condition than men, who go to bed and rise with their doublet and breeches on, and was resolved if she changed her Religion to have turned Adamite, that she might have saved that labour of dressing her self; but the hair tormented her so abominably, that nolens volens, she was forced to rise, and sit up until the morning, when looking in the sheets she found the cause of her disquietness; the cunning Jade made no speech of it at all, but was as pleasant that morning as if she had ailed nothing all night, which made me to mistrust my art, and think I had not done my business right. All that day she was busied with her thoughts in contriving mischief against me, the result whereof was, that she took the sheets from off her bed and laid them on mine, whereby she paid me home in my own coyn, and whereof I could not justly complaine, seeing what was sauce for a Goose was sauce for a Gander. I had work'd very hard that day, and would willingly have taken some rest at night, but it was in vain to think of it, I might almost have lain as well upon pins and needels as on what I did, I then thought upon the story which is usually told Boys when they first come to be Prentices concerning their enroling, that they must be rol'd in a Barrel drove full of nails, with the points sticking up, and thought this punishment to be little inferior to that; flesh and blood could not endure it, wherefore I got up and uncased my bed of the sheets, creeping in betwixt the blanckets where I lay all night. In the morning the maid asked me how I slept that night? I told her very well, for my skin was armor of proof against the biting of fleas, or any other disturbance whatsoever, but though I carried fair weather in my countenance, my heart boyled in revenge against her, wherefore that day I went and bought two pennyworth of Cow-itch, which is a drug of that nature, that were it touches the flesh, it will make them so scrub seventeen times worse than if they were plagued with the itch, with this I anointed her sheets in the same manner as I strowed them with horsehaire before; but if the hair netled, this fleyed, she had needed to have had Briarius hundred hands to have scratcht her self at once, for when she came to be a little hot in her bed, she fared like a mad woman; the more she scratcht the more it itcht, so that by what she seek't to allay her paine, she encreas'd it: the going out of her bed would not cure her now, she carried her distemper along with her, so that knowing not how to ease her self, she bellowed like a Bull, and made such a quarter, that the whole house was disturbed with her bellowing. All night she continued thus; in the morning I began to play upon her, told her that the scratching of her arse signified we should have butter cheap, and that how ever things went she would be sure to rub through with them, but had I not took my heels, she had so rubbed my ears for it, as would have turned my mirth into mourning. That day was very fatal to me, and my running from the maid in the morning, prognosticated I should run from my Master before night. It so happened that we had some work to do that day at a tavern in Thames-street, the backside whereof adjoyned to the Thames, which the Vintner would have beautified next to the waterside; now for to make him a scaffold to work on, he put the ends of two long sticks out at the window, laying a board over them to him to stand on the out-side; and on the in-side fastned the end of the one with a cord, but wanting a cord for the other, he bid me to fit on it, thereby to keep it from kicking up, thus was all things ordered, my Master gotten up upon his scaffold, which was just over the water, and I sitting on the end of the stick; he fell a singing as he was accustomed to do at his work, and I fell a nodding, being lulled a sleep with his singing; in my sleep I dreame't that my old Master the Cook was alive again, that I lived with him, and that our House was full of Guests; by and by some Gentlemen knocked in the next room, I hearing them, imagined that I was called, and thereupon cryed out, Anon, anon, I come I come Sir, and thereupon fell a running, when presently up flew the stick, and down fell my Master, crying all the way he fell, help, help, I shall be drown'd, the noise he made waked me out of my sleep, when looking forth of the window, I saw my Master floating like a shitle-cock upon the water. I seeing what had happened, thought more upon saying my self than him, imagining if he were drowned, that I should be hanged, and therefore that I might not die the death of a dog, to prevent it, I run away, leaving my Master to shift for himself, whom though yet I loved well, and would not have parted from him but for this accident.

I made great haste in going, and yet knew not whither to go; East, West, North, or South, all was indifferent to me, for it is impossible he can be out of his way to whom all ways are alike. London though large and populous I judged no Coverture for me, I wanting those two great helps of concealment, mony and friends. The Country therefore I pitcht upon, invited thereto the more, it being then the merry month of May, the pleasantest time of all the year, the earth having then put on her richest apparrel, the meddow cloathed in green, the fields beautified with flowers, and the woods adorned with Violets, Cowslips, and Primroses; the winged Choristers of the Forrest, warbled forth their ditties very harmoniously, the Lambs friskt and leapt, dancing lavalto's on the flowry pastures, and the murmuring stream made a noyse like a Chime of Bells, running through their vvinding Meanders. As I vvalked thus in the Countrey, encircled vvith pleasures, and every vvhere having my eyes satiated vvith variety of pleasing objects, I thought my self to be in Paradise, and imagined no pleasure in the vvorld comparable to that of a Country life; Happy, yea thrice happy (thought I) is he vvho not playing vvith his vvings in the golden flames of the Court, nor setting his foot into the busie throngs of the City, nor running up and dovvn in the intricate mazes of the Lavv, can be content in the vvinter to sit by a Country fire, and in the Summer to lay his head on the green pillovvs of the earth. The Country Cottage is neither batter'd dovvn by the Canon in time of vvar, nor pester'd vvith clamorous Suits in time of peace. The fall of Cedars that tumble from the tops of kingdoms, the Ruine of great Houses, that bury Families in their overthrow, and the ways of shipwracks , that beget even shreiks in the heart of Cities, never send their terrors thither: that place stands as safe from the shock of such violent storms, as the Bay-tree does from lightening; their sleeps are secure from such dangers, and their wakings as pleasant as golden dreams. In the homely village art thou more safe, than in a fortified Castle; the the stings of Envy, nor the bullets of Treason are never shot through those thinn walls: sound healths are drunk out of the wholesome wooden dish, when the Cup of gold boyles over with poyson. Hast thou a desire to rule? get up to the mountains, and thou shalt see the greatest trees stand trembling before thee, to do thee Reverence, those maist thou call thy Nobles. Thou shalt have rancks of oaks on each side of thee, which thou maist call thy Guard; thou shalt see willows bending at every blast; whom thou maist call thy flatterers: thou shalt see valleys humbled at thy feet; whom thou maist term thy slaves. wouldest thou behold battels? step into the fields, there shalt thou see excellent combats between the standing Corn and the windes. Art thou a tyrant? and delightest in the fall of great ones? muster then thy Harvesters together, and down with those proud Summer Lords when they are at highest. Wouldest thou have Subsidies paid thee? the Plough sends thee in Corn, the Meadow gives thee her pasture, the Trees pay thee custome with their fruit, the Ox bestows upon thee his labor, the Sheep his wooll, the Cow her milk, the Fowles their feathers, &c. Doest thou call for Musick? no Prince in the world keeps more skilful musicians, the Birds are thy Consort, and the winde instruments they play upon yield ten thousand tunes.

Thus went I on contemplating the Summers pride and the Earths bravery, and from them both concluded the great felicity of a Country life, as if the one would never fade, and the other always endure; resolving in my thoughts never to see London again, being ravished with the delights of the verdant fields, and enamour'd on the beauties of the Spring, accounting none truely happy, but he who enjoyed the felicities of a Country life; Is he addicted to study, Heaven is his Library; the Sun, Moon and Stars his books to teach him Astronomy, that great volume his Ephemerides out of which he may Calculate predictions of times to follow; yea in the very clouds are written lessons of Divinity for him to instruct him in wisdome, the turning over their leavs, teach him the variation of seasons, & how to dispose his business for all weathers, who therefore would not consume his youth in such delightfull studies, that have power in them to keep off old age longer than it would? or when old age doth come, is able to give it the livelyhood and vigour of youth? who would not rather sit at the foot of a hill, tending a flock of sheep, than at the helm of Authority, controuling the stubborn and unruly multitude? Better it is in the solitary woods, and in the wilde fields, to be a man among Beasts, than in the midst of a peopled City, to be a Beast amongst men.

As I was thus stricken into admiration of these beauties, and wholy taken up in contemplations of the felicities of a retired life, being already in my thoughts an absolute Country-man, I being now some miles distant from the Metropolitan City of our fruitful Albion, on a sudden the welkin began to rore, and send forth terrible peals of thunder, the serene sky was over-shadowed, and Phæbus hid his head behinde a cloud, the Heavens began first to weep small tears, afterwards to pour them in full Rivolets upon the thirsty earth, I had then no Pent-houses to walk under to keep me from the rain, nor was there a red lattice at every nook and corner (as at London) to give me entertainment; the spreading boughs of the sturdy oake were too feeble to defend me from being wet; I looked like a drencht Mouse, having never a dry thread on me; what to do I knew not, money I had but little, friends none, a stranger both to the place and people, unexperienced in the world, as in the way where I travelled; the consideration of those things made me add more moysture to the earth by the salt teares that trickled from my eyes; to stand still I thought was in vain, so forwards I went wet without, and dry within, (sorrow they say causeth drowth) at length I spyed by a corner of a wood a little thatcht Cottage, thither I went, and found by and old rotten stick that darted out of it, in imitation of a Sign-post, that it was an Ale-house; this something revived my drooping spirits, so in I went, to dry my out-side and wet my in-side, where I found a good fire, and store of company of both sexes merrily trouling the bowl about, singing of Catches, and smoaking Tobacco; no sooner was l'entered, but one of them drank to me a full cup, so down I sat amongst them, being all alike free Citizens of the wide world, the strang Ale soon washed away all sorrow from my heart, and now that I had a warm fire to sit by, and a house over my head, I bid a fig for all foul weather.

CHAP. XIV.

 

He lighteth on a company of Canting Beggars, and is stalled one of their society, is married to a Doxy, with the manner of their wedding.

This company that I thus happened into was a Crew of Canting Beggars, Pilgrims of the vast earth, the offspring of Cain, vagabonds and wanderers over the whole world, fit Companions for such who make a trade of Idleness and Roguery, and these were at this time fit companions for me, who seeing the merry life they led, resolved to make one of their company, whereupon (after I had a little more ingratiated my self amongst them, and taken two or three cups more of Rum-booz) I imparted my intentions to one of the chief of them, telling him that I was a Prentice who had a curst Master, whose cruelties had caused me to run away from him, and that what ever fortune might betide me, yet should not the most necessitous condition I could be plunged into, ever make me to return to him again, and therefore if I might be admitted into their society, I should faithfully observe & perform what rules and orders were imposed upon me.

, 127

He very much applauded me for my resolutions, telling me that to be a Beggar was to be a brave man, since it was now in fashion for brave men to beg. Do not we (said he) come all into the world like arrant Beggars, without a rag upon us; and do not we all go out of the world like Beggars, without a rag upon us? and do not we all go out of the world like Beggars without any thing saving only an old sheet to cover us? shall we then be ashamed to walk up and down in the world like Beggars, with old Blankets pinn'd about us? no, no, that were a shame to us indeed; have we not the whole kingdom to walk at our pleasure? are we afraid of the approach of Quarter-day? do we walk in fear of Bailiffs, Serjeants and Catch-poles? who ever knew an arrant Beggar arrested for debt? is not our meat drest in every mans Kitchen? does not every mans cellar afford us beer? and the best mens purses keep a penny for us to spend?

Having by these words (as he thought) fully fixed me in love with begging, he then acquainted the Company with my desires, who were all of them very joyful thereof, being as glad to add one to their society, as a Turk is to gain a Proselite to Mahomet. The first question that they asked me was, if I had any Loure in my Bung? I stared on them not knowing what they meant, till at last one told me it was mony in my purse; I told them I had but eighteen pence, which I freely gave them; this by a general vote was condemned to be spent in Bouse for my initiation. Then they commanded me to kneel down, which being done, one of the chief of them took a Gage of Bowse, which is a quart of drink, and poured the fame on my head, saying, I do by vertue of his Soveraign liquor, stall thee to the Rogue, and make thee a free Denizen of our ragged Regiment; so that henceforth it shall be lawful for thee to Cant and to carry a Doxy or Mort along with thee, only observing these rules. First that thou art not to wander up and down all Countries, but to keep only to that Quarter which is allotted to thee! and secondly, thou art to give way to any of us that have borne all the Offices of the Wallet before thee, and upon holding up a finger to avoid any Town or Country village where thou seest we are forraging to victual our army that march along with us. Observing these two rules, we take thee into our protection, and adopt thee a Brother of our numerous society.

He having ended his oration, I rose up, and was congratulated by all the Company, hanging about me like so many dogs about a Beare, and leaping and shouting like so many mad men, making such a confused noyse with their gabling, that the melody of a dozen oyster-wives at Billingsgate, the scolding at ten Conduits, and the Gossipings of fifteen Bakehouses were not comparable unto it. At length he that stalled me cryed out for silence, bidding the French and English Pox to light on their throats for making such a yelping; then fixing his eyes upon me, he read a Lecture to me out of the Devils Hornbook as followeth.

Now (saith he) that thou art enter'd into our fraternity, thou must not scruple to act any villanies which thou shalt be able to perform; whether it be to nip a bung, bite the Peter, Cloy the Lurries, Crash either a Bleating cheat, Cackling cheat, grunting cheat, quacking cheat, Tib oth buttery, Margery prater, or to Cloy a Mish from the Crackmans; that is, to cut a purse, steal a Cloak-bag or port-mantle, convey away all manner of Cloaths, either a Sheep, Chicken, sucking Pig, Duck, Goose, Hen, or steal a shirt from the hedg; for he that will be a Quier Cove, a profest Rogue, must observe this rule, set down by an ancient Patrico in these words.



Wilt thou a begging go,
   O per se o, o per se o,
Then must thou God forsake
And to the Devil thee betake
   O per se o, &c.

And because thou art as yet but a Novice in begging, and understandest not the mysteries of the Canting language, to principle thee the better, thou shalt have a Doxy to be thy Companion, by whom thou maist receive fit instructions for thy purpose. And thereupon he singled me out a young Girl of about fourteen years of age, which tickled my fancy very much that I had gotten a young wanton to dally withal; but this was not all, I must presently be married unto her after their fashion by their Patrico , (who amongst Beggars is their Priest) which was done after this manner.

They got a Hen, and having cut off the head of it, laid the dead body upon the ground, placing me on the one side of it, and my Doxy on the other; this being done, the Patrico standing by, with a loud voice bid us live together till death did us part: then one of the Company went into the yard and fetcht a dry Cow-turd, which was broken over my Doxy's head in imitation of a Bride-cake; and so shaking hands, and kissing each other, the Ceremony of the wedding was over, and for joy of the marriage we fell to drinking afresh, till we were all as drunk as Beggars; but then to hear the gabling noyse we made, would have made you to have blest your self, to hear such a Babel of confusion amongst us, some were jabbering in the Canting language, others in their own, some did nothing but weep and protest love to their Morts, others swore swords and daggers to cut the throats of their Doxy's if they found them tripping; one would drink a health to the Bride till he slavered again, some were for singing Bawdy songs, others were devising Curses for Justices of Peace, Headboroughs, and Constables; at last night approaching, and all their mony being spent, we betook us to a Barn not far off, where we coucht a Hogs-head in the darkmans, and went to sleep.

CHAP. XV.

 

The Orders and Degrees of the Canting Beggars, Men and Women, with their several qualities and manner of life.

Though my lodging was homely, my bedfellow pleased, yet though she were so young, I could not boast of the purchase of her Maiden-head, that being a dainty bestowed always on the Upright-men (the chief of the Rogues) who must have the first taste of such morsels, and then are they free for any of the Brother-hood. The whole night was spent in prigging, wapping, and telling of drunken stories; in the morning as soon as Phæbus began to dart some of his beames through the Crannies of the walls, the Patrico began to set up his larum, and to waken the rest with this song.


This is Bien Bowse, this is Bien Bowse,
   Too little is my skew.
I Bowse no Lage, but a whole Gage
   Of this ile Bowse to you. This Bowse is better than Rom-Bowse,
   It sets the Gan a gigling;
The Autum Mort finds better sport
   In Bowsing than in nigling. Tis better than Peckidge, Plannam,
   Then Yarum, Loure, or Lage;
Then lift the same up to thy Nab,
   And Bowse off a whole Gage.

Being thus rowsed, and having shaken our eares a little, the Upright man (who was the Bel-weather of the flock) appointed out the station wherein every one should go, prefixing a day wherein we were all to meet again. My Doxy and I had a particular walk assigned unto us, wherein we were to travel, and not to intrench upon any of the others limits; whilst I thus rambled about with her, I learned of her the several qualities and offices of the Brother-hood, and how they were distinguished from each other according to their degrees of superiority and inferiority: the men were divided into these twenty several sorts.



Of the women-kinde were onely these six.



And now what these several sorts of people are, you shall hear by their descriptions.

1. An Upright man is the chief of all the Ragged Regiment, he walks like a Commander with a short Truncheon in his hand which he calls his Filch-man; pretends himself to be a decayed Souldier, and claimes a share in all the Booties which any other inferior Rogues do get; he hath all the Morts and Doxies at his beck, and can command them from any other of the Gang at his pleasure. By this description you see there is a great deal of difference betwixt an Upright man and an honest man.

2 A Ruffler is the same in Conditions as an Upright man, like to like quoth the Devil to the Collier; they both of them pretend themselves to be decayed Souldiers, are both of them very imperious over the inferior Subjects of their Common-wealth: recieving tribute also from Rogues, Palliards, Morts, Doxies, &c.

3 The next are Anglers, but they seldome catch Fish till they go up Westward for Flounders. The Rod they angle with is a staff of five or six foot in length, having a hole bored through it within an inch of the top, into which hole do they put an iron hook, and with the same do they angle at windows about midnight, drawing therewith apparrel, sheets, coverlets, or whatsoever they lay hold on, All is Fish that comes to Net.

4 A Rogue, whose very name doth show his nature, and therefore he shall not need any further description.

5 A Wild Rogue is of the same nature as a Rogue, onely this is the difference, that the one falls into this infamous and detestable course of life, either thorough laziness, death of Parents, cruelty of Masters, or the like, the wild Rogue is bred up to it from his swadling clouts, born a Rogue, lives all his whole life a Rogue, and disdaines to take upon him any calling or profession whatsoever, but as he lives, so dies a Rogue .

6 Priggers of Prancers are Horse-stealers, for to Prig , signifies in the Canting language to steal, and Prancer signifies a Horse, the Farmers in the Country, and Gentlemen that keep Horses, know these sorts of Rogues too well, by dear experience.

7 Palliards, otherwise called Clapperdugeons, who go alwayes with their Morts at their heels, and to draw people the more to pitty them, with Sperewort or Arsnick raise blisters on their legs, which they can cure again at their pleasure. When they come into the streets of a Town or Country village, they divide themselves, and beg one on one side of the street, and the other on the other side; the purchase which they thus get, they sell to poor Tradsmen, or other labouring people, and with the money are merry at the Bowsing-ken.

8 A Frater is one that with a Counterfeit Patent goeth about with a wallet at his back, and a black box at his girdle, to beg for some Hospital or Spittle-house; he hath always a Doxy whom he meets withall at night at some tipling-house, where they lewdly spend what was given him in the day by charitable well-minded people.

9 Quire Birds are those in whom the Proverb is verified, Birds of a feather, Rogues together, they are such as formerly sung in such Cages as Newgate, the White Lyon, or some other Country Goale.

10 Abraham-men, or a Tom of Bedlam, is a man whom by his black and blew arms you may see to be much beaten to the world; he counterfeits madness, and by many Phantastick tricks gets from silly Country people Bacon, and such other victuals as as will fetch him ready money; he hath but two names for all people whatsoever, and that is Tom and Bess. No man shifts his linnen oftner than he does his wenches.

11 Whipjacks are such as travel about from town to town under the notion of Shipwrackt Seamen, with a counterfeit licence to beg, which licence they call a Gybe, and the seals to it Jarks; their talk is all of Sea-voyages, but the end of their Land-voyage is for what they can get, and to rob Booths at Fairs, which they call Heaving of the Booth, at which they are very expert.

12 Counterfeit Cranks are such as pretend themselves to have the Falling-sickness, and by putting a piece of white soap into the corner of their mouths, will make the froath to come boyling forth to cause pitty in the beholders; they stare wildly with their eyes to appear as if distracted, and go half naked to move the greater compassion. These Cranks have likewise their meetings, and their wenches at command.

13 The Dummerar is Cousin-German to the Crancks, for as the one counterfeits the falling sickness, so this counterfeits dumbness, making a horrid noise instead of speech by doubling his tongue in his mouth, but if you give him nothing, he can then open his mouth to curse you privately. This Jack hath also his Jill, upon whom he spends his Loure at the Bowsing ken.

14 A Jackman is one that can write and reade, yea some of them have a smattering in the Latine tongue; which learning of theirs advances them in office amongst the Beggars, as to be Clark of their Hall, or the like. His employment is to make Gybes with Jarkes to them, which are counterfeit licences with seals, by which he gets store of money to make himself drunk withal.

15 The Patrico is their priest, every hedge is his Parish, and every wandring Rogue and Whore is his Parishioners. His service is onely marrying of couples, by bidding them go together and multiply, and fill the world with a generation of vagabonds.

16 Irish Toyls are lusty Rogues who go about with a wallet at their back, in which they carry pinns, poynts, laces, and such like, and under colour of selling such wares commit many villanies.

17 A Swigman is a degree higher than an Irish toyle, as a Tavern exceeds an Ale-house, for he carries a pack behind him in stead of a wallet, and is stored with more sorts of ware than the other, yet differs little from him in honesty; they both pay tribute to the Upright man, as to their chief.

18 Glymmerars are such as travel up and down with licences to beg, because their houses have been consumed with fire, for Glymmer in the Canting tongue signifies fire. They use a very sad tone in their begging, and tell a lamentable story how the fire destroyed their Barns, Stables, &c. by which lying tales they get store of Loure to buy Bub at the Bowsing ken.

19 Curtalls are so called because they wear short Cloakes, being of the same nature as the Rogues described before.

20 The last ranck of this Rambling Crew are termed Kynchen Co's, being little Boys whose Parents were formerly Beggars, but are now dead, or else such as have run away from their Masters, and in stead of a trade to live by, follow this kinde of life to be lowsie by. The first thing they do is to learn how to Cant, and the onely thing they practice is to creep in at windows or Cellar doors.

Thus have I given you a brief description of the men, by which you may give a shrewd guess of the women; for you cannot imagine if the one were Devils, that the other would be Saints, take then therefore in their own Character.

1. Of this sort the first of them are called Kynchen Morts, their Mothers carry at their backs in their Slates, id est, sheets. When the Morts beg they use to prick these Kinchens with pinns, that by their crying they may move people to a speedier distribution of their alms.

2. Dells are young wenches that have not lost their maiden-head, but being once deflowred, (which commonly is when they are very young) they then change the name of Dell into Doxy , even as maids when they come to be married, loose that appellation, and are called women.

3. Doxyes are such as have been deflowred by the Upright-men, and are after common to any of the Brotherhood. They will if they see convenient for for a small peice of money prostitute their bodies to any that will deal with them, and do too often murther those Infants which are so gotten. They have one special badge to be known by, for most of them go working of laces and shirt-strings, or such like stuff, onely to give colour to their idle wandring.

4. A walking Mort is one that hath increased the world with Lullaby-cheats or young Children, yet was never married; they are very dangerous Queans to meet withal, being cunning in dissembling, and without all fear of God and good laws; and are kept in awe onely by the Upright-men, who oftentimes rifle them of all that they have.

5. An Autem Mort is another sort of these she-devils, and differs onely from a walking Mort in that she is married; for Autem in the Canting tongue signifies a Church, although that be a place she seldom comes at. They commonly walk with their Wallets on their shoulders, and Slates or sheets at their backs, and will pilfer any thing that lies carelesly about houses, which they call in their language Nilling of the ken. Their Husbands commonly are Rufflers, Upright-men, Wilde Rogues, &c.

6. The last of this Ragged Regiment are called Bawdy Baskets, which are women that walks with Baskets or Cap-cases on their arms, wherein they have pinns, points, needles, and such like things to sell, going thus from house to house, to sell their ware; buy Cunny-skins, and steal what they can lay their hands on, driving three trades at once. They are very fair spoken, and will seldome swear whilest they are selling their wares, but will lie with any man that hath a minde to them. The Upright-men and these are in perfect league and amity one with another.

Thus have I briefly dissected to you this knot of Vipers, who may very fitly be termed the Devils black Guard. Whose whole life consisteth of a continued act of all impiety, no sin within their verge but is frequently committed amongst them, especially that sin of leachery; to which end you shall find sometimes together in a Barn forty of these Upright-men, Rufflers, Clapperdugeons, &c. ingendring Beggars with their Morts. Adultery they boast of, Incest they laugh at, Sodomy they Jest at, being all of the Family of Love or Lust rather, rope ripe, Nuts for the Devils cracking, and fit fuel for firing for his Kitchen. But I have dwelt too long upon this filthy subject, I shall only give you a brief Character of a Canting Rogue, and so return to the progress of my own life.

He should seem by his rambling minde to be begot by some Intelligencer under a hedge, for he is wholly addicted to travel, and hath one especial priviledge above most Travellers, that he is never out of the way. He is not troubled with making of Joyntures; he can divorce himself without the Fee of a Proctor, nor fears he the cruelty of Overseers of his Will; for there is small danger of his Children being cheated of their Estates, by which means he makes not work for the Lawyers after his decease. He leaves his Children all the world to Cant in, and all the people to be their fathers to provide for them. His language is always one and the same; the Northern speech differs from the South, Welch from the Cornish, but Canting is general, nor ever could be altered by Conquest of the Saxon, Dane, or Norman. He will not beg out of the limit prescribed him by the Upright-man, though he starve; nor falsifie his oath, if he swear by his Solomon (which is the Mass) though you hang him; and to show himself a true subject of their Common-wealth, he pays his custom as truly to his Grand Rogue, as tribute is paid to the Great Turk.

The Spring is as welcome to him, as a warm Bed to a weary Traveller, for then begins his progress after a hard Winter; and the Sun which breeds Agues in others, he adores it like the Indians. Ostlers cannot endure him, for he is of the Infantry, and serves best on foot; and if through sickness at any time he ride, his stage is but to the next Town, and that in a Dung-cart. He offends not the Statute against the excess of Aparrel; the fuller of Rags, the more fashionable for his Calling; and to go naked, he accounts but a voluntary pennance. Forty of them will lye in a Barn together, yet are never sued upon the Statute of In-mates. He shifts Lodgings oftner than men shift their shirts, and hath more change of Morts and Doxies, than he hath of Lodgings. If he were learned, no man could make a better Description of England, for he hath surveyed it more exactly than the best Cosmographer whatsoever, having travell'd it over and over. Lastly, he can brag of this, that repairing of houses will never undo him; and that though he eats and drinks every day, yet he shall not die one penny in debt either to the Brewer, or to the Butcher.

CHAP. XVI.

 

In prosecution of his begging, he steals a Hen, is taken in the manner, and whipped, and imprisoned in the Cage; from whence he escapes, and assists in the robbing of a House, where he gets a good Booty and escapes, but his Companions are caught; one hanged, and two transported: He hearing this, makes haste to London.

It was then the Spring of the year when I took this lazy trade of life upon me; the harmony of the Birds singing, and the variety of the Flowers which beautified the verdant Fields, made me the more willing to embrace this sordid course, not thinking of a winter that would strike dumb those winged Choristers, and invest the Earth with a robe of Snow, in stead of all her painted Bravery. Custom had soon habituated me to a liking of lodging in straw, attracted the more by my amorous Bed-fellow, and so long as I had my fill of ease, I could well be contented to fast from Dainties. But for my life I could not bring my tongue to the right tone of Begging, although I were habited fit for the purpose, with a dirty Night-cap loathsom to , 143 behold, my face all smeared, my cloaths set full with patches upon the whole cloath, a red clout upon my leg, and supporting my body with a staff as if I had been a mear criple. Many a mile we rambled, yet keeping still in our own station, for fear of the Upright-man: but my counterfeit plea for for begging was at last discovered, and to all my dainties I had whipping chear added; for going one day not far off from a Farm house, the stragling Hens invited me to have a throw at them with my staff, and having struck one of them, I had forgotten my lameness, but very nimbly ran and took her up, putting her under my patcht Coat, where I had a bag sowed in that was a receptacle for all stollen goods. It chanced that the Farmer himself was then on the other side of the hedge, who undiscover'd by me, saw my activity in the stealing of his Hen, and was resolved though I put it up, that he would not. But I dreading nothing, thinking my self unseen, went directly to the House, and as soon as I came into the yard fell to my old trade, leaning on my staff, and drawing my leg after me, as if scarce able to stand, much less to run. Having gotten to the door I began to set up my tone with a Good tender hearted people be pleased to bestow your charity upon a poor miserable wretch that is both lame and hungry; one penny of silver to buy him salve for his sore leg, or one morsel of victuals to put into his belly that hath had nothing come in it this couple of dayes. No sooner had I ended my Maunding, thinking to mump the Farmer out of some money, or at leastwise some bread to my Hen, but he having watch'd me now seiz'd hold of my arm, and told me that though it might be true that I had not lately eaten, yet he saw I was resolv'd to be better provided for the future, and so turning back my Coat discover'd my bag, where was not onely the Hen but some other provant I had lately purchased. I finding my self caught, would gladly have given him the slip, but some of his servants as well as himself stop'd me, without any more ado the Harman-beck was sent for, who being a neighbor was quickly come, and by this time I had a great trayn of boys and girles to attend me: I needed not much examination being thus taken in the manner, but however they were all desireous to see my sore leg, I was forc'd to let them do what they would with me, knowing there was no remedy but patience, and so I suffer'd them to unrowl and take off the Clouts and Rowlers that was upon it, when comeing to the skin, that was as whole and sound as a fish; but though my leg was well and whole, my heart was now almost broken with consideration of what they would do with me, some proposed one punishment, and some another, but at length to the Whipping-Post I was led, where my Doublet and shirt being stript off, my back was so long lac'd with a Cart-whip, that I Caperd and flowned like a Horse in a quagmire, and I was as fast too, being hand-Cuffd so that I could not stir. It was well it was the spring time, for I lost blood enough to purge away the gross humors without the help of a Surgeon, that office being supplyd by a Thrasher who took as much paines upon me as would have Thrash'd a bushel of Pease; but at length there was a Cessation, and a new parlee began wherein it was propropounded what further course should be taken with me, and considering that there was a kind of Felony committed upon the Hen, they advis'd and agreed to lead me to the next Justice of the peace to have his Judgment in the Case, though I thought it unreasonable to suffer punishment first, and then to be Judg'd; yet it was to no purpose to complain and all I could say would not prevail with them to let me go, but they would conduct me to the Justice, so that I having put on my Cloaths my shirt stuck to my back and made me sensible that I had lost leather: but for all that on I must, and the Justice living a mile off, the Thrasher who had lash'd me, and two or three others made holliday to attend me: when we came before the Justice, he hearing that I had been punished already, was content at my Importunity to acquit me from any other, and onely to make a Pass to send me home to London, being the place where I told them I was born: I not having power to contradict, was forc'd to consent to what was commanded, and that Constable attending me out of his liberties to an other Constable, left me: this new Constable, who now had me in keeping not being willing to go further with me; for that night put me up in the Cage, where I was lock'd up but not so safely but I made a shift to break out; and travelling all night by the next morning was far enough off for them to o'retake me, for all that day I conceald my self in a wood and when night came I proceeded on my Journey; but it so happened that on the second night of my travel, about midnight I was overtaken by three persons who demanded where I was going? I told them any whither: what I was? I reply'd, a wretched person whom fortune had persecuted, and therefore I was indifferent whither I went, or what I did. Hearing me say so, they retired a little to consult about their affaires, and then one of them comeing up to me, demanded several questions of me of my late course of life? To all their questions I returned them such answers as caused them to conclude me to be a Rambler, and therefore fit for their society, and therefore they asked me if I were willing to hazard my self in enterprizing somewhat, that though it might be something dangerous, yet it should be very profitable. To this I answered that they should soon finde my willingness expressed in the boldness of my actions, and if seconded or assisted by them I should act any thing they would direct and appoint.

They hearing my resolution, soon consented to admit me into their society, and acquainted me with their present purpose, which was to rob a House not far from that place: They told me that I must be valiant and bold, not in fighting, for they knew they should meet with little occasion to exercise any weapon, but in entring the House, and performing such other matters as they should instruct me in. I told them I consented to what they should propose, and therefore desired them to tell me what part I was to act in this Enterprize, and as for a part of the purchase, I should leave that to them, which I desired them to give me as I should deserve. Then one of these persons told me, that he was very well acquainted in the house, and gave me an account of the several wayes and passages into every Room, and who was lodged in such Chambers. In fine, I discovered that there was but two men, and three women-kinde in the house, and he being a Coach-man, had lately brought the Master of the house home with two hundred pound, of which he had a desire to rob him; and therefore had joyned these two persons with him in the Confederacy. Being thus instructed we proceed, and arriving at the house, I was put in at a window, and directed how to open the doors, which I did, the Coach-man stayed below stairs, and we other three by his directions went up into the Chambers; the doors we soon opened, and coming to the Bed-side where the Master of the house and his Wife was, we drawing our swords (for I had the Coach-mans delivered to me) opened our dark Lanthorns, and seeing the man and woman, without many words we bound and gag'd them; and they leaving me to watch them, went into the other Chambers to do the like to the rest: I being left alone in this Room was not idle, but rummaged about, and found a Gold Watch, a few Rings, and twenty Pieces of Gold, these I secured for my self, and soon after my Companions returned; when taking the Keys out of the Gentlewomans pocket, we soon found what we came for, the two hundred pound, and so march'd off without any stay, or the least interruption: The Coach-man stayed below in the Hall, where he had made a strict search, and had likewise plundred something from thence which after turn'd little to his profit: but we all left the house with the doors open, and marched with the spoils of the field, bag and baggage, to a house about a mile distant, where they were so courteous as to give me fifteen pound out of the profits of their Adventure. I (being sensible that I was well enough paid, in regard of the Gold and other things I had conceal'd) thankfully received it, and so left them, marching on further to the next great Town, where the next day I understood a great Fair was to be kept, and therefore I thought that place the most fitting to conceal my self in, and be freest from suspition, I got into a Barn and rested my self, taking some sleep; but was much disturbed, being in great fear lest some mis-fortune might befall me: And to the end that I might be the freer from suspect, in case of a Hue and Cry, I went to a Sales-mans Booth which was in the Fair, and furnish'd me with a Sad-coloured Sute and Cloak, Citizen-like, that I might pass for such a one if occasion were; my old Clothes I left behinde me in the Barn where I stripped my self. Thus did I escape all danger, but my Companions fared worse than I for the covetous Coach-man not having any thing else whereon to exercise himself, stole a Looking-glass which was below stairs, while we were above, and to conceal it from the rest of his Companions, put it in his Codpiece. When they had sufficiently stayed at the house where I left them, and had shared the prize, they went to go homewards, but being flustred with the Bottles of Wine they had for joy drank off, they made it so long that it was seven of the Clock in the morning ere they parted, and then were they overtaken by the Hue and Cry, with a Constable, who though he knew the Coach-man very well, and did not suspect him, yet seeing him and his two Companions so flustred, and somewhat to hang out at the knees of the Coach-man's Breeches, they made some stay, asking whether he had lately been at some Wedding and had Bride-Laces, which he had put in his Breeches. The Coach-man being somewhat blank'd at this discovery, knew not what answer readily to return: This caused them to examine him who they were that were his Companions, and where they had been? They were all now deeplier surpriz'd than before, which gave so great suspition that occasioned a Search, and in the end they found what they sought for, (the Money;) and that which hung out at the Coach-mans Breeches, were some Ribbons that were fastened to the Looking-glass. Upon this Discovery they were all Apprehended, carried before a Justice, and upon examination being found directly guilty, committed to Goal. This did I hear of at the Fair that afternoon as I was drinking in a Booth: At the recital of this story, if any one had observed me, they might easily have conjectured that I was concerned therein; for I was possessed with so much fear, that I looked like one rather dead than alive: but there was no occasion to suspect me, for the three others my Companions being taken, and with them the greatest part of the money, there was no occasion to make any further enquiry. Then did I bless my good fortune that I had left them so suddenly, and was so much out of danger, and that evening I proceeded further on in my ways towards London; but being well furnished with Silver and Gold, I took up my Quarters in a very good Inn, where I had a good Supper and soft Bed, and slept very well, considering the trouble I was in. At this Inn I stayed several days to hear what would become of my Companions, for the Assizes were then at hand. I received this satisfaction, that they being Tryed, were all cast for their Lives; the Coach-man hang'd, and the other two were to be transported. This was the end of my piece of Thievery, and I did then resolve never to hazard my self again in such matters, lest I came off with as bad success as the Coach-man. I stayed so long in this Inn, pretending to wait the coming of a sister of mine, that one day who should arrive there but the Maid-servant who lived with the Plaisterer I had served, and as I suppose, was the cause of his drowning: now was I in greater fear than before, for I had lately escaped hanging for theft, and now expected it for murther; and I knew that this wench was malicious enough against me, and would rather injure me by her exclamations, than secure me by her silence; I therefore intended to give her the go-by, but could not, for she had now cast her eye upon me, and discovered me, and came straight up to me to speak with me. How now, says she, you have made a fair Ramble! Is it not time to return? Well, said I, be silent a little, and let me speak with you in private; and thereupon taking her by the hand, I led her into a private room, where calling for some drink, I enquired of her how all our Friends did, and more particularly for my Master. Why, said she, you know well enough that he is dead. At this word I was more dead than alive, neither was I for the present able to ask her any more questions.

The Drink being brought in, she drank to me; Well, said she, however I am glad to see you here; so am not I (thought I:) but recovering my lost senses, I demanded of her how long my Master had been dead. She replyed, A fortnight. Nay, thought I, then the Case is not so bad as I suspected, and therefore I proceeded in questioning of her how he died, and many other questions. She answered, that he died of a Feaver, which kept him not above fourteen dayes sick; and he being dead, she was now returning into the Countrey to visit her Friends.

Now was I fully satisfied that I needed not fear any danger, wherefore I called for a Bottle of Canary, which we drank off; and she related to me that he was not much hurt by the fall that I gave him, for he went to work again the next day, and had made much enquiry after me, but as yet in vain. I told her, that indeed I doubted that he had been drowned by the fall which he had received into the water, and therefore had absented my self ever since from London, wandering up and down in several Disguises: But, said I, I will now go to London again, but never to serve out my Time at that Trade; for if I come upon a Scaffold again, I shall be much frighted with the remembrance of that Disaster. She told me, that now indeed I was free to dispose of my self since my Master was dead, and might chuse my Trade and Master.

Thus did we spin out several houres of that day and night together, till it was time to go to Bed, and then we parted; she the next morning proceeded in her Journey into the Countrey, and I pursuing my resolutions of going to London, likewise went forward. But by the way met with an Adventure, vvhich I shall relate to you in the next Chapter.

CHAP. XVII.

 

In his Journey to London, he overtakes a Trooper and a Wench; he lyes with her and two more of her Companions, and after this frolick he goes with them all to London.

I was now resolved nothing should hinder me from proceeding in my Journey to London, & that I might get thither the sooner I indeavoured to borrow a horse, but could not procure one, I being a stranger every person was unwilling to trust me: but at noon-day staying for to bat, I hapned into the company of a Trooper, who was likewise travelling to London; we dined together, and he asking whither I was going? I told him: he said he should be glad of my company. I said that would be very pleasing to me if I might enjoy his; but I could not because he was better furnish'd for a Journey than I, being provided with a horse, and I on foot: he told me that inconveniency might be supply'd, for there were horses in the stable to be let. I told him that I would give any consideration for the hire of one, and that he, if acquainted, might do me much kindness in procureing one for me: he seeing me full of money, quickly procured me a horse, engaging himself that I should leave the beast at his London quarters. My Host being well acquainted with him, and he being to ride along with me, was contented: and I paying five shillings for his hire, had the horse deliver'd to me, and on his back I mounted, thinking my self to be some brave fellow: As we rid along together, we overtook a female Creature, young and handsome, in somewhat an ancient decayed, but Gentile garb. The Trooper being a notable well experienced blade, soon fell into discourse with her, and found her to be a Rambling Baggage, whose journey now was intended for London, and would be glad of our company, were she accommodated with a horse: to that I offered her my service, and agreed that she should ride behinde me; to which she assenting, soon mounted, and now we merrily put on, holding a pleasant discourse with our female companion. I had a great desire to take a better view of her than I could, being thus on horse back together, and therefore perswaded the Trooper to make a halt at the next Town which we came to, where we all dismounted, and I saluted my Lady, who kindly received my Courtesie. The Trooper after some discourse, was well enough acquainted with the Lady, having oftentimes been merry with her and others at the house where she lodged in London. He call'd me on one side, and told me, that she was a person whom he had bin formerly acquainted, and so might I too if I would, and if I had any desire thereto, he could and would assist me.

I told him he had done me many kindnesses in the small time of my acquintance, and now he had offered that which exceeded all; for indeed I was much taken with her beauty, and very desirous I was to enjoy her.

Well, said he, let us be going from hence, and make you your bargain with her as you ride along by the way, and I will take such care in the business, that you shall be entertained as man and wife at my quarters, and there lie together. I was infinitely glad of this his kinde proffer, and thankfully accepted thereof, and so after some little longer stay we again mounted our steeds and put forwards: according to his instruction I courted my Mistriss, and without much difficulty obtained her promise to permit me to lye with her, and so we rid on till we arrived at the Troopers quarters, where he told his Landlady, that he had brought her some guests; for this young man and his wife, (said he) pointing to us will stay here to night: they shall be welcome, said the Hostess, and so a supper was provided; for as we did eat and drink with a very good appetite, and my Landlady did accompany us, who I found was very well respected, and familiar with the Trooper; and bed-time being come which I had much desired, I and my Lady went to bed, neither did the Trooper lie alone, for our Landlady was his bed-fellow; how he spent the night I know not, but I am sure for our parts we slept but little, for it was the first time that I ever enjoy'd a woman naked in my arms all night, and I was ravished with delight, never having had so much pleasure. My bed-fellow was well enough contented with the entertainment I gave her; we discoursed of one anothers fortunes, but whether she told me the truth of hers, I know not, but I disguised mine wholly from her, not thinking it fit to make her acquainted with my late adventures; she told me, that the occasion of her late travel was this, that she and two women more of her acquaintance had bin perswaded by three Gentlemen to a Ramble, and had gone down to such a City in a Coach, that they had for some time continued together as three men and wives at an Inn, and there had enjoyed a full plenty of every thing; but at length the three Gentlemen had basely left them to pay a great reckoning in a strange place, and all they had would not make the one half of it, that they had for some time waited in expectation of the return of their freinds, but in vain, so that at last it was agreed, that one of us, said she, should go for London, and procure mony to redeem the rest, and the lot falling on me I have prosecuted the Journey, and hopes to raise money to relieve, and redeem my companions. I hearing this story was sensibly troubled, thereat, and offered her my assistance, and she so far prevail'd with me that I lent her five pound to send to her companions, she promising me to continue either there, or at any other place with me so long as I should please, and at our coming to her quarters at London, to repay me my money with many thanks. To all this I agreed, and the next day she conveyed most part of the money to her companions by a Coach that travelled thither: and thus did I enjoy this Lady for many nights together, and lying at Rack and Manger: the horse I sent back at the directions of the Trooper, who likewise continued with his Hostess, and onely my purse paid for all; but indeed we lived sparingly enough, the Trooper being one of the honestest Travellers that I ever met with. The Coach-man who carried the money to the afflicted and distressed Damoyselles, returned, and with him the Ladies, very glad of their safe return, and very thankful were they, not onely to their companions who sent it, but also to me of whom, she said, she procured it, and now we all thought of removing to London, but one night more we lay at our old quarters, where I had the greatest frollick I was ever guilty of for that night; I kist with all three of the women, and pleased them round, by giving each of them a triall of my skill. What now could I desire to enjoy further? I thought my self to be as brave a fellow as the Great Turk in his Seraglio, he having but his choice of Women, which I now enjoyed to my full content. But morning coming, we took leave of our Hostess and the Trooper, and all four taking Coach, soon came to London , where I took up my Quarters with my three Damsels, who made very much of me, and indeed they were the honestest Wenches, and I had the best frollick that I ever had in my life, but in time I was weary of this life, for what man can last out alwayes? And I finding my pocket begin to shrink, bethought me that it was fit to leave off in time, for all my Silver was gone, and ten pound of my twenty pound in Gold: but I selling my Watch and Rings raised ten pound more; with this stock of twenty pound I was resolved to retire, and fit my self for some employment. My three Ladies never offered to return me the five pound I had lent them, neither indeed could I handsomly expect it; for they had been very liberal in their expences, and had declined all other company to accommodate me. They heard of their three Gentlemen who had trapan'd them in the Countrey, and so wisely plaid their Cards that they gained all their money again, I assisting them, and pretending the man of the house had assigned the money to me. I scorned to pocket any of it, but gave it amongst them; and so being resolved to take another course of life, I retired my self from them: and to the end that I might be fitted for an employment, I hired one who was well known therein, to teach me to write more perfectly than I could formerly, as also Arithmetick; I likewise hired several Books of a Stationer, for which I gave him so much per week: These being chiefly Knight-Errantry and Romances, I took much pleasure therein. I had a minde to diversion, and went to visit my Damoyselles, and thus did I live the pleasantest life in the world; but I had so much reason as to think that things would not last long as they were, and I had no inclination to stealing, more vertuous thoughts had now possessed me, and therefore a Trade being the onely thing that would maintain me, I enquired for one and setled my self, as you shall hear in the next Chapter.

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CHAP. XVIII.

 

He being now come to London, puts himself Prentice to a Taylor; he gets acquaintance with Prentices of all sorts, is with them at their Tavern-frolicks: he is employed by a Scrivener to make Clothes for a Wench, he goes with him to her, and returning, the Scrivener promises him an account of that Trade.

Being now come to London, I was resolved not to be idle, but settle my self to some one Trade, that I might be able to get a living; and having already had tryal of several, as first a Barber-Surgeon, then a Tapster, a Cook, a Lock-smith, Taylor, Baker, and Plaisterer; and being still forced for some reason or other to leave them all, did now resolve to fix upon one that should do my business, and whereby I might at all times, and in all places, be able to live by my hands, for lands I had none. I considered of all the Trades I had already been a practitioner in, and many others, none suited so well with my humour, as that of a Taylor; wherefore I sought for several Masters, but they were all unwilling to take me for less than seven years, it being the custom of London that none can be bound for less time, nor be made a Free-man till they have served so long. I was unwilling to binde my self on those tearms, knowing my temper was variable, and did believe I should not hold out to serve such a tearm: but after several enquiries and tryals, I did light upon a Master, who was willing to take me for five years, only this I perswaded him to do in regard I already had a good hand in working, & being industrious in my employment, so that though I was bound for seven years, yet I had a Writing under my Masters hand, that the last two years I should dispose of my self as I pleased, and yet he could make me a Free-man at seven years end.

My Master was not onely a Taylor, but kept a Brokers shop, wherein he sold all sorts of Clothes new and old: He lived in one of the principallest Streets of the City, and was in good esteem with his neighbors, who were all persons of some quality, not of the meaner sort, but substantial Tradesmen, as Goldsmiths, Grocers, Drugsters, Scriveners, Stationers, &c. and I (being now well fitted with Clothes, and having my pockets pretty well lined with money which I had still kept by me) was a fit and welcome Companion to the best sort of Apprentiees, into whose society I did soon insinuate my self, and having money to spend equal with the best, I came acquainted with a whole Gang of such Blades, that all my former knowledge was nothing in comparison to what I soon experimented from them; for their Masters being of the wealthiest sort of Citizens, and keeping Countrey-houses at Newington, Hackney, Stepney, &c. they often had opportunity in their absence to meet, and keep their Club or general Rendezvous, which was commonly every other night, at one of the Taverns near adjoyning: and my Master (who did well enough understand that I was frequently abroad, and in what Company I spent my time) did not in the least oppose or contradict me therein; for I soon found that these young Jovial Blades, though Apprentices, yet they were my Masters best Customers, for there was none of them but had a Sute or two of Clothes A la mode, which commonly lay at our house, which they put on when they had any frolick out of Town, either at Christmas, Easter, or Whitsontide, or at any other time, when by pretending some urgent occasions, they would give their Masters the slip.

Thus was I one of the Gang, and had liberty to be with them so often as I pleased, by the connivance of my Master, whose profit consisted in my acquaintance with them; for I soon brought him some new Customers, out of whom he could squeez good store of money for making their Clothes, and sometimes he made three or four Sutes at a time, yet had no money for his pains, but he was satisfied otherwise in Commodities, which were more to his profit; for the Mercer paid his Bill in Stuffs, the Draper in Cloth, and the rest either in other good Commodities which they had of their Masters, or with which they were furnished by their Companions. When any of them intended a new Sute for himself, Friend, or Mistress, it was but summoning the Brethren of the Club together, and then the Mercer brought his Stuffs or Silks, the Milliner Buttons, Ribbons, and Lynings, for which they had in exchange such other Commodities as the others could produce; there was onely two Trades that had little or no Commodities to exchange, and that was the Scrivener and Bookseller, and therefore I wondred from whence they should get to be so fine as the rest; but I observed what they wanted in wares, was supplyed in money, which was a Commodity would command every thing else. How they should get this money I knew not, for I could not imagine that in making of Bills and Bonds the Scrivener could cheat his Master of much money, or that the Bookseller could sell many books by the by, and put the money in his own pockets, for I knew they were not so vendible a Commodity as Cloath, Silk, &c.

But one evening we being at our general Rendezvous, where we had good wine, and better company, being attended by two or three Suburbian Females, who were the Doxies of our Comerades. The Scrivener (having the finest out-side, being in his private Sute of Apparel, and having his pockets well lined with Meslin of Gold and Silver) took occasion to court one of the Women not onely publickly, but privately; and though she were till then a stranger to him yet he won her from her other friend, and to enduce her to be kind to him, he called me to him, and ordered me to provide her a new gown, and petticoat, of flowered Tabee, and immediately calling to our Mercer, who served us all, gave him as much mony as the silk was worth, and all the engagement he desired from the Bona Roba was that he might have the first taking up of the petticoat, and then if she liked her old sweet-heart best, she might afterwards use her pleasure, either in admitting him or t'other to her embraces, or either of them as she pleased, to this they all three agreed, and the mercer who took about four pound for silk was ordered (by a general vote) to spend forty shillings of the money for that present reckoning, and all the rest went scotfree, and after a lusty cup of wine some dishes of meat, and fidlars, they for that time broke up their meeting. This liberallity or rather prodigallity of the Scrivener put me into some confusion, and very desirous I was to know how he gained so much money, wherefore I speedily procured the apparrel to be made, and delivered it to him to his content, I so highly pleased him that he desired me to go with him to the Ladies lodging who was to wear it. I accordingly waited on him thither, and she receiving him with much chearfulness accepted it, it was soon put on, and it was not long before they retired out of the room wherein I was, into an other; where I suppose she was so curteous as to permit him not only to take up the petticoat, and some what else to his liking: but to dispose of her at his pleasure; for they stay'd together neer an hour. Neither was I left alone: but had the old Matron of the house, and a young Bona Roba to accompany me, where we were not idle but made the bottles of Sack, and Stepony fly for it: when their business was over (and ours almost done, for we had so ply'd the liquor that our noddles were fuller of wine than wit) they briskly entred the room where we were, and without any coyness fell stoutly to drinking; for seeing us neer thirty one, they with full bowls quickly put us out, so that I was enforced to go to sleep, which I supposed I did for about three hours, and then awaking I found my Gallants wanting: but I believe they were not all that time idle; for upon inquiry, and search I found them in an other chamber together, where I suppose she had fully performed the agreement for her cloaths to the content of our Scrivener, who now after a fresh bottle of wine, and payment of the reckoning which was no small one, hearty farewels given, and taken of his Mistriss, her companion, and the Matron, we left that house, and taking coach ordered the Coachman to drive to the next Tavern to my Master, where we called for a room, wine, and a fire, he gave me an Angel for my dayes service, and shifting himself put on his ordinary, and gave me his best cloaths to lay up at my Masters, wishing me to acquaint him that I had bin in his company, and that would be sufficient for my excuse, I thanked him for his kindness, and Civility, and told him that his bounty had so tyed me to him, that I should at all times be joyfull if I might serve him: As for my bounty, said he, I shall for the future be more free to you, and for mony you shall not want; for I am alwayes in capacity to furnish my friends, having the command of a great deal of cash, which I know well enough how to order to my own advantage, and it is but reason that I should dispose of some as well as my Master; for it is in my power to strip him of the greatest part of his estate, and ruin him in his credit. I being inquisitive after secrets, desired him to tell me how that Trade (which I supposed only consisted in the making a few small writings) could be so profitable. To this he answered, that indeed it was true, they made not many writings, but dealt in much money, and his Master had an extraordinary way; for (persued he) if my Master wants two or three thousand pound, he can quickly command it, though he began with nothing, and indeed had every Bird her feather, he hath no estate: But he hath such slights, ways, and confederates, that he can do what he listeth. He hath one piece of Brass hath yielded him two thousand pound: that is much, said I, and there must be more in your Trade than I can imagine, and I would be very glad to be acquainted with some of your Mysteries, and since you have promised me your friendship, whatever you shall relate to me, shall be surely and safely closeted up in my breast, and shall never by me be offered to your prejudice, and it may be some of my advice in your Affairs may be profitable; for I have had much more experience in the world than you imagine. This discourse, and some other arguments which I used, induced him to give me a relation of many passages of his life: But much of the Knaveries of that mysterious Trade, which discourse he began to me in this manner.

CHAP. XIX.

 

The Scrivener recount, the Waggeries he committed, the first three years of his Apprenticeship, and his Masters first Cheats by counterfeiting a Seal.

When I first came to Prentice, my Master (by reason of the Wars, which caused a general deadness in Trading) had but little to do: but he being one of the confiding party, did thereby get acquaintance with several rich men, and in short time by reason of the pretended sanctity, was entrusted by a Usurer to put out five hundred pound, which he did to his content; for he had a Lease of a City Companies which cost seven hundred pound assigned for security. My Master never having dealt in money before, and now finding the sweetness of Procuration, and making of writings, longed to be at it again: but though he had moneyes offered him to put out, yet he could not meet with any security to content; for personal security by reason of the casualty of the Wars, was generally disliked, and Land in the Country was for the same reason refused, and only Leases in London, or Lands about London was counted sufficient and approved of, wherefore this Companies Lease, on which he had procured moneys did run much in his head, wishing for such another security, and projecting somewhat, which since he hath put in execution, as I will tell you by and by: but I will first acquaint you how I behaved my self for the first three years of my time, whereby my Master took so good a liking to me, as to communicate his secrets to me. My Master was alwayes good-natur'd, and kinde to me: but on the contrary, my Mystriss was cross and froward, so that I could seldom get a good word from her, and she would still employ me in several pieces of drudgery, as to carry buthens form London to our Country House, and then I must bring back from thence fletten or skim'd Milk, on which we must feed two or three dayes in the week, when my Master would allow good roast Beef, which she would send for away: but I was still even with her for her niggardlyness, and when I came to the Country House, I would usually get my share of the Cream; and being a lover of the Pies and Puddings, steal some from her. One time I being in the Larder, had a great minde to a back'd-pudding that was there, but at first durst not meddle with it, because it was with other good chear to be served up at the Table to Dinner, where was some guess: but for all that, the loveliness of the Pudding made me to take my knife, and turning it upside down, cut out the one half of it, and so turning it down again, left it to be served hollow to the Table: but I departing for London e're Dinner was served, I know not how the Maids came off. At other times when I came to the Country House, if the fruit of the Orchard were ripe, then the gate was lock'd, and I was not admitted therein, but I would have my share by day or night; for I once invited some of my Confederates to Church thither on a Sunday, and in the Sermon time went with them and rob'd our own Orchard, which no body else durst attempt because of our Mastiff; nay, I went once from London at midnight, and having some of my Copesmates with me I entred the Orchard, and fetcht out the fruit which I would be sure should be of the best and choicest of all the ground, and gave it to my Companions, and so we returned loaden to London; and thus did I vex her for her niggardliness, and although my Master did well enough suspect me, yet he would only laugh at my Mistriss when she was most passionately angry, and say she was but rightly served. But at length my Master had a Son, who when I first came to Prentice was at Boarding-school: but in time growing up, his Mother had a great desire to have him live at home and be a Clerk; for my Masters employment encreasing, I gained moneys, and bought me some fine Cloaths, and wore a Watch in my pocket: at all which she was envious, and desirous that her Son might enjoy what I did, and therefore bound he was to his Father, and though this happened three years after I came, yet such was the injustice that I had done me, that he was not only placed before me in a seat, but I was commanded to make clean his shooes, and attend him as if he he had not been a Servant. This though I was forced to comply with, yet I was resolved to be revenged of, and therefore set my wits to work; I did clean his shooes, but in the edges instead of greazing them, I anointed them with Aqua fortis, and he putting them on, and going to the further end of London, the soles of the shooes fell from the Upper-leathers, they being so eaten by the Aqua fortis, and he sate at the Coblers stall whilst they were randed together again. He was of so covetous a disposition (like his Mother) that though he had moneys in his pocket, yet he would seldom spend any at the Ale-house, and therefore sate at the Coblers stall two hours, whilst his shooes were made fit for him to walk with, and then he came home and was soundly chidden by his Father, my Master, for his so long stay, which pleased me very well that he should be blamed for that fault whereof he had been so often guilty. He being of a sneaking peering humor, I could not be quiet for complaints he made of me, and by his applying himself close to his business, he would dispatch as much writing as I did: though I could when I listed, do twice as much in the time, and when he had done, he would be making and mending of Pens ready against business came in, but I would spoil all his Pens by cutting one neb of them away somewhat shorter than the other, so that when he come to write, he had his pens to mend or new make, and so curious he was, that his Ink must be in a particular Standish by it self, whereto I would often put Oil, so that it would not write; and then for his Parchment, he would chuse the best skins, and give me the worst being greasie: but I would in his absence greaze his Parchment by rubbing it with a Candles end. Many other inventions I had to hinder and cross him, I found two pair of his Gloves one time, and bestowed some Cow Itch in all the seams on the inside of them, so that he putting them on, his hands quickly fell to itching, and he to scratching, till they were all bloudy, and so hot, that he was forced to put them in a pail of water, and then he cut his Gloves in pieces, that he might see what was in the inside, which was no small pleasure to me. He being a trouble and vexation to my fellow-servants as well as to me, they assisted me in my waggeries and contrivances against him. In his Mothers absence at the Country House, he kept the key of the Cubboard and Buttery to hinder us from the better sort of Victuals, but I soon got another key, and had my full share of every thing, and when missed any thing, perswaded him the Rats and Mice bereft him of it. When my Mistriss came to Town she would have her Lodging in the Chamber over the Kitchin, because she would hear if we sit up after her: it was a good while e're I could think of a way to cause her to remove her lodging, but understanding that she could not endure Rats and Mice, I got a great dead Rat, and in the day-time put it into her bed between the sheets, so that she opening her bed to go into it, and seeing the Rat, was so extreamly affrighted, that she immediately left her Lodging, and went into another Chamber: but she doubting that we would sit up a nights after she was gone to bed, as indeed we often did in Company of her Daughter, who was somewhat better condition'd than her Brother, and had many Junkets and Collations; she caused her Son to watch, and he being willing to catch us, would come down part of the stairs softly in his shirt to listen: but we discerning his practice, strewed the stairs with peas, and nointed the edges with soap, so that one night down he fell backwards, and almost brake his rib with the fall, and gave us timely notice to shift away for our selves: his Mother hearing the noise, coming down her self to help him, was served in the same kinde, I hearing of this, and all being dark, ran in my shirt and Breeches as if newly awaked, and instead of helping them, went to the stairs and wip'd and rub'd them, and conveyed away most of the peas, so that my Master by this time being likewise up, and having a Candle, did not distrust how they had been served, but helping them up, and I assisting my young master to go to his bed, the next day he concluded the House was haunted by spirits: By this means we were rid of his watchings; for after he was once in his Chamber of a night, he seldom came out again to watch us. But he would commonly stay in the Kitchin till he saw us all going to bed, neither would he permit me to come to the fire, upon which account we had a bussel, & I gave my Gentleman such a fall, that caused him to remember a good while after: but his mother remembred me the next morning, for he having acquainted her with the matter, she took upon her to revenge it, which she did in this manner. I according to custom coming to the Cistern for water to water the shop before I swept it, having one finger of one hand in the hole at the bottom of the bottle, and my t'other hand being employed in holding the bottle, and being stooping at the Cock of the Cistern, my Mistriss came near me, and there standing by me in a Tub a parcel of durty clouts wherewith the maids had newly wash'd down the stairs, she takes them up and flaps them about my face, so that I looked as dirty as a Chimney-sweeper; and not contented therewith, she jouled my head against the Cistern: I thereupon standing upright, and feeling my self wer, faced her, who now opening her mouth, made a geat noise with her passionate exclamations against me for abusing her Son; I let her go on in her discourse, and apprehending a way to be even with her, coming very near her, let my finger go from the bottom of the bottle, and holding it over her, it ran all upon her, so that slie then having a great belly soon felt her self to wet through, and then she would have been at me again, but I shew'd her a fair pair of heels, and ran away. Thus was I still even with them both, and my Master would seldom do any thing but laugh at what I did, taking much notice of my unhappy wit; for let her and her Son do all they could, I would be sure to have my share of the best sort of the Victuals; and she was of that dirty humor, that at a Christmas when she made a Feast, and a great deal of good chear was drest for her guess, she would then afford us nothing but a dish of stew'd Turneps, Milk Porridge, or at the best, a leg of Beef; and though much Victuals were left in Platters, and on Trenchers, that she bestowed on the Water-bearer or Chair-woman, that they might report what a brave House she kept, and not a bit was given to us her Servants, unless she had kept it so long till it was mouldy or worse. Once I remember she promised us some Plumb-Porridge, and at the time she made two pots full, I asking the maid wherefore so much was made? she informed me, that one pot full was much better than the other; I being told which was the best when my master and mistriss were at Dinner, got a good Bason full of the best, and set it by for my self, and then mixed the rest so, so that we had all alike. But to lay aside all these fooleries, and now to the purpose, my master peceiving me of a pretty smart wit, and fit for his purpose, he employed me in getting of a seal made, the which I did, and it was like unto the Companies which I told you was to the writing, upon which we lent 500 l. He did not tell me the use of it at present, but I soon found it out; for not long after a Deed was made, and the seal being put to it, my master caused one who was his Confederate to bring it to our shop at such a time as he had a Usurer in his company who wanted security for moneys. In comes our Gentleman, and calling my master aside, asked him if he could procure 500 l. upon such a Companys Lease? Yes, reply'd my master if it be a good one; whereupon the Lease was produced, and the Usurer being there present look'd on it, and liked it so well, that he agreed to lend 400 l. upon it: This at first would not please the Gentleman, because he pretended he was to pay 500 l. but the value of the Lease being counted and reckoned at no more than 600 l. he was contented at my masters perswasions to accept of 400 l. upon that security, and my Master promised him to furnish him with a 100 l. more on his Boud of another person, a friend of his. Thus this business was made up, and assignment or mortgage being made of this Lease, the money was paid, and my master, as I soon after understood, had 350 l. thereof, and the Gentleman 50 l. and I was likewise rewarded with twenty shillings, which the Gentleman gave me. Thus said the Scrivener, was my Masters first beginnings in Cheating, which indeed was but small to these many great ones, which he soon after acted; of which you shall have an account in the next Chapter.

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CHAP. XX.

 

He discourses of several of his Masters Cheats, whereby he gets his Estate.

With this Stock of 350 l. my Master set up all his Knaveries, and being unwilling to venture it all in one bottom, he lent a 100 l. of it in small sums to House-keepers, which they paid again by the week, and gave him at least 40 l. per Cent for the use of it; for if he lent five pound, they paid it by five shillings per week, and had but four pound ten shillings for their money, and my Master making the Bond in another mans name, he had commonly five shillings, and sometimes ten shillings for Procuration, and sometimes I had a shilling or two: thus did he dispose of some. Others he lent upon Bommeree, which was thus: If he lent ten pound, he was to have fifteen pound for it on such a day, or the return of such a ship, which should first happen; and though there was no such ship in the world come home, yet the time would come, and then it must be paid; and this being counted an adventure, he could take what interest he pleased, as it is customary with Merchants to venture upon Bottomrie; that is, on the bottom or keel of the ship, and then for security of payment of the money, though the ship should miscarry, they are wont to insure it at the Insurance-office: but my master needed no such charge or trouble for insuring any ship, for he was sure the day would come, though the ship never did; and thus did he make forty or fifty pound in the hundred: but he being once bit and sued in equity, afterwards took a more strict course, for he seldom lent any money thus, but he would include in the Condition of the Bond a warrant to confess a Judgment upon default of payment: and to be sure when the time came, and the mony not paid, he filed his Bond, which was warrant to confess Judgment, and thereby obtained a Scierifacias, to take execution on the body or goods of the debtor, who little dreamt thereof, and then he seized all the penalty, to the undoing of some; and he seldom lent unto any, but he had two or three bound for security, and that he might not be blamed or sued, he made his Bonds and Judgments in the name of one who was his Confederate, and was a Prisoner in the Kings-Bench, so that when the penalty was recovered, it was to no purpose to sue him. And by degrees being now in Credit, and having moneys of other persons to dispose of, he would seldom lend any but upon mortgages, because under the pretence of being paid for writings (which he would be sure to make large enough) he would sometimes take five pound for procuring a hundred, and say, though indeed six per Cent was as much as his friend the Usurer would take, yet he was forced every six moneths to present him with somewhat that should be equal to eight pound per Cent, and withall, that he was at charge not only to employ one at first to enquire of the Security, but he was at the charge of a Coach to go see the estate, and then he will reckon so much for his pains, so much for loss of time, so much for writings, and so much for expences, and so much for expedition, and all this must be deducted out of the money: when the six moneths came that the money was due, then he must have the interest, and so much for Continuation; and this was a courtesie if he let them go so: but if the borrower came not, and readily at the time brought the interest and Continuation -money, he had several wayes to bring them in, for suddenly a Declaration of Ejectment was drawn up and delivered to the Tenant or Tenants in possession of the premisses, who being frighted at the matter, presently goes to the Landlord, who sensible of the matter, hies him to us. If this will not do, then an Officer is feed to enter an Action and Arrest the borrower, who then is forced to come and comply upon extraordinary disadvantageous terms; for after much intreaty, my master may be perswaded to continue it, the interest-money being paid, us also Continuation-money, charge of Declarations of Ejectment (for which we will reckon five or ten shillings paid to an Attorney, though it were done by my master, or me by his command) it may be twenty shillings or forty shillings for the Arrest, though it may be not above half a Crown was paid for it; and then there must be at least twenty shillings or forty shillingss to my master for his pains, and if the borrower be not willing to pay all this charge, then will my master see an Attorney in earnest, and proceed upon the Declaration of Ejectment, and in short time get the possession of the estate: and thus put the poor borrower to ten pound charge, and if he refuse to pay this, he shall fair worse; for although in equity the lender of the money can hold the premisses no longer in his hands than till he is paid his Debt, Interest, and charges out of the rent, yet my master will so order the matter, that the borrower shall never have the estate again; for (pretending that the lender wanted his money, and was forced to sell the estate to raise it) he will pass it away to another, a Confederate, for the bare money, interest, and charges that is due on it, or it may be, five or ten pound more; and this is all the poor borrower can get in equity, which will cost him more the recovering than it is worth. Thus have we often had an estate worth two hundred pound, for only fifty pound and interest, and the poor borrower is forced to be quiet, not having any remedy. When an estate is mortgaged to us, we seldom let it go out of our hands; for if the money lent be not brought and paid just on the day, then we put the borrower off till the next six moneths, refusing to deliver up the writings, and then it becomes forfeited, so that we force them to sell it to us, or give extraordinary fees, to cause us to release our interest; especially if we discover it to be sold to another, we refuse to shew the writings, and so weary out the borrower with delays and pretences, &c. But this was but small game, to what we after plaid, as I shall presently tell you, for the 350 l. being all put out in parcels, and though they often returned with profit enough, yet it was very hard to get 400 l. together to pay the money that was borrowed, for now it had been lent a year, and the Usurer, though he hath never so good security, yet he loves to see his money sometimes, especially when he deals with a stranger, as the man was that borrowed it; and though my master might have cheated him of his money, yet he was unwilling so to give over, but proceed in his Trade which had gained him so much: wherefore my master upon search and inquiry, found that the same Company (whose Seal he had Counterfeited) had a parcel of Land in the Country, not far from London, which they had let to a wealthy Citizen, who had given over Trading for some years, and now lived in the Country: My Master getting the particulars of this Land, soon makes a Lease, and with the help of his Counterfeit Seal, makes it authentick, so that without much trouble he procures a thousand pound to be lent upon it by another Usurer who lived private, and the business was so ordered, that the Usurer was well enough contented without seeing the Land: my Master gave his old Confederate forty pound to personate the borrower, and then he paid in the four hundred pound that was formerly borrowed, so that only he thereby engaged that Usurer to him, who now had so good an opinion of my Master, that he soon made it up fifteen hundred pound, and desired him to procure him either good security, or a purchase for it: all which was done in a fair way, to the Usurers content, and my Masters profit: and thus did our Trade increase, my Master getting much money, and many a Crown, and half piece came into my pocket; for he knowing that I was privy to the first Cheat, did humor me very much, and took his Son off from abusing me, and caused every body that borrowed money to give me some gratuity for expedition, so that I had money enough, and the keeping of all my Masters Cash is committed to my charge: My Master had one rare contrivance lately, which I will tell you of whilst it is in my minde; and thus it was, he had a Kinswoman who had long lived with him, and some moneys he had of hers in his hands which was a Legacy formerly given her by another. This maid being Courted by a Shop-keeper in way of Marriage, the match went forwards, and was agreed upon on these terms, the Shop-keepers Father was to give him a hundred pound in money to put him into Stock, and my Master was to give his Kinswoman fifty pound, this being agreed on, my master takes the young man aside, and thus discourses him: Young man, here have I agreed to give fifty pound with my Kinswoman, which gaines you a hundred pound of your Father, now I having not ready money by me, must borrow this fifty pound, for which you must be bound with me, and when it becomes due I will pay it; This I say you must do without acquainting your Father, and so the business shall be done, and I pray be a good Husband, &c. The young man soon consented, the Marriage was consummated, and all things went well for a while, but within twelve moneths the young couple having run out all, my masters Kinswoman came again to her Uncle to acquaint him with their condition, and desire his advice and assistance; my master was much troubled at this chance, for he expected the contrary, & intended to get back the fifty pound; for which end he had the young man bound, that he might be forced to pay the money when in a condition: but seeing it was otherwise, he considered the matter, and wish'd her to send her Husband to him, and be patient, and make no words, and all should be well: her Husband according to order came, and after several checks past for his ill husbandry, he asked him if his Father knew any thing of his Condition? no, said the young man, I have kept it from his knowledge, and he thinks I thrive in the world, and is glad of it; well then, said my master, you know I gave you fifty pound, for which you were bound, and indeed it is still unpaid: now if you will be contented to pay that fifty pound in, I will raise you two hundred pound; so that you shall have fifty pound more in ready money, and then see how good a a husband you will be. To this the young man gladly consented, and my master soon after took occasion to meet and drink with his Father, and after some other discourse, they joyntly talked of the young mans thriving in the world, and were both glad of the match, and good husbandry: but said my master, now I think on it, there is now an opportunity of doing him much good if he had more money, and therefore you would do well to furnish them, I shall not be backward, replies the Father upon a good account, therefore I pray tell me the business: My master thereupon told him, that with two hundred pound more he might be bravely setled and furnished, for the Lease of his House is to be sold, and I can get it for a hundred pound, and that is a rich penny-worth, and the other hundred pound, I would have him to lay out in furnishing his Shop more plentifully, than now it is. Truly, reply'd the old man, this would do well: but I have no money at present, neither if I had, should I be willing to part from any more than a hundred pound at a time; Well for that, said my Master, if you please, I will mannage the matter: Thus I will procure two hundred pound for the young man; nay, and I have so great a love for him, that I will be bound with him and you for it; and when it shall be due, you shall onely pay a hundred pounds of the money, and your Son the r'other: To this the old man after some pause, and a little consideration consented, the business was done, and the money paid. My Master indeed being acquainted with the Landlord of the young mans House, gained a Lease of it for eighty pound, and made the young man allow a 100 l. and deducting the fifty pound he formerly had given him, he gave him the t'other fifty pound. Thus had my master his fifty pound again, and twenty pound for his pains in the business. When the money became due, my Masters Confederate, the Usurer, in whose name the Bond was made, demanded the money of the young man, where there was none to be had; and the old man was willing to pay onely a hundred pound of it according to Contract, where shall I have the rest, said the Usurer? why truly said the old man, if my Son cannot pay you, then let his wives Uncle, meaning my Master: But course was soon taken otherwise, and my Master being first, and principal in the Bond, made no more ado, but confessed Judgment, and thereupon Execution was taken out against them all, but served only upon the old man, who was forced to pay all the money. Thus my master, by being principal in this Bond saved himself, regained the fifty pound he had formerly lent, and gained twenty pound, besides making of Writings; and this, said he, will serve to help my Kinswoman when I see occasion. I having heard him with good attention, and considering with my self my own petty Rogueries, and how inconsiderable they were in comparison of what he had related to me, could not but burst out into admiration, and told him, that I saw the world was an absolute Cheat: and now I finde that saying to be verified which I had often heard, That the World consisted but of two sorts, Knaves and Fools, and that the one lived by out-witting and Cheating the other; and if there were any honest men, they were such as onely lived a contemplative life, and dealt not in this world; their whole thoughts being taken up in the Contemplation of another; Truly, reply'd the Scrivener, if you had known so much as I of all sorts of people (for we deal with people of all Qualities and Professions) you would conclude so indeed: and as the poor mans ability will not carry him high enough to Cheat so much at first, so he attempting it, and being discovered, is quite lost: but if a rich man, or any who had success in Knavery sets upon it to get an Estate, it is soon compassed, and the folly and easiness of many honest borowers enriches the Knavish lender. Thus we both concluded, as sufficiently evidenced by the Examples he had given me: and therefore I desired him to proceed, which he did in this manner.

CHAP. XXI.

 

He proceeds in discovering several considerable Cheats of his Masters, whereby he grows very rich: also some Cheats of his own, and so concludes.

My Master (continued the Scrivener) being now possessed of a thousand pound in ready money, there fell out an opportunity of good advantage; (and I have observed it, that there is no loss, but profit enough to be gain'd in keeping five hundered pound alwayes in a readiness in Cash, especially in our Trade, where so many offers for sale of Land and Houses are daily made.) The Landlord of my Masters House was lately dead, and his Son and Heir being a wilde blade, soon spent all the ready money his Father left, and all the Debts he could well get in: and now to selling of some of his Houses he must go, and my Master being known to be a moneyed man, and a Scrivener, was thought the best Customer: He therefore propounds borrowing of five hundred pound, but my Master being now possessed of a round sum, and hoping to have a good penny-worth, was very willing to buy. The young man and some friends were unwilling, and could not agree upon terms, and my Master at last consents to lend the money, provided he may have a mortgage of all that estate in that place, which amounting to two hundred pound per annum, was worth three thousand pound, and said he, you shall not need to make me an absolute assignment or sale of it all, onely a Lease at a Pepper Corn a year for one and twenty years: But to confirm it; and for Collateral security, you must give me a Statute Staple, to which our young man and his friends consented. The Lease was made, and a Statute for a thousand pound entered into, and the money paid and lent for six months only. The noise of this, and my Masters other Trading, brought him into great esteem both with lenders and borrowers, so that his Name being up, he may lie a bed till noon, and yet get money enough. A purchase of Land in the Country was offered, and my master bought it for a thousand five hundred pound, of which he borrowed upon a Lease of part of it. The six moneths quickly came about wherein his young Landlord was to pay the five hundered pound: but (according to my masters expectation) he failed, and then it was to be sold, my master agreed to give two thousand five hundred pound for it, and so they struck up a bargain, five hundred he had received before, a thousand pound he made a shift to borrow upon the mortgage of the Land he had lately purchased; (for though, as I told you he borrowed five hundred pound of the money when he purchased the Land, and gave a morgage of part of it for security, yet he keeping the principal Writings in his hands, concealed that mortgage, and now borrowed a thousand pound more of it) five hundred pound more he raised in ready money of his own, which was two thousand pound, & for the other five hundred pound, the remainder of the two thousand five hundred pound: his young Landlord took his Bond for the money, not questioning his security for five hundred pound, that could pay two thousand pound ready money, neither indeed had he occasion as yet for it. This being concluded, the money paid, and writings seal'd, my master would not remember to give up the Statute he had for a thousand pound, but he had another now for five thousand pound for security of his bargain, and the young man never so much as defired a Defeazance upon the Statute, but mark what follow'd. The youngster in short time, keeping riotous company, wasting his body as well as purse, died; and his younger Brother seized on his estate that was unspent: and among other things, on my Masters bond of five hundred pound, and soon after demanded it; though my master at first was non-plus'd, yet he soon bethought him of a way how to discharge and acquit himself of it: and thereupon returned this answer, It is very true, your Brother and I had much dealing, and I did give him such a Bond, which I am ready to pay to his Executor, which you tell me you are, provided you pay me what he likewise owed unto me; why, reply'd the young man, did he owe you any moneys? yea, said my master: and whereas you produce a Bond, which is indeed a very good specialty, I shall produce somwhat that is higher, and indeed the highest security that can be given for any Debt, and that is a Statute Staple: and thereupon he produced one Statute first, that was given for a thousand pound upon borrowing of the five hundred pound; nay, but said the young man, I suppose that this was part of the money that was for the purchase of your dwelling house and others; for that, said my master, I can shew you a particular Receipt for all the money under his hand and seal, and also a general acknowledgment in the Deed of Conveyance: wherefore this money I must have you pay me first, and afterwards I shall talk with you further; what do you mean by further talks, said the young man? why, said my master, I mean to have of you all that your Brother owed me, which is much more than you think for; for he and I had great dealings together for a greater sum of money than all this, as I shall further shew you; and thereupon he produced the second Statute, which was for five thousand pound. This demand of my masters so vexed the young man, that he departed, and soon began his course at Law against my master, but he took a wrong sow by the ear, for he finding whereabouts he intended on his two Statutes, and was too quick for this younker, and gained a Liberate, which he delivered the Sheriff, who served it upon all the estate of the deceased, so that by this means all that was unspent of the dead young mans estate (amounting in Land to the value of four thousand pound) came to my masters hands, and yet he sayes he is unsatisfied: and the young man, the Brother of the deceased cannot help it, for by this means he is berest of all Estate to go to Law: and when money and means is wanting, friends are scarce; besides, I know not how he can avoid it, his Brother not having taken a Defeazance as he ought to have done. Here was a matter worth playing the Knave for, and would induce some men to leave off: but my master had so good success in his proceedings, that he is resolved to proceed in them. The money that he borrowed on all his Mortgages, both Counterfeit Leases and others, he soon paid off, and yet left himself worth above three hundred pound per annum, and money in his purse. Thus having a good estate, and now being full of employments, both for buying, selling, borrowing, and lending: he alwayes keeps a good Bank of money. If any purchase of Land come at twelve or thirteen years purchase, be buys it, because he knows of a Customer that will give fifteen or sixteen. And thus he will gain five hundred pounds in a weeks time. We lately had one business worth all the rest, and which hath now made him weary of getting money: A Knight having a Lordship in the Country worth 2000 l. per annum, comes first to borrow money, and grants a Lease and Statute upon the borrowing of two thousand pound: this my Master lent himself of his own money, the Knight within a moneth or two being to marry a Daughter, wants two thousand pound more, which was likewise promised on the same security: by this time my master was somewhat dreined of his ready money, and knowing that the Knight would soon be with him again, he casts about how to raise more: which thus he does, he borrows 1500 l. upon a Lease of part of his purchase, of his dwelling house and others, and keeps the grand Writings in his hands; he borrows a thousand pound on his Land in the Country, and of another party he borrows fifteen hundred pound more upon a Lease of part of his purchase of his dwelling house and others, keeping still the grand Writings in his hands: and thus having eight thousand pound ready money, he goes to the Knight, and upon treaty, agrees to give him thirty two thousand pound for his estate, which price being concluded on, he borrows two thousand pound upon his dwelling house and others, and then parts from the grand Writings, and Covenants that the estate is free of Incumbrances, though he had twice mortgaged it in part: and thus having raised ten thousand pound, he borrows twelve thousand pound more upon part of his new purchase, and the Knight is contented to take the t'other ten thousand pound in full of the purchase, at two six moneths, and only takes my Masters Bond: this was lately setled and agreed upon, and all Writings made, and I doubt the Knight will come short of his money; for my Master hath so many Statutes which the Knight never dreams of, having still given them without taking Defeazances, that I believe he will be cut off from his Debt, & so must the Usurer that lent my master the twelve thousand pound upon a mortgage of part of his new Lordship; for my master being resolved to make this a piece of wit, and to do his utmost to cheat them all, did the next day after the Purchase was made, and Writings sealed, cause us to sit up all night and make an absolute bargain and sale of all that his new purchase to two friends in trust, for the use of his Children, so that the , 191 Usurer who lent his twelve thousand pounds, had not his Writings of Assignments sealed till a week or ten days after, and when the time comes for payment, he may be chous'd and defeated of all, and my Master being master of an Estate of two thousand pounds per annum , may live and laugh at them all for their credulity; for he hath so ordered it that the Law cannot touch the Estate, it may only reach his person, and as for that, we know it is but a Kings-Bench matter, and there he may live all his life time, and spend like a Lord, and when he dies his Debts are paid, and his Estate goes to his Children. But if he hath success for two or three more such Businesses as this last, he need not do so, but leave the Cheat to the last Cast, and grow infinitely rich, as I question not but he will.

Thus, said our Scrivener, have I given you an account of my Masters way to get money, and I have not been without mine: he would many times permit me to cheat a little, because I assisted him and was privy to his concerns. I have one way that brings me in twenty or thirty pounds per annum; for all Deeds of Bargain and Sale are to be Enrolled in six moneths after the date, either in Chancery , if it be Land or Houses out of London, or in Guild-Hall , if within London or the Liberties thereof; and I was once forced to trot to Chancery-lane four or five times for one Deed before I could get it done, and when it was done, all that was to be seen on the Deed was, Inrolled such a Day and Year in Chancery, per me such a one. I seeing that, learned to write the Hand they use in Endorsing, and for the future onely writ it my self on the backside, to shew our Clients, and that was sufficient; for not one in a thousand is search'd for, and this is onely done in case the Deed be lost, so that I now have got the trick on't to write on the backside my self, and put that money the Register should have into my own pocket, and that is a pretty quantity, for an indifferent Deed comes to twenty shillings, at so much per Roll. Forty other wayes have I to get moneys, and indeed I need not invent wayes, for our Trade is so great for Procuration, and Continuation , and such like, that I get money enough more than I can well tell how to spend.

I will now conclude, onely tell you a Story or two how I have initiated my self in this Art of Knavery, for my Time being suddenly to expire, I thought it necessary to try some Expedients how I might live hereafter when I came to be for my self; and knowing that my Master could not do any thing at first without a Confederate (some body to help and assist him) I procured the like: We had many indigent persons that came to borrow money, some Gentlemen, others decayed and decaying Citizens, amongst the rest a Master of a Ship, who had made so many broken Voyages that he could make no more, for he had wearied all his Friends with holding Parts of Ships with him to their great loss; but he holding to the Proverb, That a Sea-man is never broken till his neck is broken, was resolved to try his fortune one bout more, and had now with the help of Friends made a shift to buy an old Barque of near a hundred Tun, in which he was minded to go to Sea, partly as a Man of War, and withal to bring home prohibited Goods from France. This man was an earnest suiter to borrow an hundred pounds upon Bottomry, or any ways, to victual and fit his Ship; I finding him ingenious, after some conference with him, and he being willing for any Undertaking, we concluded to go half snips in the Profit of his Voyage, and I would furnish him with moneys to his content: I soon perswaded an easie Friend of mine who had more money than wit, to lend our Captain a hundred pounds, promising him great profit, and indeed he was to have fifty in the hundred for that Voyage, which was to be finished in two moneths, and I told him that he might ensure his money at the Ensurance Office, which he did accordingly. Our Captain being furnished with a hundred pound of the Usurer, I made bold with a hundred pound more of my Masters, which could not soon be missed out of the Cash, and with this the Ship was so bravely fitted and provided with all Necessaries, that he was offered Fraights enough. At last he concluded with one to bring over some rich Goods, and the times being dangerous at Sea, by reason of Men of War at Sea, he ensured five hundred pounds upon the Ship.

The Ensurers knowing this, and that the man who ensured was a substantial Merchant, mistrusted nothing; but likewise ensured five hundred pounds more to the Captain, because he had laid out much in fitting the Ship, & did it as he pretended for satisfaction of the Owners. All things being thus fitted, our Captain leaving his Policy or Deed of Ensurance with me, put out to Sea, arrived at his Port, received the Goods on Board, but having a parcel of trusty Blades with him, and some who had shares in the purchase, he puts the best part of the Merchandize on Board of a small Barque he had hired for that purpose, and that being sent ashore to another Port, he soon after ran his Ship ashore in such a place as he was not likely to come off, and there she perished, he and his companions getting on shore with some small matter of Goods in the Long-boat: He being arrived on shore, soon writ word to me how he had sped, and I being acquainted very well with the Ensurers, perswaded them to pay me the money he had ensured first, upon some small rebate; and he on the other side selling the Merchandize on shore, put it into other commodities and sent them home, and himself came home as a distressed Passenger, and here the Ensurers paid for all: Such bouts as these they sometimes meet with, and that so often, that now adays when a Merchant hath ensured, he had need to ensure on the Ensurers, and some have done so.

When our Captain came home, we privately met and shared our profit, and by this I gained two hundred pounds for my share, and this was a good beginning; and though I hazarded to sea, yet there was less hazard than my Master underwent in his first attempt of Counterfeiting a Companies Seal; for should he have been discovered, sorrow would have been on his sops. I have now and then had five or ten pound given me at a time for altering a Will, and putting in more as Legacy to one than the Testator intended, and this I would venture on without much hazard, if the Testator were sick to death. My Master once made a Will, and in stead of another made himself Executor, and I and one more of the Confederacy were witnesses to it, by this means he gained near three hundred pound.

I have oftentimes had a Piece or two given me to make Writings in favor of one man more than another; for in a Lease, if Rent reserved be 100 l. per annum, and there be no Covenant for payment of the Rent, when either of the parties die, if any Rent be behinde due to the Lessee, it cannot be recovered by the Executors, Administrators, or Assigns of the Lessor, because there was no Covenant between them in behalf of their Executors, Administrators, and Assigns; and it hath been usual in all ancient Leases to leave that Covenant out as needless, but now people are grown wiser by experience.

In Arbitration between parties there is much cunning and knavery to be used in drawing up an Award, or final End; for the Scrivener, if he be a friend to, or favour either of the parties, shall do it so as that it shall be void, or not authentick, or not obliging to one of the parties, & yet the Arbitrators who are commonly honest harmless men, think they have done their business, when as they have onely made more work for Lawyers.

In Counter-Bonds there may be much partiality used, as also in Letters of Attorney, onely putting in his use, for my use, entitles the Attorney to receive all to his own use without any account; and such a thing as this is often slipt over, or not understood, and many a good Piece and Half-piece comes into into our pockets in a year for these actions.

It was like to go very hard with one of my Masters Acquaintance not long since, for he being skilled in counterfeiting of Hands, did very artificially counterfeit a Citizens Hand (with whom he had some small dealing) to a Bond of 400 l. to pay 200 l. with Interest at a day, and when the time came he asked him before some company, to pay him that money that he then owed him: Yes, said the Citizen, I shall do it next week, meaning a small sum which he did directly owe him, and did then pay him, but the other then telling him of his Bond of 400 l. and the Citizen directly denying it, a Suit was commenced, and Tryal was had at the Kings-Bench Bar in Westminster-Hall, where the innocent Citizen (seeing the confidence of the Witnesses, and indeed his own hand, as he supposed, to the Bond, which he could not deny but it was so, or very like) and having nothing to say, in a passion cryed out in open Court, to desire God to revenge his Cause, for he was utterly and absolutely wronged. This being so solemnly protested, made not onely the Judge but the Jury a little more inquisitive into the matter than ordinary, and called for some papers to compare the hand with other of his hand-writing, but no difference could be found therein. The Bond thus passing about to every one of the Jury, one of them viewing the Bond more narrowly than ordinary, craved leave of the Judge to be discharged of his place as a Jury-man, and to be admitted and sworn as a Witness; for my Lord, faith he, I can say somewhat to the matter. This his request was assented to, and he being sworn, began in this manner, My Lord, this Bond here in Court is pretended to be made, sealed, and delivered nine moneths since, when, my Lord, this Paper whereon it is written, hath not been in England above four moneths. How do you know that? said my Lord. The Jury-man replyed, My Lord, I am a Stationer or Paper-seller, and to all Paper there are several marks whereby we know and distinguish them, As Pot, Piller, Crown, Cardinals-Arms, &c. and my Lord, this being such a sort of Paper was made by a young man in France, whose mark is here, and none of it came over till within these four moneths . At this the Judge was satisfied, all people wondred, the Defendant rejoyced, and the Plaintiff with his Swearers were forced to sneak out of the Court, and could not presently be heard of.

I once was called to make a Will, and the party lying speechless, another there present dictated to me, telling me that the sick man he was sure would consent to what he said, which I believing proceeded and finished the Will, but when I came to have him sign it, I saw that he was dead: well, said the party that dictated, if you will be ruled by me, this Will shall stand, and yet no body forswear themselves, & said he to me, you shall have a good reward for your consent. I being ready to receive money, promis'd him my consent; whereupon, saith he, read the Will, so I did: well, saith he, you see the party doth not at all contradict what is here written, and now he shall set his hand and seal thereto, which he did, by guiding the dead mans hand: now, saith he, if you be questioned, you may safely swear that you read the Will to him, and he consented, or at leastwise did not contradict, and that you saw him with his own hand sign, seal, and deliver the same. Well sir, said I, if you are content, I am; and thereupon he giving me the promised Reward, I subscribed as Witness, and left him, who soon after by vertue of this Will possessed himself of the Estate. I had seen this trick of putting a dead mans hand to Writings done two or three times before, and so this was no new thing, and would not contradict any thing that was to turn to my profit.

I could tell you thousands of these Cheats, and indeed, as one said, there is more mischief done with a dash of the Pen, than with any thing else in the way of Knavery and Cheating. Thus did out Scrivener conclude his Discourse, and we calling for another Pint of Wine and a Faggot, drank and warmed our selves, and so for that time parted.

, 193

CHAP. XXII.

 

The Book-sellers Prentice gives an account of his Masters first tricks in Cheating, by Printing Books that were other mens Copies.

After this conference with the Scrivener, I went home; and as he told me, my saying to my Master that I had been with him was sufficient, so I found it; for I was asked no more Questions, but went to bed; and there did I recollect to my self, all that he had that evening told me: and though I could not perfectly remember the several terms of Art he used, as Judgment, Execution, Scire facias , Statute, Procuration, and Continuation, &c. yet I was sensible of their meaning, and did very much wonder, how any man could sleep being guilty of so many crimes as he and his Master were; yet I found that they slept the better, or at leastwise fared the better, by reason of their great wealth; and then did I compare my forepassed life, to what I had heard of them, and it was not worth mentioning; so that from that time, I had a more charitable opinion for my self then formerly. And since I had so good success with my Scrivener, I was resolved to be a little more intimate with the rest of the Society, especially the Book-seller, that I might know how he gained his Money: and the next day I had my desire; for meeting him abroad, we went to an Ale-house, and there did I discover to him part of my yesterdays actions with the Scrivener, and thereby induced him to make me this following Discourse.

Truly Brother (for so we called one another) you have told me wonders, though so admirable, that I could not have thought so much crafty knavery could have been committed by any man breathing, though I did believe that there was more then I understood; having always heard, that it was a dangerous thing to squeeze Wax, and that Scriveners in general were cunning fellows, but that any man out of nothing should by tricks and subtle contrivances, gain to himself so great an estate, and yet not run into the compass of the Law; but now I see the Proverbs verified, Nothing venture, nothing have; and that a blot is no blot till it be hit; and give a man luck, and throw him into the Sea. And although I have thought my Master a man cunning and crafty enough, and did believe that he who deals in Books could not be out-witted, yet I see that a piece of Parchment with a seal to it, is better then a great many Books, nay then a whole Impression: but that I may give you some satisfaction in what you desire, I shall proceed in my Discourse; and though I cannot tell you so many, nor so profitable contrivances as you have related to me, yet those of our calling deserve not to go much behind, and we do our utmost good will to cheat, though it turns not to so good an account.

My Master when I came to Prentice had but a small stock of Books, and those were all in his Shop, with which, together with some paper, parchment, pens, and such like Stationers ware, he made a shift to pick up an indifferent livelihood; but he being of a reaching brain, and seeing there were very rich people, such as gained great Estates, and lived bravely of the same trade, he made it his business to inquire into their way: the most sorts of Books that we sold, were Testaments, Psalters, Grammars, Accidences, and such Books as we call Priviledged ware, and indeed were printed for the Company in general, and to be had of some of the Stock-keepers, or Masters of the Company, or at the Hall; and though our profit in selling these sorts of Books was but small, as not above two pence in the shilling, yet it was a certain commodity, and the sale sure; whereas other Books, either of Divinity, History, &c. were not so certain, though more profitable, as commonly bringing four pence in the shilling profit; and thus did we continue buying books of other Booksellers, as we were asked for them, and had occasion; my Master commonly keeping to one man, because he could there be trusted and furnished with any Book he wanted, it fortuned that a new book being printed, a small thing of about four or five sheets of paper, it sold so well, that my Master went often for them to his wonted place: one time they had none of them left, but desiring my Master to stay, they would send for some; which my Master did, but the Messenger came back without any, and brought word that he should not have any more of them upon account or exchange, for he now held them at ready Money, and that he would have, or part from none; well then, said my Master, I will go thither and buy some my self; no, said the Master of the Shop, you shall not need, I'll send for some this once with ready Money, and you shall have them cheaper of me then of him; and so he did, and he received them, & told me that if he wanted any more, he could be very well furnished with them within three or four days, and the other had been better not to have served him so; but the Book selling very well, all my Masters were gone that night, and I went my self to the Bookseller who printed them for some, the which I had; but the next day I went again, he had none, and told me that I could not have any in a weeks time. I acquainted my Master herewith, who being called upon for some of them, went to his old place to see if they had any; they told him they had none at present, but to morrow he might have what number he pleased; accordingly the next day I went, and brought fifty of them with me; and then my Master (beginning to suspect that which he afterwards found out) sent me to the Booksellers who printed them, and he had none, wherefore he then concluded that the Bookseller with whom he was wont to deal had printed them, though they were none of his Copy, at which he wondred; for the greater sort of Booksellers did use to inform us that it was a most heinous and unlawful thing to print another mans Copy; so that I think, this was the first time that my Master discovered this Mystery, for the Book continuing to sell, we sold in our Shop above five hundred of them; so that my Master beginning to consider with himself, reckoned that he had payd to his Dealer above five pounds for these Pamphlets, and yet got very well by them too: wherefore not long after coming into the company of a Printer, he asked what it would cost to print 2000 of a Book of five Sheets of paper; the Printer replied, Ten pound: by this my Master guessed that his Dealer had gained half in half by him; for he had paid for 500, half what 2000 would cost. My Master holding some further Discourse with this Printer, over a pot of Ale, he told him that he did work for such a man, naming the Bookseller with whom my Master dealt, and saith he, I lately did two sheets for him of a book he gained well by, for I printed 5000 for my share: so that at length, after conference together, they concluded it was the same book my Master sold so many of, and that he had printed it in three or four places for expedition, and that he could not gain less then 30 l. by printing it: I but says my Master, how will he do to answer it to the other man whose Copy it was? For that, said the Printer, he will do well enough, for the other is but a young man, and light upon his Copy by chance; and though the Law forbids such doings, as the printing one anothers Copies, yet the great ones commonly devour and eat up the little ones, and will venture on it being but a small thing; and it may be this young man is indebted to the other: and indeed it is a usual thing, and we do such jobbs very frequently, especially for the Grand ones of the Company. But how comes it, said my Master, that some or other do not print their Copies, as Testaments, Psalters? &c. As for that, said the Printer, it is very dangerous, for if they were taken, it belonging to the whole Company, they would be sure to seize on it, and sue the party so offending; besides, the books are too big for every one to venture on, & will lie too long in hand a doing; but sometimes such things are done, but in another way, as I can tell. Thus ended my Master and the Printer their Discourse of this matter, and my Master desired the Printer to call on him sometimes, and he would drink with him; and it may be have some employment for him, and thus they parted. My Master now understanding thus much of his Trade, more then formerly, was resolved it should not be long ere he were doing somewhat: thus pondering in his mind, he could not tell what design to begin with, for we sold very little but priviledged Ware, and those it was dangerous medling with, neither would my Masters stock reach to any thing considerable; at last resolving to play at small game rather then stand out, he bethought himself, and resolved to print the A B C, a little Childs book of a sheet of paper: he knew not then what Printer to entrust, for he durst not make use of the former Printer, left he should acquaint his Dealer; but it was not long ere he light upon one fit for his purpose, and to work he went, my Master sending in a paper, and so they were printed, delivered, and paid for; but when my Master had them, he knew not how to dispose of them, lest he should be caught; but that he might have the better pretence, he went and bought 300 of them of his Dealer, and so laying them by, sold his own; and being acquainted with a Primer-binder, he got him to exchange with him for primers, and such like small books: he was rid of most of them to his great profit, for he gained, as I have heard him say, above five pounds by that jobb, which was then a great deal of money; and by this means his Shop was better furnished with small books & paper, and now he had good credit with the paper-Merchant, which before he could not have. Not long after, the Printer who had printed the A B C came to him, and acquainted him, that if he would venture a matter of ten pounds, he might be concerned in printing of a book that would turn to a very good account, and it may be get twenty pound by the bargain: he having had such good success in the last, ventures upon this; it was a Sermon that then sold very well, and he had another partner, and my Master having some Money by him, and pretty good Credit at the paper-Merchants, he found paper, and the other paid for printing, and at two places it was done in a Week; my Master putting them out in London to the Mercuries and others at one penny a piece less then the ordinary rate, and his partner dealing with Country-Chapmen, sent good store away into the Country, and thus, though this was another mans Copy, they sold all their books in a short time, and gained 25l. a piece. This was a good beginning, said I to the Bookseller, and I did not think your Trade had been so profitable; but now I beleeve, that these courses being prosecuted, a considerable Estate may be gained in a short time: that you shall soon hear, replied he: but the Discourse being somewhat long, I shall for the present end, and prosecute the rest in the following Chapter.

CHAP. XXIII.

 

He proceeds in the discovery of his Masters ways in cheating, in preferring some Copies, and other ways of getting Copies.

My Master having now had some experience in this way of printing, was resolved to play above board, and get some Copy or Copies to print, that he might own; which in short time he did, and glad was he to see his name in print, supposing himself now to be some body: but these things did him but little good, and sold but easily, he not having the way of preferring books, and sending them to some Country Chapmen; and the rest of the booksellers, who endeavour to crush any beginner, and will not sell his books, unless they may have them at their own rate, would not sell any of them for him; and besides, now he gave Money for his Copies, the other costing him nothing: and though a book be never so good, they will not sell with some men, for the others will undervalue and spoil it: as for example, If my Master had printed at that time the best book of Chirurgery, Husbandry, Cookery, or the like in the World, and though the book had been famous enough, so that every one desired it, and asked at any booksellers shop for it, they would have said to their Customers, Truly Sir, there is such a book, but in regard it is a foolish idle thing, and of no weight, I have not any of them, I will not trouble my shop with them; but Sir, here is another of the same Subject, that is much better, and in great esteem with ingenious and knowing men: If the Customer replies he would have only that book and no other, for that it was recommended to him for an ingenious well-writ piece; then will he reply, Truly Sir, I never heard any of your judgment before, till now I was never asked for them; but since you speak so well of it, I will procure you one: and then it may be, for all this Discourse he will shew you one, as if left by chance, or else send to his neighbour-bookseller for one. Thus will he disparage other mens books, and prize his own, and many times put off some of his own, the buyer being so civil as to believe him: and this is a general Maxime, That they will not offer, or prefer a book of any mans printing except their own, unless they have it either in exchange, or at a low rate; and this is the cause that there are some books as considerable, and good as any in England, that did not sell at first for little better then wast paper, till some of the Grand ones of the Company get them all into their hands, and then they sell for three times the price they did. But to leave this Discourse and proceed, my Master having now printed two or three things, did look upon himself as some-body; and though he had not such good success in his last undertakings as before, yet he made a shift to get what they cost him for paper and print, and had many of them still by him to sell when he would, or exchange; but he having but two or three sorts of books, could not do much good upon that: he seeing this, and observing what books sold best, it being at the beginning of these late Wars, found that factious Sermons, and such like things would do the business; he thereupon bestirs himself, and gets acquainted with most of the factious Priests about Town, by often hearing them and frequenting their Companies, and having learned to write short-hand, took notes of their Sermons, which he collected together, and now and then he would get them to revise one of them, and print it; by this means spending much time and money amongst them, he grew very intimate, and was become the general publisher of most of their Sermons and Controversies. This was that which brought him great gain, and in a short time he could vie with the best; what he sold not for mony, he exchanged for books: and now he could command any book in all the Company without mony, upon account, as is the Custome. His Ship being well furnished, he gets a Ware-house, where he bestowed his book in quires; and being thus furnished, he was first spoken to by some Country-booksellers, and then writ to by them and others for several books, so that any thing that he printed he could sell off well enough; for having good hap to print some very good selling books, they helped away the other that were not so good, and still were thrust into the parcel among the rest: and now having some good Authors, he would not accept of every one; and as he formerly had sought for, and courted Authors to write books for him, now they (knowing his way of preferring and selling of books) followed, and courted him to print their books. If a stranger came with a Copy to him, though never so good, he would tell them he had books enough already; but however, if they would give him so much money, he would do it, and they should have two, or three, or six books for themselves and friends: many a one did he thus perswade out of their money, being desirous to be in print. If he had a desire to have any thing writ in History, Poetry, or any other Science or Faculty, he had his several Authors, who for a glass of Wine, and now and then a meals Meat and half a Crown, were his humble servants; having no other hire but that, and six or twelve of their books, which they presented to friends or persons of Quality; nay, and when they have had success, if they wanted any more books, they must pay for them: further I have known some of our Trade, that when a poor Author hath written a book, and being acquainted with some Person or Persons of Quality whereto he Dedicates and presents it, the Bookseller will go snips, and have half shares of what is so given him. My Master being now gotten to the height of his Trade, was soon called on to be one of the Livery of his Company, which though it be somewhat chargeable at first, yet it soon brings in profit, there being many conveniencies therein; for they have liberty to put in a sum of money into the publike Stock, and so great is their profit, that they have seldome less then twenty per cent. and then when they come to be Stock-keepers or Wardens, they have the disposing of the Stock-books, such as are Testaments, Psalters, &c. and putting them out to print, they often print so many overnumbers, that shall serve them as long as they live. In particular, there is no Trade that I ever heard of, that gets so much by their Commodity; for whatever they print, if it sels, they get eight pence in the shilling: and for those that deal with Country-Chapmen, they put off the bad well enough at one time or another; and if they are very bad, then a new Title is printed as if it were a new book; and what with this and changing, they march off in time.

There was one Preacher in London that my Master was much respective to, for he had gained much money by printing several of his books (and though my Master in outward appearance seems a Saint, yet he hath his freaks, and will be merry with his friends, and be prophane enough.) One Sunday my Master having been rambling in the fields, entred the City in the afternoon just as Sermon was done, and seeing this Parson going before him, he stept forwards, and overtaking him, salutes him thus, Sir, I am glad to see you so well, indeed Sir, you have this day taken a great deal of pains, and we are all beholden to you for your Soul-saving Sermon: how say you, said the Parson, what do you mean? Why Sir, I thank you for your Sermon you preached this afternoon: Nay, now Sir, said the Parson, I see you are mistaken, for I have not preached this day: my Master hearing this, was wonderfully surprized, not knowing what to say, but left the Parson and came home discontented at his error. We having several Country-Chapmen, some whereof owed my Master considerable sums of Mony, he took occasion to go into the Countrey, and to be sure, he would make it worth his Journey, for at every considerable Town he would buy some books, and sell them at the next, or send them up to London, and sometimes whole Libraries; and he did take order with all his Chapmen to acquaint him with all Libraries or parcels of books that were to be sold, which if worth the buying he would have. He would also frequent the Schools, and by drinking with the School-masters, and discoursing of books and learned men, he would get their custom to serve them with School-books. There was one famous Country-Parson whom he much desired to be acquainted with, and to him he rid, telling him he was troubled in mind, & desired him to satisfie him in a case of Conscience; the which he did; and then for his satisfaction, and to oblige him, he prayed and courted him to see him when he came to London, the which he did, and all this was to get the printing of his books. If a Customer comes into our Shop to buy a book, he hath such ways of preferring and recommending of it, that they seldom go and not buy, for he will open the book, and if it be Divinity, shew them one place or another, out of which he will preach to them, and tell them, that very saying or discourse is worth all the money in the world; and if they do not like it when they have read it over, he will take it again: and so many of our Trade will promise, but you shall hardly ever get your money again; you may chance to have them exchange it for some other book, which they will be willing to do if there be money stirring in the case. My Master having had a book written for him by a Poet, the Author (not having the wit to make his bargain, and know what he should have beforehand) when he had finished it, desired payment for his pains: Nay, said my Master, you ought rather to pay me for printing it, and making you famous in print. Well then, said the Author, if you will not give me money, I hope you will give me some books. How, said my Master, give you books? what, will you have me forswear my Trade, and be a book-giver? I am a bookseller, and to you I will sell them assoon as to another, if you will give me money; paper and print costs money: and this was all the Author could have for his pains. My Master is now one of the Grandees of the Company, and that besides the ordinary way gets him something. Not long since, he and others went a searching, and finding an Impression of unlicensed books, seized them, but instead of suppressing and turning them to wast paper, they divided the greatest part of them amongst themselves, and immediately my Master sent some of them away to all his Chapmen, and the rest we sell in the Shop. It so fell out lately, that a book being to be printed, my Master repaired to the Author to get the Copy, but another of the same Trade had been there before, to whom it was in part promised; but however (out of respect to my Master) the other being sent for, it was agreed that they should have the printing of it between them; whereupon one Printer was imployed by them both to do the work. My Master soon after sent for the Printer, and tells him, You must do me a kindness: Yes Sir, said the Printer. It is this, said my Master, I am to give away to the Author some books, wherefore I would have you to print 200 for me above the number, and do not tell my Partner, and I will pay you: Yes, said the Printer, and so he did, and was paid for them accordingly. But the Printer seeing the knavery of his Imployers (for the other had been with him, and engaged him to print the same number of 200 over, pretending some private use he had for them) he likewise printed 400 over for his own use, and publiquely sold them; and neither of them could or would complain of him to the other, because they knew themselves guilty of the same crime.

One of the greatest pieces of profit the whole Company hath, is the printing of Almanacks, for by that, I believe, they clear above 1000 l. per annum: but a knavish Printer lately outwitted them, for he printed a great number of Almanacks, and though he printed but two sorts, yet they served for all the other sorts,) only altering the Title page, at the beginning, and the last sheet which we call the Prog, or Prognostication; and these Almanacks he affording cheaper then ordinary, as indeed well he might, he sold off a good number of them, which was to his gain and their great hinderance; but he is lately discovered, and how they will deal with him I know not.

In the late times of Liberty, when every one printed what they pleased, if one Bookseller printed a book that sold, another would get it printed in a lesser Character, and so the book being less in bulk, though the same in matter, would sell it for a great deal less price, and so undersel one another: and of late there hath been hardly a good book but it is epitomized, and for the most part spoiled, only for a little gain: so that few books that are good, are now printed, only Collections and patches out of several books; and Booksellers employing the , 209 meaner sort of Authors in spoiling anothers Copies by such Epitomies.

A young man being lately to set up, was a suiter to my Master to speak to the Company to lend him 50 l. for a certain time without interest as is customary: for there are several sums of money left the Company so to be disposed of, for the benefit of young beginners. My Master knowing his power in general, particularly promised to effect his desires, provided that the young man would agree to lay out his money when received with him; telling him, he would use him well therein: but whether he did or no, you may guess, for he kept not open shop above six moneths before he broke, and is now gone for a Souldier, and the Company in general likely to loose the money. This, replied I, is one of the worst acts I have yet heard of, if it were intentionally done, for it is an abuse of the Donors will; but I see it is not material with some men, if they get money, how they come by it: but I pray, let me hear the rest of your story. That you shall, said the Bookseller, but first let us drink; which he having done, and I pledged, he proceeded, as you may hear in this following Chapter.

CHAP. XXIV.

 

The Book-sellers Prentice having discovered his Masters way of Cheating, now discovers his own.

Thus, said the Bookseller, have I given you a summary account of the most part of my Masters dealing, and the main way how he gained his Estate; for at this time he hath a shop very well furnished with all sorts of bound books, and two or three Warehouses full of books in quires: he hath above 1000 l. owing him by Country-Chapmen; some Estate he hath in Land and Houses, and a very good Stock in the Hall, and all this is acquired in six years time out of nothing; and in this account of my Masters dealing, I have acquainted you with the greatest mysteries of our Trade: but, said I to him, I must confess you have told me those things I was not only ignorant of, but what I could not have believed could have been done, and so great an Estate could have been gained by the bookselling Trade, especially from so small a beginning as an A B C: but all this while the mystery is not disclosed; for though you have told me how your Master gets mony, yet I hear nothing of your gains, neither indeed can I as yet conjecture how you should be furnished with money; for I suppose you keep an account of what you receive and pay, and that your Master takes care to look into his accounts, that no great matter can be gained that way. 'Tis very true, replied the bookseller, he does so; and as he is of a false knavish temper himself, so he is suspitious of me, and very vigilant and watchful over me: but do you think, that I who have observed all his ways and crafty dealing, cannot find a way to be even with him, and put mony into my own pocket? and indeed he does allow of my knavery and craftiness in over-reaching of others; for he in general is accounted the fittest servant of our Trade, that can out-wit and over-reach his brother bookseller; for it is not so much our keeping Shop, and selling a few books to Scholars, Parsons, Gentlemen, nor sending to Country-Chapmen, for in that we use a constant price, and there is not much wit or craft to be used therein; but the craftiest part of our profession consisteth in making an Exchange-note with other booksellers to the best advantage; and there is our greatest prize: for if any of our Chapmen send to us for books, such as we do not print, and such as we are not at present furnished withal, then away we go to that bookseller who is best furnished with them, and desire to make a Note with him, which he (being desirous to sort himself with some of our books) willingly consents to; then do we commonly pretend least use for those books we most want, otherwise we should be sure to go without them, unless we took many of other sorts, that were little better then wast paper; and sowe, by telling our brother bookseller that of such a book they are almost gone, and the like, we put off the greatest number of our worst books, and the fewest of our best; and being indifferent of taking any quantity of those we most need, we commonly have most put upon us; and so are furnished with what we desire: and in this way of exchanging books for books, we have the most occasion of exercising our wits, and many times receive commendations from our Masters for so doing; and when we meet with one another, the business being over, triumph over those we have thus outwitted.

This business of Exchanging brings us Prentices acquainted with each other more then any thing else, for that this matter is commonly left to our management, and on this acquaintance depends the greatest part of our profit: for though we can sometimes when we take money in the Shop put up half a Crown or a Crown for a book that our Master knows not of, yet that is but seldome, and little Money is given us, unless it be by the better sort of Customers, whose books we carry home, and then perhaps we may have a shilling or two bestowed on us; but this is nothing in respect of our other profit, which I shall now tell you of.

We trading for a great deal to Chapmen into the Country, do print very much, and sometimes one book is printed very often, and a number of 25 or 50 cannot be soon discovered: sometimes we are in fee with the Printer, and procure him to print such a number over for us, which he consents to, that he may do as many for himself: and then for the manner of our selling of them, it is by Combination, Confederacy, and Correspondency, which some of us Apprentices have with each other; for we have our Warehouse as well as our Master, and are furnished with much variety; every one of the Combination bringing some quantity to this joynt-Stock, of what his Master printeth, and then as occasion serveth we furnish each other: but the chiefest way of making money of these, is by three or four young Booksellers, who being newly set up do buy them of us, it may be two pence in the shilling cheaper then they can buy them of our Masters: we have ready money, or at furthest when they have sold them; and to this end we have commonly one of these Booksellers in every considerable place of Trading about Town, and sometimes we employ a rambling Bookseller to go a Birding, and offer them at places, and oftentimes our Masters buy some of their own Books of this Ubiquitarian-bookseller, and one or two being intrusted with management of the Stock, gives account to all the rest; and so we divide the profit: at other times we being employed by our Masters to get in books for our Country-Chapmen, we inform them that the book being out of print we cannot have it without ready money, and then we being ordered to get them, (for our Customers must be served) we have them out of our own Stock, and put the ready money into our pockets. Sometimes I have gotten forty or fifty shillings by being partners with one of the young Booksellers in printing a Pamphlet; and if it be an unlicensed thing, we sell them privately to Customers in the Shop; if a factious thing, we have our factious Customers; if obscene or wanton, we accordingly are provided with those that buy them: and thus with these ways and some others which are too long to relate at this time, I can make a shift to spend forty or fifty pound a year, to keep my suit of private cloaths, and to allow my Wench eight shillings a week, to whom I constantly pay that Portion; and I think my share of the Stock at present may amount to forty pound. And thus you see, that though so many thousands go through the Scriveners hands, and so few through mine, yet I can make a shift to get some money out of our paper, as well as he out of his parchment; and I doubt not, but when I come out of my time, to do as well as the best of our trade; for having learnt so much in this Art, I question not but I shall put it in practice to my advantage.

Thus did he put an end to his Discourse; and drinking a Pot or two more of Beer, having had some other merry discourse about the Scriveners Wench, and such like other matters, we parted; he, to go meet with some of his brother Booksellers, to take account of their private stock; and I, to my Masters about my ordinary Imployments, still ruminating in my mind of all the passages that these two Blades the Scrivener and Bookseller had related to me; and from thence did conclude, that I should find all the rest of our Clubbing-brethren stored with the same Discourses; and now I meditated on nothing more then how I might get money enough, for that was the only thing that made crooked things straight; and if a man have enough of that, he may defie all men. It can make knees bow, and tongues speak against the native genius of the groaning heart; it supples more then oyl or fomentations, and can stiffen beyond the Summers Sun, or the Winters white-bearded cold. In this we differ from the ancient Heathen, they made Jupiter their chief God, and we have crowned Pluto. He is Master of the Muses, and can buy their Voyce; the Graces wait on him, Mercury is his Messenger, Mars comes to him for pay, Venus is his prostitute, he can make Vesta break her vow, he can have Bacchus be merry with him, and Ceres feast him when he lists; he is the sick-mans Æsculapius, and the Pallas of an empty brain; nor can Cupid cause Love, but by his Golden-headed Arrow. Mony is a general man, and without doubt excellently parted: Petronius describes his Qualities.



Quisquis habet nummos, secura naviget aura:
   Fortunamque suo temperet arbitrio.
Uxorem ducat Danaen, ipsumque licebit
   Acrisium jubeat credere quod Danaen:
Carmina componar, declamat, concrepat, omnes
   Et peragat Causas, fitque Catone prior.
Jurisconsultus, paret, non paret: habeto;
   Atque esto, quicquid Servius aut Labeo
Multo loquar: quidvis nummis præsentibus opia,
   Et veniet: clausum possidet Arca Jovem.

The Monyed-man can safely sayl all Seas,
And make his fortune as himself shall please:
He can wed Danae, and command that now
Acrisius self that fatal Match allow:
He can declame, chide, censure, Verses write,
And do all things better then Cato might.
He knows the Law, and rules it, hath and is
Whole Servius, and what Labeo could posseß.
In brief, let rich men wish whatsoere they love,
'T will come, they in a lock'd Chest keep a Jove.

And to conclude, as it commands Gods and Goddesses, so all sorts of men and women are obedient to him that has the command of this God Money; and therefore I was resolved to put in for a share of it.

CHAP. XXV.

 

The Relater with the Scrivener and Bookseller and their Wenches being merry in a Tavern, fall out with other Company, and are sent by an Alderman to the Counter. The Relater in revenge cheats the Alderman of his Scarlet-Gown, which is converted into Petticoats for the three Wenches.

I having thus gained an intimate acquaintance with all these my Brother-Clubbers, did set forth my own good parts; and they having been open with me in the discovery of their manner of living, and how they furnished themselves with money even to superfluity, I was as free to them in relating many actions of my forepassed life; by which means they found me the more fit for their society: and I having passed through variety of conditions, as having been of several Trades, and informing them of several mysterious Cheats which I had performed in them, they all took a very great liking to me; but there was none whom I so much affected as the Scrivener and Bookseller, because I found them the best stored with money; and I often accompanied them to their Wenches, where we had extraordinary Treatments, and such Company as exceeded all the rest; for I had my lass as well as they, and though I paid nothing of the reckoning, yet my Wench was often as well provided for as theirs; for I furnished her with Cloaths equal to any of them, and then the less money served the turn. We three being one night at a Tavern with our Wenches, where we passed a Winters evening in their pleasing society, our spirits being raised with wine, and the harmony of Musick joyned to our Ladies voyces, in which they all three were very excellent; It happened that their harmony begot a desire in the people in the next room to be attentive to our Musick: the Scrivener desiring his Lady to sing a particular new Song alone, she consented thereunto, and performed it very well, with good applause: one person in the next room, who had given attention thereto, and had lately been in company with the Singer, knowing her Voyce, was resolved by one means or other to see and drink with her; and thereupon leaving his Company, he came into our room, and civilly asking leave, saluted the Ladies, and took acquaintance with the Scriveners Mistress: she being somewhat displeased thereat, in short time took occasion to tell her friend the Scrivener that she was much troubled at this accident, and desired his favourable interpretation of this action, for she assured him, she only knew this person as a retainer to the house where she lodged, he coming to another Lady there, and not to her; and withal she desired him, if he thought fit, to affront and chastise him for this his unmannerly intrusion. Her friend the Scrivener being thus informed by his Lady, called me and the Bookseller on one side, and acquainted us with the matter; so that we suddenly resolved to rid our selves of this bold intruder: when we returned to the fire where we left our unwelcome guest and the women, we found him toying with them, and a little more bold then either they or we were willing to permit and allow of; wherefore we gave him some angry words, which he being a bluff fellow retorted, and we striving to force him out of the room, he fingle as he was set upon us all, to the great affrightment of the Women, who now beginning to squeak out, our noise occasioned the rest of our guests Companions who were in the next room to come into ours, and there seeing their friend set on by us three; which indeed being odds, they fell on us to his assistance: many blows were not enterchanged, before the Master of the house and others (being called by the noise we made, and the clamours of the women) entred the room, but all they could do, could not part us, so eager we were in defending, as we thought, the honor of our Ladies; so that the Constable was sent for, and we all seized on, but refusing to be obedient, he forthwith caused us to be conducted to the Justices, who was an Alderman that lived not far off; we being brought before his Worship, being as yet hot as well with wine as anger, could not agree in our story, nor the occasion of our quarrel; but glad we were when we saw that our Ladies had slipt away, as indeed it was but time (for had they gone with us, I doubt Bridewel would have been their lodging, and they should have had rapping cheer.) They having thus made their escapes who were the cause of our difference, and we every one contradicting each other in our Discourses, the Alderman made no more ado, but sent us all to the Counter, both Plaintiffs and Defendants: by such time as we were well settled in our Quarters, and had paid our Garnishes, we all considering the matter, and at length conversing with our Adversaries, put our quarrelsome business in a fair way to be ended; for the occasion being a Whore, we all agreed upon one tale to tell the Alderman next morning; when being brought before him, and he finding then no difference between us, supposing that it was only a drunken quarrel, was at length perswaded to release us; but before we went, he forced us to pay our fees, and likewise some money to the poor for being drunk; all which we made a shift to do, by borrowing of one another, and so we were discharged.

Thus was this business overpassed: but though we made a shift to hide it from our Masters, pretending some of our wonted excuses, yet the rest of the Brethren of the Club were acquainted with it, and we were soundly laught at, and our Wenches applauded for their wit in making their timely escape, or else it would have fared worse with us as well as them, and our business must have come to our Masters ears.

This disgrace stuck upon us a great while, for our Companions would often ask us, when we would go and visit Master Alderman again: wherefore I bethought my self of a trick how to be revenged of the Alderman, and thereby cause the Discourse to cease: I often going by the Aldermans house, saw him standing at his door, and he had a common custome every afternoon to stand or sit there three or four hours together. I waiting my opportunity, went to the Alderman, and asked if his Maid-servant was within: which of them, said he, Nan or Suzan? Suzan, quoth I: yes, said the Alderman, What is your business with her? May it please your Worship, said I, I was sent hither to take measure of her for some new cloaths: What then thou art a Taylor, said he; I replied, yes, and so he sent me in. I being acquainted with the Maids name (and seeing the Alderman engaged at the door, still talking with another person) asked for Suzan: when she came to me, I told her, that her Master sent me in to her and wished me to ask for his Skarlet Gown, to mend it against a feasting-day then approaching: she knowing her Master was at the door, and beleeving my story, went for it (I in the mean time watching whether the Alderman still continued at the Door (for if I had seen him coming in, I would have made my excuses and depart) but as good luck would have it, the Maid came and gave me the Gown, and went about her other business: I wrapping it up under my cloak, went again to the door where Master Alderman was sitting, who asked me, whether I had taken measure of his Maid; I told him, yes: What already? said he. Yes, and please your Worship: then thou hast made hast, said he; make her Clothes handsome, she's a good Wench, and make hast with them too, and let me see that you work well, and thou mayst do some work for me, and in time thou mayst have good of the Wench. I (being troubled with Master Aldermans large discourse) only replied, I shall, if it please your Worship, and so left him, and went my ways to the next Alehouse, where I applauded my self for my so happy contrivance, and safe deliverance from Master Aldermans impertinencies.

After a little stay in this Alehouse, and night coming on, I being thus fraughted with this rich Cargo, sailed to the Tavern where we used to meet, and the Gown being wrapt up in a cloth, I delivered to the Drawer to lay up, and went up into a room, where calling for a faggot and pint of Wine, I had not staid long ere some of our Club came, and in short time all the rest; we fell to merry-making, and in our jollity some of our Company nosed us with Master Alderman: well, said I, I suppose that jobb might cost us twenty shillings apiece, and though Master Alderman might put the most part of it into his pocket; yet how say you, if I can propound a way how to be revenged on him? My two Companions, the Scrivener and the Bookseller, told me, if I could do it, they would give me twenty shillings a piece; a match, said I, I'le be judg'd by the Company: and thereupon I told them the story, and how I had cheated Master Alderman of his Skarlet-Gown; and to make good my word, caused it to be brought up, and shew'd before them: very well pleased was the Scrivener and Bookseller, and all the rest amazed at the boldness of my adventure, which was by all applauded for a great piece of wit, and my money was by them accordingly paid me; then after a cup or two of wine, consideration was had, what should be done with the Gown, and how it should be disposed of, for we all knew it was hazardous and dangerous to dispose of it as it was: so after many propositions and consultations, it was at length generally agreed on, that I should cut it in pieces, and out of Master Aldermans Gown I should make three Petticoats, which should be bestowed on our three Madona's; and this adjudged very fit and equitable, that they having endured part of the brunt, should receive the whole prize: this I assented to; and the Scrivener and Bookseller, in regard the Gown was mine, gave me each of them twenty shillings a piece more, for their share of the cloath, and also they between them furnisht me with a rich gold and silver Lace, to be put upon my Ladies Petticoat, equal and alike to that which was put on theirs: and this was an end of the adventure with Master Alderman, of whom we never enquired how he and his maid Suzan agreed about the Gown.

CHAP. XXVI.

 

The Relater and several others of the Clubbing-Prentices assist the Drugster in putting off of some of his Commodities; he gives them gratuities, and relates a notable Cheat by his Master put upon an Iron-monger.

In this manner did we spend our time; and though our Masters gained more money, and dayly increased their Estates, yet we enjoyed the greater pleasure in each others society: and now we being all acquainted with one anothers ways, assisted each other in all things, and there was no want for our selves or Wenches, who were often at our meetings and assisted in our mirth.

I remember one evening, a young man, a Drugster, who was one of our Club, told us that we must all of us assist him in a matter he was about, and he should not only gain a good opinion of his Master, but we should have a Piece or two to spend; we hearing there was convenience and profit, agreed together, soon consented to do our utmost, and therefore desired him to acquaint us with the matter: he thereupon told us, that his Master had lately bought a parcel of Drugs of two or three sorts, which did cost him about 100 l. in hopes of great gain, for they were at double the price that he would afford , 225 his at; but they being too much for one mans sale, he offered to sell good part of them to some of the Trade; but they refused to buy, unless they might have them cheaper then he was willing to afford them, pretending that they had no need of that Commodity, being sufficiently furnished with the same, although we were very certain that they could have none of it, there being none to be had in all London, till of late my Master bought this parcel that came from beyond Sea: Now my Master being desirous to sell his Commodity, hath considered of a way how to make his brother-Drugsters come to him, and pray him to sell it to them at his price; the way is thus:

He hath desired me to get some of my acquaintance to go to most of the Drugsters in and about London, and pretending to be Apothecaries and others that need those Commodities, to enquire for them, and bespeak quantities thereof; and then he knows, that not being able of themselves to furnish them, they will repair to him, and give him his price. Oh! said the Bookseller, have you learned that trick? I am very well acquainted with this manner of trade; for we commonly use this slight to sell our Books: for when we have printed a book that we doubt will not sell without preferring, and more ado then ordinary, then we not only Title it upon Posts, put it into News-books, and use several other ways to make it famous; but we sometimes send several of our acquaintance and friends to most Booksellers shops to enquire for this new Book; and they coming so one after another, at length Master Bookseller is perswaded to buy some of them; nay, sometimes, the more to encourage the Booksellers to buy some quantities, we allow our friends to lay out some moneys with them, and buy several of them; and so the Bookseller will commonly if he sell one or two, buy six or a dozen, and by this means our moneys come in again with profit. Well, repli'd the Drugster, this course must we take with these Drugs, or else they may prove a very Drug to my Master; for he hath served some of our Trade so many tricks already, that they are very cautious how they deal with him; but this trick of sending friends to ask for a Commodity he hath often used, neither did he learn it of the Bookseller; but there happened an extraordinary chance sometime since, and from that experience he hath taken this course.

For there was a person who is used to make Syringes, which Chirurgions and others use to squirt withal in several Distempers; and this man being out of imployment, made a great quantity of them, and laid them by him; but not knowing how to dispose of them, he bethought him of this way of sending some friends to inquire for them: and so well did he manage his business, that by employing persons to enquire of Drugsters and Apothecaries for them, he not only sold all he had made by him, but in less then a quarter of a year, he took above 200 l. for this Commodity; and this my Master took notice of, and I suppose made a president of, and now resolves upon the same course to put off his Drugs; wherefore I desire your utmost assistance herein, and I shall when you please spend a Piece or two in a Collation. All our Club-fraternity agreed on this, and promised to be active herein; and thus resolving on our next time of meeting, we parted.

I for my part, the next day accoutring my self in a Country Gentile-garb, went to several Drugsters, and asked for several Drugs, whose names I had gotten; but amongst, all I more earnestly desired a good quantity of those that were to be thus put off, telling them I was a Country-Apothecary, and should call three or four days after again, and lay out a considerable sum of money with them. I having done this for my part, and the rest of our associates having been as diligent, we meeting three days after together, our Drugster told us, that his Master had sold all his Commodities to very great profit; and therefore, saith he, this Collation, and each of you a Crown more to buy Gloves, is my Masters change, and he desires you to accept thereof; which we accordingly did, being glad we had done so good service to him and his Master.

I understanding by this, that there were tricks and cheats in this Trade as well as others, was desirous to be acquainted with the manner of their Trading; and he being but a Novice, told me, he could not tell me much of it, but he was very sensible that there was much knavery in that Mystery, in mixing and sophisticating their Drugs, and getting the spirits of some of them away, and renewing it in others, as served to their profit: and, pursued he, I have one trick whereby my Master gets some money in a year; for it being customary to give a Pipe of Tobacco to any one that comes into the Shop, and desires it, I give them of that which is very good, and they liking thereof, and the price, commonly buy of the same, and sometimes a quantity, desiring it may be still of the same they have tasted; the which I promise to do, and before their eyes take it out of the same box: but the knack of it is this, it is for all that a different and worser sort of Tobacco; for the Tobacco that I gave them as a tast, is only placed in one corner of the box for that purpose, and so it goes off, as if it were all of the same; and sometimes we put off a whole roll of Tobacco in the same manner, for the outside-roll is of good Spanish right, but all the inner-part is Mundungoes, worth a groat a Cart-load.

But this is nothing to what ways my Master hath and he lately exercised his wits; to a pretty profitable account, and thus it was: My Master among other sorts of Drugs, had bought a quantity of Dragons-blood, being pieces of wood, dipped, as is supposed or rather pretended, in Dragons-blood, and this is good in Physick, and for other uses; this Commodity not proving very good, my Master had a great desire to put it off, but could not get any body to buy of it: he had been not only with Drugsters but also with some Iron-mongers to sell it, for they use it about their Locks and other Iron-work, to keep them from rust; but no person was willing to deal with him about it. My Master had a Neighbour that was an Iron-monger, whom he had a great desire to deal withal; but he being a wary young-man, and hearing that my Master was a snap, refused all dealing with him; and some words passed that displeased my Master, and therefore he resolved to be revenged, and thereupon having designed his business, with the help of two Confederates, he thus puts it in execution.

He gave a small quantity of this Dragons-blood to one of his Confederates, who having full instructions, went to the Iron-Mongers house, and seeing him standing at the door, asked him if he wanted not some of that Commodity, shewing the same to him: No, said the Iron-monger. I was informed, said the man, that you sometimes deal in it, and was recommended by a friend to come to you; and if you please to deal with me, I shall use you very kindly. To this the Iron-monger replied, that he needed not any of it. But, said the other, I suppose you sell of it to others sometimes, and may therefore do me a courtesie, and your self too, for I have not a shop to sell it in, and am a stranger; wherefore if you please, I shall leave this parcel with you, and you putting it on your stall may happen on a Customer, which if you do, I can furnish you with more; and thus you, without laying out any money, may get some profit The Iron-monger hearing of this, and conceiving the man to be honest and harmless, consented to his desire, entertained the condition and the Goods, and enquired further of the price; the man telling him that he understood it was worth three shillings per pound, but he would willingly take two shillings eight pence, because he might have profit; and telling him that he would call on him in a weeks time: and they at this time parted.

And thus the Iron-monger having received the Commodity, put some of it out every day on his stall, till at length a man coming by, and seeing that to lie there, and the Master of the shop at the door, asked him the price thereof; the Iron-monger told him three shillings per pound. The Customer desired to look further into it, desiring to know how much he had of it: Truly, said the Iron-monger, I cannot tell, but I suppose, if we agree, I can furnish you with a good quantity. Why, said the Customer, I will give you two shillings eight pence per pound for it, if you have 500 lib. of it. Well, said the Iron-monger, call here a day or two hence, and I will resolve you, and it is like we may deal together: thus at present they parced. But he came again the next day, and the day following, pretending great earnestness to buy the Commodity: in the mean time the Iron-monger waited and watched narrowly to see and speak with the man that left it there, but could not meet with him, for he stayed away on purpose, and this Customer that came to buy was likewise the other of my Masters Confederates, and sent by him for that purpose. At length, the Iron-monger standing at his door, saw the man who left the Dragons-blood passing by his door, and called to him, and then discoursed seriously with him about the matter, As, what would be his lowest price, and what quantity he had? To both these Questions he answered, He would take two shillings six pence, and the quantity he had was 500 lib. The Iron-monger hearing this, and resolving now to deal, told him, that he thought it was too dear; but if he would take two shillings four pence, he thought he might buy all his quantity. To this the Seller replied, that it was too cheap; but taking all and paying him ready money, he would do it. The Iron-monger replied, that ready money was two moneths: but said he, if I deal, you shall have half down at the delivery, and the other half at three months: to this they both agreed. But the Iron-monger being cautious, would not at present fully conclude, referring the ending the Bargain to two days, in the mean time resolving to see if his Customer came that was to buy; and then enquiring the name and habitation of the Seller, they parted.

Long had not the Iron-monger waited, but his buying-Customer came by, and as earnestly as formerly desired to buy the Commodity; the which now the Iron-monger agreed to sell at two shillings eight pence per pound, and to be paid at weighing: and that he might be sure of his Customer, he takes ten shillings in part of payment, and appoints two days thence to finish the Bargain. Thus did the Iron-monger reckon to gain 500 Groats, which is 8l. 3s. 4 d. Besides, he was resolved to have all ready money, and to pay but half; but he reckoned without his Host, as I shall presently tell you: for the Seller of the Dragons-blood coming the next day, finished his bargain, delivered his Commodity, received his money, and took a Bill from the Iron-monger for the moiety of his money to be paid in three moneths. But now the Iron-monger had the Commodity, he might go look for a Customer; for he that left the ten shillings came no more, and the Commodity lay still on his hands; at which he was fretted, but could not help himself.

My Master having thus managed this affair by these two Consederates, received the mony, and had the bill assigned to him, giving both his Confederates something for their pains.

He having thus done the Iron-monger's business, was not contented with the profit alone, but was resolved to vex him; and therefore when he passed by his shop, asked him, if he would buy any Dragons-blood. No, said the other, I can sell you some. He buy, said my Master; but when he saw it, and heard the price, he told him, No, he could sell him as good as that for 12d. per pound. At this the Iron-monger was more vexed, but not knowing how to help himself, was forced to rest contented: at length the three moneths came, and then my Master was resolved to shew all his anger, and vex the Iron-monger more, and therefore went himself to demand the money that was due: the Iron-monger answered him, that he owed him none: Whereupon he produced his bill, and a Letter of Attorney; and then he too late perceived how he had been served. For my Master told him, that now he would be even with him, for refusing to deal with him, and abusing him. The other said, it was a cheat, and he would make him bring out the party that bought it, giving him ten shillings in part of payment. That shall I do quickly, said my Master, but it will be small to your gain: and then told him the name of the man, and that he was not worth a farthing, and a Prisoner in the Kings-Bench. At this the Iron-monger being much more vexed then before, told my Master that he would not pay him, and bid him take his course; the which he did the next morning, and arresting him, soon brought the Case to a tryal, and having an absolute bill for payment of the mony, cast the Iron-monger; who advising with his Lawyers, went to Westminster for a Writ of Error, which he gained: but when he came back with it, thinking to stop Execution, he found that he came too late; for my Master doubting some such business, never left till he served the Execution, so that when the poor Iron-monger came back with his Writ of Error, he found the Bayliffs and my Master in his shop, in possession of his goods; and he being out of Moneys at present, was forced to let my Master have all his Dragons-blood again at twelve pence per pound, and so in that and other Commodities, paying his Debt and Charges, and giving each other general Releases (which my Master earnestly insisted on, and without which my Master would do nothing, the Iron-monger being in a strait) they made an end of this bargain: and now the Iron-monger, when he came to a second reckoning of his bargain, found, that instead of getting 8l. 3s. 4 d. he had lost 33l. 3s. 4d. besides all his Cost; and my Master thus having gained by his Commodity, sold it since to another for one shilling six pence per pound: and this, said the Drugster, is but one of my Masters ways to get money.

This young fellow had taken a great deal of pains to discover every particular of his Masters late bargain: from what he had related, I concluded the Master to be a very cunning practitioner in the mysterious Art of Knavery, and therefore I was desirous to be acquainted with him; and knowing that he was but a young man himself, and also desirous of acquaintance, I found no great difficulty to attain to my desires, which I soon after accomplished, as I shall relate to you in the next Chapter.

CHAP. XXVII.

 

The Relater and the Drugsters Master come acquainted, being concerned in Tryals at Law: their several Cases they relate to each other.

My Master having much dealing, had many Debts owing him, and he was forced to sue some persons to get in his moneys; and I having delivered a parcel of Clothes, was sub-poena'd to attend to testifie the same in Court, upon a Tryal which my Master was to have with his Debtor. I attended the Court when Tryal of the cause should be call'd, several hours; and there did I meet with the young Drugster, who was likewise waiting upon some such-like occasion; we both having leisure, and his servant having told him that I principally assisted in putting off his Drugs, he to gratifie me, offered me a Pint of Wine. I accepted his kindness, and to the Tavern we went, where he again thanked me for the courtesie I had done him; and then he enquired my business at the Court. I told him, it was upon a Tryal of my Masters, who sued one for mony for a suit of Clothes. That is strange, said he, that any should refuse to pay for work when done. True, said I, but he pretends that there is somewhat more then ordinary in the case, as indeed there is, if well understood; and knowing you to be ingenious, I shall relate it to you. A person had occasion to have a suit of Clothes made, and would not entrust my Master to buy the cloth; but having enquired how much would do the business, my Master told him five yards and an half, to make a suit and large coat. The other supposing that five yards would do the business, and the half yard be saved, bought but five; and bringing it home, desired my Master to cut it out before him; and if there wanted any more cloth, it should be supplied. My master seeing himself distrusted, was resolved to be even with his Customer; and to cutting of it out he went; first, he cut out the Doublet, and then the Breeches; but instead of one pair of Breeches, he cut out two pair, perswading the Customer that it was but one; and when he came to cut out the coat, there was a great deal of cloth wanting; so that the Gentleman was forced to buy a yard more of cloth, the which he saw cut out likewise; and though he was cheated before his face, could not discover it; my master serving him well enough: for whereas he intended but to get half a yard of cloth by him, he now saved a whole one.

The suit was made up, and the Gentleman wore it; but as yet not being fully satisfied, coming into company with another Taylor, he asked how much cloth might be in that suit and coat. The Taylor replied, Five yards: the Gentleman said he bought six, and saw it all cut out and put into the clothes. The Taylor wondring hereat, told him, that he would make him a suit and coat full as large as that with five yards. The Gentleman agreed; and more cloth was bought, delivered to the Taylor, and the suit made accordingly. The Gentleman not as yet having paid my Master his bill, refused to do it, pretending he is cheated, but not knowing how; and this day we are to have a Tryal, and I question not, but I who am my masters chief witness, shall be able to outwit the other master-Taylor, who is here in Court ready to testifie against us. How do you mean to order your matters? said the Drugster. Truly, said I, in one word, I will make oath, that all the Gentlemans six yards of cloth was cut out and made up, in Doublet, Breeches and Coat, as indeed it was, but I do not say, how many pair of breeches; and I suppose, they not suspecting me, will not be curious in asking the question.

The Drugster was so well pleased in my relation of the story, that he told me his Case, which said he, is this. I have had some little misfortunes in the world, and people have lately called on me for money, more then I could well pay at present; and one person particularly has been so outragiously foolish, as to say that I was a Bankrupt, and that I would never pay him: now I have brought my Action against him for slander and defamation, and hope to get so great damages against him, as he shall be willing to forgive me my debt; and this will be a good leading Card to muzzle the mouths of the rest of my Creditors, who indeed are so civil as to come into Court, and testifie in my behalf.

This Case being well managed (said I) may be very considerable with you, and turn to your profit and credit both. Our Wine and Discourse being ended, we both went into the Court, where I heard his Tryal so well managed, as he recovered 200 l. damage: and my master, with my evidence, recovered his Debt; and then threatned to sue the Gentleman for defamation: he hearing thereof, and seeing how great damages were given to one there present, upon the same account, presently made his Composition with my master, and gave him ten pound to put up the business. My master gave me 20s. to spend, which I did in Wine and good Company; and the Drugster having had this success, was now more contented then ever, and his credit grew high in the City, so that he was entrusted with some thousands; but he and I being after that very intimate, I perswaded him at a convenient time to give me an account of his life and actions; I having formerly told him of many of mine. We being planted at a Tavern, and no person to interrupt us, he began as followeth.

CHAP. XXVIII.

 

The Drugster in relating his Life, discovers several Cheats which he performed under the Cloak of Religion; as also how he cheated his Masters Sister of her Maiden-head and Estate, and several Cheats in Smuckling.

Though the whole course of my Life, from my Infancy to this time, hath been a continued piece of Knavery, I having been of many Trades and most Factions in Religion, in which I have always been a very great stickler: yet I shall not give you any account of my minority, omitting all my actions till I came to about twenty years of age, when I had gained some experience in the world, and had learned how to play my Cards to the best advantage.

I served an Apprentiship with a Master, whose whole Family consisting of himself, Wife, Sister, and four Servants, was an absolute Compendium of most Religious Factions then practised in England: He himself was a strict rigid Presbyterian; his Wife, a Ranter; his Sister, an Anabaptist; three of the Servants, Independants, but of several Churches and Perswasions; and I, though an Independant, being of all Religions, yet was of none at all, that gave them all the hearing; and with my Master was a Presbyterian, and would ordinarily accompany him in his long-winded prayers, which being filled with tautologies and nonsence, he esteemed, and often used, believing himself to be assisted with a Divine Spirit. Many absurdities he committed in his Devotions, as praying for the Reformation of his Family, and pointing out a time when he should or would have a return of his Prayers, at which time he would charge Providence with the fault; he having strictly observed all the Commandments, in Fasting, Praying, relieving the Brethren, and performing all other Duties which Sir John his Ghostly father had imposed on him. He would often recount the particular enormities of his Wife and Family, and how she lay out from him three nights together in a week, and where she was; and would earnestly pray for, either her conversion or confusion. Many other impertinencies would he commit, which would be too tedious to me to recount; but in general, I found his zeal to be a weakness in his brain, and he was continually led about as Sir John Presbyter directed.

My Mistress was likewise led about by those of her Gang, which were absolute Libertines, affording themselves all manner of pleasure, and denying themselves the enjoyment of nothing they could purchase; and she would pretend Religion in all her frollicks; for she would say, That no sin was imputed to the Saints; and indeed it was no sin, unless she her self thought it so. That she, or any other Sister might lie with another Brother, was accounted a general maxime amongst them, especially if they chose their time , 241 when their Husbands are asleep, which they termed to be dead, and therefore might then do it without breach of any Commandment. She would be very costly both in her Apparel and Diet, alledging, that it was not fit, that the Body which was a Sacred Temple, should be coursly either clothed or fed. I had a great mind to have been of her Religion, because there was so much freedom and enjoyments therein; but my Master kept me in a little too strictly; and my Mistress keeping company with the High-boys, slighted the tender of my service. Thus having failed in this attempt, I made my way to my Mistresses Sister, who was an Anabaptist; she I often waited on by my Mistresses commands, and at length was admitted to be one of the Brethren in the Conventicle, whereof she was a Sister; I professed a great deal of zeal for that way, and my Master having often instructed me in Scripture, I soon from a Proficient became a Preacher, and was of great eminency amongst them.

Thus did I spend my time till my Apprenticeship was out, and was a free-man; and then did I begin to look about me, to see what I might get for my self: for I had never undertaken this course of Teaching, but in hopes to gain my Mistresses Sister; and she still put me off till I was out of my time, pleading tenderness of Conscience would not permit her to give me any enjoyment of her before Marriage, and that could not lawfully be done, till my time was out; which being come, I freshly courted her, and she gave me the hearing, but still put me off, desiring me first to settle my self in the World. I now believing that she intended to delude me, was resolved to play the same hand at Cards with her; and perswading her that I still gained somewhat of an Estate by my dealings in the World, I spent some moneys on her, and taking my opportunity gained my ends upon her; for pretending that I had lately made a bargain, whereby I should get 100 l. if I had fifty pound ready money more then my own, which was likewise fifty pound; She having moneys by her, willingly consented to lend me fifty pound, provided that she might see the disbursing thereof. I then thinking to kill two Birds with one stone, readily consented, and heartily thanking her, desired her to provide her self to go with me next Tide to Gravesend, where I was to lay out the moneys: she did accordingly, and carrying fifty pound with her, I having raised such another sum, we took boat and made for Gravesend , where when we arrived, I left her to rest herself at an Inn, and went on board a Ship that was newly come from the Indies, and brought as much Indigo as came to 150 l. I had it a very good penny-worth, but not so good as to perswade her that I should gain 100 l. by it, which I had promised: wherefore that I might make out the matter to be plain to her, I engaged the Seaman I had dealt withal to secrecy, and made this bargain, that I would pay him 100 l. down, and pay the rest in two moneths, telling him that I was a great dealer. He believing me without much difficulty, not only consented to this, but also to say, that he had but 100 l. for all the Commodity: we having thus agreed, went to my Sweet-hearts Chamber, and there concluded our bargain before her; who having some skill in the price of that Commodity, did believe the bargain to be as profitable as I alledged to her, and freely laid down her money, which together with my fifty pound was paid to the Seaman, and the Goods delivered into a Lighter to be carried to London, and delivered according to order.

This affair being dispatch'd, I was resolved to drive the nayl home a little further, and as I had got the money, so to get the maid; wherefore I pretending expedition, told her, it would be most convenient for us to ride home: she wholly confiding in me, consented thereto, and a horse was procured to carry us double; mounted we were, and so advanced on our journey; but pretending some business, I made an halt at the next Town homewards, where I did my Horse the unkindness to prick him in the foot, that he might halt, and not be able to carry us through that night: this being done, we again mounted, and I fell to thanking my Mistress for this great favour, not only in assisting me with her purse, but accommodating me with her Company; and now, said I, I hope you will no longer delay me the enjoyment of your self, and the rest of your Estate. Truly, said she, this days action hath resolved me of all doubts, and now I have so good opinion of you, that I shall no longer delay our marriage, then shall stand with your conveniency. To this I returned answer full of love and kindness. Our Horse by this time felt the effects of my work, for he halted so much, that we could only go a foot-pace, and with much difficulty came to the next Town, where we were forced to alight; and it now growing late, and impossible to get to London that night, we resolved to take up our Quarters for the present.

I having placed my Mistress in a private Chamber, went into the Stable, and soon removed the obstruction that hindred our Horse from going, so that by the next morning he was wel enough able to travel: I left him to the care of the Hostler, and went up to my Mistress, who expected me to Supper, which I had ordered to be provided for us, and that being ready, I invited our Landlady to be a guest: though our Commons were but short, being only one Chicken, yet I made a long Grace, which according to our custome, might amount to a prayer; and I remember among other matters, I prayed that our Horse might be so well recovered, as that he might be able to carry us next day to London: our Landlady soon understanding what kind of Guests she had, believing that she should get little by our Company, was desirous of leaving it, which she soon did, by pretending business, and so we had the whole Chicken left us for our own eating, we hardly made or left any bones of it, so hungry we were. Supper being ended, we went to the fire, and I designing my business, call'd for a Quart of Claret, which we burn'd, sweetned, and drank off; and by this time my Mistress was so sweet upon me, that we talked very familiarly and pleasantly, and oftentimes I interlaced our Discourses with kisses and amorous sighs, to which I was welcommed, and many times invited; I then call'd for another Quart of Wine, which we likewise drank off; and then I found my Mistress was very full of the Creature, so that she drew neer to the bed, and at length cast her self thereon; I was not long after her, but lay down likewise, and first beginning with embraces and kisses, in a little time I gained possession of all my endeavours she lying as if fast asleep all the while; but when I had done, and was again laid by her, she started up, and seemed to be very angry with me: but I supposing that it was because I had so soon done, catched hold of her, and attempted to be at her again; but in vain did I endeavour it, for she then began to be angry, reproaching me with dishonesty, and using many canting terms, which I omit: I told her, what was done could not be undone, and therefore comforted her, and told her all should be well by our sudden Marriage: thus did I appease her, and we soon agreed upon every thing; so that though I was appointed another Chamber, which I pretended to lodge in, yet I lay all night with her. The next morning we arose betime, and mounting our Horse, who was now well enough, we soon arrived at London, where for the present we parted. I having thus gained my ends of this woman, having part of her Estate in my possession, and by the enjoyment of her person having the command of the rest, was resolved only to abuse her, strip her of what she had, and so leave her; for I found no such sweetness in my nights lodging with her, but what I might expect from another; having before that tasted woman in the enjoyment of two or three of our Sisters, which passages I omit, and tell this to acquaint you how this woman undid her self by her Covetousness; for had she not distrusted me with her money, I should have married her, but now my mind was otherwise bent.

I received my Goods, and now my stock being much encreased by this fifty pound, and the profit of my bargain; I paid the Seaman, and proceeded in Trading: and though I had little skill in forreign Commodities, yet I ventured at all, neither did I want Money, for instead of paying back the fifty pound to my Mistress, I soon after had 100 l. more, and yet she could not perswade me to marriage, I still pretending multiplicity of business: at length, all her portion, being 400 l. being got into my hands, I only paid her with a nights lodging, which now and then we had together; but as to marriage, I still pretended one reason or other to defer it.

I not only proceeded in my Merchandizing, but continued in my Preaching at our usual Conventicles, where I was become very famous, and a great Disputant; but at length I finding there was little to be gotten by them (and my principle being always to gain what I could) I became now almost weary of them, and willing to leave that Congregation for another that courted me; but I was resolved ere I left them to make some use of them, and get somewhat of them. I thus laid my Plot: I gave a Bond to a Confederate for 100 l. pretending that I owed so much to him; I gave out, that I would on such a day not only preach to my Congregation, but also Dispute with any opposer on several Articles. The time being come, I had a full Auditory, and performed my Preachment and Disputation to the general satisfaction of all; and then appointed that the next day I would hold forth some other points, that had not as yet been disputed of, inviting all the Congregation, and all others that would come, to meet me in a larger room then that was wherein we exercised at present. Thus having finished my Discourse, I dismissed my Auditors; but I was no sooner out of the house, but I was seised on by a Bayliff, in Execution for 200 l. for my Confederate who had the Bond, had brought it to Judgment: I was then accompanied by two or three of my Congregation, who much wondring at the business, desired the Bayliff to have patience, and go into the next House, which we did; and the Case being opened, I confessed the Debt, withal alledging that I was not at present able to pay it, having lately ventured most of my Estate to Sea. Those of my Congregation hearing this (and being much grieved that their Pastor should be thus snatch'd from them, especially when he had deserved so well) sent for some more of their Brethren, who were monied men; and so among them they paid the Debt, and I was discharged: but soon after this, I left them, and they were forced to make a Collection or gathering among themselves to reimburse themselves their moneys: and my Mistress, who had been all this while delayed by me with fair words, made her Complaints to the Brethren, but to no purpose, for she received no redress or satisfaction, I having now quite left them and their Faction for another, where by reason of my ability in preaching, I was entertained, and an accord made between me and my quondam Mistress, I only giving her back fifty pound of her four hundred: we being now absolutely parted from one another, she receiving no other satisfaction of me, either for her many nights lodging or mony, then fifty pound, which she willingly received, believing me to be a beggar; my new Congregation voluntarily raising that money for me for that purpose.

Thus was I quit of her, and had gained five hundred pound in my Pocket, only under the Cloak of Religion; and having such success, I in short time discovered my self to be rich, by buying many bargains of good value, paying ready money, and raised my self to so high a reputation, that I won a widow of an indifferent fortune to be my wife, and so setled my self in the World.

As for my Preaching-trade, I finding that it had already done me as much service as I expected from it, I left it; for I had now a wife and money, and for that end, and to get them, I took it up, and being provided with both, I left it: but especially finding that it grew every day into disesteem, it being about the time of his Majesties happy return, when instead of a Preaching Fanatick, I quickly faced about, and leaving my Congregational friends, I enquired out, and procured Cavalier-Acquaintance; so that I (who a little before the Kings coming home, was used to wear short hair, and was modest & precise in my habit) had now a large Perrewig, a great Plume of Feathers, and all other accoutrements accordingly, being still diligent on all occasions to associate my self with the Captain and chief Officers of the Trained-Bands of our Company, into whose acquaintance and society I soon insinuated my self, by my Gallantry in my Habit, and Expences in Taverns being conformable.

Thus did I become a Gentleman, and from a Precisian a Prodigal; nay, an Antick, and every thing, what not? that I might please all: for instead of a Prayer-book, or some other Fanatical piece of Divinity, I now carried in my Pocket, either Cards or Dice; and so great a love I had to Hocus Pocus, that all their Tools, viz. Box of Counters, Balls, Cups, and other Trinkets which are made use of in that mysterious function, were all my Companions: having learned confidence when I was a Preacher, I was now the better emboldned to stare my Spectators in the face, while I cunningly enough performed my feats of activity; and such a readiness I had, that I was accounted an able proficient. I spent so much time in these fooleries, that I almost lost my self; and now having a wife and family to maintain, I found my Estate so far to decrease, that I was forced to look after my business, and fall to Merchandizing: but having lost a considerable part of my Estate, which I had adventured at Sea, I was resolved, as I said, to trust no more to that Element, and not to let my Estate go out of my sight; wherefore I still as Shipping came in, went on board, either in the Downs, Portsmouth, or Plymouth, and there buying good Bargains, which the Seamen newly come home would afford for ready Money, I began to prick up again, and have Money at command; I then bought me a small Pinnace or small pleasure-Boat, and with that went on board of Ships, bought Goods, and made a shift to stow as much on board privately, that I saved much by the Customes and other Duties. This Trade I drove a long time, gaining much by stealing Duties; neither did I care what Goods I dealt in, having Customers of all sorts and Trades, who knowing that I drave this Trade, employed me to buy for them, agreeing the prizes beforehand: but I was snap'd one time, and all my Goods seized for not paying duties, and an Information put into the Exchequer against me: I finding that it would be but a folly to contend there, agreed with the Informer, and he suffered me to cast him; so that I got off for a sum of money: but I gained much experience thereby, so that I then began a new Trade, and would engage many of my Friends to go and buy Goods on board of Ships, and if they got them clear from the Ships-sides, it was enough; for I would come immediately in another Boat, as if a stranger, and seize the Goods as forfeited for want of the payment of Duties, and so secure them from any other seizure; and if any other person came to seize them, I then pretended it to by my business, having made the first seizure: but if we were not met with by another, then we passed clear without any more trouble: nay, so bold and confident was I grown in this kind of Trade, called Smuckling, that I have had fifty and an hundred pound at a time given me to go over into Holland or France in a Ship which hath brought much prohibited Goods, which I have seized so soon as we came neer any Port of England, to prevent any other seizure; and then putting an Information into the Exchequer, have suffered costs against me, and all hath been clear. I gained not only much money by this means, but also the esteem of a cunning subtil fellow, and was employed in many such affairs, and sometimes in Law-suits.

I remember once I came into Company with a very fair Lady, who having an old cross-grain'd fellow to her Husband, had not only lived from him for some time, but was so foolish as to be married to another person, who was a Gentleman of much worth and merit. The Ladies old Husband (understanding thus much, and more out of covetousness of gaining money, which he believed the Gentleman would on this occasion part from, then any love he bore his Wife) hunted them out from one place to another; and the young Gentleman refusing to comply with the old Knights desires, he was resolved now to prosecute her for life.

This Story was told me by the Gentleman himself, and the Lady assured me of the truth of the matter, imploring my assistance: Well, Madam, said I, come, be ruled by me, and I will disappoint your old Husband, and you shall laugh at him. Having considered the matter, I ordered her to go next day into the Country, above 100 miles from London, and there to expect me, and obey my further orders: this she did; and I soon following her, and the Assizes beginning the next day, I got a Warrant to apprehend and bring her before the Bench: she came, and I charged her with having two Husbands; she denying, and I alledging the matter, she was committed, and an Indictment brought in; but when she was to be try'd, I was not to be found, nor any person else to prosecute her: so that she was quit by Proclamation. A Copy of this Process I took out of the Court, and so she and I came to London to the Gentleman her friend, who gladly welcomed us. And now they live together in spight of the old Knight; who attempting to trouble them, found it in vain, for she could not be tryed for one fact twice.

This feat did I, meerly out of my own apprehension and fancy, and it succeeded according to my wishes, and I had a considerable reward for my pains.

CHAP. XXIX.

 

The Drugster sets two Persons, his Wives Brothers-in-Law, at variance: he gets Money out of them both; proceeds in Trading; but adventuring too much, cannot pay his Debts, and is therefore clapt up in prison.

I drave this rambling Trade for a long time, and gained enough by it; but I was so prodigal in my expences (both at home and abroad, that I might be counted some-body) and sometimes loosing considerable sums at gaming, that I began to go behind-hand. And oftentimes, when I pretended to go to Gravesend, the Downs, or other places to buy some Drugs, or other Merchandise aboard a Ship, I went not far from London to a brave handsome Lass, that I kept for my private recreation. For though I had a Wife, and she indifferent handsome, yet was she cold in her embraces, and still talking of the cares of the World, and propounding ways to get moneys. But my private Lady was quite different, being wholly composed of love and sweetness, professing nothing more dear to her, then my Society: and we had no other Discourse but pleasure and enjoyments in the greatest height we could imagine. This though it were pleasant, was very chargeable, to keep such a Commodity for my own private use; so that I gained not much at the years end; and what I got over the Divels back, I spent under his belly, as the Proverb goes: Wherefore my wife called on me to stay at home and apply my self to some settled way; but that I could not do, for my Stock was grown low, and my spending as high as ever.

My Wife had a Father-in-law who was a Citizen, and a monyed man; him I got into favour with, and by my free entertainment of him, won him to me; for he having left off trading in London, lived some miles off, and coming to London would often visit me, where I still welcomed him, and attended him abroad when he went to receive Rents, or any Moneys, and assisted him in all such things that I could, with much diligence. My Stock being very low, I borrowed moneys of him to trade with, and was very punctual in my payment; so that he put so much confidence in me, as to lend me 100 l. and more I might have had, had I requested it. As he and his wife (who was my wives Mother) often visited me at my house, so at convenient times I was a guest at theirs in the Countrey, where I associated my self with the best Gentlemen of the place, winning upon the affections of all, by my facetious and pleasant Converse. I had great hopes of raising my fortunes by my wives Mother, who I hoped would outlive her husband, and then at her death be able and willing to give me good part of her Estate; but it fell out otherwise, for she fell sick and dyed before him, but it was my good luck to be there, and my wife being still neer her, she gave her some Rings and other things that were considerable.

The old man my Father-in-law being desirous to bury his wife at London according to her request, went up with us; and being somewhat sick before, so soon as his wife was buried, was so surprized with a Distemper, that he took his bed, and after ten weeks sickness dyed at my house: during his sickness I bethought my self of what advantage I might make it, and endeavoured to please him in all I might; but he having two sons, I could not expect much of the Estate; but was resolved by hook or by crook to have a considerable share, and to that end I knew no better way then to divide the two brothers, and put them at difference. The eldest was a married man, and though of an easie temper, yet I knew, was too honest to be wrought on to do any unhandsome action; the youngest being a bluff young fellow, was apt to believe any thing I should perswade him to; wherefore at first I possest him with a jealousie against his brother, and that he would defraud him of his share of the Estate, if he did not take heed and follow my directions, which if he did, I would put him into a way to command his elder brother in every thing.

The young man being of a suspitious nature, easily believed me; and then I particularly advised him, that the first thing he ought to do, was to get the Register of his age altered; for if his father should now die, and he not truly being twenty years of age, could not expect to have the possession of any part of the Estate, unless he were one and twenty. Wherefore to the house of the Parish-Register we went, and for the spending of one shilling, and five shillings in money, we had the Register-book delivered to us, where I being well skilled in counterfeiting and imitating of hands, soon altered the Register, putting his age out in one place, and writing it in another place two years before; so that the yong man was now made half a year above full age. Then did we call the Register, who gave us a Certificate out of the book of the young mans age, and this we carried with us as authentick, and to be produced on all occasions. I having done thus much for the young man, he could not deny me any thing I desired or requested: so that the old sick Gentleman being still weaker, & having his Money in a Trunk by his beds-side, I perswaded the younger brother (who had the key) to take some out and lend to me; which he did: and that the old man might not see this action, I and my wife would stand by the beds-side before him; so that by degrees I got 100 l. from thence; and when the old man dyed, though he left a considerable Estate, yet was there not a penny of ready money. The Elder brother knowing that he had foul-play shewed him, began to be angry, but to no purpose, for , 257 he was forced to comply, the younger brother having possession of that Trunck, and the keys of all others where all the Writings were. The old man being buried (and much excess and prodigality shewed in the expences and costs thereof, which was done principally at my invitement, that I might gain repute by inviting as many friends as I pleased, and also drain my two young men of their moneys) the two brothers began to discourse the matter, the elder brother demanding possession of the Estate, and a divident to be made according to the Will of their father; and, said he, Brother, your share must either be in my hands, or else in the Chamber of London till you come of age: How, said I, till he come of age? Sure, you mistake your self, he is of sufficient age already; and thereupon produced the Certificate, which though it was very punctual, yet the elder brother (who was neer ten years older then his brother) and several others who were present, knew to be false: and this was the first breach between them, which had like to have grown to a high flame: for the elder Brother applying himself to the Register, upon search of the book, found the fallacy: and indeed the Register acknowledged the fact, for which he, and the younger Brother and my self had like to have kissed Newgate, by order of the Lord Major, who being acquainted herewith, was highly incensed against us all, professing before the whole Court of Aldermen, That this act was of high concernment, and might be prejudicial to the whole City. The elder Brother was very cautious in prosecuting this affair, being tender of his Brothers credit, and therefore endeavoured by fair means to bring his brother to a handsome compliance; which he effected in my absence, and so wrought upon his Brother, that the Trunck of Writings was sent for to a Tavern, where they were for the present divided, and the Trunck with part of the Writings delivered to him, with a promise to put a fair end to the rest of the difference. When I came home, and found the Trunk gone, I stormed exceedingly, and believing my self disappointed of my purpose, found out the younger Brother, and school'd him so soundly, that he by my directions went back to his Brothers house, and by a false token regained the Trunk with the Writings which he had newly sent home. Thus was their difference enlarged, and likely to be worse; but the elder Brother so moderately complied with all mine and his brothers demands, though never so unreasonable, that a division and partition was made, not only of the Estate, but some part of the Goods, which being Plate, and Linnen, and Pewter, were delivered into my custody: and all the differences between the Brothers being ended, I demanded of the elder Brother satisfaction for his fathers being at my house during the time of his sickness: he little expected this; for his father had given to me and mine an hundred pound, but that was nothing; I owed him so much, and I must have more, and so I told him I would have, or mischieve him: not giving any other reason, but that he had enough, and I would have part. Thus did I hope to huff him out of his money: but he, though he was easy and good-natured (which I accounted next of kin to a fool) yet wholly refused me, affirming that I had no reason for my demands, for I had an hundred pound given me, and that I had not been at any charge, for his father had continually given my wife mony to provide all necessaries, and that some of that was still in my wives hands.

Though I knew what he alledged was true, yet I still persisted in my demands, and told him, that so much I would have for the trouble of my house: he offered to refer it to two men; I long refused it, but at the length consented, and tampered with his Arbitrator, promising him a reward if he would answer my expectations: but he contrary to my expectations proved honest, and give me but half what I asked; neither would he have consented to that, but that the elder Brother himself advised him thereto, out of a desire of Peace. This Award I was much troubled at, and seeing I could get no more, was contented with what I could get of him: but the younger brother I fleec'd somewhat more considerably, getting out of them both, in Legacy, Mony and Goods, to the value of three or four hundred pounds: with which stock of money, and a greater of credit, reporting of greater matters that were given me, I again fell to trafficking, and now dealt more considerably then ever: for I went to publique Sales, where great quantities of goods were sold by inch of Candle, and bought thousand pounds worth at a time; and so considerable was I lookt on, that I was often imployed by others to buy for them. I bought several parcels and sorts of Goods, which I fetcht away as I paid for them: at last I bought several parcels of Goods to a great value, and fetch'd away most of them, which I sold to profit: but one parcel of 500 l. being a falling and decaying Commodity, I left in their hands so long, that it was much dammaged; and unwilling and indeed unable to pay for them, was arrested, and clapt up into prison; where I was forc'd to lie a great while, till I had spent and consumed most of what I had; and at length they finding there was nothing to be got by me, released me, I releasing my bargain: which I willingly did, but soon after repented it; for the price of that Commodity rising, it soon amounted to great profit; and whereas I should have lost, I now might have gained, as they did by the sale of it, neer 200 l.

CHAP. XXX.

 

The Drugster having failed in London, goes to live in the Countrey; where by counterfeiting a sickneß, and making a Will, he gets into Credit, and borrowing Money falls again to Trading.

This Misfortune of my Imprisonment did sensibly afflict me; especially, when I understood that instead of loss, I might have gained by holding to my bargain; but it now being past, could not be helpt, I was reduced to such necessity, that not only all my Money, but my Plate and best Goods were sold, and not only my Wife, but my Whore parted from their Rings and Jewels to redeem me: for when I was in prison, every body that I owed money to, though never so little, came upon me; and though I came off with my great Action easily enough, yet many other little ones stuck close to me, which I was forced to discharge. I had now time enough to consider my forepassed Actions, and to examine my self what I had done to deserve this affliction; I bethought me of the trick I first served my Mistresses sister, in cheating her of her Money and Virginity; but that stuck not much upon me, because I thought her to be justly enough fitted for delaying me, distrusting me, and other bad practices I knew her guilty of: but when I considered the wrong I had lately done the two Brothers in first raising a difference, and then continuing it between them, and not only prosecuting the elder Brother so highly my self, but putting another of my acquaintance (to whom I knew he was indebted) upon him to sue and arrest him, with all the disgrace that I could, by causing it to be done on a Sunday as he went to Church, I my self attending: This consideration possessed me with an opinion that this Judgment was justly fallen upon me for this cause, I being rightly enough fitted, being likewise my self arrested on a Sunday as I was going to Church: but now being discharged of my Imprisonment, I bethought me what course I was to take, and resolved, that since I had suffered disgrace in the City, it were best for me to remove into the Country, where I was not known; therefore I soon took a house of considerable value, and putting my self in a very good Habit, and an equipage every ways sutable; I and my Wife, with most of my family removed from my London to my Country-house; I soon got my self acquainted with the best and wealthiest people of the place, and gave them very handsome treats and entertainments at my house, which they answered me with the like civility.

Though I had been a Prisoner, yet I had playd my Cards so well in paying my small debts, and told my tale so advantageously about my great Action, that I had preserved a sufficient Credit with some of my Dealers; so that making up about fifty pound out of my Wives and Wenches Rings, Jewels, and some Plate, I was entrusted with 100 l. worth of Commodities, with which I set up another Trade in the Country: this turned to good account: for I seldome ventured on any thing, but it was effectual and to purpose; and if I would wholly have bent my mind to get Money, I might have had a good estate; but I affected pleasure equal to, and above profit; and though I was thus low in the World, yet I still kept my Wench, whom I had now quartered in the mid-way between my London and Country-house, and therefore could lie with her commodiously enough, and tell my wife, if at my Country, that I lay at the London -house; and so on the contrary.

As I thus enjoyed my pleasure, so I now began to be more wary, and look after profit, which I did to good purpose; but I now wanted a Father-in-law who was a monyed man, or some other friend who would furnish me with money; and if I could but have procured three or four hundred pounds in ready money, I questioned not but to make extraordinary advantage: for this end I thought on several ways, and at length did hit upon one that did my business. I travelling in the Winter, took an extraordinary cold that forced me to keep my bed for some days, and indeed I did so longer then I needed; for I counterfeited an extraordinary sickness, and that I was much troubled with the Stone and Collick, and so desperately ill I pretended my self to be, that my Wife lamenting, and my children and family being in much disorder, I was perswaded to make my Will: to this I consented; and the Scrivener of the Town was sent for; I then told him, that by reason of my Childrens childhood, and my Wives incapacity to manage affairs, I was in a great strait how to dispose of my estate, which though it was considerable enough, yet if it were not well managed, would soon come to nothing; I now being in a strange Town, distant from London , where my acquaintance lived, I knew not well what person to entrust as Executor, unless, said I, Mr. B. of this Town would do me the kindness to take that trouble on him, which I would willingly requite by a sufficient Legacy, and my Wife and Children would be bound to pray for him. Sir, said the Scrivener, I question not but he will do it; and if you please, I will not only ask him, but perswade him thereto. I thank you kindly, said I, and for this offer of your friendship, I shall give you a Legacy as a Remembrance of me; and therefore, I pray, take notice of the heads of my Will, and then go with it to Master B. and shewing it to him, make this request to him in my behalf: whereupon the Scrivener began, and I dictated to him, what, and to whom I would give, which was, 1000 l. to my Wife, 300 l. a piece to my Children, and several other Legacies, amounting in all to near 3000 l. and 100 l. I gave to my intended Executor, and 10 l. to the Scrivener.

This affair being thus ordered, the Scrivener departed, and went to Master B. my intended Executor, who being a well-monyed man, and withal very covetous, was very glad of the matter, and willingly accepted of the offer, and within few hours came to me, and told me he was very sorry for my sickness, & wished my recovery; but if he could do me any service living, or to my wife and children if I should die, which he hoped would not happen, he should be ready and willing both in purse and person to assist me. I then told him what I had done as to my Will, and withal caused my Account-books to be produced, where I shewed and demonstrated how my Estate stood, and in whose hands it was (having prepared false Accompts for that purpose:) he seeing the matter so plain, and hoping to get a fleece out of my Estate, caused the Scrivener to proceed and finish the Will, which I sealed; but during his stay with me at that time, and some other times when he visited me, I so counterfeited faintings and pain, that he and all others neer me, did fully conclude, I was no man for this World.

After I had managed this affair to the height, I soon recovered, and had now not only gained this old Penny-father to be my friend, but by his and the Scriveners reports of my Estate, had many others, who more then ordinarily respected me, and made me tenders of their service: all which I thankfully refused at present, as not having any need. Soon after this, I hearkned out a place, for which I was to give 1000 l. and it being a good penny-worth, I engaged in it: I made a shift to raise two hundred pound of my own moneys, and that was all I was then able to do; but pretending I had of my own five hundred pound in mony, I soon perswaded my intended Executor to furnish me with five hundred pound more; and so paying seven hundred pound to my Chapman, he took my word for three hundred pound more. This place put me in very great credit, and now, as well my London as my Country-acquaintance looked on me with respect, supposing all to be true that had been discoursed of me. I did not long keep this place, but sold it for an 100 l. profit, and so became Master of more ready money then ever, with which I again came to London, wholly leaving my Country-house, and paying my Country Penny-father part of his moneys; and with that little of my own, and the rest that was left, and what I had gained, I took a house and Shop in the place where I now live, and drive a Trade equal to the best of my Neighbours; only I have had some dealings of late, which have a little puzzled me, as I lately told you, when I had my trial; but he that slander'd me paying so dear as 200 l. damages, will not only himself beware, but always teach others to hold their peace.

CHAP. XXXI.

 

The Drugster now breaking in earnest, endeavours to cheat his Creditors, and convey himself and Estate into Holland; but is discovered, and his Estate seized, and himself stopt; but by assistance of the Relator, he gets off, and having a good sum of Money, and the Scrivener and his Wench, all get away, and travel to the East-Indies.

Thus did the Drugster finish his story. I received satisfaction equal to whatever I had either in the Scrivener, Bookseller, or any other Relation; for I found that his Actions had been different from theirs; for what they did under the cloak of honesty, he did under that of Religion, which I found was too often the covering of Knavery. This Discourse being ended, and our Wine out, we parted; proffering to each other all kind of service: and indeed it was through his occasion, and to do him service, that I am come to this place, so far from my Country; I shall therefore give you an account of his last Actions in England, which are as remarkable as any I have hitherto related to you, as also somewhat further of the Scrivener, who is our other Companion, and so finish this large Narrative, which I doubt hath almost wearied you.

I being unwilling to hinder the Traveller in prosecuting his Story, had with much pleasure attended and hearkned to what he had said; and though his Discourse was long, and had taken up much time, yet I found so much pleasing variety, that made me ample satisfaction and amends; and being desirous to know the rest of their Adventures, and what fortune or misfortune had brought them hither, I desired him to proceed, which he did in this manner.

I was now acquainted with three persons, (viz. the Scrivener, Bookseller, and Drugster, an account of whose Actions I have given you) that gave me full satisfaction, & put me into an absolute opinion, that there was not only Knavery used in all Trades and Professions, but that most Trades were composed of, and most Estates gotten by overreaching and Knavery: I therefore resolved to look about me, and see what I could do in the world; and having an intimate and familiar acquaintance with the Scrivener, I was by him supplied with what money I desired, laying it out in Clothes, which I bought at the second hand, and sold again to my profit, and so repaying the Scrivener, who took no other interest then a Pint or a Quart of Wine. I did light upon so many good Bargains, that I had gained a stock of about fifty pound of my own, and my Master did not contradict or deny me in my dealing, because I assisted him in his profit, by bringing him Customers of our Club and acquaintance; I brought the Scrivener and Drugster to be acquainted together, and they liked one another so well, that they contracted a friendship, which hath hitherto lasted; and the Scrivener was likewise assistant to the Drugster in procuring him moneys at a pinch, which he honestly repaid him; and the Captain (which I told you the Scrivener first adventured to Sea withal, so much to their own profit, and the loss of the Insurers) was now a person admitmitted into our Society, and being now got up again in the world, became Master of a good Ship, and was often employed by the Drugster and others of his acquaintance on several short Voyages to Holland, when at his return he was assisted in securing and conveying much prohibited and un-customed Goods by the Drugster, which was to the very great gain of them both; and in general we all thrived very well, till fortune, who is always changeable, in short time turn'd tail upon the Drugster, and had like to have crush'd him to nothing. He being at the Height of his Trade, and studying now only how to be an Alderman, did drive a great Trade, buying and selling much Commodities, both Drugs and Grocery Ware, and indeed any other Merchandize whatever, nothing came amiss to him, till at length he not only had a great loss at Sea, but buying a great quantity of Pot-ashes, intending to make a great profit by keeping them up, he lost 1000 l. at a clap; for much of that Commodity coming in unexpectedly, he was forced to sell his at great loss: these two unlucky hits, both falling on the neck of one another, shrewdly squeezed him; but he being of a great courage, took little notice of it to the World, but still run on all that he could, adventuring a great part of the remainder of his Estate to Sea, which likewise failing, he was quite undone; but remembring that he had been in as bad condition formerly, and still made a shift to come off clear, and creep up again, his credit being still high, he bought great quantities of Goods upon credit, to pay at three months; but not knowing how to bestir himself, being now got very highly in Debt, and knowing very well that he could not make profit enough by those Goods to set himself to rights, he thereupon bethought himself of conveying away what he had, and giving all his Creditors the slip: he had two other inducements that moved him thereto, the one was his Wives death, which was lately happened, and the other was his Wenches consent and earnest desire for him to do so, promising him to assist him in all she could, and also to accompany him in his Voyage.

This being agreed, the place intended for his Voyage being Holland, he sold as much Goods in London at an under-rate for ready Money, as he received 600 l. for; and the rest of his goods amounting to 1500 l. worth, was put on board a Ship, which was immediately to set sail for Amsterdam; his Lady being on board the Ship, but in a Disguise, Virago-like, habited in mans apparel; he carried not his designs so closely, but some of his Creditors got knowlege of it, and understanding the business to be desperate, took out a Statute of Bankrupt, and going on board the Ship seized on all; he being then at London, taking leave of me, the Scrivener, and some other friends. This being done, the news came quickly to his knowledge; for before we parted, two of his Creditors, accompanied with Officers, not only acquainted him with what they had done, but also secured his person. We were all surprized at this action, especially the Drugster, who now appeared more dead then alive; and though he was asked many Questions, yet he knew not readily how to answer one; and therefore they soon left us, carrying him away to one of their own houses, where they tyrannically kept him for some days, not permitting any person to come at him; for though I attempted it, yet in vain. The Scrivener and I being together, wondred at the action, and could not tell what should be the occasion of this sudden business, for the Daughter had not acquainted us with the bottom of his design, only telling us, that he was to go a two moneths Voyage to Holland, and so return: I then parted from the Scrivener, and attempted to see and to speak with my friend the Drugster, but it could not be at present; but by often importuning and pretending business of consequence, in ten days time I was permitted to see and speak with him; when having secured and examined the Chamber where he was, that none might overhear our Discourse, he soon acquainted me with every particular of his business and design, nor did he relate to me that his Wench was on board in mans apparel, and how he had given 100 l. in silver into her Custody. But, said I, where is the other 500 l. for in all I heard you say, you had 600 l. in ready money? That said he, I hope is safe, if my Clothes are so; and therefore, I pray, said he, assist me a little in this affair, and enquire what is become of the Wench and my Clothes, and I doubt not but in few days to put all things right enough again. I not only promised him to do my utmost, but went about it very faithfully; and going on board the Ship, found that all was gone; but upon enquiry, heard that the young man that was to accompany the Drugster in the Voyage, was on shore at a house not far off: thither I went, and upon enquiry found out the party: I desired private speech with him, for she went for a man; this was granted, and I discovering my self so plainly to her in every particular, she made no great difficulty to be as free with me, and told me, that all was gone, Clothes and every thing else, except her own Box, where she had secured the 100 l. that was given to her; and continued she, My friend could not have employed any person to me, to whom I would have been so free as I shall be to you: for though you do not know me in this habit, yet I suppose had I my womans dress, you would soon remember me: I then protested to her, that I could not call her Phisnomy to mind. Well, said she, we have been more inward, and ere now lain together; and thereupon told me, that she was one of those three that I lay with in one night, and had redeemed from pawn, as I have formerly told you at my last coming to London. Upon , 273 this, though she was in breeches, I made bold to kiss her and embrace her: Well, said she, proceed no further, there may be time enough for the rest; let us now consult what is necessary to be done for our distressed friend; for, said she, if you and he desire it, I shall be willing to part from all the hundred pounds, which I am yet Mistress of. Well, replyed I, you are the most generous and deserving woman of all your Sex, especially of your Quality, not onely for what you now offer, but what I formerly by experience, and lately by his Relations have understood of you. Truely, replyed she, where I promise fidelity, I perform it; and where I finde worth, I will endeavour to deserve and requite it: and though I have lived wantonly, yet since I was entertained by this Gentleman as his Friend, I have been wholly constant, and will persevere therein so long as he is able, or I can otherwise handsomely contrive a way to subsist. In this you are very obliging, said I, but I hope you will not deny any old Friend a courtesie. Well, said she, more of that hereafter. From this discourse we fell to the matter in hand, consulting and contriving what was most necessary to be done for our friends present accommodation: for the present, we agreed all the money should lye in her hands, onely she should remove her Quarters to the place appointed.

This being done, I again repaired to him, and acquainted him with my proceedings; he was glad I had found her and the hundred pound: but when I told him that the Chest with his Clothes were gone and secured from him, he was almost out of his wits, cryed out that now he was miserable, and never till now. Well, said I, come, be contented, there may be a way found to remedy this evil. No, said he, never till I am again Master of that Chest with my Clothes. Upon this he was silent, and soon after two of his chief Creditors entred the Chamber, and told him that if he would be ingenious with them, that they would not onely release him, but put Money in his Pocket, that he might trade again: For, said one of them, we have been at great cost already for the taking out the Commission of Banckrupt, and the Commissioners Fees for sitting hath already cost two hundred pound, and it every day runs up to more and more; So that in fine, it will consume the Estate, unless you will assist us in making up your accounts; for there are several that we supposed had owed you money, do put in for to have a share with us: and thereupon, they named two or three parties who had demanded monies of them. To this the Drugster replyed, that he owed no such sums as were pretended, and that one of them owed him two hundred pound; he alledging this, and offering to prove it, they desired him to provide against the next day to appear before the Commissioners; and if he did justifie this, they would immediately discharge him. This being agreed on, they left him, and he was now in somewhat better taking then he had been, and I encouraged him to bear up, and hope for the best. Well, said he, if I can but get my Chest of Clothes again I care not; and I pray fail not to be with me to morrow, and get my Mistress to send me ten pound, that I may have occasion to use. We discoursed not much further for the present, but parted; and I returning home to my Master's, asked leave to be absent for that night, to which he consented; and indeed, I had so much liberty, that I might stay out so long as I pleased, my Master using me rather like a Companion then a Servant.

I now went to the Drugsters Lady, and my quondam -acquaintance, and informing her of my business, she freely delivered me ten pound: But, said I, this is not all, I must have somewhat else before I go; and thereupon called for Wine, and we drank so briskly, that we were both pretty merry: And it being now late, she asked me where I intended to lodge: I said, with her; That must not be, replyed she: and indeed I had somewhat to do to perswade her to it; but at length I did, and we lay together without any suspition, she going for a man. We often interchanged many amorous imbraces, and performed all those dalliances that two longing Lovers could expect, and made many protestations of a farther friendship: I telling her, that I believed her friend the Drugster would not be offended, if he knew of our enjoyments, and would as well impart her to me, as he had done his chiefest secrets: Well, said she, if you gain his consent, you command minde, and I therefore leave it to your management; and I suppose if you tell him of our former acquaintance, the greatest difficulty will be overcome. This I thought would be a ready way, as indeed it was: and since then we have had an equal enjoyment of her; she having lain with one of us every night since, and during our Voyage hither, and is one of those two who are in mens apparel, and is called George.

But, said I, to return to my matter in hand, I the next morning parted from her, and with ten pound in my pocket, went to my friend, who was going before the Commissioners, whither I attended him; and there he carried himself with so much freedom and ingenuity, that he was set at liberty, and promised more favours: he then made it his request, that he might have the Chest with his Clothes: to this some consented, but others replied, all must be apprised, and till then nothing could be disposed of, and therefore they demanded the key of him: this he refused; but they told him, that then they would break it open: he seeing there was no other remedy, promised to bring it the next morning, and then desired they might be apprised, and delivered to him: and thus they parted; and after he and I had dunck a Pint of Wine, we also parted.

As I was going home I met with the Scrivener, who being desirous to know how matters went with the Drugster, would enforce a glass of Wine on me; when I told him all the matter, and omitting nothing, we judged that his five hundred pound was in that Chest with his Clothes, and that now he would be stripp'd of it. But, said the Scrivener, I wish he were Master of that Money, and then I should propound a way to him to leave them, by making him partner in a design which I have lately projected, and is now neer execution.

I needed not use many words to perswade him to acquaint me with his design, wherefore after few words, he opened to me the matter thus:

I have, said he, lived in so full an enjoyment of every thing here, that I am weary of it, being tied to one place; and my spirit being of a soaring rambling temper, am desirous of novelty and change, and to that end I have some time since purposed, and lately contrived a way to leave England for some other place, and consulting with the Captain whom you know, have resolved for the East-Indies, whither he is now bound: and that I might not go away beggerly, (for I never intend to return, unless very rich) I have contrived a way how to carry good store of money with me, which I am now plentifully provided with. Yes, said I, I know it is no difficulty for you to procure what mony you will, having the keeping of so much Cash. You are mistaken, said he, I intend not to wrong my Master of a penny, but have done it otherwise, the manner thus:

My Master hath lately taken a Journey into the Country, and left the sole management of his affairs to me; and resolving now to make use of my time, I have put my Project in Execution. I have been with one of our Money-Masters, and told him, that such a man, whom he knew to be a good man, that is, a rich man, wanted so much Money: this he readily consented to, and I had the Money delivered me, only giving him a Bond, whereto I have counterfeited the name of him whom I told him was the Borrower, and my self, with one more was a witness: this have I done with two or three, who I was confident would trust me; and with two I have pretended they would borrow of one another two hundred pound a piece, and given each of them a Counterfeit-bond; and I cannot chuse but smile, to think in what a case they will both be when the time of payment comes, and instead of receiving, they will demand two hundred pounds of each other: it may be, they will be so frolick as to go to law; if they do, it will make good sport for the Lawyers. By this means, as I tell you, I have raised fifteen hundred pounds, which I have all ready by me in good Jacobusses, and am ready in ten days to march off with my Captain for the East-Indies; now if the Drugster had his Money in readiness, I should be glad of so good Company. I heard him with much delight, and from that very minute resolved to make one of the Company, and then offered him my service, which he kindly accepted of, and promised me that I should share all fortunes with him.

I went back to my Mistress, and provided my self for my Voyage: and the next day the Drugster bringing his Keys, the Chest where his Clothes were was opened, and all was examined, but no Money found: I remember at every parcel of Clothes they took, his eye was so fixed, that I thought he would never remove it; but at length all was pass'd over, and the Clothes prized at twenty pounds: he earnestly entreated that he might have them; but they replied, they could not do it without the consent of all, unless they gave so much out of their own pockets, and they had already lost too much by him. He finding that there was no way but one, took me with him to a Tavern, and conjured me to do him one kindness, which was, by all means to purchase these Clothes at any rate; and giving me the ten pound I had brought him, and five pound more, he knew not at present what to do for five or ten pounds more, which he advised me to give for the Clothes rather then fail. It was too far to go to his Ladies Quarters, wherefore I out of my own stock supplied that want; and then going to the Creditors, with much ado perswaded one of them, who had the Keys, to sell me the Clothes: he would not consent to this, unless I would give him thirty pound, which was ten pound more then they were apprized at: though the demand was unreasonable, yet I was forced to consent; and he putting ten pound of the money into his own pockets, willingly delivered the Clothes to me, charging me not to discover what I gave. I did not much heed what he said, but gladly received the Chest and key, and carried it to the Drugster, who with much impatience expected me, it being carried up into a private Chamber, and the door fast locked, he unlocked the Chest, and took out the Clothes, and drawing his Knife, unript the collar of a Doublet, where were several pieces of Gold: Nay then, said he, we are still safe, and I defie Fortune and all her malice: in less then half an hour, with my assistance, we found out 500 l. in Gold, which was sewed up in several places about the Clothes. This being done, I soon acquainted him with the Scriveners Project, and my resolution: to this he likewise consented, only, said he, I must not leave my honest Girl behind me. For that, said I, I question not but I shall have some influence to perswade her; and thereupon I acquainted him with my former knowledge of her: Well, said he, since it is so, we will continue her a friend to us both, and not encertain any jealousie. In fine, we agreed not only in that particular, but in every thing else; and the Scrivener being acquainted with all our designs, we so ordered the matter, that I, the Drugster, and our Mistress, and the Scrivener and a Wench of his, whom he had likewise put into mans Apparel, did all come on board with all our Treasure into our Captains Ship which was in the Downs, and bound for this place; and so having good Winds, good Company, and every thing to our content, are all safely arrived in this place.

CHAP. XXXII.

 

He being now by the Relator brought acquainted with the Scrivener, Drugster, and the rest of his Companions; they enter into discourse about the several Factious Religions practised in England.

[Thus did our Relater finish ...]

Thus did our Relater finish his long story, which was so filled with profit, as well as pleasure, that I accounted the time I had spent in hearing him the best bestowed of any: for I gathered so much variety of experiences, that if I had any minde to prosecute my former course of life in cheating and Roguing, I might now soon profess my self to be my Arts-Master, if I did but bravely follow those Examples he had related to me: but if they were any wise improved, as I had a Genius fit enough to be highly active, I might then out-do all Example.

These were my first thoughts, but I had not much time to spend in contemplation: but he having put an end to his discourse, I kindly thanked him for his great freedom used in his relation; and told him, that since he had been so generous to me in unbosoming himself, I in requite did promise him a lasting friendship, and at our first leasure recounted some of my life to him, which I had hitherto concealed, that should give him satisfaction, that I intended to use an absolute freedom with him.

Thus did we contract a friendship, and it was now time to eat somewhat, the best part of the day having been spent in his long narrative: such as the house afforded we had, and after a repast, we concluded both to go on board of their Ship to finde out his Companions; he resolving to acquaint them with what had passed between us, and to let them know my quality, believing they would be well enough satisfied with what he had done, because they might have great occasion to make use of me.

In this resolution we were preparing to go to the Ship, when the Scrivener and Drugster entred the house, enquiring for their Companion, who presenting himself to them, they desired him to walk out, that they might confer together: No, said he, let us take a room here and discourse, which we may do with as much freedom as any where else: he urging it, they consented, and having a private room and necessaries, after a cup or two of Wine I left their company, on purpose to give my friend the Taylor (who was called Gregory ) the opportunity of acquainting them with what had passed between us, which I suppose he did in very few words; for within half an hour I was called for, and being kindly saluted by the two Gentlemen, was desired to sit down and make one of their Company. After a Cup or two of Wine more had passed, my friend Gregory Taylor thus spake to me: Friend, I have acquainted these my two friends and companions with our late discourse, and by that they know that all their affairs are known to you also; I have told them what I know of you, and we are all sensible that your acquaintance may be very useful and necessary in all things, but much more your friendship: Wherefore, as you say I by my freedom with you have merited your acquaintance and friendship; so I desire the same room in your brest for my Friends, who by me desire it, and in requital you shall command ours; and whatever we have, you shall be equally Master of with our selves.

I made no long pause in replying to them, that they might command my love and friendship, and in that my all, to render them the utmost testimonies that I could. And thus did we all agree to have a friendly correspondencie, and to conceal nothing of our affairs one from another. We then drank off some more Wine; and though their two Ladies and the Captain were absent, yet we remembred them in our Cups, and resolved the next day to dine all on board the Ship: and at my importunity I so far prevailed, as that the women might appear there in their own Female-Habits; for it had now been a long time since I saw any European Beauties.

We after this discoursed of many affairs of general consequence, as the manner of the Countries, and Governments both Ecclesiastical and Civil, in which we spent some time: but in regard all that can be said of that matter, is already ready related in the second Chapter of this second part; I shall therefore here forbear it: but it wrought much upon the spirit of the Drugster; who having formerly been a great stickler in Religion, was amazed that there was so good a correspondencie in Religion, which was as he imagined so barbarous: Well, said he, I finde that most places enjoy a greater happiness in their conformities in Religion, then our Native Country of England ; for there, instead of Unity and loving Conformity, they are rent and torn in peeces into many Factions; and that hath been the principal occasion of the effusion of so much blood as hath been spilt of late years: and when I left England, there was still a discontented party that was ready on all occasions to attempt a publique mischief for their private interest, and onely to maintain a private self-will'd-fancy, which they term'd Religion.

I my self was for a long time bewitcht with a Fanatick Zeal; and my Master being a man of the same Humour, had instill'd such Principles into me, that I had much ado to have any charity for any person that was in the right: but in time I finding a great deal of strictness in the precise practice, and that under pretence of much Zeal, there was more Covetousness then in any other perswasion; I quitted that perswasion for another, and shifted so long, that I found my life but one continued Comedy of errors. In the end, I went over to the Episcopal party; and one of the most powerful reasons that I had to follow the Independant perswasion, was a Woman, my Mistresses Sister, as I suppose you have already heard. Yes, said I, this our friend hath given me satisfaction in that particular, and I very well approve of the revenge you had upon her: and as for my own part, I was once a very great Lover of the Ramble my self, but left it out of a more generous consideration: for being in company with an Orthodox Parson, he told me that I was much mistaken in my opinions; he gave me such a Character of a Libertine Zealot, as I knew to be true, and wholly put me out of conceit with the Faction: they were now all desirous to hear what was said to that particular; and therefore I told them I would recollect my self, and give them the best account that I could, and such a one as I believed they would conclude with me, was not onely ingenious, but true: and thereupon I began in this manner.

The Character of a Libertine Zealot.

To describe him right, is a task like that of the Taylor who took measure of the Divel; for there is nothing more like him upon Earth then he: He is lined with Covetousness, and covered with Hypocrisie, the Root and Cloak of all evil. Although at this time he carries a Bible, yet upon occasion he wears a Sword; so that it is hard to say, whether he be of the Tribe of Simeon or Levi. He swallows contrary-Oaths faster then the Eagles in the Tower do gobbets of flesh; for the way to Hell, and the Conscience of a Libertine, are two broad things. He condemns the lawful Rites and Ceremonies of the Church; and is more ravished with the squeaking of a Tythe-pig, then with the Musick of Organs.

He appears at his Preachment (like Æsops Crow) in a dress of borrowed feathers; for he preaches the works of other men, which are so much the worse for the coming out of his mouth, as Wares for being of the second hand. But it would grieve your heart to see how he racks the ancient Fathers, when he makes his own confession, and mangles the Modern Divines more barbarously then the Hang-man did the body of Hugh Peters: I am sure poor Priscian gets many a broken head.

His Eloquence consists altogether in rayling, as though he had got his education at Billinsgate. In his discourse he runs on like a Mad-dog, foaming and open-mouth'd, yelping at the Reverend Bishops; and even accounts many of his own Brethern, the Sectaries, as mad as himself. Yet sometimes he perceives that his stuff is too short for the hour-Glass; and then the wheels of his Rhetorick move very heavily: he then spends much time in humming and spitting; and with the wiping of his Nose, makes many a filthy Parenthesis.

As for his Text, he handles that as Moses did his Rod when it was turned into a Serpent, he lays it down, and runs away from it: yet his Sermon lies all written before him; for the poor Copy-holder in Divinity can do nothing without his Notes. This his weakness, he would have you think, is his worth; for he chargeth men of abler parts with presumption: Yet when he prays, he shuts his Eyes, preferring Nonsense and Tautologies before the Divine Lyturgy. Vain Wretch, that dares not speak to men without Papers, and yet presumes to talk to God extempore! As for his his Congregation, he Saints or reprobates them, according to what they give him; and like a Gypsie, tells good Fortune to none but those that cross his hand with a piece of silver; and by him, as well as by the Pope, you may be Canonized for mony: Thus he is a meer Balaam, that blesseth and curseth for reward: he that opposeth him, acts the part of an Angel; but he that submits to him is worse then an Ass. If you consider his constancy, he is a kind of Religious Proteus, that is now ready to fawn upon that Power against which he hath so long bark'd. If therefore there be a Church in England which consists of men, surely, The Orthodox, faithful, constant Ministers, are the Doors, Windows, Pillars, Bells and Candlesticks ; and the rest serve only for Weathercocks.

It is confessed, that at the beginning of this happy Reformation, he was a little stubborn; perhaps, expecting a second War; but now (poor heart) he hath learned to pray for his Majesty: but (if you could hear the language of his Soul) it is so, as impatient heirs pray for their rich fathers. There are two sorts of men, who having escaped a deserved pair of Gallows, pray for the King very strangely, that is, a Felon, whilst the Executioner burns his hand; and a Traytor, whilst the Divel sears his Conscience.

If you would know his name, you may finde it subscrib'd to an ugly Petition; for where Bradshaw was a Pilate that condemned, he was one of those Jews that cry'd Crucifie. He professes sorrow for the Martyrdom of our late Soveraign; but believe him not, for his hand helped to hale him to the Block. In a word, he is (at best) but a State-Crocodile, and one that is Maudlin-drunk with the Kings blood.

No more, but if you chance to meet with a Hue and Cry, you may tell them, that he was lately in a Sequestred Parsonage.

[This Character was hugely pleasing ...]

This Character was hugely pleasing to the Drugster; and indeed, he and his two Companions, the Scrivener, and Gregory the Taylor, did all conclude, that it was very ingeniously true, and gave much satisfaction to them in that particular; and they all agreed, That the Dissenters from the Church, were the Murtherers of their Prince.

They all so well approving of what had been said of these Varlets, I told them that I could likewise relate somewhat else of the same Gentlemans composure, who writ that Character; and which I did conclude to be altogether as ingenious, and that it was a great novelty, having never as yet been in Print: they Being earnest in their desires to hear me, I told them it was only the fifth Fable of Æsop Moralized; and thereupon I began as follows:



The Brutes would once go hunt: a nimble Crew
Of those that dwell in Dens and Caves pursue
And take a goodly Stag, who in his fall
Proclaims sufficient booties unto all.
Each Beast being troubled with their hungry maws,
Were urging Clyeuts to their panting Jaws:
Divide, says one; another cries, Cast lots;
With that, the Lyon Roars, Away ye Sots:
Who's that who says divide? pray be content,
The first part's mine, because most excellent;
And but one part! nay, then you do me wrong,
A second part is mine, because most strong;
And if you dare give credit to my word,
Our pain and sweat have merited a third.
Now there remains a fourth, which is but small,
And scarce worth speaking of amongst you all;
Which you may give me willingly; and thus,
Renew the friendship betwixt you and us.
Be wise therefore; is it more safe to move
A Lyons anger, or confirm his love?
For if you shew the least unwillingness,
I'll make you know the Senior of your Mess.
This said, the Hunters were amaz'd thereat;
They knew their distance, and they durst not prate,
But hung threir tails betwixt their legs for shame,
And went away more hungry then they came.

This, said I, was the Fable, which though it had already admitted of many Paraphrases and Morals, yet was never yet in my opinion so fit and aptly moralized, as in what I shall here recite, which I did thus:



But take away the Brutes, and clear the Stage;
Enter those mighty Nimrods of the Age:
That cursed Crew that hunted for a Throne,
And made a Babel in Religion.
Lo here they come, that England did express
To be more brutish then a Wilderness:
A VVide-mouth'd-yelping-cur, with a long ear,
Of a Scotch brood, they call'd him —:
Cerberus was his Syre, and for his dam
A Beast to whom Adam never gave name.
The solemn Covenant which he did take,
Hung like a pair of Couples on his neck:
The which he soon shook off; nay more, the Dog
Threw by his conscience, 'twas a tedious Clog.
And then began the game, Actæons hounds
Ne'er gave their Master half so many wounds,
As these their King: it was a hellish brood
That took the sent of none but Royal blood.
Loud was their Cry, and nimble was their Race;
A sadder hunting far then Chevy Chase.
But at the length, the Royal Hart they take,
Nor would they spare his life for Cæsars sake;
But he must dye, yet Noble — scorns
His share, — onely got the Horns.
But like the Lyon, Cromwel, that great man,
Made of Behemoth and Leviathan,
Thus speaks; And do you think, my friends, to share
That Prize in peace, which I obtain'd in VVar?
Divide the spoil, and then as General I
Claim the first part due for my Excellency.
A second part our able strength demands;
A third is mine, 'cause these victorious hands
In all those fights wherein we had to do,
Were the most painful and most prosperous too.
Thus our activity, and strength, and worth,
Have won three parts, there onely rests a fourth;
Which we'll with love accept, but if deny'd,
Our sword shall teach you better to divide.
Thus, as our Saviours Vesture, which might not
Be cut in pieces, was obtain'd by lot:
So our great Charles his power, which could not be
Dissolv'd into an Aristocracie,
Was Tyrant Cromwels share; and now our whips
Were turn'd to Scorpions: Now the grand Eclipse
Began; we saw no Sun for twice seven years,
Onely two fatal Stars by turns appears:
Protectorship, and Rumpship did prevail;
Nol was the Dragons head, and they the tail.
But welcome Charles the Second, happy are we,
That Britain's Monarchy's restor'd in thee;
If Cromwels life had put a period to't,
I'd both begun and ended in a Brute.

If they were pleas'd with the foregoing Characters, this Fable thus moralized gave them much more satisfaction, and highly contented them; for the truth contained in it, was undeniable, and it was expressed with much ingenuity; and they told me that certainly he that composed these two things, the Character and Fable, was a person very ingenious, and able to convert any that were seduced in that Faction, unless they were very obstinate, as most of that Faction were: for having been Rebellious to their Prince, they made that saying true, That Rebellion is as the sin of VVitchcraft, not to be repented of .

In this discourse of the several Factions in Religion we spent some time; and the Drugster being best acquainted with all of them, made a discourse of every one in particular from top to bottom: and when he came to speak of them, he told us that he supposed there would now in a short time be some end of these growing Factions; Because, said he, that Quakerism is the last that is risen up, and it is now above twelve years since it began to be famous; and though hitherto it encreases, yet they have not found any other novelty from that, as at first there was out of the first Religious faction: but there is none that is produced by the Quaker; so that it is hoped that will be the last of the Factions. I have heard of one small Faction that contradicts the Quakers, and that is one Muggletons Sect, who together with one Reeve, does pretend to be the two last Witnesses that are to come upon earth. Reeve is some time since dead, but Muggleton surviving him, is a great enemy to the Quakers, and their chief Opponent; for they questioning his Call, he for that cause Damns them; and so absolute he is, that he says, after he hath damn'd them, they cannot be saved, not by Providence it self. He professes in one of his writings, being an Interpretation of the 11 Chapter of the Revelations, That he, and he alone can give a true Interpretation of the Scripture, and unfold the whole Counsel of God, concerning himself, the Divel, and all Mankind from the foundation of the world to all Eternity; and this was never revealed by any of the sons of men, untill now: Thus subscribing his Papers, By Lodowick Muggleton, one of the two last Commissionated Witnesses and Prophets of the only High, Immortal, Glorious God, Christ Jesus.

We told the Drugster that this Sect of Muggletons we had not heard of; and I being very desirous to be further acquainted with his opinion, asked him if he had read his Writings: Yes, said he, and there is as extraordinary matters and opinions handled and treated of therein, as any Sect that this last age hath produced: nay, and more absolute he would make himself then all others; but he more especially writes against the Quakers, in a manner condemning them all in general. I desiring to be more particularly informed of his writings, he granted my request, and proceeded as followeth:

This book of his writing, said he, falling into the hands of one Edward Bourn a Quaker, is by him despised and cavilled at; for, he said that he had perused it till he was weary with looking into it, for it was one of the dirtiest and confusedst pieces of work that ever he saw: and many other particular cavils had he against it; which Muggleton hearing of, is so much offended, that he writes a Letter to him, dated in August 1662. and there he thus concludes: I write these Lines unto you Edward Bourn, knowing you to be of the seed of the Serpent, and appointed to eternal Damnation before you were born; though you know it not, I do know it, by your speaking evil of that Doctrine which is declared by us the Witnesses of the Spirit, by calling it deceit, confusion, and lies, with many more wicked speeches against the purest truth that ever was declared by Prophet or Apostle, because this is the Commission of the Spirit, and the last Witness of God on Earth.

Therefore, for these your hard sayings against the Doctrine of this Commission of the Spirit; In obedience unto my Commission, I pronounce you cursed and damned, both Soul and Body, from the presence of God, elect men, and Angels to Eternity; neither shall that light within you, nor any God deliver you from this curse, but according to my word it shall be upon you, because you shall know, that God hath given power unto man to curse you to eternity, and that there is a Prophet of the Lord now in England.

This Letter being thus subscribed, was printed and sent to the said Edward Bourn. Also another to one Samuel Hooker and W. S. both Quakers, wherein amongst other things he thus writes:

First, I declare as I am a Prophet and Messenger of the true God, that the people called Quakers are not the children of the most high God, but for the generality of them, they are the children of the Divel, and are the very seed of the Divel, and were begotten by him; and I (as I am an Ambassador ordai- of God by voyce of Words) can as truly say, that they are the seed of the serpent, and so the children of the Divel, as Christ did to the Jews, when he said, that they were Serpents, yea, Divels, and the Divel was their father. So can I say by you Quakers, and many thousands more as well as you, that you were the children of the Divel, that were begotten by him, and not begotten by Adam, who never came through the loyns of Adam, though they came through the womb of Eve. For this I know, Cain was the first-born of the Divel, and Adam had no part in the begetting of him. And from this Cain came the Jews that Christ called Serpents and Divels.

Much more he writes against the Quakers, and is as absolute in his sentence of Damnation against these two, being almost in the same words as the former. His writings in general are filled with many strange Opinions, and he is now the greatest enemy of the Quakers, telling them, that they are but some of the melancholly sort of Ranters, and by falling from Ranting to Quaking, are now worse then before, for before they were in the Wilderness, but are now returned back into Egypt; and so the further off from entring into the Land of Canaan: and in one place he is pretty pleasant with the Quakers, for saith he, The greatest things that ever I heard the Quakers do, is to find fault with a piece of Ribbon, Gold-Button, or a Bandstring, and such like, and to possess themselves with a melancholly spirit of Witchcraft, and so fall into witchcraft-fits, to lie humming and groaning, which doth fright the beholders; so instead of those merry-Divels which they had upon the Ranting-score, where all was good, lying with their Neighbours wife, deflowring Virgins, cozening and cheating, and destroying every one in their outward Estate which did entertain them, and now that Divel is cast out, now they are grown in as much extream on the other side; for now they are grown so precise and exact for Apparel and for words, no words must be placed out of joynt, so that no man can almost tell how to deal with them; and this melancholly Divel hath cast out the Ranting Divel, which makes them so proud and stiff-necked, thinking themselves that they are better then other people, when as they are worse; for they are possessed with the Spirit of Witchcraft, which makes them two-fold more the children of the Divel then they were before; which none can discover but this Commission of the Spirit; neither did I ever hear by any which heard the Quakers speak, that they did ever preach any sound doctrine, but only exhort people to hearken to the light within them, which is a very low and easie thing for every ordinary understanding to comprehend, and this is the cause there is such a multitude of men and women fall into it, &c. And thus did he proceed, his whole writing being to pull them down, and set himself up.

Soon after the Printing of these Letters, I met with a Quaker, an acquaintance of mine, and asked of him whether he had seen these Letters of Muggletons, which went by the name of The Neck of the Quakers broken, or cut in sunder by the two-edg'd sword of the Spirit, which is put into my mouth. He replyed, Yea he had. What thinkest thou, said I of those of your perswasion in general, and more particularly of those persons whom he hath damn'd? I think him to be a deluded person, said he, for I have known him long, and also his fellow Prophet Reeve, who is since dead: and I remember this one passage, that one of our perswasion did calmly discourse with Reeve about many principal things of his Judgement and Opinion: and though they did not agree to every thing, yet Reeve said he believed he would be converted, for that he was confident he was of the seed of Faith, and not of that of the Devil; onely that his eyes were not yet opened, but in time they would. And thus they parted.

Soon after Muggleton (who was always more vigilant then Reeve) being affronted by some Quakers, according to his custom pronounced the sentence of damnation against them; which the Quaker who had discoursed with Reeve hearing of, and meeting with Muggleton, told him he had done very ill, in being so rash as to damn them: And further, charged him with wandring up and down to make Sects. To this Muggleton replyed; It is not I, it is those of the Quakers that wander up and down; as those that went to New England, and John Perrot unto Rome, to get the Pope and his Bishops to be Disciples of Christ; and there to be punished in his body: and when he came home again, to be damn'd to eternity, by me, for his pains; because he went by the light within him, and was not sent by the voice of God without him: Therefore eternal damnation will be his reward for going without a Commission from God; and so will all the Ministers of the Quakers. And whereas you say that my mouth is full of cursing, and that I shall reap of the same; likewise you say, that I am out of Christs and the Apostles Doctrine, that said, bless and curse not, with many other sayings: As for my mouth being full of cursing, that is my Commission; neither do I curse any but Devils, which are appointed for it of God; and there is never a one that I have cursed, that shall escape that curse which I have denounced upon them; neither will any God deliver them from it: for I do curse none but the Seed of the Serpent, who had his curse denounced upon him and his Seed, at the beginning by God himself.

To this discourse of Muggletons, our Brother the Quaker making some angry reply, in contradicting what he had said, Muggleton did for that cause presently pronounce the sentence of Damnation, alledging that he was of the Seed of the Devil. Thus, said the Quaker, though Reeve said he was not of the feed of the Devil; yet Muggleton, his fellow-Prophet, said he was, and therefore proceeded against him to damnation. Now whether he be damned or saved, judge you: And therefore, said he, I think it matters not much what he says, because they thus contradict one another.

And thus we parted, and I concluded, that as it was no great matter what Muggleton said or did; so there was no great heed to be taken with what was, or should be said or done by the Quakers: I believing and knowing that what Muggleton had said of them as to their humours, and falling from Ranting to Quaking , and suchlike particulars, to be true; though I believed him, and all other Factions to be alike deluded and mistaken in the general.

And continued he, though this Muggletons opinions and doctrine be thus strange, and he a very inconsiderable unlearned fellow, being by Profession a Taylor; yet he hath gained many to his belief, who give him much respect; but he takes no money of them, onely he gets his writings printed, and distributing them among his people, they pay him for them; but in the main, he works at his Trade for a livelyhood: and he hath, as well as the Quakers, suffered Imprisonment, but hath been released and favoured, as I have heard, by some persons of Honour, who are well-willers to him.

Thus did the Drugster discourse of the Factions, and we with him did hope and conclude, that since there was no greater a growth in faction, there having been no new ones for some years last past, that it was more then probable that they would consume and moulder away of themselves.

The forenoon being spent wholly in the large Narrative of the Adventures of my now fellow-Companions and Guests, and the most of the afternoon in this Discourse, it was time now to think of parting; and they being mindful of the entertainment they were to give me the next day on board of their Ship, being out of my house furnished with some necessary provisions, all parted from me.

CHAP. XXXIII.

 

He is treated by the Travellers on board of their Ship, where he sees the two women-Travellers: he invites and entertains them at his house; where upon enquiry and discourse, he discovers the two women to be of his acquaintance when in England.

My Company being thus parted from me, I began to consider all the passages that had been this day related to me; and after a serious contemplation of them, I concluded, that I might place this day as the most remarkable in all my life; for I was acquainted with so much variety of experiences, as I had in a manner been hitherto wholly ignorant of; what had happened to me in the former part of my life, having been trivial in comparison of what I had now lately heard: and I concluded, that if I should have travelled to all parts of the world to have found out Companions fit for me, I could never have been better accommodated with those that should have been so agreeable to my natural inclination, then those whom fortune had now brought to me. I had long since made it my resolve, to make my life as comfortable as I could, according to the old saying amongst those my quality, Though a short life, yet a merry: and I saw Providence had put such an opportunity into my hands, that I had all things provided for me, and nothing before their arrival was wanting but such a Society. For I had a plentiful estate, but that gave me little content, being without the usual society of the Wits, and I now was likely not only to enjoy that in a full measure; but also there was some female Company, the two Lasses in Mens apparel, who I understood were good Girls, and such I hoped as would not prove hard-hearted, and deny one of their Country-men the usual civility of their enjoyments: I did not much question it, because indeed I was so much in favour with Venus, that I was hardly ever refused that courtesie by any of her Votaresses.

I told my wife, there was a great likelihood of much profit to be gained by these Guests, who were resolved to take up my house wholly for their quarters, and therefore I ordered all things to be provided in ample manner for their constant entertainment: for though I was now rich enough, yet I knew not how soon fortune might turn tayl upon me, and therefore knowing that my Guests were all well provided with Moneys, I was resolved to put in with them for a share of it: But I had no thoughts of wronging them, or putting any trick upon them; for it is accounted a very great crime in the greatest proficient of Roguery, to cozen or cheat his fellow-Thief, and a thing seldome done amongst them. I had now some thoughts of leaving my black wife and that Country; and when these my new acquaintance should leave this place for another, as I suppose they would, then to go with them, for there was nothing there that gave any great invitation to stay in it, my inclination leading me rather to visit some European Country.

These considerations took me up some time; and night coming on, I betook me to my Cot, where I took my ordinary repose; and the next morning being come, I apparelled my self the richest that I could, that I might add some grace to my person, being to visit two of my Countrywomen, in whose favour I was desirous to get some place. Being thus accoutred, I went to the Sea-side, and with the help of a Boat was soon aboard the Ship; where I was welcomed by the Captain and the rest of the Company, and by them conducted into the great Cabin, where was no other company but the two women; who now being apparelled in their womans habit A la mode d'Anglois, I was very well pleased, not having for a long time seen any thing so acceptable and pleasant: I had not forgotten our English Fashion of saluting them, neither were they backward in rising and meeting me in order thereto: that done, I placed my self between them; I soon began a discourse to them, which I knew would not at all be displeasing, and that was commending their Beauties, telling them, that if the present Emperour of the Country, the Great Mogul, did but understand what a treasure he had in his Country by their arrival, that he would quickly secure it to himself, and hinder the prosecution of their Voyage any further. To this they reply'd, that they did not believe he would see any thing in them that should merit such an esteem: but, added one of them, If he should do so, and be never so desirous of my Company, yet I am better satisfied (in the Society that I am at present in possession of) then if I were courted and served by the greatest Prince upon Earth.

To this so generous speech, I repli'd, that those persons who had the honor to be her servants were in that very happy. These Complements being pass'd, drink was brought, and after that Victuals, which we had in great plenty, there being no want of any thing that could be had at the best mans table in England; and all the dishes of Meat were dress'd in the English fashion, by a Cook of that Country. After Dinner we fell again to discourse, the Women being very desirous of Novelties, and to be acquainted with the Customs of the Country, especially of those used by Women: but when I told them of that Custome of the better sort of Countrywomen, how they usually accompanied their Husbands in death, by burning their living with their Husbands dead bodies, they were not very well pleased therewith, accounting it great folly; for, said they, it cannot possibly do their Husbands any good, and why they should so destroy themselves out of a complement, was foolish. To pass through, and accompany a Husband or Friend whilst living in all dangers, is what is befitting; but there being no remedy , 305 for death, nor no present enjoyment after death, thus to cast away themselves, is ridiculous. We allowed of their Opinions, as grounded upon reason: I asked them how they liked our Men, the Inhabitants; Not at all, said one of them, as a Husband or Bed-fellow, but if there were no other men to be had, we must be contented with them, rather then none, as well as you are with the Native-women. Various were our Discourses in which we entertained one another with much pleasure, having a lusty bowl of Punch still standing by us, which as we drank off, we renewed, and at some of our frolicks, one of the great Guns was discharged. I had ey'd both these women very curiously, and did imagine, that I had formerly seen them, and had some acquaintance with them. I knew one of them more particularly by the tone of her voice, but it having been so long since I had seen either, I could not call them to mind; I did not at all think it convenient to ask them any particular questions, referring that to a greater privacy. I being now acquainted with most of their transactions, they asked my advice in disposing their moneys, and selling their Commodities, and what to buy to turn to the best advantage? To all these Questions. I gave them the best answers I could, to their satisfaction; and now night coming on, I desired to leave them, and invited them all to my house the next day, they not only concluded on that, but agreed that the Women should constantly take my house for their quarters, it being more convenient then on board of the Ship, they coming in their mens apparel, and I providing for them with all privacy; to this I agreed, and after a fresh cup of Wine, and my ordinary salutes to the women, I left them, and went home to my wife, who at my desire provided all things necessary not only for the next days entertainment, but for the future conveniency of my lodgers, who were not to be known to her for other then men.

The next day they came, and we were again all merry; but some occasions calling away the men, the women were left alone with me. I was now resolv'd to enquire whether they had never known me: they both replied, Not that they at present knew of; but they both said, that certainly they had seen me in England, but at present they could not remember where: wherefore they prayed me to give them some account of my condition and quality when I lived in England: To this I repli'd, that I had been indeed of all conditions, and a very rambler, and it was a great chance, but if they had been in any publique house of Entertainment, that I might have seen them there: to this they both answered, that they had for some time been publique enough in entertaining Gentlemen in their Company with much freedom: But, said one of them, who was the Scriveners Mistress, I have certainly seen and known you before I undertook any such courses, for if I be not mistaken, you are the man did first deceive me, and therefore, I pray, tell me, if in your travels in England, you did not light into a Farmers house, and did some kindnesses or discourtesies to his Daughter, and then left her. I hearing her say this, after some small pause, recollected my self, and seriously viewing her, concluded her to be the very Farmers Daughter whose Maidenhead I had bereaved her of, and in requital left her, and gave her no other satisfaction then a paper of Verses. I now being resolv'd in my opinion, ran to her, and embracing her, beg'd pardon for that affront, telling her, that it was onely one of those many youthful tricks whereof I had been guilty. She at first out of sence of the affront that I had done her, could not forbear weeping; but I gave her so many good words, that in fine she was well enough satisfied, and lovingly permitted me to embrace and kiss her.

The other woman hearing that my acquaintance with her Companion began with the loss of her Virginity, mused and blushed, and very strictly beholding me, said, And truely, if I be not mistaken, I purchased my acquaintance with you with the same loss: but I was deceived by you in a more subtil manner then this my Companion; for she knowing you to be a man, permitted you to her bed (as she hath formerly related to me.) But if you are the person that I mean (as I now think you are) you became my bedfellow by a mistake; for not onely I, but many others of the Family believed you to be a Woman. I hearing her say this, fixed my eyes upon her, but could not yet perfectly remember her: but to the discourse she made, I gave this answer; Truely Madam, I have been often guilty of Female frauds; and during the whole course of my life, I endeavoured chiefly to have the company of a Female: and I hope if you were one of those with whom I lay at a Boarding-school, where I went for a Servant-Maid, that you will forgive me that fact; for if it were not there, I then cannot tell where I should have so much happiness as to enjoy you. There it was, replyed she, where I lost my Virginity and honour, and which I have so often repented of; for I was then well-beloved of an indulgent Father, who for that fact cast me off; and ever since I have been forced to wander like a Vagabond, and by infamous courses to gain a livelyhood, and with this she wept.

I was much amaz'd at these two adventures, and indeed pittyed them both; but more especially the last, whom I had so long since deceaved; and seeing her tears, I kneel'd down to her, begging her pardon, and telling her that what was pass'd, was not to be prevented or help'd; but if she pleas'd, I would for the future be her humble servant in assisting her in what I might. To this she told me, that she knew there was no remedy for what was passed; but that the remembrance of that first misfortune could not but sensibly afflict her, but she should throw off that sorrow, and make the best of a bad matter; and thank providence, that since it was no better that it was no worse: and as she had hitherto been well enough contented with her condition, so she intended to frame her spirit and minde to be so for the future; and that now she had the satisfaction she had often desired in seeing that person, who first tasted and crop'd her Virgin-Flower. Her Companion did likewise say, that it was the greatest satisfaction she had ever received since the loss of my company, that she had again found me; for (notwithstanding my base and abrupt leaving her) she had still preserved a more cordial love for me, then for any person she had ever since then enjoy'd: The other said the same, and though I was partly unknown to her, when I lay with her, as being disguised in womans apparel; yet she still had me in her memory, and often wished for the sight of me: And from this discourse we all concluded, that though a woman had many Husbands or Servants, yet she seldom loved any man with so much affection, as him with whom she first tryed and tasted the effects of love, and who had her Virginity.

Well Ladies, said I, I am so much bound to you for preserving an affection for me, who have so unworthily deserved it, That I shall dedicate the remaining part of my life, wholly to obey and serve you. As for that profession of your love now, said the Drugsters Mistress, (who was the youngest, and her, who I had enjoy'd at the Boarding-school) it matters not much, for we have had experience enough in the World to shift for our selves; and neither are we unprovided of those who you know are our servants, and who will take care for us, and save you that trouble. No trouble at all, replyed I, but an honour which I pray you to bestow on me to serve you in any degree.

They were very much surpriz'd, and so was I at this adventure: And I thought it was best to talk no more of it at present; wherefore I call'd for some Wine, and such banqueting cheer as I had, and desired them to participate of it, which they did; and so I at present diverted them from that profound melancholy, wherein they were brought upon this occasion. At length they again reassumed their jovial temper; and beginning to be a little frollick, I assisted them in that humour: but I was very earnest to know their adventures, being, as I supposed somewhat concerned therein, they being both with Child by me when I left them; I therefore beg'd the satisfaction to know what did become of the Fruit of our enjoyments those Children which I suppose they had by me; for I told them I was not unsensible of the condition I left them in, when I parted from them. Truly, reply'd the Drugsters Mistress who was named Mary, I know not at all what became of mine since it was born. And, said the other, who was the Scriveners Mistress, and was named Dorothy, and had been the Farmer Daughter, I know but little of mine since it was a year old. I was desirous to hear of both of them their several fortunes, or rather misfortunes since I first knew them; and they agreeing to give me that satisfaction, it was concluded that Mrs. Mary, with whom I had first to do, should first relate her story: and therefore she began as followeth.

CHAP. XXXIV.

 

Mrs. Mary relates how that she, being got with Childe at the Boarding-school, is renounced by her Parents, but provided for by her Aunt, where she lay in of a Daughter: after which she is courted in way of marriage by a Gentleman, who hearing of her mischance, instead of marriage onely abuses her; and being ingaged in a quarrel about her, leaves her to shift for her self, &c.

In the discourse that I shall make to you concerning those accidents or misfortunes that have befallen me, I shall neither be reserved nor tedious, but plain and short; for I have no reason to disguise any of my actions to two such persons, who are so generally well acquainted with the general affairs of the World, and who have such a particular knowledge of me: Though, said she to me, I must needs confess I received very much pleasure in the first imbraces I had with you; when though I supposed my self in bed with one of my own Sex, yet I found the contrary, and then tasted the pleasures of a Male bedfellow: though, said I, the sweets of that converse were delightful at present yet I have through that onely occasion suffered many crosses, and been accompanied with much affliction and trouble, which soon overtook me.

I was very young, not being above sixteen years of age when I first lay with you; and so innocent I was at that age, that I did not imagine that I should have found so sudden an alteration in my body, as was thereby occasioned; neither did I conceive what would be the effects thereof, till some of my other companions, who had lain with you before me, were discovered to be sick, and the occasion of their distemper being enquired into, it was found they were with Child, and then I did guess my self to be in the same condition.

I suppose you are not ignorant of what you had done, and therefore took your flight; but though you contrived your escape cunningly enough by putting on mens apparel, yet it was observed, and you were followed so narrowly, that we supposed you had been taken; but it proved otherwise. Yes, replied I, when I made my escape, I made for London, and being habited in a suit of Clothes of my Mistresses sons, I was fearful of being discovered and known by them, and therefore meeting with a young man of my acquaintance; I remember, I perswaded him to exchange Clothes with me, and so I escaped; but I would gladly know how he came off. Truly, replied Mrs. Mary, that story was somewhat strange, for the Constable who seized him, had orders not to make much noise in the matter, but only to secure him at present in his own house, which he having done, came to our Boarding-School, and acquainted our Mistress that he had secured the party; this being known, my Mistress sent her son whose Clothes were stollen to the place; where in stead of finding our maid Jane (for by that name, I remember you went, when you lived with us) he saw a strange young man in his Clothes, though he was told before you had his Clothes on, which he yet saw before him, yet he knew you well enough, not to be so mistaken: for the party that was in that habit was nothing like you; he therefore thought that all that had been reported to him was false, till he had made a further enquiry of the young man your friend, who was first asked, where he had those Clothes: he not knowing any reason he should deny any thing of the truth, freely and fully acknowledged that he had them in exchange of his own, of a young man his friend; and being asked many other questions, As whether he knew you? and knew you to be a man? and where this exchange was made? He fully resolved his Examiners of all questions, and proved the exchange of Clothes by the people of the house where the exchange was made.

My Mistresses son being returned with this answer to his Mother, it caused great wounder in all who were not privy to your disguize, but there being about seven or eight of us, who were knowing of that secret, and were known to lie with you, we were all privately examined, and some of us having been sick for some time before, and now strictly examined of the cause, and whether we knew any thing of your disguize, and whether you were man or woman; we could not hide or deny our knowledge thereof. Upon this discovery, our Mistress (though she was termed a very discreet person) was so outragious, that we thought she would have lost the ordinary use of her Sences; and several revenges she propounded to take of you, not thinking you were escaped her power: but when she understood that you were gone, she caused all privy search and enquiry to be made after you, but to no purpose. The young man, your friend, who had been secured, was discharged, as being found wholly innocent of the crime; and neither was he deprived of his Clothes, but had them freely given to him, and a good sum of money promised him if he could find and secure you: but though much endeavour was used to find you, yet I could never hear any thing of you, till this late encounter.

But to proceed in my story, our Mistress upon second thoughts resolved to keep this business private for some longer time, to see how many of those seven or eight with whom you had lain, would prove with child; and it was not long before she found that five of the number were pregnant, whereof I was one. How she ordered the matter with the rest, I know not; but for my own part, my father being made acquainted with my misfortune, wholly refused to take any care or notice of me, neither have I ever since seen his face; for though I suppose he loved me well enough, yet I had a Mother-in-law, who might perswade him to slight me, and made use of this occasion to throw me off: but though I was thus cast off by my father, yet I had an Aunt, who was sister to my own mother, who came and visited me; and finding that what was pass'd could not be help'd, took me home with her to her house; where after the usual time of Womens breeding and bearing children, I was delivered of a Daughter, which was soon after its birth sent further into the Country to be nursed: and I suppose it was carried thus privately, in hopes to soulder up the crack that that might be in my reputation, which though it did for the present, yet it soon after brake out again.

For a young Gentleman who lived in the next Town to that where my Aunt dwelt, having seen me, fell deeply in love with me, and often waited on me at my Aunts, and took many opportunities of meeting me abroad. Though I liked and loved him well enough, and could have been pleased to have entertained his love with liking at the first offer of it, yet I was commanded by my Aunt to stand off, and be coy in my entertaining of him, lest, as she said, he might by my freeness suspect me of lightness: for the matter had been so privately carried in my lying in, that it was not known to him, nor any, but some few in the House; and to all others I passed as a Virgin. I taking this advice of my Aunt, gave him but indifferent entertainment; so that he who was passionately in love with me, devised all ways he could to wo, please and win me; and to that end he not only presented me with many Gifts, as marks of his affection, but also (according to custom) and that so largely, that she promised him all her assistance, and gave him notice of all opportunities whereby he might wait on me, and please me. All things were now brought to a very good pass, and my Aunt had so prudently managed this affair, that my Father was content to part from a considerable sum of money for my advancement; which was to the full satisfaction of the Gentleman who courted me.

There wanted nothing now to conclude this affair but the accomplishment of a few days, in which all Writings were to be sealed, and the Wedding to be consummated; when all was undone, and in that I undone, by the treachery and perfidiousness of this my servant-maid. For she having received large Gifts of the young Gentleman, and I having angred her in a trivial matter, she to be revenged on me, did acquaint my Suitor with my condition, and that I should not die of my first child, for he should be a father the first day of Marriage. Although at her first declaring this matter to him, he could not give credit thereto, yet she affirmed the same with so many, and so earnest asseverations, that he was confirmed in that belief, and therefore enjoyning her to secresie and assistance, and to that end presenting her with somewhat that was considerable, he left her; and now being resolved to deceive me, as I intended him; he ordered his affairs accordingly, and to that end he caused some delay to be used in the Writings.

We being now, as I thought, as good as man and Wife, I entertained him with much freedom, and he courted me with less observance, coming now closer to me in his salutes and embraces: I was so pleased with him in all his actions, that I became wholly at his Devotion, and therefore without the consent and knowledge of my Aunt, we went together out of the Town to a merry-making of several of his Acquaintance, where we stay'd somewhat late, and he having caused me to drink to a good height, made a halt by the way, and we went into an Inn of his Acquaintance, he pretending somewhat was amiss in one of his Horses shoes: here we having privacy, he attempted to be more free with me then ever, and prevailed so far with me, that he had the examining of my Placket, with more freedom then modesty would allow of; but though he would have proceeded further, yet I refused it; he seeing this desisted, and we again remounted our Horses, and he conducted me safely to my Aunts: but although it was very late, yet she sat up, and expected me; and expressed her self very angry with him for keeping me out so unseasonably: he did not well rellish her words, but reply'd somewhat tartly to her again; which encreased her anger, and raised it to some passion, and so in anger they at that time parted, he riding home to his own house. I was likewise sufficiently school'd by my Aunt; but I excused all with soft answers, and pleading obedience, which I thought I was bound to pay him, being our Marriage was so soon to be celebrated.

My Lover was resolved to make use of that days experience of my easiness, and my Aunts anger, which he was well enough pleased should continue, and therefore forbore coming to visit me; but he sent a messenger to my Maid (who had betray'd me) to give him a meeting: she obey'd his summons, and there, and then was my ruine contrived; for it was agreed between them two, that she should perswade me to be ruled by him in every thing, without acquainting my Aunt any more with my proceedings; and a Letter was written, wherein he expressed a continuance of his love, and desires of mine; and for a proof thereof, he desired me to provide my self to meet him at a place appointed; which I did, and there we concluded to go for London together, where he promised to marry me without any more delays. I believing him in every thing (being perswaded thereto by my treacherous servant) took onely some few necessaries with me, and so went to him. And thus leaving all, went with him to London, where when we were arrived, he went to some lodgings which he had provided, as he said, for himself and wife. I was at first contented with the discourse and name of wife; but when bedtime came, I was not fully satisfied to go to bed with him; which though I at first opposed, yet in the end, after many protestations of his next days performance of marriage, I consented to, and thereby agreed to my undoing; for the next day, instead of marriage, he went out in the morning, leaving me onely with the Landlady of the house, and returned not in two days; and then he pretended he had been in great vexation, for that the morning he left me, he being going to speak with a Priest to marry us, he was met with by a person, to whom he was a little indebted, who basely trappan'd and arrested him, and he was forced to be in the custody of Bayliffs ever since, till he had perswaded a friend to lend him some monies, which together with what he had of his own, he said he had paid to his debtor, and so was discharged. And now, said he to me, I have sent home for some more monies, which I know will be brought me in two days time, and then I shall put an end to this business of our marriage.

Although I seemed discontented with what he told me, and did begin to believe that he would abuse me; yet I knew it was to no purpose to be very angry, and onely caused him to give me fresh protestations of the honesty of his intentions, and that as soon as ever his money was come, he would fulfil all my desires.

Thus was I forced to be contented with what he said, and to comply with him in all his desires: for we lay together; but I kept within doors very privately, refusing to be seen by any body, till such time as our Wedding should be over.

But though two or three days and a week was now past since he pretended he had sent into the Country for money, yet there came no returns; at which I was very much discontented, he also seeming dissatisfyed. I then told him, that I had brought a small sum of money with me, which I supposed would be sufficient to pay the charges of that occasion. He asked me how much I had, I told him about 10 l. I remember he was somewhat blanck, and at a nonpluss at this proposition: but he soon recovering himself, told me that he expected 100 l. to be brought him, and that would be little enough to defray all the charge he intended to be at; for he proposed to lay it all out in Clothes for me and himself, that we might appear the more splendidly, not onely to some friends in London, whom he proposed to visit soon after marriage, but also in the Country whither he intended in short time to return to demand my portion, and settle all things according to the agreement of our friends: and as for the small sum of 10 l. he told me I would have occasion to lay it out in trivial things on that occasion.

Thus was I put off at this time; and indeed so often afterwards, that I in plain terms told him that I supposed he intended to abuse me, he being resolved to stand the brunt of all my exclamations at this time, did not endeavour, as formerly to pacifie me, but rather provoked me to say more, and be more angry with him, which I was, and reproached him with , 321 the abuse he had done me. He having heard the utmost of what I could say, in short told me, that he was the abused party; for should he marry me, as he intended, he should have a greater charge to maintain then I had told him of, for he had understood that I was Mother of a Childe; and so the abuse that I would put on him was double: I was so surprised with what he said, that I was more dead then alive, and could not for a long time speak to him; and when I attempted it, I knew not what to say for my self, for he directly told me, that he was acquainted with every particular of that my misfortune: and thus having said, he left me.

Many and sad were the thoughts I entertained in my minde, and I perceived my self to be miserable: for to return to my Aunt, I knew it would be to no purpose, I having thus abused her in my last leaving her. In fine, I concluded it was my best course at present to comply with the desires of my present Lover, not knowing whom to flee to for refuge; wherefore at his return home, I began to him in tears to lament my sad condition, begging his pardon for what was past, cleerly confessing the truth of all my former misfortune, and that I would for the future be very obedient and constant to him in all things: he gave me the hearing of what I said, and told me all should be well; but I could never finde him after that inclinable to marry me, onely putting me off with one pretence or other; and having a full enjoyment of me already, cared for no more: and now to content and please him, I must not only entertain several of his friends at home at our lodging, but also wait on him abroad, and instead of Wife, I passed for his Cozen.

Amongst other persons that came to visit him, there was a Gentleman of good quality, who being of his intimate Acquaintance, was frequent at our Lodgings: he taking his opportunity to find me alone, made a tender of his love and service to me, and offered me his assistance in every thing I should command him. I finding that he understood somewhat of my condition already, and believing it would be to no purpose to conceal any thing from him, did make him an exact and true narrative of my misfortunes: he was much troubled at the recital of things so strange, but did comfort me the best he could, promising me his best assistance in putting his friend on to perform his promise of Marriage: for, said he, I know little reason he hath to deny or refuse it. For your first misfortune at the Boarding-School, was so subtil a business, that you cannot well be blamed for it.

This Gentleman accordingly did endeavour to possess my hoped for Husband with that opinion, and to perswade him to marry me, but all in vain; for he had now all the sweets he could expect from me, having lain with me now for above a moneth together, and in that time I endeavored with all the artifice I could, to give him all possible content: but he was now cloy'd; and therefore told his friend, that for his Mistress he intended to keep me, but never to have me for a Wife. I was neer distracted when this answer was told me; but the Gentleman did again comfort me, promising that he hoped in short time to put all things to rights again. I seeing it was to no purpose to be angry, resolved to bear all things with patience, and seem to be frolick, which was to a good height; and this Gentleman seeing me in so merry a humor, was desirous to put in for a share in the pleasure of my enjoyments, and to that end now courted me indeed: he had been so civil to me in these late transactions, that I could not handsomely refuse him any thing; but however, I for some time held out against all his loving importunities; but he having an absolute freedome in our lodging, so waited his opportunity, that he won me to his embraces, and had a full possession of me. Thus was I enjoyed by two men; but my last lover was very cautious in keeping this his enjoyment from the knowledge of his friend, and we took opportunities in his absence to renew our pleasures. But at length we grew so bold in these practices, that my first Lover discovered us, and watching his opportunity by hiding himself in the Chamber, he took us in the manner. He discovering himself, used many outragious speeches to me and my Companion, as, that he abused him, in perswading and urging him to marry with one who was his prostitute: the other flew out into high expressions; and being valorous enough, they drew their Weapons, and before I could get any to interpose and hinder their fight, my new Lover was wounded, and that so desperately, that he fell; the other seeing that, and supposing him killed, fled, and so left me: and my wounded friend being visited by Chirurgeons, recovered a little, but desired to be removed to his own Lodgings, lest he might be prejudiced by the various reports that would run upon this occasion; I was likewise willing to have it so, as thinking it most convenient.

Thus was I left alone, and I, who lately had two Lovers and Servants, was now left without any; for my old Friend came no more after me, and my new Servant who was wounded, was forced for his health-sake to be carried into the Country.

Now did I find my self truly distressed, for I wholly retired my self, not seeing any man, and was only accompanied by my Landlady, and another ancient woman who frequented her house. In vain did I expect the return of either of my Lovers, and almost all my Moneys was gone, in Diet, and for payment of Lodging. My Landlady proposed several ways and courses for me to take, as to send to my first friend who brought me thither, which I did, but could not hear of him; she would have had me send to my Aunt, but I wholly refused so to do, being resolved to bear with any necessities, rather then again to apply my self to her.

The other old woman, who, I told you, frequented our house, did then put in some words to the Discourse, and my Landlady leaving us together, she told me, that if I would be ruled by her, she would so order matters, that I should want for nothing, and live the most pleasantest life in the World. I who was now miserable enough, was well enough pleased to hear of pleasure, and bid her say on: She thereupon told me, that it was great pity that so delicate a beauty as mine should be closeted up, and that I should spend that time in tears and lamentations, which might not only be a pleasure to my self, but many others who would love me with a great deal of passion; and whereas hitherto I had only been reserved to serve the pleasures of one man, or two at the most, and for that I had only reap'd sorrow and trouble, that I might command many, who would not only please and serve me, but I should command their purses by having money enough at my own dispose. Many words to this purpose she uttered, and many Arguments she used. Though at the first I did not understand what she aimed at, yet by several Questions which she answered me, I found she would have me prostitute my body for my pleasure, and to gain a livelihood; and in fine, should get my living with the hands I sat on.

Thou I had tasted man, as first with you, and afterwards had two at a time, my two late Lovers, and by that was induced to desire more of the same pleasures, yet I was extreamly unwilling to prostitute my body to every fellow that should bring money in his hand; and this I supposed I must do, if once I undertook that course. Thus I reasoned with this old woman, but she told me, No, I should not do so, for I should only have my choice of what, and whom I liked, and few of such would be profitable enough to maintain me in a splendid Garb; and to this she gave me so many reasons, that I consenting to leave my Lodgings, went with her to the place where she conducted me.

CHAP. XXXV.

 

She gives an account of her being entred into a Bawdy-house, where she received great profit by the sale of her Maidenhead.

I being now come to the place intended, was entertained by a Grave ancient Matron, in whose face might be seen the ruines of no common beauty; and the defects of that being occasioned by age, was sufficiently supplied in a deportment and garb that was not common, though it were very pleasant. She gave me many welcomes, and told me that she had a very great respect for me, having heard of my misfortunes, and hoping that she might put an end to my sorrows, and afford me fresh pleasures: she had to that end employed that antient woman as her Messenger, to perswade me to leave that house of Mourning wherein I was, for hers, which was a Pallace, nay, a Paradice of pleasure, wherein I should be accompanied with all manner of contentment. I told her I should be willingly obedient to her commands, in expectation of those pleasures she promised. Several other Discourses we had, whereby she gave me instructions how to behave my self; and, said she, since you intend to make one of my family, I shall give you an account of my manner and method in governing the same.

My House, continued she, being frequented by persons of all Qualities, it is therefore necessary that I should be furnished with women, who should be proper and fit for their respective accommodations, for the Servants and Pages must be sometimes served as well as their Masters; I therefore distinguish those women that belong unto me into three several sorts and distinctions; and because I intend to make use of you only in the first and principal, I shall therefore be more particular in my Discourse to you of that.

You are therefore to know, that as my house is well enough furnished with women to accommodate my ordinary Guests, so I have several who are kept abroad, who serve for the extraordinary accommodation of my best sort of Guests, and those are such as are so squeamish stomacked, that will not see one face above two or three times; with these a Maidenhead is a very great dainty, for they lay out with me for one, sometimes a quarter or half a year together. Now though I know you have parted from yours already, yet I question not but to make a good Merchandize of yours, and get a good round sum of money for you and my self; and if you will be ruled by me in everything, I shall so manage the business, that you shall not have to do with above two or three in a twelve moneths time, and they shall be such, as shall not only maintain you in a brave garb and equipage, but you shall gain many Jewels, and a good round sum of money. To this Discourse I replied, that I hoped she would perform what she said, and in expectation thereof, I should dispose my self to be wholly directed by her.

This I remember was our first Discourse, or to this purpose, and she presently ordered me a Lodging within a few doors of her house, where I had such another as my self for my Companion, and we were very well accommodated with every thing; my habit was somewhat altered, for I was now put into the most exact mode that was then in best esteem. According to her Directions I carried my self in every thing; and once a day I waited on her, or else she came to me. I had not been there many days before she told me that there was an opportunity to begin my business, and therefore she advised me to go the next day to a Play, and set my self out in he best manner that I could; but she advised me by all means to decline drinking, or entertaining any Discourse with any person, though I should be importuned thereto: I promised obedience to her commands; and my Companion, who was my Bed-fellow, attended me to the Play-house, where by giving great attention to the Comedy that was acted, I did not mind those who made it their chief business to gaze on me. The Play being done, I went out, but was stayed by two Gentlemen (who by their Habits seemed of quality) who offered me their service to wait on me. I at first answered them with silence; but they seeing I had no other Company out my Bed-fellow, were very importunate to have me accept of theirs. I told them that they were strangers, and I therefore durst not admit of their kind offer: Having said thus, I called for a Coach, and though they still importuned me to accept of their Company, yet I absolutely refused it, and so caused the Coachman to drive home. That evening was I visited by our Matrona, who told me, I had done well, for she had an account given her of my deportment: for, said she, it is not unknown to me that you were offered the service of two Gentlemen, one of which is a person who is a retainer to my house, an old beaten Souldier, and several such we are forced to keep correspondency withal, that we may have new fresh guests brought to our house. The other Gentleman, said she, is one who hath a long time laid out for a fresh bit, and he was carried to the Playhouse on purpose to see you; whom I gave my correspondent his companion so just an account of, that he could not miss knowing of you: they both followed your Coach to your Lodgings, and have since been at mine, and my young Coxcomb is very much smitten with your beauty, and offers any thing that he may enjoy your Company. I have promised him my assistance, but he must come off well first; and I question not; but to manage him so, as in few days you shall find the effects of his love in some noble present; therefore, said she, fail not to be directed by me, and I doubt not but you will reap much pleasure and profit. I having promised a just compliance to her desires, she departed, leaving me in the company of her Bed-fellow, who that night entertained me with a large account of her Adventures.

I remember she told me, that when she first came acquainted with our Matrona, she was pick'd up almost in the same manner as I had been; and that in less then two monthes her Maidenhead was sold six times, for which she had gained in presents to the value of fifty pounds; and I suppose, said she, our Matrona gained above as much more in mony: since then, said she, my first Customers have but rarely visited me; and she having no more Customers for my Maidenhead, I now pass for a Merchants wife, and am often sent for in that name; and I seldome miss a day without one or two Customers, who entertain me as such a person. She being thus free with me, I thought good to ask her some more Questions, as, how she paid for her Diet and Lodging? and from whence she had Clothes? To this she answered, that for the first half year her Diet was paid for by the Matrona, who indeed had all the Money that was gained by her; and as for Clothes, she had them first of all lent, or given by her, and since given her by those who had to deal with her: and now, said she, I pay for my own Diet, and have all the Money that is given me; and all the profit she hath, is in selling her Wine and other things she vendeth at our Collations; and now and then I suppose she gets half a piece or a piece of a new Customers by procuring me.

I was somewhat satisfied with this Discourse, and the next day I was visited by the old woman man (who brought me first acquainted with our Matrona) who brought me a Letter from my Amorous Gallant; I remember it was stuffed with Complements, and all the happiness he desired, was to see me once more at the Play-house. In this affair I taking advice with our Matrona, it was resolved I should return no answer; but however, within two days, I again went to the Play-house, where I was no sooner seated, but I was attended by my Gallant, and now I could not decline his Company: during the Play he treated me with all manner of fruits and such things as could be purchased there; and the Play being done, he offered me a farther treat at some other place; but I refused that, as also any further converse with him, and again calling for a Coach, I went home, refusing his Company, and being very shye and coy to all his Proposals, which though many, yet prevailed not at all upon me.

The next day I had another Letter sent me, as also a Diamond-Ring of twenty pound price as a present: I accepted of both, and then promised within two days to meet him again at the Play-house, where my Gallant came richly accoutred in all his bravery. I then entertained discourse with him, and the Play being ended, I at his earnest importunity accepted of a Treat he quickly provided for me at the next Tavern. I then told him, that I durst not stay, for I expected my Unkle to come and visit me that evening at my Lodging, who was to bring me news out of the Country about my father: he being desirous to please me, consented to my departure, I promising to give him another meeting at a place we appointed the next day, and thus we again parted. I was now so far engaged with him, that I the next day again met him, and he then courted me for enjoyment; but I seeming very angry, he to pacifie me, gave me a gold Watch, and then I permitted him to embrace and kiss me; and though I contradicted his proceeding further with me, yet he found by me, that in time he might arrive to it. In this apprehension he was very prodigal in his promises, and what great things he would do, if I would permit him so great a happiness, he oftentimes wishing himself a single-man (for he was married) that he might make himself happy in so brave a Wife, as he knew I would be. These Discourses and others which he used, and those many strict embraces which he gave me, did somewhat move me with the titillations of the flesh, and I had much ado to continue inexorable; but remembring how I had been deceived formerly, and withal knowing that I had not our Matrona's order as yet for fruition, I therefore contradicted my own thoughts and wanton desires, and refused to let him proceed to any other satisfaction then what he could get by kissing and embracing me, and handling my brests and neck, and so we again parted, I being still attended by my Bed-fellow.

We were no sooner come home, but she was sent for by our Matrona, to whom she gave an account of our actions: but that was not all her business, for when she returned home, and we were in bed together, she told me that she had been at the sport with a brave Gallant, with whom she had received great pleasure, for he was newly come to Town, and willing enough to have continued the sport longer, but that it was late, and therefore they had referred a continuance of the pleasures they had referred a continuance of the pleasures to the next day; and that she had not only pleasure but profit, for he had given her three Crowns, and promised to be more beneficial to her during his stay in London.

This Discourse of hers, the remembrance of what she had been at, and what I might have received if I would, did very much fire me, and I then took up a resolve not much longer to delay those pleasures I had now so long been without; and thereupon being visited the next day by my Servant (and having the permission of my Matrona so to do) I entertained him with somewhat more freedom then formerly, and went with him to the house of our Matrona, as if a great stranger there; and now was I doubly courted, not only by him, but her; so that I permitted him enjoyment, and he so well pleased me, that at his further earnest importunity, I consented to lie with him all night, where I satisfied him and my self in all those amorous sweets that two willing Lovers could receive or give.

Whilst I was thus occupied at our Matrona's house, my Bed fellow was not idle; for she understanding my place would be void, was resolved to have it supplied, and therefore summoned her Country-Gentleman, who very readily attended her, and for that night was her Bed-fellow. He was so pleased with her Company in the night, that he desired it the next day at a frollick at a Tavern. She accordingly attended him, where a plentiful Dinner was provided, there being four or five Gentlemen, and two Women besides her self. Dinner being ended, and some quantity of Wine drank off, they all began to be merry, and therefore a noise of Fidlers were call'd, and they all fell to singing and dancing, in which they spent some time; and the other two women being likewise Ladies of the right stamp, they did by turns leave the rest of the Company, and retire by Couples into a private Room, where they had the conveniency of a Bed, and thus they spent most part of the Day. Night drawing on, a reckoning was call'd for; but it being a large one, all the Gentlemen were dissatisfied, not being willing to pay so dear for their pleasure, and to have such sour sawce to their sweet meat, the Fidlers being paid, they resolv'd to put a trick upon the Vintner for his reckoning. The Fidlers now playing their last Lesson, the Gentlemen one after another made their several exits, leaving the three women to pay the score; who for some time waited the return of the Gentlemen with money, but in vain. The Master of the house understanding how he was likely to be serv'd, came up to the Women, and gave them such a lesson as made them sing lachrimæ: they made many Apologies and excuses, but in vain; mony or a sufficient pawn he would have before they went. They considering the necessity of the business, resolved to leave some of their Rings and such-like Moveables for their enlargement. Agreeing on the manner, they were now considering the matter, what, & how much should be left, when two or three men entred the Room, and bluntly asked for the Women, naming them by their several names. Not only they, but the Master of the house was of opinion, that they were come with Mony to redeem them; but their Errand prov'd not so pleasant to the Vintner: for these men declar'd themselves to be Bayliffs, and their business was to arrest the three Women at several actions, and to that end produced their Warrant. The women were much troubled, and began to exclaim that they owed no such sums; but the officers who were not to be baffled, told them, they were their Prisoners, and must along with them. The Vintner now put in, and demanded satisfaction, and would have the women leave some pawn for the Reckoning; but the Officers told them, that they had best keep what they had, for they might have occasion for it upon the account of Arrest; and for the Reckoning, the Vintner must take his course at Law. The Vintner for some time opposed the officers, and said he would be paid first; and although a Constable was sent for, yet to no purpose, for the Warrant being produc'd, they were permitted to march off with their Prisoners; and a Coach being call'd for, they all crowded into it, ordering the Coachman to drive to towards the Goal.

The Women used many arguments to the Bayliffs, who now having done their business, seemed only at the request of the Women, to attend them to a Tavern, whither the Coachman had orders to drive, and there they were conducted into a Room, where in stead of Bayliffs and a Prison, they had the Company of their day-Companions, who now kindly welcom'd them, and acquainted them of their frollick, and how all this was only designed to cheat the Vintner of his Reckoning, who had formerly put tricks upon them. All parties being now well pleased, they spent that night in the Tavern together, and my companion coming home the next day, acquainted me with this Story.

, 337

CHAP. XXXVI.

 

In prosecution of her Extravagancies, she comes acquainted with a young Gentleman, with whom she acts several frolicks, occasioned by seeing Playes acted.

This continued, Mrs. Mary was my begining, or entrance into my publick profession, and indeed, I connot well call it publick, for I was private and reserved: not admitting any more servants but this one, in one month; and indeed, in the first half year, I had but three, but they were so beautiful, that I had where withal to satisfie my self in every thing: having in Jewels, and other presents to the value of 100 l. Neither had I any thing to pay for diet, or lodging, the charge of that being always born by our Matrona, who I found had gained above 60 l. in mony, for procuration, & assistance in winning me; besides, a great deal more mony spent at her house in Collations, and entertainments for me, which were very frequent and costly. The trade for Maiden-heads falling, the price being so great, I was now forced to fight under another Banner, and though I did not pass for a maid; yet I was accounted in the next degree, for I passed as the Mistress, or Lady of Pleasure, of a Person of Quality, who kept me as a great rarity for his own dyet; and indeed I did not much deceive my first customers upon that account; for whereas I went under the notion of belonging to one Person, I did belong to but three: and I was forced to play my game pretty cuningly to please them, and not give them suspition of one another, for they being all introduced into my acquaintance by our Matrona, or some of her Agents, she did help to manage my affairs; and when she knew I was to accompany, or lye with one of my sweet hearts, she would tell the other, if he or they desired the same, that it could not be for the present, for either, I was waiting on my Uncle, or some other relation, or otherwise employed, that I must be excused at the present: but against such a time, she would endeavour to procure me to accompany them; and this was her tale, or mine, when more then one importuned me with their visits, and by this means did we both gain the mony, and I, Rings, Necklaces, Watches, and new Gowns, and somtimes some Gold to spend, or play away; but in time these three growing somwhat weary, or tyred both in their bodies and purses; but especially in the last, they by degrees left me, seldom visiting me; and when they did, they would desire their pleasure on free cost, although I could not be so ungrateful as to deny them, that which cost me nothing, and which I had equal pleasure in, yet I saw, it was time to look out for other better customers: and therefore as I told you, I passed as the Mistress of a Person of Quallity, and was sent for to our Madona's house, whether I would pretend, I had stolen out, but durst not stay, least my amorous Master should return and want me: Several Persons I enjoyed at this rate, and much ready mony was coming to me; for they with whom I had to do, understanding I was a professed Lady of Pleasure, knew well enough that I would not be contented to pleasure them without a reward; and therefore they gave me mony. But now the case was somwhat altred, and I must now pay for my dyet, for our Madona, had, as I told you, a certain custom, or rule: which she walked by, which was this: that at the first she paid for dyet and lodging as long as the Maidenhead customers lasted; for all that time she took the mony, and the Woman the presents, very little mony coming to their hands; and indeed it was not by our rules thought honourable or convenient, that a price in mony should be given on that account, to the party her self; but when they came under the notion of a Lady of Pleasure, and Virginity was gone, then it was accounted reasonable, and indeed necessary, that the Party her self should receive mony for her better support, and then she must be at the cost of her own dyet; and this was my case: And my Companion and Bedfellow, who had bin in this condition for some time, and had passed, as I now did, for a private Lady, a Merchants wife, and several other Titles and qualities, was now grown so common, and her face was so well known, to all our Madona's better sort of customers, that she would serve no longer in that degree; but must go a step lower, and go home to our Madona's own house, and there serve in common, for all Gentlemen customers that come. Thus as I was removed one step lower then I was, so was she, and it was not long ere I had a pretty young thing brought to be my companion: and though her Virginity had bin parted with above a twelve moneth before; (as she confessed to me) yet she was to succeed me, in my place, and act the part of a Virgin as I had done.

I now began to bethink my self of what I had bin, and what more I was to be, and run through: I found that I was already at the second degree, and that in short time, I must follow my late companion to the third; and be enforced to go home to our Madona's house, and their prostitute my self to every drunken fellow that brought mony in his hand; to be slabbered, tumbled and tossed, as he pleased: this I say, went against my stomack, and I was much troubled at it; nay, I saw that some who had bin in as high a place and degree as my self, were in bad condition enough; for there was one, who was my late companions bedfellow before I came, and was at that time called into the house to make room for me, this woman being very frolick, and withal negligent of our Madona's commands: which were to Sweat, Bath, and Purge, and use other remedies, to drive away all distempers; she I say being negligent, and wanton, and keeping an open stable for all Horses, gave entertainment to a running Nag, which so paid her, that she was soundly pepper'd, not with a Horse Pox, but as bad or a worse disease: which stuck to her so soundly, that notwithstanding our Madona's diligence, she was fain to go under the Surgeons hands. Nay, and those that did escape this, were in time put to bad offices, as to attend the rest, and when their money was gone, they served the Grooms, and Skip-kennels that attended their Masters to our house.

These considerations, I say, made me think of a remedy to take in time; and therefore I was resolved to order my matters so, as never to come into our Madona's house but provide for my self before it should come to that poynt; and therefore I purposed to accept of the offers of the next good customer that came, that would take me from the condition I was in, and to provide for me; for it was a usual thing, that we had many offers by several persons to take us away; and keep and maintain us privatly.

I had now every day more variety of servants, than formerly; for now I had done trafficking for my Maidenhead, I was more free, and open, and to be courted and treated at a cheaper rate; and now I was at my own dispose, whereas before I was still watched by our Madona ; or my Companion, who had it in charge from her, to give an account of all my actions; and the same charge had I given me over my new-come Bedfellow. All that was expected from me, was always to be ready at my Lodging, to come when sent for; but I had this in general, and so had all the rest of our Companions, not to permit any man to exceed kissing and feeling, till 3 or 4 Bottles of Wine were first drank.

These, and many other Maxims we were instructed in, which I shall omit, and only give you an account of two or three frolicks I was a party in, whilst I professed this quality, and so conclude.

Among other Servants, or Sweethearts, that I had, who were my constant customers, I had one, a young Country Gentleman; who being heir of a good estate, was brought up to London, and placed in one of the Inns of Court; but instead of studying Law, he applyed himself to a more soft and effeminate study: the Art of love and courtship: he had read Ovids Arte amandi, at home in the Country, and could repeat many lines out of it; and he had read some other peeces of Poetry; but his fancy was not drawn to the height, till he had not only read some Comedies, but also seen them acted; and then he was so taken with them, that he spent his time commonly, every afternoon, in seeing one acted: he being a guest at our house (being introduced thither by one of our Hectors) and his pockets being very well lined with crowns, our Matrona thought me a fit Mistris for him; and he being a hansome young fellow, I willingly accepted him for my servant he being as (I told you) well skilled in Ovids Art of Love would often make use of several of his expressions, to perswade me to his imbraces.

Though he needed not use these arguments to induce me to permit him to enjoy me; yet I was well enough pleased to hear his Poetry; and I being no Novice in the school of love, did with-stand him, knowing that the mind is most eagerly bent on that which is forbidden, and therefore, like a torrent, it overflows, and becomes more impetuous by opposition; and I had read so much Poetry as to remember, that,



She that is willing to love me,
To her unwilling will I be;

And,



Proffer'd pleasures I defy,
Give me her that doth deny.

He making use of his Poetry, made me think of mine; and therefore I was the more coy to him; but still held him in hand, and gave him certain hopes of an absolute injoyment: This his vayn of Poetry was not only pleasant to me, but profitable; and he fell into one of the finest humors that I have heard of; for I attending him to the Play-houses very frequently, we one day saw a Play called Philaster or love lyes a bleeding: The Play being done, we went to a Tavern, and there he highly commended the action, but above all things the womans parts: he was very much, pleased with Arethusa's constancy and love to Philaster: but that which tickled him most, was Megera's acceptance of Pharamon's Courtship; for though she were a great Court-Lady, yet she accepted his gold which he presented her, and was so kind as to attend his pleasure in his lodging. Now said he to me, though I have tendred you my service, and am willing to make you a present of all I have, yet I cannot induce you to be so kind to me.

I now, hearing him at this poynt, was resolved to accept him and his present, (for, though he had been some days in my company, yet he had bestow'd nothing considerable upon me) and therefore I told him, that it was true, the Lady Megera did accommodate Prince Pharamond; but he did first present her with somwhat that was considerable, to induce her to it; and though I had a very great respect for his love, yet there was somewhat more then love to be tendred, as he might now very well understand by this late passage.

My Yonker (who, I suppose, had never tasted woman, but with his Mothers Chamber-Maids, or some such Creatures, knew not what belonged to Women of my profession) being now awakened, as it were, out of a dead sleep; quickly drew 5 pieces of Gold out of his Pocket, and made me a present of them: You may be sure I was not coy, nor cautious, in receiving them; but quickly put them up; and, for the present, thanks was all I returned, delaying him in his desires, till we came to our Madona's quarters; where we had a plentiful Supper: And I having now acquainted her how I had dealt with my Young man; it was thought reasonable that he should have a nights lodging for his Money; neither did I refuse it, but agreed to all he asked me, and I so well pleased him, that I perswaded him out of a Diamond Ring worth 5 l. more.

I am the more particular in my relation, of my acquaintance with him: and the means of our closing, by seeing a Play, because of the advantages I gained on him afterwards, by the same occasion: for the next day we again going to see a Play, it happened, that it was the Siege of Rhodes, and then he was as much taken with Roxolana, as he had formerly been with Arethusa, and highly commended that part: I perceiving his fancy, told him, that I supposed he would be very glad to imbrace Roxolana in his Armes; Yes said he, that I would, though it were at the expence of 20 l. well said I, give me the money, and I will so order the matter, that you shal receive that satisfaction; nay said he, but I doubt you will be offended thereat; no said I, it will be as much to my content, as yours. He hearing this, without any difficulty, agreed to give me 20 l. which was sent me that evening; I told him the next day, that in one weeks time, he should receive the content he expected, and to heighten his expectation: I refused to let him ly with me in the mean time.

In this weeks time I so ordered the matter, that I got a Taylor, and other persons who were used to make the habits for the Players, to make me a habit in all things like to that of Roxolana; this being done, I acquainted my young Gentleman, and told him that for his better satisfaction, he should see the so famed Princess at our quarters, where he might have more freedom, then at any other place; he was herewith very well contented; he habiting himself in the richest garbs he had, and a larg Colation was provided to treat his expected Mistris; all things being thus fitted on his part; I put on the provided habit: and instead of his expected Roxolana, entred the room where he was: I was attended by two or three, who bore up my trayn: and had sett my self out with so many Jewels both good, and counterfeit: and was indeed in all things so like the Roxolana he had seen, that he doubted not but I was the very same, and was much surprized at the matter; and although my face was as lovely as hers, yet I had added somwhat thereto to appear more beautiful.

Our Matrona seeing him somewhat amazed, went to him, and rouzing him up, asked him, why he did not salute me; for said she, though her habit is not English, yet you see she is of this Country, and will admit of the ordinary salutes. He being now quickned up, approached me, and gave me the ordinary salutations, which I accepted, and at his request I sate down by him. Well said our Matrona, hath not Mrs. Mary performed her promise with you. Yes, said he, to admiration: and if before I desired this Ladies Company at the first view; I am now much more pleased than I expected; and as I have a very great esteem for this Lady, and intend to continue it, yet that shall be no prejudice to Mrs. Mary, whose great love and kindness to me in this particular action, I shall always remember, and largely requite: Well Sir, said I, and what love you bestow on her shall be very acceptable to me, and I shall indeavour to retalliat the same.

My young man had not till now heard me speak, and, though he did, he could not distinguish me by my voice, so great a difference was there in my habit, from my ordinary dress, that he did not so much as suspect it; but, hearing me speak with so much affection for Mistris Mary; he replyed; that, since I was so much a friend to her, he was the better satisfyed in what he had desired; and, he wanted nothing to content him, so much, as her presence. Well, said our Matrona, if that be all, you may have that satisfaction quickly; nay, and you have it already; for she is in this Room: He hearing her, looked earnestly about; and though he gazed much in my face, yet he could not discover me; but my greatest business being now done, our Matrona could no longer forbear, but fell into a very great fit of laughter, and so did the rest of the company; neither did this make him sensible of the matter, till our Madona, taking him by the hand, caused him to take me by mine; and told him, that if he desired Mistris Maryes company there, he had it; for she was the same party with that Lady, and had only put on that habit to give him the content and satisfaction he desired.

Although at first he could not credit what she said, yet looking again earnestly upon me, he discovered the matter; and then he said, Ah Madam, I did not imagine that you could be guilty of so pleasing a fallacy; but I am very well satisfied therein, and am now more glad that you have found out this way to please me, than if I enjoyed the very party her self.

To this I answered, That I hoped I should as well satisfie his desire in enjoying that Princess whom I represented, as if he had in his Company the same person who acted that part at the Theatre; for, said I, it is only her habit that makes her appear so like a Princess; and I, being now in the same dress, may as well pass as she; and as for face, and other parts, I shall not give her any preheminence, neither, I hope, will you; if you look on me with an impartial eye.

My friend was very well satisfyed in what I had done and said, and now coming more near to me, we fell to our Collation with much freedom. I was attended by several whom I had appointed to that purpose, and demeaned my self so Majestically, that as they all told me, I might very well pass for the very person whom I did represent; and my Gentleman was so extremely well pleased, that I thought he would have lost his eyes in gazing at me. Our Collation being ended, I and my attendants danced, and spent much time in such kind of divertisements; but I saw that my friend was impatient till bed time came, that he might have me, his beloved Princess, in his armes: we were waited on with all manner of state, and had Musick attending us, not only all the time we were up, but also when we were in bed: they being placed in the Chamber adjoyning to our lodgings, where they played for two hours space after we were retired.

The strength of imagination was much, for as my bedfellow imagined that he had a Princess in his arms, so I conceited my self to be litle less: great was the pleasure, I received from, and gave to my bedfellow, for we were both in the flower of our age, he being about twenty, and I eighteen, we had both equal desires, and thought of nothing but pleasure: we banished all other passions, to make way for that of love, according to the Poet.



Fair Venus never goes to bed,
To those that are with sorrows fed.

CHAP. XXXVII.

 

Her Friend being forced from her, by his friends, she meeting with one of her old acquaintance, falls again to trading, till in the end, she meets with the Drugster, who kept her for his private use.

Although I was well enough pleased with my nights lodging, and so was my bedfellow: yet, as the longest day, so will the longest night have an end; and no pleasure is lasting, neither would ours continue, for the morning being come we were again called up by Musick, but being glutted with that, we ordered them to retire, and I first arose out of our bed, and going to dress me in my ordinary habit, my bedfellow did forbid it, and intreated me to give him the satisfaction, and delight, to see me again in my Turkish dress. He having pleased me so well, I was contented to pleasure him, in a request that was so indifferent; and therefore dressed my self accordingly.

He was so well pleased with me in every thing, that taking me in his arms; I remember he sighed, and I demanding the reason of that passion, he told me, it was out of the extremity of the love he bore me: and which he desired above all things to continue; Indeed I liked him so well, that I could have bin well enough contented to have bin his wife, and have left all the world for him, for he was of so easie a plyant nature, that I could have wrought him to any thing: and therefore being desirous to make use of that opportunity, I desired him not to be melancholy; for all that I could serve him in, I should readily do, he finding me so free with him, told me if that I would wait the death of his Mother, he would make me his wife; and in the mean time, would entertain me, & provide for me wholly as if I were so: but he durst not marry me till his Mother was dead, she having a great power over his estate, his Father who was lately dead, so ordering it; and beside, he was not as yet of Age to demand it. I being desirous to close with him, (not only out of a desire I had to leave that course of life I then led; but also out of Pure love I bore him,) soon agreed to be wholly disposed by him, and desired him therefore to be constant in his affection; and take some time to consider how to dispose of me, and I should readily consent to it, for he knew as well I, that it would not at all be convenient for me to remain where I was. This was our discourse, and then we went from our Chamber into another Room, where we were expected by our Matrona , and some others of my companions: the next day we also spent in frolicking and mirth; but the whole charge of it, was not born by my friend, for several of our Matrona's Friends and Clients did participate in the cost: as well as the mirth, which was very high, and lasted all the day and night; and then tyred, though not satisfied with such delights as Bacchus and Venus could afford: we (having imitated the Empress Messalina in our debauchery; of whom the Poet saith.



The Imperial Strumpet, with one maid stole out,
In her night hoods, and having cast about:
Her black hair, a red Perriwig she got,
Into the stewes—
There many thirsted for encounters tryed
Departed tyr'd with men, not satisfied.

This frolick being at an end, I and my friend began to be serious, and in short time after he provided me a private lodging, and I making up my pack of cloths, Jewels and Mony which I had gained, and which was considerable; left our Madona, and now retired my self, and resolved to be very honest, and absolutely constant to my friend: who continued his love to me in a very great measure.

But at length all the monyes that he brought to Town with him, and all else that he could get or procure, was spent; (for he had not spared any thing I desired to content me,) and which was worse, his Mother came to Town to visit him, and upon examination he could give little account, how he had spent his time and monyes; wherefore it being concluded that ill company was the cause, his Mother laid out very diligently to discover what company he kept: though he abstained from coming so often to me, as formerly. Yet, he either sent, or came to me every day: that he might not be absolutly out of favour with his Mother, I furnished him with what ready mony I had, and he in requital, promised me a continuance of his love, & a retalliation of my kindness, & which was more then all, he engaged to marry me, (notwithstanding all the oppositions his mother or friends could make,) if I would stay till he was of age, and had his estate in his hands; I had this promise from him, not only by word of mouth, but also by writing; but all these promises, were quickly vacuated and void; for his mother, by her extraordinary diligence found out his haunts, and discovered his coming to me: and followed the track of my actions, and life; that she found from whence I came, and who I was; and then soon concluded, that I had been the cheif occasion of his mispending his time, and moneys; and now she mustered up all her wits, to prevent his ruine: which she supposed would be inevitable, if he continued any longer a correspondency with me.

To this end she called her Son before her, and examined him in the presence of all those of his Relations and friends which were then in Town. She laid the business so plain, and home to him, that he could not deny the matter, somewhat of the manner he did; for whereas she reported me an absolute Prostitute, he alleged me vertuous and modest; as indeed well he might (for I had, ere since my first acquaintance with him, been constant to him) but it being proved from whence I came, and how immodest I had lived, it was sufficient argument to make out what I was, and that I could not be a fit Wife for him: She was a very discreet Woman, and one who had known the World, and, I suppose was well enough acquainted with that saying of the Poet.



If Modesty and Women once do sever,
Farewell their name, farewell their fame for ever.

And therefore it being evident enough what I had been, she from thence concluded what I would be: In fine, she so schooled her sonn, and ordered the matter, that he was contented to relinquish my company; and because, she would be sure he should doe so, she never left, till she had got him in the mind to travel: and so putting him in an equipage befiting his quality, she sent him for France .

Thus, when I thought my self nere the greatest happiness I ever yet arrived to: (which I earnestly hoped, and expected, by being married to this young Gentleman) was I stripped of all joy, and comfort, in his suddain and absolute departure from me; his mother, and freinds, was so strict with him, that they would not permit him, to take his farewel of me; I only received a short letter from him, wherein, he complained, of his ill fortune, in being thus forced from me: but more especially at the manner of it; for he had not the opportunity, nor power to be civil to me, in re-imbursing me, with the moneys I had lately furnished him with; for his mother gave him no more ready moneys, then he should have present occasion for; promising him, to supply him with more by Bills of Exchange, when he should arrive at the place he was designed for; and then he promised that I should further hear from him.

This, was the substance of his letter; and indeed I could not well complain of him; for what moneys he had lately received of me, had formerly been his own; but I was now reduced to a very bad, and low condition: having no ready money, so that I was forced to sell some of my Jewels; and for a while supplyed my occasions, with the moneys they yeilded me; I living a very solitary, and retired life; and all my pleasure was in reading Playes, and Romances: in which I spent much time, and took great delight; I waited long, in expectation of letters from my friend, according to his promise; but whether he sent, and they were intercepted, or how: or whether he forgot me, or no, I know not; for I never after that heard of him.

Being somwhat weary, with this solitary life; and finding no effects, of my friends promise to send to me; I began to consider, what course I was to take; I was very unwilling to visit my old Matrona again; but one day, walking out, I was met by one of my old sweethearts: one of those whom I had known in her house; but I saw by his habit, and afterwards by the strength of his Pocket, that he was but in a low condition, and was more ready to receive, than give; he fastned on me, and for old acquaintance sake, I was forced to drink with him; but he ingeniously told me, that Hector was not in Field, he had no money in his Pocket; wherefore I (though money was not very flush with me, as having had a long time of vacation:) not only paid our reckoning: but at his intreaty, double hors'd him, by lending him, (or I may rather say giving) him, 2 half crowns.

This put him in stock, and heart, and he gratefully acknowledged my civillity, telling me he would requite it, and talking of thousands he was to receive. He was very earnest to know my Lodging, but I concealed that place from him, and, as I thought, parted from him warily enough, and went many ways about before I went home; but he dog'd me, and seeing me hous'd, waited, lest that might not be the place; but after a sufficient stay he was better satisfied; for I came no more out, and so he went to his Quarters.

This my old acquaintance, as he had formerly been bit, and had others lived upon him, so he now only lived upon others; and though it was not above a twelve month since he was very gallant, and spent very highly with me, yet he had made hast and consumed above 3000 l. he was young enough, and as wanton and desirous as ever of my Company; but he knew very well I would not consent, unless there was money in the case; he being destitute of that necessary commodity, therefore sought out for one who was better supplyed with it: he needed not to look long, neither did he, till he found one, who was now, as not long since he had been, better stored with money than wit, and as desirous of pleasure, being willing to purchase it at any rate; him he tells of a rare purchase, a Lady whom he had the happiness to be acquainted with, that was rarely hansome, of an excellent good nature, and he questioned not but she might be flexible. The monyed Gallant did not ask many questions, but desired by all means to see this celebrated beauty; for he doubted not but she must needs be hansom, whom the other so cried up for beautiful. My old acquaintance was as willing as he to attend him to this Lady, which was my self; and therefore to me they came, and believing that Confidence was the best way of speaking with me; he boldly asked to see and speak with me, pretending great business, not so much as questioning whither I lived there or no. The people of the house believing him one of my intimate acquaintance, directly brought him and his friend up into my Chamber.

I was somewhat surpriz'd at the sight of him; but after the first salutes, he took me to one side, and privately told me all his design; and that this party whom he had brought, was a very well-monyed man, & much might be squeezed out of him. Although I was not yet resolved to fall to my old trade yet now he was come, I knew not how to put him off, wherefore I differently entertained, & I may very well say indifferently: because, I was yet cold in my desires, and had very little appetite, however, some bottles of Wine being sent for we drank them off: and my young Gentleman being warm in his gears, began to talk a little boldly, but it was to no purpose, for I forbid all accounts, & at that time he only purchased akiss but (that I may draw to a period in my discourse,) I did not long continue so cold to him, for he bringing meat in his mouth, good store of Gold in his pocket, which he willingly and freely gave me, I permitted him to take all the pleasure he could receive by me.

Thus did I renew my old trade, and my old friend, who had brought this new acquaintance, finding some benefit and profit in the case; for he had mony of his acquaintance, whom he had brought, as also of me, neither could I at convenient times, deny him the pleasure he had formerly tasted with me; he I say, having both pleasure and profit, turned Broaker for me, and brought me several Merchants, who traffiqued with me for pleasure: which I comonly afforded them a good pennyworth, though somtimes a dear one, for I would not deal with every ordinary fellow, and therefore was paid the better, by those who were my customers.

But let me do what I could, I saved little or nothing at the months end, (years I will not say, because I was weary of this trade in six months time:) for I now had not only my self, but this my old acquaintance, and new Broker to provide for; For he finding that most of my profit, came in by those he brought me, would be very bold in demanding a share of me: and his expences were so high, which he pretended, was only to bring me of the better sort of customers, that I was now poorer then ever, and he now became so impudent, that he would not only command my mony, but my Rings, and other Jewels, which he would sell or pawn as he listed; and indeed it is the fortune, or misfortune, of all those of our Quality, to be troubled with some such fellows: hangers on as these, or else we should or might in little time gain sufficient estates; but as I say commonly, what we get one way, these followers spend the other, so that at length all that we are likely to purchase, if we have not a great care, is only a disease, which may stick long enough by us. I being fearful of this, for my Friend or Hector, I may call him both, was now grown so intemperate that he kept all companies: and if I refused him mony, or a nights lodging, he would go to any other common woman, the first he met withal, and so afterwards coming to me, I might be spoiled; to prevent this I privatily left my lodging, and hearing of two of my own sex, and quality, that were going a progress into the Country, to take a frolick, I made the third, and had a man as well as they to attend me; and as I expected to bear my charges, but we all reckoned without our host, for we were basely trappand, by those who went with us, and left in pawn for a reckoning that was considerable we were in a strange place, many miles from London, and much distressed, but at length a resolution was taken, that one of us should go to London, and fetch mony to redeem the rest, it fell to the lot of one of my companions, who being on her journy, had the good luck to meet with honest Gregory, our now companion, and he, very liberally relieved us, by sending mony to us, whereby we had the freedom to come to our companion and him, who attended us. She being come to this part of her Relation, I told her, that I had heard it already by Gregory, who among other passages of his life, acquainted me with that.

Well then replyed she, if you know that account, I have litle more to acquaint you with, for not long after my arrival at London, I fortunately met with my honest friend the Drugster , and he liking me for a Mistress, and I him for a servant or Master which you please, I agreed to obey his pleasures, he providing for me, which he hath hitherto done in a very plentiful manner: and I on the other side, have bin as constant and obedient to him.

CHAP. XXXVIII.

 

Mistress Mary having finished, Mistres Dorothy begins her story, wherein she relates, that having left her friends in the Country, she comes to London, and entring to service, lyes With three several men, by whom she is got With Child, and so orders the matter, that all three pay well for it.

I had given very great attention to Mrs. Maries story, and Mrs. Dorothy (who, with me, had been the only Auditor) told her, that she had received a great deal of satisfaction; for, said she, though I have formerly heard many of your particular actions, yet I never received a perfect account til now. Nay, said Mrs. Mary , this account is far from being perfect, and is only of such passages as I could at present call to mind; but indeed they are the most remarkable, and by them you may guess at the rest.

I was very well pleased with what I had heard, and being likewise desirous to be acquainted with the adventures of Mrs. Dorithy requested her to relate them to me, which she did as followeth.

Old friend (said she to me) you have great occasion to love and respect me, for the great love I have born to you, and to your memory; for after your departure from my Fathers house, I was very much afflicted for your absence, and I did believe that you intended marriage to me, as you protested; and though my Father and Mother had often doubted of the reallity of your intentions, especially, after you had so unworthily left me, yet I still perswaded them that you would return. You know well enough, that my Father was not ignorant of our privacy, he having surprized us in the manner, and you then promised to make me amends by marriage; but all the satisfaction I received, was a Copy of Verses, and 20 pieces of Gold: In the one you expressed your Wit, in the other your Generosity, for I very well knew that you might have omitted both, and not have sent either; but, I suppose, you were more skilful than I, and knew that I was with Child by you, and therefore sent that money to defray the charge I should be at on that occasion. This peece of civillity of yours did put me into good hopes, that you would return; and I accordingly perswaded my Father, and mother; but time convinced me of my error: and also made it more apparent that I had been sporting with you; for my Belly swelled so, that my Mother soon resolved me that I was with Child by you.

I was very melancholly upon this occasion, but my Mother indeavoured to comfort me (for I being her only Child) she had a great deal of love for me; and knowing what was pass'd could not be helped, she took order to conceal and keep the knowledge of my misfortune from being publiquely known and discoursed of; Wherefore I, at her desire and directions, kept within doors, pretending a sickness, which indeed was not wholly counterfeit, in regard I much grieved for your absence. In this condition I spent my time, till the time of my deliverance from Child-bearing came, and then I was brought to bed of a Boy, which was no sooner born, but it was taken and carried from me, to a Town three miles off, to be nursed by a woman whom my Mother had for that purpose provided; and this was done to conceal the shame that I should or might sustain if it were known that I had a Child, without knowing who, or at least, where was the Father.

So soon as a Month was expired, I went to see the Child, the sight of which put me too much in mind of the Father; and I was then again sensibly afflicted at his absence; methoughts in that infancy there was so much resemblance of my beloved deceiver, that I kiss'd the Infant, not only for its own, but for the Fathers sake. I then returned home agen, and now after so long a time of retirement, I began to recover, not only my strength, but some additions to my beauty; so that I having had 2 or 3 Suiters, when a Maid, who had forborn visiting me by occasion of my illness, they now agen renew their suits; but if I had some dislike for them before, now I could not endure them in my company, they were such absolute Hobbinolls. Though I was not satisfied in their frequent visits, yet my Father and Mother press'd me, not only to accept them, but also their suit, and make choice of one of them for a husband, alleging, that you would never return; and it would be not only safe, but necessary, in time to bestow my self. This discourse did much disturb me, and I was often troubled with my suiters, and disturbed and vexed by my Father and Mothers importunity, that I resolved to be quit of both, by leaving them, and therefore purposed to go to London. that I might not be troubled with the importunity of my Father and Mother; nor the troublesome visits of my sweet hearts.

In pursuance of this resolve, I fitted my self with all necessaries; and that I might not wholly distract my Parents by my thus leaving them, I writ a Letter of excuse, & left it for them; and so walking to the great Town, attended the coming by of the Passage Coach, and in that got me a Place to ride to London.

I continued for some time in the Inne where the Coachman set me down, & the rest of his Passengers; but knowing it would be impossible for me to continue long there, I gained acquaintance with the Maid of the house, and told my tale to her as well as I thought convenient. She understanding that I was willing to serve, and wanted a place; and I acquainting her with my abilities, as that I could sew, wash and starch, and do most necessary things required of a servant, She soon procured me a Place in a house that entertained many Lodgers. I spent a quarter of a years time very privately and honestly in this service; but then, our house being full of Lodgers, one of them cast a wanton eye on me, and being well pleased with my face, began to court me very familiarly; although at first I opposed him, and gave him nothing but slights and denials, yet he so managed his business by Presents which he gave me, and making use of all other opportunities, that he gained his will of me, and I again entred the Lists in a loving Combate. He took many opportunities for enjoyment, not only in the day time, but sometimes we spent whole nights in our amorous sports; and though my Mr. and Mrs. did not discover any thing of the matter, yet another Gentleman, who was also a Lodger, and lay in the next Chamber to my friends, watching me, found out my haunt; and therefore, he (being as amorous as the other was desirous of sport, became a Suiter to me upon the same account. I absolutely deny'd him, for I thought it was enough to have to do with one man, and was resolved to venture my self no further; but but he taking the opportunity of the others absence, first treated me with Wine, then presented me with a Ring; but all this would not do, till he in plain terms told me, that he knew very well I was not so hard-hearted to every one; for were Mr. such a one, naming my friend, there, I would not deny him the curtesie: I at first made strange of this story, and deny'd it, but he falling into plain terms with me, and telling me that he had watched me such a night, when I lay with him, I could not then deny it, neither did I long deny or refuse him what he desired; so that he likewise took his pleasure with me; and having obtained his desire at that time, he made bold with me so often as he listed, when the other was out of the way.

I had now two Bedfellows, so that I could seldom lie alone, one of them would still bespeak me; but the first of them did not know of the 2d. though he knew very well of the other: Though I had sport enough with these two, yet it was not long ere a third man likewise put in for a share with them, and that was my Masters Brother; he was a very pretty young man, and one whom I could well enough love for a Husband; but he looked a little higher than to marry a Servant-maid: but as a Mistress he courted me: Many attempts he made in vain; but time that bringeth every thing to pass, made me flexible, and I likewise gave him possession of the thing he desired: he took much pleasure in my company, and very respectful to me, often presenting me with Linnen and Laces, and sometimes a Crown or an Angel came from his Pocket, as well as from the other two, who well fed me with money, which I still pocketed up: but as I got money, so I again got somewhat else, a great Belly; and which was the worst, of my 3 friends I knew not which was the Father; but, if I am not mistaken, I believe it was my Masters Brother.

But I was resolved the other two should help to Father it, or else pay for it; and therefore I soon told them all three, as they had occasion to deal with me, in what condition I was. My first and oldest friend was most troubled at it, being, as he thought, the most concerned, because he knew not of any else that had to do with me; he was somewhat startled at it, least, as he said, his wife should come to know it; for, he was a married man: and although his wife somtimes came to Town, and would lye with him; yet he would somtimes before he went to bed to her, take his opportunity to have his pleasure with me; He, I say, was troubled at the news: but that did not hinder us, in our purposed nights lodging, only in the Intervals we considered what course to take; at length it was resolved, that he would provide for me, the time of my lying Inn, & afterwards for the child; and in earnest of the charge; he soon gave me 20 l. to provide me with necessaryes. I having now done with my first customer: was resolved to get somthing of my second: but he still gave me the hearing, presuming on his knowledg of my having to do with the first; yet, he would not on this occasion, advance any thing, intending to shirk off, because no body knew what trade we did drive together.

I perceiving his intention: was resolved to be even with him, and it may be out-wit him; and that he might not distrust me: I seemed no ways dissatisfyed, but gave him as much freedom with me, as ever; but to carry on my design: I thought good, to break the business to my Masters Brother; wherefore, I likewise acquainted him with my condition, and told him in plain tearms, that I was with child by him; He could not deny the fact nor make any excuse; not knowing of my dealings with the other two; But he was likewise very much surprized; But I doubting, he might put me off, I took the oppertunity of telling him this news, when we were in bed together, knowing there I should have time, and conveniency to discourse it.

He knew not what to say, and indeed was very cold with me: and I was forced to help him out; for he was then a Suitor to a young Gentlewoman, and was fearful that this business would hinder his fortunes; and though he loved me well enough, yet he was unwilling to marry me; for that would prove so disadvantagious to him; he supposing that nothing but marriage would content me: was much troubled, and could not tell what answer to give me; wherefore I was forced to break silence, and told him: that as I loved him, so I would now shew him sufficient proofs of it; for I would not that my love would ruine him, as I knew it would, if the world should know what had passed between us; and though nothing could satisfy me but marriage: yet I could be content to wave that, and propose somwhat else of satisfaction; nay then said he, if you will be so kind to me, propose your own terms, and take them; I hearing him thus generous, it was not long ere we concluded upon terms; which were these, that he would give me 20 l down to bear my charges in the time of my Lying-In, and if the child lived, he would give 50 l. more to any person whom I would appoynt to take the child, and provide for it; these terms I was well enough satisfyed with, only I considering that he would hear of my lying with the other, because I intended to discover that to him, and have his assistance therein, and then I doubted he would suspect me, and it may be, refuse to pay the 50 l when due; therefore I was resolved to have him seal a Bond to me, for payment of it: and I urged him to do it out of this consideration, that he was to be married: and though he now loved me well-enough, yet when he had a wife, he would happily slight and forget me, and so refuse or neglect to pay it; He was content to hear my arguments: and though he alwayes protested a, continuance of his love to me, notwithstanding all the wives in the world; yet he consented to give me bond according to my desire.

Thus every thing being agreed on, we again renewed our pleasures, and spent that night as we had done many before. But morning being come, I arose, and so managed my affairs, that I that day had a Bond Sealed to me for payment of 50 l. to be paid in 6 Months; I also within few dayes received of him the 20 l. he had promised me.

Thus did I order my matters with my first and last Customers, and I gave them their wonted satisfaction of Lying with me so often as they pleased; and so I did to the other my middle Customer; but do what I could, I could not bring him to any considerable Composition; and though he were the best able, yet he offered me the least, and intended to come off with a trifle: however I gave him his wonted freedom with me, but purposed ere long to be even with him, as I was.

For one night being in bed with my Masters Brother, I having very well pleased him, he talked of his little Hans in Kelder, the Boy in my belly, wishing very well to it, not in the least doubting but it was of his own begetting, and using many words to that purpose: well Sir, said I, it is very true, it is yours, but if I would have been as free with others, as I have been with you, it might have had more if not another Father; and thereupon I proceeded, and told him how that I had been often importuned by Mr. such a one, his Brothers Lodger, and my 2d. Bedfellow. Well replyed he, I am the more beholding to you, that you have accepted of me rather than him; but though I am not at all dis-satisfied in what I have done, I wish he had been the Father, for your sake as well as mine, for you might compel him to mariage, or else get a considerable sum of mony from him. As for mariage said I, I doubt I should hardly draw him to it, but some monies I might get of him, and would yet, if you will consent to it, and assist me therein. To this he answered, that in any thing I should desire, he would not be wanting, and therefore he bid me propound the way, and he would not fail in his assistance: I then told him, that I knew but of one way to do it, and in that I must play the disloyal wag with him, to doe which I had no mind: for that matter, said he, you shall have my consent, and I think I guess at your meaning, which is, that you must agree to let him ly with you; wherefore since it will be so advantageous to yon, let him do it; for I am sure he can doe me no great wrong, for notwithstanding what he can do, the Child will be all mine, of my own getting.

He being so free to it, and agreeing to all things according to my desire, we resolved that I should permit my second Sweetheart to ly with me; but I should so order the matter, that he should take us in the manner, and then we would agree to act the rest very well. I now having laid my plot very well, and orderly, I appointed my time when I would ly with him, and agreed to leave the Chamber door open, that he, rising early the next morning, might (pretending some business) enter the Chamber, and find us in Bed together. Our Plot being thus laid, and my 2d. Sweetheart desiring it, I promised to come to bed to him about midnight, the which I did; but my Masters brother knowing of my design, was resolved to have the first carving of me, and that he should only have a butter'd Bun; and therefore caused me to ly with him all the former part of the night, but midnight being past, he permitted me to proceed in my adventure. I was expected by my Bedfellow, and accordingly entertained, but I minding the design I was about, awaked early in the morning, and so ordered the matter, that my Bedfellow likewise threw off his drowsiness to encounter with me in our nocturnal pastime, which when he had done, I began to discourse him, reasoning the cause with him, and desiring him to resolve me what he would do for me in the condition I was, and what provision he would make for me. He gave me indifferent answers, and I grew passionate with him, and on a sudden the Chamber door opened, and my Masters Brother entred the room. I seeing this, left off speaking, and crouded my self close down into the bed, as if pretending to hide my self; but he coming boldly on, bid my Bedfellow Good morrow, and asking him a question, came nearer the Bedside, aud drawing the Curtains, said, what have you a Bedfellow. No said he, not I; surely said the other you have, for I am mistaken if I did not hear some other tongue than yours: the other deny'd it, but he knowing well enough what he had to do, soon found out where my Petticoats lay: How, said he, surely you have a Bedfellow, and that a female one; the other being thus surprized knew not what to say: Wherefore my Mrs Brother proceeding, said, surely I should know these Coats, for, if I am not mistaken, they are our Maid Dorothys. I finding my self discover'd now appeared, and in the first place beg'd his pardon, and that he would not acquaint my Mr. and Mrs with it. He seeming very angry soundly rated me and my Bedfellow, and said he, this is not the first time that you two have lain together, for I have long suspected you, and watched you. Truly Sir, said I, it is true, this Gentleman hath long known me, but I pray make no more words of it at present, and for modesties sake leave the Chamber, and I will anon satisfie you further in every particular. My Bedfellow likewise requesting the same, he very civilly left us, shuting the Chamber door after him. My Bedfellow was much surprized at this sudden accident, and I seemed to be so; and quickly getting my cloaths, arose, and left him, retiring into my own Chamber, leaving him to consider of it.

I having now done my business, by having a witness of my lying with him, was bold with him, to know what I should do in the case; for said I, my masters brother will certainly acquaint my Mr and Mrs with our actions, and then I must leave the house, and whither to go I know not, nor who will entertain me: He argued that the other, my first Sweetheart, must provide; for me; to this I told him, that I believed he would do somewhat for me, but he had a Wife, and could not do what he listed, whereas he on the contrary was a single man, and rich enough: and he still endeavouring to put me off, and lay all upon the 1st. I in plain terms told him, that if he continued to say so, I would wholly deny my dealings with the other, and though he should avouch it, yet he would not be beleeved, he being himself a party guilty, as could be proved by my masters brother; and Father of the Child, and would be forced to marry me, or at least provide for me and child. I having told him my resolution, left him to consider of it, and then my masters brother came to him, and he and I together so ordered the matter, that he gave me 20 l. down and gave me bond to pay 50 l. more at the Birth of the Child. This, said Mrs. Dorothy, was the first of my adventures.

And this shall be the last I shall relate to you in this part, referring the prosecution of hers and others adventures to a third part.


FINIS.
 
 
 

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