Vulgar words in History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (Page 1)
This book at a glance
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The decent behaviour of Mrs Deborah Wilkins, with some proper animadversions on bastards.
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Chapter ii -- Religious cautions against showing too much favour to bastards; and a great discovery made by Mrs Deborah Wilkins.
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The decent behaviour of Mrs Deborah Wilkins, with some proper animadversions on bastards.
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"Yes, sir," says she; "and I hope your worship will send out your warrant to take up the hussy its mother, for she must be one of the neighbourhood; and I should be glad to see her committed to Bridewell, and whipt at the cart's tail.
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Indeed, such wicked sluts cannot be too severely punished.
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However, what she withheld from the infant, she bestowed with the utmost profuseness on the poor unknown mother, whom she called an impudent slut, a wanton hussy, an audacious harlot, a wicked jade, a vile strumpet, with every other appellation with which the tongue of virtue never fails to lash those who bring a disgrace on the sex.
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For as Mr Allworthy was a justice of peace, certain things occurred in examinations concerning bastards, and such like, which are apt to give great offence to the chaste ears of virgins, especially when they approach the age of forty, as was the case of Mrs Bridget.
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Religious cautions against showing too much favour to bastards; and a great discovery made by Mrs Deborah Wilkins.
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Whence he argued the legality of punishing the crime of the parent on the bastard.
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Mrs Partridge, upon this, immediately fell into a fury, and discharged the trencher on which she was eating, at the head of poor Jenny, crying out, "You impudent whore, do you play tricks with my husband before my face?" and at the same instant rose from her chair with a knife in her hand, with which, most probably, she would have executed very tragical vengeance, had not the girl taken the advantage of being nearer the door than her mistress, and avoided her fury by running away: for, as to the poor husband, whether surprize had rendered him motionless, or fear (which is full as probable) had restrained him from venturing at any opposition, he sat staring and trembling in his chair; nor did he once offer to move or speak, till his wife, returning from the pursuit of Jenny, made some defensive measures necessary for his own preservation; and he likewise was obliged to retreat, after the example of the maid.
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"No, truly," said the gossip, "I hope not, though I fancy we have sluts enow too.
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Then you have not heard, it seems, that she hath been brought to bed of two bastards?
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"Two bastards!" answered Mrs Partridge hastily: "you surprize me!
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Mrs Wilkins having therefore, by accident, gotten a true scent of the above story,--though long after it had happened, failed not to satisfy herself thoroughly of all the particulars; and then acquainted the captain, that she had at last discovered the true father of the little bastard, which she was sorry, she said, to see her master lose his reputation in the country, by taking so much notice of.
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Besides, if it had been out of doors I had not mattered it so much; but with my own servant, in my own house, under my own roof, to defile my own chaste bed, which to be sure he hath, with his beastly stinking whores.
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You need run after whores, you need, when I'm sure--And since he provokes me, I am ready, an't please your worship, to take my bodily oath that I found them a-bed together.
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Mr Allworthy then declared that the evidence of such a slut as she appeared to be would have deserved no credit; but he said he could not help thinking that, had she been present, and would have declared the truth, she must have confirmed what so many circumstances, together with his own confession, and the declaration of his wife that she had caught her husband in the fact, did sufficiently prove.
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The captain, like a well-bred man, had, before marriage, always given up his opinion to that of the lady; and this, not in the clumsy awkward manner of a conceited blockhead, who, while he civilly yields to a superior in an argument, is desirous of being still known to think himself in the right.
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A difference arising at play between the two lads, Master Blifil called Tom a beggarly bastard.
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Though neither the young man's behaviour, nor indeed his manner of opening this business, were such as could give her any just cause of suspecting he intended to make love to her; yet whether Nature whispered something into her ear, or from what cause it arose I will not determine; certain it is, some idea of that kind must have intruded itself; for her colour forsook her cheeks, her limbs trembled, and her tongue would have faltered, had Tom stopped for an answer; but he soon relieved her from her perplexity, by proceeding to inform her of his request; which was to solicit her interest on behalf of the gamekeeper, whose own ruin, and that of a large family, must be, he said, the consequence of Mr Western's pursuing his action against him.
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She's the vurst of the vamily that ever was a whore."
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"Yes, hussy," answered the enraged mother, "so I was, and what was the mighty matter of that?
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I was made an honest woman then; and if you was to be made an honest woman, I should not be angry; but you must have to doing with a gentleman, you nasty slut; you will have a bastard, hussy, you will; and that I defy any one to say of me."
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"Why, husband," says she, "would any but such a blockhead as you not have enquired what place this was before he had accepted it?
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on a sudden the wench appeared (I ask your ladyship's pardon) to be, as it were, at the eve of bringing forth a bastard.
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"And is a wench having a bastard all your news, doctor?" cries Western; "I thought it might have been some public matter, something about the nation."
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Tom is certainly the father of this bastard.
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Ay, ay, as sure as two-pence, Tom is the veather of the bastard."
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What, I suppose dost pretend that thee hast never got a bastard?
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As arrant a whore-master as any within five miles o'un.
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Ask Sophy there--You have not the worse opinion of a young fellow for getting a bastard, have you, girl?
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She seemed to me to look like a confident slut: and to be sure she hath laid the child to young Mr Jones.
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"I am sure I hate Molly Seagrim as much as your ladyship can; and as for abusing Squire Jones, I can call all the servants in the house to witness, that whenever any talk hath been about bastards, I have always taken his part; for which of you, says I to the footmen, would not be a bastard, if he could, to be made a gentleman of?
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Why, hussy, says he, starting up from a dream, what can I be thinking of, when that angel your mistress is playing?
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Indeed, he had exposed her to more envy than shame, or rather to the latter by means of the former: for many women abused her for being a whore, while they envied her her lover, and her finery, and would have been themselves glad to have purchased these at the same rate.
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If such forward sluts were sent to Bridewell, it would be better for them.
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He had made love to her long before Molly was grown to be a fit object of that pastime; but had afterwards deserted her, and applied to her sister, with whom he had almost immediate success.
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This is my reward for taking his part so often, when all the country have cried shame of him, for breeding up his bastard in that manner; but he is going now where he must pay for all.
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I warrant he hath many more bastards to answer for, if the truth was known.
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He desired Mr Blifil to conduct him immediately to the place, which as he approached he breathed forth vengeance mixed with lamentations; nor did he refrain from casting some oblique reflections on Mr Allworthy; insinuating that the wickedness of the country was principally owing to the encouragement he had given to vice, by having exerted such kindness to a bastard, and by having mitigated that just and wholesome rigour of the law which allots a very severe punishment to loose wenches.
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--"And who," said Thwackum, "is that wicked slut with you?"
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--"If I have any wicked slut with me," cries Jones, "it is possible I shall not let you know who she is."
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She had been all this time fretted in a tender part (for she was indeed very deeply skilled in these matters, and very violent in them), and therefore, burst forth in a rage, declared her brother to be both a clown and a blockhead, and that she would stay no longer in his house.
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At length, collecting all her force of voice, she thundered forth in the following articulate sounds: "And is it possible you can think of disgracing your family by allying yourself to a bastard?
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The squire now regained the liberty of his hands, and so much temper as to express some satisfaction in the restraint which had been laid upon him; declaring that he should certainly have beat his brains out; and adding, "It would have vexed one confoundedly to have been hanged for such a rascal."
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You have brought up your bastard to a fine purpose; not that I believe you have had any hand in it neither, that is, as a man may say, designedly: but there is a fine kettle-of-fish made on't up at our house."
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"O, matter enow of all conscience: my daughter hath fallen in love with your bastard, that's all; but I won't ge her a hapeny, not the twentieth part of a brass varden.
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I always thought what would come o' breeding up a bastard like a gentleman, and letting un come about to vok's houses.
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It's well vor un I could not get at un: I'd a lick'd un; I'd a spoil'd his caterwauling; I'd a taught the son of a whore to meddle with meat for his master.
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The son of a bitch was always good at finding a hare sitting, an be rotted to'n: I little thought what puss he was looking after; but it shall be the worst he ever vound in his life.
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Mr Blifil there was no sooner gone than the son of a whore came lurching about the house.
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Nay, the very persons who had before censured the good man for the kindness and tenderness shown to a bastard (his own, according to the general opinion), now cried out as loudly against turning his own child out of doors.
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And to be sure, if I may be so presumptuous as to offer my poor opinion, there is young Mr Blifil, who, besides that he is come of honest parents, and will be one of the greatest squires all hereabouts, he is to be sure, in my poor opinion, a more handsomer and a more politer man by half; and besides, he is a young gentleman of a sober character, and who may defy any of the neighbours to say black is his eye; he follows no dirty trollops, nor can any bastards be laid at his door.
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"Why, to be sure, ma'am, my master no sooner told Squire Allworthy about Mr Jones having offered to make love to your la'ship than the squire stripped him stark naked, and turned him out of doors!"
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--"Boar," answered the squire, "I am no boar; no, nor ass; no, nor rat neither, madam.
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you are below my anger; and it is beneath me to give ill words to such an audacious saucy trollop; but, hussy, I must tell you, your breeding shows the meanness of your birth as well as of your education; and both very properly qualify you to be the mean serving-woman of a country girl."
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--"Hussy," replied the lady, "I will make such a saucy trollop as yourself know that I am not a proper subject of your discourse.
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Mr Western ordered her to be very expeditious in packing; for his sister declared she would not sleep another night under the same roof with so impudent a slut.
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Nay, the cunning slut pretended to hearken to me, and to despise all wantonness of the flesh; and yet at last broke out at a window two pair of stairs: for I began, indeed, a little to suspect her, and had locked her up carefully, intending the very next morning to have married her up to my liking.
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"Indeed," says the landlord, "I shall use no such civility towards him; for it seems, for all his laced waistcoat there, he is no more a gentleman than myself, but a poor parish bastard, bred up at a great squire's about thirty miles off, and now turned out of doors (not for any good to be sure).
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"What dost thou talk of a parish bastard, Robin?" answered the Quaker.
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And there's Corderius, another d--n'd son of a whore, that hath got me many a flogging."
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There's Jemmy Oliver, of our regiment, he narrowly escaped being a pimp too, and that would have been a thousand pities; for d--n me if he is not one of the prettiest fellows in the whole world; but he went farther than I with the old cull, for Jimmey can neither write nor read."
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The drawer having obeyed his commands, he was, after some time, attended by the barber, who would not indeed have suffered him to wait so long for his company had he not been listening in the kitchen to the landlady, who was entertaining a circle that she had gathered round her with the history of poor Jones, part of which she had extracted from his own lips, and the other part was her own ingenious composition; for she said "he was a poor parish boy, taken into the house of Squire Allworthy, where he was bred up as an apprentice, and now turned out of doors for his misdeeds, particularly for making love to his young mistress, and probably for robbing the house; for how else should he come by the little money he hath; and this," says she, "is your gentleman, forsooth!"
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Why, he's the bastard of a fellow who was hanged for horse-stealing.
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--"Ay, ay, you need not mention it, I protest: we understand what that fate is very well," cries Dowling, with a most facetious grin.--"Well," continued the other, "the squire ordered him to be taken in; for he is a timbersome man everybody knows, and was afraid of drawing himself into a scrape; and there the bastard was bred up, and fed, and cloathified all to the world like any gentleman; and there he got one of the servant-maids with child, and persuaded her to swear it to the squire himself; and afterwards he broke the arm of one Mr Thwackum a clergyman, only because he reprimanded him for following whores; and afterwards he snapt a pistol at Mr Blifil behind his back; and once, when Squire Allworthy was sick, he got a drum, and beat it all over the house to prevent him from sleeping; and twenty other pranks he hath played, for all which, about four or five days ago, just before I left the country, the squire stripped him stark naked, and turned him out of doors."
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His body was cloathed with the skin of an ass, made something into the form of a coat.
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However, the liberality of his guardians gave him little cause to regret the abundant caution of his father; for they allowed him five hundred pounds a year while he remained at the university, where he kept his horses and his whore, and lived as wicked and as profligate a life as he could have done had he been never so entirely master of his fortune; for besides the five hundred a year which he received from his guardians, he found means to spend a thousand more.
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Come, come, my boy, don't be shy of confessing to me: you are not now brought before one of the pimps.
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_Scribimus indocti doctique passim_,[*] [*] --Each desperate blockhead dares to write: Verse is the trade of every living wight.--FRANCIS.
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But to exclude all vulgar concubinage, and to drive all whores in rags from within the walls, is within the power of every one.
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I believe I am a better man than yourself; ay, every way, that I am;" and presently proceeded to discharge half-a-dozen whores at the lady above stairs, the last of which had scarce issued from his lips, when a swinging blow from the cudgel that Jones carried in his hand assaulted him over the shoulders.
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"I suppose," cries Honour, "the fellow is his pimp; for I never saw so ill-looked a villain.
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Such prevalence had money in this family; and though the mistress would have turned away her maid for a corrupt hussy, if she had known as much as the reader, yet she was no more proof against corruption herself than poor Susan had been.
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Lastly, the slander of a book is, in truth, the slander of the author: for, as no one can call another bastard, without calling the mother a whore, so neither can any one give the names of sad stuff, horrid nonsense, &c., to a book, without calling the author a blockhead; which, though in a moral sense it is a preferable appellation to that of villain, is perhaps rather more injurious to his worldly interest.
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This contempt I now began to entertain for my husband, whom I now discovered to be--I must use the expression--an arrant blockhead.
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To be called whore by such an impudent low rascal.
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Your ladyship may be angry with me, for aught I know, for taking your part, since proffered service, they say, stinks; but to be sure I could never bear to hear a lady of mine called whore.--Nor will I bear it.
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'You blockhead,' replied Mrs Gwynn, 'at this rate you must fight every day of your life; why, you fool, all the world knows it.'
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'Do they?' cries the fellow, in a muttering voice, after he had shut the coach-door, 'they shan't call me a whore's footman for all that.'"
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d--n the slut!" answered the squire, "I am lamenting the loss of so fine a morning for hunting.
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Damn me if she is not gone!" instantly clapped spurs to the beast, who little needed it, having indeed the same inclination with his master; and now the whole company, crossing into a corn-field, rode directly towards the hounds, with much hallowing and whooping, while the poor parson, blessing himself, brought up the rear.
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D--nation seize thee--fool--blockhead!
~ ~ ~ Sentence 7,124 ~ ~ ~
Virgil, I think, tells us, that when the mob are assembled in a riotous and tumultuous manner, and all sorts of missile weapons fly about, if a man of gravity and authority appears amongst them, the tumult is presently appeased, and the mob, which when collected into one body, may be well compared to an ass, erect their long ears at the grave man's discourse.
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Now for these reasons we are not to wonder that servants (I mean among the men only) should have so great regard for the reputation of the wealth of their masters, and little or none at all for their character in other points, and that, though they would be ashamed to be the footman of a beggar, they are not so to attend upon a rogue or a blockhead; and do consequently make no scruple to spread the fame of the iniquities and follies of their said masters as far as possible, and this often with great humour and merriment.
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should not I be a blockhead to lend my money to I know not who, because mayhap he may return it again?
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If you had de love for your wife, you would have prevented dis matter, and not endeavour to make her de whore dat you might discover her.
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Me do order dat you have no money given you, for you deserve punishment, not reward; me do order derefore, dat you be de infamous gypsy, and do wear pair of horns upon your forehead for one month, and dat your wife be called de whore, and pointed at all dat time; for you be de infamous gypsy, but she be no less de infamous whore."
~ ~ ~ Sentence 7,984 ~ ~ ~
These entreaties were to go with that young gentleman and his company to a new play, which was to be acted that evening, and which a very large party had agreed to damn, from some dislike they had taken to the author, who was a friend to one of Mr Nightingale's acquaintance.
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He was accordingly shown into the drawing-room, where he had not been many minutes before the door opened, and in came----no other than Sophia herself, who had left the play before the end of the first act; for this, as we have already said, being, a new play, at which two large parties met, the one to damn, and the other to applaud, a violent uproar, and an engagement between the two parties, had so terrified our heroine, that she was glad to put herself under the protection of a young gentleman who safely conveyed her to her chair.
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"No," answered Jones, "I would not have had you make love to her, as you have often done in my presence.
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This Nightingale, of whom we shall be presently obliged to say a little more, was in the ordinary transactions of life a man of strict honour, and, what is more rare among young gentlemen of the town, one of strict honesty too; yet in affairs of love he was somewhat loose in his morals; not that he was even here as void of principle as gentlemen sometimes are, and oftener affect to be; but it is certain he had been guilty of some indefensible treachery to women, and had, in a certain mystery, called making love, practised many deceits, which, if he had used in trade, he would have been counted the greatest villain upon earth.