A1r Mrs. Gooch’s History is sufficientlyone wordflawed-reproduction in the following Memoirs
four wordsflawed-reproduction
She is the author also of

  • Her own Life 3 Vols. two charactersflawed-reproduction 17921792

  • Fancied Events a Novel 2 Vol. 17991799

  • The Wanderings of the Imagination a Novel 2 Vol. 17961796

  • Sherwood Forest: a Novel 3 Vol. 18041804

  • The Contrast a Novel 2 Vol. 17951795

  • Truth and Fiction, a Novel one wordflawed-reproduction 18011801

  • Can we Doubt it, a Novel 3 Vol. 18041804
A1v

An
Appeal to the Public,
on the Conduct of
Mrs. Gooch,
the wife of
William Gooch, Esq.

Written by Herself.

London:
Printed for G. Kearsley, at No. 46, Johnson’s-Head, Fleet-Street.
1788M,DCC,LXXXVIII.

A2r

Preface.

Some alleviation of our distresses is
always derived from communication; and
it is one of the most amiable offices of
private friendship to blunt the sting of
misery by a participation of our sorrows.
But as friendship will seldom bear the test
of adversity, and shrinks into nothing at
the frown of fortune, so those who are most
in need of its comforts, generally find
themselves most destitute of its support;
and are then privileged to make an appeal
to the public. It is under this unfortunate
sanction that the following pages are A2v
are submitted to the reader. I boast no
advantages that can render me equal to
the talk of writing for the press: I am
unskilled in eloquence; the only merit of
the following sheets is a strict adherence
to truth. I lay claim to some indulgence
for the style, and more to pity for the
subject.


Elizabeth Sarah Villa-Real Gooch.

The original and only copy of this Appeal being
destroyed by an inevitable accident, subsequent to the
work being advertised, the indulgence of the Reader is
requested to such inaccuracies as may have occured in
the haste of composition, and will no doubt be granted,
when the unmerited and melancholy situation of Mrs.
Gooch
is considered.
B1r

An
Appeal, &c.

I have lived long in hopes that I should not
be forced thus publickly to lay open to the world the
many injuries I have endured; after having borne
them in silence for ten years, I would be still satisfied
to do so, did not my situation and my embarrassments
force me to complain, and to appeal to the laws of my
country, and before the tribunal of Justice.

’Till the age of seventeen, the tender care of one
Parent, made up to me, in some degree, my early loss
of the other. Sole heiress to my father’s fortune, I
was educated with the idea that I was born to be
perfectly and completely happy.

B In B1v 2

In the beginning of the year 17751775, being just returned
from school, I accompanied my mother on a
visit to the late Lord Ducie’s in Gloucestershire, where
we passed six weeks, and from thence to Bath. It was
immediately reported that my fortune was much
more considerable than it realy was, and it soon attracted
me the attention of those many individuals
drawn there by the hope of making a splendid establishment.
It was my misfortune to give the preference
to Mr. Gooch, and to tell him so. Proposals
from his father and himself soon followed. My mother
disapproved the connection; but not choosing
herself to determine on so important a point, she
brought me to London, to consult with my uncles,
and my aunt, on the subject, and on the same day,
all Sir Thomas Gooch’s family arrived in Town also,.
The knowledge of my independence, and my infatuation,
prevailed against the advice of all my own
friends, and we were married at St. George’s, Hanover-square
on the 1775-05-1313th of May following.

To B2r 3

To excuse the hasty step I then took, I must be allowed
to plead my youth, and total ignorance of the
world, the artifices employed by Mr. Gooch to determine
me on a speedy conclusion, and the childish
ideas which filled my mind of being mistress of myself,
and that I was going to shine with that splendour
to which I thought myself intitled.

On the day of the marriage, we went to the house
of my father in law at Hampton, with the intention
of passing a few months. My mother accompanied,
but soon left me there. A fortnight had not elapsed
after her departure, before I began to feel heavily the
weight of the yoke I had brought upon myself; and
even now, at this distant period, my mind recoils at
the remembrance of what I was doomed to suffer.
My extreme inexperience could not shut my eyes: it
was impossible for me to avoid perceiving the very
great, the very improper intimacy that subsisted between
my husband and another person under his
father’s roof, anand that I was considered more as an incumbrance,
than as an advantage to the family. From this B2v 4
this moment, insults succeeded to indifference; the
mask was thrown off, and I severely felt that I had
been sacrificed to interest. Sorrow preyed upon my
heart; I saw myself for the first time of my life, devested
of all my natural friends, and surrounded only by
strangers, who seemed to vie with each other, which
most could distress me, and whose sole aim was to
eradicate the first appearance of affection for me,
which they might perceive likely to grow in the breast
of him, to whom alone I could now look up for protection,
and for whom I had sacrificed every worldly
good!

A faithful woman-servant of my mother’s, whom
she had left with me, was now become my only confident:
and from her, my mother, then in Yorkshire,
became acquainted with my situation; the pressing
letters I received from her to go there, and the express
injunctions of my uncles, who declared my
health to be in danger if I did not, determined Mr.
Gooch
on indulging this wish of my heart; and we
left his father’s house. I was received at my mother’s with C1r 5
with a tenderness which made me more than ever
lament my sad separation from my own family.

Mr. Gooch took a house at York, where I laid in of my
eldest son; and the year following, resided in a house
belonging to Sir William Milner, at Nun-Appleton Park,
where I laid in of my youngest. We lived in Yorkshire
above two years. Mr. Gooch had cruelly deprived me of
the maid mentioned, because he thought her a spy
upon his actions, and those of his family; but it was the
only mark of his unkindness I had to complain of, as
we lived happily together, and should still have done
so, had Mr. Gooch complied with my reasonable request,
that of never more taking me amongst his own relations.

In the latter end of the year 17781778, he insisted on my
accompanying him to his father’s house at Bath. In
vain I urged every intreaty to dissuade him. I felt
that such a step, would end, as it was proved, in utter
ruin. We went there, leaving the children in Yorkshire,
and, as I thought, with the resolution of soon
returning.

C But C1v 6

But the period to my happiness was now arrived.
It was time to put in execution the black scheme
formed against me, and nothing was left wanting to
complete it, but a trivial pretence, which my own
liveliness of disposition, and inexperience of the
world soon furnished.

After passing a few weeks at Sir Thomas’s house,
Mr. Gooch informed me, that his intention being to
continue at Bath, he should give up the house we
had in Yorkshire, and send for the children. I made
use of every argument against it, and for our return to
the peaceful life we had quitted, and to a place I was particularly
fond of; but my intreaties were ineffectual:
all I could obtain from him, was permission to take a
house to ourselves in Bath, which he agreed to, and
which was taken accordingly.

My situation began to grow every day more and
more urksome to me; the large circle of acquaintance
I had formed; the hurry of dissipation in which I
lived, were ill seitedsuited to my disposition, which, howeverever C2r 7
volatile in appearance, has always preferred serene
to mistaken pleasures, and the real advantages of study
and society, to the fluctuating scenes of empty enjoyment.

My mother was at this time at Lord Ducie’s, in the
Isle of Wight. My uncles, and the rest of my relations
were in London; I wrote to them all, and begged their
advice and protection: I had not a friend near me,
nor a person in whom I could confide. The answer
of one of my uncles (Doctor Hallifax,) was; as he has
told me since, to desire me to come immediately to
his house in Town, and that he would support me
against all my enemies. This letter I never received,
nor saw, to this hour; neither did I hear from my
mother; and my silence to them, on the subject of
their letters, was again interpreted against me.

My love of music was the rock on which it was
ordained for me to split. It has been my constant
and favourite amusement from my infancy; and my
resource in affliction when all others were denied me. Bath C2v 8
Bath afforded me an opportunity of cultivating my
knowledge of it. Subscription concerts were held
every Saturday alternately at the Subscribers houses.
Lady Gooch was one of them. Signor Rauzzini was
at Bath, universally followed, and admired. He had
many scholars; and I, wishing to improve myself in
Italian music, unfortunately added to the number.

Rauzzini had attended me about six weeks; being
one night at the rooms, he gave me a paper, which I
conceived to be a bill of the evening’s entertainment;
and shewed it as such to a lady (the Hon. Mrs. Blake),
with whom I was walking. We perceived it to be in
writing, and in French; the purport of it was exactly
as follows. “That he could not attend me the next
morning, being obliged to go on a few miles out of Town:
that he should return in the evening, and go to the
rooms, purposely for the pleasure of seeing me there.”

This was nothing more than the usual French style;
it was neither dated, signed, nor directed. I put it
into my pocket, and the next morning, when Signor
Rauzzini
, contrary to his intentions, come to give me a lesson, D1r 13
a lesson, I shewed it to him, and instead of replacing
it in my pocket, let it accidentally fall to the ground.

I must here observe for a moment the extreme artifice
and cruelty employed in this affair by Mr. Gooch’s
family, both against the Signor Rauzzini and myself.
Had they chosen any one else to serve as the instrument
of their vengeance against me, it is more than
probable that person would have brought forward
the truth, and justifyed my conduct and his own, perhaps
at the expence of his life; but every one who
knows Mr. Gooch, is acquainted with the quietness of
his disposition, and his antipathy to meeting any
gentleman in an unamicable manner. Rauzzini was
then the properest; nay, the only proper victim to be
chosen. A foreigner, of very unequal birth to Mr.
Gooch
, and whose only support was from the public;
who had no other friends than those who admired his
talent, of an inoffensive disposition, and one of those
individuals whose every virtue seems to have been
eradicated with their fate: Such was the person made
choice of, and such was to be the cause of our eternal D separation. D1v 14
separation. The utter ruin of a harmless man, whose
sole dependence, as I have said before, was on the
public; and who was from this hour, as it has proved,
to be unjustly robbed of its protection, was a matter
of no consideration, when compared to the utility
of the charge brought against him; a charge the more
infamous, as it ruined, and for ever, two innocent persons:
plunged into eternal sorrow, a hitherto happy
family; and which, as there could be no reasonable
grounds, could end only in destruction to the one party;
and in sorrow and regret to the other.

As soon as my lesson was over, I went into my
dressing-room to prepare for the public concert,
where I was engaged that evening to take with me
Miss Eliza Mathews, since married to my first cousin,
Lord Viscount Galloway. I perceived that I had lost
the note out of my pocket, and ran back into the
dining-room to look for it, but it was no where to
be found. Mr. Gooch had been at home, and left
word he should not return to dinner; on questioning the D2r 15
the butler, I heard that he looked unusually grave at
going out. My heart began to misgive me, and I
returned up stairs to finish dressing in the utmost
agitation of mind.

I now for the first time of my life, unbosomed
myself to my own maid, whom I had brought out of
Yorkshire, and of whose fidelity I was assured. I
desired her to come to the rooms as soon as she had
seen her master, and tell me how he looked. She
did so in about an hour; and told me, that he had
been at home, and bore the most visible marks of
confusion and distress, I knew not what to do; but
consulted immediately Monsieur De la Motte, the
famous violin-player, since dead, and who was then at
Bath with Rauzzini; he begged I would not hint
it to him, ’till his singing was over; but I soon perceived
by his discontented looks, and faltering voice,
that Monsieur Le Motte had been as communicative,
as he had desired me to be silent.

Between D2v 16

Between the acts, Rauzzini and La Motte came to
me; and after consulting what was to be done, we
agreed to place a confidence in the Miss Kerr’s, with
whom I was particularly intimate, and who were
likewise scholars of Rauzzini’s. Miss Louisa Kerr
mentioned it to Mr. Shirley, a gentleman born in
Ireland, but who having lived constantly abroad, and
being one of the King of Sardinia’s guards, his language,
manner, and dress, were perfectly foreign: it
was agreed by this gentleman, and us all, that I
should say this French note was written by him in a
joke to Miss Louisa Kerr, and given by her to me to
keep; as I observed, it had neither date, signature,
nor direction, nor had been even sealed.

On my return, I found Mr. Gooch at home, who
received me with great coldness, and asked me how
Rauzzini had sung that night? The consciousness of
my own innocence, and the plan we had formed,
inspired me with courage, and I was the first to mention
the note. I referred him to Miss Louisa Kerr, and E1r 13
and he promissed me that he would call on her the
next morning. Few words, till that time passed between
us, when he went out, and about an hour
afterwards, sent me a note from his father’s to this
effect; “That he had called at Miss Kerr’s, but had
seen Mrs. Kerr only, who had told him the whole
affair, and added, that I had endeavoured to ruin
her daughter, as well as myself: that having this
proof of my infamy,”
such was his expression, “he
had resolved on seeing me no more; and that his
family being determined to make the story public,
he advised me to leave Bath immediately, and that
fifty, or a hundred pounds were at my service to
do so.”

My amazement on perusing this strange epistle, is
rarely to be felt, and never to be described. Every
horror rushed upon my mind; every undeserved cruelty
seemed to oppress me! My situation took from
me the power of reasoning, and, in a state of absolute
distraction, hardly knowing what I did, I went, accompanied
by my own maid, to Signor Rauzzini’s E lodgings, E1v 14
lodgings, to intreat him to clear me up, and to vindicate
himself and me against such unmeritted, such
unexampled accusations. I found him and Monsieur
De la Motte
together; they very prudently did not
suffer me to stay five minutes there, and I returned to
my own house, where every ill awaited me. The
person who accompanied me, and had then lived with
me two years in the capacity of my own maid, is the
wife of Mr. Turner, horse-dealer, in Oxford-street, and
can authenticate having been with me to Rauzzini’s,
and my having never seen him alone.

On my return home, I sent my maid, and several
different notes to Sir Thomas Gooch’s, intreating my
husband to come to me, and to hear me. He was
deaf to every remonstrance, and his father’s servants
had orders not to let in any of mine.

Towards evening, an open circulating card was
brought me, and the same sent all over Bath; it contained
the following words: “An unfortunate affair
having happened in Sir Thomas Gooch’s family, the “concert E2r 15
concert to be held there on Saturday next, is unavoidably
postponed.”

Soon after I had received this card, Mr. Gooch
came to me, accompanied by his next brother, now
the Rev. Dr. Gooch , Archdeacon of Sudbury; he told
me that Sir Francis and Lady Sykes, whom I had expected
some time, were just arrived; that he had been
with them at the Inn, and having told them the story
they had instantly set out again for London; that
letters were sent off to my mother, in the Isle of
Wight
, and to the rest of my family, acquainting
them that I had forfeited every claim to their affection;
that as every thing was become public, it was
indispensably necessary that we should part; he added,
that I had my choice whether I would retire to a remote
part of England, or go to a convent in France,
at least till such time as all was blown over.

Young, and inexperienced as I then was, a stranger
to misfortune, and never having formed an idea of it—
to find myself at once torn from every tie—forsaken by my E2v 16
my husband, blackened in the eyes of my own family,
and of the whole world—separated from my children,
who were then on the road from Yorkshire to join me
at Bath—no friend, no adviser— it to be supposed that
I knew how to judge for myself, and what was fittest
for me?

I had but few hours left me to determine, for I was
to leave Bath that night, and Mr. Gooch had at length
consented to accompany me. I chose France. I had
never been there, and I repeat again, that I knew
not what I was doing. I begged to have my maid
with me, which Mr. Gooch first consented to, and then
denied me; and with only a very small quantity of
cloaths, we set off on the 1778-12-2424th of December, 1778,
between three and four o’clock in the morning, and in
a hired post-chaise for Dover.

So great were Mr. Gooch’s apprehensions of being
pursued and overtaken by any of my family, that he
not only avoided taking any carriage of our own, but
also any servant; and we travelled all the way with the F1r 17
the blinds drawn up, without ever stopping, but to
change carriages, and not even that in London. On
our arrival at Dover, Mr. Gooch took a vessel, and we
embarked for Calais, where he hired a carriage, and a
servant, of Mr. Payne, who then kept the Silver Lion
there, and now the York House at Dover. The next
day, we proceeded to St. Omer’s, and from thence to
Lille.

Thus was I condemned by the verdict of groundless
suspicion, and hurried into France, without a hearing.
This precipitate conduct of Mr. Gooch cannot
but strike the most superficial observer, as originating
in extreme cruelty and folly: folly in construing the
contents of Rauzzini’s note into a meaning, which
to an unprejudiced mind, they could never bear;
and cruelty in sacrificing my happiness, and the peace
of my family and friends, to an incident as trivial in its
nature, as its effects, by the intervention of malignant
motives, were rendered fatal.

Had Mr. Gooch possessed the least share of that affection
which I was taught to believe induced him to F solicit F1v 18
solicit my hand, his heart would have prompted him
to act in a very different manner: he would have
been anxious for that reputation, the slandering of
which could not but reflect disgrace on himself, if he
took no method to wipe away the aspersion, or to confirm
the truth! But, alas! Mr. Gooch’s feelings were
not the feelings of a husband; his motives were not
the motives of a friend. I was, as I have already intimated,
early convinced that my property having been
secured as Mr. Gooch wished, my person was deemed
an incumbrance, and my happiness was to be sacrificed
to some private views, which Mr. Gooch seems, from
the first moment of our connection, to have entertained,
and which were totally incompatible with conjugal felicity.
Hence, the treatment I received under the roof
of his own father; hence the early inclination he discovered
to render my domestic life uncomfortable;
hence his eagerness to seize the first opportunity, however
trivial the occurrence, to render my name infamous,
and to free himself from the restraints of a
husband. Influenced by motives so base and dishonourable,
it was not to be expected that his conduct should F2r 19
should flow from any sense of right, or any feeling of
delicacy. To insure his happiness, it was necessary
that mine should expire: and as this could only be
effected by my own conduct, a futile, and indeed a ridiculous
opportunity was taken to stigmatize that conduct
by the breath of Slander: and, extraordinary as
it must appear, he who ought to have silenced, blew
the trumpet of Calumny.

I am the more particular in this stage of my narration,
as the folly and cruelty of Mr. Gooch’s conduct
must entirely exculpate me, in the eye of Reason, from
aspersions thus fabricated; and that such conduct was
evidently pursued to force me into some measures for
dissolving that connection from which Mr. Gooch wished
to derive only pecuniary advantages.

Mr. Gooch remained with me ten days at the Hôtel
de Bourbon
, which time was spent in seeing the town,
its different convents and environs. In one of the
former, it was intended I should be placed; but the
first appearance of the Nuns (so different from any thing F2v 20
thing I had ever seen) frightened me from all idea of
their society, and Mr. Gooch took a lodging for me at
an apothecary’s, named Boudin, on the Grande Place.
He hired two servants for me, a man and a maid,
whom he knew nothing of, and staid with me himself
a few days in the lodging. He then told me that
he must return immediately to England; but promised
by all that was sacred, he would come back to me in a
few months; that I was his first consideration; and
that if he found it absolutely necessary to give up his
family, or me, he should not hesitate to sacrifice the
former, to live in future happiness with his wife and
his children.

The day was now fixed for his departure; his carriage
was to be at the door on the opening of the gates
the next morning: it came, but my tears, my earnest
prayers prevailed, and it was ordered back again till
the next. In vain I made use of every intreaty to
prevail on Mr. Gooch not to forsake me; he seemed to
partake of my sorrow, and so great was his agitation
the last day he was with me, that I am convinced he sincerely G1r 21
sincerely repented what he was doing; that he thought,
as I did, our separation was only for a time, and that
he fulfilled his cruel resolution but in absolute compliance
with the promises he had given to his family.

The next morning I was less successful than I had
been on the former. Mr. Gooch gave me thirty guineas,
and left me for ever!—For some time a state of absolute
stupefaction afforded me relief; but I was soon
awakened from it by the recollection of my situation.
I found myself a prey to every horror that the human
breast can feel. In a state of distraction, I sent for
Madame Fiquet, the mistress of the Hôtel de Bourbon,
and offered her ten guineas to send off an express to
St. Omer, where I knew Mr. Gooch was to sleep that
night, with a letter from me, representing the agony
of my mind, and intreating his speedy return. She
had, doubtless, her orders from him, for I could not
prevail on her to do so. I am greatly inclined to believe,
that had this happened, he would have returned,
and left me no more. But it was not to be. My ruin
was registered in the book of fate. Providence had G permitted G1v 22
permitted that it should be so, and no attempts of mine
could reverse it. Why did not an instantaneous death
succeed to those violent commotions of my soul? Why
did not the Almighty, in pity, take me to himself,
while I was yet but on the brink of fate? while my
days were unsullied by the force of bad example, and
of dangerous connections? while I might have died,
lamented, as I had lived, beloved by my family?—
Why were all these bright prospects changed to eternal
darkness? and what, good God! what had I done,
of what had I been guilty, to merit the sum of ills I
was born to endure?

But it was time to reflect attentively on my new
situation; Mr. Gooch was gone, and had left me without
other society than my own confused ideas. For
some days, grief overpowered me; nor could any
thing but the certainty which I then thought I possessed,
of being speedily re-united to him, have prevented
my sinking under the weight of it.

I now recollected that one of my uncles, Mr. Charles
Mellish
, had resided for some time at Orleans. I wrote him G2r 23
him an account of what had passed, and begged he
would receive me at his house. As he had heard nothing
of the affair I mentioned, his answer was expressive
of the greatest surprise and uneasiness; he
told me, that he would be with me at Lille in a few
days after the arrival of his letter; that he would do
any thing in his power to assist Mr. Gooch and myself,
and to be of use to either; but that he could not be
a party in so nice an affair. Soon after this, I had the
satisfaction of seeing him; Mr. Mellish apparently felt
for me, and certainly foresaw all that must inevitably
happen: but with that timid prudence which prevails
in all families, against an unfortunate individual, and
I think, particularly in mine, Mr. Mellish declined
bringing me to England with him, whither he was then
going for the purpose of consulting with the rest of my
relations on what steps were to be taken.

I continued to receive from Mr. Gooch, the kindest
and most affectionate letters, written on the road every
day, ’till the one on which he arrived at Bath. On
that evening, he wrote to me again; but how different was G2v 24
was the style!—how very widely different from those
promises he had made me, and which alone supported
me in this dangerous hour of trial!—His letter began as follows:

“Madam! After having informed you that I am safely arrived
at Bath, and found your children well, it is necessary
to acquaint you that in consequence of the different
reports circulated against you, it is impossible for
me to think of living with you again; at least for
two, or three years; you are your own mistress to
pass them where you please; but I should recommend
you to go into a Convent; where repentance,
and a future good conduct may at length eradicate
from the minds of your relations and friends, your
late highly blameable one, &c. &c.”

The same packet brought me letters from my mother,
and my uncles; they were filled with accusations
void of truth, and reproaches I had never
deserved: But it is impossible for me to describe the different H1r 25
different sensations which filled my mind on the receipt
of Mr. Gooch’s unexpected letter. Indignation
succeeded to the violence of grief, and every contending
passion burst in upon my soul! In the bitterness
of my heart, I wrote to him, “that as he had broken
his word with me once, a word so solemnly pledged, and
in such a dreadful moment, and as by so doing he had
entirely annulled the most sacred of engagements, I
had come to a cruel, but final determination of never
seeing him more! A resolution, strengthened by the
most mature deliberation, and from which the whole
world should never tempt me to recede, unless he would
immediately join me abroad, where all might be well;
but that I could not think of returning to England
under such circumstances, and that if he did not comply
with my request, all further connection should
end there.”

No sooner had I dispatched this letter, than Nature,
exhausted by such rude conflicts, resigned me to repose.
A languid fever kept me in my bed, from whence
nothing but my youth, and strength of constitution
could have relieved me.

H I had H1v 26

I had hitherto enjoyed my griefs in solitude. The
first snare that I was to fall into, was the most dangerous
of all, a snare concealed under the mask of
friendship!—A gentleman, whom I had seen in
Yorkshire, but whose character prevents his returning
there, and even his own countrymen from associating
with him abroad; together with a lady, who had been
for many years parted from her husband; these were my
first acquaintance, and to them I owe the last step to
my destruction. Their pernicious counsels induced
me to reject the injunctions of my mother, and
my whole family, who now wrote to me in the most
pressing manner to return to them: But how true is the
observation, that the first imprudent step imperceptibly
leads on to others, ’till by the degrees the last is taken, and
it is become too late to recede!

The charms of novelty began now to excite my attention;
I have already observed, that Mr. Gooch had
left me in lodgings on the Grande Place, where the
beautiful view of the parade, composed of seven regiments,
and drawn up their every day, the sound of the martial H2r 27
martial music which attended them, soon drew me to
my windows, from whence I was unfortunate enough
to attract the attention of the French officers. Their
first inquiries were to learn my name, my situation, and
the motives that had brought me to Lille, thus unknown,
and unprotected? The answers they received,
corresponded with the ideas they had formed; it was
universally conjectured that some love affair had brought
me there; that the story of the Englishman who had
accompanied me, being my husband, and having forsaken
me, was a fictitious tale of woe, invented only for
the purpose of deceiving the public, but by no means
probable enough to persuade it.

Calumny seldom fails of gaining the tribute due to
Truth: In this unfortunate affair its shafts were every
way pointed against me; Mr. Gooch’s family feared he
might repent of the steps he had taken; and during his
absence, they had industriously propagated the blackest
falsehoods, which had gained credit in the world against
his return, that every way his ear might be poisoned,
and his good intentions (should he have formed them) be H2v 28
be defeated. On Mr. Gooch’s return to Bath, he found
his children arrived there, who were on the road from
Yorkshire, at the dreadful moment of our departure:
It was probable, that in a heart not absolutely bad, the
feelings of a Husband, and of a Father would be awakened
at sight of them; the recollection of the situation
he had left me in, and the sight of these children, as
yet too young to be conscious of their loss; too young
to be deprived of a mother’s care, must have recalled
some tender ideas, and it was necessary those ideas
should be repelled by the tongue of Calumny.

Thus was my fame murdered at home, and not a
friend appeared to espouse my cause. I received this
information from my own family; who, though it was
impossible they should believe me innocent under such
aspersions, could not but harbour resentment against
Mr. Gooch’s, for the indefatigable pains they took to
destroy me. At Lille, I was equally a victim to Slander;
I was looked on, and represented as an imposter,
and considered only as having assumed my own name.
To strengthen this idea, Lady Charlotte Ratcliffe gave out I1r 29
out that she had received a letter from Lady Dowager
Tyrconnell
, assuring her that I was at Brussels with
Mr. Gooch, and that I was by no means the person I
wished to appear. Lady Charlotte possessing herself
neither youth, nor beauty, was happy in an opportunity
of injuring those who enjoyed such envied, but
mistaken advantages. It was to my milliner, that I
owed the knowledge of Lady Charlotte’s discoveries;
I wrote her ladyship a letter, to which she either
would not, or more probably could not, reply.

Not a day now past, that I did not receive letters
from some of the officers at Lille; nor a night that I
was not honoured by serenades under my windows.—
I had hitherto declined all visits, nor had been even
once out of my house. I accepted at length an invitation
from the officers of the Royal Bavarian Regiment,
and a ticket from their Colonel, to attend the
funeral ceremony of the Elector; for which, neither
cost nor magnificence was spared. I hoped (notwithstanding
Lady Charlotte), that this opportunity of
making acquaintance with my countrywomen at Lille, I would I1v 30
would not fail to procure me their sanction; but in
that I was equally mortified, and disappointed; a look
of contempt, an impertinent stare, was all I received
from them. Conscious that my superiority of rank, and
hitherto unspotted conduct entitled me to different
treatment, I could only suppose Envy to be their
guide; and I then, for the first time, remarked with
regret, what I have frequently had reason to observe
since, that the English abroad, instead of protecting,
and assisting each other, are ever the first to distress,
to expose, and to hurt them in the opinion of strangers;
defeating by those means the purposes for
which too many of them are obliged to seek foreign
climes, and fly their own.

I was now bereft of every resource but the two former
acquaintances I have alluded to; they were the
means of drawing me into more, and I was no longer
insensible to variety, and that admiration which it was
impossible for a young imprudent woman not to obtain,
situated as I then was in one of the largest garrison
towns of France; in a country where I need not say I2r 31
say the military are remarkable for their gallantry;
without other advisers than those, who, fallen themselves,
wished to bring me on the same level, and who,
alas! but too well succeeded.

The thirty guineas which Mr. Gooch had left me,
were soon gone, and I now, for the first time of my
life, knew the want of money!—Madame Fiquet, not
hearing from Mr. Gooch as he had promised, began to
grow importunate, my expences at her house being
considerable; to her I am indebted for my first knowledge
of pawn-brokers; she put my watch, and two
diamond rings I had with me, into the care of one of
them. Money, however, soon came from England,
and they were redeemed.

I was soon prevailed on to participate the way of
life prescribed by my two friends; and I stooped
without reluctance to gather the roses which nature
seemed to have strewn in my path, without apprehending,
or being mindful of the thorns which lay
beneath them; I launched into a scene of dissipation, and I2v 32
and pleasure became my law. Sometimes, indeed, a sigh
would invade my breast; but it was a sigh of uncertainty
and doubt, and was soon suppressed by the idea
that all I was then forsaking, would be amply made up
to me by those indulgent friends and acquaintance I
was forming every hour; their sentiments so entirely
corresponded with the notions I then entertained of
happiness, and were so foreign to those of austerity
and controul, to which I had been accustomed, that I
began to congratulate myself on the choice I had made,
nor saw the danger ’till I was irrecoverably lost!

My two friends had prevailed on me to accompany
them to the play; I did so, and there formed an acquaintance
with an officer of the regiment of Anjou,
of the name of Du Buq. He asked, and obtained leave
to visit me; and he soon strengthened my resolution
of returning home no more! Fatal resolution!—
most fatal in its consequences! Monsieur Du Buq’s unremitting
assiduities flattered my vanity, nor did I then
perceive his motives. His views had every appearance
of what the world terms honourable; and in consequencequence K1r 33
of them, and of my own inclinations, I applied
to Mr. Gooch to solicit a divorce, in hopes that my
marriage with Mr. Du Buq would be productive of
that domestic happiness to which I have ever aspired,
without being able to obtain. Mr. Gooch seconded my
desire, and a short time after, wrote to beg that I would
follow the instructions I should receive from Mr.
Woodcock
, of Lincoln’s-Inn, whom he had employed
as his solicitor in this affair.

I received by every packet letters from this Mr.
Woodcock
, and was at length apprized by them of the
departure of some of Mr. Gooch’s servants for Lille;
who had also received instructions on their side, to obtain
from me the proofs of criminality, necessary towards
the obtaining a final dissolution of our marriage.

Shortly after, Mr. Gooch’s own servant, accompanied
by his wife, who was head-nurse to my children, and
the same interpreter that Mr. Gooch first hired on our
arrival at Calais, and who had returned with him, arrived
at Lille; but I must not attempt to describe the K bitterness K1v 34
bitterness of my feelings, on seeing my own servants
sent to me on such an errand!—My heart was torn
with anguish, and I would have sacrificed all, nay, even
life itself had it been possible, to have been to them
what I was before!—I must also do justice to them,
for they were almost equally affected; it was a scene
of agony and woe that was too much for me, and
which I never should have supported, but through the
solicitations of the French officer, and my other acquaintance.
They represented to me the folly of my
not acceding to what I had myself desired; of the impropriety
there would be in having gone such lengths,
without the intention of pursuing them; of the impossibility
I was now under of being re-united to Mr.
Gooch
; and of the necessity under which I now lay, of
suppressing every finer feeling.

Delicacy forbids my entering into particulars of the
request made to me; the bare suspicion of it was sufficient
to overthrow the intended purpose in the House
of Lords
; a suspicion so highly reprobated by the
Chancellor, as to occasion the very means employed to K2r 35
to facilitate the divorce, being the most effectual to prevent
it; for how could a man, who was not lost to
every sense of honour and humanity, solicit from his
wife proofs of open and avowed adultery, send his own
servants and hers, to witness them; and how could
Mr. Woodcock, so far forget the duties of his profession,
as to be aiding and abetting in the ruin of an imprudent,
but a helpless, an injured woman?

The servants delivered me up a trunk which contained
all my wearing apparel; my jewels, Mr. Gooch
thought proper to keep; he also deprived me of my
father’s and mother’s pictures, which I wore to pearl
bracelets, and which I have never been able to recover.
He mentioned in his letter that it was at my mother’s
particular request, he had kept them; that she thought
me unworthy the having them in my possession; on
my writing to her, and complaining of her unkindness,
she assured me that it was without her knowledge
they were taken from me.

In K2v 36

In this trunk was a suit of cloaths I had worked for
Mr. Gooch, and a miniature picture of myself set in a
ring, which he had constantly worn. I was desired to
deliver up all the letters I had received from him
since our separation, which I most imprudently did,
not knowing at that time, of what use they might be
in future to me.

This is all I ever received from Mr. Gooch—All
the plate, and a great part of the houshold linen I left
with him, had been the property of my father; these,
together with my harpsichord, piano-forte, music,
books, and papers, which were all my own, were
never returned to me, though he repeatedly promised
that they should be sent to me.

The servants having executed their commission, returned
to England; and shortly after I came to England
myself. My first visit was to Mr. Woodcock, who
supplied me with money, of which I was then destitute.
He had frequently mentioned in his letters the
indispensable necessity there was, on my coming of age L1r 37
age, an event which had just taken place, of my
signing a paper which he had prepared, and which he
told me was to suffer a Recovery of my estates in
Nottinghamshire; which, by cutting off the intail on
Lord Galloway, empowered the sale of those estates,
and would consequently bring in an additional income
from four, to five hundred a year, which he told me,
would be equally divided between Mr. Gooch and myself,
during our joint lives; he likewise told me, that
he did not conceive his taking equally Mr. Gooch’s
interest, and mine to be improper; but asked me
if I chose to mention any other gentleman of the law
to act for me?—Mr. Woodcock knew perfectly well
that I had no friend in England, or indeed any where
else, and he even lamented his knowledge of that in
one of his letters to me. It was not then likely to suppose,
that, under these circumstances, and with
my youth, and inexperience of the world, I should
counteract any design of Mr. Woodcock’s, or give even
one single thought to my own interest. Happy indeed
would it have been, had I formed an idea
how much an adviser was become necessary!—but I L was L1v 38
was deceived, as I may say, by my own free will
and consent, and having no duplicity or guile in my
own character, it was impossible for me to learn before
experience had taught me, what it was to be the victim
of them in others!

I signed the paper at Mr. Woodcock’s by his desire;
without any other knowledge of it, than seeing Mr.
Gooch’s
name above my own, which he had previously
subscribed; and I am to this hour a total stranger to
its contents. I can only say, that I have never heard
farther mention of the sale of my estate, nor of the
additional income that was promised me.

But from this period, every thing began to wear a
new face; I had certainly expended in France more
money than was necessary, and which I was only beginning
to learn the use of, and it was necessary to
make me a regular allowance. Mr. Woodcock was totally
changed in his conduct towards me since I had
signed that paper: like the serpent in Paradise, “having
prevailed on the woman,”
his business was done, and L2r 39
and it was unnecessary to wear the mask any longer.
On my going to his chambers the very next morning,
he received me with a coolness I had never before perceived
in him; and told me that a very small allowance
was more than sufficient for the encouragement of
vice; that Mr. Gooch had generously consented to allow
200l. a year, under the present circumstances, during
his, and my mother’s joint lives; that I should receive
100l. per annum, in addition, if I survived my
mother, and 400l. per annum, jointure, if I survived
him.

Soon after this, I returned to Lille, and was paid 50l.
on the next quarter day, and 50l. on every future one,
by the hands of Messrs. Hoare. At that time I was
prepossessed with the idea, that the next meeting of
Parliament would settle the dissolution of my marriage,
and that few months would unite me to Monsieur Du
Buq
; but in this I was disappointed; the bill was not
brought forward that sessions, which, as it has proved
in the end, was a most happy circumstance for me!

I was L2v 40

I was still in correspondence with my family; But I
no longer possessed a home to which I could by
right lay a claim; my mother and my grand-mother offered
to receive me at their houses; but it was as a
repentant sinner, not as an injured child! My heart
was cruelly divided; I wished to return to them, but
the idea of being received with reproaches, and the
equally mortifying idea of becoming a dependant on
ontheir bounty, was a consideration my spirit could
not brook. On the other hand I was restrained by the
solicitations of those whom I then considered to be my
friends; and by a still more powerful advocate, by a
man to whom I now looked up for protection, and for
whose sake I had at length determined to sacrifice every
worldly good!

The letters of an absent, and already offended family
were but weak considerations, when opposed to the
prayers of what I then believed to be pure, and disinterested
affection; a few months convinced me how fatally
I had been mistaken, but it was then too late, and I was M1r 49
I was now become as blameable, as I had been hitherto
unfortunate.

This was the first lesson I had received from experience,
to beware of the artifice, the duplicity of mankind;
but it was not a sufficient one for me; I was
to have many more before I could have been persuaded
to believe, that few, very few think as I do; whose
hearts are open to the distresses of the unhappy, and
who are incapable to deceive, and to betray; I have
been ever a victim to cruelty and dishonour; but I
have, nevertheless, the consciousness of knowing, that
mymy fate, though most unfortunate, has served to light
me to an elevation of sentiment, which the sordid
mind can never possess!

To a mind unprejudiced against me—to a mind
that will attentively reflect on the situation in which I
then was, it must evidently appear, that it was almost
impossible for me to avoid that impending ruin which
had been long suspended over my head! What could
I do?—with these ideas, and my natural levity of disposition,M position, M1v 50
I could not avoid plunging deeper into destruction,
till I had lost sight of the path by which I
should ever be likely to return, and till the remainder
of my days were consigned to misery, and to perpetual
repentance!

The next acquaintance I formed at Lille, was
with the Baron d’Arthaud, an officer in the regiment
of the Cuirassiers; all that could please and captivate
the mind were united in him. A fine figure, a pleasing
address, and every elegant accomplishment were
certainly his: yet still I will venture to affirm, that
had the Baron possessed only the common arts of Seduction,
he would not have been dangerous for me; so
deeply wounded was my heart by the first, nay the
only attachment it had formed; so cruelly had I been
deceived by Monsieur Du Buq’s mercenary conduct,
that I will venture to affirm the Baron never would
have succeeded him in my affections, had he made
choice of any other plea for his own, than the sanction
of pity for my sufferings, ardent offers of future protection,
and of real disinterested friendship.

The M2r 51

The time for the Baron’s leave of absence from his
regiment being arrived, he left me at Lille, with a promise
of very soon returning; he went to his mother’s
at Toul, in Lorraine, from whence he wrote to beg that
I would immediately leave Lille, and consent to
go for the present, to a convent at Nancy, for the purpose
of being near him. I immediately complied with
his request. I was to pass through Toul, in my way to
Nancy; on my arrival at the inn there, I sent for the
Baron, who directly came to me in his mother’s name,
who begged to see me at her house.

I have frequently remarked in the different incidents
of my life, that whenever any thing unhappy is
to befall me, a certain presentiment seems to announce
it! It did so at this juncture; for although I was received
at the Baroness D’Arthaud’s, by herself and her
son, with every demonstration of kindness, a certain
something whispered in the voice of sorrow, and bade
me not be happy in the residence the Baroness had
proposed, and insisted on my making at her house.

I now M2v 52

I now wrote with confidence to all my own family;
and received answers from them expressive of their
satisfaction at knowing me, under the sanction of a
Woman of Credit and Fashion, whose wishes seemed
so entirely to correspond with those of the Baron, and
my own, for a speedy conclusion of our marriage.
The Baroness had written to, and received letters from
my uncles; she had also employed different persons
to get from England the most exact informations on
the subject of my future fortune; but of this latter
circumstance, I was then ignorant. I passed four
months at her house; and during the last two, received
no answers to the letters I sent to my family;
this I had afterwards reason to account for. Madame
D’Arthaud
, finding that my fortune, nor any part of
it, was at my own disposal, not only forbade me her
house, and her son any farther intercourse with me,
but had the infamy enough to invent, and to communicate
to my family, the most atrocious falsehoods on the
subject of my conduct at her house, as an excuse for
the unnatural, and unmerited inhumanity of her own.

I pre- N1r 53

I prepared for my departure to England; but not
all the unkindness, and the threats of the Baroness
towards her son, could persuade him to desist from
his resolution of accompanying me to Calais. We
accordingly left his exasperated mother, and travelled
in a small cabriolet of his; which not being able to
convey my trunks, I left them at her house, with directions
for Calais, where the Baroness was to send
them. She promised to do so, but from that time to
this, I have never received any of them: She informed
her son, that she had kept them for the purpose of
reimbursing the expences I had occasioned her. A
large diamond ring, the gift of my mother on my
marriage, which I had left in pledge at Lille, I had a
little before sent money to redeem, and had recommended
it to the care of an officer in the Baron’s regiment;
that ring was, as he says, sent to me at Toul,
but I never have heard more of it since.

The Baron remained with me some time at Calais;
and we both joined in intreating my uncles, to forward
the means of the divorce. A deficiency being N found N1v 54
found in the former witnesses, others were immediately
sent to Calais; and great care was ordered to be taken
of their having no intercourse with me. One of them,
being an old maid servant of my own, I could not
avoid seeing and conversing with. They took
with them to England a cook-maid, belonging to the
house at Calais, where I lodged with the Baron. But
all these manœuvres proved ineffectual: the bill was
thrown out, and I was thrown upon the world again,
without any guide but my own imprudence, or having
the chance of making up by a second marriage, the
miseries resulting to me from the first.

The Baron was obliged to return to his regiment;
but engaged me before he went, to take an apartment
for three months in the convent of the Benedictines,
at Calais; I accordingly did, and he left me there;
but took, previous his departure, my watch, which
was enriched with diamonds, and two diamond rings,
I constantly wore; fearing, he said, that my generosity
of temper, would induce me to part with them in
favour of some female friends I might acquire in the Convent; N2r 55
Convent; he never thought proper, or perhaps could
not in future, restore them to me.

The life I was obliged to lead in the convent, was
ill adapted to my taste; nor could I long withstand the
temptations of a fair wind, and vessels sailing for
England. I left the convent, and came over. Would I
had never done so, since the steps I then took, have
proved the most fatal of my life, and have for ever shut
up against me, the doors of my own family!

A few days after my arrival in London, I was visited by
two of my uncles, Mr. Charles Mellish, and Doctor
Hallifax
; the latter, kindly conducted me to his house,
where I might have passed the remainder of my days,
had I chosen it, in peace, and comfort; I had written
to the Baron on my arrival; and had pledged my honour
to return to him; alas! I but too solemnly gave,
and fulfilled it; in short, I clandestinely left the
house of my protecting uncle. I know not what name
to give to this most unhappy proceeding; it was not
ingratitude, for my heart has been ever a stranger to its N2v 56
its dictates, and it smote me at the moment I did so;
it was not indifference to a reconciliation with my family;
but it was blindness, it was infatuation; it was
a want of courage, and of resolution to sacrifice Him,
who did not fail to sacrifice Me, when he was convinced,
like his mother, that I had no longer a fortune
at my disposal!

On my return to Calais, I wrote to the Baron, requesting
to see him; his answer was expressive of anger
at the journey I had taken; and every succeeding letter
was filled with indifference, but not of love; I wrote
to beg he would return my watch, and other things;
the former, I have since learnt, had been sold, as soon
as received, to an officer of his regiment; the remaining
articles doubtless shared a similar fate.

Various and unfortunate are the circumstances that
have since occurred, and marked the train of events
which have rapidly succeeded to each other; not one of
which but has been a source of sorrow and disquiet to
myself; I have been continually the dupe of treacherousous O1r 57
lovers, false friends, and worthless acquaintance;
those, who have appeared most zealous to serve me,
have been almost constantly the first to deceive, and to
betray! Of this number, I cannot avoid mentioning one
person, as a caution to whoever puts confidence in the
most plausible appearances of disinterested friendship—
A Mr. Philip Ryan, formerly a merchant, who now
resides at Valenciennes, and with whom I most
unfortunately acquainted there, seemed to entertain
for me the purest sentiments of pity and esteem;
I placed in him that unlimited confidence, which
should be the reward only of years of trial, but which
it has ever been my misfortune to grant to every specious
appearance. Mr. Ryan lent me a sum of money, in
exchange for drafts for my quarterly payments, which
were regularly paid. In the beginning of the year 17851785,
I was under many embarassments in London; I informed
Mr. Ryan of them by letter, who returned me
for answer, that his own affairs would have called him
to England within a few months; but that the difficulties
of mine, had determined him on setting out immediately,
to assist me, as far as was in his power, with O his O1v 58
his purse, and his advice. He accordingly came; but
the purity of his sentiments were soon converted from
that disinterestedness I expected, and desired. He proposed
to me a plan of life, which was by no means
suitable to my inclinations, and my telling him so was
productive of the most violent hate, succeeding to
that sincere friendship which I thought I had found
only in him.

Mr. Ryan, on his leaving England, told me, I was
indebted to him 26l. and desired I would give him
my note of hand for the money. I did so, after having
given him previously an order on a Mr. Stival, a
merchant at Dunkerque, who was keeping for me
three trunks, containing all I had collected, and possessed,
of any value in the world; I desired Mr. Ryan
to take care of them ’till my return. Arriving at Dunkerque,
I found he had placed them at the house of
a Mr. Greville, a wine merchant, who resides there;
and on my demanding them, I found to my great
astonishment, that Mr. Ryan had stopt them for my
note of hand; and although I have repeatedly offered him O2r 59
him a fresh note, and security to have them again, I
have never been able to recover them. These trunks
contained a large collection of manuscript books and
music, for which I would not have taken, in any moment
of distress, two hundred pounds.

It was in that same year, that Mr. Gooch and Mr.
Woodcock
, both wrote to me; to inform me, that the
education of my children becoming more expensive,
Mr. Gooch had determined on taking off fifty pounds
a year, from the two hundred I had till then enjoyed,
and that he should continue to do so during four years,
in which time he should have an estate in Norfolk
belonging to himself, disengaged, and he would then
return it to me. This alteration took place on the
1785-08-01first of August, 1785; when, in drawing, as usual,
a note on Mess. Hoare, for fifty pounds, I was answered,
that I had henceforwards the privilege of demanding
no more than thirty-seven pounds, ten shillings
per quarter; this has continued ever since; and to
embarrass my circumstances still more, I am not permitted
to have any kind of security for the payment even O2v 60
even of this, one day before it becomes due; notwithstanding
that one hundred pounds per annum, is settled
on me for pin money, by marriage articles. Mr.
Gooch
will not suffer the banker to accept, or even say
that he will pay any draft of mine; in this, he has
been perfectly seconded by Mess. Hoare, from their
not chusing to give a satisfactory account of the certainty
of my payments, to any person inclined to serve
me, and who refers to them.

Thus is every stratagem employed to persecute me
still farther, in hopes to obtain an excuse in the eyes
of the world, for premeditated, for cruel injustice,
and oppression! No pains have been spared to ruin,
and crush me for ever; and sorry I am to say, that
my family, if it has not laboured at my undoing, has
of late years been silent on the subject of my unparalelled
wrongs: How far Mr. Gooch can answer to
this, I leave to the heart’s best monitor, his own conscience,
to determine. He has torn me from every
tie; he has blackened me in the eyes of the world,
and of my family, and thus for ever deprived me of their P1r 61
heirtheir protection; he has divided me from my children,
and robbed them of that tender care, a mother best
can give; every tender connection, every social tie he
has now dissolved; and in plunging me into sorrow,
disgrace, and infamy, he has still left me, though surrounded
by wretchedness, that triumph, which the
consciousness of integrity bestows, and which it is not
in the power of a whole host of foes to take away.

I have been accused as an unnatural daughter, and
mother: Can my mother, can my children prove me
to be so? That pure, that heartfelt affection I ever
felt for the only remaining author of my being, has
long since turned into the deepest of my wounds.
Had I been in her situation, and she in mine, I would
have renounced every wordly, every little consideration,
and flown to the assistance of my child, to save
her from destruction. Had my mother done this, when
Mr. Gooch left me at Lille, my every pang had been
spared; for where is there a heart, which although led
away by the blandishments of pleasure, and transient
gratification, could still be so lost, so irrecoverably P bad, P1v 62
bad, as to withstand a mother’s pleadings, an only
parent’s tears?

My children may be deceived into a persuasion,
that I am an unnatural mother; but have I been permitted
to prove to them the contrary? From the year
17781778, that I was forced from them, ’till the year
17821782, it was out of my power to see them, and even
to know where they were; at that time I learnt they
were at a school at Walthamstowe. I went there and
saw them. It is needless to dwell on the sensations
which at that moment filled my eyes with tears, and
my heart with the most unutterable anguish; sensations,
which every bosom would feel under such circumstances,
and in such a situation! But as I was
totally ignorant what was their knowledge respecting
myself, I thought it necessary to conceal from them
who I was, ’till I had gained farther information.
On questioning my eldest boy about his mother, he
informed me, she was in France; I found they knew
that I existed, and at our next interview, I determined
to discover myself to them.

Thei P2r 63

Their young minds were unconscious how much
severer were the pangs I felt on thus seeing them, than
those moments when first I wakened them into life!
They saw me with a childish, and artless fondness, and
wished for me to stay with them; I promised to return
on the Sunday following; and when I did so, the mistress
of the school told me with tears in her eyes, that
Mr. Gooch had been there, and left absolute orders that
I should see them no more; she kindly added, that the
sincere interest she took in my situation, and the impatient
desire my boys had expressed to see me again, had
determined her on suffering it should be so; but I did
not mean to injure her for her goodness, and after having
affectionately kissed, and bid them adieu, I left
them, with a promise to her that I would not return.

I patiently supported this instance of cruelty, in the
hope, which has never forsaken me, that I shall at least
once more before my last hour, press them to my breast,
with all the transports of unrestrained maternal affection;
should even this last looked for blessing be denied my heart, P2v 64
heart, Nature will, I trust, when I am gone, plead
powerfully in their’s, and in a mother’s cause.

’Till within the last eighteen months, the walls of a
prison were still unknown to me; it was in 17861786, that
I was at Lille, in the utmost embarassment. I wrote to
intreat my family would advance me a sufficient sum
of money to release me from the credit I found there,
and so dearly paid; but all was ineffectual; not even
letters sent to them from Lille, by some of the most
respectable of its inhabitants, could induce them to relieve
me; a long fit of illness, occasioned by real grief
and disappointment, kept me confined above two
months in bed, where I was without money, or resource
of any kind. I had not gained strength sufficient
to leave the house, when I was arrested for upwards of
three hundred pounds, and conveyed to a prison, whose
least horror in its name.

It was in the month of 1786-10October, and the season most
rigorous, when I was taken out of a sick room, and
placed in a garret, where there was no fire-place, and a miserable Q1r 65
miserable bed on a stone floor; in the anti-chamber,
leading to it, there was a grate, and the furniture of it
consisted of the different engines and implements made
use of for the horrid purpose of the rack, and executions.
The door of this anti-chamber, was double
ironed, and barred, and was locked from five in the
afternoon, till ten in the morning; during which length
of time, it was impossible for me to see, or speak with
any one; and the rooms were at the farther end of the
house, out of the reach of assistance, or the hearing of
any human beings, except the criminals, whose dungeons
were the only prospect my double-barred chamber
window commanded.

Thus was I confined upwards of two months, without
any other society than a profusion of enormous
rats, who came to plunder my miserable shelf. My
family when apprized of my being there, ordered a
Banker to pay me two guinesguineas a week during the time
of my confinement, but they never meant to release
me, and I am to thank providence who sent a stranger to
deliver me from a situation, the idea of which would
be sufficient to melt with pity the most obdurate heart.

Q Since Q1v 66

Since my return to England, a twelvemonth ago,
I have been arrested for the same money, which relieved
me from Lille; that, added to other debts I contracted
several years ago in England, now detains me
in the Fleet Prison; where, oppressed by Mr. Gooch,
forsaken by my family, and destitute of friends, I am
ignorant whether he is not answerable for my debts if
I have no regular settlement, or if it is not fitting that
I should have one to support me as a gentleman’s
daughter, and adequate to the fortune which I brought.
Obliged as I have been, and still am, to make
away with every thing on which I can raise a
single shilling, without even the power of borrowing a
few guineas on a future quarter; subject to every insult
which the want of money seems to authorize; my
health fallen a prey to my situation, without one single
comfort the world can give; it is not to be wondered at
that I have long and sincerely wished a happy release
from every pang, convinced as I must be, that I have
no farther happiness to expect on earth!—I am drawing
near (and I rejoice at it) this period of all my
woes! My family will perhaps, when it is too late, lament Q2r 67
lament their unkindness—they will allow with all
those who knew me, that a too great liberality of
mind has been my undoing, and they will wish they
had been less severe!

The justice I am now about to solicit from the laws
of my country, is the effect of absolute necessity; and
not, as may be supposed, that of a resentment which
my heart never felt. I wish it was in my power to
extricate myself without having recourse to those
laws; but it is impossible. I have long and ineffectually
tried if the picture of real woe could not influence
my family to release me from a situation which
must reflect dishonour on themselves: In the first two
years of separation, they endeavoured it; I was
then blinded by my own folly, and the only aggressor.
I am far from vindicating my subsequent conduct:
it has been highly blameable and improper; its evil
consequences, however, have been all my own; and
though others have drawn down ruin on me, none
can ascribe to me the diminution of their happiness.
Thus have I been for several years tost on a tumultous sea— Q2v 68
sea—driven by its storms from one kingdom to another,
without even the hope of a calm, or a wish,
but in death! My only consolation is derived from
the consciousness that my misfortunes did not originate
with myself. I have been compelled by the avarice
of some, and the insidiousness of others, to act
in opposition to the dictates of my own heart. But
I harbour no resentment against the first authors of
my unmerited sufferings; and hope to find that lenity
from the world which I am inclined to extend to those
by whose artifices I have been deprived of all the
blessings attendant on birth, fortune, and innocence.
I cannot conclude, without expressing a hope, that
this address will remove some of those prejudices
which ignorance and malignity have raised against
me; and that my name may be remembered with pity,
rather than with indignation, when I become an inhabitant
of those realms “where the wicked cease from
troubling, and the weary are at rest.”

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The End.