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.

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

Price One Shilling.

A1v omitted
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 ed; 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 dress’d 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 dow’s 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 quented 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 precations 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 Sessions 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.