Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure/Letter the Second/Part 8

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Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure
by John Cleland
Letter the Second (Part 8)

The girls all this time did not in the least smoak the mystery of this new customer, but Mrs. Cole, as soon as we were conveniently alone, insur'd me, in virtue of her long experience in these matters, that for this bout my charms had not miss'd fire, for that by his eagerness, his manner, and looks, she was sure he had it; the only point now in doubt was his character, and circumstances, which her knowledge of the town would soon gain her sufficient acquaintance with, to take her measures upon.

And effectively, in a few hours, her intelligence serv'd her so well, that she learn'd that this conquest of mine was no other than Mr. Norbert, a gentleman originally of a great fortune, which, with a constitution naturally not the best, he had greatly impair'd by his over-violent pursuit of the vices of the town, in the course of which having worn out and stal'd all the more common modes of debauchery, he had fallen into a taste of maiden-hunting, in which chace he had ruin'd a number of girls, sparing no expence to compass his ends, and generally using them well till tir'd, or cool'd by enjoyment, or springing a new face, he could with more ease disembarrass himself of the old ones, and resign them up to their fate, as his sphere of atchievements of that sort lay only a mongst such as he could proceed with by way of bargain and sale.

Concluding from these premises, Mrs. Cole observ'd that a character of this sort was ever lawful prize; that the sin would be, not to make the best of our market of him; and that she thought such a girl as me only too good for him at any rate, and on any terms.

She went then, at the hour appointed to his lodgings in one of our inns of court, which were furnish'd in a taste of grandeur that had a special eye to all the conveniences of luxury and pleasure. Here she found him in ready waiting, and after finishing her business of pretence, and a long circuit of discussions concerning her trade, which she said was very bad, the qualities of her servants, prentices, journey-women, the discourse naturally landed at length on me, when Mrs. Cole acting admirably the good old prating gossip, who lets every thing escape her, when her tongue is set in motion, cook'd him up a story so plausible of me, throwing in every now and then such strokes of art, with all the simplest air of nature, in praise of my person and temper, as finish'd him finely for her purpose, whilst nothing could be better counterfeited than her innocence of his; but when now fir'd, and on edge, he proceeded to drop hints of his design and views upon me, after he had with much confusion and pains brought her to the point (she kept as long aloof from as she thought proper) of understanding him, without now affecting to pass for a dragoness of virtue, by flying out into those violent and ever suspicious passions, she stuck with a better grace and effect to the character of a plain, honest, good sort of a woman, that knew no harm, and that getting her bread in an honest way, was made of easy and flexible stuff enough to be wrought upon to his ends, by his superior skill and address; but however, she managed so artfully that three or four meetings took place, before he could obtain the least favourable hope of her assistance, without which, he had, by a number of fruitless messages, letters, and other direct trials of my disposition, convinc'd himself there was no coming at me, all which too rais'd at once my character and price with him.

Regardful, however, of not carrying these difficulties to such a length as might afford time for starting discoveries, or incidents, unfavourable to her Plan, she at last pretended to be won over by meer dint of entreaties, promises and above all, by the dazzling sum she took care to wind him up to the specification of, when it was now even a piece of art to feign, at once a yeilding to the allurements of a great interest, as a pretext for her yeilding at all, and the manner of it such, as might perswade him she had never before dipp'd her virtuous fingers in an affair of that sort.

Thus she led him through all the gradations of difficulty, and obstacles, necessary to enhance the value of the prize he aim'd at, and in conclusion, he was so struck with the little beauty I was mistress of, and so eagerly bent on gaining his ends of me, that he left her even no room to boast of her management in bringing him up to her mark, he drove so plum of himself into every thing tending to make him swallow the bait: not that in other respects, Mr. Norbert was not clear-sighted enough, not that he did not perfectly know the town, and even by experience, the very branch of imposition now in practice upon him; but we had his passion to friend so much, he was so blinded, and hurried on by it, that he would have thought any undeception a very ill office done to his pleasure. Thus concurring, even precipitantly, to the point she wanted him at, Mrs. Cole brought him at last to hug himself on the cheap bargain, he consider'd the purchase of my imaginary jewel, was to him, at no more than three hundred guineas to myself, and an hundred to the brokeress; being a slender recompence for all her pains, and all the scruples of conscience she had now sacrificed to him for this the first time of her life; which sums were to be paid down on the nail, upon livery of my person, exclusive of some no inconsiderable presents that had been made in the course of the negociation: during which, I had occasionally, but sparingly, been introduc'd into his company, at proper times and hours, in which it is incredible how little it seem'd necessary to strain my natural disposition to modesty higher, in order to pass it upon him for that of a very maid: all my looks and gestures ever breathing nothing but that innocence which the men so ardently require in us, for no other end than to feast themselves with the pleasure of destroying it, and which they are so grievously, with all their skill, subject to mistakes in.

When the articles of the treaty had been fully agreed on, the stipulated payments duly secur'd, and nothing now remain'd but the execution of the main point, which center'd in the surrender of my person up to his free disposal and use, Mrs. Cole manag'd her objections, especially to his lodgings, and insinuations so nicely, that it became his own mere motion, and urgent request, that this copy of a wedding should be finish'd at her house: at first, indeed, she did not care, not she, to have such doings in it,——she would not for a thousand pounds have any of the servants, or 'prentices know it— her precious good name would be gone for ever,-with the like excuses: however, on superior objections to all other expedients, whilst she took care to start none but those that were most liable to them, it came round at last to the necessity of her obliging him in that conveniency, and of doing a little more where she had already done so much.

The night then was fix'd, with all possible respect to the eagerness of his impatience, and in the mean time Mrs. Cole had omitted no instructions, nor even neglected any preparation that might enable me to come off with honour, in regard to the appearance of virginity, except that, favour'd as I was by nature, with all the narrowness of stricture in that part requisite to conduct my designs, I had no occasion to borrow those auxiliaries of art that create a momentary one, easily discover'd by the test of a warm bath: and as to the usual bloody symptoms of defloration, which, if not always, are generally attendants on it, Mrs. Cole had made me the mistress of an invention of her own, which could hardly miss its effect, and of which more in its place.

Every thing then being dispos'd and fix'd for Mr. Norbert's reception, he was at the hour of eleven at night, with all the mysteries of silence and secrecy, let in by Mrs. Cole herself, and introduc'd into her bed-chamber, where, in an old fashion'd bed of her's, I lay, fully undress'd, and panting, if not with the fears of a real maid, at least with those perhaps greater, of a dissembled one, which gave me an air of confusion and bashfulness that maiden modesty had all the honour of, and was indeed scarce distinguishable from it, even by less partial eyes than those of my lover, so let me call him, for I ever thought the term cully too cruel a reproach to the men, for their abus'd weakness for us.

As soon as Mrs. Cole, after the old gossipery, on those occasions, us'd to young women abandon'd for the first time to the will of man, had left us alone in her room, which, by-the-bye, was well lighted up, at his previous desire, that seem'd to bode a stricter examination than he afterwards made; Mr. Norbert, still dress'd, sprung towards the bed, where I had got my head under the cloaths, and defended them a good while before he could even get at my lips, to kiss them: so true it is, that a false virtue, on this occasion, ever makes a greater rout and resistance, than a true one! from thence he descended to my breasts, the feel of which I disputed tooth and nail with him, till tir'd with my resistance, and thinking probably to give a better account of me, when got into bed to me; he hurry'd his cloaths off in an instant, and came into bed.

Mean while, by the glimpse I stole of him, I could easily discover a person far from promising any such doughty performances as the storming of maidenheads generally requires, and whose flimzy consumptive texture, gave him more the air of an invalid that was press'd, than of a volunteer, on such hot service.

At scarce thirty, he had already reduc'd his strength of appetite down to a wretched dependance on forc'd provocatives, very little seconded by the natural powers of a body jaded, and wrack'd off to the lees by constant repeated overdraughts of pleasure, which had done the work of sixty winters on his springs of life; leaving him at the same time all the fire and heat of youth in his imagination, which serv'd at once to torment and to spur him down the precipice.

As soon as he was in bed, he threw off the bed-cloaths, which I suffer'd him to force from my hold, and I now lay as expos'd as he could wish, not only to his attacks, but his visitation of the sheets, where, in the various agitations of my body, through my endeavours to defend myself, he could easily assure himself there was no preparation, or stain of blood, though to do him justice, he seem'd less strict an examinant than I had apprehended from so experienc'd a practitioner. My shift then he fairly tore open, finding I made too much use of it to barricade my breasts, as well as the more important avenue: yet in every thing else he proceeded with all the marks of tenderness and regard to me, whilst the art of my play was, to shew none for him: I acted then all the niceties, apprehensions, and terrors, supposable for a girl perfectly innocent, to feel, at so great a novelty as a naked man in bed with her for the first time. He scarce even obtain'd a kiss but what he ravish'd: I put his hand away twenty times from my breasts, where he had satisfy'd himself of their hardness and consistence with passing for hitherto unhandled goods: but when grown impatient for the main point, he now threw himself upon me, and first trying to examine me with his finger, sought to make himself further way, I complain'd of his usage bitterly, "I thought he would not have serv'd a body so. I was ruin'd.———I did not know what I had done.———I would get up, so I would."———And at the same time kept my thighs so fast lock'd, that it was not for a strength like his to force them open, or do any good. Finding thus my advantages, and that I had both my own and his motions at command, the deceiving him became so easy, that it was perfect playing upon velvet: in the mean time, his machine, which was one of those sizes that slip in and out without being minded, kept pretty stifly bearing against that part, which the shutting my thighs barr'd access to; but finding, at length, he could do no good by mere dint of bodily strength, he resorted to intreaties and arguments; to which I only answer'd, with a tone of shame and timidity, "that I was afraid it would kill me——Lard!——I would not be serv'd so.——I was never so us'd in all my born days.——I wonder'd he was not asham'd of himself, so I did.——" With such silly infantine moods of repulse and complaint as I judg'd best adapted to express the characters of innocence, and afright, Pretending however to yield at length to the vehemence of his insistence, in action and words; I sparingly disclos'd my thighs so, that he could just touch the cloven inlet with the tip of his instrument, but as he fatigu'd and toil'd to get it in, a twist of of my body, so as to receive it obliquely, not only thwarted his admission, but giving a skream, as if he had pierced me to the heart, I shook him off me, with such violence that he could not with all his might to it, keep the saddle: vex'd indeed at this he seem'd, but not in the style of any displeasure with me for my skittishness; on the contrary, I dare swear, he held me the dearer, and hugg'd himself for the difficulties that even hurt his instant pleasure: fired, however, now, beyond all bearance of delay, he remounts, and begg'd of me to have patience, stroaking and soothing me to it by all the tenderest endearments and protestations of what he would moreover do for me, at which feigning to be something soften'd, and abating of the anger that I had shewn at his hurting me so prodigiously, I suffer'd him to lay my thighs aside, and make way for a new trial; but I watch'd the directions and management of his point so well, that no sooner was the orifice in the least open to to it; but I gave such a timely jerk, as seem'd to proceed, not from the evasion of his entry, but from the pain his efforts at it put me to: a circumstance too that I did not fail to accompany with proper gestures, sighs, and cries of complaint, of which, "that he had hurt me——he kill'd me——I should die——" were the most frequent interjections. But now, after repeated attempts, in which he had not made the least impression, towards gaining his point, at least for that time, the pleasure rose so fast upon him that he could not check or delay it, and in the vigour and fury, which the approaches of the heigh of it inspir'd him, he made one fierce thrust that had almost put me by my guard, and lodg'd it so far that I could feel the warm inspersion just within the exterior orifice, which I had the cruelty not to let him finish there, but threw him out again, not without a most piercing loud exclamation, as if the pain had put me beyond all regard of being over-heard. It was easy then to observe that he was more satisfy'd, more highly pleas'd with the suppos'd motives of his baulk of consummation, than he would have been at the full attainment of it. It was on this foot that I salv'd to myself all the falsity I employ'd to procure him that blissful pleasure in it, which most certainly he would not have tasted in the truth of things. Eas'd however, and reliev'd by one discharge, he now apply'd himself to sooth, encourage, and put me into humour, and patience to bear his next attempt, which he began to prepare and gather force for, from all the incentives of the touch and sight, which he could think of, by examining every individual part off my whole body, which he declar'd his satisfaction with, in raptures of applause, kisses universally imprinted, and sparing no part of me, in all the eagerest wantonnesses of feeling, seeing and toying: his vigour however did not return so soon, and I felt him more than once pushing at the door, but so little in a condition to break in, that I question whether he had the power to enter, had I held it ever so open; but this he then thought me too little acquainted with the nature of things to have any regret or confusion about, and he kept fatiguing himself and me for a long time before he was in any state of stiffness to resume his attempts with any prospect of success! and then I breath'd him so warmly, and kept him so at bay, that before he had made any sensible progress in point of penetration, he was deliciously sweated, and weary'd out indeed! so that it was deep in the morning before he had atchiev'd his second let-go, about half way of entrance, I all the time crying and complaining of his prodigious vigour, and the immensity of what I appear'd to suffer splitting up with. Tir'd however at length, with such athletic drudgery, my champion began now to give out, and to gladly embrace the refreshment of some rest; kissing me then with much affection, and recommending me to my repose, be presently fell fast asleep: which as soon as I had well satisfied myself of, I, with much composure of body, so as not to wake him by any motion, with much ease and safety too, play'd off Mrs. Cole's device for perfecting the signs of my virginity.

In each of the head bed-posts, just above where the bed-steads are inserted into them, there was a small drawer so artfully adapted to the mouldings of the timber-work, that it might have escap'd even the most curious search, which drawers were easily open'd or shut, by the touch of a spring, and were fitted each with a shallow glass tumbler, full of a prepar'd fluid blood; in which lay soak'd, for ready use, a spunge; that requir'd no more than gently reaching the hand to it, taking it out, and properly squeezing between the thighs, when it yielded a great deal more of the red liquid than would save a girl's honour: after which, replacing it, and touching the spring, all possibility of discovery, or even of suspicion, was taken away; and all this was not the work of the fourth part of a minute, and of which ever side one lay, the thing was equally easy and practicable, by the double care taken to have each bed-post provided a like. True it is, that had he wak'd, and caught me in the fact, it would at least have cover'd me with shame and confusion; but then, that he did not, was, with the precautions I took, a risque of a thousand to one in my favour.

At ease now, and out of all fear of any doubt or suspicion, on his side, I address'd myself in good earnest to my repose; but could obtain none, and in about half an hour's time, my gentleman wak'd again, and turning towards me, I feign'd a sound sleep, which he did not long respect; but girding himself again to renew the onset, he began to kiss and caress me, when now making as if I just wak'd, I complain'd of the disturbance, and of the cruel pain that this little rest had stolen my senses from. Eager, however, for the pleasure, as well as honour of consummating an entire triumph over my virginity; he said, and did every thing that could overcome my resistance, and bribe my patience to the end, which now I was ready to listen to, from being secure of the bloody proofs I had prepar'd of his victorious violence, though I still thought it good policy not to let him in yet awhile. I answer'd then only to his importunities, in sighs and moans, "that I was so hurt, I could not bear it.——I was sure he had done me a mischief; that he had,——he was such a sad man!" Turning at this, down the cloaths, and viewing the field of battle by the glimmer of a dying taper, he saw plainly my thighs, shift, and sheets, all yet wet, and stain'd with what he readily took for virgin gore, proceeding from his last half-penetration: convinc'd, and transported at which, nothing could equal his joy and exultation. The illusion was complete: no other conception enter'd his head but that of his having been at work upon an unopen'd mine: which idea, upon so strong an evidence, redoubled at once his tenderness for me, and his ardour for breaking it wholly up. Kissing me then with the utmost rapture, he comforted me, and begg'd my pardon for the pain he had put me to, observing withal, that it was only a thing in course; but the worst was certainly past, and that with a little courage and constancy I should get it once well over, and never after experience any thing but the greatest pleasure. By little and little I suffer'd myself to be prevail'd on, and giving, as it were, up the point to him, I made my thighs, insensibly spreading them, yield him liberty of access, which improving, he got a little within me, when, by a well-manag'd reception, I work'd the female screw so nicely, that I kept him from the easy mid channel direction, and by dexterous wreathings and contorsions creating an artificial difficulty of entrance, made him win it inch by inch, with the most laborious struggles, I all the time sorely complainig, till at length, with might and main, winding his way in, he got it completely home, and giving my virginity, as he thought, the coup de grace, furnish'd me the cue of setting up a terrible outcry, whilst he, triumphant, and like a cock, clapping his wings over his down-trod mistress, pursu'd his pleasure, which presently rose in virtue cf this idea of a complete victory, to a pitch that made me soon sensible of his melting period, whilst I now lay acting the deep wounded, breathless, frighten'd, undone, no longer, maid.

You will ask me perhaps, whether all this time I enjoy'd any perception of pleasure? I assure you, little or none; till just towards the latter end, a faintish sense of it came on mechanically, from so long a struggle, and frequent fret in that ever sensible part: but, in the first place, I had no taste for the person I was suffering the embraces of, on a purely mercenary account, and then I was not entirely delighted with myself for the jade's part I was playing, whatever excuses I might have to plead for being brought into it: but then this insensibility kept me so much the mistress of my mind and motions, that I could the better manage so close a counterfeit, through the whole scene of deception.

Recover'd at length to more shew of life, by his tender condoleances, kisses, and embraces, I upbraided him, and reproach'd him for my ruin, in such natural terms, as added to his satisfaction with himself, for having accomplish'd it; and guessing, by certain observations of mine, that it would be rather favourable to him, to spare him, when he sometime after, feebly enough, came on again to the assault, I resolutely withstood, any further endeavours, on a pretext that flatter'd his prowess, of my being so violently hurt and sore, that I could not possibly endure a fresh trial: he then graciously granted me a respite, and the morning soon after advancing, I got rid of farther importunity, till Mrs. Cole, being rang for by him, came in, and was made acquainted in terms of the utmost joy and rapture, with his triumphant certainty of my virtue, and the finishing stroke he had given it, in the course of the night; of which he added, she would see proof enough, in bloody characters, on the sheets.

You may guess how a woman of her turn of address and experience, humour'd the jest, and play'd him off with mix'd exclamations of shame, anger, compassion for me, and of her being pleas'd that all was so well over; in which last, I believe, she was perfectly sincere. And now, as the objection which she had represented as an invincible one, to my lying the first night at his lodgings (which were studiously calculated for a freedom of intrigues) on the account of my maiden fears and terrors, at the thoughts of going to a gentleman's chambers, and being alone with him in bed, was surmounted, she pretended to persuade me, in favour to him, that I should go there to him, whenever he pleas'd, and still keep up all the necessary appearances of working with her, that I might not lose, with my character, the prospect of getting a good husband, and at the same time her house would be kept the safer from scandal. All this seem'd so reasonable, so considerate to Mr. Norbert, that he never once perceiv'd, that she did not want him to resort to her house, left he might in time discover certain inconsistencies with the character she had set out with to him; besides that this plan greatly flatter'd his own ease, and views of liberty.

Leaving me then to my much wanted rest, he got up, and Mrs. Cole, after settling with him all points relating to me, got him undiscover'd out of the house. Aftar which, and I was awake, she came in, and gave me due praises on my success; behaving too with her usual moderation, aod disinterestness, she refus'd any share of the sum I had thus earn'd, and put me into such a secure and easy way of disposing of my affairs, which now amounted to a kind of little fortune, that a child of ten years old might have kept the account, and property of them safe in its hands.

I was now restor'd again to my former state of a kept mistress, and us'd punctually to wait on Mr. Norbert at his chambers, whenever he sent a messenger for me, which I constantly took care to be in the way of, and manag'd with so much caution that he never once penetrated the nature of my connexions with Mrs. Cole, but indolently given up to ease, and the town-dissipations, the perpetual hurry to them hinder'd him from looking into his own affairs, much less into mine.

In the mean time, if I may judge from my own experience, none are better paid, or better treated, during their reign, than the mistresses of those who, enervate by nature, debaucheries, or age, have the least employment for the sex: sensible that a woman must be satisfy'd some way, they ply her with a thousand little tender attentions, presents, caresses, confidences, and exhaust their invention in means and devices to make up for the capital deficiency; and even towards lessening that, what arts, what modes, what refinements of pleasure have they not recourse to, to raise their languid powers, and press nature into the service of their sensuality? But here is their misfortune, that when by a course of teazing, worrying, handling, wanton postures, lacivious motions, they have at length accomplish'd a flashy enervate enjoyment, they have at the same time lighted up a flame in the object of their passion, that not having the means themselves to quench, drives her for relief, into the next person's arms, who can finish their work: and thus they become bawds to some secret favourite, tried, and approv'd of for a more vigorous, and satisfactory execution; for with women, of our turn especially, however well our hearts may be dispos'd, there is a controuling part, or queen-seat in us, that governs itself by its own maxims of state, amongst which not one is stronger in practise with it, than, in matter of its dues, never to accept the will for the deed.

Mr. Norbert, who was much in this ungracious case, though he profess'd and shew'd to like me extremely, could but seldom consummate the main-joy itself with me, without such a length and variety of preparations as were at once wearisome and inflammatory.

Sometimes he would strip me stark naked on a carpet, by a good fire; when he would contemplate me almost by the hour, disposing me in all the figures and attitudes of body, that it was susceptible of being view'd in: kissing me in every part, the most secret and critical one so far from excepted, that it receiv'd most of that branch of homage, then his touches were so exquisitely wanton, and luxuriously diffus'd, and penetrative at times, that he made me perfectly rage with titillating fires, when, after all, and when with much ado, he had gain'd a short-liv'd erection, he would perhaps melt it away in a washy sweat, or a premature abortive effusion, that provokingly mock'd my eager desires; or, if carried home, how faulter'd and unnervous the execution! how insufficient the sprinkle of a few heat-drops to extinguish all the flames he had kindled.

One evening I cannot help remembring, that returning home from him with a spirit he had rais'd in a circle his wand had prov'd too weak to lay, as I turn'd the corner of a street, I was overtaken by a young sailor. I was then in that spruce, neat, and plain dress, which I ever affected, and perhaps might have in my trip a certain air of restlessness unknown to the composure of cooler thoughts. However he seiz'd me as prize, and, without ceremony, threw his hands round my neck, and kiss'd me boisterously, and sweetly. I look'd at him with a beginning of anger and indignation at his rudeness, that soften'd away into other sentiments as fast I view'd him: for he was tall, manly-carriag'd, handsome of body and face, so that I ended my stare, with asking him in a tone turn'd to tenderness, what he meant: at which, with the same frankness, and vivacity as he had begun with me, he propos'd treating me with a glass of wine: now, certain it is, that had I been in a calmer state of blood than I was; had I been less under the dominion of unappeas'd irritations and desires, I should have refus'd him without hesitation: but I do not know how it was, my pressing calls, his figure, the occasion, and if you will, the powerful combination of all these with a start of curiosity, to see the end of an adventure so novel to me as being thus treated like a common street-plyer, made me give a silent consent: in short, it was not my head that I now obey'd. I suffer'd myself then to be tow'd along as it were by this man-of-war, who took me under his arm as familiarly as if he had known me all his life-time, and led me into the next convenient tavern, where we were shown in to a little room on one side of the passage. Here, scarce allowing himself patience till the drawer brought in the wine call'd for, he fell directly on board me: when untucking my handkerchief, and giving me a smacking buss, he laid my breasts bare at once, which he handled with that keenness of gust that abridges a ceremonial ever more tiresome than pleasing on such pressing occasions; and now hurrying towards the main-point, we found no conveniency for our purpose; two or three disabled chairs, and a ricketty table composing the whole furniture of the room).

Without more ado, he plants me with my back standing against the wall, and my petticoats up; and coming out with a splitter indeed, made it shine, as he brandish'd it, in my eyes, and going to work with an impetuosity and eagerness, bred very likely by a long fast at sea, went to give me the taste of it: I straddled, I humour'd my posture, and did my best in short to buckle to it; I took part of it in too; but still things did not jee to his thorough liking: changing then in a trice his system of battery, he leads me to the table, and with a master-hand lays my head down on the edge of it, and with the other canting up my petticoat and shift, bares my naked posteriours to his blind, and furious guide: it forces his way between them, and I feeling pretty sensibly that it was going by the right door, and knocking desperately at the wrong one, I told him of it: "Pooh, says he my dear, any port in a storm." —— Altering, however directly, his course, and lowering his point, he fix'd it right, and driving it up with a delicious stiffness, made all foam again, and gave me the tout with such fire, and spirit, that in the fine disposition I was in, when I submitted to him, and stirr'd up so fiercely as I was, I got the start of him, and went away into the melting swoon, and squeezing him, whilst in the convulsive grasp of it, drew from him such a plenteous bedewal of balmy sweets, as join'd to my own effusion, perfectly floated those parts, and drown'd in a deluge all my raging conflagration of desire.

When this was over, how to make my retreat was my concern; for though I had been so extremely pleas'd with the difference between this warm broadside pour'd so briskly into me, and the tiresome pawing and toying, to which I had ow'd the unappeas'd flames that had driven me into this step; now I was grown cooler, I began to apprehend the danger of contracting an acquaintance with this, however agreeable, stranger; who, on his side, spoke of passing the evening with me, and continuing our intimacy, with an air of determination that made me afraid of its being not so easy to get away from him as I could wish: in the mean time I carefully conceal'd my uneasiness, and readily pretended to consent to stay with him, telling him, I should only step to my lodgings, to leave a necessary direction, and then instantly return. This he very glibly swallow'd, on the notion of my being one of those unhappy street-errants, who devote themselves to the pleasure of the first ruffian that will stoop to pick them up, and of course, that I would scarce bilk myself of my hire by my not returning, to make the most of the job. Thus he parted with me, not before, however, he had order'd, in my hearing, a supper, which I had the barbarity to disappoint him of my company to.

But when I got home, and told Mrs. Cole my adventure, she represented so strongly to me the nature and dangerous consequences of my folly, the risques to my health, in being so open-legg'd, and free of my flesh, that I not only took resolutions never to venture so rashly again, which I inviolably preserv'd; but pass'd a good many days in continual uneasiness lest I should have met with other reasons, besides the pleasure of that rencounter, to remember it: but these fears wrong'd my pretty sailor, for which I gladly make him this reparation.

I had now liv'd with Mr. Norbert near a quarter of a year, in which space I circulated my time very pleasantly, between my amusements at Mrs. Cole's, and a proper attendance on that gentleman, who paid me profusely for the unlimited complaisance with which I passively humour'd every caprice of pleasure, and which had won upon him so greatly, that finding, as he said, all that variety in me alone, which he had sought for in a number of women, I had made him lose his taste for inconstancy, and new faces. But what was yet at least as agreeable to me as his fondness and attachment, as well as much more flattering; the love I had inspir'd him with, bred a deference to me that was of great service to his health. For having by degrees, and with most pathetic representations, brought him to some husbandry of it, and to ensure the duration of his pleasures by moderating their use, and correcting those excesses in them he was so addicted to, and which had shatter'd his constitution, and destroy'd his powers of life, in the very point, for which he seem'd chiefly desirous to live; he was grown more delicate, more temperate, and all in course more healthy; his gratitude for which was taking a turn very favourable for my fortune, when once more the caprice of it, dash'd the cup from my lips.

His sister, lady L——, for whom he had a great affection, desiring him to accompany her down to Bath for her health, he could not refuse her such a favour, and accordingly, though he counted on staying away from me no more than a week at farthest, he took his leave of me, with an ominous heaviness of heart, and left with me a sum far above the state of his fortune, and very inconsistent with the intended shortness of his journey, but it ended in the longest that can be, and is never but once taken; for, arriv'd at Bath, he was not there two days before he fell into a debauch of drinking with some gentlemen, that threw him into a high fever, which carry'd him off in four days time, never once out of a delirium. Had he been in his senses to make a will, perhaps he might have made favourable mention of me in it. Thus, however, I lost him; and as no condition of life is more subject to revolutions than that of a woman of pleasure, I soon recover'd my chearfulness, and now beheld myself once more struck off the list of kept-mistresses, and return'd into the bosom of the community, from which I had been in some manner taken.

Mrs. Cole still continuing her friendship, offer'd me her assistances and advice towards another choice; but I was now in a state of ease and affluence enough to look about me at leisure; and as to any constitutional calls of pleasure, their pressure or sensibility was greatly lessen'd by a consciousness of the ease with which they were to be satisfy'd at Mrs. Cole's house, where Louisa and Emily still continu'd in the old way; and my great favourite Harriet, us'd often to come and see me, and entertain me, with her head and heart full of the happiness she enjoy'd with her dear baronet, whom she lov'd with tenderness and constancy, even though he was her keeper; and what is yet more, had made her independent by a handsome provision for her, and hers.

I was then in this vacancy from any regular employ of my person, in my way of business, when one day Mrs. Cole, in the course of the constant confidence we liv'd in, acquainted me that there was one Mr. Barvile, a gentleman who us'd her house, just come to town, whom she was not a little perplex'd about providing a suitable companion for; which was indeed a point of difficulty, as he was under the tyranny of a cruel taste; that of an ardent desire, not only of being unmercifully whipp'd himself, but of whipping others, in such sort, that tho' he paid extravagantly those who had the courage and complaisance to submit to his humour; there were few, delicate as he was in the choice of his subjects, who would exchange turns with him so terribly at the expence of their skin: but what yet increas'd the oddity of this strange fancy, was the gentleman's being young; whereas it generally attacks, it seems, such as are, through age, oblig'd to have recourse to this experiment, for quickening the circulation of their sluggish juices, and determining a conflux of the spirits of pleasure towards those flagging, shrivelly parts, that rise to life only by virtue of those titillating ardours created by the discipline of their opposites, with which they have so surprising a consent.

This Mrs. Cole could not well acquaint me with, in any expectation of my offering my service: for, sufficiently easy as I was in my circumstances, it must have been the temptation of an immense interest indeed, that could have induced me to embrace such a job; neither had I ever express'd, or indeed felt, the least impulse or curiosity to know more of a taste, that promis'd so much more pain than pleasure, to those that stood in no need of such violent goads: what then should move me to subscribe myself voluntarily to a party of pain, foreknowing it such? Why, to tell the plain truth; it was a sudden caprice, a gust of fancy for trying a new experiment, mix'd with the vanity of proving my personal courage to Mrs. Cole, that determin'd me, at all risques, to propose myself to her, and relieve her from any farther look-out; accordingly, I at once pleas'd and surpris'd her, with a frank and unreserv'd tender of my person to her, and her friend's absolute disposal on this occasion.

My good temporal mother, was however so kind as to use all the arguments she could imagine to dissuade me: but as I found they only turn'd on a motive of tenderness to me, I persisted in my resolution, and thereby acquitted my offer of any suspicion of its not having been sincerely made, or out of compliment only: acquiescing then thankfully in it, Mrs. Cole assur'd me, that bating the pain I should be put to, she had no scruple to engage me to this party, which she assur'd me I should be liberally paid for, and which the secrecy of the transaction, preserv'd safe from the ridicule that otherwise vulgarly attended it: that for her part, she consider'd pleasure of one sort or other, as the universal port of destination, and every wind that blew thither a good one, provided it blew nobody any harm: that she rather compassionated, than blam'd those unhappy persons, who are under a subjection they cannot shake off, to those arbitrary tastes that rule their appetites of pleasure with an unaccountable controul: tastes too, as infinitely diversify'd, as superior to, and independent of all reasoning, as the different relishes or palates of mankind in their viands; some delicate stomachs nauseating plain meats, and finding no savour but in high-season'd, luxurious dishes; whilst others again pique themselves upon detesting them.

I stood now in no need of this preamble of encouragement, or justification: my word was given, and I was determin'd to fulfil my engagements; accordingly the night was set, and I had all the necessary previous instructions how to act and conduct myself. The dining-room was duly prepar'd and lighted up, and the young gentleman posted there in waiting for my introduction to him.

I was then, by Mrs. Cole, handed in, and presented to him in a loose dishabil, fitted, by her direction, to the exercise I was to go through, all in the finest linnen, and a thorough white-uniform: gown, petticoat, stockings, and sattin slippers, like a victim led to the sacrifice; whilst my dark auburn hair, falling in drop-curls over my neck, created a pleasing distinction of colour from the rest of my dress.

As soon as Mr. Barvile saw me, he got up with a visible air of pleasure and surprise, and after saluting me, ask'd Mrs. Cole if it was possible that so fine, and delicate a creature would voluntarily submit to such sufferings and rigours as were the subject of his assignation. She answer'd him properly, and now, reading in his eyes that she could not too soon leave us together, she went out, after recommending to him to use moderation with so tender a novice.

But whilst she was employing his attention, mine had been taken up with examining the figure and person of this unhappy young gentleman, who was thus unaccountably condemn'd to have his pleasure lashed into him, as boys have their learning.

He was exceedingly fair, and smooth complexion'd, and appeared to me no more than twenty at most, tho' he was three years older than what my conjectures gave him; but then he ow'd this favourable mistake to a habit of fatness, which spread through a short, squab stature, and a round, plump, fresh-coloured face gave him greatly the look of a Bacchus, had not an air of austerity, not to say sternness, very even to his shape of face, dash'd that character of joy, necessary to complete the resemblance. His light-brown hair was pretty thick, uncurl'd, and look'd as if it had been trimm'd with a bowl-dish, as we are told the Roundheads were in Oliver's times. His dress was extremely neat, but plain, and far inferior to the ample fortune, he was in full possession of: this too was a taste in him, and not avarice.

As soon as Mrs. Cole was gone, he seated me near him, when now his face changed upon me into an expression of the most pleasing sweetness and good humour, the more remarkable for its sudden shift from the other extreme, which I found afterwards, when I knew more of his character, was owing to a habitual state of conflict with, and dislike of himself, for being enslav'd to so peculiar a gust, by the fatality of a constitutional ascendant, that render'd him incapable of receiving any pleasure, till he submitted to these extraordinary means of procuring it at the hands of pain, whilst the constancy of this repining consciousness, stamp'd at length that cast of sourness and severity on his features which was in fact, very foreign to the natural sweetness of his temper.

After a competent preparation by apologies, and encouragement to go through my part with spirit and constancy, he stood up near the fire, whilst I went to fetch the instruments of discipline, out of a closet hard by: these were several rods, made each of two or three strong twigs of birch tied together, which he took, handled, and view'd with as much pleasure as I did with a kind of shuddering presage.

Next we took from the side of the room a long broad bench, made easy to lie at length on by a soft cushion in a callico-cover: and every thing being now ready, he took his coat and wastecoat off; and at his motion and desire, I unbutton'd his breeches, and rolling up his shirt rather above his waist, tuck'd it in securely there; when directing naturally my eyes to that humoursome master-movement, in whose favour all these dispositions were making, it seem'd almost shrunk into his belly, scarce shewing its tip above the sprout of hairy curls that cloath'd those parts, as you may have seen a wren peep its head out of the grass.

Stooping then to untie his garters, he gave them me for the use of tying him down to the legs of the bench, a circumstance no farther necessary than as I suppose it made part of the humour of the thing, since he prescribed it to himself, amongst the rest of the ceremonial.

I led him then to the bench, and according to my cue, plaid at forcing him to lie down: which, after some little shew of reluctance, for form-sake, he submitted to, he was straitway extended flat upon his belly, on the bench, with a pillow under his face; and as he thus tamely lay, I tied him slightly hand and foot, to the legs of it; which done, his shirt remaining truss'd up over the small of his back, I drew his breeches quite down to his knees; and now he lay, in all the fairest, broadest display of that part of the back-view, in which a pair of chubby, smooth-cheek'd, and passing white posteriours rose cushioning upwards from two stout, fleshful thighs, and ending their cleft, or separation, by an union at the small of the back, presented a bold mark, that swell'd, as it were, to meet the scourge.

Seizing now one of the rods, I stood over him, and, according to his direction, gave him, in one breath, ten lashes with much good-will, and the utmost nerve and vigour of arm that I could put to them, so as to make those fleshy orbs quiver again under them, whilst himself seem'd no more concern'd, or to mind them, than a lobster would a fleabite: in the mean time, I view'd intently the effects of them, which to me at least appear'd surprisingly cruel: every lash had skimm'd the surface of those white cliffs, which they deeply redden'd, and lapping round the side of the furthermost from me, cut, especially into the dimple of it, such livid weals, as the blood either spun out from, or stood in large drops on; and from some of the cuts I pick'd out even the splinters of the rod, that had stuck in the skin: nor was this raw work to be wonder'd at, considering the greenness of the twigs, and the severity of the infliction, whilst the whole surface of his skin was so smooth-stretch'd over the hard and firm pulp of flesh that fill'd it, as to yield no play, or elusive swagging under the stroke, which thereby took place the more plum, and cut into the quick.

I was however already so mov'd at the piteous sight, that I from my heart repented the undertaking, and would willingly have given over, thinking he had full enough; but, he encouraging, and beseeching me earnestly to proceed, I gave him ten more lashes, and then resting, survey'd the encrease of bloody appearances, and at length, steel'd to the sight, by his stoutness in suffering, I continu'd the discipline, by intervals, till I observ'd him wreathing and twisting his body in a way that I could plainly perceive was not the effect of pain, but of some new and powerful sensation; curious to dive into the meaning of which, in one of my pauses of intermission, I approach'd, as he still kept working, and grinding his belly against the cushion under him; and first, stroking the untouch'd and unhurt side of the flesh-mount next me, then softly insinuating my hand under his thigh, felt the posture things were in forwards, which was indeed surprising; for that machine of his, which I had by its appearance, taken for an impalpable, or at best a very diminutive subject, was now, in virtue of all that smart and havock of his skin behind, grown not only to a prodigious stiffness of erection, but to a size that frighted even me: a non-pareil thickness indeed! the head of it alone fill'd the utmost capacity of my grasp: and when, as he heav'd and wriggled to and fro, in the agitation of his strange pleasure, it came into view, it had some thing of the air of a round fillet of the whitest veal, like its owner, squob, and short in proportion to its breadth; but when he felt my hand there, he begg'd I would go on briskly with my jerking, or he should never arrive at the last stage of pleasure.

Resuming then the rod, and the exercise of it, I had fairly worn out three bundles, when, after an increase of struggles, and motion, and a deep sigh or two, I saw him lie still and motionless: and now he desir'd me to desist, which I instantly did, and proceeding to untie him, I could not but be amazed at his passive fortitude, on viewing the skin of his butcher'd, mangled posteriours, late so white, smooth and polish'd, now all one side of them, a confus'd cut-work of weals, livid flesh, gashes and gore, insomuch that when he stood up, he could scarce walk; in short, he was in sweet-briars.

Then I plainly perceiv'd on the cushion, the marks of a plenteous effusion of white liquid, and already had his sluggard member run up to its old nestling-place, and ensconc'd itself again, as if asham'd to show its head, which nothing, it seems, could raise but stripes inflicted on its opposite neighbours, who were thus constantly oblig'd to suffer for his caprice.