An engraved portrait of Mary Carleton. Behold my innocence after such disgrace— Dares show an honest and a noble Face— Hence forth there needs no mark of me be known For the right Counterfeit is herein shown—
Madam Mary Carleton,
The German Princeſs,
Birth, Education, and Fortunes;
His Illuſtrious Highneſs
By the ſaid.
London, Printed for Sam: Speed at the Rainbow in
Fleetſtreet, and Hen: Marſh at the Princes Arms
The most Illustrious Prince Rupert, Elector Palatine of the Rhine, &c.
To His Moſt Illuſtrious Highneſs Prince Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine, And Duke of Cumberland, &c.
To whom ſhould the injured innocence of a Forain & deſolate woman addreſs it ſelf but to your Noble and Merciful Protection, who with the MajeſticalA ſti- vi A1v ſtical Glories of your Relation to this Crown, have moſt condeſcending compaſsions to the diſtreſſed and low eſtate of the afflicted.
For when I conſidered the general report of this your Generoſity and Clemencie even in the greateſt incitements of paſſion, amidſt the victorious progreſs of your Arms; I could not but preſume Your Highneſs would open Your ears to the Complaints of an abuſed Woman, in a Caſe wherein the Laws are altogether as ſilent, as in the loudeſt and clamorous noiſe of the War.Be- vii A2r
Beſides, the different neceſſity of my Cauſe, and the vindication of it, did inevitablie put me upon your Highneſſes Patronage, I am traduced and calumniated as an Impoſtor (and the ſcandal continues after all the umbrages of it are vaniſhed) and that I am not a German, nor ſo well deſcended there as I have alledged, and do and will maintain: Therefore to your Highneſs as the ſacred and fitteſt Sanctarie of this truth I have betook my ſelf; whoſe excellent purity I do ſo revere and honour, that I would not ſoil it with the A2 leaſt viiiA2v leaſt tincture of a pretence, or paint of falſhood for a world
Your Highneſs drew your firſt Princely Breath, which hath ſince filled the Trump of Fame, within the limits of that circle of the Rhine, where I was born: and within the Confines of your paternal Dominions, my Infant cries were to be heard; and therefore with all alacrity I ſubmit my cauſe, and my ſtronger cries for Juſtice to your Highneſs, who partakes equallie of this and my Countrie.
Notwithſtanding I ſhould not not ix A3r not have been ſo bold as to have given your Highneſs this trouble, but that I have been informed you have been graciouſlie pleaſed to pity my ruines, and to expreſs your reſentment of thoſe incivilities I have ſuffered: And indeed that with the juſt indignation of other Noble perſons, who are pleaſed to honour my deſertion and privacy with their company, is the only ſupport I have againſt thoſe miſeries I indure, the more unſupportable becauſe irremediable by the Laws of this Kingdom made againſt Femes Covert.A3 I x A3v
I take not upon me to diſpute the equity therof, but in all ſubmiſs obedience do caſt my ſelf and my cauſe at your Highneſſes feet, moſt humbly requeſting and beſeeching your Grace and Favour in ſome extraordinary redreſs to be vouchſafed to
Your Highneſſes most Obedient and moſt Devoted Servant,
Æt: Suæ 38
Mary Carlton Cald the German Princes.
To the Noble Ladies and Gentlewomen, of England.
Be pleaſed to lay aſide that ſeverity of your judgement, by which you examine and caſtigate the licitneſs and convenienceence xiv A4v ence of every of your actions or paſſages of moment, and therefore ſeldom run into the miſgovernment of Fortune, and caſt a favourable eye upon theſe Novels of my life, not much unlike thoſe of Boccace, but that they are more ſerious and tragical.
The breach that is made in my Credit and reputation, I do feel and underſtand to be very wide, and paſt xvA5r paſt my repayring, what ever materials of defence, excuſe, and purgation I can bring to the ſcrutiny of men; who are not ſenſible to what ſudden changes our natures are ſubjected, and that from ayry thoughts and motions, things of great influence, ſometimes good, ſomtimes bad, have been exhibited to the world, equal to the moſt ſober and firm reſolutionslution, xviA5v lutions of the valiant and the wiſe.
It hath been my miſhap for one among many others to miſcarry in an affayre, to which there are more intrigues and perplexities of kin and alliance, and neceſſary dependance, then to any other thing in the world, i.e. marriage: (Hymen is as blind as Fortune and gives her favours by gueſs) the miſtaken advanttagestages xviiA6r tages whereof, have turned to my real damage: ſo that when I might have bin happy in my ſelf, I muſt needs tranſplant my content into a ſterile ungrateful ſoil, and be miſerable by another. Yet have I done nothing diſhonourable to your better beloved Sex, there is nothing of leudneſs, baſeneſs or meanneſs in the whole carriage of this noiſed story, nor which I xviiiA6v I will not, cannot juſtifie, as the actions of a Gentlewoman; with the account of which, from the beginning of my life, I here preſent you.
My Fortune not being competent to my mind though proportionable to any gentile degree, hath frowardly ſhrunk into nothing, but I doubt not to buoy both my honor & eſtate up together, when theſe envious clouds are diſpelled that obſcure my brightneſs; The ſhadows are at the longeſt, and my fame ſhall ſpeedily riſe in its due luſture, till then, and ever I am,
Ladies, your devoted Hand-Maid,
A.S.icholls delin. J. Basire. sculp.
The German Princess with her Suppos’d Husband and Lawyer.
The Case of Madam Mary Carleton The Wife of Mr.John Carleton, Formerly ſtiled A German Princeſs.
Iam ſo much the the more beholden to my Innocence then to my Fortune, that I dare more confidently appear to the VindicationB cation 2B1v 2 cation of the one, then (through the malign deceit and injury of my Adverſaries) to the vendication of the other; And challenge my enemies, and the Spoils they have made of me though I dare not lay claim to my Friends, my Honor and my Eſtate, which I ſhall keep concealed and inviolable from ſuch rude and miſcheivous hands as my Perſon hath been betrayed to. And yet the ſuſpicious, noxious world doth very hardly conceive of me other then a Malefactor, and prefer my Wit and Artful Carriage to my Honeſty, and take this untoward paſſage of my life for ſome feſtivous and merry accident of the times, and look upon me as a notorious (nay even among the more ingenious, but as a) notable perſon.I 3 B2r 3
I can give no other reaſon for this, but the diligent and foreſtalling ſlanders of my accuſers, who by lewd and moſt falſe ſuggeſtions have precluded all ways to my juſtification and defence; and my own unwearied patence in ſuffering thoſe calumnies paſs unrefuted, further then by a legal Trial; not willing to caſt any dirt upon thoſe by way of regeſting thoſe foul-mouthed and libellous ſcandals by perſonal reflections; for I concluded that time, and the juſtice of my Cauſe and the Laws of the Kingdom would clearly abſolve me, and that therefore ſuch exaſperations on my part would widen that breach, which the fraudulent covetouſneſs of ſome Relations had made between my Husband and my ſelf, and B2 render 4B2v 4 render it irreconciliable, when as I had reſolved to redintegrate that affection, we were mutually bound to have for each other.
But ſince I have perceived, and have been fully ſatiſfied and informed of their inſatiable and implacable malice againſt me, not onely in proſecuting me with freſh Indictments after the Jury had acquitted me of the former, (though the grand Jury were ſo fully ſenſible of the Injuſtice and maliciouſneſs thereof, that they would not receive any more) to ſay nothing alſo of the Witneſſes brought againſt me, the blind and the lame (as to their tales and ſtories) procured by moſt wicked and deteſtable practiſes, (whom God forgive) but by adviſing my Husband afterter 5B3r 5 ter my acquittal to forſake me, and renounce my bed, and ſo defeating me of my Jewels and other things of value of mine own, and leaving and expoſing me deſtitute to the World, and to the pity or ſcorn of people, as my condition ſhall weigh with them: Theſe unſufferable miſcheifs have now at laſt extorted this Narrative from me, which I requeſt the courteous Reader to give Credit to, and equally and ſeriouſly conſider my Caſe.
It hath already made a great noyſe in the World, ſutable to that bluſter my Husbands Friends had raiſed my Fortune and Qualitie to; but thoſe High winds being laid by their weeping ſhowers, I will ſecretly and clearly tell the World the naked B3 truth 6B3v 6 truth of all this ſtory, having premiſed a ſhort Apology for my ſelf, and given ſome account of this my (Errant-like) Adventure and Peregrination from the place of my native Country.
I was born at Collen in Germany, though incredulous people do take that for a pretence, and better concealment from any reſearch that can be made after me; but as I have declared it before that Honourable Judicature in the Old Bayly, whoſe grave and reverend Authority I hate to prophane and abuſe with a lye; ſo I do again aſſure the World by the greateſt pledges of a Chriſtian, that I am a Native of that place, and did continue in it, or thereabouts, the moſt part of my life hitherto. They that know it, know 7B4r 7 know it to be one of the Miſtreſſes and compleateſt Cities in that Empire, not onely famed for the birth of very Illuſtrious perſons of Ancient Times, and the Honour it hath received from them (as I could largely inſtance, eſpecially from its Latine adject of Agrippina) but for that modern glory it received by the entertainment of the King of Great Brittain, who was moſt Hoſpitably and Cordially, and with all imaginable reſpect and Honour treated Here, when by vertue of Cromwels League with France, he departed that Kingdom.
I mention this at large, becauſe hence I took up thoſe Reſolutions, which ſince, with ſo much miſfortune I have put in Execution. I obſerved here B4 the 8B4v 8 the courteous civility, and affable good temper of the Engliſh Nation, for by thoſe Gentlemen that then attended the King I meaſured his Kingdom. Thoſe were perſons of ſuch winning and obliging carriage, of ſo eaſie and familiar addreſs, and yet of that generoſe and regardful demeanour, that I was hugely taken with ſuch ſweet Conditions, and being then young, by their frequent converſe in the Town, which was conſtantly in my eares, came to ſuch an acceptable knowledge of their manners, that I then thought of paſſing over to that Country, for a fuller ſatiſfaction and delight I had promiſed my ſelf among ſuch a people.
As to my Parents, who by Pythagoras his fancyful Phyloſophy,phy, 9B5r 9 phy, or rather envious Witchcraft, have been tranſmigrated into I know not what filthy and vile perſons, of the moſt perdite and abhominable ſort of men; I do deſire pardon of their Ghoſts, and ſhall ſprinkle their aſhes with my tears, that I have by my unadviſed and ungoverned Reſolution, raiſed them from their quiet and Honourable Graves, to be the ſuſpicious and leud diſcourſe of every malevolent and buſie tongue. But let ſuch know, that my Fathers name was, Henry Van Wolway, a Licentiat and Doctor of the Civil Law, and Lord of Holmſtein, a man eſteemed for his ſervices done to this City of Colen, in mediating their Peace and Security and Neutrality, in the Swediſh and GermanB5 man 10B5v 10 man War, and for other effects of his Counſels and Endeavours to our Eccleſiaſtical Prince Elector, and the House of Lorrain, in all thoſe turmoyles of that Country, in the firſt rupture of the Spaniſh and French War.
I inſtance theſe remarques, becauſe having been ſo long dead ſome nineteen years, I cannot better deſcribe or Characterize him to ſtrangers, though he were known in his own Country by other great and Noble actions, as well as for his long and ancient deſcent from an honourable Family of that name: which whoſoever ſhall give himſelf the trouble of curioſity in Enquiring, may yet find preſerved from the ruines of a deſtructive, and but juſt compoſed conflagration.It 11 B6r 11
It will ſeem fooliſh and ſottiſh flattery in me, to adorn His Monument with any more Elogy, to a ſtrange and perhaps unbeleiving Nation, who have no faith for any thing they ſee not, or not have heard from plain and undenyable teſtimony. And if I be taken for uncharitable in this rigid imputation, let the practices of thoſe, who have made their unreaſonable incredulity, a pretence to their more barbarous cruelty, be my excuſe to the World.
I ſhall not need therefore to particularize any more of him, for places and circumſtances, and the like accidents, will be of no greater demonſtration, or convincing verity, then thoſe punctual relations of Sir John Mandevile, concerning things that 12B6v 12 that were impoſſible to be in humanity and nature; and I will not ſo much as ſeem to impoſe upon the reader, with thoſe nearer artifices of a Lye. I am capable of doing my ſelf right, (which I ſuppoſe will be too readily interpreted to my diſadvantage) by any means, within the compaſs of a womans underſtanding, and therefore if I thought I ſhould need more ordinary ways, I would have applyed my ſelf thereunto.
And ſo I will proceed to a further Narrative of my life, having acquainted the Reader, that it pleaſed God to take away both my Father and Mother before I was full three years old, but my Father died laſt ſuddenly, and left me entirely poſſeſt of his eſtate, withoutout 13B7r 13 out any Guardian or Truſtees; the expectation of many people who had long deſigns both upon it and me.
Being thus an Orphan, and deſtitute of a Procurator, as we call it in our Law, the Church as next a Kin to ſuch eſtates (and claims the right and diſpoſal of the Ward) ſecured me, and what I had, in their hands, until ſuch time as I ſhould be of age and underſtanding to determine of my ſelf and my Fortunes, which they hoped by ſo early a matriculation, and induction of me into profeſſion of the Religous, to graſp finally into their hands.
By them I was put into the Monaſtery or Nunnery of Sancta Clara, at this Infant age, and educated in all ſuch breeding as was 14B7v 14 was fit for one devoted to the ſervice of God and his Church, wherein, if ignorance and innocence might render devotion acceptable, my young probation-years I may be confident were not offenſive. But growing up to ſome capable years, and my active buſie ſoul exerting it ſelf, and biting as it were the bit of this reſtraint and confinement; the hours and days of this ſolitude and retirement, in which I was as it were buried as ſoon as I was born, grew moſt irkſome and tedious to me, though I was not yet acquainted with the World. I felt ſome ſuch ſtrong impulſes and natural inſtincts to be ranging abroad, and in action, as the firſt finders of Terra Incognita, were urged with, to the diſcovery of thoſe Regions 15B8r 15 Regions, of whoſe Exiſtence they had no further aſſurance then their own hopeful bodings and divinations.
The Diſcipline alſo, began now to aggreive me, and the more my thoughts wandred and ſtrayed after my roaming and ſtrange fancy of the worlds bravery (which I began now to take notice of, from the gallant appearance of perſons of quality, who frequented our Chappel) the more did the orders of the place ſtreighten and fret me. I began to be weary of my Company, and the poverty of thoſe Votaries, called in deriſion, as it were the Bare- footed Clares; and though I ſuffered none of theſe hardſhips, nor underwent any of thoſe nice penances and mortifications,ons 16B8v 16 ons, as having no inordinacies of youth to quell and ſubdue, yet the cuſtomary ſeverity of ſuch dealing with that ſweetneſs and tenderneſs of our Sex, did much grate me; and I blindly wiſhed I were (what my inclinations prompted me to) a man, and exempt from that tedious life, which yet was ſo much the worſe, becauſe it was altogether paſſive and ſedentary.
Nor could I find when more matured, but that Religion when impoſed as a Task, and made an employment, was one of the greateſt burdens I could endure; (though I have learned better things by practiſe and the troubles of the World, and could wiſh my ſelf ſafe in ſuch a retreat from the cares of 17B9r 17 of the future, and the doleful thoughts of my paſt time, and have a zeal for my Religion, the obligations and conduct whereof I have to my ſorrow ſo much in my late unadviſed reſolutions, abdicated and neglected.) I lookt upon it more as conſtraint, and not a voluntary act, wherein I had no manner of election; and my Libertine ſpirit which miſtook bold Humanity, and the dictates of a generous nature, for ſimple and genuine adoration, confirmed me in this opinion, and finally perſwaded me and prevailed with my Reaſon, which grew not up equall with my paſſion, to abandon this ſerene and bliſsful manſion, and venture upon the Worlds alluring, promiſing vanities.
I was arrived at that age wherein 18B9v 18 wherein I was capable of being admitted, and profeſſing my ſelf a Nun, and to take upon me the Vows of the Order of perpetual Virginity, and the like requiſites of that Monaſtical life, and therefore the Fathers and Confeſſors willing to make me a Proſelyte, were very urgent that I would take the Habit and devote my ſelf to a religious life, ſetting before me the many examples of ſome excellent Ladies and Gentlewomen then in the Cloyſter (though it be one of the pooreſt Convents of all) who had great and noble friends, and great Eſtates (ſome of them) and had notwithſtanding with all readineſs of mind ſeparated and eſtranged themſelves from all worldly things, and conſecrated themſelves to God. 19B10r 19 God. But my reſolutions of forſaking that melancholy and ſilent abode, were ſo far advanced, and ſo obſtinated in me to the proſecution of my maſculine conceptions that I obtained my diſcharge at the ſame time, as I have partly hinted before, that his Majeſty was in Colen, whom, with the reſt of the deſirous world I longed to ſee: accompanied therefore with my maid who had attended me in the religious houſe, and a man-ſervant who was my Steward or Bayliff abroad, and had prepared all things for my ſecular eſtate, I went to his Palace, were to paſs other rencounters, I met with a civil perſon, one Mrs. Margaret Hammond, the Daughter of Sir Richard Hammond, living ſomewhere then in the North 20B10v 20 North of England, a very accompliſht woman, who for her Religion had left England, intending to have betaken her ſelf to the Engliſh Nunnery at Lovain; but ſome difficulties happening therein, ſhe had journied up hither upon the ſame account, and perceiving me a ſtranger, did me the civility with her Countrimen, as to procure me the ſatisfactory view of the King and his Court, which could do no leſs then oblige me to invite her home, and to deſire her while ſhe ſtaid at Colen to make uſe of my houſe, and what entertainment ſhe found.
She was pleaſed to accept of this offer, and hereupon my curioſity having attained ſome part of its wiſh, we began to be 21B11r 21 be familiar, and I for my part to enquire into her condition, the reaſon of her travail, and the news of the world, of all which ſhe gave me ſo delightful an account, inſinuating the neceſſity of her condition, with the perfection of her Endowments; that I told her if ſhe could think it anſwerable to her content, to ſtay with me, and be my Governeſs, ſhe ſhould plentifully partake of my fortunes.
We agreed: but not to weary the Reader with thoſe Inſtructions and fundamentals of Education ſhe laid, as ſhe was a rare and abſolute Miſtreſs of all thoſe Arts, it will be ſufficient to declare, that ſeeing ſo much vertue in her, my greedineſs of communicating with it more freely 22B11v 22 freely and clearly, put me upon giving her the trouble of teaching me the Engliſh tongue, the lockt repoſitory of ſo many Excellencies.
This by a fond and moſt pleaſing diligence, I pretty well attained in a years time, having my Governeſs always in my company, whither abroad, as I I uſed to ride ſome miles, by Coach, or elſe paſs in a Pleaſure-boat in the Summer, to acquaint my ſelf firſt with my own Country; the tenderneſs of my years, offering no man the occaſion or thoughts of Love or Marriage, by which means I paſſed free and unobſerved, and then returned again to my Country retirement neer the City.I 23 B12r 23
I now addicted my ſelf to the reading of Hiſtory, and then to take off the gravity and ſeriouſneſs of that ſtudy, to more facile paſtimes of literature; Romances, and other Heroical Adblandiments, which being written for the moſt and beſt part in French, I made that my next buſineſs, though of leſſer difficulty, to gain a knowledge of that Tongue, which being counterminous to ours and ſpoke promiſcuouſly in the adjacent provinces of the Walloon Country, rendred it ſelf at my devotion.
The felicity of theſe two, put me upon a deſire of attaquing the reſt of the European Languages, wherein without arowgance, and as many can teſtifie; I have more then a Smattering, and 24B12v 24 and here was lately an Italian (as I have ſince been told upon diſcourſe and ſome wonder of my readineſs in them) who was one of my Maſters; and who might have juſtified the truth of this and the reſt of my ſtory; his name was Giacomo Della Riva, well known to many Gentlemen in this Town.
In thoſe and the like Studies, and other befitting Exerciſes of my ſex, I paſt away the age of nineteen years, when I thought it high time to put all this Speculation and Theory into practice, and being furniſhed with ſuch a fraught, and ſtore of all Forraign neceſſaries, to lanch into the World, and ſee what returnes I could make of this ſtock, but in the interim of ſuch meditations, and unhappyhappy 25C1r 25 happy accident, (at my being at the Spaw the laſt Summer, to drink thoſe medicinal waters) diſcovered me, and invited two ſtrange Gentlemen, which that place always is furniſhed with, to enquire further what I was: who having obtained my Country, and ſome inckling of my quality, made claym to be my ſervants. I could not in that place, the Mart of good manners, and where there is no nicety of converſe, but all perſons uſe their frankeſt liberty of viſit and diſcourſe, refuſe their Addreſſes, but ſeeing both of them ſo importunate, and both ſo diſparately and unſociably qualified for my choyce or approbation, I privately withdrew home, but could not ſo be rid of my odd payre of Gallants, who C quick- 26C1v 26 quickly haunted me and my Houſe.
I was thus of a ſuden encompaſſed with two evils, of ſo indifferent a choyce, that I could not tell which was worſe: one was an old Gentleman that had fair demeaſnes about Leige or Luyck not many miles diſtant from Colen, a man of ſerious gravity and venerable aſpect for his gray hayrs, but diſfigured with ſome ſcars his youthful luxury had given him, which were repayred and ſupplemented by Art, but ſo that he plainly ſpoke his infirmity through the ruined Arches of his voyce. He accoſted me the rude military way, for he had been a Soldado, and had caught as he ſaid, that rotten hoarſe cold, and ſnuffling in the Trenches of Breda, in the facing page 26facing C1v An engraving depicting a woman in conversation with two gentlemen.German Princeſs facing page 27 facing C2r 27 C2r 27 the Brigade of Count Henry oof Naſſaw in Spinolas Army, andf had afterwards ſerved Mounſieur Tilly againſt the King of Sweden, whom he had ſeen fall at Lutzen, and therefore by no means muſt be ſaid no, or denyed his ſuit, ſince he had never known what a repulſe meant in his life.
The other was a young and pale Student in the Mathematicks, Chymiſtry, and Magick, like a fellow here that pretends to be Secretary to God and Nature, , and had exhauſted a plentiful eſtate, and was like to be a ſecond Dr. Fauſtus, and like my Lord, threatned either a contract with me, or with the Devil: for having loſt his Projection of the Philoſophers Stone, and decocted all his C2 money 28C2v 28 money and eſtate, his magical Glaſs ſhewed him me, who ſhould by my fortune make him up again. In ſhort, the one ſaid he would ſtorm and force me, and the other would make me yeild or elſe he would ſet Archimedes his unexperimented Engine at work, to remove me with him into ſome unknown World, to which he added the efficacy of his Spels and Conjurations.
I had by my Servants and ſome diſtant friends account of ſuch a deſign as carrying me away, and forcing my conſent by the Gouty Cavalier, who had ſome Caſtellanes and Governours in Alſatia his friends, and there was no leſs danger from my Magical Sweet-heart, but the open violence of the one, and the 29C3r 29 the ſecret mines of the other were in prudence to be prevented by my abſence, which I now concluded on by my ſelf.
I ſhall not be obliged to give you any further account of my parentage or condition, for by ſuch means my diſaſter here, may reach the ears of ſome Friends and Acquaintance, from whoſe knowledge my purpoſe is yet to eſtrange my ſelf, (and to general enquiries Collen is too ſpacious and populous to afford any diſcovery) It will ſuffice, that I was liberally and honourably educated, and ſuch principles laid, that I wonder at the ſuperſtructure of my fortune. I knew not what belonged to vulgar and Plebeian cuſtomers or conditions, and they that idlely tax C3 my 30C3v 30 my diſcourſes and behaviour with mimick pedantry, know not the generous emanations of a right born ſoul. And ſo, that which probably makes me obnoxious to the cenſures of the multitude, as it hath to the hatred of my new Relations, is the low ſpiritedneſs, and pityful ignorance of ſuch Mechanick and baſe people.
I would not be thought to boaſt of any accompliſhments, which ſome perſons (who favour my diſtreſt eſtate, and they are of honour alſo) do pleaſe to acknowledge in me, all the uſe I can make of them, ſhall ſerve onely for an Argument againſt that vile and impertinent falſhood, that I am of a moſt ſordid and baſe extraction in this Kingdom, no bet- 31C4r 31 better then the Daughter of a Fidler at Canterbury.
That Blaſphemous lye was firſt broached in an Anonymous Libel, Entituled the Lawyers Clark trappanned by the crafty Whore of Canterbury, but at whoſe inſtigation I could never tell, nor did I make enquiry, but at laſt ſpontaneouſly the Roguery diſcovered it ſelf at my being in cuſtody neer Newgate, where I underſtood the Devil and neceſſity with the Writer, and undertaker, were as inſtrumental as the Devil and Covetouſneſs, in the Occaſioner of that report; but that fellow is of ſo leud and miſerable an infamy, for ſuch defamatory Pamphlets, that his name will poyſon the eyes of the Reader, and feſter even my charity in C4 for- 32C4v 32 forgiving him, to proceed.
The time of my deliberated departure being come, and other intervening accidents having confirmed me to the purſuance of that journey, ſome pece-meal rumours whereof have been ſcattered up and down, not far diſtant from the truth, namely Conſtraint and awe of an unliked and unſutable match, which the freedom of my ſoul moſt highly abhominated and reſented) I privately by night withdrew from my Governeſs, and by the way of Utrecht, where I ſtayed a while incognito, thence paſſed to Amſterdam, and ſo to Rotterdam, I came to the Brill, and there took Shipping for England, the Elyzium of my wiſhes and expectations being in 33C5r 33 in hope to find it a Land of Angels, but I perceive it now to be, as to me, a place of Torments.
I am not ſingle, or the firſt woman, that hath put her ſelf upon ſuch hazards, or pilgrimages, the ſtories of all times abound with ſuch Examples, enough to make up a volume. I might as well have given luſtre to a Romance as any any any of thoſe ſuppoſed Heroina’s: and ſince it is the method of thoſe peices, and the Art of that way of writing to perplex and intricate the commencement and progreſs of ſuch adventures, with unexpected and various difficulties and troubles, and at laſt bring them to the long deſired fruition of their dear bought content, I am C5 not 34C5v 34 not altogether out of heart, but that Providence may have ſome tender and more courteous conſideration of me; for I proteſt I know not what crime, offence or demerit of mine hath rendred her ſo averſe and intractable as ſhe hath proved to my deſigns,
Nor do the Modern and very late Times want Examples of the like adventures. I could mention a Princeſs, and great Perſonage out of the North, who not long ſince came into my Country, and hath paſſed two or three times between Italy and France, and keeps her deſign yet undiſcovered, and is the onely Lady Errant in the World. I could mention another of a far worſe conſequence in this Country, a She-General, who 35C6r 35 who followed the Camp to the other World in America, &c. and was the occaſion of the loſs of the deſigne. Mine compared with thoſe are meer puny ſtories, and inconſiderable, I neither concerned my travail in negotiationg peace, or carrying war, but was meerly my own free Agent.
Nor can I be blamed for this courſe, for beſides the neceſſity and enforcements of forſaking my Country, without running into a more unſupportable condition of Marriage then this I am now in, (for my patience and ſuffering, and Continence I have, I truſt in my own power, and ſhall endeavour to keep them undiſturbed and uncorrupted, what ever temptations or occaſions, by reaſon of this un- 36C6v 36 unjuſt ſeparation, now are, or ſhall be put upon me hereafter; but my life is not in my diſpoſal or preſervation, which I had certainly endangered at home, if I had been bedded to him whom my heart abhorred:) and beſides other reaſons, which I cannot in prudence yet render to the World, the very civility and purity of my deſign, without any luſtful or vicious appurtenant, would fairly excuſe me.
What harme have I done in pretending to great Titles? Ambition and Affection of Greatneſs to good and juſt purpoſes was always eſteemed and accounted laudable and praiſeworthy, and the ſign and character of a vertuous mind, nor do I think it an unjuſt purpoſepoſe 37C7r 37 poſe in me to contrive my own advancement by ſuch illuſtrious pretences as they ſay I made uſe of, to grant the Queſtion, that I am not ſo honourably deſcended as I inſinuated to the Catch- dolt my Father in Law, (which yet by their favour they ſhall firſt better and more evidently diſprove then as yet they have done, before I relinquiſh my juſt claym to my Honour) I think I do rather deſerve commendation then reproach; if the beſt things are to be imitated, I had a good precept and warrant for my aſſumption of ſuch a perſonage as they were willing to beleive me to be; If indeed by any misbecoming act unhandſome and unbefitting ſuch a perſon, I had prophaned that quality, and bewrayed and di- 38C7v 4638 diſcovered any inconſiſtent meanneſs therewith (as it was very difficult to perſonate greatneſs for ſo long a time without ſlips or miſtakes) I had deſerved to be ſeverely puniſhed and abhominated by all Geentlemen; whereas after all theſe loads of imputations which my enemies have heaped upon me, I do with my acknowledgements to them for it) enjoy, and am happy in many of their loves and good eſtimation.
And I will yet continue the ſame reſpects, and make the World to know that there is no poſſibility of ſuch perfections, without a more intent care and elegancy of learning, to which I have by great labour and induſtry attained.I 39 C8r 4739
I need not therefore engage further in this preluiminary part of my defence, onely as an irrefragable confutation of the poorneſs of my birth, and in this Kingdom, I would have my Adverſaries know, as ſome of them do, though they don’t well underſtand, that the ſeverall languages I have ready and at my command, as the Greek, Latine, French, Italian, Spaniſh, English, and ſomething of the Oriental Tongues, all which I pronounce with a Dutch Dialect and Idiome, are not common and ordinary endowments of an Engliſh Spinſter, no not of the beſt rank of the City. And ſince I muſt praiſe my ſelf, in ſhort, I came not here to learn any thing for uſe or ornament of 40 C8v 40 of a woman, but onely the ways to a better fortune.
I come now to the matter of fact, the firſt place I touched at was Graveſend, where I arrived towards the end of --03March, and without any ſtay took a Tide-boat came to London in company with a Parſon or Miniſter, who officiouſly, but I ſuppoſe out of deſign, gave me the trouble of his ſervice and attendance to the ExchangeExchangeTavern right againſt the Stocke, betwixt the Poultry and Cornhil, the houſe of one Mr.King, not having any knowledge of the Maſter or his acquaintance, and free, God knows from any deſign, for I would have entred any other houſe if I had found the doors open, or could have raiſed the folks nearer to my landing 41C9r 41 landing, for I was diſtempered with the nights paſſage; but it was ſo early in the morning, five a clock, that there was no body ſtirring elſewhere, onely here by miſhap Mr. King himſelf was up and ſtanding at the Bar, tellng of braſs farthingsfarthings, whom the Parſon deſired to fill a pint of wine, which he readily performed, and brought to a room behinde the Bar. while the wine was a drinking, (which was Rheniſh wine, the complement being put upon me by the Parſon as the fruit of my own happy Country) Sir John very rudely began to accoſt me, and to offer ſome incivilities to me, which I found no other way to avoid, then by pretending want of reſt to the Maſter of the houſe, and acquaint 42C9v 4342 acquainting him with my charge of Jewels, and that I was as I do juſtifie my ſelf to be a perſon of Quality. Hereupon a room was provided for me to repoſe my ſelf in, and the Clergyman took his leave with a troubleſome promiſe of waiting upon me another day to give me a viſit, which I was forced to admit, & to tell him, I would leave word where-ever I went; but he conſidering as I ſuppoſe of the unfeaſibleneſs of his deſires, and the publiqueneſs of the place, neglected his promiſe and troubled me no more.
He being gone, Mr. King began to queſtion me, what Country woman I was, and of what Religion, I frankly told him; and acquainted him withallall 43C10r 4243 all what charge I had about me, which to ſecure from the danger of the Town, that was full of cozenage and villany, he adviſed me to ſtay with him till I could better provide for my ſelf.
I reſted my ſelf here till eleven a clock at noon: when I aroſe, and was very civilly treated by Mr. King, who well knowing I was a ſtranger and well furniſhed with money, omitted no manner of reſpect to me, nor did I ſpend parcimoniouſly, and at an ordinary rate, but anſwerable to the quality and account, at their fetching and itching queſtions, I gave of my ſelf.This 44 C10v 44
This invited him earneſtly with all ſubmiſs addreſs to requeſt my ſtaying with them till I had diſpatched, and had provided all things for my publique appearance, for the better furniſhing and equiping whereof, I acquainted Him I would ſend by Poſt to my Steward, for the return of ſome moneys to defray the expences thereof, which Letters he viewed, and conceived ſuch imaginations in his Head thereupon, that it never left working till it had wrought the effect of his finely begun, and hopefully continued Enterpriſe.
Theſe Letters he himſelfe delivered at my deſire, to have them carefully put into the Male, to the Poſt-Houſe; and thereafter obſerved me with moſt 45C11r 45 moſt manifeſt reſpects. In the Interim of the return of theſe moneys, I was ſlightly, and as it were by the by, upon diſcourſe of my Country (wherein they took occaſion to be liberally copius) engaged into ſome diſcovery of my ſelf, my eſtate and quality, and the nature of both, the cauſes of my coming hither, &c. but I did it ſo unconcernedly, and negligently, as a matter of no moment or diſturbance to me, though I had hinted at the diſcontent of my match, that this did aſſure them that all was real, and therefore it was time, to ſecure my eſtate to them by a ſpeedy and ſecret marriage.
Let the World now judge, whither being prompted by ſuch plain and publique ſignes of a deſign 46C11v 3846 deſign upon me, to counterplot them, I have done any more then what the Rule, and a received principle of Juſtice directs: to deceive the deceiver, is no deceit.
I knew not nevertheleſs, which way their Artifices tended, till Maſter King, brought into my acquaintance old Mr. Carleton his Father in Law, and ſoon after Mr. John Carleton his Son: it ſeems it had been conſulted, to have preferred George the Elder Brother: He troubled with a ſimple modeſty, and a mind no way competent to ſo much greatneſs, was laid aſide, and the younger fluſht and encouraged to ſet upon me. By this time they had obtained my Name from me, viz. Maria de Wolway, which paſſage alſo hath 47C12r 3947 hath ſuffered by another leuder Impoſture, and alluſory ſound of De Vulva: in the language of which I am better verſed, then to pick out no civiller and eleganter impreſs.
To the Addreſſes of Mr. John Carleton, I carried my ſelf with ſo much indifference, not ſuperciliouſly refuſing his viſits, or readily admitting his ſuit, not disheartening him with a ſevere retiredneſs, or challenges of his imparity, nor encouraging him with afreedom or openneſs of Heart, or arrogance of my own condition, that he and his friends were upon the ſpur to conſummate the match, which yet I delayed and diſſembled with convenient pretences, but herein I will be more particular in the enſuing Pages.In 48 C12v 48
In the mean while, to prevent all notice of me, and the diſturbance of their proceedings, that might be occaſioned thereby, they kept me cloſe in the nature of a Priſoner, which though I perceived, yet I made no ſemblance thereof at all, but colluded with them in their own arts, and pretended ſome averſneſs to all company, but onely my enamourate, Mr. Carleton: nor was any body elſe ſuffered to come near me, or to ſpeak with me; Inſomuch, as I have bin informed, that they promiſed 209l. to one Sackvil, whom for his advice, they had too forwardly, as they thought imparted the buſineſs, the ſum of 200l. to be ſilent, leſt that it ſhould be heard at Court, and ſo the Eſtate and Honour which they had 49D1r 49 had already ſwallowed, would be loſt from their Son, and ſeized by ſome Courtier, who ſhould next come to hear of this great Lady.
After many viſits paſſed betwixt Mr. Carleton and my ſelf, Old Mr. Carleton and Mr. King came to me, and very earneſtly preſſed the diſpatch of the Marriage, and that I would be pleaſed to give my Aſſent, ſetting forth with all the qualities and great ſufficiencies of that Noble perſon, as they pleaſed to ſtile him. I knew what made them ſo urgent, for they had now ſeen the anſwers I had received by the Poſt, by which I was certified of the receipt of mine, and that accordingly ſome thouſands of Crowns ſhould be remitted inſtantly to London, and D Coach 50D1v 50 Coach and Horſes ſent by the next Shipping, with other things I had ſent for, and to reinforce this their commendamus the more effectually, they acquainted me, that if I did not preſently grant the ſuit, and their requeſt, Mr. Carleton was ſo far in love with me, that he would make away with himſelf, or preſently travail beyond Sea, and ſee England no more.
I cannot deny, but that I could hardly forbear ſmiling, to ſee how ſerious theſe Elders and Brokers were in this Love-killing ſtory, but keeping to my buſineſs, after ſome demurs and demands, I ſeemed not to conſent, and then they began paſſionately, urging me with other ſtories, ſome of which long repetition I will now inſert:Wedneſday 51 D2r 51
--04-01Wedneſday the firſt of April, Mrs. King made a great Feaſt, where were divers perſons of quality, as ſhe ſaid, amongſt the reſt, her Brother Mr. John Carleton. At which entertainment Mrs. King did adviſe me to call her Cozen, the which I did. --04-02Thurſday the ſecond of April, Mr. John Carleton came in his Coach, with two Footmen attending on him, calling him my Lord, and Mrs. King did alſo call him my Lord. With that I asked Mrs. King, if it was not the ſame perſon that dined with us yeſterday; ſhe ſaid, True, it was ſo, but he was in a Diſguiſe then, and withal, that in a humour he would often do ſo: But, ſaith ſhe, I do aſſure you he is a Lord. Upon that I replied, Then his father muſt be an Earl, if D2 living 52D2v 52 living. She affirmed, that he was a perſon of great honour. The ſame time my Lord preſented me with a rich box of Sweetmeats: I could do no leſs then thankfully accept thereof.
My Lord came every day to Mr. Kings, and by his importunity would carry me abroad in a Coach to Holloway and Iſlington. Mrs. King would often ask me, what my Lord did ſay to me; I told her, nothing that I obſerved, but his Lordſhip abounded in civility, mixt with complements. How; ſaid ſhe, Madam, He loves you. Loves me, for what Miſtris King? I replied. She ſaid, For your great parts and Endowments. I asked her, How my Lord could tell that I had either. She ſaid, My Lord muſt have very good eyes if he could ſee within 53D3r 53 within me, or elſe I muſt be very tranſparent.
After which, I did order the matter ſo, that his acceſs to me was not ſo eaſie: Miſtris King importuneth me to admit my Lord to viſit me; I told her plainly, That I did not underſtand his Lordſhips meaning. He provided me a great Banquet, at which his Lordſhips mother was very fine dreſt, who queſtioned what I was. I told my Lord, That I had received civilities from him, and he had the like from me, and that I had no neceſſity to give any account to any perſon what I was, for any thing that I intended; and that if any deſign or affair of his required any ſuch thing out of convenience, or otherwiſe he might forbear it. His Lordſhip excuſed his mothersD3 thers 54D3v 54 thers inquiſition, by ſaying, She was his Mother, and that Parents did think themſelves concerned, in looking after the good of their Children. But (ſaid he) Madam, Wave all this, however I will marry you to morrow. What (ſaid I) my Lord, without my conſent: my Lord, I deſire your Lordſhip not to come near me any more, I will not lye under ſuch queſtioning and ſcrutiny: Your Lordſhip will be ſafe in following my advice, in not coming at me any more. Upon this his Lordſhip wept bitterly: I with-drew my ſelf from his preſence: He writ a Letter of high Complements to me (the which Letter was loſt in that violent ſurprize of me and my things, by the force of Mr. George Carleton, my Husbands Father 55D4r 55 Father.) At the ſame time I had a Gown making upon my own account, by Mrs. Kings Taylor in the Strand, I took a Coach and went thither; all this while the young Lord not knowing where I was, remained impatient until my return, where I found him ſtanding at the Bar (in a very penſive and melancholy manner, as if he had been arraigned for not paying his reckoning) at the Exchange-Tavern, and ſuddenly claſpt about my middle, and violently carryed me to my Chamber. I asked his meaning: He anſwered, That I had forbid him my preſence; that it had almoſt made him mad; that he deſired nothing more of me, then but to let him look upon me. Upon that he did, with a very ſtrange geſture, fix his eyes D4 upon 56C4v 56 upon me: In compaſſion to him, I askt him what his Lordſhip meant, and intended; he replied in a kind of diſcompoſed manner, I would have you to be my Wife. I anſwered him, My Lord, I rather think you have courted me for a Miſtreſs, then for a Wife: I aſſure you, that I will never be a Miſtris to the greateſt of Princes, I will rather chuſe to be a Wife to the meaneſt of men.
Upon which, he uttered divers aſſeverations in confirmation of the realty of his intentions, and earneſt deſire of the Honour in making me his Wife, without any reſpect to what I had.
After my Lord had inſinuated his affections ſo far, that I began to underſtand him, and did mix and ſcatter ſome ſuch like accep- 57D5r 57 acceptable words, which put him into ſome confidence of obtaining me; he began like other Lovers to ſet forth the amplitude of his Fortunes, and thoſe brave things he would do if I would finiſh his ſuit; among many other fineneſſes and Grandures he would beſtow on me, I well remember, he told me that he had given order for a great Glaſs Coach of the new faſhion to be preſently made, againſt our wedding was over, where eleven or twelve might conveniently fit, and that he would ſute it with a ſet of Lacquies and Pages, the neateſt and handſomeſt of the Town for their Liveries and perſons. That I might ſee I had married a perſon that not onely dearly loved me, but would alſo highly honourD5 nour 58D5v 58 nour me, with the moſt ſplendid accomodations that England yeilded.
At the very ſame time, he had changed as he told me (and part of it I ſaw) two hundred pound of ſilver, into two hundred peices of Gold, for the better portableneſs thereof, that his Princeſs might ſee nothing of meanneſs belonging to him, and that as ſoon as the Coach was made and all things fitted to it, he would preſently go to Court, and carry me with him, and introduce me to the King and Queen: his further intention being, which as yet he concealed to me, to get a Knight-hood, and have ſomething of honour to oppoſe the envy of men, that ſo great an Eſtate was conferred on a private perſon.And 59 D6r 59
And now my Lord ſpoke nothing but Rodomantadoes of the greatneſs of his Family, of the delights and ſtatelineſs of his Lands and houſes, the game of his Parks, the largeneſs of his ſtables, and convenience of Fiſh and Foul, for furniſhing his liberal and open Houſekeeping, that I ſhould ſee England afforded more pleaſure then any place in the World, but they were (without the Hoſt) reckoned and charged beforehand to my account, and to be purchaſed with my eſtate, which was his, by a figure of anticipation, when we two ſhould be all one, and therefore he lyed not, but onely equivocated a little.But 60 D6v 60
But he did not in the leaſt mention any ſuch thing to me, nor made any offer of enquiry what I was, no not the leaſt ſemblace or ſhadow of it; he ſeemed to take no notice of my fortunes, it was my perſon he onely courted, which having ſo happily and accidentally ſeen, he could not live, if I cheriſht not his affections. Nor did I think it then convenient or civil to queſtion the credit of his words, and the report given me of him. His demeanour I confeſs was light, but I imputed that to his youth, and the vanity of a Gallant, as neceſſary a quality, and as much admired as wit in a Woman.The 61 D7r 61
The laſt day of my virgin ſtate, Eaſter Eve, the Taylor brought me my Gown to my Lodging, I being dreſt and adorned with my Jewels, he again renewed his ſuit to me; with all importunity imaginable: His courteous Mother was alſo now moſt forward, preſſing me to conſent, by telling me, that ſhe ſhould loſe her Son, and his wits, he being already impatient with denyals and delays, adding withal, that he was a perſon hopeful, and might deſerve my condiſcention: I withſtood all their ſollicitation, although they continued it until twelve of the Clock that night: The young Lord at his taking his leave of me, told me that he would attend me betimes the next morning, and carry me to St. Pauls Church62D7v62 Church, to hear the Organs, ſaying, that there would be very excellent Anthems performed by rare voices, the morrow being --04-19Sunday, the 19. of April laſt: in the morning betimes, the young Lord cometh to my Chamber-door, deſiring admittance, which I refuſed, in regard I was not ready; yet ſo ſoon as my head was dreſſed, I let him have acceſs: he haſtned me, and told me his Coach was ready at the door, in which he carried me to his Mothers in the Grey-fryers, London, where I was aſſaulted by the young Lords tears, and others to give my conſent to marry him, telling me that they had a Parſon and a Licenſe ready, which was a meer falſhood, and temporary falacy to ſecure the match.So 63 D8r 63
So on Eaſter morning, with three Coaches, in which with the Bride and Bridegroom were all the kindred that were privy to the buſineſs, and pretended a Licence, they carried me to Clothfair by Smithfield, and in the Church of Great St.Bartholomews, Married me by one Mr. Smith, who was well paid for his paynes: and now they thought themſelves poſſeſſed of their hopes, but becauſe they would prevent the noiſe and fame, of their good fortune from publique diſcourſe, that no ſiniſter accident might intervene, before Mr. Carleton had bedded me, offence being likely to be taken at Court, (as they whiſpered to themſelves) that a Private Subject had Married a Forraign Princeſs, they had before 64D8v 64 before determined to go to Barnet, and thither immediately after the celebration of the Marriage we were Driven in the Coaches, where we had a handſome treatment, and there we ſtaid Sunday and Munday, both which nights Mr. Carleton lay with me, and on Tueſday morning we were Married again, a Licenſe being then obtained to make the match more faſt and ſure, at their inſtance with me to conſent to it.
This being done, and their fears over, they reſolved to put me in a garb befitting the Eſtate and dignity they fancied I had; and they were ſo far poſſeſſed with a beleif of it, that they gave out, I was worth no leſs then 80000li. per annum, and my Husband, as I muſt now ſtile him 65D9r 65 him, publiſhed ſo much in a Coffee-houſe; adding withal, to the extolling of his good hap, that there was a further Eſtate but that it was my modeſty or deſign to conceal it: And that he could not attribute his great fortune to any thing but the Fates, for he had not any thing to ballance with the leaſt of my Eſtate and Merits: So do conceited heighths of ſudden proſperity and greatneſs dazzle the eyes and judgement of the moſt, nor could this young man be much blamed for his vainglorious miſtake.
My Cloaths being made at the charge of my Father in Law, and other fineries of the mode & faſhion ſent me by ſome of his Kindred and friends (who prided themſelves in this happy affinity,finity, 66D9v 66 finity, and who had an eye upon ſome advantages alſo, and therefore gave me this early bribe, as teſtimonies of their early reſpect, & as for Jewels I had of mine own of all ſorts, for Necklaces, Pendants and Bracelets, of admirable ſplendor and brightneſs. I was in a Prince- like attire, and a ſplendid equipage and retinue, accoutred for publique view among all the great Ladies of the Court and the Town on May day enſuing. At which time in my Lady Bludworths Coach, which the ſame friends procured for my greater accommodation, and accompanied with the ſame Lady with Footmen and Pages, I rode to Hide-Park, in open view of that celebrious Cavalcade and Aſſembly, much gazed upon by them 67D10r 67 them all, the eximiouſneſs of my fortune drawing their eyes upon me; particularly that noble Lady gave me precedence, and the right hand, and a neat Treatment after our divertiſement of turning up and down the park.
I was altogether ignorant of what eſtate my Huſband was, and therefore made no nicety to take thoſe places his friends gave me, and if I be taxed for incivility herein, it was his fault that he inſtructed me no better in my quality, for I conceited ſtill that he was ſome landed, honorable and wealthy man.
Things yet went fairly on, the ſame obſervances and diſtances continued, and lodgings befitting a perſon of Quality taken for me in Durham Yard, at 68D10v 68 at one mr. Greens, where my huſband and I enjoyed one another with mutual complacency, till the return of the moneys out of Germany failing the day and their rich hopes, old Mr. Carleton began to ſuſpect he was deceived in his expectation, and that all was not gold that gliſtered: but to remove ſuch a prejudice from himſelf, as if he were the Authour of thoſe ſcandals that were now prepared againſt my innocence, a Letter is produced, and ſent from ſome then unknown hand, which reflected much upon my Honour and Reputation; and thereupon on the fifth or ſixth of May enſuing, I was by a Warrant dragged forth of my new Lodgings , with all the diſgrace and contumely that could be 69D11r 69 be caſt upon the vileſt offender in the World, at the inſtigation of old Mr. Carleton, who was the Proſecutor, and by him and his Agents deveſted and ſtript of all my cloaths, and plundred of all my jewels, and my money, my very bodyes, and a payr of ſilk Stockings, being alſo pulled from me, and in a ſtrange array carried before a Juſtice.
But becauſe this ſtory hath not yet been fully diſcovered, I will more manifeſtly here declare it; That Letter aboveſaid came from one Mr. John Clay, the younger Son of Mr. Clay a Drugſter at the Bear and Mortar in Lumber-ſtreet, a Servant and Admirer of Mrs. King my fine Siſter in Law, (who becauſe her Husband hath a weak head, (though 70D11v 70 (though he ſat like a Parliament man once in Richard Cromwels time for three days, as ſince I have been informed) muſt have an aſſiſtant to carry on the buſineſs. The contents of this Letter were neer to this purpoſe,
Iam unknown to you, but hearing that your Son Mr. John Carleton hath married a Woman of a pretended great Fortue, and high birth, and I thought fit to give you timely notice of what I know, and have heard concerning her, that ſhe is an abſolute Cheat, hath Married ſeveral men in our County of Kent, and then run away from them, with what they had; If it be the ſame woman 71D12r 71 woman I mean, ſhe ſpeaks ſeveral languages fluently, and hath very high Breaſts, &c.
I was at the Exchange Tavern, as it was deſigned, when this Letter was brought, and thereupon their countenances were ſet to a moſt melancholly look, and pale hue, which ſhewed a mixture of fear and anger: preſently I was brought before the inquiſition of the Family, and examined concerning the ſaid Letter, which I conſtantly, innocently, and diſdainfully denyed, ſo that they ſeemed ſomething ſatiſfied to the contrary, and ſo my Huſband and I went home in a Coach, but that very ſame night, all the gang, with one Mrs.Clark a Neighbour to King, came 72D12v 72 came to my lodging where after moſt vile language, as Cheating Whore, and the like, they pulled me up and down, and kept me ſtript upon a bed, not ſuffering my Husband to come neer me, though I cryed out for him to take my part, and do like a man to ſave me from that violence, who at a diſtance excuſed it, by putting all this barbarity upon his Father; In fine they left me not a rag, rincing every wet cloath out of the water, and carrying them away, The whole, was a moſt unwomanly and rude Action at the beſt of it, if I had been ſuch as they pretended me to be, and not to be parralleld, but by a ſtory I have lately heard of the ſix woman ſhavers in Drury- LaneSee 73 E1r 73
See the fickleneſs and vanity of humane things, to day embelliſhed, and adorned with all the female Arts of bravery and gallantry, and courted and attended on by the beſt rank of my ſex, who are jealous obſervers what honour and reſpect they give among themſelves, to a very punctilio; and now diſrobed and disfigured in miſhapen Garments, and almoſt left naked, and haled and pulled by Beadles, and ſuch like rude and boyſterous fellows, before a Tribunal, like a leud Criminal.
The Juſtices Name was Mr. Godfrey, by whoſe Mittimus, upon an accuſation managed by Old Mr.Carleton, that I had married two Husbands, both of them in being, I was committed to the Gate-houſe. Being E interrogated 74E1v 74 interrogated by the Juſtice, whither or no I had not two Husbands as was alledged, I Anſwered, if I had, He was one of them, which I beleive incenſed Him ſomething the more againſt me, but I did not know the Authority and dignity of his place, ſo much am I a ſtranger to this Kingdom.
There were other things and crimes of a high nature objectted againſt me beſides, That I cheated a Vintner of ſixty pounds, and was for that committed to Newgate, but that lye quickly vaniſhed, for it was made appear, That I was never a Priſoner there, nor was my name ever recorded in their books; And that I pickt a Kentiſh Lords pocket, and cheated a French Merchant of Rings, Jewels 75E2r 75 Jewels and other Commodities, That I made an eſcape, when ſold and ſhipt for the Barbadoes, but theſe were urged onely as ſurmiſes; and old Carleton bound over to proſecute onely for Bigamy, for my having two huſbands.
Thus the world may ſee how induſtrious miſcheif is to ruine a poor helpleſs and deſtitute Woman, who had neither money, friends nor acquaintance left me; yet I cannot deny that my Huſband lovingly came to me at the Gatehouſe the ſame day I was committed, and did very paſſionately complain of his Fathers uſage of me, meerly upon the diſappointment, as he ſaid, of their expectations, and that he could be contented to love me as well as ever, to live E2 with 76E2v 76 with me and own me as a wife, and uſed ſeveral other expreſſions of tenderneſs to me.
Nor have I leſs affection and kind ſentiments for him, whom I own and will own till death diſſolve the union, and did acquaint him with ſo much there, and proteſted my innocence to him, nor do I doubt could he have prevailed with his Father, but that theſe things had never happened. If now after my vindication he prove faithleſs and renege me, his fault will be doubly greater, in that he neither aſſiſted my innocence when endangered, nor cheriſhed it when vindicated by the Law.
In this priſon of the Gatehouſe I continued ſix weeks, in a far better condition then I pro- 77E3r 77 promiſed my ſelf, but the greater civilities I ow to the Keeper: as I am infinitely beholding to ſeveral perſons of quality, who came at firſt I ſuppoſe out of curioſity to ſee me, and did thereafter nobly compaſſionate my calamitous, and injurious reſtraint.
All that troubled me was an abuſive pamphlet which went under my Husbands name, wherein, moſt pitifully he pleaded his frailty and misfortune, and intituled it to no leſſer precedent then Adam, which I ſuppoſe was had out of the new Ballad, of your Humble Servant, a hint whereof, pleaſe the Reader to take in this Abridgement.
I ſhall not give my ſelf E3 the 78E3v 78 the trouble, to recollect and declare the ſeveral motives and inducements that deceitful, but wiſe enough, Woman uſed to deceive me with, &c. Her Wit did more and more ingage and charm me: Her Qualities deprived me of my own; Her Courteous Behaviour, her Majeſtick Humility to all perſons, her Emphatical ſpeeches, her kind and loving expreſſions; and amongſt other things, her high deteſtation of all manner of Vice, as Lying, &c. Her great Pretence to zeal in her Religion; her modeſt Confidence and Grace in all Companies, Fearing the knowledge of none; her demeanour was ſuch, that ſhe left no room for Suſpition, not onely in my opinion, but alſo in others both Grave and Wiſe.
And all this is real and not feigned, and 79E4r 79 and more convincingly and apparently true, by this foil of his own ſetting, As for his undertaking to tell the Story of the management of the buſineſs betwixt us; he is ſo far from doing me juſtice herein, that he wrongeth me and his own ſoul by lying.
For Confutation of which, I refer the Reader to the enſuing Tryal; Onely there is one paſſage that I am unwilling to let ſlip, that is, he ſaith there, that my Father was in Town upon my Commitment, and did acknowledge me to be his Daughter, and that I had played many ſuch tricks. It’s ſtrange this Father of mine could not be produced at the Tryal, if that had been true.
And yet a little before this, upon 80E4v 80 upon his viſiting me in the Gate- houſe, where I was deſtitute of money and ſubſiſtence, at my firſt coming in he ſeemed very tender of me, and charged the Keeper I ſhould want nothing, for as far as 40sh. went, he would ſee him payd, which I beleive he muſt ere long, and after that ſent me a Letter, which is the onely paper I have by me of his, the other amorous and loving ſcriblings being loſt and taken from me, the ſame time that they plundered me of my Jewels, I do not know what I may do for them, but I hope I ſhall never cry for thoſe Epiſtles. This done in theſe words, ſo that my Love and my Dear, could be hot and cold almoſt in an inſtant.My 81 E5r 81
My Deareſt Heart,
Although the manner of your Uſage may very well call the ſincerity of my Affection and Expreſſions to you in queſtion; Yet when I conſider, That thou art not ignorant of the Compulſion of my Father, and the Animoſity of my whole relations, both againſt You and my Self for Your ſake, I am very confident your goodneſs will pardon and paſs by thoſe things which at preſent I am no way able to help; And be you confident, That notwithſtanding my Friends averſion, there ſhall be nothing within the reach of my power ſhall be wanting, that may conduce both to your liberty, maintenance,ſhall 82E5v 82 tenance, and Vindication. I ſhall very ſpeedily be in a condition to furniſh you with Money, to ſupply you according to your deſire. I hope Mr. Bayly will be very civil to you; and let him be aſſured, he ſhall in a moſt exact meaſure be ſatisfied, and have a Requital for his Obligation. My deareſt, always praying for our happy meeting,
I reſt, Your moſt affectionate Husband.
1663-05-11May the 11th. 1663.
Other of my Husband’s Friends came to Viſit me in the Gate-houſe, (of the many hundreds of other I ſhall ſay nothing) one of them ſaid, Madam, I am one of your Husbands Friends and Acquaintaintance, I had a deſire to ſee you, becauſe I have heard of your breeding. Alas, ſaid I, I have left that in the City amongſt my Kindred, becauſe they want it.
Another in his diſcourſe delivered as an Aphoriſm, That marriage and hanging went by Deſtiny. I told him, I had received from the Deſtinies Marriage, and he in probability might Hanging. To Waive many others of the like nature.
My innocence furniſhed me with ſeveral of thoſe anſwers, and 84E6v 84 and repartees to the mixt ſort of viſitants, who either for novelty or deſigne came to trouble me. I was adviſed indeed to ſeclude my ſelf from ſuch company, but becauſe there might be no diſadvantage pretended by reaſon I kept cloſe, and evidence might be puzled, not having ſeen me in ſo long a time, as afterwards at my Tryal might have been ſuggeſted, I gave all perſons the freedom of my Chamber. But for the Nobler ſort, I may in ſome meaſure thank my ſtars, that out of this misfortune extracted ſo much bliſs, as the honour of their acquaintance, which otherwiſe at large I had been in no capacity to attain.the 85 2E1r 73
The time of the Seſſions of the Peace for London and Middleſex being arrived, I was conveyed from the Gate-houſe to Newgate; where by the civility of the Maſter of the priſon I had lodgings aſſigned me in his own houſe, which adjoyns to the Seſſions-houſe-yard; and there I was publickly ſeen by all comers: that my enemies might want no advantage of informing their witneſſes of my Perſon, Age and condition, and ſo ſquare their Evidence: but my innocence and my good Angels preſerved me from the worſt of their malice.
From thence, on --06-03Wedneſday, June the third, in the evening, the firſt day of the Courts ſitting in the Old-Bayly, I was brought down to the Bar: and there an Indictment upon my Arraignment was read againſt E me, 862E1v 74 me; to which I pleaded Not guilty: and, as inſtructed by my friends, and a good conſcience, (being altogether ignorant of the Laws and Cuſtoms of this Kingdome) put my ſelf for my Triall upon God and the Country, without making any exception, or ever ſo much as examining what my Jury were.
And becauſe they approved themſelves men of honeſty, judgment and integrity, and did me ſo much juſtice, I can do no leſs then to take occaſion here to return them my humble thanks, that they would regard the oppreſſed condition of a helpleſs priſoner; and not give credit to the wicked aſſeverations of a wretch, who onely ſwore to the purpoſe againſt me: and to let the world know my particular gratitude, I will tranſcribe into this my Caſe, as one of the happieſt and faireſt 872E2r 75 faireſt remarks therein, the names of thoſe upright Jurors, viz.
- William Rutland,
- Arthur Vigers,
- Arthur Capel,
- Tho. Smith,
- Fran. Chaplin,
- Robert Harvey,
- Simon Driver,
- Robert Kerkham,
- Hugh Maſſon,
- Tho. Westley,
- Richard Clutterbuck, and
- Randolph Tooke.
The Indictment was in hæc verba.
That the ſaid Mary Moders, late of London Spinſter, otherwiſe Mary Stedman, the wife of Tho. Stedman late of the City of Canterbury in the County of Kent Shooemaker, --05-1212 May, in the Reign of his now Majeſty the ſixth, at the Pariſh of St.Mildreds in the City of Cant. E2 in 88 2E2v 76 in the County aforeſaid, did take to huſband the aforeſaid Tho. Stedman, and him the ſaid Thomas Stedman then and there had to husband. And that ſhe the ſaid Mary Moders, alias Stedman, --04-2121 April, in the 15 year of his ſaid Majeſties Reign, at London, in the Pariſh of Great S. Bartholomews , in the Ward of Farringdon without, feloniouſly did take to husband one John Carleton, and to him was married, the ſaid Tho. Stedman her former husband then being alive, and in full life: againſt the form of the Statute in that caſe provided, and againſt the Peace of our ſaid Soveraign Lord the King, his Crown and Dignity, &c.
After which being ſet to the Bar, in order to my Trial, I prayed time till the morrow, my witneſſes not being ready; which was granted: and all perſons concerned were ordered to attend at nine of the Clock in the Fore-noon.Being 89 2E3r 77
Being returned to my lodging, where ſome Gentlemen gave me a viſit to counſel and adviſe me; my Husband Mr. Carleton came thither to take his leave of me, as I underſtood afterwards by his complement: but my Keeper knowing of him, thought him not fit company for me, who was one of the cauſers of my injurious uſage: but notice at laſt being given me of it, I gave order for his admittance, and treated him with the reſpect which became my Relation to him; though he, to add trouble to me, fell into more impertinent diſcourſes concerning the ſhortneſs of my dayes, and ſpeedy preparation of Repentance for another world; and that he would pray for me, and the like to the which I replied, Pray, my lord let none of thoſe things trouble you; I thank God I am as well as ever E3 in 902E3v 78 in my life, and do of all things leaſt fear hanging: and as for your prayers, are you righteous or no? if not, they will ſo little availe me, that they will not profit your ſelf. Hereupon a Gentleman to break off this diſcourſe drank to him in a glaſs of Canary; which my Lord unhandſomely declining to accept, I could not forbear to tell him, I was ſorry to ſee his Lordſhip’s ſlender breeding could not ſuffer him to be civill.
Thus the world may ſee how theſe mine Adverſaries had already ſwallowed my life and my credit, and devoted them to the Gibbet without redemption: the onely ſecurity of all their paſt injuſtices towards me. —Per ſcelera ſceleribus eſt iter: they muſt end as they have begun. Thus the Devill and his imps were here fruſtrated.For 091 2E4r 79
For, on --06-04Thurſday June the fourth, I proceeded to Trial, according to appointment; but my fathers bandogs being not ready, my husband came into the Court very ſpruce and trim, in one of the wedding-ſuits, and prayed the Court, that in reſpect his father and his witneſſes were not yet come together, or rather had not concinnated their lies to be found in one tale, that the Trial might be deferred for halfe an hour. I could not but ſmile to ſee my deare husband labour ſo to make ſure of my death, and with ſo little regard to paſs by his dear Princeſs without ſo much as vouchſafing a look to her; as if he were angry at his eyes for having beheld ſo much already. But to abrupt theſe thoughts, and to continue the diſcourſe: the Court growing impatient of theſe uncivilE4 civil 0922E4v 80 civil delayes, and telling my father-in-law that they were not bound to wait on him or his witneſſes; they were now produced before them, and ſworn; and with old Carleton himſelf were ſix in number: namely, James Knot, one that will almoſt cleave a hair; William Clark, and George Carleton her brother-in-law; Mr. Smith the Parſon, and one Sarah Williams; which for fuller information of the world, I will give, with a review of the whole Triall, according to the exacteſt copy of it, which was taken in ſhort-hand at my deſire.
James Knot. My Lord, and Gentlemen of the Jury, I gave this woman in Marriage to one Thomas Stedman, which is now alive in Dover, and I ſaw him laſt week.
Court. Where was ſhe married?
Knot. In Canterbury.Court. 093 2E5r 81
Court. Where there?
Knot. In St. Mildreds, by one Parſon Man, who is now dead.
Court. How long ſince were they married?
Knot. About nine years ago.
Court. Did they live together afterwards?
Knot. Yes, about four years, and had two children.
Court. You gave her in marriage, but did the Miniſter give her to her husband then?
Knot. Yes, and they lived together.
Jury. Friend, did you give this very Woman?
Court. What company was there?
Knot. There was the married Couple, her ſiſter, my ſelf, the Parſon and the Sexton.
Court. Where is that Sexton?
Knot. I know not, my Lord.E5 Court. 094 2E5v 82
Court. You are ſure they were married in the Church, and this is the woman?
Knot. Yes, I am ſure of it.
Court. How long ago?
Knot. About nine years ago.
Court. Did you know this woman before the Marriage? and how long?
Knot. Yes, I knew her a long time; I was an Apprentice ſeven years near her Mothers houſe in Canterbury.
Court. Then ſhe’s no forreign Princeſs? Of what Parentage was ſhe?
Knot. I did not know her own father (and in that he might be believed) but her father-in-law was a Muſitian there.
Court. You ſee her married: what words were uſed at her marriage, and in what manner?
Knot. They were married according to the order of the Land, a 0952E6r 83 a little before the Act came forth touching Marriages by Juſtices of the Peace.
Court. Was it by the Form of Common-Prayer, any thing read of that Form?
Knot. I did not take notice of that: I was but a young man, and was deſired to go along with them.
William Clark being ſworn, ſaid, My Lord, I was laſt week in Dover, in company with this James Knot, and Thomas Stedman, and he the ſaid Stedman did own that he did marry one Mary Moders, a daughter of one in Canterbury, and that Knot gave her, and that he had two children by her, and declared his willingneſs to come up to give evidence againſt her, but wanted money for his journey: And I have underſtood that a perſon here in Court was of a Jury at Canterbury, at a Trial 0962E6v 84 Triall between Day and Mary Stedman at the Bar for having two husbands.
Court. Was ſhe cleared?
Clark. I cannot tell.
Young Carletons father ſworn. My Lord, I was at Dover the laſt week on Wedneſday; I ſaw the husband of this woman, and the man acknowledged himſelf to be ſo; and did ſay that James Knot was the man that gave her in marriage to him.
Court. Where is this man her husband? Hearſays muſt condemn no man: what do you know of your own knowledge?
Carlton the Elder. I know the man is alive.
Court. Do you know he was married to her?
Carleton. Not I, my Lord.
Sarah Williams. My Lord, This Woman was bound for Barbadoes, to go along with my husband,band, 0972E7r 85 band, and ſhe deſired to lodge at our houſe for ſome time, and did ſo; and when the ſhip was ready to go, ſhe went into Kent to receive her means, and ſaid ſhe would meet the ſhip in the Downs; and miſſing the ſhip, took boat and went to the ſhip. After ſeverall dayes remaining there, there came her husband with an Order and fetched her aſhore, and carried her to Dover-Caſtle.
Court. What was his name that had an Order to bring her on ſhore again?
Sarah Williams. His name was Thomas Stedman.
Court. Have you any more to prove the firſt marriage?
Carlton the Elder. No, none but Knot; there was none but three, the Miniſter dead, the Sexton not to be found, and this Knot who hath given Evidence.
Court. What became of the two0982E7v86 two children, Knot?
Knot. They both died.
Carlton the Elder. Stedman ſaid in my hearing, that he had lived four years with her, had two children by her, and both dead; five years ago laſt Eaſter ſince ſhe left him.
Court. Mr. Carlton , What have you heard this Woman ſay?
Carlton. My Lord, ſhe will confeſs nothing, that pleaſes him.
Court. Mr. Carlton, did you look in the Church-Regiſter for the firſt marriage?
Carlton. I did look in the Book, and he that is now Clerk, was then Sexton (juſt now not to be found;) he told me, that Marriages being then very numerous, preceding the Act beforementioned, the then Clerk had neglected the Regiſtry of this Marriage 0992E8r 87 Marriage. If ſhe intended this Trade, ſhe likewiſe knew how to make the Clerk miſtake Regiſtring the Marriage.
Young Carlton’s brother ſworn, who ſaid,
My Lord and Gentlemen of the Jury, I was preſent at the Marriage of my Brother with this Gentlewoman, which was on or about 1663-04-2121 April, 1663. They were married at Great St. Bartholomews, by one Mr. Smith a Miniſter here in Court, by Licence.
Mr. Smith the Parſon ſworn. My Lord, all that I can ſay, is this, that Mr. Carlton the younger told me of ſuch a buſineſs, and deſired me to marry them; they came to Church, and I did marry them by the Book of Common Prayer.
Court. Mr. Smith, are you ſure that is the Woman?Parſon 100 2E8v 88
Parſon. Yes, my Lord, it is; I believe ſhe will not deny it.
Priſoner. Yes, my Lord, I confeſs I am the Woman.
Court. Have you any more witneſſes?
Carlton. We can get no more but Knot to prove the firſt Marriage; the laſt is clear.
Judge Howel. Where is Knot? Remember your ſelf well what you ſaid before. You ſay, you know that Woman at the Bar; that you had known her a great while; that ſhe was born near you in Canterbury; that you were preſent at her marriage; that Parſon Man married them; that none were preſent but your ſelf, the married couple, Parſon, Sexton, and her ſiſter.
Knot. Some others came into the Church, but none that I knew; I am ſure none went with her, but thoſe I named.Court. 101 2E9r 89
Court. Who gave her in marriage?
Knot. I did.
Court. How came you to do it?
Knot. I was Stedmans ſhopmate, and he deſired me to go along with him.
Court. Were her Parents then living, or no?
Knot. Her Mother was.
Jury. How old are you?
Knot. Two or three and thirty years.
Jury. How long ago was this marriage?
Knot. About nine years ſince.
Court. Then he was twenty three, and might do it. What is your Trade of life?
Knot. I am a Cordweyner, otherwiſe, a Shoomaker; Stedman was ſo too: we wrought both together.
Jury. We deſire to know whether ſhe had a Father and Motherther 1022E9v 90 ther then living.
Knot. She had a Father-in- law.
Court. Did you know her Mother?
Court. How long before that Marriage did her own Father die?
Knot. I did not know him. He ſaid ſo before indeed.
Court. What age was ſhe when married?
Knot. I ſuppoſe nineteen or twenty.
Priſoner. May it pleaſe your Honours, and Gentlemen of the Jury, you have heard the ſeveral witneſſes, and I think this whole Country cannot but plainly ſee the malice of my Husbands Father againſt me; how he cauſeleſsly hunts after my life: when his Son, my Husband, came and addreſſed himſelf to me, pretenddingding 1032E10r 91 ding himſelf a perſon of honour, and upon firſt ſight preſſed me to marriage; I told him, Sir, ſaid I, I am a ſtranger, have no acquaintance here, and deſire you to deſiſt your ſuit: I could not ſpeak my minde, but he (having borrowed ſome thred-bare Complements) replied, Madam, your ſeeming virtues, your amiable perſon, and noble deportment, renders you ſo excellent, that were I in the leaſt intereſted in you, I cannot doubt of happineſs: and ſo with many words to the like purpose, courted me. I told him, and indeed could not but much wonder, that at ſo ſmall a glance he could be ſo preſumptuous with a ſtranger, to hint this to me; but all I could ſay, would not beat him off: And preſently afterwards he having intercepted my Letter, by which he underſtood how my affairs ſtood, 1042E10v 92 ſtood, and how conſiderable my means were, he ſtill urged me to marry him; and immediately by the contrivance of his friends, gaping at my fortune, I was hurried to the Church to be married; which the Parſon at firſt did without Licence, to ſecure me to my Husband, and ſometime after had a Licence.
And my Husbands Father afterwards conſidering I had a conſiderable fortune, preſſed me that in reſpect I had no relations here, and becauſe, ſayes he, we are mortall, you would do well to make over your Eſtate to my Son your Husband; it will be much for your honour, ſatisfaction of the world, and for which you will be chronicled for a rare woman: and perceiving he had not baited his hook ſufficient (with ſome fair pretences) to catch me then, he and his Son, who 1052E11r 93 who were both willing to make up ſome of their former loſſes in circumventing me of what I had, they robb’d me of my Jewels, and Clothes of great value, and afterwards pretended they were counterfeit Jewells; and declared, that I had formerly been married to one at Canterbury, which place I know not; and this grounded on a Letter (of their own framing) ſent from Dover, with a deſcription of me; that I was a young fat woman, full breſted; that I ſpoke ſeverall languages; and therefore they imagined me the perſon; and ſo violently carried me from my lodging before a Juſtice of Peace, only to affright me, that I might make my Eſtate over to them. The Juſtice having heard their ſeverall allegations, could not commit me, unleſs they would be bound to proſecute me; which 1062E11v 94 which my husband being unwilling to, the Juſtice demanded of his Father whether he would proſecute me, ſaying, they muſt not make a fool of him; and ſo after ſome whiſperings, the Father and his Son were both bound to proſecute; and thereupon I was committed to priſon; And ſince that, theſe people have been up and down the Country, and finding none there that could juſtifie any thing of this matter, they get here an unknown fellow, unleſs in a priſon, and from thence borrowed, you cannot but all judge, to ſwear againſt me. My Lord, were there any ſuch Marriage as this fellow pretends, methinks there might be a Certificate from the Miniſter, or place; certainly if married, it muſt be regiſtred: but there is no Regiſtry of it, and ſo can be no Certificate, no Miniſterſter 1072E12r 95 ſter nor Clerk to be found: and if I ſhould own a marriage, then you ſee that great witneſs cannot tell you, whether I was lawfully married, or how? but it is enough for him (if ſuch a paultry fellow may be believed) to ſay, I was married. I was never yet married to any but John Carlton, the late pretended Lord: But theſe perſons to ſwear againſt me, one hired with five pounds, and another old fellow perſwaded to own me for his Wife; who came to the priſon, and ſeeing another woman, owned her, and afterwards my ſelf, and indeed any body. If ſuch an old inconſiderable fellow had heretofore wooed me, it muſt have been for want of diſcretion, as Carleton did for want of money; but I know of no ſuch thing. Severalral 1082E12v 96 ral ſcandals have been laid upon me, but no mortall fleſh can truly touch the leaſt hair of my head for any ſuch like offence: they have framed this of themſelves. My Lord, I am a ſtranger, and a forreigner; and being informed there is matter of Law in this Trial for my life, my innocence ſhall be my Counſellor, and your Lordſhips my Judges, to whom I wholly refer my Cauſe. Since I have been in priſon, ſeveral from Canterbury have been to ſee me; pretending themſelves (if I were the perſon as was related) to be my school-mates; and when they came to me, the Keeper can juſtifie, they all declared that they did not know me.
Court. Knot, You ſaid ſhe lived near you at Canterbury; What woman or man there have you to prove ſhe lived there? 109F1r 97 there? have you none in that whole City, neither for love of Juſtice nor Right, will come to ſay ſhe lived there?
Knot. I believe I could fetch one.
Court. Well ſaid, are they to fetch ſtill?
Priſoner. My Lord, I deſire ſome Witneſſes may be heard in my behalf.
Elizabeth Collier examined. My Lord, my Husband being a Priſoner in the Gatehouſe, I came there to ſee my Husband, and did work there a dayes; and there came in an old man, his name was Billing, he ſaid he had a wife there; ſays Mr. Baley, Go in and finde her out; and he ſaid I was his wife, turned my hood, and put on his ſpectacles, looks upon me, and ſaid I was the ſame woman his wife; and afterwards ſaid I was not, and ſo F to 110F1v 98 to others: I can ſay no more.
Jane Finch examined.
My Lord, there came a man and woman one night, and knockt at my door; I came down, they asked to ſpeak with one Jane Finch. I am the perſon, ſaid I. We underſtand,, ſaid they, you know Miſtriſs Carleton now in priſon. Not I, ſaid I, I onely went to ſee her there. Said they, Be not ſcrupulous: if you will go and juſtifie any thing againſt her, we will give you 5 l.
Court. Who are thoſe two?
Finch. I do not know them, my Lord.
Mr. Baley examined.
My Lord, there has been at leaſt 500. people have viewed her; ſeverall from Canterbury, fourty at leaſt that ſaid they lived there; and when they went up to her, ſhe hid not her face at all, 111F2r 99 all, but not one of them knew her.
Court. What Country-woman are you?
Priſoner. I was born in Cullen in Germany.
Court. Mr. Carleton, How came you to underſtand ſhe was married formerly?
Carleton the elder. I received a Letter from the Recorder of Canterbury to that purpoſe.
Priſoner. They that can offer five pound to ſwear againſt me, can alſo frame a Letter againſt me: they ſay I was nineteen years of age about nine years ago, and I am now but one and twenty.
Court. Mr. Carlton, you heard what Knot ſaid; he ſaid ſhe lived near him four years a wife: why did not you get ſome body elſe from thence to teſtifie this?
Carleton. Here was one DavisF2that112F2v100 that was at her Fathers houſe, and ſpoke with him――
Court. Where is he?
Carlton. I know not; he was here.
Court. You were telling the Court of a former indictment againſt her, what was that for?
Carlton. She was indicted for having two husbands, Stedman of Canterbury her firſt Husband, and Day of Dover Chirurgion, her ſecond Husband. The indictment was Traverſed the year before His Majeſty came to England, ſhe was found not guilty.
Court. who was at that Trial?
Carlton. One here in Court was of the Jury; but that party ſaid there was ſuch a trial, but knows not that this is the Woman.
Judge Howel. Gentlemen of the Jury, you ſee this indictment is againſt Mary Moders, otherwiſewiſe 113F3r 101 wiſe Stedman, and it is for having two husbands, both at one time alive; the firſt Stedman, afterwards married to Carlton,her former husband being alive. You have heard the proof of the firſt marriage, and the proof doth depend upon one witneſs, that is Knot; and he indeed doth ſay, he was at the marriage, gave her, and he names one Man, the Parſon that married her, that he is dead; none preſent there but the married couple that muſt needs be there, the Parſon, this witneſs, her ſiſter, and the Sexton; that he knows not what is become of the Sexton. All the Evidence given on that ſide to prove her guilty of this Indictment, depends upon his ſingle teſtimony. It is true, he ſays ſhe was married at Canterbury, but the particulars, or the manner of the marriage he doth not well F3 re- 114F3v 102 remember; whether by the Book of Common-Prayer, or otherwayes: but they lived together for four years, had two Children. If ſhe were born there, married there, had two children there, and lived there ſo long, it were eaſie to have brought ſome body to prove this; that is all that is material for the firſt marriage.
For the ſecond, there is little proof neceſſary: ſhe confeſſes her ſelf married to Carlton, and owns him; the queſtion is, Whether ſhe was married to Stedman, or not?
You have heard what defence ſhe hath made for her ſelf, ſome Witneſſes on her behalf; if you believe that Knot, the ſingle witneſs ſpeaks the truth ſo far forth to ſatiſfie your conſcience, that that was a marriage, ſhe is guilty. You ſee what the circumſtancesſtances 115F4r 103 ſtances are, it is penal; if guilty, ſhe muſt die; a Woman hath no Clergy, ſhe is to die by the Law, if guilty. You heard ſhe was indicted at Dover for having two husbands, Stedman the firſt, and Day the ſecond. There it seems by that which they have ſaid, ſhe was acquitted; none can ſay this was the woman: that there was a Trial, may be believed; but whether this be the woman tried or acquitted, doth not appear. One here that was of that Jury, ſays, there was a Trial, but knows not that this is the Woman. So that upon the whole, it is left to you to give your Verdict.
The Jury went forth, and after ſome ſhort Conſultation, returned to their places.
Clerk. Mary ModersaliasStedman. hold up thy hand; look uponF4 on 116F4v 104 on her Gentlemen, what ſay you? Is ſhe guilty of the Felony whereof ſhe ſtands indicted, or not guilty?
Foreman. Not guilty. And thereupon a great number of people being in and about the Court, hiſſed and clapped their hands.
Clerk. Did ſhe flie for it?
Foreman. Not that we know.
Afterwards I deſired, that my Jewells and Cloaths, taken from me, might be reſtored to me: The Court acquainted me, that they were my husbands, and that if any detained them from me, he might have his remedy at Law. I then charging old Mr. Carleton with them, he declared they were already in the cuſtody of his Son her husband. So that if they had been counterfeit, as they all along pretended, I doubt not 117F5r 105 not but that they would have had ſo much confidence and juſtice for themſelves, as to have acquainted the Court with ſo much, to the bettering the envy and ſcandal of their groſs abuſes but concerning the real worth of thoſe Jewels, I ſhall have further occaſion to ſpeak preſently.
Being thus fairly acquitted, I was carried back to my former Lodgings; where, among other viſits, I had one from my Husbands near Friend, who but two hours before had ſwore and threatned my death: yet to feel my temper in this diſappointment of their bloody deſigne againſt me, he was ſent with an impertinent ſtory into my company, where he began to glaver, and offer me a glaſs of Wine; (above which their generoſity yet never reached:) but my paſſionsF5 ſions 118F5v 106 ſions were ſo high at the very ſight of him, that I bid him get him out of the room, and not trouble me with his company: which he did, by ſlinking from me, as the Dog in the Proverb that had loſt his Tayl.
They thought being thus freed I would have ranted and vapoured, and gave them ſome further unwary hint of my condition, as being now out of danger: but I (that knew my ſelf not to be in any) was tranſported with no ſuch exultation, but kept the ſame equanimity and conſtant tenour; no leſs affected with the triumphs of Juſtice, then thoſe of my Honour and Reputation.
Hitherto they have not found any thing unbecoming the perſon I am, or what they made me to be, except in my neceſſities, and that frequency of company to 119F6r 107 to which they have ſubjected me by falſe impriſonment, and other ſcandals; which I could not better remove, then by my barefac’d appearance to all comers: ſo that that which other women hide and mask for modeſty, I muſt ſhew and ſet to publick view for my juſtification.
On the --06-06ſixth of June, being Saturday, I was diſcharged of my confinement, (having been all along moſt civilly uſed by the Maſters and Keepers of both the Priſons where I was in durance; but indeed rather in the ſuburbs of a Priſon, then a Priſon it ſelf; for which I am their Debtor) and did expect that my husband, by whom I was committed, that is, by his Relations, would have brought me out; and I ſtayed there to that purpoſe two days after my acquittal and purgation: but no ſuch matter; they had got 120F6v 108 got my Eſtate, I might do what I would with my perſon; the groundleſs ſlaunders they had caſt upon that, ſhould yet ſerve turn to infame my bed; and the Counterfeit, though after conviction of the falſhood thereof, muſt be ſeparated and divorced: but the counterfeit Jewels they’ll Hug and Embrace, and part withal at no rate.
And therefore in ſtead of my lawful and true Husband, they endeavoured to put a counterfeit upon me: but too much are they ſtupified, in ſtead of being ſublimed in this myſterious way of cheat, which as in melancholy people, works ſtill in their fancy that they ſent me the moſt ridiculous Dotard for Husband- Gentleman-Uſher, that ever woman laid eye on: a Fellow that could be no younger then brother to Mother Shipton, and had his Pro- 121F7r 109 Prophetical Spectacles to fit him for a Legacy.
It was one of my pretended husbands, by whom a Bill was preferred (but not found, as I ſaid before) by Billing the Brick-layer. Upon Whitſun-Monday, the --06-088th of June inſtant, the ſaid Billing came to Newgate, demanded of the Keepers to deliver his Wife to him. The Turn-Key, and other ſubordinate Officers of the Goal, told him, They had none of his Wife. He inſiſted upon it, and with-ſtood all denial, mentioned my name, and the particulars of my Trial. The Keepers remembring there was a former miſtake of the ſame perſon, given in Evidence on my behalf at the Trial, called one Grizel Hudſon a Convict, a pretty Woman, and in good habit: The Turn-Key asked Billing, Whether this was his Wife? 122F7v 110 Wife? Billing replied, Yes; and askt her, Why ſhe did not come to him upon his firſt ſending for her? She told him, That the Keepers would not permit her to ſtir out of the Priſon, in regard her Fees were not paid. Billing ſaid, He would pay the Fees; and whiſpered her in the Ear, ſaying, That they had a minde to hang her (meaning the Carletons) but he would not proſecute her. True it was, he had put in an Indictment againſt her, but he could not help that. Well Moll, ſaid he to her, Have ye all your things? She ſaid, Yes. But, ſaid he, Moll, Why do you ſtay here amongſt ſuch wicked company, Rogues and Whores? I ſee their Irons about their Legs. Why, ſaid ſhe, I have left ſome Linnen ingaged in the Cellar. To the Cellar the Keeper carried them both; and there Billing left a note under his hand, to 123F8r 111 to pay five ſhillings to the Tapſter: Which Note he hath to produce, to ſatisfie any that ſhall make further Enquiry in this particular.
He further ſaid, That ſhe had cheated him of fourty pounds, and that he would pawn the Leaſe of his houſe, rather then ſhe ſhould want Money, although ſhe was wicked Rogue, if ſhe would but live with him: ſhe promiſed ſhe would. He told her he would give her a Sky-colour’d Silk Petticoat and Waſtcoat, and a Podeſway Gown, new Holland for Smocks, and all other things neceſſary. Billing turning himſelf to the Company there preſent, ſaid merrily, That ſhe had coſt him much before when he married her, but he never lay with her, but he had kiſt her, and felt her a hundred times. Billing askt her again, if ſhe would leave theſe wicked 124F8v 112 wicked Rogues, and go along with him. She ſaid, ſhe had another Debt to pay: He askt what it was; She ſaid, twenty pounds to ſuch a one, a ſtranger then preſent, unto which perſon he gave a note to pay 20 l. in one moneth after the Date thereof: (it’s more then probable he will be made ſo to do.)
He further ſaid to her, That now it will trouble me to pay all this Money, and then you to run away from me in a ſhort time. Withall, ſaid he, Moll, You need not, for I have a better eſtate then the young man that tried you for your Life. So gave the particulars of his Eſtate, what in Money, Houſes, Leaſes and Land. He added moreover, that he did love her out of meaſure, nothwithſtanding ſhe had done him other miſchiefs, then what he had before mentioned. She askt him, what they 125F9r 113 they were? He ſaid, She had ſtollen from his Daughter a Knife and a wrought Sheath, a Handkercher, and a Seal’d Ring. With that, the ſtanders by told him, that he was miſtaken, that this Grizell Hudſon was not the perſon. He ſwore it was, and that he knew her well enough; that he ſaw her in the Gate-houſe, and that ſhe knew what paſſed between us there: But, ſaid he, Moll, Thou art a cunning Rogue; I deſire nothig of thee but to be honeſt, and live with me; the which ſhe promiſed, and he parted with great content thereupon.
This affront and indeed diſgrace I put to the other; but am very ſorry the poor old Fellow ſhould be abuſed ſo by my Relations; the ſecond part or worſe of the cheat of a cunning Gypſie, who having inveagled his affections, and ſet him on edge 126F9v 114 edge by ſome laſcivious geſture, entangled him in a marriage; and for better port and celebration of the Nuptials, procured him twenty pound from a friend of hers, for which he gave Bond, (the Duplicate of this ſtory) and when bed-time came, and the ruſty Bridegroom had prepared himſelf, he ran away in the dark with moſt of the money, and ſome odd things, as Linen, and the like, and never appeared, till thoſe skilful Conjurers of Grey Fryars (in quo peccamus, in eo plectimur; where my fault was in deſerting my firſt ſtation among the Religious, from the like demoliſhed place am I puniſhed) raiſed up my white name, and made me perſonate the baſeneſs of that Impoſture.
To proceeed: I might now very well be ſaid to be ſet at liberty,betry, 127F10r 115 berty, having no where to go, or where to betake my ſelf: for the Verdict did not reach to give me poſſeſſion of my Husband, whoſe Wife I was declared to be, (the Jury telling my young Lord, upon his asking of them the Verdict, as they were coming through the Garden of their Seſſions-Houſe into the Court, That he muſt make much of his Princeſs, and keep her to himſelf:) Nor was it eaſie to avoid the trouble of twenty ſeveral Courtiſhips for Lodgings, which I well conſidered might give further occaſion of reproach, and abuſe of my Credit.
But Mr. Carleton not appearing, which gave me ſuſpition of ſome further deſigne, I took Lodgings in Fullers Rents, where in privacy I reſolved to wait the reduction of him to better and honeſter thoughts; and that when 128F10v 116 when they his friends had all prejudice laid aſide, and conſidered the duty and obligation that lay upon him, they would have reſtored and returned him to me. But this neither had its deſigned end, though the danger that I threatned his father with, brought him to me.
This was on Sunday in the Evening, --06-06June the ſixth, when he came to me, accompanied with Mr. George Hewyt his Maſter, a Barriſter of Grays Inne in Coney- Court; where after ſome diſcourſes, and perſeverance of my reſolved manner of proceeding againſt his Father in the ſame method, and at the ſame Bar where he had arraigned me; he did moſt ſubmiſſively ſupplicate me, and adjure me by all reſpects to him, falling upon his knees to move me the ſooner, that I would promiſe him not to proſecutecute 129F11r 117 cute his father for my Jewels, or any other account: adding moreover, That if I did it, he ſhould preſently murther himſelf; with ſuch-like cowardly Bravado’s as he had uſed to the over-ruling of my affections, when he pretended he would do an hundered more miſchiefs to himſelf, if I would not conſent to marry him.
And now he reſumed his firſt kindneſſes, in hope I would do what he intreated; kiſſed me, and offered his embraces: though I could not ſo eaſily admit ſuch danger into my boſome, having ſo lately felt the viperous ſting: but this loving humour, like a time-ſerving paſſion, ſoon abated by the interpoſition of Mr. Hewyt.
I do ſuppoſe, that if he had been alone, and out of the cuſtody and tuition of that perſon,ſon, 130F11v 118 ſon, he would have ſtayed with me all night, and perhaps for the future; but that perſon who hath ſurfeited may be, and hath had too much of a woman, had now ſo little reſpects for our ſex, as to curſe it in generall: but let him beware, as froward and as great a woman-hater as he is, leſt he expiate thoſe Maledictions, by ſome notable feminine revenge a ſteeping and preparing for him.
Next day I ſent a Letter to my husband, and left it for him at Maſter Hewits Chamber: but through his means, as I can conceive no otherwiſe, I received not word of any anſwer; ſo that I reſolved once for all to go and make a demand of my ſaid goods and Jewels of old Mr. Carlton; which I did on Fryday night, the --06-1919th of June, at his houſe at Gray-Friars; and knocking at Door, 131F12r 119 Dore, he himſelf asked who was there: I anſwered, Your Daughter when a Princeſs, but now your ſons wife: he demanded my buſineſs; I told him I came to demand my Jewells, and other things he had taken from me, and alſo my husbands Perſon. He replied in ſhort, the old Gentlewoman pulling him back from further diſcourſe, That for the Jewels, my husband had them; and for himſelf, he was gone.
There being no more to be ſaid or done, I bid them look to their hits, and departed: having on all occaſions, after ſo many injuries ſuſtained, proffered a reconciliation, being willing to cohabit with him, and have left no means unattempted to bring us together, that the world might ſee I am not ſuch a looſe irregular leud woman as I am ſlandereded 132F12v 120 ed to be, by my carriage and demeanour in that relation of a wife, which title I am more ambitious of then any other yet put upon me: but ſince it muſt be otherwiſe, I doubt not ſo prudently and innocently to behave my ſelf, as I ſhall not want a husband, much leſs the trouble of ſo impertinent and fickle a perſon as my husband, whom I would willingly exchange for my Jewels, and give him liberty to look for another Princeſs where he can finde her.
And now for that Hocus Pocus, the delaying of thoſe counterfeit Jewels, as they talked, I ſhall make it no difficulty to prove that thoſe Gems they had of me were none of their Briſtol-ſtones, or ſuch-like trumpery: for not long after my tryal, they were offered in Cheap-ſide to the view of a Goldſmith, and he demandedmanded 133G1r 121 manded what they might be worth; who having ſteadily and conſiderately lookt them all over, ſaid, they were worth 1500.l. At which the Truſtee, or Fiduciary, in whoſe hands they were, askt the Gold-ſmith if he was mad, or knew what he ſaid. Yes, that I do, replied he, and will preſently lay you down ſo much money for them, if you have power to ſell them: whereupon my Gentleman put up his counterfeit ware with a more counterfeit face, ſaying, he came only to try his skill, and departed.
And now let all the world judge of the Cheat I have put upon this worſhipfull family of the Carletons. I have of theirs not a thred, nor piece of any thing, to be a token or remembrance of my beloved Lord, which I might preſerve and lay up as a ſacred relique of a perſonG ſon 134G1v 122 ſon dear to me (I think indeed the deareſt that ever woman had.)
But it may be they intend to furniſh my Lord with this portable and honourable furniture to the ſecond part of this Guſman-ſtory, againſt he ſhall knight-errant it abroad; and having found the way, marry ſome other great forreign Lady, and in ſtead of Boys whooping and hallowing at him here, be revered and adored by ſubjects, as his great ſpirit alwayes divined and ſuggeſted to him he ſhould be ſome-body, though to little purpoſe: but I hope to prevent that deſigne, and to have ſpeedy redreſs againſt all this fraud and violence that hath been acted againſt me.
And now I have concluded the Narrative, and I hope to the ſatisfaction of the world: and if 135G2r 123 if there be any thing not ſo elegantly and clearly expreſſed as my cauſe requires, let it be known it is my fathers, not my fault, which hath in ſome places diſturbed and muddied my fancy, and in others reſerved a hiding place and obſcurity for my purſued honour.
I hope the ingenuous will pardon and admit of this defence, conſidering the nature of it. No man is bound by any law to ſet forth more then what his is directly interrogated and queſtioned to; and there I have for my innocence ſake exceeded. And for the ignorant and malicious, let them wonder and ſlander on; and when they ſhall give me worthy occaſion, which is not in the capacity of their ſhallow brains, or in their diſhoneſt intentions, to a further vindication; that is, when my relations ſhall G2 have 136G2v 124 have returned me what they took from me, and leave me in statu quo, by any handſome expedient, I ſhall not faile of making this diſcourſe moſt evident demonſtration, and deſcend to ſuch undeniable proofe of every particular here, that ſhall make their impudence and raſh folly one of the leudeſt ſtories of the Age.
The world uſually and frequently judges as it likes and affects, and is altogether ſwayed by intereſt and humour; and even by that, amidſt all thoſe induſtrious calumnies, I dare ſtand or fall. Let my quality and condition alone, and he is not weighed in the common ſcales; yet the fair conduct and the harmleſs example deſerves no cenſure. Let both alone, my ſex is to be pittied and reſpected, and my perſon not to be hated. But I will not proſtitute my fame 137G3r 125 fame to them: to his Highneſs I have appealed, and to him I ſhall go. Not doubting but what the ſtrictneſs and nicety of the Law doth at preſent withhold him, we ſhall by his gracious protection of innocence be freed from ſuch incumbrances; and ſome eaſier ſolution found for thoſe intricacies, then my Lawyers can at preſent expedite.
I am adviſed howſoever to proſecute my adverſaries in the ſame manner, and at the ſame Bar where they arraigned me for a ſuſpition, of a real ſuit of Felony, for that riot againſt the publick peace committed upon my perſon: which I am not reſolved to do, in caſe I receive not better ſatiſfaction from them before the Seſſions: nor ſhall my husbands dilating intreaties and perſwaſions befool me any longer.G3 Either 138 G3v 126
Either love me, or leave me,
And do not deceive me.
The faſhions and cuſtoms here are much different from thoſe of our Country, where the wife ſhares an equal portion with her husband in all things of weal and woe, and can liber intentare, begin and commence, and finiſh a ſuit in her own name; they buy and ſell, and keep accounts, manage the affairs of houſhold, and the Trade, and do all things relating to their ſeverall ſtations and degrees. I have heard and did believe the Proverb, That England was a Heaven for women: but I never ſaw that Heaven deſcribed in its proper termes: for as to as much as I ſee of it, ’tis a very long proſpect, and almoſt diſappears to view; It is to be enjoyed but at ſecond hand, and all 139G4r 127 all by the husbands title; quite contrary to the cuſtome of the Ruſsians, where it is a piece of their Divinity, that becauſe it’s ſaid that the Biſhop muſt be the husband of one wife, they put out of orders, and from all Eccleſiaſtical function ſuch Clergy men, who by the Canon being bound to be married, are by death deprived of their wives; ſo that their tenure to their Livings and Preferments clearly depends upon the welfare and long life of their yoake-fellows, in whose choice, as of ſuch moment to their well-being, they are very curious, as they are afterwards in their care and preſervation of them.
I could inſtance in many other cuſtomes of nearer Nations, in reſpect to female right and propriety in their own Dowers, as well as in their husbands eſtates: G4 but 140G4v 128 but, cum fueris Romæ, Romano vivite more. I will not quarrel the Engliſh Laws, which I queſtion not are calculated and well accommodated to the genius and temper of the people.
While I mention theſe cuſtomes, I cannot forbear to complain of a very great rudeneſs and incivility to which the maſs and generality of the Engliſh vulgar are moſt pronely inclined, that is, to hoot and hallow, and purſue ſtrangers with their multitudes through the ſtreets, preſſing upon them even to the danger of their lives; and when once a cry, or ſome ſcandalous humour is bruited among them, they become Brutes indeed. A Barbarity I thought could not poſſibly be in this Nation, whom I heard famed for ſo much civility and urbanity. This I experimented the other day in Fanchurch-church- 141G5r 129 church-ſtreet, as I was paſſing through it upon ſome occaſion, which being noiſed and ſcattered among the Prentices, I was forced to bethink of ſome ſhift and ſtratagem to avoid them, which was by putting my Maid into a Coach, that by good hap was at hand, and ſtepping into an adjoyning Tavern; which the Herd miſtaking my Maid for me, and following the Coach as ſuppoſing me there for the convenience thereof, gave me the opportunity of eſcaping from them. A Regulation of this kind of uproar by ſome ſevere penalties, would much conduce not onely to the honour of the Government of the City, but the whole Nation in general; having heard the French very much complain of the like injuries and affronts: but thoſe to me I may juſtly place to my husbands account,G5 count 142G5v 130 count, who hath expoſed me to the undeſerved wonder, and to be a May-game to the Town.
And to his debility and meanneſs of ſpirit, I am likewiſe beholding for ſome other ſcandalous Libels and Paſquils divulged upon this occaſion of our marriage; chiefly for the Ribaldry of ſome pitiful Poetry, entituled, A Weſtminſter-wedding, which equally reflects as much upon himſelf as me. This tameneſs of his doth hugely incenſe me; and I ſwear, were it not for the modeſty of my ſex, the bonds of which I will not be provoked to tranſgreſs, I would get ſatisfaction my ſelf of thoſe pitiful Fellows, who by this impudent and ſaucie ſcribling, do almoſt every day beſpatter my honour. At leaſt, I wonder my husband doth not vindicate himſelf, and aſſert his own individual Reputation,tation, 143G6r 131 tation, having threatned ſo much in print againſt a civil perſon that formerly & firſt of all endeavoured to clear and juſtifie mine.
But when I conſider how apt his kindred are to return to their vomit of ſlandering me, and reckoning the nine days wonder of their great cheat diſcovered is over, are like thoſe that have eat ſhame and drank after it; I did the leſs wonder at his ſtupidity and ſenſleſsneſs of thoſe indignities done him: and commonly thoſe that have no regard to anothers honour, have as little reſpect for their own; as he is Maſter of another mans life, that is a Contemner of his own.
I ſhall therefore omit all the ſubſequent ſneaking Lyes, raiſed by the ſame kindred, when they ſaw their more mighty and potent Accuſations helped forward with ſuch prejudices, noiſe and oſten- 144G6v 132 oſtentation, were at once diſappointed and blown to nothing: ſuch are thoſe Chimæra’s of their framing and fancying, that I was ſeen in mans apparel, with a Sword and Feather, in deſigne to do miſchief to ſomebody; and that I have uſed to do ſo: and ſo punctual are they in this Lye, as to name both the time and place: that I reſolved to ſet up a Coffee- houſe, and at laſt to turn Player of Actor: with an hundred other ſlams to ſully my Name, and of a multitude of the like, to make one or other of thoſe Calumnies and Reproaches to ſtick upon me.
Whereas on the contrary I do reſolve, as ſoon as my cauſe is heard, and juſtice done me by the ſupreme-power, if I cannot otherwiſe attain it, to retire and return back, though not immediately to my own home, yet to make 145G7r 133 make ſuch approaches at neceſſary diſtance for the preſent, that I might be in a readineſs and view of all tranſactions there, as ſoon as this bluſter ſhall be ſo laid here, that I ſhall not fear the tayl of this Hurricane purſuing me: yet ſhall I always have my heart and my Arms open to Mr. Carleton, as a perſon whom for his Perſon and Naturals I do and ſhall ever affect, as his wife and my husband, maugre all thoſe practices (as for my part) of rendring us mutually hateful and ſuſpect to each other.
And while I thus open the way to a compoſure of this unhappy buſineſs, and am willing to put up ſo many private injuries, and publick contumelies and diſparagements, in tendencie to, and in conſideration of the relative ſtate of marriage, which my conſcience commands me to preferfer 146G7v 134 fer before any advantage, reſpect or honour of mine own individual particular; and have not refuſed, but rather by all fair means, and too mean condeſcentions have courted an Accommodation and Agreement; what Injuſtice is it upon Injuſtice, Oppreſſion upon Cruelty, refined Malice like Salt upon Salt, to pierce and exaſperate that boſome which is full of ſo much indulgence to, and dallyance with their worſt of injuries, in expectation that time would give them to ſee their miſchievous errour?
But neither Time nor Truth it ſelf will reclaim them, without Angels appear to confirm them in it. And I do in ſome part not blame them for it: for the exceſs and lofty ſtructure of their hopes hath ſo dazled their looks downwards, that they can ſee no 147G8r 135 nothing aright, nor in any true proportion or colour. Their dejection and fall from the pinacle of their ambition, hath quite ſtunned them, that they will hardly recover the dizzie miſtake that lies between a Princeſs and a Prentice.
They are angry their golden Mountains have travelled and been in labour with a Mouſe, and that they cannot finger any of my Eſtate; and very importunate they are for me to declare it; and this they ſay is the onely argument to prove me no Cheat, and I ſay and believe it is the onely argument to prove me a fool; and with that, of all other their ſlanders and durtineſs, they ſhall never abuſe me.
But may not I with a great deal more reaſon enquire for, and demand my Joynture and Dowry? 148G8v 136 Dowry? and thoſe Mannors, Leaſes, Parjs, Houſes, and the like Rhapſodies and Fictions of an Eſtate, meer caſtles in the Air; and as one merrily ſince told me, he believed they were Birds Neſts? It is ſure a greater imputation and ſhame to them to be found ſuch Cheats and Lyars, then it can be the leaſt blur to me, who never avowed any ſuch thing, nor boaſted of my Quality and Fortune.
As to the Letters they intercepted of mine from my Steward, I wonder they do not produce them but they are aſhamed of their moſt ridiculous ſimplicity therein. I knew very well the uncertainty of my condition here, and therefore the Letters were meerly Cyphers, and under thoſe terms of Moneys, &c. an account was given me of another affair 149G9r 137 affair at home: the diſtaſt whereof made me comply with, and ſo ſoon yeild to thoſe importunate and love-ſick ſollicitations of my Lord.
But what will they be the better for a Rent-roll, or particulars of an eſtate in Germany, the Tenure and Cuſtomes of whoſe propriety and nature of claime if they did know, yet could they not tell how to make their Title to it? I could eaſily name places, and diſcover my own Hereditaments perhaps without danger, and they never the wiſer: nor will the impartial Reader be better ſatiſfied. But if my ſiſter King, or any of my kinsfolk long for ſome Baccharach grapes, I’ll ſend to my Steward for them, and he will convey them from mine own vineyard as ſoon as they are ripe; 150G9v 138 ripe; and I can furniſh her husband with Weſtphalia Hams, which run in my woods gratis. All thoſe fine things I have ſtore of: and when Mr. Carlton pleaſes to make it a ſurer match, and be married the third time, all things ſhall be done in ample manner: I will make a reſignation of my whole eſtate, and have nothing ſetled in lieu of it, but a neceſſitous deſpiſed condition of life, and be taught to ſing Fortune my foe to the pleaſant new tune, or eccho of a Cheat.
But I truſt Providence will better govern me, and put me upon no neceſſity of abandoning good and juſt reſolutions I have made to my ſelf, whether in caſe of ſeparation or re-union, which I ſhall not over-fondly preſs, or urge 151G10r 139 urge from them who love not me but mine, and require ſignes and wonders, to love to be no leſs then Principalities.