« PoprzedniaDalej »
his love. I triumphed when I read it, and could not help, out of the pride of my heart, showing it to my new spouse ; and we were very merry together upon it. Alas! my mirth lasted a short time; my young husband was very much in debt when I married him, and his first action afterwards was to set up a gilt chariot and six in fine trappings before and behind. I had married so hastily, I had not the prudence to reserve my estate in my own hands; my ready money was lost in two nights at the Groom-porter's; and my diamond necklace, which was stole, I did not know how, I met in the street upon Jenny Wheedle's neck. My plate vanished piece by piece: and I had been reduced to downright pewter, if my officer had not been deliciously killed in a duel, by a fellow that had cheated him of five hundred pounds, and afterwards, at his own request, satisfied him and me too, by running him through the body. Mr.Waitfort was still in love, and told me so again; and, to prevent all fears of ill usage, he desired me to reserve every thing in my own hands : but now my acquaintance began to wish me joy of his constancy, my charms were declining, and I could not resist the delight I took in showing the young flirts about town it was yet in my power to give pain to a man of sense ; this, and some private hopes he would hang himself, and what a glory it would be for me, and how I should be envied, made me accept of being third wife to my lord Friday. I proposed, from my rank and his estate, to live in all the joys of pride ; but how was I mistaken ! he was neither extravagant, nor ill-natured, nor debauched. I suffered however more with him than with all my others. He was splenetic. I was forced to sit whole days hearkening to his imaginary ails; it was impossible to tell what would please him ; what he liked when the sun shined made him sick when it rained; he had no distemper, but lived in constant fear of them all; my good genius dictated to me to bring him acquainted with Dr. Gruel ; from that day he was always contented, because he had names for all his complaints; the good doctor furnished him with reasons for all his pains, and prescriptions for every fancy that troubled him; in hot weather lie lived upon juleps, and let blood to prevent fevers; when it grew cloudy he generally apprehended a consumption: to shorten the history of this wretched part of my life, he ruined a good constitution by endeavouring to mend it; and took several medicines, which ended in taking the grand remedy, which cured both him and me of all our uneasinesses. After his death I did not expect to hear any more of Mr. Waitfort. I knew he had renounced me to all his friends, and been very witty upon my choice, which he affected to talk of with great indifferency. I gave over thinking of him, being told that he was engaged with a pretty woman and a great fortune; it vexed me a little, but not enough to make me neglect the advice of my cousin Wishwell, that came to see me the day my lord went into the country with Russel; she told me experimentally, nothing put an unfaithful lover and a dear husband so soon out of one's head as a new one, and at the same time proposed to me a kinsman of her's. “ You understand enough of the world,” said she, “ to know money is the most valuable consideration; he is very rich, and I am sure cannot live long; he has a cough that must carry him off soon." I knew afterwards she had given the self-same character of me to him; but however I was so much persuaded by her, I hastened on the match for fear he should die before the time came; he had the same fears, and was so
pressing, I married him in a fortnight, resolving to keep it private a fortnight longer. During this fortnight Mr. Waitfort came to make me a visit : he told me he had waited on me sooner, but had that respect for me, he would not interrupt me in the first day of my affliction for my dear lord; that, as soon as he heard I was at liberty to make another choice, he had broke off a match very advantageous for his fortune, just upon the point of conclusion, and was forty times more in love with me than ever. I never received more pleasure in my life than from this declaration: but I composed my face to a grave air, and said the news of his engagement had touched me to the heart, that in a rash jealous fit I had married a man I could never have thought on, if I had not lost all hopes of him. Good-natured Mr. Waitfort had liked to have dropped down dead at hearing this, but went from me with such an air as plainly showed me he had laid all the blame upon himself, and hated those friends that had advised him to the fatal application; he seemed as much touched by my misfortune as his own, for he had not the least doubt I was still passionately in love with him. The truth of this story is, my new husband gave me reason to repent I had not staid for him; he had married me for my money, and I soon found he loved money to distraction; there was nothing he would not do to get it ; nothing he would not suffer to preserve it ; the smallest expense kept him awake whole nights; and when he paid a bill, it was with as many sighs, and after as many delays, as a man that endures the loss of a limb. I had heard nothing but reproofs for extravagancy whatever I did. I saw very well that he would have starved me, but for losing my jointures; and he suffered agonies between the grief of seeing me have so good a sto
mach, and the fear that, if he made me fast, it might prejudice my health. I did not doubt he would have broke my heart, if I did not break his, which was allowable by the law of self-defence. The way was very easy. I resolved to spend as much money as I could ; and, before he was aware of the stroke, appeared before him in a two thousand pounds diamond necklace: he said nothing, but went quietly to his chamber, and, as is thought, composed himself with a dose of opium. I behaved myself so well upon the occasion, that to this day I believe he died of an apoplexy. Mr. Waitfort was resolved not to be too late this time, and I heard from him in two days. I am almost out of my weeds at this present writing, and very doubt. ful whether I will marry him or no. I do not think of a seventh for the ridiculous reason you mention, but out of pure morality that I think so much constancy should be rewarded, though I may not do it after all perhaps. I do not believe all the unreasonable malice of mankind can give a pretence why I should have been constant to the memory of any of the deceased, or have spent much time in grieving for an insolent, insignificant, negligent, extravagant, splenetic, or covetous husband ;my first insulted me, my second was nothing to me, my third disgusted me, the fourth would have ruined me, the fifth tormented me, and the sixth would have starved. me. If the other ladies you name would thus give in their husbands' pictures at length, you would see they have had as little reason as myself to lose their hours in weeping and wailing
N° 574. FRIDAY, JULY 30, 1714.
I was once engaged in discourse with a Rosicru, cian about the great secret. As this kind of men (I mean those of them who are not professed cheats) are overrun with enthusiasm and philosophy, it was very amusing to hear this religious adept descanting on his pretended discovery. He talked of the secret as of a spirit which lived within an emerald, and converted every thing that was near it to the highest perfection it is capable of. It gives a lustre,' says he,' to the sun, and water to the dia. mond. It irradiates every metal, and enriches lead with all the properties of gold. It heightens smoke into flame, flame into light, and light into glory.' He further added, that a single ray of it dissipates pain, and care, and melancholy, from the person on whom it falls. In short,' says he, its presence naturally changes every place into a kind of heaven.'