Miss sally Johnson,
I. Some account of her parents.
II. Their death and she left an orphan.
III. An account of her guardian.
IV. How she is used.
V. She is put apprentice to a mantua-maker.
VI. An account of her mistress, &c.
VII. She elopes from her mistress, goes into keeping.
VIII. Is on the town in great distress.
IX. A friend gets her into the Magdalen.
X. An account of that charity and her behaviour.
XI. The matron recommends her to a good place.
XII. She is courted by a master builder.
XIII. Her master sues her guardian and gets her fortune.
XIV. She marries the builder and the conclusion.
Though Fortune join’d with Folly to betray,
And lead the unthinking Sally much astray,
In Penitence the Magdalen you find,
For wanton Vice takes Virtue to her mind.
And after various strokes of ill that’s past,
She marries, and is happy at the last.
History of Miss SALLY JOHNSON,
MISS SALLY JOHNSON, the subject of the ensuing pages, was the only daughter of Mr. William Johnson, a haberdasher in good business, but by accidents in trade his fortune was rather reduced, yet still he was well to live, and by his frugal method kept up an appearance superior in fact to what he really possessed, and would no doubt, in a few years time been equal to his former expectations, but fate seemed to be against him. According to Shakespear, there is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune, but if neglected never more returns; tho’ no neglect can be attributed to Mr. Johnson, as few were more assiduous in business, yet a neglect of knowing the world was certainly much against his interest.
If a person bespoke him fair, he believed he was what he seemed. Thus by too good natured an opinion of the world, he was in a manner swindled out of a great part of his property; his wife pined and in a short time died, he felt her loss like a tender husband, it preyed upon his mind, he could not bear the separation; his little Sally was the picture of her mother, he wished to live to see her settled in the world; she was young, and the state of his health daily decreased, and at last he found a hasty decline would soon put him out of this mortal existence, the leaving of his daughter an orphan hastened his end. He sent for his neighbour Mr. Gripe, a worldly minded person, who had often assisted him in his exigencies with different sums of money, at no small interest, which however he look’d upon as the height of friendship in his distress, but these obligations he had long ago discharged as an honest man, and in such a manner as was satisfactory to Gripe himself.
Knowing that he was prudent in regard to money matters even to the extreme, he told him when he came he found the hour of his dissolution was near, he had fixed upon him as a foster father to his little daughter, that when every thing was paid, he could leave her about five hundred pounds, and begged he would take upon himself the trouble of being his executor and guardian to his child, and to do the best he could for her when he should be no more.
Mr. Gripe readily agreed with what Mr. Johnson required, and promised to be most faithful to his trust, and to give her an education which should direct her in the path of virtue. This great article being settled, it was not many days before Mr. Johnson took his leave of this world, and followed his departed wife to the regions of eternity. Mr. Gripe ordered his funeral in a decent but frugal manner, and for a little time took Sally home to his own house, and treated her with all imaginable kindness, but this was only the copy of his countenance, for finding that when all her father’s debts were discharged, he had near six hundred pounds in his hands, he began to think of making the best part of it his own.
’Tis a strange passion that some men whom fortune has been so kind to, should instead of being thankful for what they have received, be still discontented and striving to grasp at more, even on the verge of the grave, when they neither do nor can enjoy a quarter of what they already possess.
Sally was now fit to go to a boarding school, and he told her as well as all the neighbours that he had chosen a very good one, in a very healthy situation, a few miles out of town; the child who was of a sprightly turn, was highly delighted at the thoughts of going to school, and the new acquaintance she should form there; for alas! poor thing, she was too young to feel the loss of her parents.
But though Mr. Gripe had all the appearance of a faithful guardian, he was only so in appearance, for he sent Sally to a poor cottage, where she could learn nothing but romping with a few ruddy fac’d lasses of the village. Her appearance to be sure was decent, and she was always distinguished by the name of Miss, and she was taught just to read and write, and a little plain housewifery with her needle.
She was now about twelve years of age, and a very pretty girl she was, and as her father had some friends, they began to enquire after Miss Sally, and what Mr. Gripe intended to do with her; so that at last, merely thro’ shame he was obliged to send for her to town, and by the advice of those who wished her well, she was put an apprentice to a mantua-maker and millener. Mr. Gripe was particularly frugal, he gave the paltry sum of ten pounds to an advertiser, who wanted the money more than an apprentice.
This is nothing more than is common, and has been often the destruction of many an honest tradesman’s daughter. The want of business in the first respect, is the want of instruction to the young person engaged with them, and the want of employment is the cause of idle amusements to fill up their vacant hours, those amusements introduce them into gay, and such company often proves their ruin.
Miss Sally was of a gay turn of mind, yet of a mild disposition, willing to learn any thing she was shewed, and indeed her capacity was surprizing for her years, yet ill fortune would not put it in her way to exercise those talents. In short, her new situation was the worst that could be imagined, her master was only a journeyman taylor who spent most of his earnings, and her mistress lived merely on what her apprentices could perform, which was only now and then a plain gown and a few black hats for the shops, which Sally had often the honor to carry home. She was very well contented in this station, as she had so much time on her hands, which she chiefly employed in reading, her taste for novels being very great, which not a little filled her head with romantic stories.
As love is the general characteristic of these books, she soon began to form some idea of that capricious power, and was even anxious to have an amour upon her hands to try how well she could manage it.
This romantic turn was really at first innocent, but ’tis dangerous jesting with edge tools, the darts of love are not to be played with.
One of her fellow ’prentices, whose name was Polly Parker, was equally fond of the same amusements, and as they were bedfellows they used to indulge their fancies with the most extravagant thoughts; Polly was rather of a more vicious turn, and said she should like to be run away with by some nobleman; she said she would never marry a mechanic, but be the mistress of some gentleman who could keep a coach for her.
This indeed did not agree with Miss Sally’s sentiments, who was virtuously inclined, but evil communication corrupts good manners; the constant conversation of Miss Polly began to shake her resolution to be prudent and modest, and thus we find in general, that evil council will produce evil habits, as will appear in the ensuing part of this history. Sally was mightily pleased with her situation, as her mistress had several apprentices besides herself, who were agreeable companions for her, being wild and fond of pleasure, as most of that business are; so that far from becoming more stayed and solid she became wilder than ever, and every little holiday their mistress gave them, (which was not often) they had liberty to go wherever they pleased, and as she had not much regard to their morals, provided they did what she required to her satisfaction, never took notice whether they went to church on a Sunday or any where else, so that day was generally spent in going to places of amusement.
Miss Johnson had but a few cloaths when she went there, and those none of the genteelest, but they were soon altered for her, and set off with flounces and trimmings, as if they had been ever such rich silks, and to make her the more taken notice of, she always wore a very smart hat; this was very easy for her to procure, as it was made out of pieces which she saved; nor was her dress compleat then without plenty of lappets and ribbons flying, and being a pretty smart girl, she made no little figure at White Conduit House, or Bagnigge Wells.
To these and such like places Miss Sally and her companions used to resort, where they were sure to meet with gay young fellows to treat them, for they seldom had any money of their own, and make love to them, which their want of knowing the world made them believe real.
Sally had now got a sweetheart, and not a little proud she was of it; he was a hair-dresser, a very handsome showey spark, but he had another occupation besides, which was the honourable one of being pimp to several gentlemen that he dressed.
He had seduced several young girls, and when he grew tired of them, passed them off to his employers with great cunning and dexterity, as if he had just met with them by accident, and that he had taken great pains and trouble to serve them; this always gained him a handsome present, and enabled him to appear like a gentleman.
Mr. Thompson, that was his name, made a quick progress in the affection of Sally, she never knew what love was before, neither did she now, but the amorous behaviour of her lover, and the fine speeches he made, which he had studied out of plays and romances, occasioned a kind of fluttering pleasure in her heart, and made her believe she felt that passion for him, which he pretended to do for her.
No wonder to save the life of her dying swain, if she consented to whatever he asked of her, and without any thought of future consequences, or of anything but love, she with the greatest pleasure imaginable, took what little matters belonged to her, and without saying any thing to the rest of the girls, eloped from her mistress, and went to live with Thompson.
Fully satisfied with his behaviour to her, and with the fine cloaths he bought her, the happiness of going abroad with him, the luxurious manner they lived in, made her never once reflect on the uncertainty of the life she lived, or press him to marry her, her ideas were all lost in the present moment, nor did her conscience ever upbraid her for the loss of virtue or character.
After several months had passed in this voluptuousness, Thompson began to think it was time for him to give her up to one of his masters, in order to reimburse the expence he had been at in her keeping.
He intended her for a merchant in the city, who had a wife and family, but would maintain her like a princess. Accordingly he spoke to him about it, telling him he had by chance met with a pretty little millener, whom he would endeavour to bring to his service, if he was agreeable, but that he should have occasion for some money to tempt her. The merchant readily paid him down a handsome premium, with a promise of a good deal more if he succeeded in the attempt.
The next thing Thompson had to do, was to bring Sally to consent, and this he thought would be no difficult matter, as he knew she would sacrifice any thing to pleasure.
He stayed about a week that the merchant might not think he got his money too easy, and then told her one day, that a gentleman he had been to dress mentioned that he wanted to buy some ruffles; he had said he knew a young lady that had got some very fine ones, whom he would bring to shew them. Now says he, what I mean is, that you may buy some at any shop, and get a good profit yourself, as I know he will give you whatever you ask.
Sally was very willing to do this for the sake of getting money, and they went together and bought three pair; for he knew he should have double the price returned again, he then gave her a caution not to say she knew any thing of him, more than a slight acquaintance that had recommended her.
When they came to the house he desired to speak to Mr. S—, upon which he was shewn up stairs, and Sally staid in a parlour below; Thompson told the merchant he had brought the young millener to shew him some ruffles, as he had pretended to her he had wanted some, and that it was necessary for him to know that, for him to behave accordingly, and that he would contrive to leave her with him some time, and desired him to make what advantage he could of the opportunity.
Miss Johnson was then sent for up, and the merchant received her with great politeness and affability. While he was looking at one pattern and then on another, talking very freely to her, which made her curtsey and smile, Mr. Thompson said, I will take the liberty Miss to leave you while the gentleman is fixing on that which pleases him, and come again by the time you have done your business, to see you home as I brought you here.
After he was gone, Mr. S— bought all the ruffles at an exorbitant price, and Sally was proposing to be gone, wondering much that Mr. Thompson should stay so long, Mr. S— then began to compliment her on her beauty, saying it was pity such charms should be destined only to fill a milliner’s shop, though he did not doubt but what she had a great many admirers even there, and that gentlemen were customers to her mistress only to look at her, then taking her by the hand, said, “I could look at you for ever, my pretty dear.” Sally laughed and blushed, “How can you talk so Sir,” says she. “Talk to my charmer,” replied he, his arms round her waist and kissing her, “if you would comply with my wishes, I would make a little queen of you.
Sally was a good deal surprised, however she liked what he said too well to be angry at it, and far from repelling him, suffered him to kiss her several times, and he made her promise at last to come and see him again next day by herself, and that her mistress might give her leave, she was to bring some laced cravats. Mr. Thompson came, made many apologies for staying, and took her away with him.
Sally told him what money she received of Mr. S—, and said he behaved very genteel to her, but did not tell him how he had saluted her, or what he had said to her, only that she was to carry some cravats next day; but says she, you need not go with me as I know the house.
As he could gain no information of what had passed during his absence from her, he went back again to Mr. S—, who laughed and said she was a good comely girl, and believed he should soon bring her to his lure.
Thompson was pleased that it would be done, as it were by himself, that she might not have it in her power to reproach him, and gave her full liberty to go next day.
Sally dressed herself with unusual pains, in order to compleat the conquest she thought she had gained of so great a gentleman, and finding by this time that she did not in reality love Thompson, was determined in her mind, if she could raise herself in life, by any great offers he made her, not to stand in her own light, or ever to let Mr. S— know there had been any connection between her and Thompson, or ever to let him know she kept any correspondence with Mr. S—, as she thought he only intended to make her a present for a visit now and then.
Mr. S— received her with transports, they drank tea together, mean while he made her the offer of five guineas a week, and to pay for genteel lodgings, with two servants to attend her, a maid and a footboy.
Without much deliberation Sally agreed to his proposals, and he put a fine diamond ring on her finger to bind the bargain, and the next day she was to take what belonged to her from her mistress, (as he thought) and meet him in the apartments he should provide.
Soon after Sally came home, Thompson repaired to the house of Mr. S— to know the result of this private visit, which the merchant acquainted him with, and paid him down a good round sum for bringing them together.
This was all he wanted, and now he was at liberty to seek out for another mistress for himself first, and then in time to fob her off to another customer.
Sally next morning packed up her affairs and without the least regret left him to bemoan her loss, (as she imagined he would) and went with all speed to meet her new keeper.
It happened at this time very favourable for Mr. S—, his wife and family were at his country house amusing themselves innocently with rural pleasures, while he indulged himself in every thing that is vicious in town, and squandered away that wealth in criminal pursuits, which if rightly expended, might have been the happy means of alleviating the distresses of his fellow creatures.
Miss Sally Johnson being now raised to a high pitch of fortune, partook of all the pleasures and amusements of the town; she never suffered reflection to interrupt the felicity she enjoyed, her keeper ever kind and indulgent to her wishes, made her many valuable presents, she shone with diamonds, and eclips’d most of the kept mistresses she knew, her company was solicited because of her appearance.
But such attachments are seldom lasting, they are of a temporary nature, and are easily removed.
It was so in this instance; Mr. S—’s wife came home, on account of having heard some report of this favourite; she complained of his infidelity to her, and protested she would sue for a divorce, as she had sufficient friends to support her cause, if he did not immediately forsake Sally, and promise never to be guilty of the like breach of marriage.
Mr. S— willing to make peace at any rate, as his wife had very good friends, and he had received a large fortune with her, submitted to what she required, and Sally had orders to decamp wherever she pleased, but was permittrd to take her cloaths and every thing that was valuable with her.
This sudden change was not much felt by Sally as long as she had money, and so many good things to support her, tho’ she had indeed at first flattered herself it would last for ever, but the natural levity and giddiness of her temper, kept her from thinking what she should do when all was gone; however, she had sufficient to last her some months, without retrenching much expence in her manner of living; indeed she had no servants now to keep, as they were discharged, and she had but one room to live in, but that was at a genteel part of the town, and she paid a great rent for it, her money was now all gone, and her trinkets began to diminish apace; at last she had nothing left but her cloaths, these were pretty good, and she was obliged to part with some of them, till she considered what she should do.
What could she do, not being used to any thing but taking her pleasure, she began to be at a loss; she met with no more offers to be taken into keeping again.
She found herself under a necessity to take a walk out sometimes, and accept of a treat and a guinea at a Bagnio.
This was not sufficient to keep her as she wished, therefore she began to make a constant practice of it every day, till she soon became tired of a life of continual prostitution, and began to reflect seriously on the manner of her going on, and began to repent she had ever left her mistress, the milliner.
she was walking thro’ the streets one evening, she met one of the sisterhood,
whose face she thought she knew something of, they both stopp’d, and Sally
said, pray is not your name Polly Parker? Yes, the other replied; and are not you Miss Sally Johnson? which
being answered too in the affirmative; and being asked by Sally how she came to
be upon the town, she replied. “You remember that smart young fellow Thompson,
that we used to see at White Conduit House and Bagnigge Wells, in company with
others, he, my dear, was the cause of my undoing, and after that he sold me to
a young gentleman, but being rather unwilling to part with me altogether, he
used to meet me at a place of his appointing. A person that he entrusted with
our amour betrayed him to my keeper, who turned me off on that account, and
threatened to punish him, so he went over to
Sally was surprized to hear this, and immediately thought he had likewise sold her to Mr. S—, especially when she recollected his introducing her to him, and leaving her with him. She told Polly Parker her story concerning the same person; after which they agreed to live together, and did so for some time very happily.
But Sally could not agree with Miss in one thing, which was, when she gave a gentleman her company, she generally took an opportunity of stealing his watch. Sally Johnson had been led into this way of life thro’ giddiness and want of reflection, not merely thro’ inclination, and would now have been glad to leave it off. She was not half so artful and capable of supporting that line of life as Miss Parker was.
But Polly after they had lived together for some time, gave a convincing proof she was a lost abandoned creature.
One night a gentleman invited them to partake of a bottle of wine, when seeing he was more particular to Sally, she left them together at the tavern, and returning to the lodging, she stripped her old friend and companion of every thing she had in the world, only what she had on her back.
When Sally came home and found what her false friend had done, she was almost distracted, as her whole dependance was in her dress, for the ladies of her cast are esteemed according to the cloaths they wear, and tho’ she got just enough to keep her well, for she was fond of good living, yet it was not sufficient to equip her again for the service. She had more reasons now than ever to make reflections, and began to be under great apprehensions of approaching want, or of becoming of a lower order, which she despised, for she had hitherto been in high life, tho’ she was not in keeping.
However, she tried to compose herself as well as she could for that night, with a resolution of going next day into the Park, where she knew Polly Parker walked every morning, and was in hopes of meeting with her there.
This was all she had to trust to, and she had hardly patience to wait till the time; she went and walked up and down several times, till she was quite tired and vexed to the heart.
But it could not be supposed that she would meet with her, as Polly must expect she would seek after her in every place she knew she frequented.
Sally Johnson being greatly disappointed, sat herself down to rest upon one of the seats, by the Mall, and leaned her head on her hand in a pensive manner.
While she sat in this posture ruminating on her misfortune, and wishing she had some other means of getting her living, a gentleman had observed her, and being struck with her figure, and her melancholy down-cast looks; after he had passed her several times, came at last and seated himself by her. He asked her with seeming concern, what was the cause of her uneasiness, as she appeared to him to be under some great affliction, adding that if she would tell to him the truth of her affairs, it might possibly be in his power to help her.
Sally turned herself round to him, and returned him many thanks for his kindness, and prompted by something she could not account for, related all that happened to her ever since she left her mistress: she told her story in such an artless manner, and shed so many tears, that the gentleman was moved with pity; he asked her if she was willing to go into the Magdalen? She answered yes, with joy, Sir, if I knew how to go about it. If, (replied he) I may believe you are a sincere penitent, ’tis in my power to introduce you. Sally then wept afresh, and declared she was from her heart, and that she had followed that course much against her inclination for some time. He then bid her come to his house the next day, (giving her a direction where he lived,) and he would give her a letter which would admit her, and that she might not be tempted to further wickedness for support till that time, he gave her a guinea.
This was the honestest money, and the most agreeable to her of any she had ever received, and she took it with many grateful acknowledgements to the gentleman for his unexpected goodness.
returned home with all speed, and a heart overflowing with joy, she gave up all
thoughts of finding Polly, or her cloaths again, on the contrary she blessed
the happy occasion that had brought about the event, and with great sincerity
returned thanks to
Next morning after she had breakfasted, and paid her lodging, she went to the gentleman’s house and found the letter prepared for her, it was directed to the Matron.
She went to the Magdalen immediately, and when she had knocked at the gate, turned round and bid farewel to sin and folly, with a firm resolution never to return to her former bad courses, but to lead a life of penitence in that happy retirement, and to make an atonement for what she had done amiss.
When Sally had sent in her letter, she waited but a short time before she was admitted into the house, and kindly received by the good matron, for the gentleman she had met with happened to be one of the governors, and a principal supporter of that excellent charity.
She was soon stripped of her flags and streamers, the ensigns of her late profession, and put into a decent garb, a neat round-eared cap, and a bib and apron, which tho’ it made a surprizing alteration in her, yet it was very becoming in her, her hours and meals were all regular, and every thing was uniform.
The prayers and hymns made use of filled her mind with devotion, and she was much admired for her voice, which was very harmonious, and when she and some others that could sing well joined the organ, it was delightful to the hearers, which were many, that came on purpose to hear the singing.
The curtain drawn round the gallery where the young women sat, prevented their being exposed to people in the chapel; and it would not have been an agreeable sight perhaps to some present to have seen a near relation among them; yet if they knew what course of life they formerly led, it must have been a satisfaction to behold them endeavouring to regain the paths of peace and innocence.
And certainly repentance for what is past, next to not having sinned at all, is most commendable, both in the sight of heaven and in the esteem of mankind.
The matron, who was a very worthy lady, took a particular liking to Sally, as she found she was of an obliging gentle disposition, and was thoroughly reformed from every thing that was wild and vicious.
After she had been there a twelvemonth, and was well instructed in behaviour and œconomy, the good gentlewoman herself helped her to a place, to be upper-maid in a gentleman’s family.
Here Sally behaved herself so well, and to the satisfaction of her master and mistress, that they became her friends, and as she had acquainted them with her story, from first to last, her master kindly took upon himself the trouble of enquiring after her little fortune.
Sally being now quite decent and modest, both in her manner and dress, took the attention of a man in a good way of business. He was a master-builder, and well settled; he was a widower, and about thirty-five years old; he lived very near her master’s house.
Mr. Fleming (that was his name) did not know how to open his mind to Sally; at last he thought it would be best to send her a letter to break the affair; he accordingly wrote as follows,
I have often had the pleasure of seeing you, and indeed I may say with truth of admiring you, I have buried my wife this year and a half, but have no children left to make that an objection with any woman; I had no thoughts of altering my condition till I saw you; but now, if such a change in life would not be disagreeable to you, and you would prefer an honest sober husband to servitude, I should be happy if you would agree to have me. I will give myself the pleasure to come and see you to-morrow, and be your humble servant,
Sally shewed this letter to her mistress, who advised her to accept of his offer; but first of all to inform him of part of her story, that he might have no cause to upbraid her afterwards.
Though she thought this was proper, yet she said she had not the courage to tell him herself, so her mistress told her, if she was willing, she would. This she agreed to, and when Mr. Fleming came, the lady put herself in the way to speak to him.
She told him Sally had asked her advice what answer she should give him, and she had given it as her opinion they might be very happy together, if he would overlook what had happened to her some years ago; she was, continued she, drawn away and ruined by a gay young fellow, that pretended love to her, but on reflecting on what she had been guilty of, she went into the Magdalen, and I took her to live with me thro’ the recommendation of the matron, and I dare say she will endeavour to make the man she marries happy; she has something to plead in excuse for herself; which is, being left quite young to the care of a guardian, who behaved very ill to her, so that having nobody to mind her was the cause of her fall, and not from a bad inclination, this I am convinced of by her behaviour now she has been better taught, and I believe her to be as virtuous as any young woman you could chuse. She is likely to recover some of her fortune again, as Mr. Friendly, my husband, has taken it on himself, he has been with her guardian, one Mr. Gripe, and he will soon see what he can bring him to.
Mr. Fleming hearing this was at a stand, but at last he said, that shall make no odds, I will take her on your word, so long as she has seen her folly and is sorry for her fault, and won’t be guilty of the like again. He then desired to see Sally, her mistress rung for her, and went out of the room herself.
Sally entered the room covered with blushes; Mr. Fleming stepped up to her and saluted her, and not being willing to put her more out of countenance, never mentioned a word of what her mistress had been saying, as he very kindly in his mind never intended to reproach her with it.
Two or three hours therefore were spent in courtship, and he liked her conversation so well, that when he left her, it was with a full resolution to marry her.
Mr. and Mrs. Friendly were very fond of Sally, whose good behaviour had gained her the esteem of all who knew her, and were not a little pleased with the thoughts that she would be well settled in life with Mr. Fleming; Sally had still some doubts that his mind might alter in time, and accuse her of her former misconduct, and wished she could by any means make herself more worthy of him; she was insensible of what was left by her father for her provision, but imagining there must be something, she communicated her thoughts to her mistress, who mentioned it to her husband, who told Sally that he would make it his business to inquire at Doctors Commons if there was any will, and if there was, he would try what the law would do to make Mr. Gripe refund, if not all, at least some part, which would enhance her value to Mr. Fleming.
Accordingly in a day or two’s time Mr. Friendly made an inquiry, and found the sum left to be what has been mentioned in the former account; as five hundred pounds could by no means have been expended in her education, or apprenticeship, it was thought necessary to claim all but what had been already laid out.
But as the law is not only tedious but expensive, Mr. Friendly, to avoid litigation if possible, sent the following letter previous to his employing an attorney.
I understand that the late Mr. Johnson left you his executor, and guardian to his daughter, who is now my servant, as I am convinced by her account that you have not discharged the duty of the trust reposed in you, but that you neglected the unfortunate orphan in every circumstance, in which you ought to have protected her, and that the fortune her father left is still in your possession; I send you notice, that unless you come to an account with the aforesaid Sarah Johnson, you will be sued without further delay. I am your humble servant,
Mr. Gripe who had not heard any thing of Sally for several years, had pleased his miserly disposition with the hopes that what he had for her use was now entirely his own, therefore looked upon this letter as the production of some poor man that had got connected with her, and wanted to frighten him out of some money; fully persuaded that this was the case he wrote the following answer.
I have received your letter concerning Sally Johnson, I must own I did know such a person some years ago, whom I kept out of charity, because I knew her father, who died a bankrupt; how far I might have been a friend to her I know not had she behaved herself as she should have done; as to having money of hers I deny it; so, sir, you may take this for my final answer, for I am too old to be frighten’d by such threatenings. Yours,
Mr. Friendly found there was nothing to be done without the assistance of the law, went immediately to council, and employed an eminent attorney. Sally proposed to her master to pay a visit in person to her guardian, and try by gentle means to bring him to a sense of the injury he did her; this was agreed to, and Mr. Fleming was to go with her.
Accordingly one afternoon she dressed herself and waited on Mr. Gripe; he did not know her at first, but imagined from the appearance of Mr. Fleming they had come about other business, and so ushered them into the parlour, and desired them to be seated; however Sally very modestly stood up and began to open the business, she had no sooner mentioned her name than he began to change countenance, and his passion was so great, that for some time he could not speak; at last he said, he wondered at her impudence, and what did she mean to bring her bully with her to put him in danger of his life, indeed he should himself seek the redress of the law, and he should make them both suffer.
Mr. Fleming desired him to moderate his passion, and assured him that he was mistaken in him, for he was not a man of that kind which he had mentioned, but a tradesman of reputation, but was determined to see the injured righted, and would gladly have managed the business in an amicable manner, but since he found he remained obstinate he should leave him to the law.
Poor Sally could not help shedding tears, to see the once seeming friend of her father so hard-hearted, but her tears had no effect on him, he opened the door, and desired he might see no more of them; Mr. Fleming said, he did not know how that might be, but if he did not see any more of them he would certainly hear from them.
They now walked towards Mr. Friendly’s, but going by one of his relations, he prevailed o her to go and drink a dish of tea; this was a female cousin who was acquainted with all their courtship, and during this visit, he pressed Sally to let him fix the day of their nuptials, but she insisted to stay till the event of the lawsuit should be known, before she would give her consent.
Finding all persuasion was in vain, he was forced to give up the point, and after tea they returned to Mr. Friendly’s house, and made him acquainted with the behaviour of Mr. Gripe.
Sally was very anxious about this trial, which the old man contrived to put off from time to time, in hopes if possible to tire either their pocket or their patience, so that he might nonsuit them, but he had not such weak people to deal with, and as the day of trial drew near, it was now that he began to fear that he was on the wrong side, and wished he was rid of the business at a less expence than what he now apprehended it would be. To accommodate this matter he sent the following letter to Mr. Friendly.
As the expence of a trial will be very great on both sides, I would willingly settle this business before it comes to that issue, and will, rather than proceed any farther, compromise the matter, I will pay all expences hitherto incurred, and give to Sally Johnson fifty pounds, which is more I am certain than she can ever get. I am, Sir, yours &c.
To this epistle Mr. Friendly sent the following answer.
The business is already gone too far to be made up on such trifling conditions, and I shall abide by the consequence of the trial in behalf of the young woman. I am yours, &c.
Nothing could equal the misery of this old save-money, he stamped about the house like a madman, kicked the dog and cat, and scolded the maid.
At length the day of the trial came, the court was crouded, the best council to be got were feed on both sides. At length it was left to an impartial jury, who gave three hundred pounds, with full costs of suit to Miss Sally Johnson; he had made it appear, that he had expended two hundred on her, which was the reason she did not get the whole of what her father left her; this verdict gave universal satisfaction, and the old hunks was glad to get out of the croud, who hiss’d him all the way to his coach.
The court being over, Mr. Friendly with Mr. Fleming and their attorney went to dinner at a tavern, and the next day he waited on Mr. Gripe with a bill of the expences, which he was glad to pay for fear of another lawsuit.
Sally went out one day for her mistress, and going along the street she met Mr. Thompson; he had a person with him who appeared to be a serjeant; he started on seeing her, and stopped, she would have shunned him, as she never loved him, and now had cause to hate him, but he begged her to hear what he had to say, and being near a tavern, he persuaded her to go in, as he had something particular to tell her.
It was with some difficulty she consented, and they all three went in and called for some wine; it being a large room he desired her to go to the further end, that the serjeant might not hear.
He said, after he had been some time in Ireland, he returned back to London, and got into the company of Polly Parker again, and to his shame, he confessed he lived for a good while on what she got, which was not only by prostitution, but by robbing gentlemen she went with, till at last she was detected stealing a gold watch and a pocketbook; she was secured, sent to prison, and tried for it, and received sentence of death, but got off from that and was transported for seven years.
He said this was the first thing that touched his conscience, and made so strong an impression on him, joined with all the other wickedness he had been guilty of, that he resolved to do so no more, and as he deserved transportation as much as Polly Parker, as she did it to maintain him, he had transported himself, that is, says he, I have sold myself to the East India Company for five years, I belong to that gentleman now, and am to go off next week and most likely I shall never come back, I am therefore very glad to meet with you that I may beg pardon for my treachery towards you, and I hope you will forgive me.
Sally shed tears at the remembrance of her lost innocence through him; however she told him she forgave him as he seemed to repent, and told him she was then likely to do very well, as she was settled in a very good place.
She then left him immediately, not chusing to stay to drink any wine, or to be seen in his company.
When she returned home, she thought it would be prudent to acquaint her mistress with what had happened, least she might have been seen to go into a tavern, besides she was resolved to keep nothing from her.
Mrs. Friendly did not blame her for going in to hear what he said, but commended her for leaving him so soon; she said she was pleased to hear he was going out of the kingdom, and hoped he would never return, for he had done mischief enough here.
Mr. Fleming came every day to see Sally, and had a sincere love for her, and she then experienced what a true affection for a man was.
Her master Mr. Friendly was taking a good deal of pains for her, and they only waited till her affairs was settled, when they intended to be married.
Mr. Friendly having thus settled her affairs, nothing prevented their union; and tho’ Mr. Fleming would have married Sally without money, so great was his love for her, yet three hundred pounds would be of great service to him.
They were married, and Mr. Friendly honoured them with a wedding dinner at his table, and had been kind enough to give the bride away, and Mrs. Friendly was at the wedding.
In the evening Mr. Friendly took his bride home to his own house, and behaved ever after to her with great love and tenderness, never reflecting on her for what was past.
And she in return made the most faithful and indulging wife, never giving him the least cause to blame her conduct, or to repent making her his wife.
She brought him eight fine children, and Mr. and Mrs. Friendly stood Godfather and Godmother to their first child.
Thus having settled Sally Johnson in a happy comfortable state, I shall conclude with exhorting all young women to be careful what company they keep, and not to be drawn from the paths of virtue and innocence thro’ pleasure, or believing what designing men will say to gain their own ends.
Thus tho’ to vice awhile she went astray
Yet soon she sought again fair virtue’s day.
Again to prudence turn’d her artless mind,
And was to every thing that’s good inclin’d.
She made a modest and a prudent wife,
And spent in worthy acts her future life.
Ye fair ones who are frail, like her return,
With tears of penitence your follies mourn;
So shall returning pity calm your breast,
And heaven in goodness make you truly blest.
Sally now removed from her worthy master to the house of her husband, which was not far from Mary-le-bone.
Mr. Fleming was a widower, and a person of a solid, sober, and industrious disposition, so that he wished to have a wife who was not too young and giddy, but one who had seen something of the world and knew how to manage a family: as he had one daughter himself by his first wife, a very pretty girl about six years old.
Sally, who had suffered by fatal experience, well knew the dangers which youthful females are liable to fall into, therefore was as careful and tender over little Nancy as she was of her own.
She had not forgot what little she had learned while she was an apprentice, and being very ingenious, she used to be constantly altering and making up the cloaths of her daughter-in-law, for as she was constantly growing, her cloaths required frequent alterations, and the expence of new ones would be too much for a tradesman.
Thus by her management did she continually keep her in a genteel decent appearance, and at a very trifling expence.
And it is no trifling article in a parent to know how to manage every thing to the best advantage.
As to other family matters she well knew how to go to market, and to cook when she had brought it home, having acted in that capacity at her late master’s, and tho’ she had a girl to assist her, yet she superintended every thing herself.
In fact, she made a most excellent wife, and by her conduct made ample amends for every folly she had formerly been guilty of.
Her husband was truly sensible of the blessing he enjoyed, and valued it as he ought, by treating her with that tenderness and respect which was due to her singular merit, and good behaviour.