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Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure

I was now establish’d the kept mistress in form

First Letter - Part V


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John Cleland, Memoirs of a woman of pleasure (Fanny Hill), First edition printed for G. Fenton, in the Strand, London, 1747.

I was now establish’d the kept mistress in form, well lodg’d, with a very sufficient allowance, and lighted up with all the lustre of dress.

Mr. H… continu’d kind and tender to me; yet, with all this, I was far from happy; for, besides my regret for my dear youth, which, though often suspended or diverted, still return’d upon me in certain melancholic, moments with redoubled violences, I wanted more society, more dissipation.

As to Mr. H…, he was so much my superior in every sense, that I felt it too much to the disadvantage of the gratitude I ow’d him. Thus he gain’d my esteem, though he could not raise my taste; I was qualify’d for no sort of conversation with him except one sort, and that is a satisfaction which leaves tiresome intervals, if not fill’d up by love, or other amusements.

Mr. H…, so experienc’d, so learned in the ways of women, numbers of whom had passed through his hands, doubtless soon perceiv’d this uneasiness, and without approving or liking me the better for it, had the complaisance to indulge me. He made suppers at my lodgings, where he brought several companions of his pleasures, with their mistresses; and by this means I got into a circle of acquaintance that soo strip’d me of all the remains of bashfulness and modesty which might be yet left of my country education, and were, to a just taste, perhaps the greatest of my charms.

We visited one another in form, and mimic’d, as near as we could, all the miseries, the follies, and impertinences of the women of quality, in the round of which they trifle away their time, without its ever entering into their little heads that on earth there cannot subsist any thing more silly, more flat, more insipid and worthless, than, generally consider’d, their system of life is: they ought to treat the men as their tyrants, indeed! were they to condemn them to it.

But tho’, amongst the kept mistresses (and I was now acquainted with a good many, besides some useful matrons, who live by their connexions with them), I hardly knew one that did not perfectly detest her keeper, and, of course, made little or no scruple of any infidelity she could safely accomplish, I had still no notion of wronging mine; for, besides that no mark of jealousy on his side induced in me the desire or gave me the provocation to play him a trick of that sort, and that his constant generosity, politeness, and tender attentions to please me forc’d a regard to him, that without affecting my heart, insur’d him my fidelity, no object had yet presented that could overcome the habitual liking I had contracted for him; and I was on the eve of obtaining, from the movements of his own voluntary generosity, a modest provision for life, when an accident happen’d which broke all the measures he had resolv’d upon in my favor.

I had now liv’d near seven months with Mr. H…, when one day returning to my lodgings from a visit in the neighbourhood, where I us’d to stay longer, I found the street door open, and the maid of the house standing at it, talking with some of her acquaintances, so that I came in without knocking; and, as I passed by, she told me Mr. H… was above. I stept up-stairs into my own bed-chamber, with no other thought than of pulling off my hat, etc., and then to wait upon him in the dining room, into which my bed-chamber had a door, as is common enough. Whilst I was untying my hat-strings, I fancied I heard my maid Hannah’s voice and a sort of tussle, which raising my curiosity, I stole softly to the door, where a knot in the wood had been slipt out and afforded a very commanding peep-hole to the scene then in agitation, the actors of which had been too earnestly employ’d to hear my opening my own door, from the landing-place of the stairs, into my bed-chamber.

The first sight that struck me was Mr. H… pulling and hauling this coarse country strammel towards a couch that stood in a corner of the dining room; to which the girl made only a sort of awkward boidening resistance, crying out so loud, that I, who listened at the door, could scarce hear her: "Pray sir, don’t …, let me alone … I am not for your turn … You cannot, sure, demean yourself with such a poor body as I … Lord! Sir, my mistress may come home … I must not indeed … I will cry out …" All of which did not hinder her from insensibly suffering herself to be brought to the foot of the couch, upon which a push of no mighty violence serv’d to give her a very easy fall, and my gentleman having got up his hands to the strong-hold of her virtue, she, no doubt, thought it was time to give up the argument, and that all further defense would be in vain: and he, throwing her petticoats over her face, which was now as red as scarlet, discover’d a pair of stout, plump, substantial thighs, and tolerably white; he mounted them round his hips, and coming out with his drawn weapon, stuck it in the cloven spot, where he seem’d to find a less difficult entrance than perhaps he had flatter’d himself with (for, by the way, this blouze had left her place in the country, for a bastard), and, indeed, all his motions shew’d he was lodg’d pretty much at large. After he had done, his DEAREE gets up, drops her petticoats down, and smooths her apron and handkerchief. Mr. H… look’d a little silly, and taking out some money, gave it her, with an air indifferent enough, bidding her be a good girl, and say nothing.

Had I lov’d this man, it was not in nature for me to have had patience to see the whole scene through: I should have broke in and play’d the jealous princess with a vengeance. But that was not the case, my pride alone was hurt, my heart not, and I could easier win upon myself to see how far he would go, till I had no uncertainty upon my conscience.

The least delicate of all affairs of this sort being now over, I retir’d softly into my closet, where I began to consider what I should do. My first scheme, naturally, was to rush in and upbraid them; this, indeed, flatter’d my present emotions and vexations, as it would have given immediate vent to them; but, on second thoughts, not being so clear as to the consequences to be apprehended from such a step, I began to doubt whether it was not better to dissemble my discovery till a safer season, when Mr. H… should have perfected the settlement he had made overtures to me of, and which I was not to think such a violent explanation, as I was indeed not equal to the management of, could possibly forward, and might destroy. On the other hand, the provocation seem’d too gross, too flagrant, not to give me some thoughts of revenge; the very start of which idea restor’d me to perfect composure; and delighted as I was with the confus’d plan of it in my head, I was easily mistress enough of myself to support the part of ignorance I had prescrib’d to myself; and as all this circle of reflections was instantly over, I stole a tip-toe to the passage door, and opening it with a noise, pass’d for having that moment come home; and after a short pause, as if to pull off my things, I opened the door into the dining room, where I found the dowdy blowing the fire, and my faithful shepherd walking about the room and whistling, as cool and unconcern’d as if nothing had happened. I think, however, he had not much to brag of having out-dissembled me: for I kept up, nobly, the character of our sex for art, and went up to him with the same air of frankness as I had ever receiv’d him. He stayed but a little while, made some excuse for not being able to stay the evening with me, and went out.

As for the wench, she was now spoil’d, at least for my servant; and scarce eight and forty hours were gone round, before her insolence, on what had pass’d between Mr. H… and her, gave me so fair an occasion to turn her away, at a minute’s warning, that not to have done it would have been the wonder: so that he could neither disapprove it nor find in it the least reason to suspect my original motive. What became of her afterwards, I know not; but generous as Mr. H… was, he undoubtedly made her amends: though, I dare answer, that he kept up no farther commerce with her of that sort; as his stooping to such a coarse morsel was only a sudden sally of lust, on seeing a wholesome-looking, buxom country-wench, and no more strange than hunger, or even a whimsical appetite’s making a fling meal of neck-beef, for change of diet.

Had I consider’d this escapade of Mr. H… in no more than that light and contented myself with turning away the wench, I had thought and acted right; but, flush’d as I was with imaginary wrongs, I should have held Mr. H . . . to have been cheaply off, if I had not push’d my revenge farther, and repaid him, as exactly as I could for the soul of me, in the same coin.

Nor was this worthy act of justice long delay’d: I had it too much at heart. Mr. H… had, about a fortnight before, taken into his service a tenant’s son, just come out of the country, a very handsome young lad scarce turn’d of nineteen, fresh as a rose, well shap’d and clever limb’d: in short, a very good excuse for any woman’s liking, even tho’ revenge had been out of the question; any woman, I say, who was disprejudic’d, and had wit and spirit enough to prefer a point of pleasure to a point of pride.

Mr. H… had clap’d a livery upon him; and his chief employ was, after being shewn my lodgings, to bring and carry letters or messages between his master and me; and as the situation of all kept ladies is not the fittest to inspire respect, even to the meanest of mankind, and, perhaps, less of it from the most ignorant, I could not help observing that this lad, who was, I suppose, acquainted with my relation to his master by his fellow-servants, used to eye me in that bashful confus’d way, more expressive, more moving and readier catch’d at by our sex, than any other declarations whatever: my figure had, it seems, struck him, and modest and innocent as he was, he did not himself know that the pleasure he took in looking at me was love, or desire; but his eyes, naturally wanton, and now enflam’d with passion, spoke a great deal more than he durst have imagin’d they did. Hitherto, indeed, I had only taken notice of the comeliness of the youth, but without the least design: my pride alone would have guarded me from a thought that way, had not Mr. H…’s condescension with my maid, where there was not half the temptation in point of person, set me a dangerous example; but now I began to look on this stripling as every way a delicious instrument of my design’d retaliation upon Mr. H… of an obligation for which I should have made a conscience to die in his debt.

In order then to pave the way for the accomplishment of my scheme, for two or three times that the young fellow came to me with messages, I manag’d so, as without affectation to have him admitted to my bed-side, or brought to me at my toilet, where I was dressing; and by carelessly shewing or letting him see, as if without meaning or design, sometimes my bosom rather more bare than it should be; sometimes my hair, of which I had a very fine head, in the natural flow of it while combing; sometimes a neat leg, that had unfortunately slipt its garter, which I made no scruple of tying before him, easily gave him the impressions favourable to my purpose, which I could perceive to sparkle in his eyes, and glow in his cheeks: then certain slight squeezes by the hand, as I took letters from him, did his business compleatly.

When I saw him thus mov’d, and fired for my purpose, I inflam’d him yet more, by asking him several leading questions, such as had he a mistress? … was she prettier than me? … could he love such a one as I was? … and the like; to all which the blushing simpleton answer’d to my wish, in a strain of perfect nature, perfect undebauch’d innocence, but with all the awkwardness and simplicity of countrybreeding.

When I thought I had sufficiently ripen’d him for the laudable point I had in view, one day that I expected him at a particular hour, I took care to have the coast clear for the reception I design’d him; and, as I laid it, he came to the dining-room door, tapped at it, and, on my bidding him come in, he did so, and shut the door after him. I desir’d him, then, to bolt it on the inside, pretending it would not otherwise keep shut.

I was then lying at length upon that very couch, the scene of Mr. H…’s polite joys, in an undress which was with all the art of negligence flowing loose, and in a most tempting disorder: no stay, no hoop … no incumbrance whatever. On the other hand, he stood at a little distance, that gave me a full view of a fine featur’d, shapely, healthy country lad, breathing the sweets of fresh blooming youth; his hair, which was of a perfect shining black, play’d to his face in natural side-curls, and was set out with a smart tuck-up behind; new buckskin breeches, that, clipping close, shew’d the shape of a plump, well made thigh; white stockings, garter-lac’d livery, shoulder knot, altogether compos’d a figure in which the beauties of pure flesh and blood appeared under no disgrace form the lowness of a dress, to which a certain spruce neatness seems peculiarly fitted.

I bid him come towards me and give me his letter, at the same time throwing down, carelessly, a book I had in my hands. He colour’d, and came within reach of delivering me the letter, which he held out, awkwardly enough, for me to take, with his eyes riveted on my bosom, which was, through the design’d disorder of my handkerchief, sufficiently bare, and rather shaded than hid.

I, smiling in his face, took the letter, and immediately catching gently hold of his shirt sleeve, drew him towards me, blushing, and almost trembling; for surely his extreme bashfulness, and utter inexperience, call’d for, at least, all the advances to encourage him: his body was now conveniently inclin’d towards me, and just softly chucking his smooth beardless chin, I asked him if he was afraid of a lady? …, and, with that took, and carrying his hand to my breasts, I prest it tenderly to them. They were now finely furnish’d, and rais’d in flesh, so that, panting with desire, they rose and fell, in quick heaves, under his touch: at this, the boy’s eyes began to lighten with all the fires of inflam’d nature, and his cheeks flush’d with a deep scarlet: tongue-tied with joy, rapture, and bashfulness, he could not speak, but then his looks, his emotion, sufficiently satisfy’d me that my train had taken, and that I had no disappointment to fear.

My lips, which I threw in his way, so as that he could not escape kissing them, fix’d, fired, and embolden’d him: and now, glancing my eyes towards that part of his dress which cover’d the essential object of enjoyment, I plainly discover’d the swell and commotion there; and as I was now too far advanc’d to stop in so fair a way, and was indeed no longer able to contain myself, or wait the slower progress of his maiden bashfulness (for such it seem’d, and really was), I stole my hand upon his thighs, down one of which I could both see and feel a stiff hard body, confin’d by his breeches, that my fingers could discover no end to. Curious then, and eager to unfold so alarming a mystery, playing, as it were, with his buttons, which were bursting ripe from the active force within, those of his waistband and fore-flap flew open at a touch, when out IT started; and now, disengag’d from the shirt, I saw, with wonder and surprise, what? not the play-thing of a boy, not the weapon of a man, but a maypole of so enormous a standard, that had proportions been observ’d, it must have belong’d to a young giant. Its prodigious size made me shrink again; yet I could not, without pleasure, behold, and even ventur’d to feel, such a length, such a breadth of animated ivory! perfectly well turn’d and fashion’d, the proud stiffness of which distended its skin, whose smooth polish and velvet softness might vie with that of the most delicate of our sex, and whose exquisite whiteness was not a little set off by a sprout of black curling hair round the root, through the jetty sprigs of which the fair skin shew’d as in a fine evening you may have remark’d the clear light ether throught the branchwork of distant trees over-topping the summit of a hill: then the broad and blueish-casted incarnate of the head, and blue serpentines of its veins, altogether compos’d the most striking assemblage of figure and colours in nature. In short, it stood an object of terror and delight.

But what was yet more surprising, the owner of this natural curiosity, through the want of occasions in the strictness of his home-breeding, and the little time he had been in town not having afforded him one, was hitherto an absolute stranger, in practice at least, to the use of all that manhood he was so nobly stock’d with; and it now fell to my lot ot stand his first trial of it, if I could resolve to run the risks of its disproportion to that tender part of me, which such an oversiz’d machine was very fit to lay in ruins.

But it was now of the latest to deliberate; for, by this time, the young fellow, overheated with the present objects, and too high mettled to be longer curb’d in by that modesty and awe which had hitherto restrain’d him, ventur’d, under the stronger impulse and instructive promptership of nature alone, to slip his hands, trembling with eager impetuous desires, under my petticoats; and seeing, I suppose, nothing extremely severe in my looks to stop or dash him, he feels out, and seizes, gently, the center-spot of his ardours. Oh then! the fiery touch of his fingers determines me, and my fears melting away before the glowing intolerable heat, my thighs disclose of themselves, and yield all liberty to his hand: and now, a favourable movement giving my petticoats a toss, the avenue lay too fair, too open to be miss’d. He is now upon me: I had placed myself with a jet under him, as commodious and open as possible to his attempts, which were untoward enough, for his machine, meeting with no inlet, bore and batter’d stiffly against me in random pushes, now above, now below, now beside his point; till, burning with impatience from its irritating touches, I guided gently, with my hand, this furious engine to where my young novice was now to be taught his first lesson of pleasure. Thus he nick’d, at length, the warm and insufficient orifice; but he was made to find no breach impracticable, and mine, tho’ so often enter’d, was still far from wide enough to take him easily in. By my direction, however, the head of his unwieldy machine was so critically pointed that, feeling him foreright against the tender opening, a favourable motion from me met his timely thrust, by which the lips of it, strenuously dilated, gave way to his thus assisted impetuosity, so that we might both feel that he had gain’d a lodgement. Pursuing then his point, he soon, by violent, and, to me, most painful piercing thrusts, wedges himself at length so far in, as to be now tolerably secure of his entrance: here he stuck, and I now felt such a mixture of pleasure and pain, as there is no giving a definition of. I dreaded alike his splitting me farther up, or his withdrawing; I could not bear either to keep or part with him. The sense of pain however prevailing, from his prodigious size and stiffness, acting upon me in those continued rapid thrusts, with which he furiously pursu’d his penetration, made me cry out gently: "Oh! my dear, you hurt me!" This was enough to check the tender respectful boy even in his midcareer; and he immediately drew out the sweet cause of my complaint, whilst his eyes eloquently express’d, at once, his grief for hurting me, and his reluctance at dislodging from quarters of which the warmth and closeness had given him a gust of pleasure that he was now desire-mad to satisfy, and yet too much a novice not to be afraid of my withholding his relief, on account ot the pain he had put me to.

But I was, myself, far from being pleas’d with his having too much regarded my tender exclaims; for now, more and more fired with the object before me, as it still stood with the fiercest erection, unbonnetted, and displaying its broad bermilion head, I first gave the youth a re-encouraging kiss, which he repaid me with a fervour that seem’d at once to thank me, and bribe my farther compliance; and soon replac’d myself in a posture to receive, at all risks, the renew’d invasion, which he did not delay an instant: for, being presently remounted, I once more felt the smooth hard gristle forcing an entrance, which he achiev’d rather easier than before. Pain’d, however, as I was, with his efforts of gaining a complete admission, which he was so regardful as to manage by gentle degrees, I took care not to complain. In the meantime, the soft strait passage gradually loosens, yields, and, stretch’d to its utmost bearing, by the stiff, thick, indriven engine, sensible, at once, to the ravishing pleasure of the feel and the pain of the distension, let him in about half way, when all the most nervous activity he now exerted, to further his penetration, gain’d him not an inch of his purpose: for, whilst he hesitated there, the crisis of pleasure overtook him, and the close compressure of the warm surrounding fold drew from him the extatic gush, even before mine was ready to meet it, kept up by the pain I had endur’d in the course ot the engagement, from the insufferable size of his weapon, tho’ it was not as yet in above half its length.

I expected then, but without wishing it, that he would draw, but was pleasantly disappointed: for he was not to be let off so. The well breath’d youth, hot-mettled, and flush with genial juices, was now fairly in for making me know my driver. As soon, then, as he had made a short pause, waking, as it were, out of the trance of pleasure (in which every sense seem’d lost for a while, whilst, with his eyes shut, and short quick breathing, he had yielded down his maiden tribute), he still kept his post, yet unsated with enjoyment, and solacing in these so new delights; till his stiffness, which had scarce perceptibly remitted, being thoroughly recovered to him, who had not once unsheath’d, he proceeded afresh to cleave and open to himself an entire entry into me, which was not a little made easy to him by the balsamic injection with which he had just plentifully moisten’d the whole internals of the passage. Redoubling, then, the active energy of his thrusts, favoured by the fervid appetite of my motions, the soft oiled wards can no longer stand so effectual a picklock, but yield, and open him an entrance. And now, with conspiring nature, and my industry, strong to aid him, he pierces, penetrates, and at length, winning his way inch by inch, gets entirely in, and finally mighty thrust sheaths it up to the guard; on the information of which, from the close jointure of our bodies (insomuch that the hair on both sides perfectly interweav’d and incircl’d together), the eyes of the transported youth sparkl’d with more joyous fires, and all his looks and motions acknowledged excess of pleasure, which I now began to share, for I felt him in my very vitals! I was quite sick with delight! stir’d beyond bearing with its furious agitations within me, and gorged and cramm’d, even to surfeit. Thus I lay gasping, panting under him, till his broken breathings, faltering accents, eyes twinkling with humid fires, lunges more furious, and an increased stiffness, gave me to hail the approaches of the second period: it came … and the sweet youth, overpower’d with the extasy, died away in my arms, melting in a flood that shot in genial warmth into the innermost recesses of my body; every conduit of which, dedicated to that pleasure, was on flow to mix with it. Thus we continued for some instants, lost, breathless, senseless of every thing, and in every part but those favourite ones of nature, in which all that we enjoyed of life and sensation was now totally concentre’d.

When our mutual trance was a little over, and the young fellow had withdrawn that delicious stretcher, with which he had most plentifully drowned all thoughts of revenge in the sense of actual pleasure, the widen’d wounded passage refunded a stream of pearly liquids, which flowed down my thighs, mixed with streaks of blood, the marks of the ravage of that montrous machine of his, which had now triumph’d over a kind of second maidenhead. I stole, however, my handkerchief to those parts, and wip’d them as dry as I could, whilst he was re-adjusting and buttoning up.

I made him now sit down by me, and as he had gather’d courage from such extreme intimacy, he gave me an aftercourse of pleasure, in a natural burst of tender gratitude and joy, at the new scenes of bliss I had opened to him: scenes positively new, as he had never before had the least acquaintance with that mysterious mark, the cloven stamp of female distinction, tho’ nobody better qualify’d than he to penetrate into its deepest recesses, or do it nobler justice. But when, by certain motions, certain unquietnesses of his hands, that wandered not without design, I found he languish’d for satisfying a curiosity, natural enough, to view and handle those parts which attract and concentre the warmest force of imagination, charmed as I was to have any occasion of obliging and humouring his young desires, I suffer’d him to proceed as he pleased, without check or control, to the satisfaction of them.

Easily, then, reading in my eyes the full permission of myself to all his wishes, he scarce pleased himself more than me when, having insinuated his hand under my petticoat and shift, he presently removed those bars to the sight by slyly lifting them upwards, under favour of a thousand kisses, which he thought, perhaps, necessary to divert my attention from what he was about. All my drapery being now roll’d up to my waist, I threw myself into such a posture upon the couch, as gave up to him, in full view, the whole region of delight, and all the luxurious landscape round it. The transported youth devour’d every thing with his eyes, and try’d, with his fingers, to lay more open to his sight the secrets of that dark and delicious deep: he opens the folding lips, the softness of which, yielding entry to any thing of a hard body, close round it, and oppose the sight: and feeling further, meets with, and wonders at, a soft fleshy excrescence, which, limber and relaxed after the late enjoyment, now grew, under the touch and examination of his fiery fingers, more and more stiff and considerable, till the titillating ardours of that so sensible part made me sigh, as if he had hurt me; on which he withdrew his curious probing fingers, asking me pardon, as it were, in a kiss that rather increased the flame there.

Novelty ever makes the strongest impressions, and in pleasures, especially; no wonder, then, that he was swallowed up in raptures of admiration of things so interesting by their nature, and now seen and handled for the first time. On my part, I was richly overpaid for the pleasure I gave him, in that of examining the power of those objects thus abandon’d to him, naked and free to his loosest wish, over the artless, natural stripling: his eyes streaming fire, his cheeks glowing with a florid red, his fervid frequent sighs, whilst his hands convulsively squeez’d, opened, pressed together again the lips and sides of that deep flesh wound, or gently twitched the overgrowing moss; and all proclaimed the excess, the riot of joys, in having his wantonness thus humour’d. But he did not long abuse my patience, for the objects before him had now put him by all his, and, coming out with that formidable machine of his, he lets the fury loose, and pointing it directly to the pouting-lipt mouth, that bid him sweet defiance in dumb-shew, squeezes in the head, and, driving with refreshed rage, breaks in, and plugs up the whole passage of that soft pleasure-conduit, where he makes all shake again, and put, once more, all within me into such an uproar, as nothing could still but a fresh inundation from the very engine of those flames, as well as from all the springs with which nature floats that reservoir of joy, when risen to its flood-mark.

I was now so bruised, so batter’d, so spent with this over-match, that I could hardly stir, or raise myself, but lay palpitating, till the ferment of my sense subsiding by degrees, and the hour striking at which I was oblig’d to dispatch my young man, I tenderly advised him of the necessity there was for parting; which I felt as much displeasure at as he could do, who seemed eagerly disposed to keep the field, and to enter on a fresh action. But the danger was too great, and after some hearty kisses of leave, and recommendations of secrecy and discretion, I forc’d myself to send him away, not without assurances of seeing him again, to the same purpose, as soon as possible, and thrust a guinea into his hands: not more, lest, being too flush of money, a suspicion or discovery might arise from thence, having every thing to fear from the dangerous indiscretion of that age in which young fellows would be too irresistible, too charming, if we had not that terrible fault to guard against.

Giddy and intoxicated as I was with such satiating draughts of pleasure, I still lay on the couch, supinely stretched out, in a delicious languor diffus’d over all my limbs, hugging myself for being thus revenged to my heart’s content, and that in a manner so precisely alike, and on the identical spot in which I had received the supposed injury. No reflections on the consequences ever once perplex’d me, nor did I make myself one single reproach for having, by this step, completely entered myself of a profession more decry’d than disused. I should have held it ingratitude to the pleasure I had received to have repented of it; and since I was now over the bar, I thought, by plunging over head and ears into the stream I was hurried away by, to drown all sense of shame or reflection.

Whilst I was thus making these laudable dispositions, and whispering to myself a kind of tacit vow of incontinency, enters Mr. H… The consciousness of what I had been doing deepen’d yet the glowing of my cheeks, flushed with the warmth of the late action, which, joined to the piquant air of my dishabille, drew from Mr. H… a compliment on my looks, which he was proceeding to back the sincerity of with proofs, and that with so brisk an action as made me tremble for fear of a discovery from the condition of those parts were left in from their late severe handling: the orifice dilated and inflamed, the lips swollen with their uncommon distension, the ringlets press down, crushed and uncurl’d with the over-flowing moisture that had wet every thing round it; in short, the different feel and state of things would hardly have passed upon one of Mr. H…’s nicety and experience unaccounted for but by the real cause. But here the woman saved me: I pretended a violent disorder of my head, and a feverish heat, that indisposed me too much to receive his embraces. He gave in to this, and good-naturedly desisted. Soon after, an old lady coming in made a third, very a-propos for the confusion I was in, and Mr. H…, after bidding me take care of myself, and recommending me to my repose, left me much at ease and reliev’d by his absence.

In the close of the evening, I took care to have prepar’d for me a warm bath of aromatick and sweet herbs; in which having fully laved and solaced myself, I came out voluptuously refresh’d in body and spirit.

The next morning, waking pretty early, after a night’s perfect rest and composure, it was not without some dread and uneasiness that I thought of what innovation that tender, soft system of mine might have sustained from the shock of a machine so sized for its destruction.

Struck with this apprehension, I scarce dared to carry my hand thither, to inform myself of the state and posture of things.
But I was soon agreeably cur’d of my fears.

The silky hair that covered round the borders, now smooth’d and re-pruned, had resumed its wonted curl and trimness; the fleshy pouting lips that had stood the brunt of the engagement, were no longer swollen or moisturedrenched; and neither they, nor the passage into which they opened, that suffered so great a dilatation, betray’d any the least alteration, outward or inwardly, to the most curious research, notwithstanding also the laxity that naturally follows the warm bath.

This continuation of that grateful stricture which is in us, to the men, the very jet of their pleasure, I ow’d, it seems, to a happy habit of body, juicy, plump and furnished towards the texture of those parts, with a fullness of soft springy flesh, that yielding sufficiently, as it does, to almost any distension soon recovers itself so as to retighten that strict compression of its mantlings and folds, which form the sides of the passage, wherewith it so tenderly embraces and closely clips any foreign body introduc’d into it, such as my exploring finger then was.

Finding then every thing in due tone and order, I remember’d my fears, only to make a jest of them to myself. and now, palpably mistress of nay size of man, and triumphing in my double achievement of pleasure and revenge, I abandon’d myself entirely to the ideas of all the delight I had swam in. I lay stretching out, glowingly alive all over, and tossing with burning impatience for the renewal of joys that had sinned but in a sweet excess; now did I loose my longing, for about ten in the morning, according to expectation, Will, my new humble sweetheart, came with a message from his master, Mr. H…, to know how I did. I had taken care to send my maid on an errand into the city, that I was sure would take up time enough; and, from the people of the house, I had nothing to fear, as they were plain good sorts of folks, and wise enough to mind no more other people’s business than they could well help.

All dispositions then made, not forgetting that of lying in bed to receive him, when he was entered the door of my bed-chamber, a latch, that I governed by a wire, descended and secur’d it.

I could not but observe that my young minion was as much spruced out as could be expected from one in his condition: a desire of pleasing that could not be indifferent to me, since it prov’d that I pleased him; which, I assure you, was now a point I was not above having in view.

His hair trimly dressed, clean linen, and, above all, a hale, ruddy, wholesome country look, made him out as pretty a piece of woman’s meat as you could see, and I should have thought nay one much out of taste that could not have made a hearty meal of such a morsel as nature seemed to have design’d for the highest diet of pleasure.

And why should I here suppress the delight I received from this amiable creature, in remarking each artless look, each motion of pure undissembled nature, betrayed by his wanton eyes; or shewing, transparently, the glow and suffusion of blood through his fresh, clear skin, whilst even his sturdy rustic pressures wanted not their peculiar charm? Oh! but, say you, this was a young fellow of too low a rank of life to deserve so great a display. May be so: but was my condition, strictly consider’d one jot more exalted? or, had I really been much above him, did not his capacity of giving such exquisite pleasure sufficiently raise and ennoble him, to me, at least? Let who would, for me, cherish, respect, and reward the painter’s, the statuary’s, the musician’s arts, in proportion to delight taken in them: but at my age, and with my taste for pleasure, a taste strongly constitutional to me, the talent of pleasing, with which nature has endowed a handsome person, form’d to me the greatest of all merits; compared to which, the vulgar prejudices in favour of titles, dignities, honours, and the like, held a very low rank indeed. Nor perhaps would the beauties of the body be so much affected to be held cheap, were they, in their nature, to be bought and delivered. But for me, whose natural philosophy all resided in the favourite center of sense, and who was rul’d by its powerful instinct in taking pleasure by its right handle, I could scarce have made a choice more to my purpose.

Mr. H…’s loftier qualifications of birth, fortune and sense laid me under a sort of subjection and constraint that were far from making harmony in the concert of love, nor had he, perhaps, thought me worth softening that superiority to; but, with this lad, I was more on that level which love delights in.

We may say what we please, but those we can be the easiest and freest with are ever those we like, not to say love, the best.

With this stripling, all whose art of love was the action of it, I could, without check of awe or restraint, give a loose to joy, and execute every scheme of dalliance my fond fancy might put me on, in which he was, in every sense, a most exquisite companion. And now my great pleasure lay in humouring all the petulances, all the wanton frolic of a raw novice just fleshed, and keen on the burning scent of his game, but unbroken to the sport: and, to carry on the figure, who could better tread the wood than he, or stand fairer for the heart of the hunt?

He advanc’d then to my bed-side, and whilst he faltered out his message, I could observe his colour rise, and his eyes lighten with joy, in seeing me in a situation as favourable to his loosest wishes as if he had bespoke the play.

I smiled, and put out my hand towards him, which he kneeled down to (a politeness taught him by love alone, that great master of it) and greedily kiss’d. After exchanging a few confused questions and answers, I ask’d him if he would come to bed to me, for the little time I could venture to detain him. This was just asking a person, dying with hunger, to feast upon the dish on earth the most to his palate. Accordingly, without further reflection, his cloaths were off in an instant; when, blushing still more at his new liberty, he got under the bed-cloaths I held up to receive him, and was now in bed with a woman for the first time in his life.

Here began the usual tender preliminaries, as delicious, perhaps, as the crowning act of enjoyment itself; which they often beget an impatience of, that makes pleasure destructive of itself, by hurrying on the final period, and closing that scene of bliss, in which the actors are generally too well pleas’d with their parts not to wish them an eternity of duration.

When we had sufficiently graduated our advances towards the main point, by toying, kissing, clipping, feeling my breasts, now round and plump, feeling that part of me I might call a furnace-mouth, from the prodigious intense heat his fiery touches had rekindled there, my young sportsman, embolden’d by every freedom he could wish, wantonly takes my hand, and carries it to that enormous machine of his, that stood with a stiffness! a hardness! an upward bent of erection! and which, together with its bottom dependence, the inestimable bulge of lady’s jewels, formed a grand show out of goods indeed! Then its dimensions, mocking either grasp or span, almost renew’d my terrors.

I could not conceive how, or by what means I could take, or put such a bulk out of sight. I stroked it gently, on which the mutinous rogue seemed to swell, and gather a new degree of fierceness and insolence; so that finding it grew not to be trifled with any longer, I prepar’d for rubbers in good earnest.

Slipping then a pillow under me, that I might give him the fairest play, I guided officiously with my hand this furious battering ram, whose ruby head, presenting nearest the resemblance of a heart, I applied to its proper mark, which lay as finely elevated as we could wish; my hips being borne up, and my thighs at their utmost extension, the gleamy warmth that shot from it made him feel that he was at the mouth of the indraught, and driving foreright, the powerfully divided lips of that pleasure-thirsty channel receiv’d him. He hesitated a little; then, settled well in the passage, he makes his way up the straits of it, with a difficulty nothing more than pleasing, widening as he went, so as to distend and smooth each soft furrow: our pleasure increasing deliciously, in proportion as our points of mutual touch increas’d in that so vital part of me in which I had now taken him, all indriven, and completely sheathed; and which, crammed as it was, stretched, splitting ripe, gave it so gratefully strait an accommodation! so strict a fold! a suction so fierce! that gave and took unutterable delight. We had now reach’d the closest point of union; but when he backened to come on the fiercer, as if I had been actuated by a fear of losing him, in the height of my fury I twisted my legs round his naked loins, the flesh of which, so firm, so springy to the touch, quiver’d again under the pressure; and now I had him every way encircled and begirt; and having drawn him home to me, I kept him fast there, as if I had sought to unite bodies with him at that point. This bred a pause of action, a pleasure stop, whilst that delicate glutton, my nethermouth, as full as it could hold, kept palating, with exquisite relish, the morsel that so deliciously ingorged it. But nature could not long endure a pleasure that so highly provoked without satisfying it: pursuing then its darling end, the battery recommenc’d with redoubled exertion; nor lay I inactive on my side, but encountering him with all the impetuosity of motion but encountering him with all the impetuosity of motion I was mistress of. The downy cloth of our meeting mounts was now of real use to break the violence of the tilt; and soon, too soon indeed! the highwrought agitation, the sweet urgency of this to-and-fro friction, raised the titillation on me to its height; so that finding myself on the point of going, and loath to leave the tender partner of my joys behind me, I employed all the forwarding motions and arts my experience suggested to me, to promote his keeping me company to our journey’s end. I not only then tighten’d the pleasure-girth round my restless inmate by a secret spring of friction and compression that obeys the will in those parts, but stole my hand softly to that store bag of nature’s prime sweets, which is so pleasingly attach’d to its conduit pipe, from which we receive them; there feeling, and most gently indeed, squeezing those tender globular reservoirs; the magic touch took instant effect, quicken’d, and brought on upon the spur the symptoms of that sweet agony, the melting moment of dissolution, when pleasure dies by pleasure, and the mysterious engine of it overcomes the titillation it has rais’d in those parts, by plying them with the stream of a warm liquid that is itself the highest of all titillations, and which they thirstily express and draw in like the hotnatured leach, which to cool itself, tenaciously attracts all the moisture within its sphere of exsuction. Chiming then to me, with exquisite consent, as I melted away, his oily balsamic injection, mixing deliciously with the sluices in flow from me, sheath’d and blunted all the stings of pleasure, it flung us into an extasy that extended us fainting, breathless, entranced. Thus we lay, whilst a voluptuous languor possest, and still maintain’d us motionless and fast locked in one another’s arms. Alas! that these delights should be no longer-lived! for now the point of pleasure, unedged by enjoyment, and all the brisk sensations flatten’d upon us, resigned us up to the cool cares of insipid life. Disengaging myself then from his embrace, I made him sensible of the reasons there were for his present leaving me; on which, though reluctantly, he put on his cloaths with as little expedition, however, as he could help, wantonly interrupting himself, between whiles, with kisses, touches and embraces I could not refuse myself to. Yet he happily return’d to his master before he was missed; but, at taking leave, I forc’d him (for he had sentiments enough to refuse it) to receive money enough to buy a silver watch, that great article of subaltern finery, which he at length accepted of, as a remembrance he was carefully to preserve of my affections.

And here, Madam, I ought, perhaps, to make you an apology for this minute detail of things, that dwelt so strongly upon my memory, after so deep an impression: but, besides that this intrigue bred one great revolution in my life, which historical truth requires I should not sink from you, may I not presume that so exalted a pleasure ought not to be ungratefully forgotten, or suppress’d by me, because I found it in a character in low life; where, by the bye, it is oftener met with, purer, and more unsophisticate, that among the false, ridiculous refinements with which the great suffer themselves to be so grossly cheated by their pride: the great! than whom there exist few amongst those they call the vulgar, who are more ignorant of, or who cultivate less, the art of living than they do; they, I say, who for ever mistake things the most foreign of the nature of pleasure itself; whose capital favourite object is enjoyment of beauty, wherever that rare invaluable gift is found, without distinction of birth, or station.

As love never had, so now revenge had no longer any share in my commerce with this handsome youth. The sole pleasures of enjoyment were now the link I held to him by: for though nature had done such great matters for him in his outward form, and especially in that superb piece of furniture she had so liberally enrich’d him with; though he was thus qualify’d to give the senses their richest feast, still there was something more wanting to create in me, and constitute the passion of love. Yet Will had very good qualities too; gentle, tractable, and, above all, grateful; close, and secret, even to a fault: he spoke, at any time, very little, but made it up emphatically with action; and, to do him justice, he never gave me the least reason to complain, either of any tendency to encroach upon me for the liberties I allow’d him, or of his indiscretion in blabbing them. There is, then, a fatality in love, or have loved him I must; for he was really a treasure, a bit for the bonne bouche of a duchess; and, to say the truth, my liking for him was so extreme, that it was distinguishing very nicely to deny that I loved him.

My happiness, however, with him did not last long, but found an end from my own imprudent neglect. After having taken even superfluous precautions against a discovery, our success in repeated meetings embolden’d me to omit the barely necessary ones. About a month after our first intercourse, one fatal morning (the season Mr. H… rarely or never visited me in) I was in my closet, where my toilet stood, in nothing but my shift, a bed gown and under-petticoat. Will was with me, and both ever too well disposed to baulk an opportunity. For my part, a warm whim, a wanton toy had just taken me, and I had challeng’d my man to execute it on the spot, who hesitated not to comply with my humour: I was set in the arm-chair, my shift and petticoat up, my thighs wide spread and mounted over the arms of the chair, presenting the fairest mark to Will’s drawn weapon, which he stood in act to plunge into me; when, having neglected to secure the chamber door, and that of the closet standing a-jar, Mr. H… stole in upon us before either of us was aware, and saw us precisely in these convicting attitudes.

I gave a great scream, and drop’d my petticoat: the thunder-struck lad stood trembling and pale, waiting his sentence of death. Mr. H… looked sometimes at one, sometimes at the other, with a mixture of indignation and scorn; and, without saying a word, turn’d upon his heel and went out.

As confused as I was, I heard him very distinctly turn the key, and lock the chamber-door upon us, so that there was no escape but through the dining-room, where he himself was walking about with distempered strides, stamping in a great chafe, and doubtless debating what he would do with us.

In the mean time, poor William was frightened out of his senses, and, as much need as I had of spirits to support myself, I was obliged to employ them all to keep his a little up. The misfortune I had now brought upon him, endear’d him the more to me, and I could have joyfully suffered any punishment he had not shared in. I water’d, plentifully, with my tears, the face of the frightened youth, who sat, not having strength to stand, as cold and as lifeless as a statue.

Presently Mr. H… comes in to us again, and made us go before him into the dining-room, trembling and dreading the issue. Mr. H… sat down on a chair whilst we stood like criminals under examination; and beginning with me, ask’d me, with an even firm tone of voice, neither soft nor severe, but cruelly indifferent, what I could say for myself, for having abused him in so unworthy a manner, with his own servant too, and how he had deserv’d this of me?

Without adding to the guilt of my infidelity that of an audacious defence of it, in the old style of a common kept Miss, my answer was modest, and often interrupted by my tears, in substance as follows: that I never had a single thought of wronging him (which was true), till I had seen him taking the last liberties with my servant-wench (here he colour’d prodigiously), and that my resentment at that, which I was over-awed from giving vent to by complaints, or explanations with him, had driven me to a course that I did not pretend to justify; but that as to the young man, he was entirely faultless; for that, in the view of making him the instrument of my revenge, I had down-right seduced him to what he had done; and therefore hoped, whatever he determined about me, he would distinguish between the guilty and the innocent; and that, for the rest, I was entirely at his mercy.

Mr. H…, on hearing what I said, hung his head a little; but instantly recovering himself, he said to me, as near as I can retain, to the following purpose:

"Madam, I owe shame to myself, and confess you have fairly turn’d the tables upon me. It is not with one of your cast of breeding and sentiments that I should enter into a discussion of the very great difference of the provocations: be it sufficient that I allow you so much reason on your side, as to have changed my resolutions, in consideration of what you reproach me with; and I own, too, that your clearing that rascal there, is fair and honest in you. Renew with you I cannot: the affront is too gross. I give you a week’s warning to go out of these lodgings; whatever I have given you, remains to you; and as I never intend to see you more, the landlord will pay you fifty pieces on my account, with which, and every debt paid, I hope you will own I do not leave you in a worse condition than what I took you up in, or than you deserve of me. Blame yourself only that it is no better." Then, without giving me time to reply, he address’d himself to the young fellow:

"For you, spark, I shall, for your father’s sake, take care of you: the town is no place for such an easy fool as thou art; and to-morrow you shall set out, under the charge of one of my men, well recommended, in my name, to your father, not to let you return and be spoil’d here."

At these words he went out, after my vainly attempting to stop him by throwing myself at his feet. He shook me off, though he seemed greatly mov’d too, and took Will away with him, who, I dare swear, thought himself very cheaply off.

I was now once more a-drift, and left upon my own hands, by a gentleman whom I certainly did not deserve. And all the letters, arts, friends’ entreaties that I employed within the week of grace in my lodging, could never win on him so much as to see me again. He had irrevocably pornounc’d my doom, and submission to it was my only part. Soon after he married a lady of birth and fortune, to whom, I have heard, he prov’d an irreproachable husband.

As for poor Will, he was immediately sent down to the country to his father, who was an easy farmer, where he was not four months before and inn-keeper’s buxom young widow, with a very good stock, both in money and trade, fancy’d, and perhaps pre-acquainted with his secret excellencies, marry’d him: and I am sure there was, at least, one good foundation for their living happily together.

Though I should have been charm’d to see him before he went, such measures were taken, by Mr. H…’s orders, that it was impossible; otherwise I should certainly have endeavour’d to detain him in town, and would have spared neither offers nor expence to have procured myself the satisfaction of keeping him with me. He had such powerful holds upon my inclinations as were not easily to be shaken off, or replaced; as to my heart, it was quite out of the question: glad, however, I was from my soul, that nothing worse, and as things turn’d out, probably nothing better could have happened to him.

As to Mr. H…, though views of conveniency made me, at first, exert myself to regain his affection, I was giddy and thoughtless enough to be much easier reconcil’d to my failure than I ought to have been; but as I never had lov’d him, and his leaving me gave me a sort of liberty that I had often long’d for, I was soon comforted; and flattering myself that the stock of youth and beauty I was going into trade with could hardly fail of procuring me a maintenance, I saw myself under a necessity of trying my fortune with them, rather, with pleasure and gaiety, than with the least idea of despondency.

In the mean time, several of my acquaintances among the sisterhood, who had soon got wind of my misfortune, flocked to insult me with their malicious consolations. Most of them had long envied me the affluence and splendour I had been maintain’d in; and though there was scarce one of them that did not at least deserve to be in my case, and would probably, sooner or later, come to it, it was equally easy to remark, even in their affected pity, their secret pleasure at seeing me thus disgrac’d and discarded, and their secret grief that it was no worse with me. Unaccountable malice of the human heart! and which is not confin’d to the class of life they were of.

But as the time approached for me to come to some resolution how to dispose of myself, and I was considering round where to shift my quarters to, Mrs. Cole, a middleaged discreet sort of woman, who had been brought into my acquaintance by one ot the Misses that visited me, upon learning my situation, came to offer her cordial advice and service to me; and as I had always taken to her more than to any of my female acquaintances, I listened the easier to her proposals. And, as it happened, I could not have put myself into worse, or into better hands in all London: into worse, because keeping a house of conveniency, there were no lengths in lewdness she would not advise me to go, in compliance with her customers; no schemes of pleasure, or even unbounded debauchery, she did not take even a delight in promoting: into a better, because nobody having had more experience of the wicked part of the town than she had, was fitter to advise and guard one against the worst dangers of our profession; and what was rare to be met with in those of her’s, she contented herself with a moderate living profit upon her industry and good offices, and had nothing of their greedy rapacious turn. She was really too a gentlewoman born and bred, but through a train of accidents reduc’d to this course, which she pursued, partly through necessity, partly through choice, as never woman delighted more in encouraging a brisk circulation of trade for the sake of the trade itself, or better understood all the mysteries and refinements of it, than she did; so that she was consummately at the top of her profession, and dealt only with customers of distinction: to answer the demands of whom she kept a competent number of her daughters in constant recruit (so she call’d those whom by her means, and through her tuition and instructions, succeeded very well in the world).

This useful gentlewoman upon whose protection I now threw myself, having her reasons of state, respecting Mr. H…, for not appearing too much in the thing herself, sent a friend of her’s, on the day appointed for my removal, to conduct me to my new lodgings at a brushmaker’s in R*** street, Covent Garden, the very next door to her own house, where she had no conveniences to lodge me herself: lodgings that, by having been for several successions tenanted by ladies of pleasure, the landlord of them was familiarized to their ways; and provided the rent was duly paid, every thing else was as easy and commodious as one could desire.

The fifty guineas promis’d me by Mr. H…, at his parting with me, having been duly paid me, all my cloaths and moveables chested up, which were at least of two hundred pound’s value, I had them convey’d into a coach, where I soon followed them, after taking a civil leave of the landlord and his family, with whom I had never liv’d in a degree of familiarity enough to regret the removal; but still, the very circumstance of its being a removal drew tears from me. I left, too, a letter of thanks for Mr. H…, from whom I concluded myself, as I really was, irretrievably separated.

My maid I had discharged the day before, not only because I had her of Mr. H…, but that I suspected her of having some how or other been the occasion of his discovering me, in revenge, perhaps, for my not having trusted her with him.

We soon got to my lodgings, which, though not so handsomely furnish’d nor so showy as those I left, were to the full as convenient, and at half price, though on the first floor. My trunks were safely landed, and stow’d in my apartments, where my neighbour, and now gouvernante, Mrs. Cole, was ready with my landlord to receive me, to whom she took care to set me out in the most favourable light, that of one from whom there was the clearest reason to expect the regular payment of his rent: all the cardinal virtues attributed to me would not have had half the weight of that recommendation alone.

I was now settled in lodgings of my own, abandon’d to my own conduct, and turned loose upon the town, to sink or swim, as I could manage with the current of it; and what were the consequences, together with the number of adventures which befell me in the exercise of my new profession, will compose the matter of another letter: for surely it is high time to put a period to this.

I am,

Yours, etc., etc., etc.

View online : The most libertine pleasures
Second Letter - Part I

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