« PředchozíPokračovat »
did not till he had repeated and murdered the celebrated story of the Ephesian Matron.
Arietta seemed to regard this piece of raillery as an outrage done to her sex ; as indeed I have always observed that women, whether out of a nicer regard to their honour, or what other reason I cannot tell, are mere fenfibly touched with thofe general aspersions which are caft upon their sex, than men are by what is said of theirs.
When she had a little recovered herself from the serious anger she was in, she replied in the following manner.
Sir, when I consider how perfectly new all you have said on this subject is, and that the story you have given us is not quite two thousand years old, I cannot but think it a piece of presumption to dispute with you: but your quotations put me in mind of the fable of the Lion and the Man. The man walking with that noble animal, shewed him, in the oftentation of human superiority, a sign of a Man killing a Lion. Upon which the licn faid very justly, We lions are none of us painters, elfe we could shew a hundred men killed by lions, for one lion killed by a man.
You men writers, and can represent us women as unbecoming as you please in your works, while we are unable to return the injury. You have twice or thrice observed in your discourse, that hypocrisy is the
foundation of our education ; and that an ability to diffemble our affections is a professed part of our breeding. These, and such other reflections, are sprinkled up and down the writings of all ages, by authors, who leave behind them memorials of their resentment against the scorns of particular women, in invectives against the whole sex. Such a writer, I doubt not, was the celebrated Petronius, who invented the pleasant aggravations of tie frailty of the Ephefian Lady; but when we consider this question between the sexes, which has been either a point of dispute or raillery ever since there were men arid women, let us take facts from plain people, and from such as have noi either ambition or capaciiy to embellish their narrations with any beauties of imagination. I was the other day aming myself with Ligon's
account of Barbadoes; and, in answer to your wellwrought tale, I will give you (as it dwells upon my memory) out of that honeft traveller, in his fifty-fiíth page, the history of Inkle and Yarico.
Mr. Thomas Ínkle, of London, aged twenty years, embarked in the Downs on the good ship called the Achilles bound for the West-Indies, on the 16th of June, 1647, in order to improve his fortune by trade and merchandise. Our adventurer was the third son of an eminent citizen, who had taken particular care to instil into his mind an early love of gain, by making him a perfect maiter of numbers, and consequently giving him a quick view of lofs and advantage, and preventing the natural impulses of his passions, by prepoffeffion towards his interests. With a mind thus turned, young Inkle had a person every way agreeable, a ruddy vigour in his countenance, strength in bis limbs, with ringlets of fair hair loosely-flowing on his shoulders. Vt happened, in the course of the voyage, that the Achilles, in some distress, put into a creek on the main of America, in search of provisions. The youth, who is the hero of my story, among others went on thore on this occasion. From their first landing they were observed by a party of Indians, who hid themselves in the woods for that purpose. The English unadvisedly marched a great distance from the shore into the country, and were intercepted by the natives, who flew the greatest number of them.' Our adventurer escaped among others, by flying into a forest. Upon his coming into a remote and pathlefs part of the wood, he threw himself, tired, and breathless, on a little hillock, when an Indian maid rushed from a thicket behind him. After the firft surprise, they appeared mutually agreeable to each other. If the European was highly charmed with the limbs, features, and wild graces of the naked American ; the American was no less taken with the dress, complexion and shape of an European, covered from head to foot. The Indian grew immediately enamoured of him, and consequently solicitous for his preservation. She therefore conveyed him to a cave, where she gave him a delicious repast of fruits, and led him to a stream to Nake his thirst. In the midst
of these good offices, she would sometimes play with his hair, and delight in the opposition of its colour to that of her fingers: then open his bofom, then laugh at him for covering it. She was, it seems, a perion of distinction, for the every day came to him in a different dress, of the most beautiful shells, bugles, and bredes. She likewise brought him a great many spoils, which her other lovers had presented to her, so that his cave was richly adorned with all the spotted skins of beafts, and most party-coloured feathers of fowls, which that world afforded. To make his confinenient more tolerable, she would carry him in the dusk of the evening, or by the favour of the moon-light, to unfrequented groves and solitudes, and fhew him where to lie down in fafety, and sleep amidst the falls of waters, and melody of nightingales. Her part was to watch and hold him awake in her arms, for fear of her countrymen, and awake him on occasions to consult his safety. In this manner did the lovers pass away their time, till they had learned a language of their own, in which the voyager communicated to his mistress, how happy he should be to have her in his own country, where she should be clothed in such silks as his waistcoat was made of, and be carried in houses drawn by horses, without being exposed to wind and weather. All this he promised her the enjoyment of, without such fears and alarms as they were there tormented with. In this tender correspondence these lovers lived for several months, when Farico, instructed by her lover, discovered a vessel on the coast to which she made signals ; and in the night, with the utmost joy and satisfaction, accompanied him to a ship'screw of his countrymen, bound for Barbadoes. When a vessel from the main arrives in that island, it seems the planters come down to the shore, where there is an immediate market of the Indians and other Naves, as with us of horses and oxen.
To be short, Mr. Thomas Inkle, now coming into English territories, began seriously to reflect upon his loss of time, and to weigh with himself how many days interest of his money he had loft during his stay with Yarico. This thought made the young man very pensive, and careful what account he should be able to give his friends of his
voyage. Upon which consideration, the prudent and frugal young man sold Yarico to a Barbadian merchant ; notwithstanding the poor girl, to incline him to commiserate her condition, told him that she was with child by him : but he only made use of that information, to rise in his demands upon the purchaser.
I was so touched with this story (which I think should be always a counterpart to the Ephe fan Matron) that I left the room with tears in my eyes, which a woman of
Arietta's good sense did, I am sure, take for greater applause, than any compliments I could make her. R.
Veteres avias tibi de pulmone revello.
Pers. Sat. 5. ver. 92. I root th' old woman from this trembling heart.
my I could settle myself in a house to niy liking. I was forced to quit my first lodgings, by reason of an officious landlady, that would be asking me every morning how I had slept. I then fell into an honest family, and lived very happily for above a week; when niy landlord, who was a jolly good-natured man, took it into his head that I wanted company, and therefore would frequently come into my chanber to keep me from being alone. This I bore for two or three days; but telling me one day that he was afraid I was melancholy, I thought it was high time for me to be gone, and accordingly took new lodgings that very night. About a week after, I found my jolly landlord, who, as I said before, was an honest hearty man, had put me into an advertisement of the Daily Courant, in the following words: Whereas a melancholy man left his lodgings on Thursday last in the afternoon, and was
afterwards seen going towards Islington ;.if any one can give notice of him to R. B. Fishmonger in the Strand, he shall be very well rewarded for his pains. As I am the best man in the world to keep my own counsel, and
my landlord the fiihmonger not knowing my name, this accident of my life was never discovered to this very day.
I am now settled with a widow woman, who has a great many children, and complies with my humour in every thing. I do not remember that we have exchanged a word together these five years ; my coffee comes into my chamber every morning without asking for it; if I want fire I point to my chimney, if water to my
bason : upon which my landlady nods, as much as to say she takes my meaning, and immediately obeys my signals. She has likewise modelled her family so well, that when her little boy offers to pull me by the coat, or prattle in my face, his eldest fifter immediately calls him off, and bids him not disturb the gentleman. At my fift entering into the family, I was troubled with the civility of their rising up to me every time I came into the room; but my landlady observing that upon these occasions i always cried pish, and went out again, has forbidden' any
such ceremony to be used in the house : so that at present I walk into the kitchen or parlour without being taken notice of, or giving any interruption to the business or discourse of the family: - The maid will alk her mistress (though I am by) whether the gentleman is ready to go to dinner, as the mistress (who is indeed an excellent housewife) scolds at the servants as heartily before my face as behind my back. In short, I
and down the house, and enter into all companies with the fame liberty as a cat or any other domestic animal, and am as little suspected of telling any thing that I hear or fee. I remember last winter there were several
young girls of the neighbourhood fitting about the fire with my landlady's daughters and telling stories of spirits and apparitions. Upon my opening the door the young women broke off their discourie, but my landlady's daughters telling them that it was no body but the gentleman (for that is the name which I go by in the