A1r
omittedlibrary catalogue numbers

The
Fortunate Transport;

or, the
Secret History
of the
Life and Adventures
Of the Celebrated
Polly Haycock,
The Lady of the Gold Watch.

By a Creole.

“The Devil is alway kind to his own.”

An old Proverb.

London:
Printed for T. Taylor, near the Corner of Friday-
Street
, Cheapside.

Price One Shilling.

A1v
B1r 3

the
Fortunate Transport, &c.

It’s a common Saying, that “Hanging
goes by Destiny, and that he that is born
to be hang’d will never be drown’d”
; and
so many odd Accidents generally concur,
to fix the Fate of particular Persons,
whether good or bad, that no Wonder the
Gross of Mankind should fall in with that
prevailing Opinion, That Fate, Destiny,
Stars, or Planets, over-rule all the Actions
of the Sons of Men, in such manner as to
make Causes seemingly the most contradictory,
serve to promote their destinated
Happiness or Misery, in spight of all their
boasted Free-will, and most provident Foresight.

We Christians, it’s true, have pretty
much exploded the old Doctrine of the Influence
of the Stars and Planets, so much in
vogue among the Heathen Philosophers; and B our B1v 4
our reformed Church is not willing to espouse
all the Absurdities of Fate, Destiny, and Predestination;
but we generally make use of
Terms which imply all of them, such as
Fortunate and Unfortunate, Lucky and Unlucky;
which Words (if they mean any
thing) denote a Person happy or miserable,
by a Chain of Causes and Effects in no measure
dependant on his Will or Prudence.
Of this Class of Mortals we may reckon
our fortunate Transport, who has arrived at
the highest Pitch of Pomp, Grandeur, and
human Felicity, by a Train of Events, which,
according to all rational Probability, must
have ended in the most deplorable Misery;
but she was born under a lucky Planet, and
must be great, rich, and happy, (here at
least) in spight of herself, only to add to the
innumerable Instances of the wild Caprice
of Fortune. She was begot by Chance,
came into the World with Life in spight of
her Mother, nursed by Charity, brought up
among Pickpockets, transported for Felony,
and in spite of all that, now rolls in Ease,
Splendor, and Luxury; and laughs at dull
Moralists, who would persuade Mankind
that the Way to be happy is to be good; and
the Way to be great, to be wise and prudent.
Since she is happy by being wicked, and great
by giving way to Vice and Folly. But to
proceed to Particulars:

About B2r 5

About Fifty Years ago, in the Month
of June or July, a Gentleman happened
to be walking towards Hampstead, a-cross
the Fields, when passing by a Parcel of Hayricks,
he espied a young Woman lying asleep
near the Foot of one of them; a Woman
alone was a sufficient Motive, to a Town-
Rake, to draw a little nearer; but an agreeable
Face, a genteel Dress, different from the
taudry Appearance of the Hedge-walkers,
and the inviting Attitude in which the Fair-
one lay, would have tempted the most rigid
Hermit to have stole a Look at the Terra
Incognita
, just peeping into View, from under
a clean Holland Smock, the Whiteness of
which was rival’d only by “Her well-turn’d Limbs and due proportion’d
Thighs,
Which please by Degrees, and with new
Beauties rise.”

He stole softly round the Rick, and gaz’d
for some Moments on the pleasant Landskip;
but lest he might never have such an Opportunity
again, he resolved to make a Draught
on the Spot; and for that Purpose put himself
in a proper Posture, took out his Pencil,
and was in the Middle of the principal Figure
of the Piece before the Nymph awakened;ed; B2v 6
and then it was too late to prevent his
proceeding in his Drawing. Having made
the first rough Draught, he and the Lady
entered into Conversation; and she told him
she was Daughter to a Gentleman who had
taken Lodgings at Hampstead for the Benefit
of the Air; that she had stroll’d out
that Morning by herself, and had fallen
asleep under the Shade of the Haycock, but
did not fancy that so much Danger was
nigh her: She said, she always had an Aversion
to sleeping in the Fields for fear of Snakes
or venomous Creatures; but now found to her
woeful Experience, that there were Creatures
with Stings besides those in the Grass; and
hoped, as he had done her the Injury, he
would at least inform her of the Name of her
Ravisher; for she could scarce look upon him
in any other Light.

All this she spoke with an Air of Pleasantry,
rather than Spleen; so that the Gentleman,
finding her in so good a Humour, was
in no Disposition to discover his real Name,
but to put her off with a fictitious Story of that
and his Quality; with which she appeared
satisfied; and told him, That he was in
some measure beholden to herself for the
easy Conquest he had made “Be not surprised,”
said she, “nor allow your Fancy to sup- B3r 7
suppose, that I only feigned a Sleep to
give you that Opportunity; for I assure
you I never slept so sound in my Life. At
all other Times the least Noise wakens
me, even when at Home and out of all
Apprehensions of Danger; but at that
Juncture, tho’ my Senses were asleep, yet
all my Faculties were employ’d in such
manner as to contribute to the Safety of
your Approach; for I was then in the
pleasantest Dream I ever had, where, in
Imagination, I knew more of your Sex
than ever I did till this happy or unhappy
Hour.

I fancied I was in the Island of Jamaica;
by what Means I came there I
know not; but I found myself the Mistress
of a very grand House, Gardens,
Parks, Plantations, and a prodigious
Number of Slaves. I thought I was
courted by all the young Gentlemen of
the Country, and amongst the rest by the
Deputy-Governor, a Gentleman who, tho’
not a Youth, yet had all the Airs and Humours
of the gay World. I had, I thought,
no Aversion to his Person, and a strong
Ambition to enjoy his Estate, which lay,
as I imagined, contiguous to mine. He
made love to me in the politest manner, “and B3v 8
and press’d my naming the happy Day
of his Nuptials with great Ardour. I
thought I consented to be married on
the next Day, and had prepared all my
Equipage, and every thing else, for a
grand Wedding. That we were married
in a very grand Church, all illuminated
with Wax-Lights, and a thousand Decorations
not commonly met with in European
Churches. After the Wedding,
methought we had a sumptuous Entertainment,
and were put to Bed in a kind
of Alcove in the Garden. The Ground
being spread with Roses, and the Walls
set round with Orange-Trees, Jessamine,
and a Million of fragrant Flowers, and
aromatick Shrubs. Methought I was undress’d,
and my Bridegroom, I fancied,
when he approached the Bed, look’d more
charming than Adonis, and clasp’d me to
his Arms with such eager Warmth, that
I awoke, not to be disappointed in any
thing but in this, that my Marriage is all
a Dream, and my Deputy-Governor no
more than a ―― You may judge, Sir,
then, if I was not so well employed in
my Sleep, that it was no wonder you
surprised the Fort, since I was, in Imagination,
raised to the highest Point of
Expectation, and ready to yield it to “an- B4r 9
another, tho’ on different Terms, so that
every previous Action of yours, instead of
waking me, served to strengthen the Delusion,
till I was thoroughly undone. But,
I think, Sir, I may venture to affirm,
That I gave my Maidenhead to my Husband,
and did not yield till I was married.”

“It’s true, Madam,” replied the Gentleman,
“but you married asleep, and consummated
partly awake. Now I am for
the waking Part of the Ceremony, and
shall not grudge your Deputy-Governor
his sleeping Right to you; but would not
have him encroach on my Province by
any Means.”

After passing about half an Hour in
this kind of Chat, the Gentleman examined
the rough Draught of his Landskip,
and found it wanted some few Strokes to
compleat the Picture; therefore, with the
Lady’s Consent, he run it over afresh, till he
had finished it to the Satisfaction of both for
the Time. He saw her part of the Way
Home; appointed another Interview; took
his leave, and never saw her more.

The B4v 10

The unhappy Fair retired to her Chamber
as soon as she got Home; where she
had Time to reflect upon the odd Circumstances
of this Adventure; the Consequence
of which, the Flurry of Spirits, her Dream,
and the waking Scene, she had been so closely
engaged in, had not given her Time to think
on. It now occurr’d to her that she had
lost her Honour, to a Person of whom she
knew nothing at all about, whom she might
never afterwards see; and from whom
she could expect no Reparation. Shame
and Remorse took full Possession of her
Breast, and she remained for some Weeks
almost distracted, without any of her Family
being able to guess at the real Cause of
her Chagrin; and her Uneasiness was still
more encreased, as she heard no Tidings of
her Undoer. She durst make no Person on
Earth her Confidant in so nice an Affair;
and found all her Endeavours to discover
her Ravisher were in vain; for she quickly
learned that there was no such Person in that
Quarter of the Town where he said he
lived.

At last, finding herself with Child, she
gave herself to the blackest Despair, and
could take no Comfort but in the Thought of C1r 11
of procuring an Abortion; which she resolved,
but was as much at Loss how to
come at the Means; she was quite ignorant
of any Nostrum of her own to ease her of
her Burthen, and resolved rather to perish
than trust her Secret to any of her own Sex.

She cast about in her Mind how to break
it to an Apothecary of her Acquaintance,
but Shame debarred her. At last Chance
threw one in her Way, on whom she intended
to practice some female Arts to induce
him to fall in with her Measures. Visiting
one Day at the House of her Acquaintance,
the Apothecary, who was a married Man, and
with whose Wife she was intimate, a young
Gentleman of the same Profession happened
to come in, and by his Behaviour expressed
more than ordinary Satisfaction in Madam’s
Company. She gave him some Encouragement,
and an Intimacy soon ensued. His
Intentions were honourable, but Miss could
not comply without her Father’s Consent,
which she pretended it was imposible to
gain. aAnd, to do her Justice, she had no
Design to impose upon him; but threw herself
in his Way so often, and gave him such
inviting Opportunities, that he was admitted
to the last Favour without the Seal of Matrimony.
This was the Point she aimed at; C and C1v 12
and in a convenient Time let the Apothecary
know she was certainly with Child by
him, and desired him by all Means to use his
Endeavours to conceal her Disgrace. The
young Man proposed to marry her, as the
most rational Way of preventing Scandal;
but this she opposed; and he desisted from
urging her; and, least she should apply to
another, gave her some Drugs, which he
told her would have the Effect, but he knew
himself would do her no Harm.

Finding they had not the desired Success,
she grew melancholy, and kept her
Chamber, resolving within herself to dispatch
the Innocent as soon as it came into
the World; and for that Purpose concealed
her big Belly by all the Arts she could think
of. She managed her Matters so, that none
knew of her Misfortune but the young Apothecary,
who fancied himself the Author of
it, till some few Days before her Delivery,
which happened by Accident.

Tho’ she had no real Liking for the Apothecary,
and only admitted him to her Embraces
with a View to make him accessory
to the Destruction of her Pregnacy, she was
obliged to continue the Familiarity when all
Hopes of his Assistance were in vain, to oblige C2r 13
oblige him to keep her Secret. And on this
Account he was frequently admitted into her
Chamber in the Night-time. She lay in a
Back-Parlor which looked into the Fields,
and was easily let in that Way when all the
Family were in Bed. At one of these Interviews,
her Mind was so oppress’d with the
Thoughts of her approaching Danger and
Disgrace, (which the young Man had painted
in such very lively Colours, with the honest
View of inducing her to consent to marrying
him, and by that Means silencing, in some
measure, the Scandal of the Malicious,) that
she fell into Fits, which appeared so dangerous
to him, that he was resolved rather to expose
himself to all the Rage of an incens’d
Father, then neglect to call in the Assistance
she seemed to want. He briskly rung a
Bell which was in the Room, and which
in a few Minutes alarmed the House, and
brought them all to the Chamber, where
the Father came first, and found his Daughter
naked upon the Bed, in the Arms of a
Stranger, but in strong convulsive Agonies.

It’s impossible to describe his Surprise,
or to determine whether Grief or Hope
was predominant, but all together struck
him Speechless. The young Apothecary,
with Tears running down his Face, address’ddress’d C2v 14
him in few Words, “Sir, I partly
guess at your Embarrassment at my being
here, but for God’s Sake, suspend all
Concern about that, at present, let your
Daughter have the Assistance of the Women
of the House, and I promise to give
you all the Satisfaction in my Power, about
what may seem to afflict you most.”
By
this Time the Women came in, and he
yielded his Place to one of them, and
with great Presence of Mind, begg’d of the
Father to retire to the next Room, as his
Presence, so unexpected, might endanger the
Lady’s Life. The Father quite insensible
of what he was about, allow’d himself
to be led into the next Room; where
after a few Moments recollection, he burst
out into the most violent Rage imaginable
against the Apothecary, and ask’d him a
hundred Questions in a Breath, without
giving him Time to answer one of them.
He was allow’d to vent a little of that Passion
without Interruption; but at last an Account
being brought that Miss was recover’d
and put to Bed, the young Apothecary let
the Father into the whole Affair, only concealing
every Part of it that might reflect
upon his Mistress’s Conduct; he own’d he
had seduced her, but had offer’d her Marriage,
which she always declin’d, and that it C3r 15
it was pressing that subject with such Arguments
as he thought of Weight, had (he
believ’d) thrown her into that violent Agony.
The Father, tho’ enrag’d at the
Scandal, to which his Daughter was expos’d,
yet could not help being charm’d
with the virtuous Constancy of the young
Gentleman, so uncommon with the Youth
of the Age, and was no less surpriz’d at the
Conduct of his Daughter in opposing a
Step which was the only one could paliate
her former Offence. He had the most tender
Regard for her, and therefore would
not, in her present Condition, endanger her
Life, by expressing an ill-tim’d Resentment,
but after preparing her for the Visit, went
into her Chamber, and expostulated with
her in the calmest Manner on the Absurdity
of her Conduct, advising her forthwith
to marry the young Apothecary, but
it was in vain to urge her to it; she would
not, neither would she assign any Reason
for her refusal. Her Father picqu’d at her
Conduct, left the Room, and never saw
her more till he was sent for to her, some
Moments before she expired.

This Discovery of her Pregnancy prevented
the intended Murder of the Infant,
which its plain she intended by her making no C3v 16
no Preparations for such an Occasion, tho’
so near at Hand. However, now all
Things are got ready with as much Secrecy
as possible, and in about eight Days after she
was brought to Bed of a Daughter, no other
than our Fortunate Transport, and the subject
of the following Sheets, but in a few
Hours thereafter finding herself upon the
verge of Life, she begg’d her Father might
see her before she died. He came, and the
Company being withdrawn, she told him
the whole Story of her Misfortune without
so much as concealing the cruelty of her Intentions,
but thank’d God she had been
prevented, and referred him to a Paper in her
Escrutore for such Particulars as she could not
then dwell on: She told him, that she could
now easily Account for her Behaviour to the
Apothecary, since she had commenced an
Intrigue only with a View to procure an
Abortion under the greater Secrecy, had
really no liking to his Person, being too
much prepossess’d in favour of her first
Undoer, and then thought it would have
been an Act of great Injustice to impose
upon an honest Man in so tender a Point,
and especially as her Delivery would unravel
the Cheat, and render her and his Life for
ever afterwards unhappy. She begg’d of
her Father to forgive her, and that he would permit C4r 17
permit her to leave her Jewels and a small
Sum of Money she had by her Aunt to the
Apothecary as a Testimony of her Esteem,
and a Reward for his ill-placed Constancy.
The Father approved that Part of her Conduct,
gave her his Blessing, and she expired
in his Arms, desiring him with her
last Breath to dispose of the Infant in such
manner as her Birth might not reflect
on his Family, or propagate the Scandal of
her Memory.

The Father had the Child baptiz’d
privately by the Name of Mary; and, as
privately, turn’d her over to the Parish, with
ten Pounds, which is the common Price
given for such sort of Children, and by the
Church-Wardens she was sent to one of the
Parish Nurses.

It was given out among the deceased’s
Relations, that she died of a High Fever,
and the real Cause and Circumstance conceal’d
as much as possible, but when so
many Servants were Privy, it was impossible
but it should at last perspire, as it did
pretty publickly some Years after, but on
Account of her Family I have avoided,
giving the most distant Hint that might
point them out, or cast the smallest Reflection
on the worthy Lady.

The C4v 18

The Father soon died of Grief for the
Loss of his Daughter, and never could think
with any Patience on the Infant, so that
she continued to take her Chance with the
rest of the Parish Children till about eight
or nine Years old, when another lucky
Accident removed her from that Scene of
Misery, and gave her some Prospect of at
least a comfortable Settlement in the World,
if her own Folly had permitted her to attain
it by honest and rational Means.――
It happened in this Manner.

The Charity-Children of that Parish
which was that of St. Martin’s in the Fields,
happened to go their annual Procession; an
old Widow-Gentlewoman passing along, pleased
with the Appearance they made, followed
them into the Church, and fixed her Eyes
in a particular manner upon Polly Haycock,
(for that was the Name she went by, alluding
to the Story of her being begot under a
Hay-cock) who, notwithstanding her Education,
had something in Person and Look
differing from the other Children with whom
she was class’d: She had a delicate Complection,
fine Eyes, and all the Appearance
of a fine Shape; and something in her Mien
peculiarly engaging, at least the old Gentlewoman
fancied that, and a great deal more; for D1r 19
for she imagined she could discover the Features
of a once dearly beloved Son in this
young Mendicant: She was so much taken
with the Resemblance, that she never lost
Sight of Polly till she went to the Officers of
the Parish, and desired to ease them of that
Burden. It was no difficult Matter to persuade
those Gentlemen to comply with the
old Lady’s charitable Inclination; and that
very Night she carried Polly home with her,
having first taken all the Information she
could from the Parish-Officers and Nurses,
about the Means of finding out the Parents
of her new Charge.

It was some time before she could learn
any thing; but at last the Mother was
traced: But she was still in the dark as to
her Father. However, Women have strong
Curiosity, and are indefatigable in gratifying
that Foible; and by the Help of some Hints
from the Servants who had lived in the Family
when Polly was born, she was directed
to the so often mentioned Apothecary; and
from him she learn’d the whole Secret of
Polly’s Birth; and by a Picture in the Top
of a Snuff-box, found amongst the Things
left him by the unhappy Mother, the old
Lady found out that her Son, whose Resemblance
she found Polly had, was the real D Father; D1v 20
Father; for I should have mention’d before,
that, at parting, he had made her a Present
of a Tortoiseshell Snuff-box set in Gold, and
his Picture in the Lid of it.

This Discovery pleased the old Gentlewoman,
and obliged her to transfer all the
Fondness she had for the Father to his newly
discover’d Offspring; for he himself died
some Months before she was born. In a
few Days after the Interview of the Haycock,
he fell ill of a malignant Fever, and
died in less than a Month; which was probably
the Cause the unhappy Lady had not
heard of him, as she expected.

Thus Polly, tho’ not publickly own’d,
for the old Widow’s Grandchild, yet was
treated with all the Fondness that could be
expected from such a Relation. She was sent
to a Boarding-school, and every Part of
Education given her suitable to a young
Lady of midling Fortune. She was apt
enough to learn what she was taught, but
withal betray’d an unlucky Disposition, ill
corresponding with her natural Talents, or the
Rank of Life into which she was raised.
The little low Tricks of a Parish Girl were
ever predominant, and no Admonition or
Correction could wean her from them: Their D2r 21
Their loose Manner of Speech, their romping
rude Behaviour, but especially their filching
Talents, had taken so deep Root in her,
that nothing she could lay her Hands on but
stuck to her Fingers, tho’ of no manner of
Use to her. For the first Year or two, her
thieving Spirit was confined to the Childrens
Toys, and Play-things; but as she grew up,
she made free with Things of greater Value;
for which several Servants belonging to the
Boarding-School were turned away, and lost
their Reputation and Wages, tho’ innocent;
for nobody could suspect Miss Polly. However,
she was discovered at last. She had
been now about Three Years in the Boarding-School,
and might be about Twelve
Years old, and tall of her Age. There was
another Miss, the Daughter of a Person
of Quality, in the same School, and
much about her Age, who wore a Gold
Watch and Equipage. Miss Polly, who had as
much Vanity as any one, grudged prodigiously
that the young Lady should have a
Watch, and she none: She had teazed her
Grandmother for one, who was not quite
such a Fool as to be at the Expence; but Miss
was resolved to have one at any Rate: So she
found Means to steal the Watch from t’ other
Miss, and hid it in her Box. The Watch was
soon missed, and all the House in an Uproar: D2 The D2v 22
The Servants were all secured and examin’d
before a Magistrate, but none could be persuaded
to own the Theft, nor could it be
well fixed on any Particular, though the
Strength of the Suspicion lay upon the Chambermaid,
as she was last in the Room, from
whence the Watch was taken: The Girl,
who knew her own Innocence, complain’d
that her Reputation should be called in
Question, and said she was sure some of
the Boarders must have got it, since there
was daily something lost, and many Servants
turned away without any Proof of their
Dishonesty, and bluntly proposed that every
Box and Trunk, &c. in the House might
be searched. The Motion was too reasonable
to be denied; accordingly the Mistress
of the School fell to Work; all the Misses
gave up their Keys and Boxes freely; but
Polly lagg’d behind, and showed great Reluctancy
to have her Box search’d; but
search’d it was, and in it found the Gold
Watch, with innumerable other Things, for
which the Servants had been unjustly suspected.
The Widow was sent for, and
made acquainted with the Affair, and Miss
threatened to be carried before a Magistrate;
but by a little Money, well apply’d, the
Mistress of the Boarding-School was appeased,
and Miss carried Home to the Widow’sdow’s D3r 23
House, who now began to repent of
the Fondness she had indulged for her, since
she began so early to betray Habits of so
scandalous a Nature, and concluded that she
never would have any Credit of her, let her
raise her to what Height of Grandeur she
could. She concluded it therefore best, to
bind her ’Prentice to some Business, which
might employ her Mind, and take it off
from any idle Habit she had contracted.
She chose for her that of a Milliner, and
bound her to one of her Acquaintance, a
Woman in Years, of good Business, and
unblemished Reputation; and promis’d Miss,
now turned of Thirteen, that if she behaved
well she would set her up in a handsome
Manner when out of her Time; and mean
while to allow her every thing she could
want during her Apprenticeship.

For the first Three or Four Months she
behaved tolerably well, and her good Benefactress
began to entertain some Hopes
that she might yet prove a Comfort to her
old Age; but the good Woman did not live
to see what followed, for a Fit of Sickness
seizing her she died, and left Miss Five
Hundred Pounds, to be paid when out of
her Time; but to be forfeited in case she
broke her Indentures.

The D3v 24

The Restraint which the old Widow
kept upon her being removed by her Death,
Polly began to neglect her Business, idle her
Time, and in a few Months was detected in
making free with some of her Mistress’s fine
Laces. The first Fault was smothered, but
for the second she was carried before a Magistrate,
and would have been committed to
Bridewell, but that the good-natured Apothecary,
her Mother’s Acquaintance prevailed
with her Mistress to pardon her for
that Time, and became bound for her Honesty
for the future.

She was now turned of Fourteen, and
began to feel a Warmth in her Blood, which
she had hitherto been a Stranger to. She
was tall of her Age, and fancied herself every
way a Woman, at least fit to be made one.
As she was known to have Five Hundred
Pounds, some young Fellows in the Neighbourhood
took it into their Heads to make
Love to her. Among the rest, a young
Barber that lived in a Shop opposite, and
shaved a Gentleman who lodged in the Milliner’s
House, declared himself her humble
Servant. Miss was mightily pleased with
the Overture of Love, and gave him all the
Encouragement he could expect; and in the End D4r 25
End she was persuaded to rob her Mistress a
third Time, and to go off with her Spark.
They were soon discover’d and part of the
Goods found about them. The Apothecary
was sent for, who tho’ chagrined to find that
she had ruined herself, by running from her
Indenture, and so forfeiting the Five Hundred
Pounds she was to have by the Widow
her Benefactress; yet he had so much
Compassion on her as not to suffer her to
be prosecuted; but prevailed on the Executors
to make good the Damage, and promise
her a small Allowance to help to support
her. Her Mistress would by no Means
take her again, nor could it be urged consistent
with Modesty; and the young Fellow
made his Escape as soon as he got out
of the Constable’s Hands, not caring to be
burthened with her, since her Prospect of the
Five Hundred Pounds was gone, that being
the only Bait which induced him to have
any thing to say to her.

Thus she was thrown upon the wide
World, with a lost Reputation, very little
Prudence, and few Principles of Honesty.
She lived some Time in Lodgings, and at
last picked up Acquaintance with one of those
She-Devils called “Bawds”, with whom she went
to live, and commenced Whore. Her Youth and D4v 26
and her Person, which were really agreeable,
procured her Abundance of Employment that
Way; but Madam the Procuress, and her
Crew, reaped all the Profit; for Miss had
not Sense enough to value Money so much
as to be saving of it, but spent it in all the
Riot and Excess peculiar to those Kind of
Houses.

One Season, and an ugly Distemper,
the Attendant of such a Course of Life,
took away from the Novelty of her Face,
lost her her Customers, and consequently her
Place in that virtuous Family. She was now
obliged to walk the Streets, and frequent the
lowest Houses of loose Resort, where she
got acquainted with all the Pickpockets and
Sharpers about Town, and soon became a
Proficient in that Calling, as that seemed to
be her natural Talent.

She got in with a Gang of them of
about a Dozen, Men and Women, who kept
their Rendezvous at the Sign of the Horseshoe-and-Magpye,
then a noted Night-House
in one of the Lanes going out of Drury-
Lane
, and was for her Standing the most
expert of any in the Society, and contributed
most to the common Stock, for she
sometimes dressed in Boys Cloaths, and frequentedquented E1r 27
the Play-House Passages, and pick’d
Pockets in Abundance; and in her own proper
Shape endeavoured to allure as many as
she could into her Haunts, and never left
them till she had robb’d them of something
or other.

She went on with Impunity for about a
Twelvemonth, but the Devil left her at last:
Taking her Rounds one Night from Temple-Bar
to Charing-Cross, she met in her
Way a young Silversmith, pretty much in
Liquor. She attack’d him with the usual
Compliment, “How do you do, my Precious?
Will you give me a Pint of Wine this cold
Night?”
The Citizen, tho’ no Novice in the
Follies of the Town, yet was prevailed on
to treat Polly with a Glass. He was for going
to a Tavern, but Miss wheedled him into
a House of her own choosing, which he
could not afterwards find out, where they
drunk a Bottle of Wine, and finished some
other Matters, which gave Polly an Opportunity
to pick his Pocket of his Watch.

The Citizen went off without missing
it; and when he did, his Brain was so
addled that he could not recollect the House
where he had lost it, and without that had
no Hopes of finding out the deluding Thief; E so E1v 28
so that he sat himself down contented with
his Loss. The Watch had to it a Cornelian
Seal set in Gold, which Miss Polly took
into her Head to defraud her Associates of;
she took it off from the Chain, and only
brought the Watch into the common Stock.
She concealed it for some Time, and at last
wanting Money for some necessary Occasions
of her own, she ventures to offer it to
Sale. Had she acquainted any of her old
Companions with it, they would have found
Ways and Means to dispose of it without
the Risk of a Discovery; but as they would
claim a Share, she would not mention it;
but offered it to a Silversmith in Cheapside;
it was a Servant she spoke to, who immediately
knew his Master’s Seal, for it happened
to be the Owner’s Shop she called at.
The young Man desired her very civilly to
walk in, and he would shew it his Master.
She was no sooner got within the Door
than poor Miss was secured, and the Master
called, who immediately knew his own Seal,
and fancied he knew the Face of the Person
who robb’d him of it: However, he
immediately had her before a Magistrate,
swore to his Property, and the Means of his
loosing it. Miss confess’d all, and was committed
to Newgate, and the next Sessions was E2r 29
was tried at the Old-Bailey, and cast for
Transportation.

During the Interval between her Sentence
and her being ship’d off, which happened
to be some Months, she proved with
Child by one of the Under-Turnkeys, who
had contrived a Method for her Escape, but
was discovered in the Execution; and he
was turned out of his Place; and poor Polly
was obliged, with about Fifty others, Men
and Women, to set out from Newgate in
the ordinary Manner, and was put on
board a Lighter, and from thence on board
a Transport-Ship bound for Virginia, call’d
The M-ry G-ll-y, J--n M-st-n Commander.
As she was with Child, and somewhat
sickly on the Voyage, the Captain,
out of regard to her Sex and Youth, treated
her with more Tenderness than is commonly
shewn to Creatures in these Circumstances,
but nothing particular happened in the Passage.
They made the Capes of Virginia in
about Six Weeks, and landed in JamesTown
in about Two Months after their leaving
England. The Captain disposed of all
his Slaves, except Polly, in a short Time;
but she stuck upon his Hands, as she seem’d
but sickly, and of a Make not cut out for
hard Labour; and her present Condition E2 with E2v 30
with the Fatigues of her Voyage and Imprisonment,
had made such an Impression on
her, that there was nothing engaging in her
to tempt the Planters to purchase her for a
Mistress, as they sometimes do. But at last
an old Gentlewoman who had seen her
Work, and handle her Needle with uncommon
Dexterity, took a Liking to her, and
purchased her of the Captain for a Trifle.

She was carried Home to the Plantation,
and employed about the old Lady’s
Person, and to look after the Linen of
the Family. She behaved pretty decently
till she was delivered, which happened to
be of a fine Boy, whom her Mistress made
her nurse; and afterwards took Care of, and
settled him in a small Plantation, on which
he now lives in a very prosperous Manner,
though his Mother has never once thought
of owning him, or giving him the least
Assistance out of the great Affluence of
which she has been, and is still possessed.

After her Son was weaned, Polly recruited
her Charms, and appeared a more
than ordinary Beauty in that Country, where
Women of any Sort are tolerably scarce, and
was more sensible of that Advantage than ever she E3r 31
she was in her Life, and laid a Plot whereby
She might turn it to her Advantage.

Her Mistress had a Grandson just turn’d
of Eighteen, Heir to a considerable Estate,
and of no very promising Genius; at least
his Understanding was by no Means fit to
cope with one who had seen so much of the
World as Polly had, though their Years were
not much different: And on this and the
Force of her uncommon Charms, she built
the Foundation of her Hopes of wheedling
him into Marriage.

As they lived in the same House it was
no difficult Matter to have Opportunities, and
Polly took Care to improve them as much
as possible, by some times appearing gay, at
other Times giving Encouragement by innocent
Freedoms, by which she at last got the
young Booby to nibble at the Bait; which she
played with so artfully, that she had very
nigh hook’d him; but the prying old Woman,
who in her younger Years understood
Trap as well as another, smelt a Rat, and
spoiled this hopeful Project when just ready
for Execution.

The young Planter was sent over to
England out of Harms Way; and Polly was E3v 32
was turned over for the Remainder of her
Time to a Planter, who employed her as a
Cookmaid, a Place she was by no Means cut
out for: But she must submit, and do the
best she could, though she was frequently
obliged to undergo the Discipline pretty severely
for Faults she committed, not wilfully,
but purely out of Ignorance in the
Branch her Tyrant employed her in. She
tried all her female Arts to inflame her
Master; but old Birds are not to be caught
with Chaff: He was a meer Planter, consequently,
cruel, haughty, and mercenary,
without any soft Sentiment of Humanity in
his Breast; and his Years had laid the Fever
in his Blood so much that he had no
Thoughts but how to work the Value of
his Money out of the Slaves, and make the
most of them, without regard to their Happiness
or Misery. In a Word, like most of
the Tribe of Planters, he had no Appetite
but for Money; nor Pleasure in any
Pastime but torturing the unhappy Wretches
in his Power.

It was here poor Polly had the first
Remorse for her past Folly, and the fatal
Conduct which had put her in the Power of
such a Brute; for not a Day past but she
was railed at, with all the Curses and Imprecationsprecations E4r 33
that Hell could invent; and almost
once in Two or Three Days was stript
naked, tied to a Tree, and whipt till her
Back was all over in a Gore of Blood. For
her to attempt an escape was in vain, the
Laws of the Country are so strict against
harbouring of runagade Servants; and as
she was a Woman, she had still less Opportunity
of succeeding in such an Attempt,
without the Assistance of the
Neighbours: But after she had undergone
this hellish Life for near two Years, as in
every other Circumstance of her Story, her
very Misfortune contributed to her Relief.

It happen’d one Day that Polly had
over or under roasted a Turkey that was for
her Tyrant’s Dinner, for which high Crime
and Misdemeanor, Mrs. Cook was call’d
up, stripp’d naked and tied up to a Post in
the Court-Yard, and whipp’d during all
the Time of Dinner, the Monster boasting
that no Monarch upon Earth had so fine
Musick as he fancied her Cries. In the Interim
a neighbouring Justice of the Peace
alighted at the Gate. He was a Man about
sixty, but a healthy vigorous Constitution,
and perhaps as much of the Man about
him at some Times, as when he was forty;
he was possess’d of a great deal of Humanity, and E4v 34
and really had as little of the Planter in him as
it is possible for any Man to have who had
lived forty Years in that Country. The
Sight of a fine Woman in that dismal
Figure, with an old Negro labouring her
with an unmerciful Cat-and-nine-Tails,
rais’d in the Justice all the Sentiments of
Humanity, that good Nature could suggest
on such an Occasion, he stepp’d hastily
up to the Slave, and snatch’d the Cat-and-
nine-Tails out of his Hand and bid him
untie the Woman, for which she return’d
him a thousand Blessings on her Knees,
and as many Imprecations on her Master.
The Justice chid his Neighbour for using
a white Servant in that cruel Manner, upon
any Provocation. But when he understood
her Crime, he told him, it was Pity
but the Law provided against such unnatural
Cruelty, and said he would not fail
to represent it to the Governor and Council.
The Planter knew he had all the
Assembly of his Side, and did not mind
the Justice much, but rally’d him for his
Compassion, and told him he had a great
Mind to make him a Present of that
Bitch, for she was good for nothing to
him; but he might make something of her,
and would perhaps give her Strokes she
might like better than any he had afforded her F1r 35
her in his Service. The Justice took him
at his Word, had her made over to him
for the remaining Part of her Time, and
carried her Home with him that Night.

The Justice was a Widower had no
Charge of Children, but such as were already
provided, and lived in a genteel and
elegant Manner. At first Polly was made
Housekeeper, an Office she could better
perform than that of Cook, tho’ even of
that she had been whipt into a tolerable
Notion; but after some Time, when good
Usage and good Living had recover’d her
former Looks, the old Justice became so
enamour’d with her, that he made her Partaker
of his Bed; and behaved to her in every
respect as his Wife, excepting the Punctilio of
Precedency amongst his Female Relations;
who behaved to her very civily, for there a
kept Mistress is no such scandalous Matter,
as to give Umbrage to the married Part of
the Sex.

Polly might have been happy here after
all her Follies and Misfortunes could she
have moderated her Ambition, or been
guided by the Common Rules of Prudence,
for the Justice told her, he would when her
Time was out settle an Annuity on her for F Life, F1v 36
Life, in case of his Death, and maintain
her while he liv’d in the same ease and
affluence she now enjoy’d. She appear’d
satisfied with this, but still had it in her
Head to wheedle him into a Marriage and
a Settlement of his Estate upon the Children
of the Marriage, which she was resolved
in that Case should not be wanting;
but the old Gentleman was not so much in
Love as that came to; all her Arts could
not prevail, for which Reason, she conceived
a mortal Antipathy against him;
which she only smothered till the long wish’d
for Expiration of her seven Years. It at last
came, and the Justice presented her the next
Morning with a Certificate of her Service,
executed in due form, and a Purse of a
hundred Guineas, which he said he would
renew on the Anniversary of that Day as
long as he lived.

This good Nature and Generosity had
no Effect upon Polly; she was a Stranger
to Gratitude, or to any virtuous Principle
bordering upon it; if possible she rather
hated her Benefactor the more she was indebted
to his Bounty. She had for ten
Months past design’d an Intrigue with the
Master of a Sloop which traded between
that Colony and Jamaica, and only kept Measures F2r 37
Measures with the Justice to have an Opportunity
of robbing him to enrich her Gallant.

After she had got all out of him she
could by weedling, she prepared for robbing
him of as much more, and setting out
with her said Captain for Jamaica. In
order to carry on this Design, she made
one Betty Mathews, a Wench much in her
own Circumstance, and who was like her, just
free, privy to her Intention: This Mathews
was Cook-Maid to the Justice, and had likewise
her Paramour, a freed Fellon in the
same Service. The Sloop lay at James-Town,
about forty Miles from the Plantation they
were at, which was the only Difficulty
they had to encounter. As they intended to
carry off a considerable Booty, they were
afraid of being pursued, for had they gone
off themselves, no body could have hindered
it. They had served their Indentures
out and procured each their Discharge; but
Mrs. Cook’s Paramour undertook to lead
them Bye-ways through the Woods till
they got to the River. The Captain was
acquainted with their Designs, and prepared
with Signals to receive them. Accordingly
on the Night prefix’d, which they chose to
be when the Justice was at the QuarterSessionsF2 Sessions F2v 38
for the County, to lie out all Night.
Polly pack’d up all the Plate, Linnen and
other Things of Value she could lay her
Hands on, and broke open a strong Box,
where she found about a hundred and fifty
Guineas, which she secreted for her own
Use, and away they all three set out in the
dead of Night: The Bye-way, they were
obliged to take, and lying still all Day,
made their Journey longer than it might
have been. However, the third Night
after setting out, they arrived without any
Disaster at the Place they had appointed the
Sloop to meet them, made the proper Signals,
and got safe on Board with all their
ill-got Booty. The whole was equally divided,
but the Captain purchased Mathew’s
and her Sweetheart’s Part, with a trifle of
ready Money, with which they were better
contented. They set Sail with a fair Wind,
and made Port-Royal in Jamaica in a
reasonable Time after. Polly was cunning
enough to conceal all her ready Money
from her Captain, which might amount to
about three hundred Pounds, and this I
think is the first prudent Step I find of her
Conduct. They had not been long in
Jamaica, when the Captain fell ill of the
Disease of the Country, which carried him
off in three Days. However, she plaid her Cards F3r 39
Cards so well in that short Time, that she
prevailed on him to make his Will, by
which he left her all he had, under the
Name of his Wife, tho’ the Church had
no Hand in the Match. However, this
gave her some Character in the Island, she
pass’d for Captain W-t-n’s Widow, and
was supposed pretty well to pass in the
World. The Sloop he was in was entirely
his own, he had Share in some other in
the London Trade, and a small Plantation
upon Black River.

After the Funeral was over, she and
her Maid Betty Mathews set out for their
Plantation, for Mathews had quitted her
Paramour on some disgust, (who had gone
to the Spanish Main a Buccaneering,
from whence he has never been heard of)
and now pass’d for Widow W-t-n’s
Maid.

The Plantation was but small, and much
out of Repair, but the Widow as I must
now call her, built a new House upon it, and
purchased an adjacent Plantation, which
made a pretty snugg Concern. She employ’d
the old Servants to overlook her Slaves, and
for a Year or two, behaved with great Decency,
and gain’d the Esteem of the Neigh- F3v 40
Neighbouring Planters, from many of
whom she received Overtures of Marriage,
but she set a high Price upon herself, and
was resolved not to stoop to any Thing
below those of the first Rank in the
Island, tho’ her Estate could give her no
such Pretensions; yet the Notion she had
of her Person and Beauty, which was by
no Means contemptible, made her hope
for great Things. At last a Suitor appear’d
equal to her Ambition. One Mr. F――
happening to have a small Concern in that
Part of the Island, and not many Miles
distant from her, came down to look after
it, and out of good Manners made a visit
to his Neighbour, who received him politely,
and in a few Hours made an uncommon
Progress in his Affections.

The first Visit produced no Declaration,
but the second did, and the third
concluded the Match. A Day was fix’d for
the Nuptials, which were celebrated with
great Splendor, and by Chance, the Marriage
was consummated in a Summer
House in the Garden, differing very little
from the Alcove mentioned in her Mothers
Dream at the critical Minute of her
Conception; and her Husband was in effect
Deputy-Governor, for he was the first F4r 41
first in Council, and officiated as Deputy
in the Absence of the Governor.

She removed in a few Weeks from her
own Plantation to Mr. F――’s House,
who was possess’d of an Immense Estate,
in well stock’d Plantations, and ready Money,
which he annually placed in the English
Funds, in order to purchase an
Estate in his native Country, which he did
in a few Years after, to the amount of five
thousand Pounds per Annum, which his
eldest Son, a Gentleman of unblemish’d Reputation,
enjoys at Present.

He lived after this Marriage but seven
or eight Years, and left his eldest Son the
Estate I have now mentioned, his second
Son three Thousand a Year Jamaica Currency
in Plantations in that Island, and his
third Son about half as much, which Son
was lately over here, and carried back with
him one of the Ladies of the Town he
had pick’d up in a Bagnio, and is since
married to her. Mr. F―― left likewise
either two or three Daughters, to whom he
gave Fortunes suitable to his great Estate,
and to his Widow he left three Thousand a
Year Jamaica Currency, to be paid in
equal Proportions by the three Sons.

She F4v 42

She was now the greatest Fortune, as
well as the Lady of the first Rank in
the Island; and scarce lived out her Year
of Widowhood before she was attack’d by
Courtiers in Shoals; however, she continued
unmarried till her Sons were of age,
and had got Possession of their Estates, that
they might not suffer by the Management
of any After-choice. Then she received the
Addresses of Mr. B――, an elderly Man
of good Character, and without Children.
Tho’ his Fortune was not altogether equal
to hers, yet, as he had no Charge, she
thought it more for the Interest of her Children
that she should make this Match,
than any other; which turn’d out accordingly:
for they lived together some Years
in great Peace and Satisfaction, and she had
the good Fortune to bury Mr. B――,
by whom she was left the Bulk of his
Estate, which, with a vast Sum she has
saved, she intends to divide among her
Children; and has, some Years since, come
over to England, with her Daughters, where
she lives in great Splendeur and Affluence;
but unhappily for her, she has brought
Home with her too much of the Spirit of
the Planter; that is, a Disposition to use
her Servants with great Severity, and scarce
any Share of Humanity, tho’ she felt the Misery G1r 43
Misery of that inhumane Temper in her
Servitude with the Virginian Savage, yet
she was by no Means famed for her Lenity
to her own Slaves in Jamaica; and I am
told now that she is in England, she has the
same Opinion of those who serve her as
she had of such as she employ’d amongst
us, and as far as the Law will permit,
uses them with the same Harshness; by
which Means none will stay with her but
such as can have neither Place nor Character
any where else, and in some measure
this embitters the Sweets of her present
Grandeur. In this she is not particular,
for I have heard all Creolians complain of
their English Servants with great Warmth,
as if there were no such Thing as good or
honest Servants in the Island of Britain.
But the Truth of the Matter is, they treat
free-born Englishmen as they do Negroes
and Felons in the Plantations, and expect
the same Submission from the one as the
other; but they are mistaken. An honest
Servant will not put up with such Usage
here, but a Knave will; and if they expect
such Treatment to be borne with, they must
look for them amongst that Class of People,
and if they are ill served, or find their Servants
cheat them, they are to blame themselves
for their Choice and Conduct; for I G believe G1v 44
believe if we behave with Candour and
Humanity towards our Servants, which we
are bound to do as Men and Christians,
we may expect as good, honest and faithful
Servants in England, as in any Place on
the Face of the Earth.

Finis.