The New Epicurean
Erotic novel (chapter 3: To Sappho)
Author: Edward Sellon
All the versions of this article:
Edward Sellon, The New Epicurean or The Delights of Sex, Facetiously and Philosophically Considered, in Graphic Letters Addressed to Young Ladies of Quality, London, 1740 .
You complain, my sweet girl, that it is long since you heard from me, and remind me that I, of all men, am the only one who could ever give you delight. In reply to your complaint, I must assure you that had there been anything to relate which would have been likely to interest my young philosopher I should have written, but I know too well that ordinary love affairs between men and women do not much amuse you and that the loves of girls for each other are more to your taste. By your other remark I am much flattered; and if you can frame some excuse to your aunt for leaving home and will come here, I think I can show you how to pass an agreeable afternoon. In the interim I will detail an adventure which I met with the other day, and I think will vastly please your fancy.
I was strolling out in one of those thick woods which abound in this neighbourhood when in a secluded dell I espied two young ladies seated very lovingly together, engaged in earnest conversation. They were so absorbed in their discourse that I found no difficulty in approaching softly to within a yard of the spot and, concealing myself in a thicket, I sat down on the turf to listen to them.
The elder of the two was a fine handsome woman of about five or six and twenty, with lustrous dark eyes, black hair, an aquiline nose, and noble figure, yet rather too masculine looking to be altogether pleasing. Her companion was a lovely girl of sixteen, a most exquisite face of a perfect oval, laughing blue eyes shaded with long black lashes, and a profusion of the most beautiful hair of a light auburn which wantoned in the breeze in a hundred lovelocks, forming a most charming picture; her figure was exquisitely rounded in all the witchery of early girlhood, and its undulations raised certain strong desires in my heart to be better acquainted with its beauties.
I now set myself to listen to their conversation.
’I assure you,’ the dark−eyed woman was saying, ’there is nothing in it; these men are the most selfish creatures in the world; and besides, what pleasure, think you, can they give us that we do not have already without their aid?’
’Well, dear friend,’ laughed the girl, in a sweet silvery voice, ’I am sure you talk very sensibly, but yet there must be something in the joys of love, if we are to believe the poets, who have so often made it their theme; besides, I do not mind telling you that I know a little more about the subject than you may suppose.’
’Mon Dieu,’ ejaculated the dark beauty, who I now began to think was a Frenchwoman, especially as I had already noticed a slight foreign accent in her voice; ’Mon Dieu’ (and she turned pale), ’how is it possible you should know anything of love at your age?’
’Shall I tell you?’ replied the young girl.
’Ah! yes, yes; tell me, ma chère.’
’Well then, dear; you know young Mrs. Leslie?’
’She was a former school−fellow of mine; and a month or two after her honeymoon, I went on a visit to that pretty country seat of her husband’s, Harpsdeen Court, in Bedfordshire. While there she not only told me all about the secret joys of matrimony, but permitted me to witness her bliss.’
’To witness it? Incredible!’
’’Tis a fact, I do assure you; shall I tell you what I saw, and how I saw it?’
’Oh yes, ma petite, I do not mind what you may have seen, I was only afraid one of these perfidious men had captivated your poor little heart; as it was a mere girlish frolic, it will amuse me very much to hear all about it.’
The young girl, first giving her friend a sweet kiss, which I envied, thus began:
’My friend Clara Leslie, though she has a pleasing amiable face, is not strictly handsome, but nature, you know, is full of compensations, as her husband found out to his great satisfaction. She has a shape that vies with the Venus de Medici, the most lovely figure you ever beheld. When quite a girl at school, she could show a leg that any woman might envy, but now at twenty years of age she surpassed the finest statue I ever saw. I will not trouble you with a recapitulation of all that passed on her wedding night, and subsequently up to my arrival at Harpsdeen, because you, my sweet friend, doubtless know all that occurs on such occasions, but will confine myself to what I saw. She proposed to me to sleep in a room adjoining theirs, divided only by a thin oaken wainscot in which one of the knots in the wood could be taken out at pleasure and thus command a full view of the nuptial couch. Clara told me she would place a pair of wax lights on a table near the bed, and out of regard to me would so manage matters that I should see all that passed between her and her handsome husband, the squire. Accordingly, we all went to bed about ten o’clock one night and I, having undressed and wrapped myself in my robe de chambre, placed myself on an ottoman over against the panel. Assisted by her husband, Clara was soon reduced to a state of nature and stood naked like a beautiful Eve, with her lovely hair meandering down her alabaster back and shoulders.
’“Charles, dear,” said my sweet friend, “do you lie on the foot of the bed and let me mount you, à la St George, you call it, I believe. I do so love that position.”
’He kissed her tenderly, and being now himself naked, flung himself back on the foot of the bed.
’Then, dearest Maria, I saw, for the first time, that wondrous ivory staff with its ruby−crested head, rising from a nest of glossy black curls. Having waited a moment to give me an opportunity of seeing it, she pressed her face in his lap and took the head of his noble toy in her mouth; then after moistening it for a few seconds, she mounted astride him, displaying to my delighted gaze her large beautiful dimpled bottom and lily white thighs, between which I could clearly discern the mark of her sex; then grasping his wand in her little hand, she guided it in and immediately began to move up and down à la postilion.
’He clasped those white hemispheres with his hands, he squeezed them together, he held them open, he thrust his finger into the nether rosebud, he kissed her breasts, while mutual sighs of delight escaped the fond pair. As for me, I was so excited as to be almost beside myself, and felt almost suffocated. At length, I sought relief in the schoolgirl’s substitute and used my finger for want of something better. Though this was but a poor expedient, it relieved the burning heat and caused a flow of love’s dew, which allayed the itching desire which had taken possession of me. Meantime, Clara’s climax and Charlie’s came simultaneously and they lay panting in each other’s arms. In a very short time, however, he was again ready for action, and making Clara kneel upon the bed he stood behind, and again the amorous encounter was renewed. Four times in various attitudes did he repeat the play, and then putting out the candles they retired to rest.
’As for me, I could scarcely sleep at all; all night I was tossing about, trying in vain with my finger to procure myself that satisfaction which I had seen her enjoy.
’Now my dear Marie, inveigh as much as you please against love; for my part the sooner some nice young fellow takes a fancy to me the better I shall like it.’
’My dearest child,’ cried the dark beauty, ’I dare say it is very true that your friend has made a very excellent match and is quite happy in her husband, but what I want to impress upon you is that for one such marriage as that there are ten wretched ones. Besides, I will, if you like, soon demonstrate to you that there is more pleasure to be derived from the love of woman for woman than any that the male can give. We are all alone here in this lovely glen; let me show you how I will make love.’
’You!’ cried the young girl. ’What? Are you going then to make love to me?’
’To no other, my pet,’ whispered hoarsely the salacious woman, as her dark eyes gleamed and her hand passed up the clothes of her companion.
’Oh; but,’ said the younger, ’this is very droll, good heaven, what are you about! Really, Marie, I am surprised at you.’
’Do not be surprised any longer then, my little angel,’ cried her friend. ’Give me your hand,’ and she passed it up her own clothes. ’Now, I will show you how to touch that little secret part. It is not by putting the finger within that the pleasure is to be gained, but by rubbing it at the top, just at the entrance; there it is that nature has placed a nerve called by doctors the clitoris, and it is this nerve which is the chief seat of bliss in our sex.’ All this while the libidinous creature was manipulating with skill.
The colour came and went in the cheeks of her beauteous companion, who faintly sighed out, ’Ah, Marie, what are you doing? Oh, joy; oh blissful sensation! Ah, is it possible—oh−oh−ur−r−r−r.’ She could no longer articulate.
The tribade saw her chance, and waited no longer; throwing up the clothes of the young girl, she flew upon her like a panther, and forcing her face between the thighs of her friend, gamahuched her with inconceivable frenzy. Then, not satisfied with this, she pulled up her own clothes and straddled over the young girl, presenting her really symmetrically formed posteriors close to her face, nearly sitting down upon it in her eagerness to feel the touch of the young girl’s tongue. Nor had she to wait long; wrought up to the last pitch of lascivious ecstasy, her friend would have done anything she required, and now gamahuched her to her heart’s desire.
I continued to watch these tribades for some time, revolving in my mind how I could get possession of the young one, for whom I had conceived a most ardent longing.
Suddenly it occurred to me that, as they were strangers in the neighbourhood, it was not likely they had walked, and that possibly, on the outskirts of the wood, I should find a coach waiting for them.
Full of designs upon the pretty young creature, I left the amorous pair to their amusement and soon reached the margin of the road. Here, ere long, I espied a coach and six with servants in rich liveries, and approaching nearer saw from the coronet on the door that it belonged to some person of quality. As I came up I accosted one of the lackeys, and tossing him a crown, asked whose carriage it was.
’His Grace the Duke of G—’s, your honour,’ said the man, touching his hat respectfully as he glanced at my embroidered coat, sword and diamond buckles and pocketed the crown.
’Then you are waiting, I presume, for the two ladies in the wood?’ said I.
’Yes, sir,’ replied the lackey; and being a talkative, indiscreet person, he added, ’Lady Cecilia Clairville, his grace’s daughter, your honour, and Madame La Conte, her governess.’
’Ah, indeed!’ said I, with as indifferent a manner as I could assume, and passed on.
At a turn of the road, I again dived into the wood and soon reached my own demesne.
’A very pretty affair, truly,’ said I to myself as I took a glass of wine. Madame La Conte, engaged by the duke to complete the education of his daughter, takes advantage of her position to corrupt her, and by making her a tribade renders her wretched for life; for let me tell you, Sappho, there is no more certain road to ill health, loss of beauty, pleasure, and all the zest of life, than this horrid lust for the wrong sex.
’Very well, Madame La Conte,’ I soliloquised, ’I shall turn this discovery to account, you may depend’; and with that resolve I went to bed.
Next morning I sent a billet in French by a trusty messenger to his grace’s mansion in Cavendish Square. It ran as follows:
to all that passed between you and the lady Cecilia in the wood yesterday I was a witness. I am a man of position, and if you do not wish me to call upon the duke and acquaint him with your nefarious proceedings, you will come tomorrow afternoon at three o’clock to the big oak at the east end of the same wood, in a hackney coach, which you will alight from at the west side. To avoid discovery you had better both be masked. Yours, as you behave yourself,
Punctual to the appointment I had made, I placed myself beneath the shade of the oak and, as there was no saying what might happen, or what ambush this devil of a Frenchwoman might lay for me, I armed myself with my sword and put in my pocket a brace of loaded pistols. Soon the fair creatures approached, hand in hand. I raised my hat to the young girl, but as for madame, I merely honoured her with a contemptuous stare.
’Do not be alarmed, Lady Cecilia,’ said I; ’you are with a man of honour, who will do you no harm. As for you, madame, you may make a friend or an enemy of me, which you will.’
’Really, monsieur,’ said the governess, ’your conduct in this affair is so singular that I know not what to think; but let me tell you, sir, that if you have any improper designs in inveigling us to this place, I shall know how to be avenged.’
’Doubtless, doubtless, madame; I know the French well and have well prepared for all contingencies. But allow me, ladies, to offer each an arm, and do me the honour to walk a little further into the wood.’
The alacrity with which the wily Frenchwoman complied told me at once what I had to expect.
She had resolved to assassinate me. Having made up my mind how I should act, I allowed her to lead me which way she pleased, keeping, however, a sharp look out on all sides as we strolled along. I was about to enter upon the subject of their coming, when suddenly three masked highwaymen sprang out, and demanding, ’Your money or your life,’ levelled their horse pistols at us. The ladies screamed; I shook them both off, and as one of the scoundrels sent a bullet through my wig, I drew my pistols from my pocket and shot him dead; his companions then both fired and while one of the bullets grazed my shoulder, the other, curious enough, pierced the head of Madame La Conte, who, casting a glance full of fury upon me and clenching her hands, fell back a corpse.
The remaining rascals turned to flee but before they could escape I brought down the second with a bullet, and passed my sword through the lungs of the third.
The enemy being now utterly defeated, I turned towards the lovely Lady Cecilia, who had fainted, and raising her light form in my arms, bore her off to the spot where the coach had been left. But it was gone. The jarvey, doubtless hearing the firing and anxious to save his skin, had driven away. My resolution was taken in a moment. Carrying my fair burthen to the nearest gate that opened into my grounds, I bore her to my secret chamber and, having fetched old Jukes and Phoebe to her assistance, with strict orders not to tell her where she was but to pay her all needful attention, I saddled a swift horse and rode off to the nearest town, one of the magistrates there being an old friend.
He was much pleased to see me, but wondered at my being covered with dust and at my sudden arrival. I told him a most dreadful affair had happened: that returning home, I had heard cries for assistance in the wood, and had found three ruffians robbing and ill using some ladies; that they had fired at and wounded me and killed one of the ladies; that the other lady had escaped; that in the end I had succeeded in dispatching the rascals, more in consequence of their want of skill in the use of their weapons than from any extraordinary valour on my part; and finally I requested him to give orders to have the bodies removed with a view to a coroner’s inquest. All of which he promised to do; and in spite of his earnest request that I should stay and drink a bottle of wine, I made my excuses and returned home.
I found my fair guest much better, and, having consoled her as well as I could for the loss of Madame La Conte, I then gradually unfolded to her all the wickedness of that vile woman and, after delicately touching upon the scene in the wood the day before, told her I had been a witness of it all and heard all the conversation.
At this denouement, Lady Cecilia covered her face with her hands to hide her blushes; and when I enquired whether Madame La Conte had shown her my letter, she said she knew madame had received a letter, which was very unpleasant and which she tore up and burnt in a great rage, but as to its contents she was ignorant.
This was very satisfactory news for me, as my handwriting might have been recognised. So turning to the young girl with a cheerful countenance, said, laughingly, ’Well, my dear young friend, all is well that ends well; now let us make plans for the future. In the first place, it seems to me that you are formed for the joys of love. It is true I am not quite so young a lover as you might desire; but I am more fit for amorous combats than many younger men. I am rich, and though not absolutely a man of rank I am a scion of a noble house. What do you say? I know your secret. I have already seen all your charms; shall we make a match of it? Will you marry me?’
’Indeed, sir,’ said the dear girl, ’your gallantry in attacking those ruffians and defending my honour would alone have been sufficient to win my heart; but as my father, the duke, has designs of wedding me to a man older than himself, an old creature whom I detest, I deem this meeting with you a most fortunate one and will accept your offer with the same ingenuous frankness with which you have made it. You say, truly, mat you have already viewed my person with pleasure; take it, dear sir, and do what you please with me. I am yours forever.’
I was quite enraptured with this decision, and it was determined that the duke should be written to in the morning and informed that his daughter, entertaining an insuperable objection to the match he had in store for her, had eloped with the man of her choice.
This affair settled, and Phoebe with many sly glances having made up a bed on one of the sofas, I shut the windows and hastened to undress my future bride. She was exquisitely formed, with the most lovely breasts in the world; and as for her bottom and thighs, nothing could be finer.
We were soon in bed, and all that her finger and the wanton tongue of madame had left of her maidenhead, I soon possessed myself of. Dawn found us still in dalliance; but at length, being both quite fatigued, with a last sweet kiss we fell asleep. The next day we were to be privately married by licence.
So now, my dear Sappho, I must conclude this long letter by saying to you, ’Do thou go and do likewise.’
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