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Fanny Hill, Part IX (second letter)



Fanny Hill



Part IX

My gentleman had now put on his clothes and recomposed himself, when giving me a kiss, and placing me by him, he sat himself down as gingerly as possible, with one side off the cushion, which was too sore for him to bear resting any part of his weight on.

Here he thank'd me for the extreme pleasure I had procured him, and seeing, perhaps, some marks in my countenance of terror and apprehension of retaliation on my own skin, for what I had been the instrument of his suffering in his, he assured me, that he was ready to give up to me any engagement I might deem myself under to stand him, as he had done me, but if that proceeded in my consent to it, he would consider the difference of my sex, its greater delicacy and incapacity to undergo pain. Rehearten'd at which, and piqu'd in honour, as I thought, not to flinch so near the trial, especially as I well knew Mrs. Cole was an eye-witness, from her stand of espial, to the whole of our transactions, I was now less afraid of my skin than of his not furnishing me with an opportunity of signalizing my resolution.

Consonant to this disposition was my answer, but my courage was still more in my head, than in my heart; and as cowards rush into the danger they fear, in order to be the sooner rid of the pain of that sensation, I was entirely pleas'd with his hastening matters into execution.

He had then little to do, but to unloose the strings of my petticoats, and lift them, together with my shift, navelhigh, where he just tuck'd them up loosely girt, and might be slipt up higher at pleasure. Then viewing me round with great seeming delight, he laid me at length on my face upon the bench, and when I expected he would tie me, as I had done him, and held out my hands, not without fear and a little trembling, he told me he would by no means terrify me unnecessarily with such a confinement; for that though he meant to put my constancy to some trial, the standing it was to be completely voluntary on my side, and therefore I might be at full liberty to get up whenever I found the pain too much for me. You cannot imagine how much I thought myself bound, by being thus allow'd to remain loose, and how much spirit this confidence in me gave me, so that I was even from my heart careless how much my flesh might suffer in honour of it.

All by back parts, naked half way up, were now fully at his mercy: and first, he stood at a convenient distance, delighting himself with a gloating survey of the attitude I lay in, and of all the secret stores I thus expos'd to him in fair display. Then, springing eagerly towards me, he cover'd all those naked parts with a fond profusion of kisses; and now, taking hold of the rod, rather wanton'd with me, in gentle inflictions on those tender trembling masses of my flesh behind, than in any way hurt them, till by degrees, he began to tingle them with smarter lashes, so as to provoke a red colour into them, which I knew, as well by the flagrant glow I felt there, as by his telling me, they now emulated the native roses of my other cheeks. When he had thus amus'd himself with admiring and toying with them, he went on to strike harder, and more hard; so that I needed all my patience not to cry out, or complain at least. At last, he twigg'd me so smartly as to fetch blood in more than one lash: at sight of which he flung down the rod, flew to me, kissed away the starting drops, and sucking the wounds eased a good deal of my pain. But now raising me on my knees, and making me kneel with them straddling wide, that tender part of me, naturally the province of pleasure, not of pain, came in for its share of suffering: for now, eyeing it wistfully, he directed the rod so that the sharp ends of the twigs lighted there, so sensibly, that I could not help wincing, and writhing my limbs with smart; so that my contortions of body must necessarily throw it into infinite variety of postures and points of view, fit to feast the luxury of the eye. But still I bore every thing without crying out: when presently giving me another pause, he rush'd, as it were, on that part whose lips, and round-about, had felt this cruelty, and by way of reparation, glews his own to them; then he opened, shut, squeez'd them, pluck'd softly the overgrowing moss, and all this in a style of wild passionate rapture and enthusiasm, that express'd excess of pleasure; till betaking himself to the rod again, encourag'd by my passiveness, and infuriated with this strange taste of delight, he made my poor posteriours pay for the ungovernableness of it; for now shewing them no quarter the traitor cut me so, that I wanted but little of fainting away, when he gave over. And yet I did not utter one groan, or angry expostulation; but in heart I resolv'd nothing so seriously, as never to expose myself again to the like serverities.

You may guess then in what a curious pickle those soft flesh-cushions of mine were, all sore, raw, and in fine, terribly clawed off; but so far from feeling any pleasure in it, that the recent smart made me pout a little, and not with the greatest air of satisfaction receive the compliments, and after-caresses of the author of my pain.

As soon as my cloaths were huddled on in a little decency, a supper was brought in by the discreet Mrs. Cole herself, which might have piqued the sensuality of a cardinal, accompanied with a choice of the richest wines: all which she set before us, and went out again, without having, by a word or even by a smile, given us the least interruption or confusion, in those moments of secrecy, that we were not yet ripe to the admission of a third to.

I sat down then, still scarce in charity with my butcher, for such I could not help considering him, and was moreover not a little piqued at the gay, satisfied air of his countenance, which I thought myself insulted by. But when the now necessary refreshment to me of a glass of wine, a little eating (all the time observing a profound silence) had somewhat cheer'd and restor'd me to spirits, and as the smart began to go off, my good humour return'd accordingly: which alteration not escaping him, he said and did everything that could confirm me in, and indeed exalt it.

But scarce was supper well over, before a change so incredible was wrought in me, such violent, yet pleasingly irksome sensations took possession of me that I scarce knew how to contain myself; the smart of the lashes was now converted into such a prickly heat, such fiery tinglings, as made me sigh, squeeze my thighs together, shift and wriggle about my seat, with a furious restlessness; whilst these itching ardours, thus excited in those parts on which the storm of discipline had principally fallen, detach'd legions of burning, subtile, stimulating spirits, to their opposite spot and centre of assemblage, where their titillation rag'd so furiously, that I was even stinging mad with them. No wonder then, that in such a taking, and devour'd by flames that licked up all modesty and reserve, my eyes, now charg'd brimful of the most intense desire, fired on my companion very intelligible signals of distress: my companion, I say, who grew in them every instant more amiable, and more necessary to my urgent wishes and hopes of immediate ease.

Mr. Barville, no stranger by experience to these situations, soon knew the pass I was brought to, soon perceiv'd my extreme disorder; in favour of which, removing the table out of the way, he began a prelude that flatter'd me with instant relief, to which I was not, however, so near as I imagin'd: for as he was unbuttoned to me, and tried to provoke and rouse to action his unactive torpid machine, he blushingly own'd that no good was to be expected from it unless I took it in hand to re-excite its languid loitering powers, by just refreshing the smart of the yet recent blood-raw cuts, seeing it could, no more than a boy's top, keep up without lashing. Sensible then that I should work as much for my own profit as his, I hurried my compliance with his desire, and abridging the ceremonial, whilst he lean'd his head against the back of a chair, I had scarce gently made him feel the lash, before I saw the object of my wishes give signs of life, and presently, as it were with a magic touch, it started up into a noble size and distinction indeed! Hastening then to give me the benefit of it, he threw me down on the bench; but such was the refresh'd soreness of those parts behind, on my leaning so hard on them, as became me to compass the admission of that stupendous head of his machine, that I could not possibly bear it. I got up then, and tried, by leaning forwards and turning the crupper on my assailant, to let him at the back avenue: but here it was likewise impossible to stand his bearing so fiercely against me, in his agitations and endeavours to enter that way, whilst his belly battered directly against the recent sore. What should we do now? both intolerably heated; both in a fury; but pleasure is ever inventive for its own ends: he strips me in a trice, stark naked, and placing a broad settee-cushion on the carpet before the fire, oversets me gently, topsy-turvy, on it; and handling me only at the waist, whilst you may be sure I favour'd all my dispositions, brought my legs round his neck; so that my head was kept from the floor only by my hands and the velvet cushion, which was now bespread with my flowing hair: thus I stood on my head and hands, supported by him in such manner, that whilst my thighs clung round him, so as to expose to his sight all my back figure, including the theatre of his bloody pleasure, the centre of my fore part fairly bearded the object of its rage, that now stood in fine condition to give me satisfaction for the injuries of its neighbours. But as this posture was certainly not the easiest, and our imaginations, wound up to the height, could suffer no delay, he first, with the utmost eagerness and effort, just lip-lodg'd that broad acorn-fashion'd head of his instrument; and still frenzied by the fury with which he had made that impression, he soon stuffed in the rest; when now, with a pursuit of thrusts, fiercely urg'd, he absolutely overpower'd and absorb'd all sense of pain and uneasiness, whether from my wounds behind, my most untoward posture, or the oversize of his stretcher, in an infinitely predominant delight; when now all my whole spirits of life and sensation, rushing impetuously to the cock-pit, where the prize of pleasure was hotly in dispute and clustering to a point there, I soon receiv'd the dear relief of nature from these over-violent strains and provocations of it; harmonizing with which, my gallant spouted into me such a potent overflow of the balsamic injection, as soften'd and unedg'd all those irritating stings of a new species of titillation, which I had been so intolerably madden'd with, and restor'd the ferment of my senses to some degree of composure.

I had now achiev'd this rare adventure ultimately much more to my satisfaction than I had bespoken the nature of it to turn out; nor was it much lessen'd, you may think, by my spark's lavish praises of my constancy and complaisance, which he gave weight to by a present that greatly surpassed my utmost expectation, besides his gratification to Mrs. Cole.

I was not, however, at any time, re-enticed to renew with him, or resort again to the violent expedient of lashing nature into more haste than good speed: which, by the way, I conceive acts somewhat in the manner of a dose of Spanish flies; with more pain perhaps, but less danger; and might be necessary to him, but was nothing less so than to me, whose appetite wanted the bridle more than the spur.

Mrs. Cole, to whom this adventurous exploit had more and more endear'd me, looked on me now as a girl after her own heart, afraid on nothing, and, on a good account, hardy enough to fight all the weapons of pleasure through. Attentive then, in consequence of these favourable conceptions, to promote either my profit or pleasure, she had special regard for the first, in a new gallant of a very singular turn, that she procur'd for and introduced to me.

This was a grave, staid, solemn, elderly gentleman whose peculiar humour was a delight in combing fine tresses of hair; and as I was perfectly headed to his taste, he us'd to come constantly at my toilette hours, when I let down my hair as loose as nature, and abandon'd it to him to do what he pleased with it; and accordingly he would keep me an hour or more in play with it, drawing the comb through it, winding the curls round his fingers, even kissing it as he smooth'd it; and all this led to no other use of my person, or any other liberties whatever, any more than if a distinction of sexes had not existed.

Another peculiarity of taste he had, which was to present me with a dozen pairs of the whitest kid gloves at a time: these he would divert himself with drawing on me, and then biting off the fingers' ends; all which fooleries of a sickly appetite, the old gentleman paid more liberally for than most others did for more essential favours. This lasted till a violent cough, seizing and laying him up, deliver'd me from this most innocent and insipid trifler, for I never heard more of him after his first retreat.

You may be sure a by-job of this sort interfer'd with no other pursuit, or plan of life; which I led, in truth, with a modesty and reserve that was less the work of virtue than of exhausted novelty, a glut of pleasure, and easy circumstances, that made me indifferent to any engagements in which pleasure and profit were not eminently united; and such I could, with the less impatience, wait for at the hands of time and fortune, as I was satisfy'd I could never mend my pennyworths, having evidently been serv'd at the top of market, and even been pamper'd with dainties: besides that, in the sacrifice of a few momentary impulses, I found a secret satisfaction in respecting myself, as well as preserving the life and freshness of my complexion. Louisa and Emily did not carry indeed their reserve so high as I did; but still they were far from cheap or abandon'd tho' two of their adventures seem'd to contradict this general character, which, for their singularity, I shall give you in course, beginning first with Emily's:

Louisa and she went one night to a ball, the first in the habit of a shepherdess, Emily in that of a shepherd: I saw them in their dresses before they went, and nothing in nature could represent a prettier boy than this last did, being so fair and well limbed. They had kept together for some time, when Louisa, meeting an old acquaintance of hers, very cordially gives her companion the drop, and leaves her under the protection of her boy's habit, which was not much, and of her discretion, which was, it seems, still less. Emily, finding herself deserted, sauntered thoughtless about a-while, and, as much for coolness and air as anything else, at length pull'd off her mask and went to the sideboard; where, eyed and mark'd out by a gentleman in a very handsome domino, she was accosted by, and fell into chat with him. The domino, after a little discourse, in which Emily doubtless distinguish'd her good nature and easiness more than her wit, began to make violent love to her, and drawing her insensibly to some benches at the lower end of the masquerade room, for her to sit by him, where he squeez'd her hands, pinch'd her cheeks, prais'd and played with her fine hair, admired her complexion, and all in a style of courtship dash'd with a certain oddity, that not comprehending the mystery of, poor Emily attributed to his falling in with the humour of her disguise; and being naturally not the cruellest of her profession, began to incline to a parley on those essentials. But here was the stress of the joke: he took her really for what she appear'd to be, a smock-fac'd boy; and she, forgetting her dress, and of course ranging quite wide of his ideas, took all those addresses to be paid to herself as a woman, which she precisely owed to his not thinking her one. However, this double error was push'd to such a height on both sides, that Emily, who saw nothing in him but a gentleman of distinction by those points of dress to which his disguise did not extend, warmed too by the wine he had ply'd her with, and the caresses he had lavished upon her, suffered herself to be persuaded to go to a bagnio with him; and thus, losing sight of Mrs. Cole's cautions, with a blind confidence, put herself into his hands, to be carried wherever he pleased. For his part, equally blinded by his wishes, whilst her egregious simplicity favoured his deception more than the most exquisite art could have done, he supposed, no doubt, that he had lighted on some soft simpleton, fit for his purpose, or some kept minion broken to his hand, who understood him perfectly well and enter'd into his designs. But, be that as it would, he led her to a coach, went into it with her, and brought her to a very handsome apartment, with a bed in it; but whether it was a bagnio or not, she could not tell, having spoken to nobody but himself. But when they were alone together, and her enamorato began to proceed to those extremities which instantly discover the sex, she remark'd that no description could paint up to the life the mixture of pique, confusion and disappointment that appeared in his countenance, joined to the mournful exclamation: "By heavens, a woman!" This at once opened her eyes, which had hitherto been shut in downright stupidity. However, as if he had meant to retrieve that escape, he still continu'd to toy with and fondle her, but with so staring an alteration from extreme warmth into a chill and forced civility, that even Emily herself could not but take notice of it, and now began to wish she had paid more regard to Mrs. Cole's premonitions against ever engaging with a stranger. And now and excess of timidity succeeded to an excess of confidence, and she thought herself so much at his mercy and discretion, that she stood passive throughout the whole progress of his prelude: for now, whether the impressions of so great a beauty had even made him forgive her her sex, or whether her appearance of figure in that dress still humour'd his first illusion, he recover'd by degrees a good part of his first warmth, and keeping Emily with her breeches still unbuttoned, stript them down to her knees, and gently impelling her to lean down, with her face against the bed-side, placed her so, that the double way, between the double rising behind, presented the choice fair to him, and he was so fairly set on a mis-direction, as to give the girl no small alarms for fear of losing a maidenhead she had not dreamt of. However, her complaints, and a resistance, gentle, but firm, check'd and brought him to himself again; so that turning his steed's head, he drove him at length in the right road, in which his imagination having probably made the most of those resemblances that flatter'd his taste, he got, with much ado, to his journey's end: after which, he led her out himself, and walking with her two or three streets' length, got her a chair, when making her a present not any thing inferior to what she could have expected, he left her, well recommended to the chairman, who, on her directions, brought her home.

This she related to Mrs. Cole and me the same morning, not without the visible remains of the fear and confusion she had been in still stamp'd on her countenance. Mrs. Cole's remark was that her indescretion proceeding from a constitutional facility, there were little hopes of any thing curing her of it, but repeated severe experience. Mine was that I could not conceive how it was possible for mankind to run into a taste, not only universally odious, but absurd, and impossible to gratify; since, according to the notions and experience I had of things, it was not in nature to force such immense disproportions. Mrs. Cole only smil'd at my ignorance, and said nothing towards my undeception, which was not affected but by ocular demonstration, some months after, which a most singular accident furnish'd me, and which I will here set down, that I may not return again to so disagreeable a subject.

I had, on a visit intended to Harriet, who had taken lodgings at Hampton-court, hired a chariot to go out thither, Mrs. Cole having promis'd to accompany me; but some indispensable business intervening to detain her, I was obliged to set out alone; and scarce had I got a third of my way, before the axle-tree broke down, and I was well off to get out, safe and unhurt, into a publick-house of a tolerable handsome appearance, on the road. Here the people told me that the stage would come by in a couple of hours at farthest; upon which, determining to wait for it, sooner than lose the jaunt I had got so far forward on, I was carried into a very clean decent room, up one pair of stairs, which I took possession of for the time I had to stay, in right of calling for sufficient to do the house justice.

Here, whilst I was amusing myself with looking out of the window, a single horse-chaise stopt at the door, out of which lightly leap'd two gentlemen, for so they seem'd, who came in only as it were to bait and refresh a little, for they gave their horse to be held in readiness against they came out. And presently I heard the door of the next room, where they were let in, and call'd about them briskly; and as soon as they were serv'd, I could just hear that they shut and fastened the door on the inside.

A spirit of curiosity, far from sudden, since I do not know when I was without it, prompted me, without any particular suspicion, or other drift or view, to see what they were, and examine their persons and behaviour. The partition of our rooms was one of those moveable ones that, when taken down, serv'd occasionally to lay them into one, for the conveniency of a large company; and now, my nicest search could not shew me the shadow of a peep-hole, a circumstance which probably had not escap'd the review of the parties on the other side, whom much it stood upon not to be deceived in it; but at length I observed a paper patch of the same colour as the wainscot, which I took to conceal some flaw: but then it was so high, that I was obliged to stand upon a chair to reach it, which I did as softly as possibly, and, with a point of a bodkin, soon pierc'd it. And now, applying my eye close, I commanded the room perfectly, and could see my two young sparks romping and pulling one another about, entirely, to my imagination, in frolic and innocent play.

The eldest might be, on my nearest guess, towards nineteen, a tall comely young man, in a white fustian frock, with a green velvet cape, and a cut bob-wig.

The youngest could not be above seventeen, fair, ruddy, compleatly well made, and to say the truth, a sweet pretty stripling: he was--I fancy, too, a country-lad, by his dress, which was a green plush frock and breeches of the same, white waistcoat and stockings, a jockey cap, with his yellowish hair, long and loose, in natural curls. But after a look of circumspection, which I saw the eldest cast every way round the room, probably in too much hurry and heat not to overlook the very small opening I was posted at, especially at the height it was, whilst my eye close to it kept the light from shining through and betraying it, he said something to his companion and presently chang'd the face of things.

For now the elder began to embrace, to press and kiss the younger, to put his hands into his bosom, and give him such manifest signs of an amorous intention, as made me conclude the other to be a girl in disguise: a mistake that nature kept me in countenance for, for she had certainly made one, when she gave him the male stamp.

In the rashness then of their age, and bent as they were to accomplish their project of preposterous pleasure, at the risk of the very worst of consequences, where a discovery was nothing less than improbable, they now proceeded to such lengths as soon satisfied me what they were.

The criminal scene they acted, I had the patience to see to an end, purely that I might gather more facts and certainly against them in my design to do their deserts instance justice; and accordingly, when they had readjusted themselves, and were preparing to go out, burning as I was with rage and indignation, I jumped down from the chair, in order to raise the house upon them, but with such an unlucky impetuosity, that some nail or ruggedness in the floor caught my foot, and flung me on my face with such violence that I fell senseless on the ground, and must have lain there some time e'er any one came to my relief: so that they, alarmed, I suppose, by the noise of my fall, had more than the necessary time to make a safe retreat. This they effected, as I learnt, with a precipitation nobody could account for, till, when come to myself, and compos'd enough to speak, I acquainted those of the house with the whole transaction I had been evidence to.

When I came home again, and told Mrs. Cole this adventure, she very sensibly observ'd to me that there was no doubt of due vengeance one time of other overtaking these miscreants, however they might escape for the present; and that, had I been the temporal instrument of it, I should have been at least put to a great deal more trouble and confusion that I imagined; that, as to the thing itself, the less said of it was the better; but that though she might be suspected of partiality, from its being the common cause of woman-kind, out of whose mouths this practice tended to take something more than bread, yet she protested against any mixture of passion, with a declaration extorted from her by pure regard to truth; which was that whatever effect this infamous passion had in other ages and other countries, it seem'd a peculiar blessing on our air and climate, that there was a plague-spot visibly imprinted on all that are tainted with it, in this nation at least; for that among numbers of that stamp whom she had known, or at least were universally under the scandalous suspicion of it, she would not name an exception hardly of one of them, whose character was not, in all other respects, the most worthless and despicable that could be, stript of all the manly virtues of their own sex, and fill'd up with only the worst vices and follies of ours: that, in fine, they were scarce less execrable than ridiculous in their monstrous inconsistence, of loathing and condemning women, and all at the same time apeing all their manners, air, lips, skuttle, and, in general, all their little modes of affectation, which become them at least better than they do these unsex'd malemisses.

But here, washing my hands of them, I re-plunge into the stream of my history, into which I may very properly ingraft a terrible sally of Louisa's, since I had some share in it myself, and have besides engag'd myself to relate it, in point of countenance to poor Emily. It will add, too, one more example to thousands, in confirmation of the maxim that when women get once out of compass, there are no lengths of licentiousness that they are not capable of running.

One morning then, that both Mrs. Cole and Emily were gone out for the day, and only Louisa and I (not to mention the house-maid) were left in charge of the house, whilst we were loitering away the time in looking through the shop windows, the son of a poor woman, who earned very hard bread indeed by mending stockings, in a stall in the neighbourhood, offer'd us some nosegays, ring'd round a small basket; by selling of which the poor boy eked out his mother's maintenance of them both: nor was he fit for any other way of livelihood, since he was not only a perfect changeling, or idiot, but stammer'd so that there was no understanding even those sounds his halfdozen, at most, animal ideas prompted him to utter.

The boys and servants in the neighbourhood had given him the nick-name of Good-natured Dick, from the soft simpleton's doing everything he was bid at the first word, and from his naturally having no turn to mischief; then, by the way, he was perfectly well made, stout, clean-limb'd, tall of his age, as strong as a horse and, withal, pretty featur'd; so that he was not, absolutely, such a figure to be snuffled at neither, if your nicety could, in favour of such essentials, have dispens'd with a face unwashed, hair tangled for want of combing, and so ragged a plight, that he might have disputed points of shew with e'er a heathen philosopher of them all.

This boy we had often seen, and bought his flowers, out of pure compassion, and nothing more; but just at this time as he stood presenting us his basket, a sudden whim, a start of wayward fancy, seiz'd Louisa; and, without consulting me, she calls him in, and beginning to examine his nosegays, culls out two, one for herself, another for me, and pulling out half a crown, very currently gives it him to change, as if she had really expected he could have changed it: but the boy, scratching his head, made his signs explaining his inability in place of words, which he could not, with all his struggling, articulate.

Louisa, at this, says: "Well, my lad, come up-stairs with me, and I will give you your due," winking at the same time to me, and beckoning me to accompany her, which I did, securing first the street-door, that by this means, together with the shop, became wholly the care of the faithful housemaid.

As we went up, Louisa whispered to me that she had conceiv'd a strange longing to be satisfy'd, whether the general rule held good with regard to this changeling, and how far nature had made him amends, in her best bodily gifts, for her denial of the sublimer intellectual ones; begging, at the same time, my assistance in procuring her this satisfaction. A want of complaisance was never my vice, and I was so far from opposing this extravagant frolic, that now, bit with the same maggot, and my curiosity conspiring with hers, I enter'd plum into it, on my own account.

Consequently, as soon as we came into Louisa's bedchamber, whilst she was amusing him with picking out his nosegays, I undertook the lead, and began the attack. As it was not then very material to keep much measures with a mere natural, I made presently very free with him, though at my first motion of meddling, his surprize and confusion made him receive my advances but aukwardly: nay, insomuch that he bashfully shy'd, and shy'd back a little; till encouraging him with my eyes, plucking him playfully by the hair, sleeking his cheeks, and forwarding my point by a number of little wantonness, I soon turn'd him familiar, and gave nature her sweetest alarm: so that arous'd, and beginning to feel himself, we could, amidst all the innocent laugh and grin I had provoked him into, perceive the fire lighting in his eyes, and, diffusing over his cheeks, blend its glow with that of his blushes. The emotion in short of animal pleasure glar'd distinctly in the simpleton's countenance; yet, struck with the novelty of the scene, he did not know which way to look or move; but tame, passive, simpering, with his mouth half open in stupid rapture, stood and tractably suffer'd me to do what I pleased with him. His basket was dropt out of his hands, which Louisa took care of.

I had now, through more than one rent, discovered and felt his thighs, the skin of which seemed the smoother and fairer for the coarseness, and even dirt of his dress, as the teeth of Negroes seem the whiter for the surrounding black; and poor indeed of habit, poor of understanding, he was, however, abundantly rich in personal treasures, such as flesh, firm, plump, and replete with the juices of youth, and robust well-knit limbs. My fingers too had now got within reach of the true, the genuine sensitive plant, which, instead of shrinking from the touch, joys to meet it, and swells and vegetates under it: mine pleasingly informed me that matters were so ripe for the discovery we meditated, that they were too mighty for the confinement they were ready to break. A waistband that I unskewer'd, and a rag of a shirt that I removed, and which could not have cover'd a quarter of it, revealed the whole of the idiot's standard of distinction, erect, in full pride and display: but such a one! it was positively of so tremendous a size, that prepared as we were to see something extraordinary, it still, out of measure, surpass'd our expectation, and astonish'd even me, who had not been used to trade in trifles. In fine, it might have answered very well the making a show of; its enormous head seemed, in hue and size, not unlike a common sheep's heart; then you might have troll'd dice securely along the broad back of the body of it; the length of it too was prodigious; then the rich appendage of the treasure-bag beneath, large in proportion, gather'd adn crisp'd up round in shallow furrows, helped to fill the eye, and complete the proof of his being a natural, not quite in vain; since it was full manifest that he inherited, and largely too, the prerogative of majesty which distinguishes that otherwise most unfortunate condition, and gives rise to the vulgar saying "A fool's bauble is a lady's playfellow." Not wholly without reason: for, generally speaking, it is in love as it is in war, where longest weapon carries it. Nature, in short, had done so much for him in those parts, that she perhaps held herself acquitted in doing so little for his head.

For my part, who had sincerely no intention to push the joke further than simply satisfying my curiosity with the sight of it alone, I was content, in spite of the temptation that star'd me in the face, with having rais'd a May-pole for another to hang a garland on: for, by this time, easily reading Louisa's desires in her wishful eyes, I acted the commodious part and made her, who sought no better sport, significant terms of encouragement to go through-stitch with her adventure; intimating too that I would stay and see fair play: in which, indeed, I had in view to humour a new-born curiosity, to observe what appearances active nature would put on in a natural, in the course of this her darling operation.

Louisa, whose appetite was up, and who, like the industrious bee, was, it seems, not above gathering the sweets of so rare a flower, tho' she found it planted on a dunghill, was but too readily disposed to take the benefit of my cession. Urg'd then strongly by her own desires, and embolden'd by me, she presently determined to risk a trial of parts with the idiot, who was by this time nobly inflam'd for her purpose, by all the irritations we had used to put the principles of pleasure effectually into motion, and to wind up the springs of its organ to their supreme pitch; and it stood accordingly stiff and straining, ready to burst with the blood and spirits that swelled it . . . to a bulk! No! I shall never forget it.

Louisa then, taking and holding the fine handle that so invitingly offer'd itself, led the ductile youth by that master-tool of his, as she stept backward towards the bed; which he joyfully gave way to, under the incitations of instinct and palpably deliver'd up to the goad of desire.

Stopped then by the bed, she took the fall she lov'd, and lean'd to the most, gently backward upon it, still holding fast what she held, and taking care to give her cloaths a convenient toss up, so that her thighs duly disclos'd, and elevated, laid open all the outward prospect of the treasury of love: the rose-lipt overture presenting the cock-pit so fair, that it was not in nature even for a natural to miss it. Nor did he, for Louisa, fully bent on grappling with it, and impatient of dalliance or delay, directed faithfully the point of the battering-piece, and bounded up with a rage of so voracious appetite, to meet and favour the thrust of insertion, that the fierce activity on both sides effected it with such pain of distention, that Louisa cry'd out violently that she was hurt beyond bearing, that she was killed. But it was too late: the storm was up, and force was on her to give way to it; for now the man-machine, strongly work'd upon by the sensual passion, felt so manfully his advantages and superiority, felt withal the sting of pleasure so intolerable, that maddening with it, his joys began to assume a character of furiousness which made me tremble for the too tender Louisa. He seemed, at this juncture, greater than himself; his countenance, before so void of meaning, or expression, now grew big with the importance of the act he was upon. In short, it was not now that he was to be play'd the fool with. But, what is pleasant enough, I myself was aw'd into a sort of respect for him, by the comely terrors his motions dressed him in: his eyes shooting sparks of fire; his face glowing with ardours that gave another life to it; his teeth churning; his whole frame agitated with a raging ungovernable impetuosity: all sensibly betraying the formidable fierceness with which the genial instinct acted upon him. Butting then and goring all before him, and mad and wild like an over-driven steer, he ploughs up the tender furrow, all insensible to Louisa's complaints; nothing can stop, nothing can keep out a fury like his: with which, having once got its head in, its blind rage soon made way for the rest, piercing, rending, and breaking open all obstructions. The torn, split, wounded girl cries, struggles, invokes me to her rescue, and endeavours to get from under the young savage, or shake him off, but alas! in vain: her breath might as soon have still'd or stemm'd a storm in winter, as all her strength have quell'd his rough assault, or put him out of his course. And indeed, all her efforts and struggles were manag'd with such disorder, that they serv'd rather to entangle, and fold her the faster in the twine of his boisterous arms; so that she was tied to the stake, and oblig'd to fight the match out, if she died for it. For his part, instinct-ridden as he was, the expressions of his animal passion, partaking something of ferocity, were rather worrying than kisses, intermix'd with eager ravenous love-bites on her cheeks and neck, the prints of which did not wear out for some days after.

Poor Louisa, however, bore up at length better than could have been expected; and though she suffer'd, and greatly too, yet, ever true to the good old cause, she suffer'd with pleasure and enjoyed her pain. And soon now, by dint of an enrag'd enforcement, the brute-machine, driven like a whirlwind, made all smoke again, and wedging its way up, to the utmost extremity, left her, in point of penetration, nothing to fear or to desire: and now,

"Gorg'd with the dearest morsel of the earth," (Shakespeare.)

Louisa lay, pleas'd to the heart, pleas'd to her utmost capacity of being so, with every fibre in those parts, stretched almost to breaking, on a rack of joy, whilst the instrument of all this overfulness searched her senses with its sweet excess, till the pleasure gained upon her so, its point stung her so home, that catching at length the rage from her furious driver and sharing the riot of his wild rapture, she went wholly out of her mind into that favourite part of her body, the whole intenseness of which was so fervously fill'd, and employ'd: there alone she existed, all lost in those delirious transports, those extasies of the senses, which her winking eyes, the brighten'd vermilion of her lips and cheeks, and sighs of pleasure deeply fetched, so pathetically express'd. In short, she was now as mere a machine as much wrought on, and had her motions as little at her own command as the natural himself, who thus broke in upon her, made her feel with a vengeance his tempestuous tenderness, and the force of the mettle he battered with; their active loins quivered again with the violence of their conflict, till the surge of pleasure, foaming and raging to a height, drew down the pearly shower that was to allay this hurricane. The purely sensitive idiot then first shed those tears of joy that attend its last moments, not without an agony of delight and even almost a roar of rapture, as the gush escaped him; so sensibly too for Louisa, that she kept him faithful company, going off, in consent, with the old symptoms: a delicious delirium, a tremulous convulsive shudder, and the critical dying Oh! And now, on his getting off, she lay pleasuredrench'd, and re-gorging its essential sweets; but quite spent, and gasping for breath, without other sensation of life than in those exquisite vibrations that trembled yet on the strings of delight, which had been too intensively touched, and which nature had been so intensly stirred with, for the senses to be quickly at peace from.

As for the changeling, whose curious engine had been thus successfully played off, his shift of countenance and gesture had even something droll, or rather tragi-comic in it: there was now an air of sad repining foolishness, superadded to his natural one of no-meaning and idiotism, as he stood with his label of manhood, now lank, unstiffen'd, becalm'd, and flapping against his thighs, down which it reach'd half-way, terrible even in its fall, whilst under the dejection of spirit and flesh, which naturally followed, his eyes, by turns, cast down towards his struck standard, or piteously lifted to Louisa, seemed to require at her hands what he had so sensibly parted from to her, and now ruefully miss'd. But the vigour of nature, soon returning, dissipated the blast of faintness which the common law of enjoyment had subjected him to; and now his basket re-became his main concern, which I look'd for, and brought him, whilst Louisa restor'd his dress to its usual condition, and afterwards pleased him perhaps more by taking all his flowers off his hands, and paying him, at his rate, for them, than if she had embarrass'd him by a present that he would have been puzzled to account for, and might have put others on tracing the motives of.

Whether she ever return'd to the attack I know not, and, to say the truth, I believe not. She had had her freak out, and had pretty plentifully drown'd her curiosity in a glut of pleasure, which, as it happened, had no other consequence than that the lad, who retain'd only a confused memory of the transaction, would, when he saw her, for some time after, express a grin of joy and familiarity, after his idiot manner, and soon forgot her in favour of the next woman, tempted, on the report of his parts, to take him in.



FIRST LETTER part i - part ii - part iii - part iv - part v SECOND LETTER part vi - part vii - part viii - part ix - part x


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