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Memoirs of Laetitia Pilkington - Memoirs of Mrs. Pilkington.

Memoirs of Mrs. Pilkington.
Volume 1

Although it has been common practice, with writers of memoirs, to fill their volumes with their own praises, which, whatever pleasure they may have afforded to the authors, by indulging their vanity, are seldom found to give any to the readers; I am determined to quit this beaten track; and by a strict adherence to the truth, please even my greatest enemies, by presenting them with a lively picture of all my faults, my follies, and the misfortunes, which have been consequential to them.

And I am the more inclined to proceed, in that I think the story may be instructive to the female part of my readers, to teach them that reputation

Is the immediate jewel of their souls,
And that the loss of it
Will make them poor indeed!

So that I propose myself; not as an example, but a warning to them; that by my fall, they may stand the more secure.

However numerous my mistakes in life have been, they have still had most surprising additions made to them, not only by base and untrustworthy minds, wretches, devoid of truth, and common honesty, but also by persons of high rank, and such as outwardly profess Christianity; who have fancied it an act of piety to believe and spread of me the most improbable and notorious falsehoods! Nay so far has their persecuting zeal been carried, that they have rendered my honest industry ineffectual; and by depriving me of any means to support life, endeavoured to make me even such a one, as they represented me to be: that clergymen, and ladies of honour, should unite, in driving to extremity, a person, who never yet, either in her conversation, or writing, offended against the laws of decency or humanity, is but too apt to make one think, they had quite forgotten the Christian grace, Charity, without which we are told, all other virtues are of no avail, and consequently, fall far short of perfection themselves.

I therefore hope, those who have taken such unbounded liberties with my character, will also allow me to paint out theirs, only with this difference, that I shall confine myself to truth, a favour, I never yet received at their hands; since even the priestly robe, and mitred head, have, with regard to me, disclaimed it, of which, in the series of these melancholy adventures, I shall be able to produce many surprising instances.

I was born in the year 1712; by my mother's side descended of an ancient, and honourable family, who were frequently intermarried with the nobility. My great-grandfather was Earl of Kilmallock, whose daughter married Colonel Meade, by whom he had twenty-one children, twelve of whom, lived to be married. This gentleman, who to his honour be it spoken, though he was a man of fortune, and in the army, declared on his deathbed, 'that he never had, either when a bachelor, or a married man, criminal conversation with a woman; never was drunk; never broke his word; nor ever used tobacco.'

The late Duke of Ormond, when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, dining at Col Meade's, offered to confer on him the honour of knighthood; but he being then in an advanced age, declined it for himself; telling his grace, 'as he was going out of the world, and his eldest con coming into, he would choose, if he thought it proper, his grace should bestow it on him:' which accordingly he did.

This gentleman Sir John Meade, was bred to the law, and deservedly distinguished, as one of the finest orators that ever spoke at the bar: he was the perfect master of classical learning; and a lover and judge of the Muse-like arts; his paternal estate was about fifteen hundred pounds a year, which was augmented by marrying successively, two great heiresses; as well as by the vast business he had in his profession: so that with all those advantages of nature, education, and fortune, it was no wonder he should meet with universal respect and esteem.

He was in this situation, when Sir Edmund Seymour had an estate of 」5000 a year left to him in Ireland; this was a matter too considerable for Sir Edward to hope immediately to possess without lawsuit or difficulty; so that he found his personal appearance absolutely necessary. It is to be observed, that Edmund Seymour was accounted the proudest man in England; and Sir John Meade was remarkable for the same fault; neither indeed did I ever meet with any person of either of those names in England or Ireland, who was not abundantly stocked with it, though without the same pretensions to support it.

Sir Edward Seymour landed at Dublin, filled with that natural contempt for the whole country, which those of the English, who have not been resident amongst them, are but too apt to express, on every occasion: he there found some of his own countrymen in places of profit and trust, of whom he inquired, 'whether there are any such things, as good lawyers to be met with in this damned place?'

They answered, 'Yes very good;' but if he hoped to carry his cause he must see Sir John Meade: 'Well,' said he, 'let one of my footmen go for him.'

'Your footman, Sir Edward!' said one of the gentlemen, who knew Sir John; 'why, 'tis odds if he will speak to you. I assure you, if he does, 'tis a favour few of his clients obtain from him.' 'What, a deuce, returned he, do Irish lawyers take such state upon them?' 'You are to consider, Sir Edward, he is a gentleman of family, has a noble fortune, and is so eminent in his profession, that should he be employed against you, you may bid farewell to your claim.'

This last argument had such force with Sir Edward Seymour, that he condescended to wait on Sir John Meade next morning: Sir John had been apprised of what the other had said; and resolving to be as stately as himself, sent him down word, 'he was very busy, but if he pleased to wait till he was at leisure, he would see him.' So Sir Edward was shown into a parlour, where he remained above an hour, fretting himself to death, at this disrespectful usage, offered to a person of his dignity.

When Sir John thought he had pretty sufficiently mortified him, he sent to let him know, he should be glad to see him, and received him with a politeness natural to him, but when Sir Edward went to open his case to him, he told him, 'He must leave him his brief, for he could not spare time to hear him:' so Sir Edward laid down his brief, with a large purse of gold upon it; and having got his audience of leave; departed full of indignation, at meeting with a man as proud as himself.

When the day appointed for the important trial was come, there were numbers of lawyers engaged on either side of the question: Sir John being, I suppose, resolved to try his client's patience to the uttermost; permitted every one of them speak before him, without interruption, and sat drawing birds with a pencil, till Sir Edward was ready to burst with rage at him, especially as he found the cause likely to go against him: at length, when their pleadings were ended, and judgement going to be pronounced against Sir Edward, Sir John Meade arose, and desired to be heard, which he ever was with favour and attention by the court, when making a speech, took an hour and a half in time; he so fully confuted all Sir Edward's antagonists, and made his title to the estate so evident, and with such powerful eloquence, that he had a decree to be put in immediate possession.

Sir Edward was so charmed with Sir John's graceful elocution, that he could not forbear several times crying out ecstasy, 'An angel! By heaven, an angel!' But when he found the happy effects of it so much to his own advantage, he could no longer contain himself, but catching Sir John in his arms, 'My dear, dear friend!' says he, 'permit me to have the honour of calling you so: I don't wonder you should be proud, who have more cause to be so, than any man living.'

The court not breaking up, till it was late, Sir Edward pressed Sir John to give him his company that evening, Sir John excused himself, telling him, 'he was every night engaged to a club:' 'Well, then,' said Sir Edward, 'if you would give me leave, I will accompany you; (provided you think it would be agreeable to your friends?)' Sir John answered, 'they would all, he was sure, esteem it as a very great honour.' So accordingly, Sir Edward met them, and that they were mutually delighted with each other's conversation, we may presume, by their staying together till four the next morning. Some of Sir Edward's friends finding him in bed at twelve o'clock the ensuing day; he told them, 'He had sat up all night:' 'With whom, Sir Edward?' 'Why,' returned he, 'With Homer, Plato, Socrates, Cicero, and all the ancient Greek and Roman poets, philosophers, and historians.'

From this time, Sir Edward and Sir John contracted a friendship, which did not terminate, but with their lives.

As this little piece of history redounds to the mutual honour of both these great, and eminent gentleman; I hope it will not be accounted vanity in me to recite it.

One of Sir John Meade's sisters, being smitten with the good mien of a Roman Catholic officer in King James's army, stole a match with him, of which my mother was the first fruits; but her mother dying in childbed of her second child, and King William entirely subduing Ireland; my grandfather thought proper to follow his Royal Master's fortune to France, leaving my mother, then an infant, to the wide world: however Providence did not abandon the helpless orphan; her grandmother, the widow of Colonel Meade before mentioned, took her home to her; and while she lived, with true maternal tenderness, bestowed on her the best and politest education: and when the trustees sat in Ireland, it being proved, she was bred a Protestant, she recovered her mother's fortune, which had been settled on her, and which she had been some years kept out of, on account of her father's being a forfeiting person.

He, in the meantime, returned privately to England, and married a niece of the celebrated Jesuit father Hugh Peters; by this second venture, he had one daughter, who was married to Mr. Fowler of St. Thomas in Staffordshire, the sole heiress of whom is the present lady Faulconbridge, to whom, were it of any use to me, I have the honour of being a first cousin by the half-blood.

My mother being now in possession of a handsome fortune, and by the death of her grandmother, entirely at her own disposal; for her father never enquired what became of her; did not, it may be supposed, want admirers, especially as she had a very graceful person, with abundance of wit, which was improved by reading and keeping the best company; however, none of them made any impression on her heart, till she saw my father, who was the son of a Dutch physician, that accidentally settled in Ireland, and who had no other fortune to boast of, than a liberal education, and a very amiable person, and understanding; qualities which recommended him to my mother so powerfully, that she had constancy enough to wait for him three years, while he went to Leyden, where he studied physic under the late famous Dr. Boerhaave; and having taken his degree, he returned to Ireland, uniting himself in marriage to his faithful mistress: her friends were at first much displeased with her; but my father's merit soon reconciled them to her choice, and their being then but one man-midwife in the kingdom; my father made himself master of that useful art, and practiced with great success, reputation, and humanity.

I was their second child, and my eldest brother dying an infant, for a long time their only one; being of a tender weakly constitution; I was by my father greatly indulged, indeed I cannot say, but it was in some measure necessary, he should, by his gentleness qualify my mother's severity to me; otherwise it must have broke my heart, for she strictly followed Solomon's advice, in never sparing the rod, insomuch that I have frequently been whipped for looking blue of a frosty morning; and, whether I deserved it, or not, I was sure of correction every day of my life.

From my earliest infancy, I had a strong disposition to letters; but my eyes being weak, after the smallpox, I was not permitted to look at a book; my mother regarding more the beauty of my face, than the improvement of my mind; neither was I allowed to learn to read: this restraint, as it generally happens, made me but more earnest in the pursuit of, what I imagined, must be so delightful. Twenty times a day have I been corrected, for asking what such and such letters spelt; my mother used to tell me the word, accompanying it with a good box on the ear, which, I suppose, imprinted it on my mind. Had Gulliver seen her behaviour, I should have imagined, he had borrowed a hint from it, for his floating island, where when a great man had promised any favour, the supplicant was obliged to give him a tweak by the nose, or a kick on the rump, to quicken his memory. However, I do assure you, it had this effect on me, insomuch, that I never forgot what was once told me; and quickly arrived at my desired happiness, being able to read, before, she thought, I knew all my letters; but this pleasure I was obliged to enjoy by stealth, with fear and trembling.

I was at this time about five years of age, and my mother being one day abroad, I had happily laid hold on Alexander's Feast, and found something in it so charming, that I read it aloud;傭ut how like a condemned criminal did I look, when my father, softly opening his study door, took me in the very fact, I dropped my book, and burst into tears, begging pardon, and promising never to do so again: but my sorrow was soon dispelled, when he bade me not be frightened, but read to him, which to his great surprise, I did very distinctly, and without hurting the beauty of the numbers. Instead of the whipping, of which I stood in dread, he took me up in his arms, and kissed me, giving me a whole shilling, as a reward, and told me, 'he would give me another, as soon as I got a poem by heart;' which he put into my hand, and proved to be Mr. Pope's sacred Eclogue, which task I performed before my mother returned home. They were both astonished at my memory, and from that day forward, I was permitted to read as much as I pleased; only my father took care to furnish me with the best, and politest authors; and took delight in explaining to me, whatever, by reason of my tender years, was above my capacity of understanding.

But chiefly I was charmed and ravished with the sweets of poetry, all my hours were dedicated to the muses; and from a reader, I quickly became a writer; I may truly say with Mr. Pope,

I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came.

My performances had the good fortune to be looked upon, as extraordinary, for my years, and the greatest and wisest men in the kingdom did not disdain to hear the prattle of the little Muse, as they called me, even in my childish days. But as I approached towards womanhood there was a new scene opened to me; and by the time I had looked on 13 years, I had almost as many lovers; not that I ever was handsome, further than being very fair. But I was well dressed, sprightly, and remarkably well tempered, unapt to give or take offence; insomuch that my company was generally coveted; and no doubt, but I should have been happily disposed of in marriage, but that my mother's capricious temper made her reject every advantageous proposal offered, and at last condemned into the arms of one of the greatest v覧s, with reverence to the priesthood, be it spoken; that ever was wrapped up in crape.

And here I cannot forbear observing, how very few who wear that S覧d H覧t, are adorned with any real sanctity of manners: what ambition, avarice, lust, and cruelty reigns among them; they are generally the first seducers of innocence; as the holiness of their office gives them free admittance into every family, and as soon as they have made a breach in the tender mind for ruin's wasteful entrance; (provided, they can but slip their own necks out of the halter, and remain unexposed;) they shall be the first to persecute with ecclesiastical courts, and spiritual authority, that very person, whom they themselves first taught the way to sin.

Let none presume to censure this as spite,
I suffer for their crimes of whom I write.

I would not, by this reflection, be thought to strike at religion, or the valuable part of the clergy; those who are possessed of Christian charity, and make the sincerity of their faith appear in the righteousness of their life; are truly worthy of reverence and honour; but alas! Their number is so few, that the ears of corn are scarce discernible among the tares, of whom, no doubt, Satan will reap a plentiful harvest.

But to return. Amongst all those who addressed me, my heart retained its freedom, and if their flattery pleased me, it was only as it fed my vanity; that passion, which like pride is so universal: I had no particular engagement, was entirely submissive to my parents, punctual to all the truths of religion, but effectively innocent, and much more pleased with my female friends, than with the company of men.

There were two young ladies, in particular, for whom, from my childhood, I had a very tender affection, and whom, as often as I could, I visited; as their brother was a clergyman, many of the gown frequented their house, and among the rest, the reader of or parish church, Mr. P覧n, he had a good face, and many agreeable accomplishments, as, a tolerable taste in music, and a poetical turn, which greatly entertained me; but being a man of obscure and low fortune, I had no farther thoughts of him, than merely as an acquaintance: however, it was my misfortune to be liked by him, when I least imagined it; as he played very well on the organ, he gave us an invitation to church, promising after evening prayer, to sing an anthem for us. I who always delighted in church music, begged my mother's permission to go, which, with some difficulty, I obtained. After the music, he invited us into the vestry room, where he had prepared a little collation of fruit, wine, etc. And singling me out, he began to address me in a very passionate style, and earnestly begged leave to visit me: I told him, 'I was to go into the country next day, to stay all the summer, and were I not, I had no male visitants, but such as my parents approved of; and consequently it was out of my power to grant his request.' My mother sending for me, prevented any farther conversation for that time; and early on the next morning, we set out on our intended journey.

During my stay in the country, he wrote me a great many poetical compliments, and subscribed himself, Amintas: as they were really very elegant; my mother, who always examined my letters, expressed great curiosity to know the writer; saying, 'I ought to return a letter of thanks to him:' but as I took this only for a trap; I told her, which was true, I knew not who it was; lest I should be debarred the pleasure of visiting the young ladies, where I first saw him, if I should have given her the smallest hint, that I guessed at the person.

I had, by this time, a brother of about nine years of age; of whom my father and mother were fond even to extravagance; whenever I went abroad, he used to cry to go with me, and was constantly indulged in it.

A few days after our return to town, I went to wait on the young ladies before mentioned, and took my brother with me; I was scarce seated when Mr. P覧n came in; and after saluting me, began to reproach me with cruelty, in never having favoured him with an answer to any of his letters. I told him, 'I was much obliged to him, for the agreeable entertainment they had afforded me; but that, excepting my father, I had never wrote to any man, neither was I mistress of wit enough to correspond with him.' A good many civil things were said on either hand, during tea time; after which my brother growing urgent with me to return home, I happened to say he was so great a favourite, I durst not contradict him; upon which, Mr. P覧n made his application to him, and gave him an invitation to his lodgings; where he entertained him so kindly, that the child returned in raptures with him; and loaden with toys and sweetmeats. Upon this civility to my brother, my father sent and invited Mr. P覧n to dinner; (and you may be sure, he did not refuse him;) but quickly found the art of making himself so agreeable to my parents, that they were even uneasy whenever he was absent; which seldom happened, except when his duty required his attendance. He now began openly to court me; and, to my great surprise, neither of them seemed averse to it; but allowed him as much liberty of conversing with me, as a reasonable man could desire; and for my own part, he gained so large a share in my esteem; that as they seemed to approve of him, I was very well satisfied.

One year passed on in this manner, during which time, Mr. P覧n never omitted anything to convince me of the sincerity of his passion; and though he saw me every day, and all the day; yet every day was still but as the first.

So eager was he still to see me more.

The ensuing spring, my mother took a lodging, about a mile from Dublin, by the seaside, for the benefit of bathing, where my father and Mr. P覧n came every afternoon together to visit us, but my father's business seldom permitting him to stay above half an hour; he generally left Mr. P覧n with us; who, one night happening to stay later than ordinary, left a gold watch, and a handsome diamond ring in my possession; lest, as he said, he should be robbed of them going home. My father and he, coming to us the next day, (according to custom) I brought to Mr. P覧n his ring and watch; but he would by no means, accept of either, but insisted on my keeping them as a present; my father and mother were both by; and neither of them showing any dislike to it, I was, with great reluctance, obliged by him to take them.

I mention these particulars, trifling as they are; because I have been accused of disobedience to my parents, in marrying without their consent or knowledge; whereas they were acquainted with the affair from beginning to end; neither was I any more than passive in it; never having allowed myself to have any will but theirs.

My father was at this time, so eminent in his profession, and lived after so elegant manner, that everybody concluded, he was able to give me a very good fortune; and few people could believe, he countenanced Mr. P覧n's addresses to me; he neither having any preferment in the church, nor any other fortune: and whatever merit an Irish clergyman may possess, he has little hope of advancement by it, unless he has some relation in the House of Commons, who by betraying the interest of his country, can procure for him

The leavings of a church distressed,
A hungry vicarage at best;
Or some remote inferior post,
With forty pounds a year at most

And in this, the present state of poor Ireland, nearly resembles that of England, under the reign of Queen Mary; when as soon as a bishopric became vacant, an Italian was immediately nominated to it. Ireland groans under the same calamity: an English Vi遥, English judges, English bishops, with their long train of relations and dependents, lay their hard hands on all preferments; while her learned sons languish out life, in hopeless poverty and dejection of spirit.

I have frequently observed it, as a want of policy in the English government, to permit the people of Ireland to have a university: learning naturally inspires men with the love of liberty; the principles of which ought to be discouraged in the minds of those, whom their masters are pleased to condemn to slavery, want and oppression; unless, perhaps it may be done with the cruel intent of making their yoke the more galling to them.

Ireland, while free, was remarkable for producing brave and valiant men. Ever witness for her,

Her matchless sons! Whose valour still remained,
On French records for twenty long campaigns;
Yet from an Empress, now a captive grown;
She saved Britannia's right, and lost her own.


I hope I shall be pardoned by all true patriots for this digression; if not, I can only make use of Falstaff's apology; That rebellion lay in my way, and I found it.

But to resume my thread. All my friends and relations attacked my father warmly on this head; who solemnly declared, 'He knew nothing of any amorous correspondence between Mr. P覧n and his daughter, that the gentleman came to visit us, as being parishioners:' but withal declared: 'Since such a report was spread, he would civilly forbid him the house;' which accordingly he ordered my mother to do. Mr. P覧n came, as usual, and my mother delivered her dreadful commission to him. No sooner was the fatal sentence pronounced; but my astonished lover fell pale and speechless to the floor; and to say the truth, my case was little better than his: I raised him in my arms, and, senseless, as he seemed, he grasped me close, and leaned his drooping head upon my bosom; whilst my mother applied remedies to him till he revived: when he came to himself, he blamed us for our care: saying, 'since I was lost, he could not, would not live.'

As I was naturally of a soft compassionate temper; the condition I saw him in pierced my very soul; but I was too much in awe of my mother to venture to say so at that time. So he left me with sorrow deeply imprinted in his countenance; and, as I believed, in his heart.

About two years before this, a young woman of about eighteen years of age, was brought to my father, by a stationer, to be by him instructed in midwifery: she was mistress of Hebrew, Greek, Latin and French; understood the mathematics, as well as most men: and what made these extraordinary talents yet more surprising, was, that her parents were poor illiterate country people; saw that her learning appeared like the gift poured out on the Apostles, of speaking all languages, without the pains of study; or, like the intuitive knowledge of angels: yet inasmuch as the power of miracles is ceased; we must allow she used human means for such great and excellent acquirements: and yet in a long friendship and familiarity with her, I could never obtain a satisfactory account from her on this head; only she said, 'she had received some little instruction from the Minister of the parish, when she could spare time from her needlework, to which she was closely kept by her mother:' she wrote elegantly both in verse and prose; and some of the most delightful hours I ever passed, were in the conversation of this female philosopher.

My father readily consented to accept of her as a pupil; and gave her a general invitation to his table, so that she and I were seldom asunder. My parents were well pleased with our intimacy, as her piety was not inferior to her learning. Whether it was owing to her own desire, or the envy of those who survived her, I know not; but of her various and beautiful writings, except one poem of hers in Mrs. Barber's works; I have never seen any published; 'Tis true, as her turn was chiefly to philosophical or divine subjects, they might not be agreeable to the present taste; yet could her heavenly muse descend from its sublime height to the easy epistolary style, and suit itself to my then gay disposition; as may appear by the two following poems: to make them intelligible, my reader must observe, that I being in a country town at the assizes time had writ her an account to Dublin of the principal entertainments I met with there and in the rest of the country. I must also beg pardon for publishing the compliments paid to me in them, which I really would omit were it possible. Her answer to my first letter was this:


The fleeting birds may soon in oceans swim,
And Northern whales through liquid azure skim:
The Dublin ladies their intrigues forsake;
To dress and scandal an aversion take;
When you can in the lonely forest walk,
And with some serious matron gravely talk,
Of possets, poultices, and waters stilled,
And monstrous casks with mead and cider filled;
How many hives of bees she has in store,
And how much fruit her trees this summer bore;
Or home returning in the yard can stand,
And feed the chickens from your bounteous hand:
Of each one's top-knot tell, and hatching pry,
Like Tully waiting for an augury.

When night approaches down to table sit
With a great crowd, choice meat, and little wit,
What horse won the last race, how mighty Tray
At the last famous hunting, caught the prey;
Surely, you can't, but such discourse despise,
Methinks I see displeasure in your eyes:
Oh my L誥ita, stay no longer there,
You'll soon forget, that you yourself are fair;
Why will you keep from us, from all that's gay,
There in a lonely solitude to stay?
When not a mortal through the year you view,
But bobbed wigged hunters, who their game pursue;
With so much ardour, they'd a cock or hare,
To thee in all thy blooming charms prefer.

You write of belles and beaus that there appear,
And gilded coaches, such as glitter here;
For gilded coaches, each estated clown
That gravely slumbers on the bench has one;
But beaux! They're young attorneys! Sure you mean!
Who thus appear to your romantic brain.
Alas! No mortal there can talk to you,
That love or wit, or softness ever knew:
All they can speak of's Capias's and law,
And writs to keep the country fools in awe.
And, if to wit, or courtship they pretend,
'Tis the same way that they a cause defend;
In which they give of lungs a vast expense,
But little passion, thought or eloquence:
Bad as they are, they'll soon abandon you,
And gain, and clamour, in the town pursue.
So haste to town, if even such fools you prize;
Or haste to town! And bless the longing eyes

The second was as follows

If my L誥itia still persists to love
The country village, and the shady grove,
The murm'ring riv'let and the turtles moan;
Despising all the grandeur of the town,
Where beauty triumphs, and where pleasure reigns,
And rounds of mirth relieve our daily pains;
Where George's mighty substitute appears,
And every face with blooming pleasure cheers;
Grafton! Whom never fair one saw unmoved,
Whom even great Churchill's beauteous offspring loved.
For him whate'er o'er all our kingdom's fine,
They in this happy place together join,
With him each warlike glitt'ring soldier goes,
With him the tender race of whining beaux;
In short, we've here all that may hope t'engage,
One of your wit, your beauty, and your age.

If all these powerful arguments should fail,
I'll in the tenderest part your heart assail;
The lovely Damon languishes and dies,
Nor can revive, but by your charming eyes;
But I forgot柚amma these lines must see,
So you shall hear no more of him from me.

As this lady was perfectly well acquainted with Mr. P覧n's regard for me, he applied to her to entreat a meeting at her lodgings, where I frequently went.

She had too much compassion for a despairing honourable lover to refuse his request; and accordingly she gave him notice the next visit that I made to her, after having asked my consent to it. Our interview was very melancholy, and his sighs and tears prevailed so much on my young soft heart, that, at last, I faithfully promised to be his; but added, 'we were both so young, that it would be prudent to wait till he had some preferment, or till my parents came into better temper; and that, in the meantime, I would see him, or write to him, as often as I conveniently could.'

I forgot to mention, that I had sent him his watch and ring some days before, he would fain have prevailed on me to take them again, but I absolutely refused them.

The next morning, my father told me, I must prepare to go and stay a year with my grandfather, who lived a hundred miles distant from Dublin, and that I must set out in two days. I made no answer, but thought proper to give Mr. P覧n notice of my departure, and easily prevailed on my brother to give him a letter, but heavens! How I was frightened when he returning in a few moments, told me, Mr. P覧n had stabbed himself with his penknife: I ran all in tears to my mother, entreating her permission to go and see him. She appeared much concerned, and sent for him to come to us, which pleasing summons he readily obeyed. But I could scarce forbear laughing at my own credulity, when my wounded swain came to us in perfect health. He had indeed given himself a scratch, on purpose to terrify us, and had just such a desperate wound as I have frequently received from the point of a pin, without complaining.

However, by this artifice he once more gained admission to us, and had an opportunity of ensuring my mother, 'that if she sent me to the West Indies, he would follow me;' and added also, 'that he was next heir to a good estate;' which was the most prevailing argument he could make use of to her; and took such an effect, that she not only kept him to supper, but so far indulged him, as to give him a key to the garden which opened into a little stable lane; by which means he could come in, and go out as often as he pleased unnoticed. As soon as he left us, my mother spoke to me in this manner: 'child, said she, I believe that young man loves you sincerely, neither have your father or I any objection to him; but in the light we appear in to the world, it would seem strange to accept of him, as a son-in-law. Your father is not, at present, able to give you a fortune; and I know most of those who address you, hope for one with you, and he chooses rather to reject them, than let them into his real circumstances: what I would therefore advise you to do is this: if you love this man, marry him; we shall at first seemed displeased, and then forgive it, and do for you everything within our power; as he is an ingenuous, sober man, your father's interests may soon get him a living, and till then ye shall both live with us.'

This discourse strangely surprised me, and left me doubtful how to act; to take to myself the reproach of disobedience, in the eyes of the world, appeared very shocking to me; and though I was resolved to marry Mr. P覧n some time or other, yet I was startled at the thought of doing it immediately, and told my mother my objections: however they appeared but trifling to her. The next morning she called me, pretty early, to breakfast, and to my great surprise, I found Mr. P覧n with my father, his harpsichord placed in the parlour, which, with a cat and an owl, were all his wordly goods.

He told me, with great rapture, that he was going for a ring and a licence to be married in the evening. As for my part, I thought he only jested, till my father confirmed it, by telling me, I must either resolve to marry immediately, or break off with Mr. P覧n entirely, leaving it to my choice which to do. I was too much confounded to make any other return than to give my hand to Mr. P覧n, who kissed it with great ecstasy; and my unfortunate nuptials being thus concluded, we were married privately in the evening, by the vicar general, having no other witnesses but my father and mother and his father, and we resolved to keep it secret for a few days to avoid the hurry and expense of matrimony. We went into the country to my uncle Brigadier Meade's seat for a fortnight; where my new espoused husband staying from me a whole day, in pursuit of his game (for he delighted in fowling) at his return, I presented him with the following lines, my first attempt at poetry that was not quite childish:

The Petition of the Birds.

Ah Shepherd, Gentle Shepherd! Spare
Us plumed inhabitants of air,
That hop, and inoffensive rove
From tree to tree, from grove to grove;
What frenzy has possessed your mind?
To be destructive of your kind
Admire not if we kindred claim,
Our separate natures are the same,
To each of us thou ow'st a part,
To grace thy person, head or heart;
The chaste, the fond, the tender dove,
Inspires thy breast with purest love;
The towering eagle claims a part
In thy courageous generous heart;
On thee the finch bestowed a voice,
To bid the raptured soul rejoice;
The Hawk has given thee eyes, so bright,
They kindle love and soft delight;
Thy snowy hue and graceful mien,
May in the stately swan be seen;
The Robin's plumes afford the red,
Which thy soft lips and cheeks bespread;
Thy filial piety and truth,
The stork bestowed to crown thy youth.
Did we these several gifts bestow?
To give perfection to a foe?
Did we so many virtues give,
To thee too fierce to let us live?
Suspend your rage and every grove,
Shall echo songs of grateful love.
Let pity soothe and sway your mind,
And be the Phoenix of mankind.

This little poetical essay met with more applause than it really merited, on account of my youth, and was extremely acceptable to Mr. P覧n, who with the raptures of an enamoured bridegroom, read it to every person whom he thought possessed of taste or genius.

On our return to town, we received the visits and compliments of all our acquaintance; every one of whom my mother assured, I had married without their consent; but this was not all, for she said it so often, that at length she persuaded herself it was so; and made it a pretence for giving me all imaginable ill treatment, both in public and private, which having no remedy, I was obliged to bear as patiently as I could; for if I quitted her house, I had no place to go to, as Mr. P覧n's whole income would scarcely have paid the rent of a tolerable ready furnished lodging; however I had some consolation in Mr. P覧n's tenderness, which seemed daily to increase for me, and in the conversation of a very agreeable set of friends, some of whom it may not be amiss to give a particular description.

In the first place, I had the honour of being well received by Mrs. Percival who is married to the brother of the Earl of Egmont, to whose virtues I cannot refuse doing justice, (although her censures of me have not been over-charitable) a lady of most universal genius, there being no one accomplishment which adorns a woman of quality but what she possessed; and her station gave her an opportunity of showing them to advantage; she was also extremely happy in her family; her husband was a most worthy gentleman; both her sons men of sense and honour, and one of her daughters very agreeable, it may easily be supposed this Belle Assembly engaged the company of all the learned and polite world; every night was a drawing-room, and the ingenious and curious of both sexes went home delighted and improved. As my father was physician to Mrs. Percival, and her elder son married to a near relation of mine; I had at all times free access, and so found a frequent pleasing relief from my vexations.

I had also the much envied honour of being known to Dr. Swift, whose genius excellent as it was, surpassed not his humanity in the most judicious and useful charities, although often hid under a rough appearance, till he was perfectly convinced both of the honesty and distress of those he bestowed it on: he was a perpetual friend to merit and learning; and utterly incapable of envy, indeed why should he not? Who in true genuine wit could fear no rival.

Yet as I have frequently observed in life, that where great talents are bestowed, there the strongest passions are likewise given: this truly great man did but too often let them have dominion over him, and that on the most trifling occasions. During mealtimes he was ever more in a storm; the meat was always too much or too little done, or the servants had offended in some point, imperceptible to the rest of the company; however when the cloth was taken away, he made his guests rich amends for the pain he had given them by the former part of his behaviour. For

Then was truly mingled in
覧The friendly bowl
The feast of reason and the flow of soul.

Yet strict temperance preserved, for the doctor never drank above half a pint of wine, in every glass of which, he mixed water and sugar; yet, if he liked his company, would sit many hours over it, unlocking all the springs of policy, learning, true humour and inimitable wit.

It is a very great loss to the world, that this admirable gentleman never could be prevailed on to give us the particulars of his own life; because as it is the fate of all eminent persons to have various characters given of them, so it was more remarkably his: one reason for this may justly be assigned; that as at his first setting out Party ran high; those who on either side had any talent for writing, spared not to throw the blackest aspersions on the other; so that if we give them both credit, we must conclude there was neither honour and virtue among them, but that all were in the ministry, and all who are out, Tories and Whigs, Whigs and Tories, were equally corrupt: indeed ambition is a grand deceiver, and apt to undermine integrity itself; and this the Doctor himself was so sensible of, that I have frequently heard him declare 'He thought it a great blessing that all his hopes of preferment were at once cut off, insomuch that he had nothing to tempt or mislead him from a patriotism, in which his grateful country found their happiness and security.'

This leads me to a story, I remember to have heard him tell, and therefore, I hope, cannot be impertinent:

A clergyman, whose character greatly resembled that I have heard Bishop Berkeley give to Bishop Atterbury; namely a most learned fine gentlemen, who under the softest and politest appearance conceived the most turbulent ambition: this clergyman having made his merit, as a preacher, too eminent to be overlooked, had it early rewarded with a mitre; his friend Dr. Swift went to congratulate him on it, but at the same time told him, 'he hoped, as his Lordship was a native of Ireland, and now had a seat in the house of Peers, he would employ his powerful elocution in the service of his distressed country.' The prelate told him, 'the bishopric was but a very small one, and he could not hope for a better, if he did not oblige the court.' 'Very well, says Swift, then 'tis to be hoped, when you have a better, you will become an honest man.' 'Aye, that I will, Mr. Dean, says he, till then, my Lord, farewell.' This pious prelate was twice translated to richer sees; and on every translation, Dr. Swift waited on him to remind him of his promise, but to no purpose; there was now an archbishopric in view, and till that was obtained, nothing could be done: this in a short time he likewise possessed; he then sent for the Dean and told him, 'I am now at the top of my preferment, for I well know no Irishman will ever be made primate, therefore as I can rise no higher in fortune or station, I will zealously promote the good of my country.' (A fine reason truly.) And so he commenced a most outrageous patriot, from those very laudable motives, and continued so till his death, which happened within these few years.

I hope my readers will indulge me in the frequent mention I shall make of Dr. Swift; for though his works are universally known, and as universally esteemed; yet few persons now living, have had so many opportunities of seeing him in private life; as my being a person sans consequence afforded me, which happiness I obtained by the following means:

The learned nymph before mentioned, whom curiosity engaged every person to see, had shown many of my scribbles to Dr. Delany, known sufficiently by his own incomparable life and writings: as she was one of the first to congratulate me on my marriage; she was a witness how severely both Mr. P覧n and I were used, or rather abused by my mother; she told Dr. Delany of it, and made such favourable mention of the poor young couple, that he generously imagined his countenancing Mr. P覧n might be a means of procuring us better treatment; he had been class-fellow with my father in the college, and though they did not visit, yet they had that mutual esteem for each other, which good men feel for good men; and were pleased whenever accident threw them into each other's company. The doctor preaching at our parish church immediately after our marriage, was so kind as to join us coming out, and accompany us home, to wish the young couple joy, a favour we were all extremely proud of; at parting gave us all an invitation to dine at his beautiful villa, about a small mile distance from Dublin; what opinion I conceived of him and his improvements, may be seen in the following lines, composed in one of his lovely arbours:

Delville the seat of the Rev Dr. Delany.

Hail happy Delville! Blissful seat!
The muse's best beloved retreat!
With prospects large and unconfined;
Blessed emblem of their master's mind!
Where fragrant gardens, painted meads,
Wide opening walks, and twilight shades,
Inspiring scenes! elate the heart!
Nature improved and raised by art;
So Paradise delightful smiled,
Blooming, and beautifully wild.

Thrice happy Sage, who safe retired,
By heaven and by the muse inspired;
In polished arts, or lays sublime,
Or God-like acts employ your time.
Here nature's beauties you explore,
And searching her mysterious store,
Through all her operations find
The image of the sovereign mind,
And in each insect, plant and flower,
Contemplate the creating power,
Nor is thy love of him alone
In fruitless speculation shown
Through life you happily exert
The Christian virtues of your heart,
To give new schemes of culture birth,
And bless and beautify the Earth,
To raise the afflicted from despair,
And make the friendless wretch thy care;
To thee the highest bliss is given,
A soul to praise, and copy heaven.

Whether it was owing to my youth, or any real merit in the verses, I know not, but weak as they were, from the candour of the company they met with great applause, and the worthy gentleman to whom they were directed, praised the poetry extremely, only modestly wished I had a better subject to employ my fine genius, as he was pleased to call it.

I hope, if I should live to publish these writings, none of the honourable persons mentioned in them as having been once my friends will be offended at it, since whatever misfortunes have since befallen me, I was not then quite unworthy of the regard they showed me, and still retain a grateful sense of their favour; only lamenting that by one fatal folly it is irrecoverably lost.

And now I must confess as I have talked of ambition, I had a strong one to be known to Dr. Swift: as Dr. Delany had recommended and introduced Mr. P覧n to him, and the learned lady before mentioned; I thought it a little hard to be excluded from the delight and instruction I might possibly receive from such conversation; and having often remonstrated on this head, to no purpose, I at last told them, (for to give me my due, I was pretty pert) 'that truly they were envious, and would not let me see the Dean, knowing how much I surpassed them all.' As I spoke this but half serious, I set them all a laughing, and as they were to meet the next day at the deanery house to keep the anniversary of his birthday; I enclosed to Dr. Delany the following lines:

To the Rev Dr. Swift. On his birthday.

While I the God-like men of old,
In admiration wrapped, behold!
Revered antiquity explore,
And turned the long-lived volumes o'er,
Where Cato, Plutarch, Flaccus, shine
In every excellence divine;
I grieve that our degenerate days,
Produce no mighty souls like these;
Patriot, philosopher and bard,
Are names unknown, and seldom heard.
Spare your reflection, Ph彙us cries,
'Tis as grateful as unwise;
Can you complain this sacred day,
That virtues, or that arts decay?
Behold in Swift revived appears
The virtues of unnumbered years,
Behold in him with new delight,
The patriot, bard and Sage unite;
And know Ierne in that name
Shall rival Greece and Rome in fame.

Dr. Delany presented these lines to the Dean, and at the same time told him my saucy speech above-mentioned. The Dean kindly accepted of my compliment, and said, 'he would see me whenever I pleased.' A most welcome message to me!

A few days after, the Dean sent the Doctor word, he would dine with him at Delville, and desired to meet Mr. and Mrs. P覧n there: you may be assured I obeyed this welcome summons, and a gentlewoman was so kind as to call on me to go with her; when we arrived, Dr. Delany's servant told us, his master, the Dean and Mr. P覧n were walking in the garden; we met them on a noble terrace, whose summit was crowned with a magnificent portico, where painting and sculpture displayed their utmost charms: the lady presented me to the Dean, who saluted me, and surprised me, by asking her, 'if I was her daughter?' She smiled and said, 'I was Mrs. P覧n.' 'What,' says he, 'this poor little child married! God help her, she is early engaged in trouble.' We passed the day in a most elegant and delightful manner; and the Dean engaging Mr. P覧n to preach for him at the cathedral the Sunday following, gave me also with the rest of the company an invitation to dinner. As the Communion is administered every Sunday in this antique church, dedicated to St. Patrick, the first prelate who taught the gospel in Ireland: I was charmed to see what a becoming piety the Dean performed that solemn service, which he had so much at heart, that he wanted not the assistance of the liturgy, but went quite through it without ever looking in the prayer book; indeed another part of his behaviour on this occasion was censured by some as favouring of Popery, which was, that he bowed to the holy-table; however this circumstance may vindicate him from the wicked aspiration of being deemed an unbeliever, since 'tis plain he had the utmost reverence for the Eucharist. Service being over, we met the Dean at the church door, surrounded by a crowd of poor, to all of whom he gave to charity, excepting one old woman, who held out a very dirty hand to him; he told her, very gravely, 'that though she was a beggar, water was not so scarce but she might have washed her hands:' and so we marched with the silver verge before us to the deanery house; when we came into the parlour, the Dean kindly saluted me, and without allowing the time to sit down, bade me come and see his study; Mr. P覧n was for following us, but the Dean told him merrily, he did not desire his company; and so he ventured to trust me with him into the library: 'well,' says he, 'I have brought you here to show you all the money I got when I was in the Ministry, but don't steal any of it.' 'I won't indeed, Sir,' says I; so he opened a Cabinet, and showed me a whole parcel of empty drawers; 'bless me,' says he, 'the money is flown;' then he opened his bureau, wherein he had a great number of curious trinkets of various kinds, some of which he told me, 'were presented to him by the Earl and Countess of Oxford; some by Lady Masham and some by Lady Betty Germain;' at last coming to a drawer filled with medals; he bade me choose two for myself; but he could not help smiling, when I began to poise them in my hands, choosing them by weight rather than antiquity, of which indeed I was not then a judge.

The Dean amused me in this manner till we were summoned to dinner, where his behaviour was so humorous, that I cannot avoid relating some part of it: he placed himself at the head of his table opposite to a great pier glass, under which was a marble sideboard, so that he could see in the glass whatever the servants did at it; he was served entirely in plate, and with great elegance; but the beef being over-roasted put us all in confusion, the Dean called for the cook -maid, and ordered her to take it downstairs and do it less; the maid answered, very innocently, 'that she could not:' 'Why, what sort of a creature are you, says he, to commit a fault that cannot be amended?' And turning to me he said very gravely, 'that he hoped, as the cook was a woman of genius, he should, by this manner of arguing, be able in about a year's time to convince her she had better send up the meat too little than too much done;' charging the men servants, 'whenever they imagined the meat was ready, they should take it spit and all, and bring it up by force, promising to aid them, in case the cook resisted.' The Dean then turning his eye on the looking glass, espied the Butler opening a bottle of ale, and helping himself to the first glass, he very kindly jumbled the rest together, that his master and guests might all share alike. 'Ha! Friend,' says the Dean, 'sharp's the word, I find you drank my ale, for which I stop two shillings of your board wages this week, for I scorn to be outdone in anything, even in cheating.' Dinner at last was over to my great joy, for now I had hope of a more agreeable entertainment than what the squabbling with the servants had afforded us.

The Dean thanked Mr. P覧n for his sermon: 'I never,' says he, 'preached but twice in my life, and then they were not sermons, but pamphlets.' I asked him 'what might be the subject of them;' he told me, 'They were against Woods' halfpence.' 'Pray, madam, do you smoke?' 'No indeed, sir,' says I;' 'Nor your husband?' 'Neither, Sir:' ''Tis a sign', said he, 'you were neither of you bred in the University of Oxford; for drinking and smoking are the first rudiments of learning taught there; and in those two arts no university in Europe can out-do them.' 'Pray Mrs. P覧n tell me your faults;' 'Indeed, Sir, I must beg be to be excused, for if I can help it, you shall never find them out;' 'No,' says he, 'then Mr. P覧n shall tell me;' 'I will, Sir,' says he, 'when I have discovered them.' 'Pray Mr. Dean,' says Dr. Delany, 'why will you be so unpolite, as to suppose Mrs. P覧n has any faults?' 'Why, I'll tell you,' replied the Dean; 'whenever I see a number of agreeable qualities in any person, I am always sure, they have bad ones sufficient to poise the scale.' I bowed, and told the Dean, 'He gave me great honour:' and in this I copied Bishop Berkeley; whom I have frequently heard to declare, 'that when any speech was made to him, which might be construed either into a compliment, or an affront, or, (that to make use of his own word) had two handles; he was so meek and so mild, but he always took hold of the best.'

The Dean then asked me, 'if I was a Queen, what I should choose to have after dinner?' I answered, 'His conversation;' 'Phooh!' says he, 'I mean what regale?' 'A dish of coffee, Sir;' 'Why then I will so far make you as happy as a queen, you shall have some in perfection; for when I was chaplain to the Earl of Berkeley, who was in the government here, I was so poor, I was obliged to keep a coffeehouse, and all the nobility resorted to it to talk treason:' I could not help smiling at this oddity, but I really had such an awe on me, that I could not venture to ask him, as I longed to do, what it meant? The bottle and glasses being taken away; the Dean set about making the coffee, but the fire scorching his hand, he called to me to reach him his glove, and changing the coffee-pot to his left hand, held out his right one, ordered me to put the glove on it, which accordingly I did, when taking up part of his gown to fan himself with; and acting in character of a prudish lady, he said, 'well, I don't know what to think; women may be honest that do such things, but for my part, I never could bear to touch any man's flesh容xcept my husband's, whom perhaps,' says he, 'she wished at the devil.'

'Mr. P覧n,' says he, 'you would not tell me your wife's faults; but I have found her out to be a d覧n'd insolent proud, unmannerly slut:' I looked confounded, not knowing what offence I had committed.祐ays Mr. P覧n, 'Aye sir, I must confess she is a little too saucy to me sometimes, but謡hat has she done now?' 'Done! Why nothing, but sat there quietly, and never once offered to interrupt me in making the coffee, whereas had I a lady of modern good breeding here, she would have struggled with me for the coffee-pot till she had made me scald myself and her, and made me throw the coffee in the fire; or perhaps at her head, rather than permit me to take so much trouble for her.'

This raised my spirits, and as I found the Dean always prefaced a compliment with an affront, I never afterwards was startled at the latter, (as too many have been, not entering into his peculiarly ironical strain) but was modestly contented with former, which was more than I deserved, and which the surprise rendered doubly pleasing.

By this time, the bell rang the church; and Dr. Delany and Mr. P覧n, who with myself were now all the company, (for the rest departed before the coffee was out) were obliged to attend the summons: but as there is no service in Cathedral, but evening prayer at six o'clock, I chose rather to attend the Dean there, than go to another sermon; by this means, I had him all to myself for near three hours, during which time he made me read to him the annals of the four last years of the reign of Queen Anne, written by himself; the intentions of which seemed to be a vindication of the then ministry and himself, from having any design of placing the pretender on the throne of Great Britain: it began with a solemn adjuration that all the facts therein contained were truth, and then proceeded in the manner of Lord Clarendon, with giving the particular characters of every person whom he should have occasion to mention; amongst whom, I remember, he compared Lord Bolingbroke to Petronius, (one who agreeably mingled business with pleasure) at the conclusion of every period, he demanded of me, 'whether I understood it? For I would,' says he, 'have it intelligent to the meanest capacity, and if you comprehend it, it is possible everybody may.' I bowed and assured him, 'I did.' And indeed it was written with such perspicuity and elegance and style, that I must have had no capacity at all if I did not taste what was so exquisitely beautiful.

Mr. P覧n, when he was chaplain to Alderman Barber, in the year of his mayoralty; mentioned those annals to Mr. Pope, who said he had dissuaded the Dean from publishing them; as the facts contained in them were notoriously false. I was greatly astonished when Mr. P覧n told me this, nor could I tell what to determine: it seemed strange to me, that a person of the Dean's good sense and veracity, should in the most solemn manner implicate the Almighty to bear testimony to falsehoods, publicly known to be such. And yet as Mr. Pope was in prose a man of unquestioned probity, and united to the Dean in the strictest bonds of friendship, and consequently, without doubt, well acquainted with the transactions of those times, we can hardly suppose he would speak in the manner he did, without just grounds for so doing; and his evidence is strengthened by his being of the Romish religion, which would certainly incline him to wish well to a Prince of the same faith. However, upon the whole, I am inclined to judge charitably of the Dean, and to believe that though the ministers frequently employed him as a writer, and entertained him as a companion; yet they had not let him into the depths of their designs, the mystery of iniquity! So that what he relates in his annals of the inviolable attachment of those in power to the Hanover succession and the Protestant faith, might be by him believed to be truth: for who so wise but may be deceived? And perhaps Mr. Pope's long and intimate correspondence with Lord Bolingbroke gave him a better knowledge of what was really intended at that critical juncture. Pardon this digression.

The bell rang for evening prayer, to which I accompanied the Dean. There is a fine organ in this church, which with its antique magnificence and so harmonious a choir, brought Milton's lines into my mind:

But let my due feet never fail,
To walk the studious cloisters pale,
And love the high embowed roof
With antique pillars massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Shedding a dim religious light.
There let the pealing organ blow,
To the full-voiced choir below,
In service high! and anthem clear,
As may with sweetness, through mine ear,
Dissolve me into ecstasies,
And bring all Heaven before my eyes.

On our return to the deanery house, we found there waiting our coming Dr. Delany and Mr. Rochford, to whose wife, A Letter of Advice to a New-married Lady, (published since in the Dean's works) was written, and which by the by, the lady did not take as a compliment, either to her or to her sex: Mr. P覧n, Dr. Sheridan, author of the art of punning, with two or three other clergyman, (who usually passed Sunday evening with the Dean). Mr. P覧n and I were for going home, but the Dean and told us 'he gave us leave to stay to supper;' which from him, was a sufficient invitation. The Dean then pulled out of his pocket, a little gold runlet, in which was a bottle screw, and opening a bottle of wine, he decanted it off; the last glass being muddy, he called to Mr. P覧n to drink it: 'For,' says he, 'I always keep some poor Parson to drink the foul wine for me:' Mr. P覧n entering into his humour, thanked him, and told him, 'He did not know the difference, but was glad to get a glass at any rate:' 'why then,' says the Dean, 'you shan't, for I will drink it myself: why p踊 take you, you are wiser than a paltry curate whom I asked to dine with me a few days ago; for upon my making the same speech to him, he told me he did not understand such usage, and so walked off without his dinner. By the same token, I told the gentleman who recommended him to me, that the fellow was a blockhead, and I had done with him.'

The Dean and then missing his golden bottle screw, told me, very sternly, 'he was sure I had stolen it:' I affirmed, very seriously, 'I had not:' upon which he looked for it, and found it where he himself had laid it; ''Tis well for you,' says he, 'that I have got it, or I would have charged you with theft:' 'Why, pray, sir, should I be suspected more than any other person in the company?' 'For a very good reason,' says he 'because you are the poorest.'

Then came in, to sup with the Dean, one of the oddest little mortals I ever met with: he formerly wrote the Gazetteer; and upon the strength of being an author, and having travelled; took upon him not only to dictate to the company, to contradict whatever any other person advanced right or wrong, till he had entirely silenced them all: and then having the whole talk to himself, (for, to my great surprise, the Dean neither interrupted nor showed any dislike of him:) he told us such a whole string of improbabilities, such as, 'that each pillar of St. Peter's at Rome took up more ground than a convent which was near it, wherein were 12 monks, with their Chapel, garden and infirmary.' By this account, every pillar must take up, at least, half an acre, and considering the number of them, we must conclude the edifice to be some miles in circumference. No one present had ever been at Rome, except himself, so that he might tell us just what he thought proper.

I took notice, that before this dogmatical gentleman, the Dean was most remarkably complaisant to Mr. P覧n and me, and at our going away, the Dean would hand me down all the steps to the coach, thanking us for the honour of our company, at the same time sliding into my hand as much money as Mr. P覧n and I had given at the offering in the morning and coach-hire also, which I durst not refuse, lest I should have been deemed as great a blockhead as the Parson who refused the thick wine.

It has been a matter of dispute amongst the learned, whether England or Ireland had the honour of giving to the world this admirable person; 'tis probable posterity may contend this point, as warmly as the seven cities of Greece did the birthplace of Homer: and though in reality, 'tis of no great importance where a man is born; yet as the Irish are the eternal ridicule of the English for their ignorance, I am proud Hibernia had the happiness of producing this brilliant wit to redeem the credit of the country, as to convince the world, a man may draw his first breath there, and yet be learned, wise, generous, religious, witty, social and polite.

The account I have frequently heard the Dean give of himself, was, that he was born in Hoey's Alley, in Warburgh's Parish, Dublin; his father was a lawyer, and returning from the circuit, he unfortunately brought home the itch with him, which he had got by lying in some foul bed on the road. Somebody advised him to use mercury to cure it, which prescription, cost him his life in a very few days after his return. The Dean was a posthumous son to this gentleman, but, as he said, came time enough to save his mother's credit. He was given to an Irish woman to nurse, whose husband being in England, and writing to her to come to him; as she could not bear the thoughts of parting with the child, she very fairly took him with her, unknown to his mother, or any of his relations, who could learn no tidings either of him or her for three years, at the end of which time, she returned to Ireland, and restored the child to his mother, from whom she easily obtained a pardon, both on account of the joy she conceived at seeing her only son again, when she had in a manner lost all hope of it, as also, that it was plain, the nurse had no other motive for stealing him, but pure affection, which the women of Ireland generally have in as eminent degree, for the children they nurse, as for their own offspring.

I believe the Dean's early youth did not promise that bright day of wit which has since enlightened the learned world. Whilst he was at the University of Dublin, he was so far from being distinguished for any superiority of parts or learning, that he was stopped of his degree as a dunce. When I heard the Dean relate this circumstance, for I set down nothing but what I had from his own mouth, I told him, I supposed he had been idle, but he affirmed to the contrary; assuring me, he was really dull, which, if true, is very surprising.

I have often been led to look on the world as a garden, and the human minds as so many plants, set by the hand of the great Creator for utility and ornament. Thus, some we see, early produce beautiful blossoms, and as soon fade away; others, whose gems are more slow in unfolding, but more permanent, when blown; and others again, who though longer in arriving at perfection, not only bless us then with shade and odour, but also with delicious wholesome fruit. To go on with the allegory, we often hear from children very bright sallies of wit, and reflections above their years. From these hopeful beginnings we are apt to expect something very extraordinary in their maturity, but how often are we disappointed? How often do we see these sparkling children dwindle gradually into the most humdrum men and women, as if, to make use of the florists' phrase the blow was quite over; and some whose childhood has given no presages of great talents, have improved every year, till they have brought forth the beautiful flowers of poetry and rhetoric, and the rich fruits of wisdom, and virtue.

Whether this comparison will hold, I submit to the judgement of those who are better acquainted with the secret workings of nature, than I can presume to be. I am afraid of going out of my depth, and yet I have a great inclination to say a little more on this subject.

I have known a person, who in his youth was an extraordinary adept in music, and performed on several instruments extremely well. I saw the same person some years after, and lo! his musical talent was entirely lost, and he was then a very good painter. Now I could not help forming a notion in my own mind, that as our ideas depend on the fibres of the brain, it was possible they might by the continual use of some particular one, weaken it so as to make it perish, and at the same time, another might exert from that very cause itself with double strength. Thus, I suppose, when this gentleman's musical fibres perished, his painting ones shot forth with vigour. If there be any truth in this whim of mine, which I own, I am fond of believing myself, we may easily account for the various dispositions which we meet with, even in the same person at different periods of life.

But to return. Although it is not in my power to give a succinct account of the Dean's life, neither have I any intention to attempt it, yet I believe I am better qualified to do it, than most of those who have undertaken it, as they were absolute strangers to him, and related things upon hearsay. The Dean for the latter part of his life, contracting his acquaintance into a very narrow compass, for as he was frequently deaf, he thought this infirmity made him troublesome, and therefore kept no company but such as he could be so free with, as to bid them speak loud, or repeat what they had said. It was owing to this, that Mr. P覧n and I frequently passed whole days with him, while numbers of our betters were excluded; and as he was like another Nestor, full of days and wisdom, so like him, he was pretty much upon the narrative, than which, nothing could be more delightful to me as pleasure, and instruction flowed from his lips. His words

Drew audience, and attention still as night
Or Summer's noontide air.

I remember in one of these periodical fits of deafness, for they returned in certain seasons on him, he for sent me early in the morning, he told me when I came, he had found employment for me, so he brought me out of his study a large book, very finely bound in Turkey leather, and handsomely gilt, this, says he, is a translation of the epistles of Horace, a present to me from the author, 'tis a special good cover! But I have a mind, there should be something valuable within side of it; so taking out his penknife, he cut out all the leaves close to the inner margin. Now, says he, I will give these what they greatly want, and put them all into the fire. He then brought out two drawers filled with letters: 'Your task, madam, is to paste in these letters, in this cover, in the order I shall give them to you, I intended to do it myself, but that I thought it might be a pretty amusement for a child, so I sent for you.' I told him, 'I was extremely proud to be honoured with his commands: but, sir, may I presume to make a request to you.' 'Yes,' says he, 'but ten to one I shall deny it.' 'I hope not, sir, 'tis this: may I have leave to read the letters as I go on?' 'Why, provided you will acknowledge yourself amply rewarded for your trouble, I don't much care if I indulge you so far; but are you sure you can read?' 'I don't know Sir, I'll try.' 'When then begin with this:' it was a letter from Lord Bolingbroke, dated six o'clock in the morning; it began with the remark, how differently that hour appeared to him now, rising cool, serene, and temperate, to contemplate the beauties of nature, to what it had done in some former part of his life, when he was either in the midst of excesses, or returning home sated with them, so he proceeded to describe the numberless advantages with which temperance and virtue bless their votaries, and the miseries which attend a contrary course. The epistle was pretty long, and the most refined piece of moral philosophy I ever met with, as indeed everyone of his were, and I had the unspeakable delight of reading several of them.

Nor can I be at all surprised that Mr. Pope should so often celebrate a genius who for sublimity of thought, and elegance and style, has few equals. The rest of the Dean's correspondents were, the Lady Masham, the Earl of Oxford, Dr. Atterbury, Bishop Burnet, Lord Bathurst, Mr. Addison, Archdeacon Parnell, Mr. Congreve, Mr. Pulteney, Mr. Pope, Mr. Gay, Dr. Arbuthnot; a noble and a learned set! So my readers may judge what a banquet I had. I could not avoid remarking to the Dean, that notwithstanding the friendship Mr. Pope professed for Mr. Gay, he could not forbear a great many satirical, or if I may be allowed to say so, envious remarks on the success of the Beggar's Opera. The Dean very frankly owned, he did not think Mr. Pope was so candid to the merits of other writers, as he ought to be. I then ventured to ask the Dean, whether he thought the lines Mr. Pope addresses with, in the beginning of the Dunciad, were any compliment to him? viz.

O thou! Whatever title please thine ear. Dunc.

'I believe,' says he, 'they were meant as such, but they are very stiff;''Indeed, Sir,' said I, 'he is so perfectly a master of harmonious numbers, that had his heart been the least affected with his subject, he must have writ better; how called, how forced, are his lines to you, compared with yours to him.'

Hail happy Pope whose generous mind.
[Note: See Swift's Libel on Lord Carteret.]

Here we see the masterly poet, and the warm, sincere, generous friend; while he, according to the character he gives of Mr. Addison, damns with faint praise.'Well,' replied the Dean, 'I'll show you a later letter of his;' (to me) he did so; and I own, I was surprised to find it filled with low and ungentleman-like reflections both on Mr. Gay and the two noble persons who honoured him with their patronage after his disappointment at court. 'Well, madam,' said the Dean, 'what do you think of that letter?' (Seeing I had gone quite through it:)'Indeed, Sir,' returned I, 'I am sorry I have read it; for it gives me reason to think there is no such thing as a sincere friend to be met with in the world.' 'Why,' replied he, 'authors are as jealous of their prerogative as Kings, and can no more bear a rival in the Empire of wit, than a monarch could in his dominions:' 'But, Sir,' said I, 'here is a Latin sentence writ in italics, which I suppose, means something particular, will you be so kind to explain it?' 'No,' replied he,' smiling,'I'll leave that for your husband to do;悠'll send for him to come and dine with us, and in the meantime we'll go and take a walk in Naboth's vineyard:' 'Where may that be, pray Sir?''Why, a garden悠 cheated one of my neighbours out of;'邑hen we entered the garden, or rather the field, which was square, and enclosed with a stone wall, the Dean asked me how I liked it? 'Why, pray,' said I, 'where is the garden?' 'Look behind you,' said he; I did so, and observed the south wall was lined with brick, and a great number of fruit trees planted against it, which being then in blossom, looked very beautiful. 'What are you so intent on,' said the Dean? 'The opening blooms, Sir, which brought Waller's lines to my remembrance:

Hope waits upon the flowery prime.

'Oh!' replied he, 'you are in a poetical vein, I thought you had been taking notice of my wall, 'tis the best in Ireland; when the masons were building it, (as most tradesmen are rogues) I watched them very close, and as often as they could they put in a rotten stone, of which, however, I took no notice, till they had built three or four perches beyond it; now as I am an absolute monarch in the liberties [Note: liberties belonging to the Dean] and King of the mob, my way with them was to have the wall thrown down to the place where I observed the rotten stone, and by doing so five or six times, the workmen were at last convinced it was their interests to be honest;' 'Or else, Sir,' said I, 'your wall would have been as tedious a piece of work as Penelope's web, if all that was done in the day was to be undone at night:' 'Well,' answered he, 'I find you have poetry for every occasion; but as you can't keep pace with me in walking;' for indeed I was not quite so light then, as I had been some months before; 'I would have you sit down on that little bank, till you are rested or I tired, to put us more upon a par.'

I seated myself, and away the Dean walked, or rather trolled, as hard as ever he could drive. I could not help smiling at his odd gait, for I thought to myself, he had written so much in praise of horses, that he was resolved to imitate them as nearly as he could: as I was indulging this fancy, the Dean returned to me, and gave me a strong confirmation of his partiality to those animals; 'I have been considering, madam, as I walked,' said he, 'what a fool Mr. P覧n was to marry you, for he could have afforded to keep a horse for less money than you cost him; and that, you must confess, would have given him better exercise and more pleasure than a wife:謡hy you laugh and don't answer me擁s not it truth?' 'I must answer you, Sir, with another question; pray how can a bachelor judge of this matter?' 'I find,' said he, 'you are vain enough to give yourself the preference;' 'I do, Sir, to that species here, a Houyhnhnm, I would, as becomes me, give place to: but, Sir, 'tis going to rain;''I hope not,' said he, 'for that will cost me sixpence for a coach for you, (this garden being at some distance from his house) come, haste, O how the tester trembles in my pocket!' I obeyed, and we got indoors just time enough to escape a heavy shower. 'Thank God,' said the Dean, 'I have saved my money; here, you fellow, (to his servant) carry this sixpence to the lame old man that sells gingerbread at the corner, because he tries to do something, and does not beg.'

The Dean showed me into a little Street-parlour, (where sat his housekeeper, a matron-like gentlewoman at work) 'Here,' says he, 'Mrs. Brent, take care of this child, (meaning me) and see she does no mischief, while I take my walk out, within doors:' The deanery house has, I know not how many pair of back stairs in it, the preceding Dean who built it being, it seems, extremely fearful of fire, was resolved there should be many ways to escape in case of danger.

The Dean then ran up the great stairs, down one pair of back stairs, up another, in so violent a manner, that I could not help expressing my uneasiness to the good gentlewoman, lest he should fall, and be hurted; she said, 'It was a customary exercise with him, when the weather did not permit him to walk abroad.'

I told Mrs. Brent, 'I believe the Dean was extremely charitable;' 'Indeed madam,' replied she, 'his income is not above six hundred pounds a year, and every year he gives above the half of it in private pensions to decayed families; besides this, he keeps five hundred pounds in the constant service of the industrious poor: this he lends out in five pounds at a time, and takes payment back at twelve pence a week; this does them more service, than if he gave it them entirely, as it obliges them to work, and at the same time keeps up this charitable fund for the assistance of many. You can't imagine what numbers of poor tradesmen who have even wanted proper tools to carry on their work, have by this small loan, been put into a prosperous way, and brought up their families in credit. The Dean,' added she, 'has found out a new method of being charitable, in which however, I believe, he will have but few followers, which is to debar himself of what he calls, the superfluities of life, in order to administer to the necessities of the distressed; you just now saw an instance of it, the money a coach would have cost him, he gave to a poor man, unable to walk, when he dines alone, he drinks a pint of beer, and gives away the price of a pint of wine, and thus he acts in numberless instances.'

My reader will, I hope, do me the justice to believe I was quite charmed with this account of the Dean's beneficent spirit; and I no longer wondered so many of the clergy endeavoured to depreciate him; for, as it is well known, there are not, in the general, a more voluptuous set of men living: this doctrine of self-denial was enough to make them pour out all their anathemas on him, and brand him with the name of atheist, unbeliever, and suchlike terms, as they in their Christian zeal thought proper to bestow.

I before admired the Dean as a person of distinguished genius, but now I learned to revere him as the Angel of Ireland. The Dean running into the parlour, threw a whole packet of manuscript poems into my lap, and so he did for five or six times successively, till I had an apron full of wit and novelty, (for they were all of his own writing,) and such as had not then been made public, and many of them, I believe, never will. Mr. P覧n coming, according to the Dean's desire, to dinner, found me deeply engaged, and sat down to partake of my entertainment, till we were summoned to table, to a lesser noble art. 'Well, Mr. P覧n,' said the Dean, 'I hope you are jealous; I have had your wife a good many hours, and as she is a likely girl, and I very young man, (Note, he was upwards of three score) you don't know what may have happened: though I must tell you, you are very partial to her; for here I have not been acquainted with her above six months, and I have already discovered to intolerable faults in her; 'tis true, I looked sharp, or perhaps they might have escaped my notice: nay, madam, don't looked surprised, I am resolved to tell your husband, that he may break you of them.' 'Indeed, Sir,' returned I, 'my surprise is, that you have not found out two and fifty in half that time; but let me know them, and I will mend of them, if I can;' 'Well put in,' says he, 'for I believe you can't; but eat your dinner, however, for they are not capital.' I obeyed, yet was very impatient to know my particular errors; he told me, 'I should hear of them time enough.'

The things being taken away; 'Now good Sir,' said I, 'tell me what I do amiss? that I may reform;' 'No,' returned he, 'but I'll tell your husband before your face to shame you the more:擁n the first place, Mr. P覧n, she had the insolence this morning, not only to desire to read the writings of the most celebrated geniuses of the age, in which I indulged her; but she must also, forsooth, pretend to praise or censure them as if she knew something of the matter, indeed her remarks were not much amiss, considering they were guesswork; but this letter here of Mr. Pope's she has absolutely condemned; read it (he did so) take notice of it,' said the Dean; 'she would also have had me explain the Latin sentence to her, but I had some modesty, though she had none you see;' 'Why Sir, said I, sure Mr. Pope would not, (especially to you) write anything which even a virgin might not read.' 'Now Mr. P覧n,' said the Dean, 'is her curiosity at work, I'll be hanged if she lets you sleep tonight till you have satisfied it. But this is not all, she had the vanity to affirm, that she thought herself preferable to a horse, and more capable of giving you pleasure: nay she laughed in my face for being of a different opinion; and asked me how a bachelor should know anything of the matter? If you don't take down her pride, there would be no bearing her.'

'Indeed, Sir,' said Mr. P覧n, 'Tis your fault that she is so conceited; she was always disposed to be saucy, but since you have done her the honour to take notice of her, and made her your companion, there is no such thing as mortifying her.' 'Very fine,' said the Dean, 'I have got much by complaining to you, to have all your wife's faults laid at my door.' 'Well, Sir,' said I, 'all these misdemeanours may be included under the article of pride: now let me know my other crime:' 'Why,' said he, 'you can't walk fast; but at present, I excuse you.' 'Well, Sir, if I can't mend my pride, I'll try to mend my pace.' 'Mr. P覧n,' said he, 'I have a mind to clip your wife's wit.' 'Indeed, Sir,' said I, 'that's death by law, for 'tis sterling.' 'Shut up your mouth, for all day, Letty,' said Mr. P覧n, 'for that answer is real wit.' 'Nay,' said the Dean, 'I believe we had better shut up our own, for at this rate she'll be too many for us.' I am sure, if I was not proud before, this was enough to make me so.

The Dean guessed right, when he said, I would not let Mr. P覧n sleep till he had explained to me the Latin sentence in Mr. Pope's letter; which at my request, he did. And indeed none but such a wicked wit could have contrived to turn the words of our blessed Saviour, so as to make them convey a very impure, as well as most uncharitable idea to the mind.

Feuds ran so high between my mother and Mr. P覧n, that my life became very unhappy. So we determined to quit my father's house for a little one of our own, which my husband's father made us a present of; and which, by the bounty of our friends, who came to a housewarming to us, was soon elegantly furnished; there was a large garden to it, which Mr. P覧n laid out in a most beautiful taste, and built a delightful summerhouse in it, fit indeed for a nobleman; here we usually entertained our friends; here also we both invoked the Muse. Mr. P覧n coming in curate, (by the removal of Dr. Owens to a living; of whose behaviour to me in my misfortunes, I shall have occasion to speak) and by having the honour of being chaplain to Lady Charlemont, with an annual allowance I had from my father; our income was about one hundred pounds a year; so that having no rent to pay, and having my father's coach and table always at our command; we could, in so cheap a country as Ireland, live in a very decent manner. As Dr. Swift mentions our doing in a letter of his to Mr. Pope, now published amongst others.

The Dean then to dine with us in our Lilliputian Palace, as he called it, and who could have thought it? He just looked into the parlour, and then ran up into the garret, then into my bedchamber and library, and from thence down to the kitchen; and well it was for me that the house was very clean; for he complimented me on it, and told me, 'that was his custom; and that 'twas from the cleanliness of the garret and kitchen, he judged of the good housewifery of the mistress of the house; for no doubt, but a slut would have the rooms clean, where the guests were to be entertained.'

He really was sometimes very rude, even to his superiors, of which the following story, related to me by himself, may serve as one instance amongst a thousand others:

'The last time he was in London, he went to dine with the Earl of Burlington, who was then but newly married. My Lord being willing, I suppose, to have some diversion, did not introduce him to his lady, nor mention his name: 'tis to be observed, his gown was generally very rusty, and his person no way extraordinary.輸fter dinner, said the Dean, "Lady Burlington, I hear you can sing; sing me a song." The lady looked on this unceremonious matter of asking a favour with distaste, and positively refused him; he said, she should sing, or he would make her. "Why, madam, I suppose you take me for one of your poor paltry English hedge parsons: sing when I bid you." As the Earl did nothing but laugh at this freedom; the lady was so vexed that she burst into tears, and retired.

'His first compliment to her when he saw her again, was, "Pray Madam, are you as proud and ill-natured now, as when I saw you last?" To which she replied with great good humour,"No, Mr. Dean, I'll sing for you if you please."友rom which time he conceived great esteem for her. But who that knew him will take offence at his bluntness? It seems Queen Caroline did not, if we may credit his own lines, wherein he declares, that he

With Princes kept a due decorum,
But never stood in awe before 'em;
And to the present Queen, God bless her,
We'd speak as free as to her dresser;
She thought it his peculiar whim,
Nor took it evil預s come from him.
Swift on his own death.

I cannot recollect that I ever saw the Dean laugh, perhaps he thought it beneath him; for when any pleasantry passed which might have excited it, he used to suck in his cheeks, as folks do when they have a plug of tobacco in their mouths, to avoid risibility. He frequently put me in mind of Shakespeare's description of Cassius:

He is a great discerner, and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men末
Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort
As if he mocked himself, and scorned his spirit
That could be moved to smile at anything
Julius Caesar.

As the Dean, and, after his example, Mr. P覧n were eternally satirising and ridiculing the female sex; I had a very great inclination to be even with them, and expose the inconstancy of men; and borrowing a hint from a story in the Peruvian Tales; I formed from its the following poem, and hope it will be acceptable to my fair readers, as is peculiarly addressed them.

The statues: or the trial of constancy. A tale.
For the ladies.

In a fair Island in the southern main,
Blessed with indulgent skies and kindly rain;
A Princess lived, of origin divine,
Of bloom celestial, and imperial line.

In that sweet season, when the mounting sun,
Prepares with joy his radiant course to run;
Led by the graces, and the dancing hours,
And wakes to life the various race of flowers;
The lovely Queen forsook her shining court,
For rural scenes, and healthful sylvan sport.

It so befell that as in cheerful talk,
Her nymphs and she pursued their evening walk;
On the green margin of the oozy deep,
They found a graceful youth dissolved in sleep,
Whose charms the Queen surveyed with fond delight,
And hung enamoured o'er the pleasing sight:
By her command, the youth was straight conveyed,
And sleeping, softly in her palace laid.

Now ruddy morning purpled o'er the skies,
And beamy light unsealed the stranger's eyes,
Who cried aloud, ye Gods unfold this scene!
Where am I! What can all these wonders mean?

Scarce had he spoke, when with officious care,
Attendant nymphs a fragrant bath prepare;
He rose, he bathed, and on his lovely head
Ambrosial sweets, and precious oil they shed:
To deck his polished limbs, a robe they brought,
In all the various dyes of beauty wrought,
Then led him to the Queen, who on a throne
Of burnished gold, and beamy diamonds shone;
But Oh! What wonders seized her beauteous guest!
What love, what ecstasy, his soul possessed!
Entranced he stood, and on his faltering tongue,
Imperfect words, and half formed accents hung:
Nor less the Queen the blooming youth admired,
Nor less delight and love her soul inspired.

O stranger! Said the Queen, if hither driven,
By adverse winds, or sent a guest from heaven,
To me the wretched never sue in vain,
This fruitful Isle acknowledges my reign,
Then speak thy wishes, and thy wants declare,
And no denial shall attend your prayer;
She paused and blushed,葉he youth his silence broke,
And kneeling, thus the charming Queen bespoke:

O Goddess! For a form so bright as thine,
Speaks thee descended of celestial line;
Low at your feet a prostrate King behold,
Whose faithless subjects sold his life for gold;
I fly a cruel tyrant's lawless hand,
And shipwreck drove my vessel on your strand.
But why do I complain of fortune's frowns?
Or what are titles, honours, sceptres, crowns
To this sweet moment? While in fond amaze
On such transporting excellence I gaze!
Such symmetry of shape! So fair a face!
Such finished excellence, such perfect grace!
Hear then my only wish, and oh! Approve
The ardent prayer which supplicates thy love.

From Neptune know, O prince, my birth I claim,
Replies the Queen, and Lucida's my name;
This island, these attendant nymphs he gave,
The fair-haired daughters of the azure wave!
But he whose fortune gains me for a bride
Must have his constancy severely tried.
One day each moon am I compelled to go
To my great father's watery realms below,
Where coral groves celestial red display,
And blazing diamonds emulate the day;
In this short absence if your love endures,
My heart and Empire are forever yours,
And hoary Neptune to reward your truth
Shall crown you with immortal bloom and youth;
But instant death will on your falsehood wait,
Nor can my tenderness prevent your fate,
Twice twenty times in wedlock's sacred band,
My royal father joined my plighted hand,
Twice twenty noble youths alas! are dead,
Who in my absence stained the nuptial bed.
Your virtues, Prince, may claim a nobler throne,
But mine is yielded on these terms alone.

Delightful terms! Replied the raptured youth,
Accept my constancy, my endless truth,
Perfidious faithless men! Enraged, he cried,
They merited the fate by which they died;
Accept a heart incapable of change,
Thy beauty shall forbid a desire to range;
No other form shall to mine eye seem fair,
No charms but thine, shall e'er my soul approve,
So aid thy votary potent God of love!

Now loud applauses through the palace ring,
The duteous subjects hail their godlike King:
To feastful mirth they dedicate the day,
While tuneful voices chant the nuptial lay.
Love dittied airs, hymned by the vocal choir,
Sweetly attempered to the warbling lyre;
But when the sun descending sought the main,
And low-browed night assumed her silent reign;
They to the marriage bed conveyed the bride,
And laid the raptured bridegroom by her side.

Now rose the sun, and with auspicious ray,
Dispelled the dewy mists, and gave the day;
When Lucida with anxious care oppressed,
Thus waked her sleeping Lord from downy rest:

Soul of my soul, and monarch of my heart,
This day, she cried, this fatal day we part,
Yet if your love uninjured your attain,
We soon shall meet in happiness again,
To part no more; but rolling years employ
In circling bliss, and never fading joy:
Alas! My boding soul is lost in woe,
And from mine eyes the tears unbidden flow.

Joy of my life, dismiss those needless fears,
Replied the King, and stay those precious tears;
Should lovely Venus leave her native sky,
And at my feet, imploring fondness, lie,
E'en she, the radiant Queen of soft desires!
Should, disappointed, burn with hopeless fires.

The heart of man the Queen's experience knew
Perjured and false, yet wished to find him true:
She sighed retiring, and in Regal state,
The King conducts her to the palace gate;
Where sacred Neptune's crystal chariot stands,
The wondrous work of his celestial hands:
Six harnessed Swans the bright machine convey
Swift through the air, or pathless watery way;
The birds, with Eagle-speed, the air divide,
And plunge the goddess in the sounding tide.

Slow to the court the pensive King returns,
And sighs in secret, and in silence mourns;
So in the grove sad Philomel complains
In mournful accents, and melodious strains;
Her plaintive woes fill the resounding lawn,
From starry Vesper, to the rosy dawn.

The King, to mitigate his tender pain,
Seeks the apartment of the Virgin train,
With sportive mirth sad absence to beguile,
And bid the melancholy moments smile;
But there deserted lonely rooms he found,
And solitary silence reigned around.

He called aloud, when, lo! A hag appears,
Bending beneath deformity and years,
Who said, my liege, explain your sacred will,
With joy your sovereign purpose I fulfil.
My will! Detested wretch! Avoid my sight,
And hide that hideous shape in endless night.
What! Does thy Queen, o'er-run with rude distrust,
Resolve by force to keep a husband just?

You wrong, replied the hag, your Royal wife,
Whose care is love, and love to guard your life.
The race of mortals are by nature frail,
And strong temptations with the best prevail.
Be that my care, he said, be thine to send
The virgin train, let them my will attend.
The beldam fled葉he cheerful nymphs advance,
And tread to measured airs, the mazy dance;
The raptured Prince with greedy eye surveys
The bloomy maids, and covets still to gaze,
No more recalls the image of his spouse,
How false is man! Nor recollects his vows;
With wild inconstancy for all he burns,
And every nymph subdues his heart by turns.

At length a maid superior to the rest,
Arrayed in smiles, in virgin beauty dressed,
Received his passion, and returned his love,
And softly wooed him to the silent grove.

Enclosed in deepest shades of full-grown wood,
Within the Grove a spacious Grotto stood,
Where forty youths, in marble, seemed to mourn;
Each youth reclining on a funeral urn:
Thither the nymph directs the monarch's way,
He treads her footsteps, joyful to obey.
There, fired with passion, clasped her to his breast,
And thus the transport of his soul confessed:

Delightful beauty! Decked with every charm
High fancy paints! Or glowing love can form!
I sigh, I gaze, I tremble, I adore!
Such lovely looks ne'er blessed my sight before!
Here, under covert of th'embowering shade,
For love's delights and tender transports made,
No busy eye our raptures to detect,
No envious tongue to censure or direct.
Here yield to love, and tenderly employ
The silent season in ecstatic joy.

With arms enclosed, his treasure to retain,
He sighed and wooed, but wooed and sighed in vain:
She rushed indignant from his fond embrace,
While rage with blushes paints her virgin face;
Yet still he sues with suppliant hands and eyes,
While she to magic charms for vengeance flies.

A limpid fountain murmured through the cave;
She filled her palm with the translucent wave,
And sprinkling cried, receive false man in time
The just reward of thy detested crime.

Thy changeful sex in perfidy delight,
Despite perfection, and fair virtue slight,
False, fickle, base, tyrannic, and unkind,
Whose hearts, nor vows can chain, nor honour bind:
Mad to possess, by passion blindly led;
And then as mad to stain the nuptial bed:
Whose roving souls no excellence, no age,
No form, no rank, no beauty, can engage;
Slaves to the bad, to the deserving worst,
Sick of your twentieth love, as of your first.
The statues which this hallowed grot adorn,
Like thee were lovers, and like thee forsworn;
Whose faithless hearts no kindness could secure,
Nor for a day preserve their passion pure;
Whom neither love, nor beauty could restrain,
Nor fear of endless infamy and pain.
In me behold thy Queen; for know, with ease
We deities assume each form we please;
Nor can the feeble ken of mortal eyes
Perceive the goddess through the dark disguise.
Now feel the force of heaven's avenging hand,
And here inanimate for ever stand.

She spoke預mazed the listing monarch stood,
And icy horror froze his ebbing blood;
Thick shades of death upon his eyelids creep,
And closed them fast in everlasting sleep;
No sense of life, no motion he retains,
But fixed, a dreadful monument remains;
A statue now, and if revived once more,
Would prove, no doubt, as perjured as before.

I doubt not but the world will expect to hear from me some of the Dean's amours, as he has not quite escaped censure, on account of his gallantries; but here I am not able to oblige my reader, he being too far advanced in years, when I first had the honour of being known to him, for amusements of that kind. I make no doubt but he has often been the object of love, and his Cadenus and Vanessa seem to assure us, that he was the favourite of one lady; but to speak my sentiments, I really believe it was a passion he was wholly unacquainted with, and which he would have thought it beneath the dignity of his wisdom to entertain. Not that I ever imagined he was an enemy to the fair; for when he found them docile, he took great pleasure to instruct them: and if I have any merit, as a writer, I must gratefully acknowledge it due to the pains he took to teach me to think and speak with propriety; though, to tell the truth, he was a very rough sort of the tutor for one of my years and sex; for whenever I made use of an inelegant phrase, I was sure of a deadly pinch, and frequently received chastisement before I knew my crime. However I am convinced, had he thought me incorrigibly dull, I should have escaped without correction, and the black and blue favours I received at his hands, were meant for merit, though bestowed on me. Yet, though to my shame I own it, I was fond of admiration to a fault, and a little too much upon the coquette, for a married woman. I would at any time give up any pleasure or gaiety, for the more rational entertainment of the Dean's conversation.

Five years rolled insensibly away in a kind of a tolerable happiness, as Lady Townley terms it; but that, it seems, I was not much longer to enjoy: however, before I begin to speak of offence and trouble, I shall endeavour to enliven my narration with all the little amusing incidents I can possibly recollect.

The following trifle, as it was productive of a handsome letter to me from the Dean, and of more honour than I could possibly expect from it, my vanity will not let me omit. My brother teased me one evening to write some verse as a school exercise for him, I asked what I should write upon; 'why,' said he pertly, 'what should you write upon but the paper?' So taking it for my subject, I wrote the following lines.

O spotless paper, fair and white!
On whom, by force, constrained I write,
How cruel am I to destroy
Thy purity, to please a boy?
Ungrateful I, thus to abuse
The fairest servant of the Muse.
Dear friend, to whom I oft impart
The choicest secrets of my heart;
Ah, what atonement can be made
For spotless innocence betrayed?
How fair, how lovely didst thou show,
Like lily'd banks or falling snow!
But now, alas, become my prey;
No floods can wash thy stains away.
Yet this small comfort I can give,
That which destroyed, shall make thee live.

As the lines did not suit my brother's purpose, they lay carelessly on the table, when a lady of distinction, who was going to England, came to take her leave of us: she would examine what I had been scribbling, and seemed so well pleased my rhymes, that she did then the honour to put them in her pocket book, and I never thought more of them.

About four years after this, making a visit to Baron Wainwright's lady, she told me, she had got a very pretty poem from London, wrote by the Lord Chancellor Talbot's daughter, a young lady of but twelve years of age, and desired I would read them for the good of the company; but how great was my surprise, to find they were the above lines! However I went through my task, and Mrs. Wainwright asked my opinion of them, and seemed impatient at my silence. I told her, the young lady must have wrote them at least four years before, because I had seen them so long ago. Upon which the Baron said, that he also remembered them, and that he was told by the person he saw them with, that they were writ by a very young girl, who was married to a clergyman in Ireland. My smiling made them guess at the person, and at the same time excused me, for being not over-forward to praise them. When I returned home, I found a letter from Mr. P覧n, who was in London, with a newspaper enclosed, wherein the above poem was printed. I related this to the Dean, who ordered me to send the lines to him. The next morning a lady came to visit me, who told me, it being the Dean's birthday, he had received a book very richly bound and clasped with gold, from the Earl of Orrery, with a handsome poem, wrote by himself to the Dean, in the first page, the rest being blank; and that Dr. Delany had sent him a silver standish, with a complimentary poem. 'Why then,' said I, 'as the Dean is furnished with paper and ink, 'tis the least I can do to send him a pen;' so having a fine eagle quill, I wrapped it into the following lines, and sent it to the Dean, and also the bit of a newspaper, wherein the lines on paper were printed in London.

Sent with a quill to Dr. Swift, upon hearing he had received a book and a standish.

Shall then my kindred all my glory claim,
And boldly rob me of eternal fame?
To every art my generous aid I lend,
To music, painting, poetry, a friend.
'Tis I celestial harmony inspire,
When fixed to strike the sweetly warbling wire;*
I to the faithful canvas have consigned,
Each bright idea of the painter's mind;
Behold from Raphael's sky-dipped pencils rise
Such heavenly scenes as charm the gazer's eyes.
O let me now aspire to higher praise!
Ambitious to transcribe your deathless lays;
Nor thou, immortal Bard, my aid refuse,
Accept me as a servant of your Muse,
Then shall the world my wondrous worth declare,
And all mankind your matchless pen revere.

*Note: Quills of the harpsichord

On New Year's Day I received from the Dean the following letter.

Deanery house, Jan. 1 1733-4.
I send you your bit of a newspaper with the verses, than which I never saw better in their kind; I have the same opinion of those you were pleased to write upon me, as have also some particular friends of genius and taste, to whom I ventured to communicate them, who universally agree with me. But I cannot with decency show them except to a very few, I hope for both our sakes, others will do it for me. I can only assure you I value your present, as much of either of the others, only you must permit it to be turned into a pen, which office I will perform with my own hand, and never permit any other to use it. I heartily wish you many happy New Years, and am with true esteem,
Your much obliged
Friend and servant,
J. Swift

But as I have mentioned Mr. P覧n's being in London, I ought also to inform my reader what inducement he had to quit his family for a whole year, which was as follows. Dr. Swift had, in Queen Anne's reign, been the first promoter of Alderman Barber, who afterwards by many lucky accidents rose to be Lord Mayor of London, which station he filled with distinguished abilities, and retained so grateful a sense of the Dean's favour to him, that he made him the compliment of nominating a chaplain to him; the Dean offered this honour to Mr. P覧n, who gladly accepted of it, and came home in high spirits to acquaint me with his preferment; but whatever joy it brought to him, I was quite sunk in sorrow at the thoughts of parting for so long a time with one I so dearly loved. All his friends were against his going; and the late primate Dr. Hoadly, then Archbishop of Dublin, remonstrated to him, that serving under a person so remarkably disaffected as the alderman, might very probably prejudice him in the eyes of the government; but all in vain. Mr. P覧n was ever rash, obstinate, and self-willed; and should I add treacherous, cruel, and ungrateful, I should not wrong the truth; but however unwilling I am to speak harshly of the husband of my youth, and the father of my children, wherein I will

Nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice
. Othello.

That he is both a scholar, and a man of genius, all who know him must allow; but like Mr. Pope he is so plagued with envy, that he even hated me because I could write, and took an invincible aversion from Counsellor Smith, because he excelled him on the harpsichord. It happened one evening that this gentleman sung and played to us the oratorio of Queen Hester, unfortunately for me I was so charmed with it, that at the conclusion of the music I wrote the following lines.

To John Smith, Esq;

Music once more her ancient power displays,
Resistless now, as in Timotheus' days
Our varied passions change in thy command,
Our correspondent hearts obey thy hand.

Who can untouched attend the awful sound?
When swelling notes proclaim Jehovah crowned.
Borne on the hallowed strains our souls arise,
Till heaven seems present to our ravished eyes.

When to its source thy soul shall wing its flight,
And with eternal harmony unite,
Thy skilful hand shall heavenly joys improve,
And add new rapture to the bliss above.

As the lines were wrote offhand, as, to say the truth, everything of mine is, for I am too volatile to revise or correct anything I write, Mr. Smith complimented Mr. P覧n on having a wife who could write better than himself, he supposing Mr. P覧n to be so much the lover, that he would be delighted with my praise, and join in it. But, lack-a-day! He little knew what I was to suffer for the superiority of genius he was pleased to ascribed to me. I then was continually told with a contemptuous jibing air, 'O my dear! A lady of your accomplishments! Why Mr. Smith says you write better than I, and to be sure he is a great judge!' But another unlucky accident likewise happened: how fatal to me has praise been! We supped at the Dean's, and I had been reading out, by his command, some of his prosaic work; he was pleased to say I acquitted myself so well, but I should have a glass of his best wine, and sent Mr. P覧n to the cellar for it. The Dean in the meantime said to me, 'I would have every man write his own English.' 'To be sure, sir, said I, that would be best.' 'Aye to be sure, sir, you give me an answer, and p踊 take you, I'm sure you don't understand my meaning.' 'Very possible, sir; but I certainly understand my own, when I have any.' 'Well then, what do you understand by writing one's own English?' 'Why really, sir, not to confine oneself to a set of phrases, as some of our ancient English historians, Camden in particular, seems to have done, but to make use of such words as naturally occur on the subject.' 'Hush!' says he, 'your husband is coming; I'll put the same question to him.' He did so; and Mr. P覧n answered, 'to be sure a man ought to write good English.' 'Nay but his own English, I say his own, what do you understand by that?' 'Why, sir, said he, what should I understand?' 'P踊 on you for a dunce,' said he, 'were your wife and you to sit for a fellowship, I would give her one sooner than admit you a sizar.'

And now my business was completely done. Mr. P覧n viewed me with scornful, yet with jealous eyes. And though I never presumed to vie with him for pre-eminence, well knowing he not only surpassed me in natural talents, but also had the advantage of having those talents improved by learning; and was sensible the compliments I received were rather paid to me as a woman, in whom anything a degree above ignorance appears surprising, than to any merits I really possessed. He thought proper to insult me every moment. Indeed he did not beat me, which some of the good-natured ladies have brought as an argument that he was an excellent husband; but how a clergymen should strike a wife who never contradicted him, and who was the most remarkably gentle, even of her own soft sex, I know not. Besides I had then a dear and honoured father to protect me. I am sure I may say with Ophelia,

My violets all withered when he died.

Then I was left defenceless to all the injuries my husband's subtle cruelty could devise against open unsuspecting innocence.

Another trivial accident also offended my husband. He was one winter's evening reading Horace, and said he would engage to write an ode exactly in his manner; so he directly set about it. The fancy came into my head to write one also, though I understood not a word of Latin, nor knew no more of the poet than from the English translations. My lines were as follows.

An ode.

I envy not the proud their wealth,
Their equipage and state;
Give me but innocence and health,
I ask not to be great.

I in this sweet retirement find
A joy unknown to Kings,
For sceptres to a virtuous mind
Seem vain and empty things.

Great Cincinnatus at his plough
With brighter lustre shone,
Than guilty Caesar e'er could show,
Though seated on a throne.

Tumultuous days, and restless nights,
Ambition ever knows,
A stranger to the calm delights
Of study and repose.

Then free from envy, care and strife,
Keep me, ye powers divine;
And pleased when you demand my life,
May I that life resign.

As I had finished my task first, I showed it to Mr. P覧n, who, contrary to my expectation, (for I imagined he would be pleased) was very angry, and told me the Dean had made me mad, that the lines were nonsense, and that a needle became a woman's hand better than a pen and ink. So to bring him into temper I praised his ode highly, and threw my own into the fire. And here let me seriously advise every lady who has the misfortune to be poetically turned, never to marry a poet, but remember Swift's lines:

What poet would not grieve to see
His friend could write as well as he;
And rather than be thus out-done,
He'd hang them every mother's son.

Her end when emulation misses,
She turns to envy, stings and hisses;
The strongest friendship yields to pride,
Unless the odds be on our side.

And if a man cannot bear his friend should write, much less can he endure it in his wife; it seems to set them too much upon a level with our lords and masters; and this I take to be the true reason why even men of sense discountenance learning in women, and commonly choose for mates the most illiterate and stupid of the sex, and then bless their stars their wife is not a wit.

But if a remark be true which I have somewhere read, that a foolish woman never brought forth a wise son, I think the gentleman should have some regard to the intellects of those they espouse.

But to return from this long though necessary digression, and take things a little more in their order. Mr. P覧n, contrary to everybody's advice who had any regard for him, went for England. I was very desirous of going with him; but he told me plainly he did not want such as an encumbrance as a wife, that he did not intend to pass there for a married man, and that in short he could not taste any pleasure where I was. As this was a secret I did not know before, I received it with astonishment; for amidst all his wayward moods, I ever imagined till then that he loved me, and that the many ill-natured speeches he made me were rather an effect of a bad temper, than any settled aversion he had taken against me; especially as I observed he treated everybody with contempt, even persons every way superior to him (the Dean alone excepted, to whom he paid even a servile complaisance.) And though he now fairly plucked off the mask, and let me see my mistake, I could hardly give him credit; so unwilling are we to believe truth when it runs counter to our wishes.

The next day he went on board the yacht in company with Mr. Edward Walpole, to whom he was recommended by a man of quality since dead, and left me and my three children almost without an adieu: so eagerly did he seek his own destruction.

I am hardly able to describe the various emotions with which my heart was agitated on his departure. Love, grief, and resentment for his last speech, by turns possessed it. However, I received a very kind letter from him from Chester, which made me a little easy; and as my friends seldom permitted me to be alone, I did not give much way to melancholy.

I believe it will be expected from the general reflections I have thrown out against the clergy, that I should descend to particulars, and expose by name the guilty; but this invidious task I must decline: besides, as Angelo says in measure for measure, when he is tempting a virgin, and she threatens to expose him;

Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoiled name, th'austereness of my life,
My interest in the state, may vouch against you,
That you shall stifle your own report,
And smell of calumny.

Besides, I should arm a formidable body against me, who would not fail, sooner or later, to take ample vengeance. As unforgiving as a churchman, is become proverbial; so as I am a sort of a priestess, I will, like a faithful mother confessor, keep the secrets of my ghostly brethren.

I have another inducement to silence, not I must own quite so good-natured, which is, that I have a malignant pleasure in keeping those in awe who awe the world beside, which I should lose the moment I had done my worst. I remember a certain gentleman, who happening to be guilty of a venial transgression with a mean woman, it unluckily manifested itself: the gentleman was young, and had a very severe father who gave him but a scanty allowance, all of which did not satisfy the mercenary wretch of a woman, who hoping to gain more, went and told her story to his father; the consequence of which was, that she never afterwards had a shilling from either.

The dullest genius cannot fail
to take the moral of the tale.

So let the stricken deer go weep,
The hart ungalled go play.

The innocent cannot take offence, and for the guilty, I will for the present with the charitable ghost in Hamlet,

. . . . . .Leave them to heaven,
And to the thorns that in their bosoms lodge,
To prick and goad them there.

But once more to gather up my clue. I received so passionately tender a letter from London from Mr. P覧n, that I quite forgot all his unkindness; and sitting down to answer it, without the least intention of rhyming, the following lines flowed from my pen.

These lines, dear partner of my life,
Come from a tender faithful wife;
Happy when you her thoughts approve,
Supremely happy in your love:
O may the blissful flame endure!
Uninjured, lasting, bright, and pure.
Thus far in verse, but can the Muse
Descend so low as telling news?
Or can I easily in rhyme
Inform you how I pass my time?

To soothe my woe and banish care,
I to the theatre repair,
Where charmed with Shakespeare's lofty scenes,
And pure inimitable strains,
My rapture raised so high appears,
It seeks to hide itself in tears.

On Tuesday last all day I strayed
In Delville's sweet inspiring shade;
There was all easy, gay, polite,
The weather and the guests were bright:
My loved Constantia there appeared,
And Southern long for wit revered,
Who like the hoary Pylian Sage,
Excels in wisdom, as in age.
'Tis thus your absence I beguile,
And try to make misfortune smile;
But never can my constant mind
A real pleasure hope or find,
Till heaven indulgently once more
My Colin to my eyes restore.


Permit me here e'er I conclude
To pay a debt of gratitude;
To Worsdale, your ingenious friend,
My praises, and my thanks commend;
Yet all are fair beneath his due,
Who sends me what resembles you.*

*Note: My husband's picture.

The Dean had given Mr. P覧n letters of recommendation to several eminent persons in England, and amongst the rest, one to Mr. Pope; who, no sooner received it, but he invited Mr. P覧n to pass a fortnight with him at Twickenham, he not yet being entered on his office of chaplain. I received from him from thence, a letter filled with Mr. Pope's praises, and the extraordinary regard he showed him, introducing him to several noblemen, and even oppressing him with civilities, which he modestly attributed to Mr. Pope's respect for the Dean, and handsomely acknowledged the obligation. As I thought this a very proper letter to communicate, I went directly with it to the deanery. The Dean read it over with a fixed attention, and returning it to me, he told me, he had, by the same packet, received a letter from Mr. Pope, which, with somewhat of a stern brow, he put into my hand, and walked out into the garden. I was so startled at his austerity, that I was for some minutes unable to open it, and when I did, the contents greatly astonished me. The substance of it was, that he had, in pure complaisance to the Dean, entertained Mr. P覧n; but that he was surprised he should be so mistaken, to recommend him as a modest ingenious man, who was a most forward, shallow, conceited fellow: that in the hope of having an agreeable companion, he had invited him to pass a fortnight with him, which he heartily repented, being sick of his impertinence, before the end of the third day; and a great deal more, much to the same purpose. By the time I had read it through, the Dean returned, and asked me what I thought of it? I told him, I was sure Mr. P覧n did not deserve the character Mr. Pope had given of him; and that he was highly ungenerous to caress and abuse him at the same time. Upon this the Dean lost all patience, and flew into such a rage, that he quite terrified me; he asked me, why I did not swear that my husband was six-foot high? And, did I think myself a better judge than Mr. Pope? Or, did I presume to give him the lie? And a thousand other extravagancies. As I durst not venture to speak a word more, my heart swelled so that I burst into tears, which, he attributing to pride and resentment, made him, if possible, ten times more angry, and I am not sure he would not have beat me; but that, fortunately for me, a gentleman came to visit him. As I was in a violent passion of tears, the Dean did not bring him into the room where I was, but went to receive him in another, and I gladly laid hold of that opportunity of making my escape from his wrath.

The next morning early I wrote a letter expressive of the anxiety I was under, lest I had anyway offended him, and assured him, which was the truth, my tears are not flow from pride, but from the apprehension I had, that Mr. Pope might influence him to withdraw his favour from us. I added on my own part, that even if I was partial to Mr. P覧n, I hope it was the most pardonable error a wife could be guilty of; and concluded with begging, if he had any regard for my peace, he would honour me with an answer. By the return of the messenger I received the following lines.

You must shake off the leavings of your sex. If you cannot keep a secret and take a chiding, you will quickly be out of my sphere. Corrigible people are to be chid, those who are otherwise, may be very safe from any lectures of mine: I should rather choose to indulge them in their follies, than attempt to set them right. I desire you may not inform your husband of what has passed, for a reason I shall give you when I see you, which may be this evening, if you will.
I am very sincerely,
your friend,
J. Swift.

Accordingly I waited on the Dean about five o'clock in the evening, an hour I knew he would be free from company. He received me with great kindness, and told me he would write a letter of advice to Mr. P覧n; 'But,' said he, 'should you acquainted with this letter of Pope's, he might, perhaps, resent it to him, and make him an enemy.' How kind! How considerate was this! The Dean then showed me the poem he wrote on his own death; when I came to that part of it,

Behold the fatal day arrive!
How is the Dean? He's just alive.

I was so sensibly affected, that my eyes filled with tears: the Dean observing it, said, 'Phoo, I am not dead yet傭ut you shan't read any more now.' I then earnestly requested he would let me take it home with me, which he did under certain conditions, which were that I should neither show it to anybody, nor copy it, and that I should send it to him by eight o'clock the next morning, all of which I punctually performed.

But the Dean did not know what sort of a memory I had, when he entrusted me with his verse: I had no occasion for any other copy, than what I had registered in the book and volume of my brain: I could repeat the whole poem, and could not forbear delighting some particular friends of the rehearsal of it. This reached the Dean's ear, who imagined I had played him false, and sent for me to come to him. When I entered, he told me, I had broke my word with him, and consequently, forfeited all the good opinion he had ever conceived of me. I looked, as I think he generally made me do, like a fool; I asked what I had done: he told me, I had copied his poem, and showed it round the town. I assured him, I had not. He said, I lied, and produced upon something like it, published in London, and told me, for my reading it about, that a burlesque on it had taken rise. He bade me read it aloud. I did so, and could not forbear laughing, as I plainly perceived, though he had endeavoured to disguise his style, that the Dean had burlesqued himself; and made no manner of scruple to tell him so. He pretended to be very angry, asked me, did I ever know him write triplets? And told me, I had neither taste nor judgement, and knew no more of poetry than a horse. I told him I would confess it, provided he would seriously give me his word, he did not write that poem. He said p踊 take me for a dunce. I then assured him, I did not copy his poem; but added, when I read anything particularly charming, I never forgot it, and that I could repeat not only all his works, but all Shakespeare's, which I put to this trial; I desired him to open any part of it and read a line, and I would engage to go on with the whole speech; as we were in his library, he directly made the experiment: the line he first gave me, he had purposely picked out for its singular oddness:

But rancours in the vessel of my peace.

I readily went on with the whole speech, and did so several times, that he tried me with different plays. The Dean then took down Hudibras, and ordered me to examine him in it, as he had done me in Shakespeare; and, to my great surprise, I found he remembered every line, from beginning to end of it. I say, it surprised me, because I had been misled by Mr. Pope's remark,

That where beams of warm imagination play,
The memory's soft figures melt away.
Essay on criticism.

to think wit and memory incompatible things. I told the Dean he had convinced me the old proverb was false; and, indeed, I know not how any person can be witty without a good memory. When I returned home, I found I had not been mistaken in the opinion I had conceived, that the Dean had burlesqued his own poem. I had a confirmation of it in a letter from Mr. P覧n, to whom he had sent it, to have it printed in London.

My evening's chat with the Dean furnished me with matter of speculation on that most amazing faculty of the human mind, memory; which according to my usual custom I threw into rhyme, and hope it will not be displeasing to my reader.

Memory, a poem.

In what recesses of the brain,
Does this amazing power remain,
By which all knowledge we attain?

What art thou, memory? What tongue can tell,
What curious artist traced thy hidden cell,
Wherein ten thousand different objects dwell?

Surprising storehouse! In whose narrow womb,
All things, the past, the present, and to come,
Find ample space, and large, and mighty room.

O falsely deemed the foe of sacred wit!
Thou, who the nurse and guardian art of it,
Laying it up till season due and fit.

Then proud the wondrous treasure to produce,
As understanding points it, to conduce
Either to entertainment, or to use.

Where thou art not, the cheerless human mind
Is one vast void, all darksome, sad and blind;
No trace of anything remains behind.

The sacred stores of learning all are thine;
'Tis only thou record'st the fateful line
'Tis thou mak'st humankind almost divine.

And when at length we quit this mortal scene,
Thou still shalt with our tender friends remain,
And time, and death should strike at thee in vain.

Lord, let me so this wondrous gift employ;
It may a fountain be of endless joy,
Which time, nor accident, may ne'er destroy.

Still let my fatal memory impart,
And deep engrave it on my grateful heart,
How just, and good, and excellent thou art.

My reader may now plainly perceive, I was most incorrigibly devoted to versifying, and all my spouse's wholesome admonitions had no manner of effect on me: in short, I believe this scribbling itch is an incurable disease; for though Horace says *[Vide his art of poetry.], taking some physic in the spring rid him of it, yet, as he even relates this in flowing numbers, we have no cause to give him credit. He also declares, all poets are visibly possessed and mad. Shakespeare seems to be of the same opinion, though he describes it with greater elegance than even Horace has done, at least in the translation.

The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing,
A local habitation and a name.

The truth of which he has fully verified, giving us in his divine works a new creation of his own, with the new language also peculiar to the different species and orders of beings he introduces to us. Milton had studied him with care, and like the bee, committed many sweet thefts on his immortal blooms. Whoever reads the part of the fairies in the Midsummer Night's Dream, may easily perceive how many beautiful images Milton has borrowed thence to adorn his masque of Comus. And really, I think, as Shakespeare had plundered all art and nature, the visible and invisible world, it was but just to make reprisals, and steal from his rich store.

I hope my reader will pardon me for so often running away from myself, I cannot say, I am egotist enough to be much enamoured of such an unhappy theme, and have often wished I could do it in reality; for I have been plunged in such calamity, that I have even thought it impossible to be true, and vainly hoped to wake, as from some hideous dream, to find a better fate.

And as one travelling in a barren waste, could not be displeased to be sometimes led out of the direct road to view a more agreeable prospect, I deal thus with my readers, and turn them from the gloomy vale of my life, to relieve them with something more pleasing.

To amuse myself, and indeed with no other view, I wrote, in my husband's absence, all the following poems, which, if they should not happen also to amuse my readers, they are at their own liberty, and may turn them over.

Advice to the people of Dublin in their choice of a RECORDER.

Is there a man whose fixed and steady soul
No flattery can seduce, no fear control;
Constant to virtue; resolutely just;
True to his friend, his country, and his trust:
Like Tully, guardian of the Roman state,
Is patriot, lawyer, orator complete,
If such there be, O! Let your noble zeal
Advance him to defend the public weal.

Painters and poets are in this alike,
Mean artists oft a strong resemblance strike;
And who can this unfinished picture see,
But owns, O STANNARD! It was drawn for thee.

Verses wrote in a library.

Seat for contemplation fit,
Sacred nursery of wit!
Let me here, enwrapped in pleasure,
Taste the sweets of learned leisure;
Vain, deceitful world, adieu;
I more solid bliss pursue.

Faithful friends, surround me here,
Wise, delightful, and sincere;
Friends who never yet betrayed
Those who trusted in their aid;
Friends who ne'er were known to shun
Those by adverse fate undone.

Calm philosophy and truth
Crowned with undecaying youth,
Glowing with celestial charms,
Fondly woo me to their arms.
Here immortal bards dispense
Polished numbers, nervous sense;
While the just historian's page
Back recalls the distant age;
In whose paintings we behold
All the wondrous men of old;
Heroes fill each finished piece,
Once the pride of Rome and Greece.

Nor shall Greece and Rome alone,
Boast the virtues all their own;
Thou, Ierne, too shalt claim
Sons amongst the heirs of fame;
Patriots who undaunted stood,
To defend the public good;
Foremost in the sacred line,
Ever shall the DRAPER shine:
Next be vigorous STANNARD placed,
With unfading honours graced;
Godlike men! Accept my praise,
Guard, and elevate, my lays.

Learning can the soul refine,
Raise from human to divine.
Come then, all ye sacred dead,
Who for virtue wrote or bled,
On my mind intensely beam,
Touch it with your hallowed flame.
And thou chaste and lovely Muse,
Who didst once thy dwelling choose
In Orinda's spotless breast,
Condescend to be my guest;
Bring with thee the bloomy pair
Young-eyed health, and virtue fair;
Hear your purest rays impart,
So direct and guard my heart,
That it may a temple be
Worthy heaven, and worthy thee.

Flavia's birthday, May the 16th.
To Miss Hoadly.

Whilst thy fond friends their annual tribute pay,
And hail thee daughter of the fragrant May;
Whilst they behold, with rapture and surprise,
New charms enrich thy soul, and point thine eyes.
Ah! Let the Muse her secret joy declare;
Attend her transports, and her words revere:
She looks on time, and with prophetic eyes,
Sees him, for thee, strew blessings as he flies;
And, whilst all other beauties he impairs,
Till every year, improved with every grace,
You shine unrivalled both in mind and face.

So the same Sun, with unresisted power,
Burns the wide lawn, and animates the flower;
Bids it unfold its beauties, and delight
With sweets the sense, with sunny dyes the sight;
Bids it, like you, each hour new grace assume,
And smile, unmatched, in loveliness and bloom.

An invitation to a gentleman.

A female moderately fair,
Pleased with your spirit, wit and air,
To me assigns the pleasing task,
Your company tonight to ask:
She has prepared a feast refined,
A sacred banquet for the mind;
And you shall sup in solemn state,
Whilst round the tuneful sisters wait;
Who, if you wish for drink, shall bring
You water from Pieria's spring,
More elevating than Champagne,
And far more apt to heat the brain.
Pindar, who wrote in ancient days,
Has celebrated water's praise;
But if, with Flaccus, you incline
To like the product of the vine,
And choose a more substantial feast,
She'll do her best, to hit your taste.


The Sun had sunk his glittering head
In the fair ocean's watery bed,
And evening came, that soothed the pain
Of every toil-enduring swain,
When faint from noon's excessive heat,
I sought a peaceful cool retreat;
A deep impenetrable shade,
Where not a sunbeam ever strayed.

O sacred solitude, said I,
To thy calm bosom let me fly;
O bless with thy seraphic joys
A soul averse to pomp and noise;
Wisdom with contemplation dwells,
In twilight groves, and lonely cells;
She flies the proud, she shuns the great,
Unknown to grandeur, wealth, and state.
Hail, heaven-born Virgin! Deign to bless
This sacred, silent, sweet recess
Give me, celestial maid, to know
The joys that from thy presence flow;
Do thou instruct my voice to sing
That God, from whom thou first didst spring,
That God, at whose almighty call
From nothing rose this beauteous all.
Then when the morning stars proclaim
The glory of Jehovah's name,
When praises every tongue employ,
And men and angels shout for joy,
Assist me with thy aid divine
In those best hymns my voice to join.

To Strephon, written for a lady to her lover.

Behold the spring in fresh attire,
Gay blooming season of desire,
With fragrant breath salutes the grove,
Awaking nature, joy and love;
The woods in verdant beauty dressed,
Have her enlivening power confessed,
What means this coldness in your breast?
Not all the kindly warmth in mine
Can thaw that frozen heart of thine.
Go then, inconstant, though, and rove,
Forget thy vows, neglect thy love;
Some senseless, tasteless, girl pursue,
Bought smiles befit such swains as you;
While for the worst I see you change,
You give me a complete revenge.

A song.

Strephon, your breach of faith and trust
Affords me no surprise;
A man who grateful was or just,
Might make my wonder rise.

That heart to you so fondly tied
With pleasure wore its chain,
But from your cold neglectful pride
Found liberty again.

For this no wrath inflames my mind,
My thanks are due to thee,
Such thanks as generous victors find
Who set their captives free.

To a very young lady.

Thy genius, beauty, innocence command
This humble tribute from the Muse's hand;
A faithful Muse, who hears with secret joy,
Thy early virtues every tongue employ.

O still thy parents' Godlike steps pursue
Still keep their mutual excellence in view;
So shall the wondering world with transport see,
All virtue, all perfection, live in thee.

Queen Mab to Pollio.

The Queen of the fairies this summons does send
To Pollio, her councillor, cousin, and friend;
We order you here to attend us tonight,
We revel by moonlight with pomp and delight!
Our grove we illuminate, glorious to see,
With glittering glow-worms begemming each tree;
We'll drink up the dew that empearls the flowers,
And in circling joys spend our circling hours.
If you fail in attendance, by my sceptre I swear,
My fairies shall bring you by force through the air.

But however reluctantly I do it, I must return.

The following ode of Horace bearing some similitude to my then present circumstances, I took the liberty of paraphrasing, and sent it to my husband, notwithstanding his former lectures.

The seventh ode of the third book of Horace paraphrased.
Quid Fles, Asterie?

Asteria, why will you consume
In sighs and tears your rosy bloom?
No more your youthful husband mourn,
He soon shall to your arms return;

Propitious winds shall waft him o'er,
Enriched from Britain's fruitful shore.
In vain the nymphs display their charms,
To win him to their longing arms:
Though strong temptations court the youth,
Doubt not his constancy and truth;
They fixed as rocks unmoved remain,
While winds and waves assault in vain.

You only teach his soul to know
The secret pang, the tender woe;
For you he feels a thousand fears,
And oft bedews his couch with tears.

Ah! Then in kind return beware,
Lest tempting words your heart ensnare;
Avoid the dusk and silent shade,
Nor hear the plaintive serenade;
Let prudence, that unerring guide,
O'er every thought and act preside:
So shall your faith and virtue prove
Worthy his matchless truth and love.

Mr. P覧n, who loved me best at a distance, wrote me a very kind letter, wherein he told me my verses were like myself, full of elegance and beauty; that Mr. Pope and others, whom he had shown them to, longed to see the writer; and that he heartily wished me in London. And this put the fancy into my head of going there; and as some of my acquaintance intended soon for it, with whom I thought I could agreeably travel, I soon resolved to accompany them.

Mr. P覧n had been absent nine months; a tedious time in a lover's reckoning. In three months' time his office expired; for every new Lord Mayor of London has a new chaplain; so I thought I should have the pleasure of passing the winter in London, and then, if nothing better offered, we should return home together. London has very attractive charms for most people, as our Irish nobility and gentry sufficiently evidence, by spending the greater part of their time and fortune there; and can it be wondered at, that a young lively woman should be fond of taking the only opportunity she might ever have of seeing its magnificence in perfection. Well! But how to execute my project; for I was apprehensive if either my own parents or Mr. P覧n's were acquainted with it, they would prevent me, so I resolved to make but one confidant, which was a very faithful servant, who in the evening put my portmanteau aboard the yacht. Next morning, the wind being fair, I went under pretence of seeing my friends safe aboard, down the river with them, and into the ship as it were out of curiosity; but being then out of danger of pursuit, I told them my intention, which some approved of, and some blamed. However, as I did not question a kind reception from my husband, and knew my children would be well taken care of by my parents, I was very cheerful and easy, and little regarded what was thought of my frolic; neither could I divine that any evil construction would be put upon it.

We had a very safe passage, and a pleasant journey. I wrote to Mr. P覧n from Parkgate, and he and Mr. Worsdale met me about four miles distance from London. So I took leave of my fellow travellers for the present, and went into the coach to them, which drove to Mr. W覧le's. Mr. P覧n received me very obligingly, and called me his little fugitive and runaway; but a stranger would have thought Mr. W覧le was my husband, he welcomed me so kindly, and paid me so many compliments. As I had been up at three o'clock in the morning, I was heartily fatigued, and desired Mr. P覧n to take leave; but he whispered me to invite Mr. W覧le home to supper with us, which accordingly I did; and he was so transported with this civility, he could not conceive his joy; whatever I commended amongst his paintings, he would force me to accept of; and putting as many bottles of wine into the coach box as it could conveniently hold, we went to Mr. P覧n's lodging, which I found very handsome and convenient. Wine and good cheer entertained us till midnight to our mutual satisfactions.

When Mr. P覧n and I were alone, he told me that though he was very glad to see me he was afraid I would have but a lonely time of it in London, he being obliged to attend on the Lord Mayor, from nine in the morning to six in the evening, and from thence he always went to the play, and afterwards to supper to Mrs. Heron, one of the actresses of no very good fame. Though I thought this but an odd manner of life for a clergyman, I did not say so, being unwilling to offend him. I had heard it whispered, that he liked this woman, but I resolved patiently to wait the event.

The next day, when he was going out, I put him in mind, that Mr. W覧le said he would pass the evening with us; but he laughed at my believing it, and said he was a man so uncertain in his temper, that perhaps I might never see him again while I lived. Just then a lady who came over with me, called on us, and Mr. P覧n and she had some private chat, when she was gone he told me, she had brought him a letter and some poetry from the Dean, which he had ordered him to dispose of, and put the money into his own pocket; as he could not stay to read them, he took them with him to the Lord Mayor's.

However, Mr. P覧n was mistaken in imagining Mr. W覧le would fail in his appointment, he came and told me Mr. P覧n was at the play, but would sup with us. He made use of his absence to compliment me at an unmerciful rate, and sing me all the tenderest love songs he could think of, in the most pathetic manner: in short, he exerted his talents to entertain me, and behaved himself so much in the style of a lover, that had I not been married, I should have imagined, he intended to address me. When Mr. P覧n returned, he told him, he was certainly the happiest man living, and wondered how he could be a moment out of my company, where he could stay forever. Mr. P覧n seemed much pleased with his gallantry, and said, he hoped I would induce him to see us often. When we were alone, he told me, he believed his friend was in love with me. I answered, if he thought so, I wondered he gave him so warm an invitation. He said, he was a very generous man, and that his liking to me, if well-managed, might prove very profitable; for he valued no expense where a lady was in the case. So, it seems, I was the bait wherewith he was to angle for gold out of a rival's pocket: a scheme which had a twofold prospect of gain annexed to it; for while a lover has hope, he seldom quits the chase, and would even thank the husband, for taking the friendly freedom of using his purse, and yet should the gallant be detected in taking any friendly freedoms with the wife in return, the law is all against him, damages and imprisonment must ensue. Which consideration may serve as a warning to all men, not to invade properties, or commit wilful trespass on their neighbour's ground.

If my readers are but this time the least acquainted with my spirit, they may judge, I looked on this project with the contempt it deserved; however I promised complaisance, which, indeed, Mr. W覧le's seeming merits might well deserve. The next day I was invited to the Lord Mayor's, who, on account of the resolute opposition he had given to the Excise act, was the darling of the people. He was but indifferent as to his person, or rather homely than otherwise; but he had an excellent understanding, and the liveliness of his genius shone in his eyes, which were very black and sparkling. He always treated me with great complaisance, and gave me a general invitation to his table. As the Lord Mayor was a bachelor, he had a gentlewoman who managed his household affairs, and who, except on public days, did the honours of his table. Mr. P覧n told me she was violently in love with him, and was ready to run mad on hearing I was come to London. How true this might be I know not; but as she was very civil to me, and was old enough to be my mother, I was not the least disturbed with jealousy on her own account; though I can't help saying, she gave me a great deal of uneasiness, by relating to me many instances of my husband's extraordinary regard for the player aforementioned: we went together to the play on purpose to see her, and, to do her justice, she was a graceful, fine woman, at least she appeared such on the stage, and had a peculiar skill in dressing to advantage. Mr. P覧n and Mr. W覧le were at the play; they met us going out, and Mr. P覧n committed me to the care of his friend, who had a coach waiting to convey me home; but Mr. P覧n went to his old rendezvous to the actress, to my very great mortification; because I really preferred his conversation to any other in the world: however he was so complaisant, he used every evening to send Mr. W覧le to keep me company, while he pursued his pleasures, and, as I shall answer to heaven, he did everything in his power to afford and encourage an amour between his friend and me.

One instance, out of an hundred I could produce, I submit to the impartial judgement of my reader. One of the young ladies at whose house I first saw Mr. P覧n, happening to be in London, and but in low circumstances, came to visit me; she insisted on my passing the next evening with her, and had just as I was going Mr. W覧le came in, and offered to accompany me, to which I gladly consented, hoping as he was then a man of interest, he might recommend her to some good family, as a governess to children, or a lady's woman, when he knew how well-qualified she was for either place. As her spirit was far above her ability, I was concerned to see what expense she had put herself to my reception, having provided a very genteel supper, to which she would oblige us to stay. While she was giving orders for it, I informed Mr. W覧le of her distress, who immediately gave me a Guinea for her, but entreated I would give it to her as a present from myself, which, as I knew it was the only method to make her accept of it, I did.

When I came home, I related to Mr. P覧n Mr. W覧le's obliging and generous behaviour; but little was he pleased with the recital: what could I think of him, but he told me, I did very easily to introduce a new woman to him, i.e. Mr. W覧le, and that he hoped I would lose him, and that henceforth he would bestow his favours on her? A speech more proper for the mouth of one of those abandoned wretches who live by the sale of the innocent, than for a husband, a gentleman, and one who ought to be a Christian. But I believe he was of opinion that

Let the malicious world say what it please,
The fair wife makes her husband live at ease.

And, provided he sold me well, and put money in his purse, little regarded either my temporal or eternal happiness.

Another instance either of his extraordinary confidence in my fidelity to him, or rather indifference about it, was, that he obliged me to go alone with his friend to Windsor, though, as it was winter, there was no possibility of going there and returning the same day, it being twenty miles distant from London; so that he had not only two days, but a night also, to pass together. Could any husband be more obliging to his rival, than to give him such an opportunity to accomplish his wishes? Had mine but concurred, I had then been undone; for, truly, the gentleman tried every argument to win me to them, but in vain. My husband's misconduct in exposing me to such temptation, stung me to the quick; nay, I could not help believing they were both in a plot to betray me to ruin, and as we were at the top inn in the town, I started at every noise of horsemen who stopped there, and concluded, though falsely I believe, that Mr. W覧le had given Mr. P覧n a direction where to find us; and as this imagination wholly possessed me, I little regarded either the elegance of our entertainment, or the tenderness and passion that the gentleman expressed in every word and look: his soft endearments were all lost on one who regarded him as an enemy. I was obstinately sullen, and pretended weariness, on purpose to quit his company; but I lost all patience, when calling to the maid to show me to my chamber, I found there was but one, nay, and but one bed too, provided for two guests; far, it seems, my gentleman had so ordered it, hoping, no doubt, to supply my husband's place.

I was now in a manner convinced, there was treachery intended against me, and reproached my desiring swain in such bitter terms, that he had no way to prove his innocence, but by retiring, though very reluctantly, to another apartment, and I took special care to barricade my own, not only double locking it, but also placing all the chairs and tables against the door to prevent a possibility of being surprised.

I rose very early next morning to take a survey of what curiosities Windsor afforded, as it was too late the night before to see anything; but found nothing worth observation, except the Castle, whose eminent situation and Gothic grandeur, might very well, some ages ago make it esteemed a nonpareil: but as it has frequently been described and celebrated, I shall only say, that considering it as the Palace of the Edwards and Henrys, I was touched with something like a religious veneration for it, which no modern building could inspire me with.

Mr. W覧le attended me with great respect, and excepting that he tenderly reproached me with what he called my cruelty the night before, gave me no further cause of displeasure, but brought me safely home in his chaise to Mr. P覧n.

But pray, gentle reader, suppose it had happened otherwise; that night-solitude, an agreeable and importunate lover, should have prevailed on human, yielding frailty, whom could my husband so properly have blamed for it as himself? He who best knew our frames, bids us avoid temptation, as the surest method, nay, and perhaps the only one of avoiding sin; for who so firm that may not be seduced? Why then should he, Mr. P覧n, drive me into the toils, unless he meant to have me made a prey of?

I fairly confess this action greatly sunk him in my esteem; nay, it even did the same in Mr. W覧le's, especially as he reaped no satisfaction by it. I could scarcely after regard Mr. P覧n as a husband; but rather a man whose property I was, and who would gladly dispose of me to the best bidder. Shocking thought!

And yet this scheme was so artfully managed, as indeed all his against me have ever been, that I could not well reproach him for it; for he would have alleged, it was a party of pleasure intended by him for my health and recreation; and to have mentioned Mr. W覧le's attempt, why, to say the truth, I looked upon it as a thing that any man in the same circumstances might naturally be guilty of, even though he had no previous liking to, or thought of the woman. So, as there was no harm done, I judged it most prudent to be silent. Besides, no faults are so easily pardoned by our sex, as those we believe to be occasioned by our own charms, the eager lover's constant excuse, and which are vanity is but too apt to admit as a reasonable one.

Of all things in nature, I most wonder why men should be severe in their censures on our sex, for a failure in point of chastity: it is not monstrous that our seducers should be our accusers? Will they not employ fraud, nay, often force to gain us? What various arts, what stratagems, what wiles with they use for our destruction? But that once accomplished, every opprobrious term with which our language so plentifully abounds, shall be bestowed on us, even by the very villains who have wronged us.

O heaven that such companions thou'dst unfold!
And put a whip in every honest hand,
To lash such rascals, naked through the world,
Even from the East to the West.覧

I am sure the whole female sex with join me in a hearty Amen.

Mr. P覧n's year of chaplainship being near expired, I hoped that he would return to Ireland; but he had entertained a belief that Mr. Walpole would provide for him, and therefore determined to stay in London, so I was forced to return single; for as Mr. P覧n's income ceased with his office, he chose to accept of an offer from Mr. W覧le to lodge in his house. For several reasons I thought it most proper to revisit my native country; the first and chief was the affection I bore to my dear little ones; the next, to avoid both the temptation and scandal I must have suffered, by going into the house of a person, who with regard to women, had an avowedly dissolute character.

But however cautiously and prudently I acted in this affair, it was not my good fortune to escape calumny; so far from it, that I was both traduced for going to London, and for returning from it; and the wife of a certain B覧, who invited me to dine with a day or two after my return to Dublin, when we retired to our tea, abused me in language I should have scorned, in respect to my own gentility, to have given to the meanest servant I was ever mistress of: and because my husband had made me present of a few little trinkets, all of which in the expense amounted but to a trifle, told me she was sure some gallant had given them to me. But, as I have since been informed, she was ragingly jealous of me, although without any reason, I can the more readily pardon her inhumane treatment of me.

But as I did not choose to bear reproaches I did not deserve, I sent for a chair, and bursting into tears left the room. In the hall I met the B覧, who was coming to drink tea with the ladies: he was surprised to see me so disordered, and tenderly laying hold of me, required the cause. I desired he would go ask his lady, who had invited me, to use me ill: which he said, he hoped she would not do, in regard to my condition (being then pregnant). But, heaven knows! Had he but considered how cruel all barren creatures naturally are, insomuch that I have seen a barren ewe attempt to kill a young lamb, he would rationally have judged what might have, even in law, been my protection, was the very cause of her hatred and displeasure to me.

However, as this lady was the first to attack my character, I can do no less than return her these my public and grateful acknowledgements; for though perhaps half the world cannot tell whom I mean; yet as it is more than probable, the person involved may read over these memoirs, she at least will know her own portrait.

'Tis really a sad misfortune, that the honest liberty of the press is so suppressed in Ireland: but however, I promise all my subscribers to oblige them with a key to whatever secrets I have been obliged to lock up; and many I have been obliged to strike out of my work, otherwise I could never have had a single line in print.

Vice in power will command at least an outward homage; and helpless poverty dare not either oppose or expose it.

A few days after my return to Ireland, Sir Daniel Molineux said in French to my brother in St. Anne's Church, that he was surprised to see me look so cheerful, considering my husband was in the Bastille. My brother told it to me, but for my life I could not guess what the gentleman meant.

But too soon I was informed by the newspapers, that Mr. P覧n, Mr. Mot, and Mr. Gilliver, were all taken up on account of some treasonable poetry which Mr. P覧n had given to the two latter to print; I then recollected the papers aforementioned, delivered to him by one of my female fellow-travellers.

Who was the informer I know not, both parties having violently accused each other; but in my soul I believe Mr. P覧n was innocent, and I am sure I have no reason to be partial to him. But certain it is, his character suffered so much that it almost broke my heart, as it deprived me of any hopes even of his having bread for his family. The notion of his having betrayed Dr. Swift incensed the whole kingdom of Ireland against him; and as I did not for many weeks receive a letter from him, I knew not how to justify him; and when called upon by the late Primate (Dr. Hoadly) to give him an account of the affair, I could only answer him with tears, which, as both he and his lady were exceedingly humane, pleaded his cause as powerfully as the most moving eloquence could have done; his Grace bade me be comforted, and write to my husband to come over and mind his duty, and he would still be a friend to him; and generously added, that as many persons busied themselves in bringing stories to him to Mr. P覧n's disadvantage, I should be welcome to his table every day, which would discountenance those who endeavoured to prejudice him, when they saw it did not make him or his spouse withdraw their regard from me.

His Grace's goodness affected me so much, that my tears of sorrow were converted to those of gratitude; nor could I forbear falling on my knees to pay my acknowledgements to him and his friendly lady, for the relief their kindness had given to a heart overcome with anguish.

At length I received a letter from Mr. P覧n, which he was obliged to enclose to a gentleman for me, otherwise it would have been carried to the Castle and there examined; so great notice was taken of these poems. He wrote me word he had been ill of the rheumatism, and in great trouble; that he would directly return to Ireland, but that he had not money to bear his expenses. I made an application to my father for him, who bade me let the fellow go to the West Indies, and he would take care of me and children. But unfortunately for me, I had too much good nature to take this wholesome advice; so far from it, that I never ceased importuning him, but followed him from morning to night, like Niobe all tears, till he gave me a bill of twenty pounds to send to him, with which he came over to Ireland; but so pale and dejected, that he looked like the ghost of his former self; and the disregard he met with from everybody went very near his heart. Every day there was a new abuse published on him; my father battled for him, and I did everything in my power to cheer and comfort his spirits. Compassion wrought now the same effects on me, as love had done heretofore; and as he frequently wept, I could not forbear mingling my tears with his; and, by way of consolation, wrote to him the following lines.

No more, loved partner of my soul,
At disappointments grieve,
Can flowing tears our fate control,
Or sighs our woes relieve?

Adversity is virtue's school
To those who right discern;
Let us observe each painful rule,
And each hard lesson learn.

When wintry clouds obscure the sky,
And heaven and earth deform,
If fixed the strong foundations lie,
The castle braves the storm.

Thus fixed on faith's unfailing rock,
Let us endure a while
Misfortune's rude, impetuous shock,
And glory in our toil.

Ill fortune cannot always last,
Or though it should remain,
Yet we each painful moment haste
A better world to gain.

Where calumny no more shall wound,
Nor faithless friends destroy,
Where innocence and truth are crowned
With never-fading joy.

I should not have dwelt so long on every trivial circumstance had I not been strangely traduced about this affair, which, as I shall answer it to God, I have related with the utmost truth and exactness. I never had any breach with Mr. P覧n till our final separation; and I'm sure if my father had suspected me of any dishonour, he would sooner have joined with my husband to prosecute me, than have given him a single a shilling to make up matters between us.

Neither can I really imagine what I had done to merit all the cruel and scandalous aspersions thrown on me, especially by the ladies: it would be infinite vanity to suppose envy had any share in their gentle breasts; or that the praises I received from the other sex, on account of my writings, awakened their displeasure against me: for though

They had no title to aspire;
Yet, when I sunk, they rose the higher.

But what I think most surprising, is, that women, who have suffered in their own reputations, are generally most cruel in their censures on others. I could mention a lady, who was so fond of a certain colonel, that when he died, she was almost mad, though he was a married man; and yet she was heedful of the main chance, in prevailing on him to leave her his estate from his wife, whose brother's estate she had before secured to herself, he being married to her. I remember this lady the whole town-talk of Dublin, and yet by having a large ill-got fortune, she procured a second husband, commenced prude, though not till youth and beauty were fled, and is, if she yet lives, one of the bitterest enemies to any woman, who has ever committed even an active indiscretion, that can be found in the world, as I have proved many years ago by woeful experience.

So Flavia, full of inward guilt,
Calls Florimel an arrant jilt.

But enough of this. When Mr. P覧n was once more settled in his cure, I being very much inclined to a decay, my father said, nothing would more effectually restore my health than the country; so having often been invited to his brother's at Cork, I resolved on going there for a few months, where I was very kindly received. We took the diversions of the season at Mallow, but nothing remarkable happened to me, except that one gentleman there took it into his head to do, what they call blackguard me, incessantly. It was the reigning humour of the place, amongst the young folks, to call names, sell bargains, and sometimes talk indecently, all of which I abhorred; and therefore this gentleman singled me out as a mark for this sort of wit; and the more he found it vexed me, the more he persisted in it. At last, I very seriously demanded of him, what I had done to provoke him to tease me in the manner he did? He said, he heard I was a wit; and wished I would write a satire on him. So to oblige him, I sent the following lines, which obtained me a truce from his anti-sublime conceits.

The Mirror.

Strephon, since my skill you task,
And so oft your picture ask;
Lest my colours prove too faint,
Such a various mind to paint,
I, who ne'er descend to flatter,
And abhor to deal in satire,
Have at length contrived a way
Your resemblance to display.
I have brought truth's polished mirror,
Which shall show you every error,
And, as faithful glasses do,
Shall reflect your graces too.

Barren minds, like barren soils,
Mock the cultivator's toils;
Though he sows the choicest seeds,
The produce is chaff and weeds;
Thine, with wild luxuriant growth
Yields us corn and thistles both.
Every virtue to its side
Has a neighbour vice allied;
These, though sprung from different roots,
So immix and blend their shoots,
That we know not what to call
Products so equivocal.

All who know you, would admire
Your true courage, sense, and fire;
Did not oft the rude and rash,
With these nobler talents clash.

Bounteous nature framed your mind
Fit for sense and taste refined:
You her choicest gifts refuse,
And the meanest manners choose;
If from thence you merit claim,
Every shoe-boy has the same.

How can you to fame ascend,
If your course you downward bend;
You, indeed, may hope, in time,
To achieve the low sublime:
And suppose the bottom gained,
What but filth could be obtained?

If my freedom here offend you,
Think it kindly meant to mend you.
In your mind are seeds of worth,
Call their latent virtues forth:
Nor need you far from wisdom roam,
Your best examples are at home*.

*Note: His father, Colonel Murray; and his second wife, Lady Blaney.

And here, gentle reader, I must bid you take leave of the hope of any further cheerful amusement; here commences the mournfullest tale which ever yet was either told or read.

The winter's return brought me to Dublin. My husband met me about a mile from town, and took me and my aunt van Lewen's sister, who came to town with me, out of the stagecoach into a hackney one. He entertained me with an account of a violent quarrel he had with my father; and said, he hoped, if I had any regard for him, I would never go within side his doors. This was a strange command, and as strange did it appear to me, that he should quarrel with the best natured gentleman in the world; his father in effect, as he treated him as his son! I told him, I hoped he would excuse my once disobeying him; for I owed, if possible, a superior duty to my father, than a husband could claim. Mr. P覧n was very angry. This was on Thursday night: the next morning, at all hazards, I went to wait on my father, who received me with a coldness which struck me to the heart. He said, Mr. P覧n had used him so ill, he did not desire to see his wife. 'Dear Sir' (said I) 'am I not your daughter?' 'Yes' (said he) 'and had you taken my advice in letting the villain go to the West Indies, I should have regarded you as such; but, make much of him; and remember, the hour will come, you will wish you had followed your father's counsel.' My aunt's sister was with me, to whom he never once spoke, but walked to and fro in a sort of a distracted manner, and looked so ill, that, imagining my presence disturbed him, I asked him where my mother was? He said, she was gone to take the air; and that he had company to dine with him, so that he could not ask me to stay. I took the hint, and departed from him, in such inconceivable sorrow, as I never in my life experienced before, because I really loved him more than anything in the world.

I passed the remainder of the day in tears, for my husband never came home till twelve o'clock at night; so that I had full liberty to indulge my sorrow. I sent my compliments on Friday and Saturday morning to my parents; they answered, they were very well; but they neither asked me to come to them nor came to me.

On Sunday I was invited to dinner to Mr. Dubourg's. I found myself so ill, that I could not go to church; however, about two o'clock, I went to dine with my friends, who looked on with as much surprise as if they had seen an apparition. They had no sooner seated me, but they both went out of the room, and had a long consultation at the door: little did I think how deeply I was concerned in it. At length Mrs. Douburg came in: I tenderly reproached with her coldness to me: she said, she was not well; and asked me, had I heard from Molesworth Street that day? I told her, I had not. She asked me, if Mr. P覧n would come to dinner? I told her, he was engaged to preach at St. Peter's Church in the afternoon, and therefore went to Mrs. Warren's where they dined early. A little while after, counsellor Smith came in; but they called out, and had a long conference with him. In short, everybody behaved themselves so oddly to me, that I knew not what to make of it.

Just as dinner was served up, Mr. P覧n came in: 'My dear' (said I) 'you are better than promise'. 'Why' (says he) 'I am not come to dine; but to tell you, your father is stabbed.' Had he plunged a dagger into my heart could not have given me a deeper wound.

It seems, this accident, for such my father declared it to be, happened at nine o'clock in the morning; and so unkind were my mother and sister, they never sent me the least notice of it. The company I went to, had known of it some hours before, and consequently were surprised to find me ignorant of what so nearly concerned me, and what, by that time, all Dublin knew. None of them could find in their hearts to tell me of it; and this was the occasion of the many consultations they held, which had appeared so strange to me. It would be tedious to my readers, to relate every difficulty I had even to see my father, in respect to the ashes of my mother, I do not choose to tell how ill I was used upon this occasion; but as I owe no sort of respect or ceremony to my sister, (if I may call her one, who by no means deserves that title) I must proceed. I rose from the table, and a chair called, and went to my father's: three of the servants sat in the hall, and my sister, excessively dirty, walked to and fro in it. She would willingly have kept me out; but however, the servant knowing me, opened the door. The first noise which struck my year, upon my entrance, was the deep and piercing groans of my dear father. When I attempted to go upstairs to offer my duty to him, my sister by violence pulled me down; but the agony I was in for my father, and the resentment I conceived at her gross usage of me, supplied me with strength to get up in despite of her. When I opened the dining room door, the floor was all besmeared with blood; my mother, in an arbitrary voice, asked me, what business I had there? I told her, I had child's right to pay my duty to my father. She said, if I spoke to him, it would kill him. Upon which, for the first, and indeed the only time that ever I gave her an impertinent answer, I said, that every person about my father had loved him with half my tenderness, he would not been reduced to the condition I was then too sure he was in. Upon this, I offered to go into the bedchamber, but was not only forcibly withstood, but even beaten by my mother, and asked again, if I intended to kill my father? I made no reply, but sat down, and assured her, the first person who opened that door, I would go in. In about three minutes time Dr. Pope, Dr. Helsham, Mr. Nicholls, and in all seven physicians and three surgeons (as my father was universally esteemed) came at their own accord to visit him; when I heard them on the stairs, I took that opportunity to open the bedchamber door, in which neither my mother nor my sister could well oppose me, as the gentlemen were come into the dining room, before they were apprised of my intention; but, heavens! How shall I describe the agony that seized me, when I beheld my dear father pale as death, and unable to utter any thing but groans? Those only who have loved a father as well as I did mine, can judge of my condition: I kneeled down by the bedside: weak as he was he kindly reached out his hand to me: he asked me if this was not an unhappy accident. I begged he would not speak, because Mr. Nicholls had told me, his lungs were wounded, and that every word was detrimental to him; but as I had not ever knowingly offended him, I begged he would give me leave to pay my duty to him, and that he would signify it, by laying his hand on my head, which he not only did, but desired I would not leave him. But here my father gave me an impossible task; for no sooner were the gentleman departed, but my mother said she must speak with me; and whether she was really mad, or counterfeited to be so, I know not; but she insisted on my going to bed with her, alleging, that my sister was younger and stronger than I, and better able to bear the fatigue of sitting up. This seemed to carry the appearance of love and tenderness; but, heaven knows, it was far otherwise, as I afterwards found out; for the three following days my mother never permitted me to leave her; if I ever attempted it, she tore her hair, and screamed like a lunatic. The fourth night I heard my father ring a bell, my mother was asleep, and as my thoughts were ever on him, I ran downstairs to him undressed as I was. He seemed surprised to see me, having been told that I was in my own house, and would not undertake the trouble of attending him. I found him in a very cold sweat; it suddenly came into my head, that if I could change that into a hot one, it might, perhaps, relieve him. So after assuring him, that I had not quitted him, nor had ever been out of the house; but was prevented by their mother and sister from attending on him, he said he was very dry, and asked me, what the physicians had ordered for him to drink. As they all concluded that he would not outlive that night, they had ordered nothing, but left him to take what he pleased, as, in spite of all precautions to the contrary, I had overheard. Upon this, I resolved so far to turn physician myself as to tell him, they ordered him to drink some hock and sack made warm. Weak as he was, he could not forbear smiling, and saying, he never heard of such another prescription; 'ten gentleman meet to order me some hock and sack mixed!' said he; 'well, give it to me, it must certainly be a cure for a pleuretic fever.' I did so; nay, I not only give it at that time, but plied him with it every time he called for drink all night, to produce the effect I desired, and threw them into a fine breathing sweat, and the deep sleep. It may now be demanded, where my sister was all this time? Why, as she had not, if I may speak my mind, half the regard to my father that I had, she was fast asleep in the armchair, nor could he awake her.

When the physicians came in the morning, they were agreeably surprised to find my father's fever quite gone, and his eyes look very lively; he told them, their merry prescription had done him great service. I winked at them not to undeceive him; they understood me, and Dr. Helsham called me aside, under pretence of giving me some directions, but, in reality, to enquire of me, what I had administered. I told him, and he could not forbear smiling. He called all the gentleman into the next room to a consultation, to which presently after I was summoned, as both Dr. Helsham and Dr. Cope were men of wit and pleasantry, they rallied me agreeably on presuming to practice physic, never having taken my degrees, and assured me, I should be called before the College of Physicians, and be prosecuted as an empiric.

I rose up, and making a low curtsy, I told them, as the best part of the College of Physicians were then present, they would, I hoped, have candour enough to permit me to make my own defence; to which they all assented by a gracious nod, and bade me proceed; I then, making another reverence, told them, that as to my right of practising physic, I held it extra judice, and smiling said, I supposed they all understood Latin傭ut as their proper business was to destroy life, I hoped they would not take it amiss, if I for once, in a case which so nearly and deeply concerned me, had, to the utmost of my power, frustrated their designs; neither had I presumed to interfere, till they themselves had assured me, all hope of my father's life was gone, and that he could not live till morning. But, said I, making another curtsy, I, with all respect to this honourable board, humbly presume to believe,

They had rather choose that he should die,
Than their prediction prove a lie.

Nothing, except my father's being so very weak, and so very near to us, could have prevented the gentlemen's laughing heartily at my fine harangue. However, I was dismissed with honour, and as my father seemed now to want nothing but restoratives, I was directed to make some viper broth, hartshorn jelly, chocolate, and other nourishing aliments.

From this time we entertained hopes of my father's recovery. In a few days he was so strong as to be able to sit up from morning to night. The whole town seemed to participate in our joy, and many who had never visited him before, came now to congratulate him and his family on this happy change. Whether it was owing to his having seen too much company, or to his own over-neatness in insisting on having his chamber cleaned, I know not; but I received a message from Mr. P覧n, that he was taken very ill, and desired to see me. As I flattered myself, my father was out of danger, I obeyed the commands of my husband, and prevailed on Mr. Nicholls to come and visit him. He had got a cold, and was a little feverish: Mr. Nicholas thought proper to take a little blood from him, and I stayed with him that night and part of the ensuing day. Mr. P覧n being much relieved, gave me leave in the evening to go to my father's, where I found all things in confusion, and he so ill, that there was now not the least hope of his recovery: he coughed incessantly, was seized with what they call a galloping consumption, and in a very few days after expired, leaving me in inconceivable sorrow. About an hour before he departed, I left the room, being unable to see his last agonies, and went up to my mother, who was as fast locked up in sleep, as guiltless Labour. Some time after I heard the windows thrown up, by which I knew his mortal cares were ended.

We had that evening engaged a nurse keeper, but did not dare to let her into my father's presence, lest he should say, as he once did, on proposing such a thing, that we were tired of him; but now her assistance was absolutely necessary, though my sister told me, she herself helped to wash and lay my father out. I am sure I could have died sooner; but some persons have uncommon courage, or rather as Swift observes,

Indifference clad in wisdom's guise,
All fortitude of mind supplies.

About three o'clock in the morning on New Year's Day, my sister came into the room, and desired me to come and help her to take my father up, that he wanted to rise. Though I was certain he was dead, as I had taken off my clothes, I went with her, and sent in the maid to sit by my mother. I asked my sister on the stairs, was my father alive? She answered, 'No.' So with a heavy heart I went into the dining room; but by no means could I summon up sufficient spirits, to look upon the clay-cold figure of him, who, under God, was the author of my being. My heart fluttered; my tongue refused its office; neither had I the poor relief of tears溶o wonder, when the very spring and fountain of my life was stopped葉he very source of it was stopped, if the streams thereon dependent, were for a while froze up and dead.

While I was lost in melancholy musing, my sister was very industrious in making the tea-kettle boil. I don't say this by way of reflection on her; for though I was less assiduous about it, my own mouth was perfectly parched with thirst, and I was very glad of something to moisten it.

When the tea was ready, unluckily we had no sugar, nor was there any in the house, but what was in the tea-chest, the key of which was in my mother's pocket under her head. My sister went up and waked her, telling her, my father wanted a little burned wine. She readily gave it, and prayed devoutly it might do him good. My sister came down laughing, to think how she had imposed on her. If anything could have added weight to the intolerable burden of my sorrows, I now felt it, by considering how terrible my mother's surprise and disappointment must be!

About six o'clock I thought it was proper to send the chest of plate into Dean Madden's, and to lock up whatever was valuable; a prudent precaution, as it too soon appeared. After this I went into my mother's chamber; she asked me, how my father was. I told her, he had been very ill, in the beginning of the night, but was now very quiet. She said, she hoped sleep would do him good. I answered, I trusted in God it had. So she arose, and would not put on her shoes, lest she should disturb him: nay, so strong was the force of her imagination, that she even said, she heard him cough as we passed by his chamber door: but a sad counterfeit was I; for when we came into his dressing-room, which opened to the garden, as it was now daylight, my mother easily perceived the concern in my countenance; she shrieked when she looked at me, and, with great impatience, asked me, what ailed me: 'O Lord!' cried she, 'can't you give me one word of comfort?' I answered very faintly, I wished it was in my power: but, alas! Her worst fears were but too true; all was over. I really thought she would now have run quite mad; scarcely could I prevent her going into his chamber. I sent in for Dean Madden, who by prayers and spiritual advice, a little calmed her; but one woe trod upon the other's heels, Mr. Nicholls, who for the particular regard he has my father, was his first visitor, and whose humanity during the whole time of his sickness, deserves a grateful acknowledgement, which, if the surviving part of his family refuse, I think it incumbent on me to pay, so far at least as words can do it; came into the dining room; he guessed our loss ere we could speak it and seemed to bear a part in our sorrows. He asked me, what hour he should come to open my father. I told him, he had left his curse on any person who attempted it. He said, he was very glad of it; for as this dismal operation must have fallen to his share, it would, I am certain, greatly have shocked his humanity. I would have had him go up to see my mother: he said, it would but renew her trouble, and that when she was a little more calm, he would make her a visit.

I now thought it highly necessary to persuade my poor mother to take at least a dish of tea, which I could not do, but by assuring her I was ready to faint. Just as it was prepared, a servant, looking like a ghost, opened the door, and beckoned me to follow him; I did so, and, upon coming downstairs, found the house filled with sheriff's officers; one of them, whose name was Williams, was most remarkably insolent, and abused me very grossly. I once more sent in for Dean Madden; I believe the worthy gentleman thought his words might prevail, but the scoundrel Williams bade him, go talk in his pulpit. However, I had presence of mind sufficient to write a line to counsellor Smith; he happened not to be at home, so I begged the Dean to go to my mother, lest those licensed robbers should plunder the house. About seven in the evening, Mr. Smith came; he found the wretches very busy in taking an inventory of the furniture. There were full as rude to him, as they had been to the Dean, and at last carried it so far as to insist upon arresting my father's body just then laid in a coffin: I, almost wild with grief, ran after them; the coffin was open, and I raised my dear father in my arms, and, as if he could have heard me, asked him, would he not protect his family? Mr. Smith had in the meantime sent for the High Sheriff; he was a young good-natured gentleman; and, after heartily reprimanding the fellows, nay and even making Williams beg pardon on his knees, dismissed them all except one, whom he ordered, not only to be civil, but also to do the work of a servant; assuring us, he would take an inventory of the things himself, as soon as the funeral was over.

The next day, being Sunday, we determined to have my dear father buried, according to his own directions, privately, at twelve o'clock at night; and I easily prevailed on Mr. Smith and his present lady to give their company to my mother during the time of this last sad solemn ceremony. As my mother wept incessantly, it made her sleepy; but the noise made in carrying down my father's corpse, awaked her; and as she had only slumbered in her chair, she started up, crying out, they were carrying her dear husband to the grave, and that she would go and be buried with him. We were obliged by violence to restrain her, nay, and also to assure her he had been interred some hours, and that the noise she heard was only that of the servants, who were setting things in order. Mr. Smith and his lady, who according to their promise, came and passed the evening with my mother, said everything that reason, Christianity, and humanity could dictate, to mitigate her afflictions. Gratitude for their kindness made her endeavour to suppress the anguish of soul; nay, out of complaisance to them, she drank a glass or two of wine, which, as she had not done for some weeks before, produced the effect I desired, of making her sleep. Mr. P覧n attended the funeral obsequies, which was the only proof of respect or kindness he ever showed to the family.

Early the next morning I arose; and if, in the melancholy situation of my soul, anything could have made me smile, the cook-maid's simplicity would certainly have done it; for, finding her fire made, her dishes washed, and everything set in good order, so well did the bailiff, who was left in the house, obey the High Sheriff's orders, in doing the work of a servant; the maid not recollecting there was any such person the house, stood crossing herself, and praying to the Blessed Virgin and all the saints in heaven. I asked her, what was the matter? 'O my dear Madam!' (Says she) 'my master was always neat; and see, for all he is dead, how he has made the fire, and cleaned up the kitchen for me.'

I left the girl in her mistake, and went up to my mother. It grieved me to awake her; yet knowing the high Sheriff would be early with us; and that the inventory of what was in her chamber must be taken, I thought was most decent for her to be up, as her unhappy situation could not authorise her taking on the state of a lady of quality, to lie in bed a month for fashion's sake.

She was not long up before the gentleman came; from him I learned, that this execution was laid at the suit of the widow Ford, who being executrix to her children, had asked my father, where she could lay out their money to advantage. As Mr. Monck wanted money, my father immediately thought of him; but as his estate was not liable to his debts, my father became surety for him. This was enough for me; I immediately wrote to Mr. Monck, who, on receipt of the letter, came to town, and, with great honour, not only discharged his own debt, but paid the sheriff's fees, which in three days amounted to twenty pounds.

This gentleman was the late Henry Stanley Monck of St. Stephen's Green.

My sister, like all provident persons, made the best of her way to her husband's mother, who being assured by Dean Madden, that he himself had married my sister to her son, which had been questioned, on account of his abrupt departure from her soon after he had made her a mother, was so kindly received by her new parent, that for three weeks after, she never either sent or came to know what was become of the old one.

As my father had positively prohibited us from writing any account to my brother, then at Paris, of the misfortune that had befallen him, I thought it not proper to disobey him; yet at the same time, judged it highly necessary he should be apprised of the melancholy situation of his affairs at home; I therefore engaged a young gentleman, an intimate friend of my brother's, to undertake the mournful task, and advise him immediately to return to Ireland: but his best speed could not overtake his father's life, who had been three weeks buried ere he arrived. When he saw us in deep mourning, and missed the dear parent, who used ever to receive him with the love of a father, and the freedom of a companion, all his resolution could scarce support it, and though he endeavoured to comfort us, 'twas but too visible he wanted it himself. My heart bled for him, so disappointed in all his hopes, which, as they had been high raised, were now the more depressed. In short, we were all mere outside, each endeavouring by a forced cheerfulness, to conceal their inward anguish from each other.

As my brother soon after sold off the goods by auction, and placed my mother, who was left entirely dependent on him, to board at a clergyman's house in the country, after which I never saw her more. I returned to my own house.

Mr. P覧n having now no expectation of fortune by me, he threw off all disguise, and showed himself in his proper colours; he had, it seems, while I was in the country in a bad state of health, got in league with the widow W羊r溶, whom he intended, if I had died, as was expected, should supply my place. However he was resolved to get rid of me at any rate, and is nothing but my death, or a divorce, could accomplish his desires, the latter seemed the safer method. To this end, he set all his engines to work. His first scheme I shall here relate.

One morning pretty early, he sent for me to come to him to breakfast in the summer-house; as I thought he was alone, I ran to him quite undressed; but was confounded at the sight of a gentleman, whom I had never seen before, and was dressed out with the utmost magnificence and curiosity, rather in the habit of a birth-night beau, than a morning visitor. I was for retiring, but Mr. P覧n obliged me to come in, and introduced him to me. I sat down with the best grace I could, and made the tea: before it was half over Mr. P覧n said, he was obliged to go visit a sick person; but that he should return in half an hour, engaging me not to let the gentleman go till then; at the same time assuring him, I was very well qualified to entertain him agreeably. The gentleman did not express the least reluctance at complying with his request; so far from it, that as soon as he was gone, he said, he was much indebted to Mr. P覧n's complaisance, for the favourable opportunity he has afforded him of speaking his wishes, and, laying hold of my hand, he began to address me in a most bombastic style, with fustian from exploded plays. For my part, I thought he was mad, and growing angry at what I deemed a great incivility to a married woman, I assured him, if he persisted in such impertinence, I would quit the place. He then begged pardon most humbly indeed, for he threw himself on the carpet at my feet, swearing he would never rise till I had forgiven him; which, not to be plagued with his farther impertinence, I was forced to say, I did. He then wanted me to confirm it by a kiss, but that I would by no means grant. In short, his company was so tiresome, that I most impatiently longed for a release; which, however, Mr. P覧n was resolved not to give me: so finding the gentleman was determined to persecute me, I told him I was engaged to dine abroad, and hoped he would excuse my leaving him, as I expected a lady to call upon me, which laid me under a necessity of going to dress.

Upon this civil dismiss, to my great satisfaction he took his leave, promising me, he would do himself the honour of waiting on me again very speedily, to which I made no reply.

I believe he went to Mr. P覧n to give him an account of what had passed, who some time after returned, and seemed much offended, that I had suffered his friend, as he called him, to go away; adding, that he was related to the Duke of Dorset, and might, by his interest, get him a good living. I answered, let him be ever so well related, he was a very troublesome coxcomb, and if he liked such company, I did not.

A few days after my youngest child died, and that I might avoid seeing the funeral, I retired to the summer-house, where I sat weeping; when suddenly this same fine spark opened the door. He told me, Mr. P覧n had sent him to desire I would have some coffee ready, and that he would be at home immediately. I desired the gentleman to go with me to the dwelling house, not choosing to stay alone with him at so great a distance from everybody. The coffee was prepared, but no Mr. P覧n came, so we drank it without him, and the gentleman fell into his old vagaries again. I then,

All smarting with my griefs, being vexed
To be so pestered by a popinjay.

burst into tears, and demanded of him, what he meant by such insolence? He looked very much confounded, and asked me, was I in earnest? I assured him I was, and that I would acquaint Mr. P覧n with his rudeness. He smiled at that threat, and to my great surprise made the following speech. 'Madam, I am convinced by your behaviour, that you are a woman of honour, and I am very sorry I should be so unfortunate as to provoke your tears: the best recompense I can make you, is, to entrust you with a secret; and I doubt not but you will have discretion enough to make a proper use of it. Mr. P覧n described you to me, as a lady very liberal of your favours, and begged I would be so kind as to make him a cuckold, so that he might be able to prove it, in order to get a separation from you; promising to give me time and opportunity for it: he assured me, it would be no difficult task; that I need but throw myself at your feet, whine out some tragedy, and you would quickly yield. But I am now convinced, that he is a very great v覧n, and very unworthy of you.'

I leave my reader to judge of my astonishment. I could scarce give the gentleman credit, and yet it was but too evident that he spoke truth, as it was now nine at night, and Mr. P覧n not come home to his invited guest.

When I had recovered power to speak, I told him, I supposed Mr. P覧n knew him to be a person destitute of all honour and humanity, when he proposed such a scheme to him as that of betraying any woman. 'Faith, madam,' returned he, 'I never intended it; for had you made me happy, I would, like a gentleman, have forsworn it, and also have given you a proper caution: but I would not pay you so ill a compliment as not to assure you, the bait was very alluring. I believe there are very few young fellows who would have refused him the favour he desired of me.' I then begged he would be so kind to leave me, which, accordingly, taking his leave very respectably, he did.

I went to bed full of disquietude; but the bitter anguish of my soul quite banished sleep. I considered the snares which were laid for me, and that he who ought to be the guardian and protector of my innocence, was the very first person who sought to destroy it. I wept abundantly, and prayed heartily to God, to deliver me out of my trouble; at length I fell into a slumber, when methought my father, just as I had seen him in his coffin, drew open the curtain, and muttered something to me very low and indistinct; but the words trouble, sorrow and shame, I very plainly heard. I started up, and turned the head curtain back; but seeing nothing, concluded the trouble of my mind produced such terrifying dreams, and recommending myself to heaven, once more addressed myself to sleep; when suddenly, methought, I was in the midst of a parcel of ruffians who were fighting, and that I, though I knew not why, was the occasion of their quarrel. At last I thought one of them gave me a severe blow over the head, as which I screamed out, and Mr. P覧n, who was now in the chamber, waked me, and asked me, what was the matter? I told him, I had a very shocking dream. 'Why,' says he, 'you grieve so much after your father, and your brat, and take no sustenance, that 'tis no wonder you should be in the vapours.' I desired he would be so kind as to give me a little water; for I was in a faint cold sweat; but as he always kept some cherry-brandy in his study, he made me take a little of it, which greatly revived me. I then told him Mr. H覧d had been to see him. He asked me, how long he stayed? I answered, till I was weary of him. 'Why, did he offend you?' 'Indeed' (returned I) 'he did.' 'How?' said he. 'By a great deal of impertinence, not worth relating.' 'I suppose' (said he) 'the coxcomb was repeating his poetry to you.' 'No,' (returned I) 'he spoke nothing of his own; he had a proper authority, I believe, for whatever he said.' I looked earnestly in Mr. P覧n's face, and could easily perceive he was in great confusion, so he put out the candle, and came to bed without asking me any farther questions.

Early the next morning he went out of town, without either leaving a shilling to provide for his family, which consisted of a maid, a footman, two children, and myself, or any person to serve his cure; neither did I, for the space of two months, hear from him, or receive any supply; till at last, by accident, I learned he was with the widow W羊r溶. For the truth of this, the Rev Dr. Bradford can bear witness; I mean, so far as is going away without asking his permission, or substituting any person to his duty.

But when a lady's in the case,
All other business must give place.
Gay's Fables.

Even religion itself.

I now beg leave to demand of every person, who has been severe in their censures of me, what, duty, love, or respect was due to such a husband? When an honest man is linked to a perfidious woman, his misfortunes claim compassion; but sure a voluntary cuckold is the meanest wretch in human nature, and deserves nothing from the world but the utmost contempt.

In the meantime the parish was quite in an uproar; nobody to visit the sick, or read six o'clock prayers. I related this part of my distress to my brother, who prevailed on a young gentleman, who had been his school-fellow and companion, then newly ordained, to do Mr. P覧n's duty.

As for my two children, I sent them to school, and they dined every day with Mr. P覧n's father; the servants were forced to run in debt for provision; and for my own part, I quartered myself on my next door neighbours, Mr. Lindsay and his spouse, where I always met a cheerful and friendly reception.

I must here observe, that because I loved reading, Mr. P覧n took with him the key of his study, into which he had removed all my books, presents to me from my friends before I was married. He also locked up the garden, rather choosing it should be overgrown with weeds, and the plants and flowers die for want of water, than that either I or the children should have the pleasure of amusing ourselves in it. The tea chest was also secured; so I was left like a tame cat, with the liberty of walking about through two or three empty rooms.

When I learned when Mr. P覧n was, I wrote to him; but received no answer. At length, one Saturday, about twelve o'clock at noon, his horse was brought home, and a mangy dog, of which I was ordered to take a particular care, which I did; and now expected the master. But as his buxom old widow (and old enough she was, to be my mother, and big enough to make four of me) came to town with him, he stayed with her till twelve o'clock at night. His first question when he entered, was, where was his dog? With which having played about half an hour, hugging, kissing, and calling it an angel, he at last vouchsafed to come upstairs. I sat in my closet in a very pensive posture; his first salutation to me, was to ask me, how I had the impudence to write to him about my family affairs? I asked him, to whom else should I write? 'Very fine!' (returned he) 'suppose Mrs. W羊r溶 had opened my letter!' 'I could not suppose that, Sir, because it is a liberty I never took with you.' 'You took with me! Why should you?' 'Nay then' (said I) 'why should she?' 'I have' (says he) 'great patience, that I do not turn you out of doors.' 'As soon as you please, Sir; I know my way to St. Sepulchre's, and, late as it is, I dare say they would give me admission.'

I believe he thought he had now gone too far, and was more than half afraid I would publish all his villainies; so he fell into his old trade of dissimulation, in which he is a perfect master, and, taking me by the hand, told me, he did not think so gentle a temper as mine could be disturbed at anything, and that it was very unkind in me to be disobliged at his taking a little recreation in the country; adding, that he often wished for me there. I asked him, why he did not take me with him? He said, he had proposed it to Mrs. W羊r溶; but that she had objected against it, telling him, I was a woman of so bad a reputation, that she would not for all the world countenance me. I must beg leave to ask my readers, what sort of terms this couple must be on, when she took the liberty of traducing his wife to him? She may be very chaste, for aught I know; but I verily believe many an unhappy creature, who has even prostituted herself for bread, would not have been guilty of her crime.

Cursed be he that parteth man and wife, is part of our Ash-Wednesday service, to which I say Amen, with all my heart and soul.

But to return: I told Mr. P覧n, I was extremely obliged to the lady; but most men, even if they hated their wives, would resent any injury offered to them as being part of themselves; but he was too good a Christian for that. So I arose, and was for leaving the room. He asked me, where I was going? I answered, 'to sleep with my children; for why should I, Sir, go to bed to a man, in whose person, mind, or fortune, I have no longer a share, and who has as actually divorced himself from me, as the law can do!'

However he insisted on my staying with him, which accordingly I did. We both rose pretty early; and the children coming into ask his blessing, he whipped his daughter severely, because, as he said, she resembled my mother; though indeed she was infinitely more like his own: and, to show his impartiality, he whipped the poor little boy, for being like himself.

When this scene was over, the children were turned down to the kitchen, and the mangy dog, which it seems was given him by Mrs. W羊r溶, invited to a good plate of toast and butter and half a pint of cream for his breakfast; so well did he fulfil the old proverb, love me, love my dog.

After these holy exercises, he went to the communion; which indeed I had intended to do, but as he had really vexed me past my patience, I could not compose myself sufficiently for the worthily receiving those sublime mysteries.

Thus we may see it is in the power of a bad man, not only to destroy our temporal, but also our eternal happiness.

I saw no more of him till midnight; buxom Joan engaging him till then, or, in other words, the widow W羊r溶.

Mr. P覧n's father hearing he was in town, came the next morning to see him, and demanded of him the money he had paid for his children's tuition; upon which he turned to me, with an air of great contempt, and told me, he told her he had married so accomplished a lady, she might have taught her children to read, write, work, etc. and at least have saved him the expense of their education. I told him, and indeed it was truth, that I should never desire more delightful employment than that of cultivating their minds; but that he ought to consider, he left no support for our bodies, and consequently I was obliged to go abroad every day to seek for food, and could not encumber such company, as I might be welcome to, with my children. Here Mr. P覧n's father interrupted me, by saying, I might always have been welcome to him. Indeed I doubted not, for he was a good-natured man; but as he kept an ale-house, it was no very agreeable place for me to pass my time in.

Next morning buxom Joan came in her own coach, for her chaplain; a right which most widows of fortune claim. I looked at her, and she hid her face. Mr. P覧n soon waited on her, and away they went together, leaving me just as desperate as I was before.

Mr. P覧n has often alleged, in order to prove me an adulteress, as I was with child when we parted, that he had no manner of matrimonial commerce with me for four years. I was but just four-and-twenty years of age when we were separated; and, as my reader may observe, he would not permit me to have a separate bed, whether what he not only said, but swore, was true, or false, I do not see how he could gain any honour by it.

For as the Spanish Friar says, when old Gomez boasts that his wife was a spotless virgin for him:

A fine commendation truly!
The church did not put you together for that.

And here, gentle reader, give me leave to drop the curtain. To avouch mine own innocence in a point where appearances were strong against me, would perhaps little avail me: the supreme judge of hearts alone will at the last great day clear or condemn me, to whose unerring justice and boundless goodness I submit my cause.

When snares and limed-twigs are spread for a poor bird, it cannot well escape. Yet I may say with the condemned Duke of Buckingham, in Shakespeare's Henry the Eighth,

覧覧We both fell by our servants;
Therefore, this receive as certain:
Where you are liberal of your loves and counsels,
Be sure you are not loose; for those you make friends,
And give your hearts to, when they perceive
The least rub in your fortune, fall away
Like water from ye, never found again
But where they mean to sink ye.

A proper caution to both sexes, to be duly on their guard against confidants.

I could reckon up numberless instances of Mr. P覧n's aversion to me; one in particular I cannot pass over. One day, at dinner, the pin in the robing of my gown, pricked my breast; as there was nobody but my husband and children present, I made no scruple of uncovering my bosom, to examine what had hurt me; upon which Mr. P覧n arose from table, and said, I had turned his stomach. As I really had a fine skin, and was then most remarkably neat person, I thought he only jested; and merrily told him, he should kiss my breast, and make it well: but, alas! It was not like Prior's Lover's Anger, where when the lady complains, that

An ugly hard Rosebud has fallen in my neck,
It has vexed me, and plagued me to such a degree!
Look here now; you never believe one, pray see,
I'th'left side of my breast what a mark it has made!
So saying, her bosom she careless displayed:
That seat of delight I with wonder surveyed,
And forgot every word I designed to have said.

For he told me, he was sure he should faint if I came near him; and either pretended to throw his dinner, or did it in reality. After which polite compliment, he drank a large glass of cherry-brandy to settle his stomach; and repaired to his usual haunt, i.e.to buxom Joan.

About twelve at night, he returned; and awaked me out of a sweet sleep, by telling me, I was a most expensive extravagant woman. I asked him in what? He said, in putting on clean linen every day; whereas Mrs. W羊r溶, who had a thousand pounds a year, assured him, she never shifted herself but once a week, and showed him half sleeves, which she wore, to save the expense of washing. I answered him very carelessly, but I suppose that was what charmed him; and therefore, dirt to dirt.

I beg leave here to remark, that my husband's complaints were very different from those of most married men; their general excuse for going astray, is, that their wives are dirty, slothful, ignorant, etc. the very reverse of which swinish qualities made my good man hate me.

Well, grant me guilty, which never yet was proved;
Yet do I think, if wives do fall, it is their husband's fault.
Say, that they slack their duty, and pour our treasure into foreign laps,
Or else break out in peevish jealousy,
Throwing restraint on us: or say, they strike us;
Or scant our former havings, in despite:
Why we have galls; and though we have some grace,
Yet we have some revenge. Let husbands know,
Their wives have sense like them: they see and smell,
And have their palates both for sweet and sour,
As husbands have. What is it that they do,
When they change us for others? Is it sport?
I think it is. And doth affection breed it?
I think it doth. Is't frailty that thus errs?
It is so too. And have we not affections?
Desire for sport? And frailty, as men have?
Then let them use us well; or let them know,
The ills we do, their ills instruct us to.

And in one of the Sermons on Social Duties, published lately by a real divine, he makes this observation, that he believes, very few women have either been so weak, or so wicked, to wrong the marriage-bed, but when they have been provoked to it, either by the ill treatment they received from their husbands, or in revenge to their prior falsehoods.

If I have not delivered the most worthy author's sentiments with his own elegance of style, I am sure we will pardon me, as I only quote from memory, not being mistress of his admirable works.

I do assure my reader, I do not, by those quotations, mean to countenance vice,

Or to arm my pen
Against the sun-clad power of chastity.

So far from it, that in my opinion, nothing can excuse the breach of it; and a female

Should strip herself to death, as to a bed,
Which, longing, she'd been sick for,
Rather than yield her body up to shame.

All I intend to say is this; the world has been pleased to say, I had a most excellent husband, and therefore thought proper, not thinking their bill of accusation large enough, to add ingratitude to every other vice and folly they are pleased to attribute to me.

But so many yards of prunella and a bit of clear cambric, properly placed under the chin, it seems makes a holy man.

Yet, let's write good angel, on the Devil's horn,
'Tis not the Devils crest.
And so an outward sainted priest, may
In all his dressings, titles, caracts, forms,
Be an arch-villain; and his filth being cast,
Appear a pond as deep as hell.

I hope Mr. P覧n will return his acknowledgements to me, for making him publicly known; for, as I hear, his poems have suffered the fate of all things mortal; and, to use his own lines,

Since he and his writings so soon are forgotten,
E'er his carcass become, like his principles, rotten;
My Muse shall forbid it, transmitting his merits,
As the curious, for show, preserve monsters in spirits.
P覧n's elegy on the Rev Mr. Graffan,
written many years before the gentleman's death.

And so if my quondam husband arrives at fame, or ever goes to heaven, either of which I very much doubt, I think he must still rest my debtor.

For fame has but two doors, a white and a black one,
The worst you say, he's stole in at the back one.

And that cuckolds go to heaven, nobody ever yet disputed. Were he one, he ought to thank me that helped to send him thither. If I have bestowed on him fame in this world, and salvation in the next, what could a reasonable man desire more from his wife? But some folks are never to be satisfied!唯ut whether he is entitled to the horn, or not, must always be a secret: I hope some curious commentator will hereafter endeavour to find out the truth of it; for my mind gives me,

That I, like the classics, shall be read
When time, and all the world are dead.

And if a Scotch barber, one Alan Ramsey, promises himself so much, in a sort of burlesque on Horace, why may I not be indulged in equal vanity? The ruling and darling passion of our sex? Though I shall never carry it to such an unnatural height, as Doctor Young makes a lady do, when she is dying.

Odious, in woollen! 'twould a saint provoke!
Were the last words that dying Flavia spoke.
No, let a charming chintz, and Flanders lace,
Shade my pale corse, and deck my lifeless face.
One would not sure, look ugly when one's dead;
And覧Betty, give my cheeks a little red.

I must beg my readers' pardon for these numerous quotations; but as Swift says, 'Those anticipating rascals the ancients, have left nothing for us poor moderns to say:' But still to show my vanity, let it stand as some sort of praise, that I have stolen wisely.

At length the fatal hour arrived, when Mr. P覧n's machinations wrought the effect he so long desired, namely, my destruction; and, as he never did things by halves, that of his own children also; to whom his barbarity has exceeded anything I either heard or read of; but that in due place.

I own myself very indiscreet in permitting any man to be at an unseasonable hour in my bedchamber; but lovers of learning will, I am sure, pardon me, as I solemnly declare, it was the attractive charms of a new book, which the gentleman would not lend me, but consented to stay till I read it through, was the sole motive of my detaining him. But the servants being bribed by their master, let in twelve watchmen at the kitchen window, who, though they might have opened the chamber door, chose rather to break it to pieces, and took the gentlemen and myself prisoners.

For my own part, I thought they had been house-breakers, and would willingly have compounded for life, when entered Mr. P覧n, with a cambric handkerchief tied about his neck, after the fashion of Mr. Fribble, and with the temper of a stoic, bid the authorised ruffians not hurt me: but his Christian care came too late; for one of them had given me a violent blow on the Temple, and another had dragged two of my fingers out of joint. The gentleman at the sight of Mr. P覧n, threw down his sword, which he observing, made two of the watchmen hold him, while he most courageously broke his head.

After this heroic action, he told me, who stood quite stupefied between surprise and pain, but I must turn out of doors; but observing that I was fainting, he brought up a bottle of wine, and kindly drank both our healths. He would fain have prevailed on us to pledge him; but we were not in a temper to return civility. Upon which he took my hand, and very generously made a present of me to the gentleman, who could not in honour refuse to take me, especially as his own liberty was not to be procured on any other terms. Mr. P覧n kindly dismissed our guards, and assured us, as soon as ever he had obtained a divorce, he would with great pleasure, join us together in holy matrimony. At the door the gentleman's sword was delivered to him. Mr. P覧n offered to kiss me at parting, which mean piece of dissimulation, so much in the style of Jack Ketch, gave me the utmost contempt for the v覧n.

It was by this time two o'clock in the morning, and we knew not where to steer our course; however, the gentleman's servant always sat up for him, and therefore he judged it more advisable to go to his own lodging, than to search for any other, and truly, I little cared where I went.

And here I sincerely assure my reader, that neither of us even entertained a thought of anything like love, but sat like statues till day-break, when recollecting that I had nothing to change me with, I wrote a letter to Mr. P覧n to desired he would send me my wearing apparel, or at least some clean linen.

He complied with my request, and wrote me a long letter, wherein he seemingly expressed an infinite concern for my loss, but as I had most strenuously recommended our children to his care, he gave it then under his hand that he was perfectly convinced they were his own, and that I might depend on his tenderness to them, but at the same time, as he was determined to be legally divorced, he expected I would not give him any opposition in it.

Before I received this letter, I had taken a lodging in Abbey Street, up two pair of stairs, where my clothes were brought to me, together with it; but not a single a shilling to assist me, my watch, my books and even what few jewels I possessed before marriage, were detained from me, which threw me quite dependent on the courtesy of the person I was accused with.

But Mr. P覧n was so highly provoked at our not cohabiting together, as he wished, that he forced the gentleman to fly, who having notice that there was an action taken out against him, made the best of his way to London, leaving a letter with five guineas enclosed in it, for me; in the hands of a dissenting Minister, who very faithfully discharged his trust.

Curiosity made me go to the gentleman's lodging to enquire from his landlady what she knew relating to him, the gentlewoman was very obliging, but could give me no satisfaction or light into the affair: however she made me drink tea with her, and we sat together till near nine o'clock at night.

At my return to my own lodging, the maid told me my room was let, I said that was odd, as it was taken by the week and one not then expired, to let it without giving me warning to provide myself, which at that hour, in a winter's night it was impossible for me to do.

The maid to whose care this house was entrusted, for I knew not who was landlord, told me I might if I pleased lie in the first floor, as the family were not come to town, and there were only their servants in the house whom she could dispose of, into worse beds, but to my great surprise, I found the lock had been taken off the bedchamber door, which I well remembered had been on it in the morning, as I had some difficulty to open it to take thence some china.

I asked her the meaning of it? She insisted positively that there never had been a lock on it, which knowing to be a falsehood I began to be apprehensive some foul play was intended, nor was I mistaken.

I then asked her for a young woman, whom she had told me was a servant out of place that lodged in the back parlour, she said she was abed in the garret, and that my trunk was there also, this gave me a sufficient excuse as there was no lock on the trunk, to go up to her, and as she had been a lady's woman, and very well knew who I was, I told her all my apprehensions, and she readily consented to quit her own bed and come to mine.

We brought down the trunk between us, and placed it against the chamber door; as the maid was busied with her new guests, she took for granted I was alone, and therefore resolved to provide me with a male bedfellow, as a proper consolation for a person in my unhappy situation.

About seven o'clock in the morning, not then clear day, she very furiously pushed open the chamber door, and told me, one Mr. B覧k desired to breakfast with me, was a member of P覧t, and a man of fortune, and the person who had taken the house! I told her I never wished to see any human creature, and should be glad I could hide myself even from myself; but she supposing me to be alone, directly introduced a man, full six foot high, and of the most disagreeable aspect I ever be held.猶erhaps it was my terror that painted him so to my imagination.

I started up and threw my gown about me, but I was not quite so quick in putting on my clothes is a gentleman was, in taking his off, resolving, without the least ceremony to come to bed to me, I pulled my companion who asked him what he meant, 'Why who the D覧l are you, you old b覧ch?' said he: 'this lady,' meaning me, 'is publicly known through all the coffeehouses in Dublin.' Had the gentleman been studying how to disappoint his own intentions, he could not more effectually have done it, as he brought all the horror of my condition, full upon my mind. And as I had no protector, no friends, no guardian, I burst into tears and told him, if he was a gentleman he would not insult misery. 'Do I occasion your tears, madam?' 'You do Sir, and therefore I desire you will depart.' 'Well madam,' said he, 'I beg pardon, I had a full history of you from the maid of the house, who said, she believed a companion would not be disagreeable to you, especially as she was apprehensive you had no money.' 'Sir,' said I, 'she is mistaken, I have at least enough to discharge my lodging which I will immediately do, and once more I desire you to withdraw,' which accordingly he did.

I then prevailed on the young woman who was with me to take a lodging for me, and in about half an hour I went to it.

But now came the general slander charge
Which some invented, the rest enlarge.

So from my heart, I wrote the following lines.


While sunk in deepest solitude and woe,
My streaming eyes with ceaseless sorrow flow,
While anguish wears the sleepless night away,
And fresher grief awaits returning day;
Encompassed round with ruin, want and shame,
Undone in fortune, blasted in my fame,
Lost to the soft endearing ties of life,
And tender names of daughter, mother, wife;
Can no recess from calumny be found?
And yet can Fate inflict a deeper wound!

As one who in a dreadful tempest tossed,
If thrown by chance upon some desert coast;
Calmly a while surveys the fatal shore,
And hopes that fortune can inflict no more;
Till some fell serpent makes the wretch his prey,
Who 'scaped in vain the dangers of the sea,
So I who hardly 'scaped domestic rage,
Born with eternal sorrows to engage,
Now feel the poisonous force of sland'rous tongues,
Who daily wound me with envenomed wrongs.

Shed then a ray divine, all-gracious Heaven
Pardon the soul that sues to be forgiven,
Though cruel humankind relentless prove
And least resemble thee in acts of love,
Though friends who should administer relief,
Add pain, to woe, and misery to grief,
And oft! too oft! With hypocritic air,
Condemn those faults in which they deeply share,
Yet thou who dost our various frailties know
And seest each spring from whence our actions flow,
Shalt, while for mercy to thy throne I fly,
Regard the lifted hand and streaming eye,

Thou didst the jarring elements compose,
Whence this harmonious universe, arose,
O speak the tempest of the soul to peace,
Bid the tumultuous war of passion cease,
Receive me to thy kind paternal care,
And guard me from the horrors of despair.
And since no more I boast a mother's name,
Nor in my children can a portion claim,
The helpless babes to thy protection take;
Nor punish for their hapless mother's sake:

Thus the poor bird when frighted from her nest
With agonising love, and grief distressed,
Still fondly hovers o'er the much loved place,
Though strengthless, to protect her tender race;
In piercing notes she movingly complains,
And tells the unattending woods her pains.

*And thou once my soul's fondest dearest part,
Who schemed my ruin with such cruel art,
From human laws no longer seek to find,
A power to loose that knot which God has joined,
The props of life are rudely pulled away,
And the frail building falling to decay,
My death shall give thee thy desired release
And lay me down in everlasting peace.
*Mem. My husband, who was then suing for a divorce.

I believe Mr. P覧n would say with old Sir Paul Plyant, when he finds a love letter from a gentleman to his wife, signed, your dying Ned Careless, 'Ads bud, I wish it were true!' But,

My kind companion never fear,
For though you may mistake a year,
Though your prognostics run too fast,
They'll certainly prove true at last.

But I had a fellow lodger, one Mr. Donellan, an ensign, who it seems knew me so well, that he thought proper to bring the late Earl of R覧sse of facetious memory, and several other persons of distinction, to break open my lodging. On hearing them coming upstairs, I ran into the dining room, and locked myself in. When those worthy P覧rs could not find me, they threatened to kick the landlady; and one of them putting his mouth to the key-hole of the dining room, cried, 'do, my dear, open the door; by heaven! 'tis nobody but I, D覧g, the fiddler.' I made no reply; so being disappointed, they were forced to decamp, cursing, and vowing revenge against the woman of the house.

This accident so terribly alarmed me, but I resolved to quit this lodging the next day; but Mr. D覧n was determined not permit me to depart in peace, for, being a military man, he stood sentinel at the door of my chamber all night, frequently entreated me to let him in; but truly had I been amorously inclined, the sight of the various medicines in his apartment would have

Damped all passion sympathetic.

For, as I had a back room, when this gentleman was abroad, I frequently, for variety, went into his, which looked into the street.

However, at last he went to bed; and early next morning he told the landlady that I kept him awake all night, and that I was a most notorious common s覧t.

'Arah by my Shoul,' (said the old dame) 'you would make her one, if you could: what business had you, and all those Lords with her? One of them bid the devil to break my own neck; but I hopes he will be hanged first.'

While my landlady, to whom I had never told my name, related this to me, I heard somebody enquire for Mrs. Pilkington, so I desired to know who it was, and in came a very well-dressed matron-like female of about fifty; she expressed great concern in my misfortunes; said, my dear father had saved her life, and that she was a present housekeeper to the Earl of A覧m, who was extremely troubled for his rudeness to me, and hoped I would give him an opportunity of begging my pardon. I told her, as I did not know whom to blame, I wanted no apology: it was my wretched fate to be subject to the insolence of every fellow.

She then urged what I own was a prevailing argument to one not worth a shilling; that my Lord was very generous, and would, she was sure, make me a handsome present, in recompense of the terror he had put me into. As I looked on my present circumstances to be quite desperate, being near lying-in, and having nothing to assist me, I agree to see him anywhere, except at my own lodging. Upon which, the artful old crone told me of a house in the neighbourhood, a very reputable one according to her account, where my Lord would meet me in the evening.

Accordingly I went; but let anyone judge of my surprise, when, instead of the Earl, I met a gentleman, whom I had never seen before: so, I instantly departing, left him to his contemplations. And, in process of time, it came to light, that the venerable housekeeper of the Earl, was neither better nor worse than the celebrated Mother Brown: and indeed I received many visits from ladies of her sublime calling.

And what most surprised me, was, that they were generally employed by sober married men, and such as to my own knowledge, lived very well with their wives; but these ladies assured me, their husbands hated them, and would rather have any other woman. So I found I was not alone in my misfortune. And if every married man who has ever attacked me, does not subscribe to my Memoirs, I will, without the least ceremony, insert their names, be their rank ever so high, or their profession ever so holy.

I'll dash the proud gamester from his gilded car;
Bare the mean heart, that lurks beneath a star.

And the more formal villains, who in the robes of sanctity, commit worse frauds than highwaymen, surely ought not to remain unexposed.

For me, while heaven affords me vital breath,
Let them behold me, as their scourge, till death;
Them, through their serpent mazes, I'll pursue,
And bring each latent vice to public view;
And, what their cunning studies to conceal,
Shall be my constant pleasure to reveal;
Till warned mankind shall from their mischiefs fly,
And hate them more, if possible, than I.

Ay, my little good Lord Cardinal!
I'll fear you worse than did the midnight Bell,
When the brown wench lay kissing in your arms*.
*Mem. My maid on the carpet.

I once was acquainted with a prelate, who had certain stated prices for all his sins; as thus:






For adultery




For simple fornication




For venial transgressions



0 each.


Yet he was a B覧p, and he wore a Mitre.

Which, all in good time, may be

Surrounded with jewels of sulphur and nitre.
How nearly this B覧p my B覧p resembles!
But his has the odds, who believes and who trembles.

What I thought most cruel in him, was, that he never gave a farthing to the poor women themselves. But, to make up matters of heaven, he took up ten bastards every year; fed, clothed, and apprenticed them; hoping no doubt, as his dealings were pretty promiscuous, some one of them might belong to him. So

How could his charity be better shown,
Or whom should he provide for, but his own?

I do not choose to be guilty of Scandalum Magnatum, if nobody can guess who I mean, I will fairly acknowledge myself to be as arrant a dunce as any B覧p or parson in the world, and really that is speaking largely.

Considering what dullness reigns
Amongst our P覧s, priests and deans.

And as Milton observes, on the Devil's breaking into Paradise:

So since into God's fold
Climb thieves, and ruffians, and lewd hireling slaves,
Turning the sanctuary of th'Almighty
Into a den.

And it were to be wished that our Blessed Saviour would once more come, and drive those moneychangers out of the temple.

I was again once more obliged to change my lodging, I knew not how to provide for the approaching calamity: I wrote to Mr. P覧n, who generously sent me sixpence by my eldest son, to put the above the temptations to which want exposes our helpless sex; for so he expressed himself in a long epistle he wrote with it.

But when things are at the worst they generally mend; for who should arrive from London but Mr. W覧le. He no sooner heard of my misfortune, but he came to visit me, and as he had a strange ambition to be thought a poet, he assured me, if I would devote my genius to his service, he would liberally reward me; to which I gladly consented, as an easy and honourable method of getting a subsistence.

I really would not be so ungenerous to strip the jackdaw of his borrowed plumes, but that his usage of me in London was so inhumane, that it merits a worse punishment from me, than merely exposing his vanity, and the word may conclude,

That of all the fine things which he keeps in the dark,
There's scarce one in ten, but what has my mark.

Though Mr. P覧n and Harry C覧ry were his two subalterns, or under-strappers in poetical stock-jobbing. As Mr. W覧le was a musical man, my first task was to write a song for him, which I performed in the following manner.

STELLA, darling of the muses,
Fairer than the blooming Spring;
Sweetest theme the poet chooses,
When of thee he strives to sing.

While my soul with wonder traces
All thy charms of face and mind,
All the beauties, all the graces
Of the sex in thee I find.

Love, and joy, and admiration,
In my breast alternate rise;
Words no more can paint my passion,
Than the pencil could thine eyes.

Lavish nature thee adorning,
O'er thy lips and cheeks have spread,
Colours that might shame the morning,
Smiling with celestial red.

Would the gods, in blessed condition,
Our requests indulgent view,
Sure each mortal's first petition
Would be to resemble you.

Mr. W覧le showed this ballad to Mr. P覧n, who thought proper to alter the last verse, giving it this profane and nonsensical turn;

Could the gods in blessed condition,
Aught on Earth with envy view,
Lovely Stella, their ambition
Would be to resemble you.

As for the gods envying mortals, and wishing to be like them, it has neither sense, English, nor even novelty to recommend it; nor is it agreeable to the dictates of reason or religion; for even a heathen author stands condemned for setting Cato in a light superior to the gods; but a Christian divine may say anything, and so much for an old song.

I thought my circumstances might have secured me from any farther attacks from the male world; but, it seems, I was have no more rest than the Patriarch's dove had; for I had a furious onset from

A tinsel babbler blunderbuss of law.
Newburgh's Hiena.

One C覧n, a person not otherwise known, than by his being acquainted with all the tricks and roguery of the courts; who, because I treated him with the contempt he deserved, railed at me wherever he went, insomuch that I was obliged to compliment him with the following lines.

To Counsellor C覧N

Why C覧n with cruel aim?
Seek you to hurt a wounded fame?
Or how have I provoked your rage,
To bring me thus upon the stage?
'Tis true, indeed, I could not love you;
But why should that so greatly move you?
Are you not used to plead in vain,
And practised to endure disdain?
You tamely bear the scorn of men,
Why vexed at it from women then?
When you approached me in disguise,
And swore to fifty thousand lies;
And more yourself to recommend,
Basely traduced your absent friend?
When you invoked each power, to prove
The truth and ardour of your love,
I looked through all the vile deceit,
Saw C覧n, and knew the CHEAT.
Thy wife, with hide of well tanned oak,
May sure to rove her spouse provoke,
And you from cuckoldom be safe,
Either from D覧cy or from T覧ffe.
And jealousy must be a jest,
For her whom all mankind detest.
Take then some culinary fair,
Nor seek a star beyond your sphere.
How could you cope to meet success,
Unskilled in breeding or address?
Unblessed with eloquence to move
The melting soul to mutual love?
Your lodgings, gold, and wine three dozen,
I scorned, and eke to call your cousin;
And couldst thou, dull imposter, think
To purchase me with gold or drink?
Yet still, in principles, 'tis known,
We judge of others by our own;
And I excuse the sordid thought,
In thee, whose soul is to be bought.
Thy licensed tongue the law may murther,
But, prithee, mangle me no further:
For though my colours are too faint,
Such glaring crimes as thine to paint;
Yet I sometimes, in black and white,
Can draw a knave's resemblance right.
Thy envy then, and rage give over,
Thou worthless, mean, rejected lover!
Or in a print, I swear to show you,
So like, that all mankind shall know you.

This did not happen to silence the fellow, who carried his impudence so far, as to declare to all the lawyers at the Rose Club, that I made love to him; so, recollecting a story his nephew, who was married to my sister, had related to me, of a vile use to which he adapted three large folio volumes of his uncle's philosophy, I wrote the following ballad, and packeted Mr. T覧ffe with it, at a time when I knew several lawyers would be assembled at the Tavern aforementioned, and threatened Mr. T覧ffe, if he did not read it out, for the amusement of the company, he should be my next subject for satire; but nobody so earnestly insisted on seeing the song as C覧n himself. To oblige him and entertain the company, Mr. T覧ffe sung it to the tune of Chevy Chase.

Ye sons of science mourn with me
In sad and doleful strains,
The loss which fair philosophy
And literature sustains.

Three volumes of enormous size,
O C覧n had penned,
And lent them, for to make him wise,
To an ingenious friend,

Who on the puzzling pages pored
Three live-long summer days;
But could not understand one word;
For so my author says.

He, through the palpable obscure,
Groped out his uncouth way,
Where neither truth, nor reason pure,
Had shed one friendly ray.

In Newton, Bacon, Locke, and Boyle,
He found celestial light;
Whose sacred beams o'er-paid his toil;
But here reigned deepest night.

In famed Laputa's floating isle,
As Gulliver has taught,
They swallow learning like a pill,
Without expense of thought.

This way he tried; but all in vain,
Those writings ne'er ascend,
They gravitation's laws maintain,
And to the centre tend.

Enraged to find all methods fail,
These works, he surely said,
May be adapted to the tail,
Though never to the head.

These Sybil leaves, oh spite and shame!
In pieces torn he takes,
And wiped a part not fit to name,
And plunged them in a jakes.

Wake C覧n thy noble heart,
Explore that hoary deep;
Nor suffer thine immortal part
In silence there to sleep.

Or on the orifice all day
Thy nether end expose,
By whose inspiring fumes you may
New systems yet compose.

Henceforth be scorned great Maro's tomb,
And eke the Delphic shrine;
For that famed privy-house, whose womb
Contains thy works divine.

I have been credibly informed that this song made C覧n blush, which was more than anything had ever done before. However he took a copy of it, which he promised to publish; but finding he has not been as good as his word, I must even be at the expense of doing it myself. But to return, Mr. W覧le came to me, he told me, he had been so unfortunate to disoblige a lady of distinction; for not being apprised that she understood French, and being asked in that language, how he liked her? He said, she was an indifferent picture of her sister: but he easily perceived, by an alteration in her countenance, that she too well understood him, and that he was out of hope of obtaining her pardon, unless something pretty could be wrote upon the subject by way of apology, so I raised his spirits in about half an hour after, by sending him the following lines.

To Miss Pl覧kett

A thousand different arts I tried
To vary Celia's face;
And at each alteration spied
Some new resistless grace.

Now cheerful mirth with gay delight
Shines in her eyes confessed;
Now sorrow clouds their beamy light,
And heaves her snowy breast.

Each different turn of mirth or spleen
Still gave the maid new charms;
Anger alone remained unseen,
Which every nymph disarms.

Fair one, can you forgive the art
Which did your wrath provoke;
Alas! Far distant from my heart
Was that rash word I spoke.

And know, this passion only showed,
New graces to my sight,
Your cheeks with brighter beauties glowed,
Your eyes flashed keener light.

Like Semele's my daring aim,
Would on Jove's lightning gaze;
But sunk amidst the fatal flame,
And perished in the blaze.

In the evening Mr. W覧le returned, and told me, the lines had made up all matters; that the other young lady said, she wished he had affronted her, so he had made her such a pretty apology. 'I must beg of you now,' said he, 'to improve that hint and write me some lines for her sister.' I readily writ for him these.

To Miss Betty PL覧KETT.

Why, fair one, shouldst thou with thy friend
Thy matchless sweetness to offend;
Alas thy beauty need not use
This method to engage his Muse:
Since naught could keep her mute so long,
But fear thy loveliness to wrong.
When other nymphs my song require,
And bid me strike the sounding lyre,
To gratify the vainest she,
I tell her, she resembles thee.
But not a Bard since Milton's days,
However elegant in praise,
Possessed that dignity of thought,
To draw an Angel as he ought.

The lines had the desired effect, and both the ladies were reconciled to the supposed author.

My next task being charitable, I could by no means refuse; which was to write the following prologue, for the benefit of a distressed person in jail.

A prologue spoken at the theatre in Smock Alley.

This land for learning, and religion famed,
In ancient times the Isle of Saints was named.
And heaven-born charity, prime grace, once more
Shall this blest title, to its sons restore.
A fitter object pity ne'er could find,
For this divinest virtue of the mind,
Than honest industry, and worth distressed,
And suffering innocence by fraud oppressed,
By pale-eyed want, and sallow sickness pined,
Within a prison's dismal gloom confined,
Where everlasting sighs and anguish reign,
And each sad moment seems an age of pain.
'Tis yours to raise him from his dreadful care,
To soften anguish and remove despair;
The great and pious, in the task combine,
And glorious emulate the power divine;
Mercy her white celestial wings displays,
And to the throne of grace your zeal conveys;
Whence thick as dew from heaven shall joys descend,
And endless blessings on your race attend.

Mr. W覧e now began to make some figure, and though he kept me pretty fully employed, he drove an underhand trade with Mr. P覧n. And as he was not willing that either of us should believe him incapable of writing, he used to show Mr. P覧n's work to me, and swear it was his own, and in return, he, with the same modest assurance, presented mine to him, but we were too well acquainted with each other's style to be deceived, but at last, Mr. P覧n not satisfied with all the expense he put him to in London, made a demand on him for fifty pound, but as Mr. P覧n had before made the best penny of me to him he possibly could, and W覧le finding what I wrote passed every jot as well as his, he thought it most convenient if he disbursed anything, to give it to me, as thinking I most wanted it; so I was now full of poetical business, by which my poverty was relieved, and my mind amused.

Mr. P覧n was so vexed at losing his chap, that in revenge he endeavoured to insinuate that we conversed unlawfully together, but this met no credit, as I very seldom saw him, and never alone.

In the meantime he carried on a vigorous prosecution against me in the Spiritual Court, in which I gave him no opposition; as he solemnly declared he would always allow me a maintenance to the utmost of his ability, and to live with him, I by no means desired.

For never could true reconcilement spring
Where wounds of deadly hate so deep were fixed.

But no sooner had he obtained a separation from me, but he retracted every word he said, not only refusing to give me any assistance, but also abusing me, in the most unchristian, false, and scandalous manner, and publicly triumphed in having over-reached me. Upon this I was advised to lodge an appeal against him, which made him quite mad, he abused his advocate Proctor, and the judge himself, as all doing him injustice, and though I knew none of them, insisted on it, they were confederates with me against him.

But this outrageous manner of proceeding, rather injured himself than me, the delegates were appointed, and as everybody he consulted, assured him, he would be cast, his haughty spirit was willing to capitulate, but nobody would undertake to deliver his message to me, lest he should scandalise them for it, so at length with great entreaty be prevailed on W覧le to make a proposal from him, to me, giving me a small annuity, and thirty pounds in money, which in regard to my children, I rather chose to accept, than ruin their father, as I certainly had it in my power to do.

W覧le, who has really a good deal of humour, came to me one morning after my being a week without seeing him, and in a theatrical manner, delivered the following speech.

Before I speak the message the priest; first give me leave to glory in the title of his ambassador.

I wondered, what odd whim had now taken W覧le, and begged he would deliver himself like a man of this world.

On which he related the proposal aforementioned, on which I desired two days time to consider, and then acquiesced, and withdrew the appeal, like an easy fool as I was.

Dearly have I since repented it, as no articles of the agreement was kept, although I thought they were as strongly assured to me, as the law could make them; in which there are so many loopholes, that even persons conversant with it may be deceived; how then should a female be sufficiently on her guard, against the professors of a kind of unintelligible jargon whose skill is to puzzle the cause, or a science where,

Endless tautologies and doubts perplex,
Too harsh a study for our softer sex!

Of the thirty pounds, I never received but fifteen, and those Mr. W覧le assured me he advanced of his own pocket, and never was paid, as I can prove under his own hand.

But heaven knows, as I had everything to provide for a child, and myself, and rent also to pay, this sum lasted not long, especially as I had no friend near me.湧o, nor any honest person; for my landlady of whom before I had conceived a good opinion, when she found I was in labour, insisted either on my paying double the rent, I had engaged for, or quitting her house, which as it was then too late for me to do, I was necessitated to comply with her exorbitant demand, which made her very complaisant.

Before I had received even this small relief I wrote to many ladies, to whom my father had been physician, and who once seemed to be my friends, but to no purpose, their constant answer was, that I deserved nothing, to which general rule, I never met with but two exceptions.

I wrote also, to the B覧p of C覧 who after long deliberation, picked out of his purse half a piece, which extraordinary bounty, he by the force of imagination doubled, and also declared that I had sent to him for it, a woman who had been whipped through the town; who, as she really was a gentlewoman of good character, but of low fortune, had it not been for my persuasions to the contrary, would have sued his L覧p for defamation.

But as he was so kind, to give my son, who is his godson, five shillings in small change in London, which he told the youth was a crown piece, who knowing there was such a coin as a five shilling piece of gold, searched amongst the half-pence narrowly to find it, though without success, I think I must pardon him, especially, as on my threatening to expose him since I came to Ireland, he to bribe me to secrecy, sent me one pound, a remarkable and unaccountable charity from his Lordship, to any person of whom he had not carnal knowledge.

And though in a letter of his, he assures me he desires no public praise for what he has done, and makes as long and learned disquisition between the law of our members, and the law of our minds, as he once did, between graminivorous and carnivorous, which as I do not understand Latin, I may very possibly misspell, though their signification is I believe grass, or flesh devouring animals; of the latter of which, I believe his L覧p would make the best meal on. The ancient priests were never permitted to burn flesh, but as a sacrifice to the Almighty; but it is reported, that one of them turning a stake when it was a little too hot, burned his finger, on which he licked it, and found it so savoury that he devoured that part, which was intended for the gods, and as the laity beheld him in their opinion breaking the law in eating flesh, he assured them, that he had an immediate revelation, that it was lawful for him to eat the prime part of the flesh, and leave the garbage for the laity. Thus we may see how early priestcraft began, from the very first, they were flesh-mongers, and priests of all religions are the same; those who want to look further into the deceits of priesthood, may trace it up even to the Nile, from whence superstition and the crocodile first sprung, both alike destructive to mankind.

It is known to every learned divine; that the priests engrossed the whole country of Egypt, as the eldest son of every priest was born a priest, and was therefore entitled to a tenth part of the land, upon which Joseph who was not only an admirable man, but an excellent politician, and had a divine revelation that the land should suffer famine, ten years, ordered the priests to pay in all their subsidies to the King, whereby in those ten years of dearth the King purchased at so low a rate, as giving the people a little corn, all the lands in Egypt. These are the remarks of the admirable Lord Shaftesbury, whose inimitable style and clear manner of reasoning, carry conviction with them.

I never knew any clergyman who quoted him, but to his prejudice, except Dr. Turnbull: and yet I can't see why morality or the preaching of it, should in any wise be offensive to a Christian, since there is a certain beauty in holiness, which though it were never to be hereafter rewarded, gives a sincere satisfaction and quietude of mind in this life,預nd therefore virtue does still,

With scorn the mercenary world regard,
Where sordid minds do good, and hope reward,
Above the worthless trophies men can raise
She seeks not honour, fame, or empty praise,
But with herself, herself the goddess pays.

All I would infer from this rambling digression is,

That authority though it errs like other
Bears yet a kind of medicine in itself
To skin the sore on the top.

And that subtlety and avarice, have been almost inseparable from the priesthood ever since the world began.

But to return. Having at length passed the pain and peril of childbirth, by the care and humanity of Dr. Arbuckle, I was in great distress. 'Tis true Mr. P覧n kindly advised me to leave my child, which was a female one, upon the parish; and as he would willingly have done the same, or worse, to those whose legitimacy he never questioned, I had the less reason to blame him, but such a piece of inhumanity I from my soul abhorred, nor could any thing prevail on me to put it in practice.

Mr. W覧le went to Mallow, where at his request I sent to him the following poems.

The Happy Pair.
A Ballad.

At dewy dawn
As o'er the lawn,
Young Roger early strayed,
He chanced to meet
With Jenny sweet,
That blooming country maid;
Her cheeks so red
With blushes spread,
Showed like the breaking day,
Her modest look
The shepherd took;
She stole his heart away.

With tender air,
He wooed the fair,
And movingly addressed;
For love divine,
Can clowns refine,
And warm the coldest breast;
Her eyes he praised,
And fondly gazed,
On her enchanting face,
Where innocence,
And health dispense,
Each winning rosy grace.

Young Jenny's breast,
Love's power confessed,
And felt an equal fire;
Nor had the art,
To hide her smart,
Or check the soft desire.
Hymen unites,
In blissful rites,
The fair, the matchless two;
And wedlock ne'er
Could boast a pair
More lovely or more true.

Ye rich and great,
How seldom fate
Gives you so mild a doom;
Whose wandering flames,
And wanton dames,
A mutual plague become;
While coach and six
Your passions fix,
You buy your state too dearly:
Ah, courtly folks!
You're but the jokes,
Of those who love sincerely.

Mallow waters.
Written for Mr. W覧le, who was chosen poet Laureate to the honourable society of ladies and gentlemen, erected there.

Not famed Pieria's hallowed spring,
Near which the sacred sisters sing,
Could more deserve the poet's lays,
His softest song, his choicest praise,
Than Mallow's sweet inspiring stream,
The source of health, the Muse's theme.
Thy draughts, Nepenthe-like, remove
All sorrows, but the pains of love;
And on thy banks such nymphs appear,
That none escape that passion here.
While art, in vain, attempts to show
Their features, and celestial glow;
Thy smooth, expanded, liquid glass,
Lively reflects each beauteous face,
And shows them that transcendent bloom,
Which from thy bounty they assume.

If all be true which poets dream,
There dwells a nymph in every stream,
Sweet Naiad that inhabit'st there
In crisped brook, or fountain clear,
O teach me, in exalted verse,
The matchless charmers to rehearse,
And as you gently glide along,
To distant fields convey my song.

First sing our Queen, sublimely graced,
With breeding, elegance, and taste;
And Blaney, with each charm replete,
Which decks the worthy, or the great;
In Dunscomb's faultless form and mind,
A thousand winning charms we find;
And graceful Bond, whose easy air
Bespeaks the unaffected Fair.

O Lysaught! Such a form as thine
In Homer's deathless lays should shine;
Since he, who Helen's beauties drew,
Alone can give thy charms their due:
From thee I turn my dazzled sight,
And lo! where radiant Plunkett bright,
As noon-tide Sun in summer skies,
Wounds with new light my aching eyes.

Ah Mallow! What avail thy shades?
If tyrant love their peace invades;
Not all thy groves and wooded hills,
Thy cooling streams, or healing rills,
Can guard us from his piercing rays,
Or give the burning anguish ease;
Thy waters quench each meaner fire,
But make this heaven-born flame mount higher.

In Jepson's blooming form we meet
The gay, the sprightly, and the sweet;
While Smith, with virgin beauty crowned,
Shall with her sisters be renowned
Through time, and leave a deathless name,
Fair as their virtuous mother's fame.
Not Philomel's melodious throat
Can equal Brusted's warbled note;
Soft Siren! Whose enchanting strains
Fetter the prisoned soul in chains.
With rapture on the dance we gaze,
When Purcell swims th'harmonious maze.

How many charmers yet remain!
Well worthy the sublimest strain!
What hearts, unnumbered, shall be won
By Colthurst, Harper, Knap, and Dun!
And thou, agreeable Codroy,
The noblest poet might'st employ.

What blooming beauties smile around!
Thick as the flowerets paint the ground,
When warmer suns and genial rain
Make them to deck the verdant plain,
Thick as the stars their beams display,
Which join to form the Milky Way.

Ah, fair ones! Language is too faint,
The graces you possess, to paint;
Happy, if my aspiring strain
Your judging ears may entertain;
The verse, believe me, is well meant,
However short of the intent:
Smile then, on my ambitious aim,
And give your poets endless fame.

A song.

Lying is an occupation
Used by all who mean to rise;
Politicians owe their station
But to well concerted lies.

These to lovers give assistance,
To ensnare the fair ones heart;
And the virgin's best resistance
Yields to this commanding art.

Study this superior science,
Would you rise in church or state;
Bid to truth a bold defiance,
'Tis the practice of the great.

In return, he sent me the following lines, which he assured me were his own.

Verses to Mrs. P覧n, on seeing a poem inscribed to her, the season she was at Mallow, in these lines

If Sappho lends a gracious smile,
Be damned all critics of our Isle;
The royal stamp is on those lays,
Which second Dacier deigns to praise:
Propitious then attend my call,
My Muse, my goddess, and my all.

Mr. W覧le to Mrs. P覧n.

Thou azure fount, whose crystal stream
Was once a nobler poet's theme,
While, to inspire the tuneful strain,
Sappho was called; nor called in vain.
Ah! Let, the world forgive, if here
I pray the tribute of a tear,
In friendly grief at Sappho's fate,
The wonder of thy banks so late.

So many virtues were thy share,
Thou most accomplished, ruined fair!
One error, sure, may be forgiven,
And pardon find from Earth and heaven!
That sovereign power, who framed us all,
Suffered the sons of light to fall;
And oft, to humble human pride,
From virtue lets the wisest slide.
Ye fair, no more her fault proclaim!
For your own sakes, conceal her shame:
Since, if a nymph so good could fail,
We may well think your sex are frail.

Who wrote those lines, I know not; but as I am certain the author need not blush to acknowledge them, I hope he will not only pardon my vanity in making them public, but also subscribe to my writings.

I can only assure the world, I believe Mr. W覧le never wrote a poetical line in his life; and therefore I am indebted to some humane and ingenuous person, who supposing me guilty, makes an almost divine apology for me.

But as it was impossible for me to subsist merely on praise, I made one strong effort to deliver myself out of calamity, which was, to beg Mr. P覧n to send me some money, to bear my expenses to London, assuring him I was weary of Ireland; which indeed was true, for I am of the same opinion with the present lady Dorchester, that Dublin is a place of the least sin, and the most scandal, of any city in the world.

Perhaps the reverse would have better pleased her, as the Lord Chief Justice says to Falstaff:

Lord Chief Justice. Your waist, Sir John, is very great, and your means very slender.
Falstaff. Would it were otherwise my Lord; that my means were greater and my waist slenderer.

This text wants no comment.

But if my learned husband will oblige me with one, I shall be his very humble servant. He has threatened to give a true and impartial narrative of my proceedings to the public; and I wonder why he who rides so fast, has not got the whip-hand of me: I fear his appeal comes half an hour too late:

But, courage, my spouse; though it cannot be said,
That one cloven tongue ever sat on your head,
I'll hold you a groat, and I wish I could see't,
If your stockings were off, you could show cloven feet.

I am a sad degressive writer; by which my readers may plainly perceive I am no Methodist.

Mr. P覧n agreed to my proposal; and as he was fully determined never to give me any more, sent me nine pounds, for which as he said, he sold my diamond ring to Mrs. Dubourg, and the chain of my watch, which cost six Guineas, to Mrs. W羊r溶, for the promise of forty shillings; for which I suppose Mr. P覧n and she have since accounted. A good-natured man will easily be satisfied with a lady that will return him a toy for a trinket.

Nothing whatever she got vexed me so much as Mr. P覧n's giving her my father's snuffbox, which he borrowed from me, under pretence, that taking a little snuff preserved him from catching sickness in places he was obliged to go to. He declared to me, he had lost it; but afterwards saw it with her, with also several other things belonging to me.

But he is not the first plan who has plundered his wife to oblige his . As this lady was, I may say, the principal cause of a separation between the Parson and me, I thought I had a right to demand a subscription from her; which, since my return to Ireland, I did, in very civil terms. And I think myself in duty bound to give my learned readers a taste of her excellent style, in answer to me.

WHOOSOMDEVER yow aree, I aboar yow and Yowr Filthy Idyous; I submit my Cows to the Devil, and fear nout his Enemoys, whileoust I am under hiss Preteckshon. As to the Parson yow metown, tis wile nowne what hee iss; he ruinged my Sun by his Ungraitfullnesse. It is not in your Power to defamatonous my Corector in your wild Memboirs. So I am, wythh harti Prawours for yowr spedi Deformation,
Yours 覧

I really took great pains to find out the meaning of this elaborate Epistle; what it is, future critics (who are better skilled in broken English) may decide. But I do assure the public, it is genuine; which if they doubt, I can produce it in the lady's own scrawl. This lady sent a captain of a ship to me, when she heard I was going for England, to hurry me out of the kingdom; which circumstance made me stay in it six months longer than I intended. And having not yet done with her, I cannot forbear remarking that one L覧ty, a painter, a rude fellow, a few nights after my separation from the Parson, took the liberty, on not readily finding him in his own house, of breaking open his bedchamber door, to which the maid pointed, where the lady and gentlemen were administering Christian consolation to each other: ill-bred as he was, when he found how matters were, he begged pardon for spoiling sport; 'But, Parson,' (said he) 'I did but follow your own example.' So he retired, without drinking (though invited) a share of the punch, of which stood a large bowl before them; but gold can work miracles,

Make base noble; old, young; cowards valiant;
Ha! This, ye gods! Will lug your priests and servants from your sides!
This yellow slave!
Will knit and break religions; blessed the accursed;
Make the hoar leprosy adored!
This it is, that makes the wappened widow wed again;
She, whom the Spital house, and ulcerous sores,
Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices
To th'April days again.

But I suppose this widow was willing to have a taste before matrimony. And I am certain Mr. P覧n could not possibly have any other motive for liking this woman, but merely that she was rich.

I still continued scribbling for Mr. W覧le, to whom I sent to Mallow, the following poems on several occasions, as he demanded them.

A song.
Set to music by Mr. Arne.

To melancholy thoughts a prey,
With love and grief oppressed;
To peace a stranger all the day,
And all the night to rest.

For thee, disdainful Fair, I pine,
And wake the tender sigh;
By that obdurate heart of thine
My balmy blessings fly.

O look to yon celestial sphere,
Where souls in rapture glow,
And dread to want that mercy there,
Which you refused below.

A song.

Some for their forms I have desired,
And others for their wit admired;
Yet, fair one, I can truly vow,
I never, never loved till now.
No language can describe the pain,
Which in your absence I sustain;
Or paint the rapturous delight,
Which swells my bosom at your sight.
So when the golden sun declines,
Sad heliotrope her head reclines;
But quickens with his vital ray,
And spreads her beauties to the day.

To a lady, who defended the author's character.

While other females trifle life away,
In dress and scandal, equipage and play;
Stella, with sense exalted and refined,
And each superior grace adorns her mind;
Their friendship, honour, truth, and virtue live,
With all the charms that art or nature give.

O how shall words my tenderness impart!
Or speak the dictates of a grateful heart!
To thee, fair patroness! Who couldst descend,
My character thus nobly to defend.
Who would not wish to have sustained a wrong,
To have their cause supported by thy tongue?
So disappointed malice drops its aim,
And what was meant to sink, exalts my fame.

The wishes. A song.

O love! By thy almighty power,
Transform me to that new-blown flower,
Which, framed for sweetness and delight,
Attracts my loved Almeria's sight.
Behold, in vernal beauty dressed,
It decks the lovely virgin's breast;
Whence it superior grace resumes,
And with unrivalled beauty blooms.

Why am I not that gentle air,
Which flutters, fans, and cools the Fair!
Too happy zephyr! Balmy gale!
That fragrance from her breath you steal;
See, while your pain you softly sigh,
And on her snowy bosom die,
Thy goddess, Flora, jealous grows,
And with divine resentment glows.

Why am I not that bird, whose note,
Sweet warbling in his liquid throat,
Bids every grove and vale rejoice;
His tender, soft, melodious voice,
Nightly with his enchanting strain,
Does, in the woods, my love detain,
Till, listening, she forgets to fear
The dangers that may threaten there.

When Phoebus' darts direct his beams,
Almeria seeks the cooling streams;
The River-God with pride receives
Almeria to his azure waves;
With murmuring joy they round her move,
And take her for the Queen of love.
Ye gods! Were I that happy stream!
How should my fierce, my rapid flame覧

Pardon, thou bright, thou matchless Fair!
The bold presumption of my prayer.
Gladly would I my being change,
Gladly from form to form I'd range,
Might I, in any shape, delight
Almeria's sense, or please her sight;
Or might those variations prove
The truth of my unaltered love.

These and fifty others, of which I have no copy, did this gentleman get from me, almost for nothing.

In the meantime, having received an unexpected bounty from a gentleman of very high rank and distinguished honour, I wrote to him the following lines.

To the honourable Mr. ****.

Admire not if the grateful Muse,
With fond affection, still pursues
Thee, pride and glory of a race,
Whom every Muse and science grace!
They in thy generous bosom shine,
And lighten from my eyes divine!

Thus raptured, I the strain essayed,
And begged Apollo's powerful aid.

The angry God in rage replied,
Go check thy insolence and pride;
Not that I blame thy happy choice,
But 'tis too lofty for thy voice;
Who pine like thee, with want oppressed,
Forsaken, comfortless, distressed:
In vain attempt sublimer lays,
The beauteous work of minds at ease.

What though in the early hours of life,
Ere yet a mother or wife,
I tuned thy infant voice to sing,
And placed thee near my hallowed spring;
My favourite Swift thy numbers praised,
Could mortal worth be higher raised?
Yet I'll no more thy wants supply,
Since fortune leaves you, so will I.
Thy laurel chaplet now resign,
Let mournful yew and cypress twine
Around thy melancholy head,
Till thou art numbered with the dead:
Nor dare to let thy female pen
Profane the first, and best of men:
As well, when with meridian rays
I give the Summer noontide blaze,
Might'st thou expect to add new light
To beams intolerably bright,
As hope to heighten ****'s fame,
Or add new lustre to his name.
Whate'er adorns the wise and good,
By him is truly understood;
Nor lives he for himself alone,
But humankind his bounty own.

Convinced, abashed, I dropped my suit;
Wonder and sorrow held me mute;
Yet though I wake the string no more,
Silent thy virtues I adore.

O! Let thy just superior sense
Forgive this last, this fond offence.
Led by despair, the hand of death
Must quickly stop this vital breath:
His fatal power alone can part
Thy image from my grateful heart.

At the gentleman's own request I omit his name; but when I say he is the elder brother of the greatest man in this kingdom, he may, perhaps, be guessed at.

This worthy gentleman soon afterwards fell sick, on which I sent him the following

Invocation to health.

Thou rosy goddess of the plains,
Where innocence, thy sister, reigns,
If goodness can deserve thy care,
To Godlike ****'s couch repair;
Let him thy matchless charms enjoy;
What nymph to **** can be coy?
Nor should thy favours be denied
To him who spreads thy Empire wide,
When want and all her gloomy train,
Pining disease and wracking pain,
On poor afflicted mortals prey,
His bounty drives those ills away,
Swift as their shadows wing their flight,
Before the purple dawning light.
Come young-eyed maid, serenely gay,
With healing looks and breath of May;
His virtues to our wishes give,
And guard that life by whom we live.

Mr. W覧le had the conscience to write to me, to desire I would, by the return of the post, send him a hundred ballads of my own composition, as he had already begun to take in subscriptions for them, and on the receipt of them, he would order a gentleman to pay me two Guineas. I suppose he thought I could write as fast as the poet whom Horace describes standing on one leg, while he wrote a thousand lines: and because I was unable to comply with this request, he sent me the following most strange epistle.

To Mrs. P覧n.
D覧n you! Sink you! G覧d fire you! I have beggared myself between your scoundrel husband and you, all to support a little dirty vanity. When I want anything from him, his d覧d spirits are sunk: nor has he given me any thing worth a farthing, for the monstrous sums he has drawn out of me. I could write before I ever saw either of your ugly faces; though not quite so well覧and d覧n me, if I ever write another line of verse覧. You understand me覧I shall be in town so as to meet the P葉. The eyes of all Europe are on me, and d覧n me, if you don't send me the ballads, but I'll despise, and defy you forever,
P.S. By G覧d, I can't stir out, for my landlady has beat me through the town with a hot shoulder of mutton, which she snatched from the fire, spit and all, only for catching me a little familiar with her daughter.

I concluded by this letter, that the poor man's head was turned, and therefore thought it not worth answering: but now seriously determined to leave Ireland; for though I led the life of a recluse, I had every day some new story invented of me. If I went out to take a little air, they said, I had great impudence to show my face; and if I stayed at home, I was then in keeping with some man who confined me, and, in short, I could please nobody: which gave rise to the following lines.


O God! Since all thy ways are just,
Why does thy heavy hand
So sore afflict the wretched dust,
Thou didst to life command?

Thou spak'st the word, the senseless clay
Was quickened with thy breath,
Cheerless to view the beams of day,
And seek the shades of death.

Through every scene of life distressed,
As daughter, mother, wife;
When wilt thou close my eyes in rest,
And take my weary life.

To be past, present, and to come,
Are ever more the same;
Thou knew'st of all my woes the sum,
Ere I my thoughts could frame.

Twas thou gav'st passion to my soul,
And reason also gave,
Why didst thou not make reason rule,
And passion be its slave?

O pardon me thou power divine!
That thus I dare presume
At thy correction to repine,
Or murmur at my doom.

Lord, give me penitence sincere
For every error past,
And though my trials are severe,
O give me peace at last.

So these were the last strains I sung in Ireland; which, ill used as I was in it, I could not quit without very great regret, and as the coach drove by Mr. P覧n's door, I thought my very heart would split with sorrow; for there indeed was all the treasure of my soul enclosed; namely, my dear little ones. Many a sigh and tear they cost me; many a prayer did I offer up to the Almighty for their preservation, and had he not been an infinitely more gracious father to them, than their earthly one proved, long long ago had they been finally lost!

My eyes, even after I went on board the yacht, were evermore turned to the shore of Ireland, resting there as on their last period; till finding myself observed, and that some of the passengers, Colonel Dalway in particular, wanted to see my face, which I concealed; I pretended to be seasick, and desired the steward to show me a cabin.

He left me for a few minutes; and returning, told me, all the beds were engaged; but however, there was a gentleman on board, was said, he would sooner sit up, than let a lady be unprovided for. I returned my compliments, without ever so much as inquiring to whom I was obliged.

The sickness I feigned, proved presently true; for no sooner was the ship under sail, but I grew violently seasick; when the steward once more entered the cabin, and told me, the gentleman, to whom it belonged, desired a moment's chat with me. I begged him to make my apology, as indeed, what with sickness and sorrow, I was little in temper to receive any person.

However the gentleman resolved not to be so easily dismissed, for following the steward into my cabin, he told me, he knew me to be Mrs. P覧n; that, he could not sit up all night; and therefore, he hoped I would not refuse him the liberty of sleeping in his own bed.

I answered, I would not, provided he would be so kind as to leave me for a few moments; on which, weak as I was, I sprung out of bed, and, as I had not undressed myself, soon met him upon deck.

Who this same gentleman was, may, in due season, be revealed: I can only assure my readers, that, I believe had I accepted of the offers he made me, poverty would never have approached me, as he was a man of honour, or at least appeared to me as such: a man of fortune he certainly is; and I doubt not but he has enjoyed many a lovely lady, without promising them any reward, or offering them a settlement for life, as he really did me.

I dined with him at Parkgate; and I hope virtue will be rewarded; for though I had but five Guineas in the world to carry me up to London, I yet possessed chastity enough to refuse fifty for a night's lodging, and that too, from a handsome well-bred man, whose name if I should insert, all the world will acknowledge I spoke but truth of him.

I shall scarcely ever forget his words to me, as they seemed almost prophetic. 'Well, Madam,' (said he) 'you don't know London; you'll be undone there.' 'Why, Sir,' (said I) 'I hope you don't imagine I go into any bad course of life?' 'No, Madam,' (said he) 'but I think you will sit in your chamber, and starve;' which, upon my word, I have been pretty near doing, and but that the Almighty raised me one worthy friend, good old Mr. Cibber, to whose humanity I am, under God, indebted both for liberty and life, I had been quite lost.

I dare say, nobody will imagine he served me from any carnal views, since,

If truth in spite of manners must be told,
Why really seventy-six is something old.

So here I close the first volume, and as it has been industriously and maliciously reported that I had in reality nothing to publish, I hope this will convince the world, that Mrs. Pilkington was never yet reduced to the meanness of falsehood or tricking. And if this volume meets with a favourable reception, I can assure my readers, the next will be infinitely more entertaining, and is now ready for the press.


End of the first volume.


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